To take online brick and mortar retail shop online, although there are mamy platforms available, magento & shopify both have strong community of users and developers around them today.
This article covers major differences between these two major platforms:
Shopify is a hosted platform much similar to Saas(Software as a Service) very user friendly option when it comes to customization. Even clients can make the changed on their own to completely change look and feel of online store.
Whereas magento is a opensource platform but needs a proper development team to customize the plugins as per the theme which is being used for the store development.
Store End Funtionality:
Shopify is easy as compared to magento when it comes to basic store end functionalities, end users are provided with customize theme options where they can change the look and feel of the store overnight where as magento needs a developer to do the same.
Both Magento and Shopify Plus understand that eCommerce sellers want to customize their store. Just like Magento, Shopify Plus is going to have a community that develops apps, or extensions that give you extra functionality like combating cart abandonment.
Both shopify and magento lets you to store unlimited products on your online store.However, adding products in magento can loads up the server which increases the site load time whereas shopify being hosted solution, inventory can be well managed on your store.
Large number of themes available for both shopify and magento but magento themes can be less expensive starting from $1 as compared to shopify's which starts from $80. However you would need a developer for magento theme customization and custom development which any ways increases the cost.
Both platforms supports many languages, magento having inbuilt multilingual functionality its easy to support many languages whereas shopify has some issues but with the 24/7 help from shopify experts resolves this issue.
Shopify has integrated feature to create and maintain blogs and articles and its very well maintained. On the other hand to create a blog in magento, there are plugins needed.
Shopify provides 24/7 support available to solve issues from minor to bigger problems within even a fraction of time. Unfortunately, magento doesn't provide any support or help but there are loads of community forums where problems and solutions from other developers can solve your problem.
Since shopify provides you hosting, they take care of your security ver well. It provides SSL certificate, automatic backups and level 1 PCI complaince. Magento is also PCI certified and SSL security support for front and backend both.
Both platforms have great tools and features that allows you to market and sell your customers.
Shopify provides option to sell products on social networking sites but magento doesn't provides any of the social media features. You would be using to access any of the social media platform.
Shopify doesn't need any setup fees. At the same time, they provide 14 day trial to create and test ecommerce store, there are different packages to be purchased according to the user's need where as magento community edition is free since it is open source but you need to pay for your own hosting and pricing may vary $5-$100/month depending on what yuo need.
However, magento enterprise edition cost you $18000 per year and you might need a developer for about $15/hr.
No charge shopify takes from you for bandwidth they provide where as magento is chargeable based on your hosting provider.
As compared to magento, shopify is easier solution which not only saves you time but increases the productivity of online stores whether you being a developer or online store owner or nerchant.
On the other hand, magento apps can land you in trouble because they are not fully compatible with the themes that are available on magento market and need a developer to fix it which might lead to increase the cost again.
where as shopify apps does not break your theme in any way and very well handled by shopify itself.
Shopify is easy as compared to magento if we talk about basic store functionalities that are powerful to use and maintain.