Skip to content

Is Shopify the best option for my eCommerce store?


Shopify provides the ability to have a fully functioning eCommerce website without having to do any coding or hosting. 

Because it is a Saas offering, all you need to do is sign up for an account and start adding products to your store. It is very simple to use. 

Some customizations are able to be made through its API and Liquid templating. While Shopify is not easily customized like Magento 2, it works well if you would like to start a small, simple store.

In what scenarios should you use Shopify?

You have a small product catalog.

Shopify is a great starting point for a business with a small number of products. It simply wouldn’t make sense to use a robust platform like Magento 2, which would include a large upfront investment and unnecessary features for inventory management. 

eCommerce is not the main focus of your website.

If you would like a store in addition to your main website, Shopify is a simple way to do this. For example, many businesses need a side store to sell merchandise for the brand – like t-shirts, mugs, or stickers. 

Because Shopify is a low time and monetary investment, it’s quick to see a return with this secondary revenue generator.

You need a quick proof of concept.

Many businesses wish to test selling some products before focusing on expansion. Due to the low cost barrier and how quickly a store can get running, Shopify can be a great way to dip your toes into having an eCommerce site without having to commit capital. 

For those needing a store up right away, but still want the customization of Magento, a solution could be to have a store running in Shopify while the Magento 2 store is being built out. Once the Magento 2 store is complete, you can rely on a partner to help migrate the products.

There are little customization and integrations required.

If the eCommerce site requires very little customizations and very little integrations with other services, then Shopify becomes the obvious choice. 

Shopify allows some customizations using its Liquid templating language. However, with the amount of effort it takes to truly customize Shopify themes, another option often makes more sense. 

You’re on a tight budget.

If you are not willing to invest a lot of money upfront, Shopify will help you get going at a smaller cost. Because it is a Software as a Service (SaaS), you won’t have to worry about monthly hosting fees, maintenance/upgrades costs, and other expenses involved with using a platform like Magento 2. 

Shopify does take a percentage of every sale, so as the store grows and does more business, the cost savings will lessen. At that point it’s time to consider migrating to something else.

You are mostly selling through third-party marketplaces.

Shopify has built-in support for various third-party marketplaces. Many storefronts are supported, including Amazon, Facebook, and Pinterest. If you’d like to mostly sell in these places, but also want a centralized place to maintain products and have some web presence, Shopify is the optimal solution.

In what scenarios should you not use Shopify?

You have a B2B store.

Most B2B stores require more integrations than B2C. Also, many require more advanced customer management such as login portals and history of past orders. 

For these reasons, Shopify is rarely a good fit for B2B stores.

You have multiple websites.

If your setup includes multiple stores which share some products, Shopify does not offer a solution to handle this. In Shopify, you’d have to use multiple accounts for each store and consider each store its own entity. 

Magento, on the other hand, supports multiple stores out of the box, enabling products to be shared across multiple stores and websites and to be managed from the same codebase.

You need multilingual support.

If your eCommerce website needs to be multilingual, it can be challenging to set up in Shopify. While there are apps on Shopify’s marketplace that offer this type of support, it is not built-in or easily managed. 

You need extensive integrations.

Shopify provides a simple API that can be used for integrating the stores into different services, but for more extensive integrations it can become impossible. 

A team experienced in many platforms can guide you.

Need help evaluating your situation and choosing the best eCommerce platform? Reach out for a free consultation with one of our experts. We’re happy to help you get started with your solution.

The Atlantic BT Manifesto

The Ultimate Guide To Planning A Complex Web Project


Atlantic BT's Insights

We’re sharing the latest concepts in tech, design, and software development. Learn more about our findings.

Questions & Answers

How much does custom eCommerce cost?

A custom eCommerce store could cost anywhere from $12,000/year to millions. Variable factors include the amount of custom features, the complexity of design, setup investments, training, and maintenance. Check out how to determine the cost of a custom eCommerce store.

Learn More about How much does custom eCommerce cost?
What is web design and development?
People often lump web design and development together, so what's the difference? As the Internet has evolved, the skills required to produce a high quality website or web application have changed.
Learn More about What is web design and development?
How do I build a WordPress eCommerce website?
There are two strategies to build eCommerce into your existing Wordpress site. First, you need to figure out if you need a complete eCommerce platform (ie. you need to sell many products, complex products, integration into other systems, etc.). The reason this matters is there are many eCommerce plugins for Wordpress with limited functionalities.
Learn More about How do I build a WordPress eCommerce website?
What is Magento eCommerce?
Magento is an increasingly popular eCommerce platform. It is written in PHP on the ZEND framework and is distributed under the Open Source Initiative.
Learn More about What is Magento eCommerce?
How do I find out what eCommerce platform a site is using?
There are a couple different ways to determine the technologies a site is using. Firstly, if you are technically savvy, you can right click on an eCommerce page (either catalog, checkout page, etc) and look at the source code. Many platforms will have hints in the source code that will give you an idea what the site is running.
Learn More about How do I find out what eCommerce platform a site is using?
How do I start an eCommerce business?
The most important thing to consider is your competitive advantage over others that may compete for the same type of eCommerce store. Low barriers to entry is both a pro and con to eCommerce.
Learn More about How do I start an eCommerce business?
What is an eCommerce platform?
An eCommerce platform is software that online businesses use to build functions needed to conduct business. The platform may be as simple as a catalog and shopping cart, but traditionally "platform" refers to a more robust set of tools and services.
Learn More about What is an eCommerce platform?