Shopify has been in business since 2006. During last 8 years company gathered about 50 thousand online retailers.
Basic, Professional, Business, and Unlimited are 4 types of subscriptions provided by Shopify. Each transaction costs from 0 to 2% depending on each plan, but all the subscriptions include free setup and unlimited bandwidth. Free trial for 2 weeks is also offered.
With Shopify you get a toolkit that allows you to edit HTML and CSS code, manage inventory, create discount codes and coupons, accept payments online (of course with Paypal). Shopify is easy and simple especially for small and middle e-commerce businesses. You don’t need a team of designers and developers to set up Shopify web-store. The service has reputation of very fast and responsible customer support. The other important feature is high level of security. Shopify also has its own app store with more tools and extensions for extra functionality.
Magento has much more powerful tools and features. By using them, you can set up multiple stores with different design, currencies and languages, which will be controllable from single admin panel. The platform is flexible and it is good for e-commerce outlets of all sizes. Despite the fact that Magento is free and open source it requires a team of designers and developers to set up and customize almost every store. As a result Magento is one of the most powerful and customizable e-commerce platforms with huge community of high class specialists and extensions for everything.
The other differences
Shopify has 70+ payment gateways; Magento by default – 4+ , lot of extensions for all most popular payment methods
Shopify provides you with customer accounts; Magento – with complete social network integration, which is available for you and your customers.
With Shopify you get mobile ready shopping cart; for be Mobile E-Commerce ready with Magento you need think about use/create responsive template
Shopify comes with a SSL certificate and it is PCI compliant, with Magento you need to buy SSL certificate for you domain
With Magento you get unique feature which is called product comparison tool
- With Magento you can create some total custom things, for example product builder based on JS/CSS and then just connect this app to you Magento backend
With more advantages in terms of SEO, customization and design Magento is a better long-term investment, but if you are not going to spend a lot of money to your project, then Shopify is ok. But in same time with Magento you also can get fully controlled you own E-Commerce solution without monthly and transactions fees with unlimited possibilities for grown and customisation.
Please feel free ask any questions about Shopify & Magento on comments to this post.