May 22, 2024

Shopify Plus vs. Magento 2: Whose “multistore” feature fits your business needs?

A local farmer’s market illustrates a perfect example of versatility and customer-centric service. Though under the same overarching management, each stall offers something uniquely suited to different customer preferences, from organic vegetables to artisanal cheeses. Similarly, in the digital marketplace, e-commerce platforms like Shopify and Magento provide businesses with the tools to manage multiple online storefronts, each tailored to distinct customer bases.

At TogetherWeShip, our journey with numerous businesses has given us a front-row seat to the evolution of platforms like BigCommerce, Salesforce, Magento, and Shopify. We have enjoyed assisting our clients in building successful online stores on these platforms. Our experiences with them have deepened our understanding of what makes each platform effective, particularly in multi-store management. As the digital landscape expands, the capability to manage several online stores, each catering to different segments or regions, has become crucial. In this discussion, we highlight two significant players: Shopify and Magento.

Shopify has recently launched a “multistore” feature in its latest software update, addressing a previously noted platform limitation. This development sparked considerable interest among merchants, marking a significant enhancement compared to Shopify’s earlier versions. In contrast, Magento has long integrated extensive multistore capabilities, positioning it as a staple for businesses seeking growth through diverse storefronts. The introduction of multistore functionality in Shopify offers new opportunities for merchants but also varies considerably from Magento’s approach. Businesses evaluating both platforms must understand these differences, as each provides unique advantages in e-commerce expansion.

What is Shopify’s “Multistore” Feature?

The “multistore” functionality on Shopify is an exclusive offering for Shopify Plus users. While regular Shopify merchants can utilize third-party multistore plugins, our focus here is on the built-in capabilities provided to Shopify Plus subscribers. A key aspect of Shopify’s Multistore is the Multistore Login feature. This allows merchants to manage several Shopify storefronts through a single login, streamlining the management process much like a Single Sign-On (SSO) system tailored for Shopify environments.

Below, we outline how updates, such as changes to product pricing or other content modifications, are managed across multiple Shopify storefronts:

To summarize: 

  1. Exclusive to Shopify Plus: This feature is a premium offering available exclusively to Shopify Plus merchants. It provides advanced capabilities not found in regular Shopify plans.
  2. Centralized Control: Effortlessly manage various storefronts with distinct branding, product ranges, and settings from one unified dashboard. This centralized approach streamlines operations and saves valuable time.
  3. Independent Storefronts: Each storefront maintains its unique identity, enabling you to tailor product selections and create localized experiences for your customers. This ensures that each store can cater to its specific market or niche without interference.
  4. Granular Content Management: Update product pricing, descriptions, and other content on an individual basis for each storefront. This granular control allows for precise management of offerings, ensuring that each storefront can present its products most effectively.
  5. Streamlined Workflow: Eliminate the hassle of switching between separate logins or platforms for each store. With the Multistore feature, you can manage everything seamlessly from one place, enhancing productivity and reducing complexity.

—> Shopify Plus’s Multistore feature streamlines your workflow by eliminating the need to switch between separate logins or platforms for each store.

What is Magento 2’s “Multistore” Feature?

The multistore functionality in Magento 2, available across its Community and Enterprise (Cloud) editions, is a core component of its value proposition and differs significantly from Shopify’s approach. In Magento 2, multistore extends beyond a single feature; it represents a comprehensive strategy allowing merchants to manage multiple storefronts from one Magento instance. This unified system utilizes a shared product and catalog database.

Like Shopify, Magento also supports logging into multiple storefronts with the same credentials. However, once logged into Magento, merchants gain access to an integrated view of all customers, orders, products, and settings. This central dashboard, which can be filtered to show data for individual stores, eliminates the need to log out and switch between different store interfaces.

Magento’s multistore setup is particularly advantageous for merchants planning to expand with multiple storefronts or on a global scale. It offers the efficiency of managing a single catalog database while allowing for distinct pricing and product attributes across various storefronts. Additionally, Magento supports multiple team collaborations on different storefronts, with adjustable access restrictions for each team member. This feature is ideal for merchants with complex catalog needs who aim to oversee several sophisticated e-commerce operations from a singular interface.

Below, we illustrate how updates, such as product pricing or other content modifications, are managed across multiple Magento storefronts:

To summarize: 

  1. Unified Platform: Magento 2 lets you run many stores from one place, making things easier because they all share the same product info.
  2. Centralized Login: You only need one username and password for all your stores. This means you can see all your customers, orders, and products in one spot, and you can look at just one store’s info if you want.
  3. Streamlined Management: You can manage all your products in one place but still set different prices and details for each store.
  4. Team Collaboration: Magento 2 helps teams work together by letting you create accounts for different groups so they can only access what they need for their store.
  5. Complex Business Suitability: Magento 2’s multistore feature is great for businesses with lots of products or stores, or those planning to expand globally. It’s a powerful tool for managing big e-commerce operations all in one spot.

—> Magento 2’s Multistore feature makes it easy to manage multiple online stores from one place. It’s great for handling big and complicated e-commerce businesses efficiently.

Breaking Down Multistore Functions: Shopify vs. Magento

Shopify vs. Magento Multistore Features Table

Strategic Considerations for Shopify Plus and Magento Users

For Shopify Plus users, the newly introduced Multistore Login feature represents a significant enhancement, particularly for those who previously had to log into multiple accounts to manage different stores. This seamless single sign-on functionality not only simplifies the management process but also saves valuable time.

On the other hand, Magento offers a different approach that may be particularly appealing to merchants planning to expand. Magento allows users to manage multiple storefronts using a single instance if they wish to open new stores with catalogs similar to their existing ones. This capability is especially beneficial for complex B2B or B2C organizations that operate under multiple brands, have plans for global expansion, or require multi-language support. Magento’s architecture provides a more comprehensive solution compared to Shopify’s Multistore feature, accommodating a broader range of business needs.

To summarize: 

Shopify Plus:

  1. Multistore Login Feature: A significant new enhancement for Shopify Plus users.
  2. Single Sign-On Functionality: Allows merchants to log into multiple storefronts with one set of credentials, streamlining the management process.
  3. Time Efficiency: Saves merchants valuable time by reducing the need to log into and manage multiple accounts separately.
  4. Ideal for: Merchants who previously managed multiple Shopify stores individually and sought a more integrated approach.

Magento:

  1. Single Instance Management: Enables merchants to manage multiple storefronts from a single Magento instance.
  2. Catalog Duplication: Allows for the opening of new stores using catalogs similar to existing ones, facilitating expansion.
  3. Versatile for Complex Operations: Particularly suitable for B2B or B2C organizations with multiple brands, global aspirations, or multi-language requirements.
  4. Comprehensive Solution: Offers a more robust and extensive set of features for multistore management compared to Shopify.
  5. Target Audience: Best for merchants needing a sophisticated, scalable solution for managing multiple e-commerce storefronts.

Closing Thoughts 

The Multistore functionalities offered by Shopify and Magento serve different purposes and have distinct advantages and limitations. Merchants must fully grasp these differences and evaluate how each platform aligns with their specific e-commerce growth strategies, whether they involve expanding with multiple brands or exploring new market territories. Understanding these nuances before committing to either platform will help ensure that the chosen solution best supports your business objectives.

Schedule a consultation with us to delve deeper into your specific needs.

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