Shopify VS PrestaShop
Shopify VS PrestaShop
Both Shopify and PrestaShop are widely known e-commerce solution providers with thousands of followers. Today, ShopiHunt is focused on working out an objective comparison between these two giants when it comes to e-commerce marketing in order for you to know their similarities, differences, pros/cons, and highlights, so you’d be able to then pick the more suitable one for your own needs or purpose.
ShopiHunt has spent a lot of time researching and thoroughly reviewing every aspects of these two ecommerce solutions. Also, we gathered plenty of users’ feedback and according to a large amount of useful information that we have gathered, we make this comparison including the pricing, themes, user management, functionality, marketing, and others as follows.
Shopify and PrestaShop are two reliable e-commerce solution providers with lots of easy-to-use functionalities. You can search for the eCommerce platform trend and The Best eCommerce Platform of 2016, they are both listed.
Shopify is a hosted solution while Prestashop is a self-hosted solution, so it’s your choice and depend on your needs.
Appearance & Overall Look
Time and time again, We at Shopify have stressed the importance of aesthetics when selecting a design for your online store. Granted, unless you do have a designer, you are at the mercy of the themes available. However, it is always possible to find something that fits your website. So let’s take a look at the options available to us.
Prestashop is mostly community driven so when it comes to themes, this platform is both a blessing and a curse. On the one hand, there are more themes available here than any other platforms, with the possible exception of Magento. On the down side, most of these themese were not created by professionals, they look a little basic. The ones that are professionally designed are both of high quality and varied though, but they are quite costy.
The available themes are broken down into premium and certified partner templates. Premium prices start at $160 while the certified start at $85. Even those community created themes aren’t all free, with some of them selling for as high as $300. Considering that Prestashop is nominally free, and there are free themes available, it’s not a surprise that we are going to see charges for features coming left right and center, in the future.
However, when you factor in the personalization features, and the fact that you can get lucky with a free one, you can still end up with a sleek modern website that reflects well on your online store business. It takes a little work and yeah, a sizable amount of learning if you really don’t already have the skills, but believe us, it can be done. We cannot fault the provider for the variety though. Here, If you play your cards right, you may save some money, but it’s going to be a bumpy ride.
When it comes to themes, Shopify has fewer themes than Prestashop, but it’s easy to argue that the themes that they offer, are all of much higher quality. Themes here are professionally designed and made in such a way as to be fully functional and compatible with multiple screen sizes. Not all of them are free, but plenty are and it’s a rare day that you can’t find the for you from the free pile. Unless you can’t live without a paid theme you’ve found, there is little need to spend extra cash.
The cheapest here costs around $80, with the most expensive one that we could find being at $180. As we’ve mentioned earlier though, you don’t need to bother. The personalization options for every theme are quite extensive, making it easy to tweak each design until it matches the design ethos you’re going for. Both the ultra-moderns and the more robust ream of product designs are available here for free, if you go looking.
It’s hard to call the real winner here. Shopify may have the more aesthetically pleasing theme designs across the board, but Prestashop’s community driven nature means that if know how to search, eventually you will find what you’re looking for, though for how much who’s to say. If you have the luxury of time and the money then by all means go for Prestashop, but we are calling this one a draw.
Pricing & Requirement
PrestaShop is a free and open-source ecommerce solution provider. With this platform, you just need a few minutes to set up your very own online store. But first, you need to choose a hosting provider. Secondly, download and install it. Then finally, the design and customization your site is all up to you.
Unlike PrestaShop, Shopify costs you a lot for creating your own online store. It offers 3 main plans, Basic, Professional and Unlimited, and it supports a 14-day free trial. All the plans include unlimited products, 24/7 customer support, discount code engine, and much more. As for the 3 ones’ basic feature, Basic gives you 1GB storage with 2% transaction fee; Professional gives you 5GB storage, 1% transaction fee and others; Unlimited has unlimited storage with no transaction fee, etc.
Both of these 2 platforms include rich-featured (CMS) content management system. Just to be specific, these two e-commerce solution providers allow you to design your own content pages by editing items, uploading images, and more. Moreover, their goal is to assist you to have an efficient customer management for better knowing your customers by giving access to detailed customer profiles.
PrestaShop and Shopify also allow you to offer multiple payment gateways such as PayPal, VISA, credit card and more. However, PrestaShop wins the latter one in integrating more shipping and considerate checkout services.
SEO & Marketing
SEO is one of the best forms for promoting your products online. PrestaShop and Shopify offer your potential customers access to your online stores. Respectively, the former one allows you to put keywords and product descriptions in the URL, while the latter one supports automatic sitemaps.xml files for products and website changes.
These two comprehensive ecommerce website builders have many marketing tools to boost sales. Both of them allow you to create discount coupon and email marketing system to attract visitors. But then again, PrestaShop offers a more detailed marketing plans like the built-in newsletter and loyalty program.
Flexibility, Ease of Use, & Scalability
To be honest guys, this shouldn’t be too hard to call. Prestashop offers flexibility but it limits you the ease of use. The scalability is limited to the skills of the user, meaning that if you don’t know what you’re actually doing, then it can be hard to keep pace with the growing needs of your online store business. Prestashop offers lots of options that it can get a little overwhelming for the user to get their head around them. Believe me, it can be a big problem if you are coming from a brick and mortar background. Here, you’ll either need to learn an entirely new set of skills or hire a freelancer who already has them, And for us, this limited the benefits of a free system. For us, having control over all aspects of work is much preferred, meaning that broadly speaking we see this excessive flexibility as a purely good thing.
The scalability issue in Prestashop is not really an insurmountable one, but it does require an awful lot of forethought. As your business grows, your needs will grow as well. With Shopify it’s so easy to scale things up. You just need to buy the higher level packages and they come with all the new tools for larger businesses. To match that, in Prestashop you have to undetand and study all the tools that you’ll need as you grow, requiring a lot of time for research. Prestashop does offset this with its community focus, but then again, here you’re relying on the advice of competitors. ShopiHunt prefers the method being offered by Prestashop, but Shopify is far easier and much more intuitive.
So we guess it boils down to your preferences. Ask yourselves these questions: Do you want to do it alone? Do you have the time to dig up all the info you need along the way in maintaining and upgrading your shop? If your answers are Yes, then go for Prestashop. If you want a more streamlined user experience with fewer pitfalls, then you should go with Shopify as it is the better option. Neither stands higher than the other though.
Both of these 2 platforms provide you real-time analytics and reporting of your online store’s performance. As for this aspect, Prestashop has an edge as it gives more specific information including visitors tracking, orders tracking, catalog statistics, and much more.
Shopify is leaning towards more on mobile commerce support, which means you can run a store using your mobile phone. Therefore, you do not need to worry about monitoring your store wherever you are and whenever it is.
Recap & Review
- It’s an all in one solution
- All themes are well and professionally designed
- Good customer support
- Shopify POS offline system
- It’s easy to set up
- Cheaper in the short to mid-term
- More expensive in the long run
- Back end custom code injection is a little harder
- Fewer options overall than Prestashop
- Cheaper in the long run
- Easy to set up
- Community support
- Open Source
- Cost can stack up long in the long run if you buy the wrong thing
- It is more difficult to get your head around
- Not an all in one solution, you must buy SSL and host elsewhere
ShopiHunt loves when the companies that we are comparing are so different. We mean that fundamentally they are aiming for different niches.
From what we have discussed above, we find out that both PrestaShop and Shopify are two trustworthy ecommerce solution providers with lots of easy-to-use functionality. Just to be specific, except for themes and mobile commerce which Shopify excels in, Prestashop does a better job in marketing, reporting, and payment process. Therefore, if you want to use a free and stunning theme to set up and run your webstore with ease, you may go with Shopify. However, if you want a cheaper alternative which tremendously facilitates your product selling, you may go with PrestaShop. Once you choose a self-hosted solution, you need a reliable server to support it, FYI.