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magento & ecommerce

Shopware vs. Magento

Owning an e-commerce store has plenty of benefits. The most important is selling products day and night, regardless of where your audience is located. But things can get confusing when it comes to choosing an e-commerce CMS to run your business. With plenty of options out there, it’s easy to get lost in the crowd.

If you’re having doubts about two e-commerce CMS giants, Shopware and Magento, you’ve come to the right spot. This article compares the two solutions and helps you decide which one will bring success to your business.

Shopware vs. Magento Overview

Shopware and Magento are open-source CMS platforms, and both come with tons of customization and scaling options for growing businesses. Magento has 12% of the e-commerce market, powering more than 250,000 businesses. We can go as far as calling it the industry standard.

Magento is most popular in the US and UK. Some of their most noteworthy customers include Burger King, Nike, and Rosetta Stone.

As for Shopware, it has over 80,000 active installations, and it’s primarily popular in Germany, Switzerland, and Austria. Shopware has a 6.17% market share in Germany alone, with over 5,500 websites active there. Recently, business owners have recognized the power of Shopware and started using it as an alternative to Magento, which is more complex and expensive. But not only do Magento users switch over to Shopware. Many businesses from osCommerce, PrestaShop and other platforms have done the same.

Popular Shopware customers include the Discovery Channel EU Store, M&Ms, L’Oreal, Aston Martin, and Philips.

Now that we’ve introduced both platforms, let’s get into more details about each.

Let the Battle Begin

We’ll compare the two popular e-commerce CMS platforms in the following categories:

  • Cost
  • Ease of Use
  • Features
  • Performance
  • Support and Community
  • SEO and Marketing Tools
  • Apps

Cost

The cost is among the most important factors to consider when choosing an e-commerce platform.

Shopware

Shopware is a more affordable solution for businesses looking for a simpler and quicker start. There are three options available: Starter Edition, Professional Edition, and Enterprise Edition.

The Starter Edition is free until a business starts making sales, and then it shares a small amount of revenue with the platform. It’s best for small businesses due to its limited features.

The Professional Edition starts from $231 for a set of six features and additional tools to manage the online shop. Noteworthy tools include Custom Product, CMS extensions, and Social Shopping.

The Enterprise Edition is a large-scale business platform where all features are unlocked. It’s pretty much a singular system to run your B2B or B2C business. However, the version is only available on request.

Shopware

Magento

Magento is available in a free and premium version. The free, open-source version works as a downloadable platform. Installing the app is free, but you have to purchase a domain, hosting, and security.

The Magento Commerce, on the other hand, is a hosted solution with a minimum yearly cost of $22,000. The premium version is mainly used by big businesses that rely on advanced development and power. The exact pricing for this platform depends on the business’s gross sales revenue. For example, a company making less than $1 million per year will pay the minimum price. A business making $10 million in revenue will pay $75,000 per year.

The last option, Magento Commerce Cloud, starts at $40,000 per year for businesses generating less than $1 million yearly and has a lot in common with Magento Commerce. In this version, the company stores its data on a cloud. The business generating $10 million dollars per year would have to pay $120,000 to use this version.

Magento

Ease of Use

Both platforms let users tweak their websites however they want, but which one is more user-friendly?

Shopware

If we talk in terms of User Interface (UI), Shopware takes the lead here. It offers a simple and intuitive interface that will make running an e-commerce business easy for anyone. The platform has been bragging about its easy-to-use admin panel ever since the initial release. Also, business owners can use the backend with any browser and OS.

Users have an overview of all settings in a single window, making it more straightforward to manage the customers, check new orders, and add new items to the store. There are also drag-and-drop features to create new pages that don’t require coding skills.

Magento

Compared to Shopware, Magento is a more complicated platform. It requires some basic technical knowledge in installing and setting up the store. This is partly because the CMS is loaded with features.

If you opt for Magento and don’t have any technical skills, it may be better to hire a freelancer to set up the store for you.

However, running the daily operations is relatively simple. The latest Magento version has a more user-friendly Admin Panel, making it easier to create new content.

Overall, with the new version (Magento 2 vs. Magento 1), the platform has become easier to navigate, but Shopware still gets the point in the ease-of-use category.

Features

Both e-commerce CMS platforms have just enough features to satisfy the needs of most retail stores. But there are some differences.

Shopware

Shopware is known for its excellent features:

  • Product Management, for presenting all essential product details clearly and consistently. Thanks to this feature, it’s easy to create item variants with different images and prices. Large online stores can promote their products above those of other brands and much more.
  • The Customer Stream allows e-commerce owners to create criteria like the gender or desired amount to spend. For example, you can search for customers who spent under $10,000 in your store in the last two years. All customers meeting the criteria will make it to the customer stream, and you can launch marketing newsletters or similar campaigns that require a targeted audience.
  • Shopping World is one of the latest features designed for product promotion. It lets users create landing pages and visually tweak the content. There’s a drag-and-drop feature to arrange the products, blog posts, or banners.

Magento

Magento wins the race in terms of features, but that’s only understandable due to the price. Some of the most popular features include:

  • Inventory management to track inventory quantities, ideal for sellers with one store and multiple warehouses and pickup locations.
  • Report and Analysis for insights on orders, products, customer data.
  • Check out and Payment to control the checkout page, allow guest checkout, etc.

SEO and Marketing Tools

Every online store needs a proper SEO and marketing strategy to attract customers. But how do Shopware and Magento perform in this category? Let’s find out.

Shopware

Shopware has a robust SEO and Marketing set of tools to help users rank high on Google. Their SEO settings are configured automatically during the initial setup but can be easily modified. There are SEO plugins to help boost traffic and make more conversions, but none are free.

Magento

Magento is currently the fourth-best e-commerce CMS regarding SEO and marketing. It lets users create coupons for online stores, export them for email and marketing campaigns, assign reward points to encourage them to come back, etc. They have a special plugin designed to boost SEO and Marketing. There are free and premium solutions, so you can pick the one according to your needs and budget.

Support and Community

Who can you turn to if you run into a problem or have questions about your e-commerce CMS?

Shopware

Shopware requires monthly payments for customer support, resulting in a relatively high-quality service. They have a technical account manager covering store-related issues as well as general inquires. There’s also an online forum, but it’s only available in German.

As for the community, Shopware has around 40,000 active developers.

Magento

You may be surprised to learn that Magento doesn’t have live chat, email, and phone support for their merchants in their basic versions. You have to get a Magento Commerce Cloud deal to avoid solving technical issues by yourself. Fortunately, there are plenty of blogs where merchants help each other should any problem arise. With over 150,000 developers, Magento surely has a larger community.

However, in this round, Shopware scores higher due to more sophisticated customer support.

Apps

Shopware and Magento let users develop models and extensions available in the free and premium versions. Overall, both CMSs are relatively extensive in terms of apps and functionality.

Shopware

Shopware’s target audience is located in German-speaking countries. Hence, many plugins are only available in the German language. They have a Shopware Marketplace where you can browse for extensions. If you don’t speak German, make sure to check whether the app supports English.

There are over 3,500 modules in their inventory and cost from zero up to $9,000.

Magento

Ever since it was updated, Magento 2 keeps growing. There are over 3,000 extensions on the Magento Marketplace in the major categories such as accounting, content, marketing, payments, etc. The price range for the extensions varies from zero to $10,000 dollars.

Performance

The page load speed is a huge part of the user experience on any website, and e-commerce is no different. Slow loading speeds result in abandoned carts and lower conversion rates. Luckily, both Shopware and Magento have Varnish Cache, an HTTP accelerator essential for any website. Also, they both have a CSS and JS file merging and image compression to further improve user experience. However, online tests show that Shopware has a faster response time.

Shopware vs. Magento Game Over

Hopefully, the differences we’ve identified between Shopware and Magento have provided you with a better understanding of which platform better fits your needs. Shopware is mainly suitable for small to medium businesses since it’s a more affordable and straightforward solution. Magento is better for those with large-scale online shops that need plenty of features to manage their business.

Regardless of the platform you choose, you’ll get to work with one of the e-commerce CMS giants that have well deserved reputation.

By interactivated • on November 10, 2021

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