Shopify vs PrestaShop – Which is a better CMS builder for eCommerce in 2021?

Launching an eCommerce store can help you diversify your customer base and garner a larger number of sales from distant places.

In order to take your business online, you need to choose an eCommerce platform that suits its unique needs. In this article, we have compared two key players in the industry.

By highlighting the differences between PrestaShop and Shopify,  we will help you analyze which platform works better for you. 

Over the course of this article, we will compare categories such as software and ease of use, design and customization, support, pricing, etc. This will help you decide which is better for eCommerce, PrestaShop, or Shopify. 

Let’s begin. 

1. Software and ease of use 

The setup and software play an important role in determining the simplicity of any eCommerce platform. While both are meant to be easy to use, there is one major difference between PrestaShop and Shopify. 

PrestaShop is a free open-source platform, which means that you need to set up your hosting account, buy a domain name, and install it on your system before you can begin using it. It is dedicated to eCommerce and is fairly easy to use after you’ve powered through the installation process. 

Shopify, on the other hand, offers you a hosted service. This means that you have to directly purchase a plan from the website, after which you can begin launching your eCommerce store. There is no installation required. On top of that, its drag and drop shop builder and straightforward dashboard make it an extremely beginner-friendly platform. 

Verdict – Shopify vs PrestaShop: Software and ease of use

So, which platform is easier to use, PrestaShop or Shopify? Due to its easier setup and overall simplicity, Shopify wins this round.

2. Design and customization

PrestaShop offers you more than 3,000 modules for your store. You can also avail a vast number of themes, which are usually paid, starting at $59.99. As far as customization goes, you do have the option to alter and personalize certain things, though you may require help from developers for deeper changes. 

Shopify equips you with 100 templates and themes, most of which are paid, with prices starting from $99. Each of these templates has a unique design, which may not always be the case with sites like PrestaShop, which offers a large number of templates with similar designs. The customization features offered by Shopify are easy to use but limited. 

Verdict – Shopify vs PrestaShop: Design and customization

With a larger number of templates, cheaper rates, and better customization abilities, PrestaShop comes out on top in this category. 

3. Ecommerce features and tools

Since both the platforms are dedicated to eCommerce, let’s see how we can choose between PrestaShop and Shopify for eCommerce. 

PrestaShop is known for its store and product management. You can list all your physical and digital products, process payments through several different payment modes, avail of one-page checkouts, configure your shipping methods, and analyze the performance of your store. You can also create marketing coupons to boost sales and create bulk orders for combo deals. 

Shopify, too, has many eCommerce features and tools worth highlighting. Firstly, you can list unlimited products in your store. It comes with a built-in inventory and an impressive inventory management system to back it. You can customize your shopping cart and recover abandoned carts. Moreover, it has multi-channel integration, a mobile app, and 70 payment gateways for your customers to choose from. 

Verdict – Shopify vs PrestaShop: Ecommerce features and tools

There are some key differences between PrestaShop and Shopify in this category, but the fact remains that both platforms are well equipped to deal with most of your eCommerce needs. Therefore, we have to declare a tie in this round.

4. SEO 

Before we dive into PrestaShop vs Shopify for SEO, it’s important to understand the necessity of a good SEO score for your eCommerce store. Without one, you will not rank high on search engines and therefore get lesser traffic. So which platform has better SEO tools, PrestaShop or Shopify? Let’s find out. 

With PrestaShop, you can optimize the SEO of your store by customizing meta descriptions, URLs, and other details. Unlike Shopify, which has built-in SEO features, PrestaShop offers you SEO-focused blog modules. However, these are costly and may not suit small stores with limited budgets. 

Shopify, as mentioned above, has pre-existing SEO features and tools as well as a sitemap. You can customize your titles, H1s, URLs, and also make the most of other marketing features such as coupon generation. 

Verdict – Shopify vs PrestaShop: SEO

We have a clear winner in PrestaShop vs Shopify for SEO, thanks to Shopify’s dedicated SEO features that will help your store get more traffic from search engines like Google. 

5. Customer support

When deciding between PrestaShop and Shopify for eCommerce, we must look at the customer support services each platform offers. 

PrestaShop gives you the option to choose between two types of support services. In the first one, PrestaShop Online Assistance, you get access to training modules, tutorials, FAQs, and forums to answer your queries. In the second one, PrestaShop Technical Assistance, you can connect with an expert over the phone for 15 minutes to help you overcome any obstacles you’re facing. However, this service is costly and ranges between  $249 to $1399. 

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Shopify gives you access to 24*7 live support via phone, chat, and email. You can also turn to Shopify Help Centre to browse through its various video tutorials, FAQs, and community forums to guide you further. On top of this, if you opt for Shopify Plus, you can hire a merchant success manager for personalized solutions. 

Verdict – Shopify vs PrestaShop: Customer support

There are some important differences between PrestaShop and Shopify in this category, and the latter wins this round as well, as it offers more channels of paid and free customer support, including 24*7 live support.

6. Pricing 

Cost is probably the principal differentiator when you’re trying to make up your mind about an eCommerce platform. Let’s analyze which one comes out to be cheaper, PrestaShop or Shopify.

Though it’s technically free, PrestaShop does have costs that you will discover as you start using the software. Other than paying for the hosting account and domain name, you might also have to pay for high-quality themes and modules, which start at $54.99 per year.

Spotify, on the other hand, covers most of its costs upfront. You get a free two-week trial, after which you can choose between three plans – Basic Shopify, Shopify, and Advanced Shopify. These range from $29-$299. There are two other options – Spotify Lite for $9 and Shopify Plus, the cost of which depends on your tailored needs. A transaction fee of 0.5 to 2 percent should also be taken into account for each of these plans. 

Verdict – Shopify vs PrestaShop: Pricing

Shopify gives you a larger variety of cost plans to choose from, and therefore it wins this crucial round.

Which is better for eCommerce – PrestaShop or Shopify?

Here are all the differences between PrestaShop and Shopify at a glance, collated in the table below. 

PrestaShop

Shopify

Open-source platform, fairly easy to use. Hosted service, extremely beginner-friendly.
3000+ modules, thousands of paid themes, and some customization. 90 paid themes, 10 free ones. Unique design and customization available.
Built-in eCommerce tools for your store’s needs. Built-in eCommerce tools for your store’s needs.
SEO optimization and SEO focussed expensive blog modules available. Free and paid downloadable SEO plugins with customizable features available. 
Two modes of support – one free, one paid.  No official support system available.
Technically free, with hidden costs like paid modules, which start at $54.99/ year.  Free 14 day trial and main plans priced at $29 to $299 monthly.

We hope that reading this comparison has offered you some clarity on which eCommerce platform to choose for your store. While we recommend Shopify over PrestaShop, we encourage you to take this decision based on your unique needs.

 

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