Shopify vs Prestashop : Which e-commerce tool to choose ?
Creating an online store has never been easier and faster than today. E-commerce platforms such as Shopify and Prestashop are certainly a big part of it.
These 2 online sales solutions allow you to create a website in a jiffy and offer many essential features: online payment, various themes, support of several languages... The choice is not obvious. However, Prestashop and Shopify are different in their way of working, their cost and the features offered.
For your online store project, adopting the right solution is undoubtedly at the heart of your concerns. To help you in this reflection, this article presents the advantages and disadvantages of these 2 e-commerce platforms. Shopify vs Prestashop : The match is on, may the best one win !
What is Prestashop?
Prestashop is a French company created in 2007 by Bruno Lévêque and Igor Schlumberger. Open source e-commerce platform, you can download the software for free from the company's website. The term open source means that the software code is accessible to all and can be developed and modified by the whole community that uses it.
Prestashop meets the needs of small businesses as well as large groups (including Decathlon and Carrefour) and offers the possibility to create a very professional online store, while benefiting from many features and modules.
The numbers speak for themselves. More than 300,000 businesses worldwide use this e-commerce platform and have generated a total of 22 billion in sales by 2021.
What is Shopify?
Shopify is a Canadian company, founded in 2006 by Tobias Lütke, Daniel Weinand and Scott Lake. Like Prestashop, Shopify is an e-commerce platform that allows you to easily create an online store.
On the other hand, Shopify is a paid subscription platform, which differentiates it from Prestashop. The price of this SaaS (Software as a Service) is justified by its disconcerting ease of use. A true turnkey solution, you can launch your e-commerce platform without any technical knowledge and without having to pay for a host and a domain name.
Shopify has more than 1.75 million users and a global turnover of 32 billion euros. These figures are even more impressive than Prestashop and speak for the reliability of this e-commerce solution.
Prestashop vs Shopify : Advantages and disadvantages
Advantages of Prestashop
Since its creation in 2007, Prestashop has quickly built a solid customer base and an excellent reputation. As an open source solution, its mode of operation has certain advantages:
- The price: Prestashop is free and does not require you to pay a monthly subscription to launch your online store (the platform does not charge transaction fees either). The domain name, the hosting and the SSL certificate of your e-commerce platform will however be at your charge.
- Freedom: you are the owner of your online store and you can freely choose the hosting of the site. In addition, you can set up your website from A to Z, even if some features require a minimum of technical knowledge.
- Features: PrestaShop provides you with a multitude of tools to develop your online store. Stock control, product management but also traffic and cart conversion analysis with Prestashop Metrics. The platform also offers many themes and modules that improve the look and functionality of online business.
Disadvantages of Prestashop
Although Prestashop gives you access to all the features to make your e-commerce a success, the solution is not without drawbacks:
- Installation: to take full advantage of Prestashop, you will have to pay for hosting (which you will have to carefully select according to the needs of your online store). This operation can be long if you do not have the necessary technical knowledge.
- Updates and maintenance: like any open source solution, it is your responsibility to do updates and maintenance. You will not only have to make sure that your server meets the technical requirements of the new versions of Prestashop but also check the compatibility of the addons/modules with the platform. Installing the latest security patches is also your responsibility.
- Scalability: although fully customizable and scalable, Prestashop will require more technical skills if your online store grows rapidly. As you are responsible for the hosting of your e-commerce platform, you will have to manage the technical requirements related to the influx of new customers.
Shopify vs. Prestashop: Advantages and disadvantages
Benefits of Shopify
Like Prestashop, Shopify is a complete e-commerce solution that offers everything you need to create and manage your online store. The main advantage of this platform is its simplicity of use which makes it accessible to everyone but Shopify also stands out on many aspects:
- Accessibility: With Shopify, no technical knowledge is required to create your online store. The platform takes care of everything related to hosting and security so you can focus on developing your business.
- Customer support: if you encounter any problems while using Shopify, the platform's customer support is available 24/7 via email, chat and phone. All subscriptions include it, including the cheapest one (Basic Shopify at €27/month).
- Easy to manage: with Shopify, managing your online store is very simple and intuitive. The platform is extremely user friendly, even for people who are allergic to the technical aspects of running an online store.
Disadvantages of Shopify
Perfection is not of this world. Although Shopify is a very user-friendly platform, you should be aware of some drawbacks before using it for your e-commerce platform:
- Monthly fees and transaction fees: a monthly subscription is required to use Shopify. 3 plans exist: Shopify Basic (€27/month), Shopify (€79/month) and Shopify Advanced (€289/month). Transaction fees range from 0.5% to 2% depending on the subscription. Note that a 3-day trial is offered.
- Limited customization: with Shopify, the customization of your store can be limited. If you want to make significant changes to the look and feel of your online business, you'll need to hire a Shopify expert.
- Number of users: Shopify limits the number of users depending on the subscription. The number of accounts used varies from 2 to 15 maximum, which may not be suitable for larger e-commerce structures.
Shopify or Prestashop : summary table
Still hesitating between Shopify and Prestashop? Nothing like a summary table to see more clearly. Find the main characteristics of the 2 e-commerce platforms summarized below:
Conclusion: which platform to choose for your online store?
So, who is the winner of the Shopify vs. Prestashop match? The answer to this question depends on a number of factors, such as your budget, technical skills and business needs.
If you are on a tight budget, Prestashop remains the best option as it is a free open source platform. However, keep in mind that you will have to invest time and effort in the installation and maintenance of your online store.
If you don't have any technical knowledge or want to set up a simple, user-friendly website quickly, it's best to go with Shopify. However, you'll have to pay a monthly fee and a transaction fee on all your sales.