Ecommerce has exploded in popularity over the last decade. In 2021, global ecommerce sales reached $4.9 trillion, and that number is projected to grow to $7.4 trillion by 2025.
With the ecommerce market growing so rapidly, more and more businesses are looking to build an online store. However, building and managing an ecommerce store requires the right software and tools.
Two of the most popular ecommerce platforms available today are Adobe Commerce (formerly Magento Commerce) and Shopify. But which one is the better option for growing your ecommerce business?
In this comprehensive guide, we’ll compare Adobe Commerce and Shopify across several factors to help you determine which platform is the best fit for your business needs and goals.
Overview of Adobe Commerce and Shopify
Before we dive into the details, let’s briefly overview what Adobe Commerce and Shopify are:
Adobe Commerce – Adobe Commerce is an open-source ecommerce platform built on PHP. It offers robust features for enterprise-level B2C and B2B stores. Adobe Commerce is highly customizable and scalable but requires technical skills to set up and manage.
Shopify – Shopify is an all-in-one hosted ecommerce platform for businesses of all sizes. It is user-friendly with a drag-and-drop interface. Shopify offers everything you need to start, run, and grow a store without technical skills required.
Now let’s explore how these two platforms compare across some of the most important factors for ecommerce businesses:
Ease of Use
One of the first things to consider with an ecommerce platform is how easy it is to use.
Adobe Commerce – Adobe Commerce is built for developers, not beginners. It offers endless customization possibilities, but that power comes at the cost of beginner-friendliness. Expect a steep learning curve getting started with Adobe Commerce. You’ll either need an experienced web developer or plan to invest serious time learning the platform’s complexities.
Shopify – In contrast, Shopify prioritizes ease of use. The admin interface and store builder were designed to be intuitive and user-friendly for business owners without technical expertise. Even complex operations like checkout and shipping integrations are simplified through Shopify’s UI. Shopify’s drag-and-drop store builder and vast app store make it easy to create a store and add advanced functionality without touching code.
Verdict – Shopify is far easier to use and get started with compared to Adobe Commerce. Adobe Commerce offers more control for seasoned developers, while Shopify simplifies ecommerce for the average user.
The features and functionalities of the ecommerce platform you choose can have a big impact on your business operations and growth potential.
Adobe Commerce – Adobe Commerce provides extensive built-in features plus thousands of add-ons to customize every aspect of your store. Key features include powerful CMS capabilities, complex catalog and product options, automated marketing tools, advanced reporting, API integrations, role-based user controls, and more. Adobe Commerce gives you granular control to build sophisticated ecommerce experiences.
Shopify – While it doesn’t offer quite as many robust features out of the box, Shopify still provides plenty of functionality to power ecommerce stores through its apps and integrations. Shopify makes it easy to handle everything from your online storefront to inventory management, order processing, shipping, payments, marketing, and reporting. And you can enhance functionality as needed through Shopify’s app marketplace.
Verdict – Adobe Commerce wins when it comes to the depth of built-in features and customization capabilities. But Shopify still provides impressive functionality for most ecommerce businesses via apps.
Design and Customization
Your ecommerce store’s design and customization capabilities impact both aesthetics and user experience.
Adobe Commerce – The design capabilities of Adobe Commerce are nearly limitless. Developers have complete control over HTML, CSS, and theme templates. There are also over 300 themes available including both free and premium options. The downside is that customizing design requires developer skills.
Shopify – Shopify offers a balance of customization flexibility with drag-and-drop simplicity. There are over 100 free and paid themes that can be customized using the built-in theme editor. You can tweak images, fonts, colors and more without touching code. Advanced users can further edit Liquid code for deeper design customization.
Verdict – Adobe Commerce offers greater design flexibility for developers. But Shopify makes it easy to customize and design a beautiful storefront even without coding expertise.
Sales and Marketing Tools
Sales and marketing tools help you attract customers, drive sales, and maximize revenue. Both platforms offer features in this area.
Adobe Commerce – Adobe Commerce comes equipped with some solid built-in marketing features like promo rules, targeted content, SEO enhancements, email templates and more. There are also over 700 marketing add-ons available to expand capabilities as needed. This includes tools for coupons, loyalty programs, email marketing, social media integration and everything in between.
Shopify – While Shopify doesn’t offer quite as many robust marketing tools out of the box, there are over 800 marketing apps available to choose from. Popular options include email marketing, SEO optimization, coupons, loyalty rewards, social media integration, winning product recommendations and more.
Verdict – Adobe Commerce has a slight edge when it comes to the number and sophistication of built-in sales and marketing tools. But Shopify still provides powerful solutions via apps.
Security is crucial for any ecommerce business to protect customer data and prevent fraud.
Adobe Commerce – Adobe Commerce offers robust security capabilities including built-in protection against threats like XSS, SQL injection and unauthorized access. Developers also have the flexibility to choose security solutions and controls to match risk profiles and requirements. However, the responsibility ultimately falls on merchants and developers to secure stores built with Adobe Commerce.
Shopify – Shopify is a fully hosted platform, so they handle backend server security. Shopify also maintains PCI compliance, provides SSL across stores, and leverages AI to detect fraud. Their security protocols are designed to protect all customers. For additional security needs, Shopify offers tools like Fraud Protect.
Verdict – Shopify’s fully-hosted solution offers slightly better baseline security, especially for merchants without technical expertise. But Adobe Commerce provides deeper flexibility for customized security.
Support and Community
Getting timely support and tapping into a wider community helps troubleshoot issues and nurture ecommerce success.
Adobe Commerce – As an open source platform, Adobe Commerce relies on its developer community for documentation, troubleshooting, and ongoing support. There are developer forums, documentation libraries, blogs, partners and more. Adobe also now provides 24/7 technical support and onboarding assistance for Commerce Cloud clients.
Shopify – Shopify is renowned for its stellar customer support. Merchants get 24/7 support via live chat, email and phone. There is also an extensive help center with tutorials, product guides and more. Shopify also maintains an active online community forum. As well as developer documentation for enhancing stores.
Verdict – Shopify’s superior customer service reputation gives it the advantage for most merchants. But Adobe Commerce offers more robust developer resources.
Apps and Integrations
Access to apps and third-party integrations is crucial for enhancing ecommerce functionality.
Adobe Commerce – Adobe Commerce touts over 5,000 apps and integrations available through the Magento Marketplace. These cover everything from payments to shipping to marketing and more. However, developers are typically required to customize and implement new integrations.
Shopify – Shopify also provides access to thousands of apps that augment ecommerce functionality across the board. Shopify’s App Store makes it easy to browse, install, and manage apps without technical skills. However, the App Store has fewer total integrations compared to Adobe Commerce currently.
Verdict – Adobe Commerce offers more apps and integrations overall. But Shopify provides the simplest user experience for installation and management.
Pricing is an important consideration when selecting an ecommerce platform. You want value for your investment.
Adobe Commerce – Adobe Commerce pricing is complex with multiple options:
- Magento Open Source – The free, open source version. But requires paying for hosting, security add-ons, extensions and more.
- Adobe Commerce Pro – Starts at $22,000/year. Designed for mid-market businesses.
- Adobe Commerce Enterprise – Starts at $125,000/year. Robust scalable solution for enterprises.
- Adobe Commerce Cloud – Flexible managed hosting solutions charged based on bandwidth and requests. Requires additional costs for extensions.
Shopify – Shopify pricing is simple and transparent:
- Shopify Lite – $9/month – Basic online store with limited functionality.
- Shopify Basic – $29/month
- Shopify – $79/month
- Advanced Shopify – $299/month
Shopify’s pricing includes hosting, security, fraud analysis and more. Apps cost extra.
Verdict – Shopify offers more pricing clarity and flexibility for small businesses. Adobe Commerce can provide greater value for high-volume merchants but at higher cost.
Your ecommerce platform’s hosting solution impacts performance, security and management.
Adobe Commerce – Merchants must secure their own hosting for Adobe Commerce installs. This allows ultimate flexibility and customization. But also transfers hosting management and costs to merchants. Some popular third-party hosting options include Cloudways, Nexcess, and eDataStyle.
Shopify – As an all-in-one solution, Shopify provides fully managed hosting for all stores. So you don’t need to source a hosting provider. Shopify’s global infrastructure ensures reliable high performance and security. However, you don’t have hosting customization options.
Verdict – Shopify’s built-in managed hosting minimizes complexity for most merchants. Adobe Commerce offers ultimate hosting flexibility for advanced users willing to take that on.
Setting up payment processing properly ensures you can accept transactions and get paid for sales.
Adobe Commerce – Adobe Commerce integrates with 100+ payment gateways and merchant providers. This includes major players like PayPal, Stripe, Braintree, and Square. Adobe Commerce gives developers flexibility to choose payment solutions. However, managing payments requires technical expertise.
Shopify – Shopify also connects with 100+ third-party payment gateways. Additionally, Shopify offers Shopify Payments for simplified payment processing directly through your store. Shopify Payments includes features like support for Apple and Google Pay. Integrating payments is easy through Shopify’s interface.
Verdict – Shopify provides simpler payment integration and management for most merchants. But Adobe Commerce enables customization of payments for advanced setups.
Scaling and Performance
Your ecommerce platform must offer the capabilities to scale along with your business growth.
Adobe Commerce – One advantage of Adobe Commerce is robust enterprise-level scalability. The platform is built to handle huge catalogs, traffic volumes and complex order processing. Adobe Commerce’s architecture uses technologies like elastic search and Redis to optimize performance. However, scaling requirements fall back on your development team or hosting provider’s expertise.
Shopify – Shopify is also engineered to scale securely for busy stores. Their focus on performance delivers fast page loads even at high traffic volumes. However, Shopify’s scaling capabilities accommodate growth primarily through upgrading to higher-tier plans. There is less flexibility for nuanced performance customization by merchants.
Verdict – Adobe Commerce takes the lead for giving advanced developers and hosting providers the tools to fine-tune scaling and performance. Shopify offers simpler scaling paths through plan upgrades.
Final Verdict: Adobe Commerce vs Shopify
So which platform comes out on top in this battle – Adobe Commerce or Shopify?
For small-to-medium businesses that prioritize simplicity and ease-of-use – Shopify is the better choice. Shopify makes it easy to create an online store and start selling quickly without technical skills. The powerful capabilities of Shopify plus its rich app ecosystem provide tremendous value and functionality out of the box. The hands-off managed approach also simplifies operations for small business owners.
For enterprise merchants that require highly advanced capabilities – Adobe Commerce edges out Shopify. Adobe Commerce enables sophisticated product catalogs, customizations and experiences on a large scale. Developers have unmatched flexibility to fine-tune performance and customize every aspect of the store. The extensive app marketplace and open-source architecture provide enterprise merchants with robust advanced capabilities.
Ultimately, there is no absolute “best” platform – the right solution depends on your business needs, technical skills, and goals. Adobe Commerce empowers unlimited customization possibilities but requires significant technical expertise. Shopify simplifies ecommerce for non-technical entrepreneurs but can’t match the complexity enabled by Adobe Commerce.
We recommend starting your evaluation by considering your business’s size, product complexity, technical capabilities, and growth plans. This will help determine if the control of Adobe Commerce or the simplicity of Shopify is a better strategic fit.
Whichever platform you choose, Geekflare offers plans to take your ecommerce capabilities to the next level:
- Grow traffic and sales faster with email marketing
- Offer more payment options using payment gateway integrations
- Delight customers with faster performance
We hope this comprehensive comparison has provided valuable insights to inform your ecommerce platform decision. Let us know if you have any other questions as you build and grow your online business!