It is sometimes extremely difficult to grasp how quickly the market has changed during the last years. It seems that just yesterday we were trying to get used to buying clothes, furniture and other essential items online, without actually touching and seeing them. Today eCommerce stores pop up all over the internet and new ones are launched what it seems like every day.
We have already explored the most obvious pros and cons of several popular platforms for building online stores and today is the day to compare Magento and Shopware. According to data compiled by Builtwith, there are 249 145 live Magento stores and 15 425 web stores built via Shopware. From the first glance it may seem like an unfair competition but what if we stopped comparing platforms globally and scaled this research down to a specific country? If we take a closer look, it becomes clear that this competition has a distinct local character on the German eCommerce market, since there are 13 463 live Magento stores and 7 848 active Shopware stores in Germany. And these numbers are impressive, especially if you pay attention to the fact a big part of new Shopware adherents actually switched from the Magento platform.
So what kind of prominent features attract more and more new customers to this developing platform? Let’s dive deeper and clear that up!
Both systems promote the idea of freedom: they both are completely open source (read: “absolutely customisable”). Both companies build communities around their products and further communities collaborations with their platforms. Shopware community events are quite similar to those held by the Magento, such as “Meet Magento” or “Magento Live”.
|Business Size||Large Enterprises | Medium Business||Small Business | Medium Business|
|Installation & Ease of Use||Easy for developers and tech-savvy merchants. It takes about 10 minutes to install a base version of Magento or a few hours to run a whole store.||Installation process is similar to the one adopted in Magento. Administration process is user friendly and intuitive. Many adjustments can be easily implemented from the backend without adding a single line of code. In comparison with Magento 1.x Admin panel, Shopware’s panel seems better, but if we compare Shopware 5 and Magento 2, the last one tears other ones in bits.|
|Community & Customer support||Magento developers global community with up to 150.000 members is considered to be one of the biggest developers community in the world, which makes it easy to find answers to any questions you may come up with. Magento supports multiple languages and currencies. Although Magento official support is only available to expensive Enterprise Edition stores, you certainly will not feel left out if you choose a free Community Edition with all the enthusiastic web developers who enjoy to help.||Community version is supported via the Shopware forum and Shopware wiki. Support service can be bought as an additional feature from 49 to 249 €/per month with minimum term of 12 months (~$636/year - $3264/year). But support subscriptions cannot be booked for the Community Edition.|
|Customization capabilities||Requires extensive customization to meet specific business goals as the great variety of Magento features makes it more complex.||Due to being an open source solution, it’s fully customizable, but we found several reviews where developers recommend using ready and thoroughly tested plugins and rely on built-in features. At this point we hesitate to make any conclusions, since we need to try to implement solid customizations individually to estimate potential issues.|
|Design||There are 1500+ free/paid and fully customizable Magento themes. Magento CE, 1.9 and later versions handle responsiveness “automatically”.||Fully customizable responsive Shopware themes that can be adjusted through the standard Shopware backend in combination with Storytelling feature allows implementing design conceptions on Shopware platform easier than on Magento. But there are only 71 templates on Shopware store.|
|Flexibility||Magento is a perfect choice for product editing and capable of handling heavy-loaded databases gracefully.||Shopware Community Edition flexibility is enough to build a small or medium sized web store, but you’ll definitely need an Enterprise Edition for big stores. In contrast, Magento Community Edition can be used to build projects of any scale.|
|Extensions||More than 15.000 Magento plugins and extensions.||Shopware has over 2.000 available extensions|
|One step checkout||Can be implemented with numerous available modules.||Can be implemented with paid extension (~$108).|
|Search Engine Optimization (SEO)||Magento SEO solution set is a lot more powerful than ones offered by other popular eCommerce platforms. Its SEO friendly URLs guarantees traffic increase.||Shopware is search engine friendly out-of-the-box.|
|Popular Customers||Christian Louboutin, Vizio, Rosetta Stone, Easton, Nike, Olympus, Gant, Ford Accessories, Sisley Paris, Eastwood, TractorTool, Webprint, Mothercare, Burger King||Grohe, Segway, Arktis, Brita, Drucker.de, Haribo, Discovery Channel EU Store, Frosch, Lufthansa Cocktail, Rausch, devolo, Seidensticker, HAIX|
Magento is twice as younger as Shopware celebrating its 16th anniversary this year and it has 66 times more live web stores than Shopware. What makes it even more exciting is that Magento is well-known around the world with thousands of adopters/evangelists and gigabytes of information, while Shopware still looks like a mysterious eCommerce platform and you might have heard its name before but it has always been complicated to describe its key features. It is a real challenge to find reviewing articles and user reviews of this open source eCommerce solution, especially in English. Probably, Shopware mainly targets on German market where it owns 3.76% share and Magento has 8.15%. That’s why Shopware community is mostly German speaking.
If you are new to eCommerce but have technical background and want to create a small web store with awesome design, you can try free Shopware Community Edition. It works good for german-speaking developers, because Shopware doesn’t support Community Edition and you’ll have to look for information on Shopware forum that is available in German only. By the way, maybe this is a good reason to learn a new language?
Keep in mind that for bigger projects you will need to use paid editions, so if you’re going to build a multi-store system, be ready to go to an expense of a license that significantly raises the initial costs. Also, despite the Shopware’s flexibility and prominent design opportunities its usage is limited geographically to german-speaking countries.
Average Shopware developer hourly rate is around $35-70 while professional Magento development costs around $60-120. In any case, ask developers about their certification, since both platforms certify their web developers and experienced programmers who know exactly what they are doing end up saving costs.
If your key business needs are international expansion, omnichannel and multi-vendors technology integration (according to Gartner forecast by 2018 to deliver complete digital customer experience by 50% of eCommerce stores will integrate more than 15 technology vendors) you’d better go for Magento as an eCommerce base for your business. For the long time Magento administration looked tricky and challenging for non-tech merchants but now, with the user-friendly Magento 2 Admin Panel you have literally nothing to worry about.