Shopify vs PrestaShop: Who Wins the Best eCommerce Platform Battle?

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Keen Funnel Official Blog

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Spending time researching eCommerce platforms can be hard work – there are so many to choose from. But on the bright side, whichever one you settle on, they’ll both make running your online store straightforward and less demanding. In the world of eCommerce, Shopify and Prestashop have been two go-to platforms for individuals trying to set up an online store. In this post, we’ll compare these two well-known platforms to give you a better idea of which would be best for your business.

What is Shopify?

Shopify is an eCommerce platform for building beautiful websites, mobile webshops, and online stores. It is the perfect solution for anyone with little to no web development experience. Unlike many other eCommerce platforms, Shopify is all-encompassing; they handle the design of your website, payments methods, inventory management – everything that you would need to run a functioning operating store.

Shopify allows anyone to create, operate, and grow their marketplace. They offer a range of eCommerce software that includes everything from accessible building blocks for newsletters to complex tools that ensure that you comply with the latest laws for your region. Shopify is trusted by hundreds of thousands of merchants worldwide. It is ideal for businesses looking to build their brand, market globally, and grow beyond the limitations of traditional point-of-sale solutions. Shopify gives you complete control while reducing your development timelines by up to 50%.

Pros Cons
It has a large, reputable and user-friendly interface It’s more costly when compared to other platforms
Allows for customization thanks to its color options All the stock themes are premade and not much can be customized
Your visitors will enjoy a clean and eye-pleasing experience The downside is that there are larger fees starting from $29 per month for a basic package
No longevity problems for this platform Users also need to pay a small fee for every credit card sale made through their website
It’s super easy to get started with – you can have a functioning e-commerce site in just a few minutes.

What is Prestashop?

Prestashop is a beautiful, free eCommerce platform designed for small and medium retailers to sell all kinds of products. It’s a professional alternative to WordPress or other open-source platforms, but it boasts plenty of features that enterprise-level stores need. The installation process can be daunting because you have to handle requests from your hosting company and then connect things like your shopping cart system, payment gateway, shipping module, etc., before getting started.

Prestashop has been developed in more than eight years of intense work to provide the complete solution for online sellers. Prestashop features plenty of plugins, extensions, and shops collections to allow setting up an online store matching the needs of brick-and-mortar stores.

Pros Cons
PrestaShop is an open-source eCommerce platform that can be set up for free. It requires more time to set up and does not have as much support as Shopify.
It has many features, flexibility, style options, reasonable pricing, robust plugins, SEO-friendly attributes It is more complex to learn
PrestaShop has many features that you would expect in a superior eCommerce platform The file system is confusing with long installation times.
It offers more flexibility for the site’s development It requires special privileges or root access that minimizes its appeal for smaller shops
This open-source platform allows developers to write their extensions and modules that other users can use

Who is the ideal customer for Shopify?

Shopify is a well-known giant in the eCommerce world. They are ideal for creators who plan to sell using their brand name. If you want to put things up for sale on your terms, this might be the best place to start. Shopify is a much more versatile platform than PrestaShop, and stores of all sizes can use it. Shopify offers dynamic themes for those looking for a unique look and live chat customer service. The downside to Shopify is that it’s geared more towards those who want to migrate over from an existing website.

Who is the ideal customer for PrestaShop?

PrestaShop is a better option for small and medium-sized businesses. It is one of the more popular options for these organizations because the website is inexpensive and easy to use. PrestaShop is a cPanel-based shopping cart. It’s specifically designed for medium to large eCommerce sites with big budgets.

Shopify vs. PrestaShop Comparison:

1) Cost 

Shopify

Shopify has evolved into a full-fledged eCommerce solution, capable of managing all sorts of store activity and feats. However, this evolution means that Shopify now offers several plans and prices ranging from $29 to $299 per month.  Shopify is an excellent choice for DIY web admins because it is built with a CMS system to breeze setup and installation. Plus, it has templates that can get your store going in minutes. Shopify also offers to host through its partner, the Rackspace Managed Hosting, eliminating downtime and allowing you to quickly grow your shop however big you want it to be.

PrestaShop

PrestaShop is freemium software. This means that it is available for free, but some of its features are substantially limited until you pay the total price. PrestaShop is still a very viable option for businesses just starting with an annual fee of $149 per year and competes well with Shopify’s standard plan options as it comes in at only $89 per month.

Winner: Prestashop (Comparitively Cheaper)

2) Ease of Use 

Shopify

Shopify is best for entrepreneurs who want to set up their online stores and do not need any merchant account. If you’re going to start selling without having your merchant account, this type of e-commerce platform is for you. With Shopify, you don’t need any technical skills to set up. It has an elegant and intuitive interface that doesn’t require learning new software. It is known for being one of the most user-friendly eCommerce platforms around. Connect your social media account, add some products, and automatically update your Facebook feed whenever you post something new. These features make Shopify great for small business owners to quickly start eCommerce without any coding knowledge needed.

PrestaShop

On the other hand, PrestaShop may take more time and effort to set up. PrestaShop is a little more complicated than Shopify in the steps you need to go through to add products and create pages, but it offers advanced options that Shopify does not. PrestaShop is compatible with more payment solutions, and it is easier for merchants to install PrestaShop on their own instead of paying for someone to host it. While these features require a bit more up-front work, they can be advantageous in the long run and give merchants peace of mind regarding sustainability and future updates.

Winner: Shopify

3) Security 

Shopify

Shopify has several safeguards to protect your site from many types of attacks. They have SSL certificates that ensure all data is encrypted to and from your site. You can also implement two-factor authentication to ensure that no one can access your store without knowing your password and having control of your phone. If an individual tries to log into your account from an IP you’ve never logged in from before, you’ll be immediately alerted.

Also, it has several security features to protect customers, products, websites, and admin accounts. All data is encrypted over an SSL connection with 128-bit AES encryption, including passwords, credit card details, order forms, and all other content on any page of your Shopify store.

PrestaShop

Prestashop developers have been fighting cybercrime and other forms of malware for more than a decade by designing and developing Prestashop with a bulletproof security system. If you run your site on Prestashop, it’s been built from the ground up with scalability and flexibility in mind. It can help safeguard your business and reputation with its out-of-the-box security features. One of the most often-cited advantages of the PrestaShop platform is its faithfulness to international norms and can be made available in different languages. It is also designed to be optimized for hosting in a data center to provide the performance and security best-suited for business-to-consumer ecommerce requirements.

Winner: Tie

4) Scalability 

Shopify

Shopify has a cloud-based service, which has been steadily improved. Their servers are versatile and can be scaled as needed because they never run out of space, allowing them to accommodate the needs of any industry or business size. Shopify is the clear winner when it comes to scalability because it’s designed to handle tens of thousands of customers quickly and easily–something that PrestaShop can’t do. That advantage alone will make a difference for a new business or a large business that wants to grow.

PrestaShop

PrestaShop’s ecommerce platform is better suited for smaller businesses. However, recently Prestashop has changed their eCommerce solution to be one-size-fits-all. Upgrades have put the software on par with Shopify’s offerings in many aspects, making them just as competitive as ever.

Winner: Shopify

5) Flexibility 

Shopify

Shopify is a very versatile platform that can accommodate various needs—whether you sell physical products, digital parts, or both. In many ways, it also has more flexibility as far as customizing your storefront as you gain competence with the system. Shopify is an out-of-the-box platform with so many great features. It helps you get your store up and running quickly with its one-time setup process – which means no coding skills are needed. It also includes eCommerce apps for things like social media integration, store management, SEO, multi-language support, page templating, gift card integration, customer shipping notifications, and more.

PrestaShop

Prestashop offers a lot of flexibility because it can be adjusted to accommodate almost anything. It features a responsive design which means that the site will look great on any device, and unlimited full-width templates so you can create a unique presentation for your store. Setting up a store is very easy with PrestaShop as you don’t have to download bulky applications to set up a webshop. PrestaShop is developed in PHP and is flexible and seems to be more economical. It does not require too much technical skill and makes use of the most popular payment gateways. You can add new payment options anytime, add coupons that work for percentage or fixed fee vouchers, deals that will run only once.

Winner: Shopify

6) SEO Friendliness 

Shopify

One of the main benefits of Shopify is that it is SEO-friendly. It is the number 1 choice for an eCommerce platform because it’s fully featured and includes valuable stuff any website builder would want. It has powerful prebuilt themes with excellent SEO. The company also pushes for its customers to follow best SEO practices, and it likewise ranks you higher in Google if you do so. Shopify is more SEO-friendly than PrestaShop because it natively ranks higher on Google—even if you go with a basic package.

PrestaShop

PrestaShop is efficient not only for business people but also for SEO professionals – it offers an integrated SEO module. PrestaShop’s SEO-friendly design provides rich content to search engine spiders crawling your site, helping your content get indexed, and increasing your rank in the SERP3. PrestaShop has all the SEO tools you need, but it isn’t as user-friendly as Shopify. Additionally, PrestaShop is the best choice if you want to connect your website to social media. However, PrestaShop does not offer a built-in affiliate management system, meaning that an optional plugin needs to be purchased for this feature.

Winner: Shopify

7) Speed 

Shopify

Shopify offers the best performance out of powerful eCommerce platforms. The great thing about Shopify is that while you do have to spend some initial time and money setting the platform up, there are next to no ongoing costs. They are best in class with regards to speed and reliability. Thus, when you’re deciding on an eCommerce platform, you should consider these two critical factors because Shopify will be able to support your business without any issues.  Shopify is a lot faster option when compared to the competitors in the market. This is because Shopify, a well-known eCommerce management platform, has implemented well-advanced caching and CDN in its system.

PrestaShop

PrestaShop is often praised for its performance and usability. It also has a great plugin system. Unfortunately, the plugins are only available through 3rd parties, and people dig around their archives to find what they need.

Winner: Shopify

Conclusion

After knowing the details of each platform, it looks like Shopify is the better option for eCommerce stores. The only thing that’s worth considering is Prestashop’s superior customer service capabilities and low cost, but Shopify excels in other areas. If you planning to build your eCommerce site, you can hire PrestaShop or Shopify Development Companies in India.

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By Manmeet Anand

Manmeet singh is a SENIOR SOFTWARE ENGINEER with TIS India Business Consultants Pvt. Ltd. from many Years. He is a programming geek who spends most of his time developing web applications , enhancing user experiences and creating usable softwares. He has helped many overseas clients come out of the project management nightmares by comprehensive requirement analysis and ensuring timely delivery of projects.

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