Magento vs. Shopify: old standby vs. shiny new kid

It’s difficult to get accurate up-to-date stats, but it seems that WooCommerce, Magento and Shopify share the top three market leader spots in ecommerce but ranking varies depending on who’s rating.   Like our friend Jan in the photo above, all we ever seem to hear is Shopify, Shopify, Shopify — its clearly the shiny new kid on the block.

We launched a new webstore this week on behalf of a major multi-national technology company.  And, as expected, this new tech client had initially requested the Shopify platform during planning meetings in early 2015. This is the Marcia, Marcia, Marcia phenomenon I borrow from Brady Bunch fame.  Why doesn’t anyone pay attention to Jan?

I’m old fashioned and more of a “dance-with-the-one-ya-brung” type: we have a six-plus year engagement with Magento so we want to build on our Magento platforms, learn and make them better!  And since Magento is a top e-commerce platform it must be pretty good — it has hundreds of thousands of users worldwide.

This is our fifth Magento webstore and in this latest iteration here is the custom functionality we’ve built (above and beyond the usual product listing, add to cart and checkout basics):   Visa, MC, Amex and Paypal processing; FedEx real-time ship quotes; Multi warehouse — USA versus Cdn ship points; SSO (Single Sign On) Login and integration; Multi-currency support; Free shipping to pre-selected default addresses; an array of Discount Codes, coupons and the  like; and LiveChat customer support.

While our latest webstore client contacts are senior H.R. professionals it was a pleasant surprise to receive a complimentary email from their senior IT Manager.  The manager reviewed very positively our webstore integration and functionality which gave me confidence that we chose the right e-commerce platform.

In all fairness, I don’t know too much about Shopify — its strengthhs or weaknesses.  I do know that it is a preferred partner to our cloud-based business management software ( so that could be beneficial to us. But, one friend/competitor I know paid developers over $10k to build a robust Shopify store, which confirms for me a universal truth in SaaS (Software-as-a-Service): the free versions only do so much (not much) and true custom functionality must be built.

Along with developing webstores, Patterson Brands will stock, pick, pack and ship from our suburban Vancouver Canada facility.  Our clients — like long-time webstore client Nurse Next Door — love working with us because we make their brands look good and they never have to touch the merchandise.  Its seamless turn-key service.

– by Rich Patterson

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