Adobe Commerce vs Shopify: the Best Ecommerce Platform 2024
September 7, 2023
Choosing the right platform can be a game-changer for your online business. As we step into 2024, two heavyweights in the ecommerce platform arena continue to dominate the landscape: Adobe Commerce (formerly Magento) and Shopify.
Both offer unique advantages, but which one is the best choice for your ecommerce venture?
As Adobe Commerce and Shopify are two platforms our development and ecommerce teams specialise in at Venture Stream, we thought we’d share some insights gathered from our exclusive research into the platforms used by the top ecommerce giants. In this post, we look into which companies are using a particular platform across various sectors to answer one of the most common questions in ecommerce right now: Which is the best ecommerce platform for 2024 and beyond?
In 2020, we found that 12% of the top 500 online retailers analysed use Adobe and 2% use Shopify.
In the past, when the platform still went by Magento, Adobe Commerce was more widely used by a variety of sectors. According to research carried out by Retail X, these sectors include the automotive industry, department stores, home & DIY and sports and leisure, whereas the stores built on the Shopify platform were predominantly favoured by businesses in the fashion industry.
So with this in mind, what’s the difference between these platforms? Why are they so popular among top retailers? Is one better than the other when it comes to a specific industry? Which one should you invest in?
These are just some of the questions our team is asked when a client is exploring the development of a new ecommerce website. It’s easy to become overwhelmed when choosing a platform, but we’re here to make it a little easier for you, by using our experience with each of the platforms to explore the advantages and limitations of each.
Adobe Commerce vs Shopify: pros & cons
So let’s get down to the nitty-gritty.
From our team’s experience building, developing and managing award-winning Shopify and Adobe websites, we’ve collated the pros and cons of each platform below, looking at general features, cost and scalability.
Adobe Commerce powers 1% of all websites on the internet. This might not seem like a great deal, but bear in mind that there are over 1.5 billion websites in the world in total, so in raw numbers, you can see how many websites use Adobe already.
So, the market for Adobe Commerce is huge, but is it the right platform for you? We’ve collated our experts’ opinions on the pros and cons for the platform, to help you determine if Adobe could be right for your business.
– Flexible platform that gives you complete freedom to customise your website to your preferences and branding
– Free to use but you do have to pay for hosting
– Widely supported with high-quality extensions for more advanced functionality
– Significant time investment getting your store set up
– Difficult to get to grips with for someone new to the platform and often requires advanced coding knowledge
Shopify on the other hand, is the third biggest ecommerce platform in the world, with over four million users across 175 countries.
Shopify has generated over $700 billion in sales during its 17 years of operation.
Shopify is notoriously known as the best platform for small – medium sized business on a budget, but is it right for you? Read our pros and cons to using the Shopify.
– Over 100 stunning, mobile-ready storefront themes
– Your online store will automatically optimise itself for different devices and screen sizes
– Comprehensive ecommerce website builder with a large App Store to extend the functionality of your site
– Easy to use with 24/7 support
– Only 10 Shopify themes are free
– Transaction fee per sale
– Best suited for small-medium scale businesses with less than 100,000 products and minimal SKUs (unless you’re willing to upgrade)
– More restricted app-store means some more complex functionality or integrations are unavailable
It’s worth noting that while the standard versions of Shopify are best suited to businesses on the smaller side, large-scale businesses shouldn’t be put off. Shopify Plus is designed for high-volume, enterprise level businesses. It includes all of the Shopify features, but also offers additional resources to help merchants with higher sales volumes and transactions. Learn more about the differences between Shopify and Shopify Plus here.
Adobe Commerce is known for its robust and customisable features that offer unparalleled flexibility, while Shopify is known for its simplicity and user-friendly interface. Both offer a range of features, but we’ve highlighted the key features below.
Advanced customisation: Adove allows for deep customisation, making it suitable for large enterprises with specific needs.
Multi-store capabilities: Manage multiple stores from a single dashboard, ideal for businesses expanding into different markets.
SEO-friendly: Adobe comes with SEO tools and features to help improve your website’s visibility in search engines.
Catalog management: Easily add products to the catalog, make updates or modifications, and set options such as shipping and payment ways
Advertising & marketing: Access a range of marketing tools for our ecommerce business – handle coupon codes, promotions, manage newsletters and cross-sell products
User-friendly: Shopify’s drag-and-drop interface makes it easy for beginners to set up their online store without technical expertise.
App store: Extensive app store with various plugins and extensions to enhance your store’s functionality.
Mobile optimisation: Mobile responsiveness is built into Shopify’s themes, ensuring a seamless shopping experience on all devices.
Powerful analytics tools: a detailed view of how your store is performing, allowing you to track sales, traffic sources and customer behaviour.
Themes & templates: access the Shopify theme store where you can browse and purchase free and premium themes, helping you to create an attractive website without any coding knowledge or development skills.
Adobe’s open-source version is free to use, but you’ll need to budget for hosting, development, and ongoing maintenance. Enterprise-level businesses can expect higher costs due to customisation and server requirements.
Shopify offers tiered pricing plans, starting from a monthly fee. While it’s a more straightforward cost structure, additional expenses may be incurred for premium themes, apps, and transaction fees.
While both platforms offer a lot of growth potential, the platform you choose will ultimately depend on the resources, budget and technical know-how you have available. We’ve seen many ecommerce businesses with Adobewebsites come to us with a huge amount of technical debt that makes changes to the back end laborious. If you have a full team of Adobe Commerce developers in-house, then this platform may be for you, but if not then we’d always recommend Shopify.
Shopify offers a range of plans at different price points, so your website can grow and scale with your business. The simple interface, ready-made themes and access to over 8,000 apps make customisation a breeze, so you can have the functionality and sleek design you crave without the time-consuming and expensive processes.
A Shopify success story
Yogamatters is a prime example of Shopify offering unparalleled scalability. Until 2020, they’d been using the Magento 1.9 website, and while it was best in class at the time it was built, it was very apparent that the platform had become outdated and no longer met the client’s needs.
We decided that Shopify Plus would be the best platform for the client, offering flexibility, freedom and scalability. It gave them the tools they needed to focus on growing the brand and taking the next step in the expansion of the business, due to a user-friendly interface, access to 1000s of apps to instantly increase website functionality, and the ability to operate at enterprise level across the world with country-specific shopping experiences.
Since launch in 2020, revenue, website sessions, conversion rate and SEO performance have all increased substantially. To find out more about the development process of the Yogamatters website, read our case study.
Adobe Commerce vs Shopify: our conclusion
Our research certainly indicates that Shopify and its various versions are generally more widely used by small-medium-sized ecommerce businesses,and is particularly popular among fashion brands. However, Shopify users have consistently increased year on year, and it’s cementing itself as the ecommerce platform to beat thanks to ease of use and the ability to expand into multiple territories thanks to Shopify Plus.
When it comes to the Shopify vs Adobe Commerce debate, the right platform depends on your business goals, size and resources. Before you make a decision, we’d recommend making a thorough plan and consulting an experienced ecommerce agency before beginning any development work – there’s nothing worse than investing your time and money into a website only to start all over again a couple of years down the line.
Get in touch or leave us a comment below to speak to one of our ecommerce experts if you are unsure which platform is right for your business.