Shopify Plus vs Adobe Commerce: A Comparative Guide

In this guide, we will provide you with an in-depth analysis of these platforms, highlighting their similarities, differences, strengths, and weaknesses.

Shopify P Adobe Commerce

Welcome to the comprehensive guide comparing two leading eCommerce platforms: Shopify Plus and Adobe Commerce (formerly known as Magento Enterprise). Whether you're an eCommerce business owner, developer, or simply looking to choose the right platform for your online store, this guide will equip you with the knowledge to make an informed decision.

Shopify Plus, the enterprise version of the Shopify platform, has gained significant popularity over the years. Known for its user-friendly interface, scalability, and extensive app ecosystem, Shopify Plus has become a go-to choice for many eCommerce businesses, including notable brands such as Gymshark, Kylie Cosmetics, and Fashion Nova. Shopify Plus is an advantageous upgrade from smaller plans such as Basic Shopify and Advanced Shopify.

Adobe Commerce (Magento Enterprise): Magento Enterprise, now rebranded as Adobe Commerce, has been a dominant force in the eCommerce market for quite some time. Renowned for its robustness, flexibility, and customisation capabilities, Adobe Commerce has been trusted by large enterprises worldwide, including brands like Coca-Cola, Nike, and Ford.

According to BuiltWith, there are 2063 live Shopify Plus websites in the UK, compared to 3800 Adobe Commerce websites, which highlights just how popular Shopify Plus has become over recent years. 

By the end of this guide, you will have a comprehensive understanding of the similarities, differences, and unique strengths of Shopify Plus and Adobe Commerce. Armed with this knowledge, you'll be well-equipped to make an informed decision when choosing the right eCommerce platform for your business needs.  

What are Shopify Plus and Adobe Commerce (Magento Enterprise)?

Shopify Plus and Adobe Commerce (formerly known as Magento Enterprise) are advanced eCommerce platforms designed to cater to the needs of large-scale businesses. Shopify Plus is an upgraded version of the popular Shopify platform, while Adobe Commerce is the enterprise-level edition of the Magento platform, which is now backed by Adobe. Both platforms offer robust features and functionalities, along with enhanced scalability and customisation options, making them ideal for businesses with high transaction volumes and complex operations.

Shopify Plus provides an all-in-one solution for businesses seeking a scalable and reliable eCommerce platform, with a key focus on B2B functionality. It offers advanced features like unlimited bandwidth, dedicated support, automation tools, and enhanced security measures. Shopify Plus also provides flexibility in terms of customisation, allowing businesses to create a unique eCommerce store tailored to their specific requirements.

More recently, Shopify Plus has incorporated the essential B2B features into the platform, allowing you to manage both B2C and wholesale channels from a single store.

On the other hand, Adobe Commerce is a comprehensive eCommerce platform that provides advanced capabilities for businesses with complex eCommerce needs. It offers a wide range of features, including advanced product management, marketing and promotional tools, customer segmentation, and internationalisation support. Adobe Commerce also provides businesses with the ability to integrate with other Adobe solutions, such as Adobe Experience Manager and Adobe Target, enabling a seamless end-to-end customer experience.

However, it’s worth noting that there are differences in how both platforms operate. Shopify Plus, being a Software as a Service (SaaS) platform, offers the advantage of Shopify managing upgrades, hosting, and security so building a site mainly involves front-end development alongside API integrations and third-party connectors. A Magento project necessitates both front and back-end development, optimised hosting, and consistent attention to security and upgrades. As a result, builds on Shopify typically cost 50% less.

Are There Any Similarities Between Shopify Plus and Adobe Commerce (Magento Enterprise)?

Both Shopify Plus and Adobe Commerce share several similarities that make them suitable for larger businesses with higher revenue. Both platforms support app integrations, enabling seamless integration with third-party applications and tools.

This integration capability allows business owners and marketing managers to leverage various software and services, such as email marketing platforms, analytics tools, CRM systems, and more. It helps streamline operations, optimise marketing campaigns, and improve overall business performance.

Both Shopify Plus and Adobe Commerce provide extensive support and resources for business owners and marketing managers. They offer dedicated support teams, comprehensive documentation, and community forums to assist users in setting up and managing their eCommerce spaces effectively. These platforms also provide robust reporting and analytics capabilities, allowing businesses to track and analyse key metrics, make data-driven decisions, and continuously improve their eCommerce strategies.

Shopify Plus and Adobe Commerce both offer built-in multi-store management functionality, allowing businesses to manage multiple stores under one account. Adobe Commerce provides powerful multi-store capabilities, enabling businesses to operate and manage multiple online stores from a single admin panel.

Again, there are subtle differences in how each platform caters to multi-store sites. Adobe Commerce offers a full multi-store experience, meaning each store can be a separate entity or brand. Shopify Plus offers up to 9 expansion stores however they must be closely linked to the primary store. For example, an expansion store could be used for selling in different languages or currencies or for wholesale, but it cannot be a separate brand selling a different product range.

In essence, both Shopify Plus and Adobe Commerce work hand-in-hand with business owners and marketing managers to create exceptional eCommerce spaces. They provide the tools, integrations, and support necessary to build and optimise online stores, attract customers, drive sales, and deliver an outstanding customer experience. Whether it's through the variety of add-ons, extensions, app integrations, or the ability to cater to larger businesses, these platforms empower business owners and marketing managers to create successful eCommerce ventures.

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What are the Main Differences Between Shopify Plus and Adobe Commerce (Magento Enterprise)?

Shopify Plus and Adobe Commerce have distinct differences that set them apart from each other. Firstly, hosting is a significant difference between the two platforms. Shopify Plus is a fully-hosted solution, which means that hosting and infrastructure management are taken care of by Shopify. In contrast, Adobe Commerce provides a self-hosted solution, giving businesses more control over their hosting environment.

In terms of flexibility, Shopify Plus provides a more user-friendly experience with its intuitive interface and easy-to-use tools. It offers a simplified setup and management process, allowing businesses to quickly launch and maintain their online stores. Shopify Plus has the advantage when integrating with well-known third-party systems.

Adobe Commerce, while there is more flexibility in terms of customisation, has a steeper learning curve and may require more technical expertise. This is especially true if you are using less well-known systems or legacy integrations.

Merchandising capabilities differ as well. Shopify Plus excels in providing a straightforward and user-friendly merchandising experience, making it easier for businesses to showcase and sell their products. Adobe Commerce, on the other hand, offers advanced merchandising features, including complex product catalogue management and flexible pricing rules.

Customisation is a significant difference between the two platforms. Shopify Plus offers a wide range of themes and customisable templates that can be easily modified to fit a business's branding. Adobe Commerce, on the other hand, provides extensive customisation options, allowing businesses to tailor their online stores to their specific needs, but it requires more technical expertise.

Considering these differences, the best platform for a business depends on its specific requirements and resources. If the reader's business values simplicity, ease of use, and a fully hosted solution, Shopify Plus may be the ideal choice. On the other hand, if the business requires advanced customisation, scalability, and technical expertise to manage a self-hosted solution, Adobe Commerce could be the more suitable option. It's essential to evaluate the specific needs, budget, and resources of the business to determine which platform aligns best with its goals and priorities.

Another major difference is how each platform handles payment gateways. Shopify Plus includes its proprietary Shopify Payments system, but it also supports a wide range of other payment gateways, with the caveat that an additional transaction fee may apply if you opt to use a third-party gateway.

This fee is waived for Shopify Payments users. It must be said, although Shopify Payment fees tend to be higher, they have worked extensively to increase conversions when using Shopify Payments. Overall conversion rate outpaces the competition by up to 36% and by an average of 15% and the use of Shop Pay as the accelerated payment option lifts conversion by as much as 50%.

On the other hand, Adobe Commerce is agnostic in terms of payment gateways. It doesn't provide its own but supports integrations with a wide array of third-party payment gateways. This open-source approach provides businesses with a greater degree of flexibility, as they can select the payment gateway that best fits their needs and budget without worrying about any extra transaction fees. However, setting up these integrations may require more technical expertise than on Shopify Plus

What are the Pros and Cons of Shopify Plus and Adobe Commerce (Magento Enterprise)?

Both Shopify Plus and Adobe Commerce offer distinct pros and cons that should be considered when choosing the right platform for an eCommerce business. Magento Enterprise excels in customisability, allowing businesses to create highly tailored and unique online stores.

It also offers the advantage of no transaction fees, providing cost savings for businesses with high sales volumes. Another positive is the ability to manage multiple storefronts from a single admin panel, streamlining operations for businesses with diverse product offerings or target markets. Additionally, Adobe Commerce provides advanced marketing capabilities, including sophisticated segmentation and personalisation features.

However, it has some drawbacks, such as fewer app integrations compared to Shopify Plus, which may limit the flexibility to integrate with third-party tools. Adobe Commerce also requires more attention and upkeep, as it is a self-hosted solution that requires regular maintenance and updates. Moreover, it demands specific technical requirements and a steeper learning curve for businesses without strong technical expertise.

In contrast, Shopify Plus offers a user-friendly experience, making it easy for businesses to set up and manage their online stores. It also provides good customer support, offering dedicated assistance and resources to users. The platform's high scalability ensures that businesses can handle increased traffic and sales volumes without compromising performance. On the downside, Shopify Plus may have transaction fees depending on the payment gateway used, which can affect overall profitability.

While Shopify Plus has a wide range of app integrations, allowing businesses to extend functionality, it may not provide the same level of customisation as Adobe Commerce. It's important to evaluate these pros and cons in light of a business's specific needs and priorities to make an informed decision. 

How Absolute Design Can Help

Whether you select Shopify Plus or Adobe Commerce as your preferred platform, or you are a small or large business, we can help with the design, planning, and development and support of your website. Have a look at our services that we can provide, and get in touch with us for more information about working with an experienced Shopify developer.

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