What is the best eCommerce platform: Shopwired vs Shopify vs Magento

07 May 2019
Best eCommerce platform: Shopify, Shopwired or Magento?

What is an eCommerce platform?

An eCommerce platform is a piece of software that enables businesses to sell their products and services through their website.

With lower set up costs and user-friendly platforms, the eCommerce and online sales industry has enjoyed rapid growth.

How to choose the right eCommerce platform

Rather than building their own eCommerce software, most businesses turn to an existing eCommerce platform, which makes uploading and selling products easy and efficient.

eCommerce platforms have a range of customisations and can be scaled for virtually any application you require. And to top it off, there's a ton of hosting options that are tailored to suit a range of businesses.

Shopwired, Shopify and Magento all offer similar solutions for businesses to sell their products online.

However, there are two factors to consider. Firstly, how long is it going to take you to set up your store? Secondly, how will the eCommerce platform expand your business?

Before choosing your new eCommerce platform, you need to analyse the platforms available and select the right option that will boost the growth of your company.

Here are some of the key features you'll need for a successful eCommerce site:

  • Design: themes and customisation options

  • Products: selling items and services on your website

  • Sales support: payment gateways and promotions

  • Apps and add-ons: how easy it is to expand your site

  • Digital marketing integration: visibility of your website across different channels

  • Analytics: order information and visitor data


Once you've selected your eCommerce platform, design options are the first thing you need to consider.

Shopify - features over 100 free themes that you can choose from. Shopify also offers paid themes which start from $140 and perfectly integrate Shopify's excellent features.

Shopwired - has 19 free themes to choose from. If the free options don't tick the boxes for your business, you can ask Shopwired's in-house design team to build a custom site, typically priced at £1195 + VAT.

Magento - as an open-source platform, Magento features a range of free and premium community built themes. Although there's plenty of options to choose from, there's often limited support with these themes.


Shopify - regardless of the plan you sign up with, there's no limit to the amount products you can upload. It's a user-friendly system, that enables you to add multiple product options and configure coherent customer journeys.

Shopify also allows you to seamlessly integrate into your existing system and include SKU's, barcodes and inventory tracking, which is particularly useful if you're selling product variations.

Shopwired and Magneto - both platforms offer a similar amount of product information. However, Magneto's open-source nature makes it difficult to add products, but still offers the same amount of product data as Shopwired.

Sales support

Shopify - outweigh their competitors with a wealth of payment gateways, including PayPal, SagePay, WorldPay and more. The user-friendly interface enables you to create discount codes and promotions, at the checkout stage

Shopify also offers their own payment system which can integrate into your store. And with a dedicated Shopify POS system you can link your offline sales with your online platform.

Shopwired - unlike Shopify, Shopwired don't currently offer their own payment system. However, Shopwired does feature a range of external gateway options, including PayPal, BarclayCard and SagePay.

Magento - features most of the mainstream payment gateways and also provide a discount and promotional code functionality. Again, due to the open-source nature, it can be difficult to develop and configure payment gateways.

Apps and add-ons

Shopify - based on our experience of building eCommerce sites, we think Shopify is the perfect platform for integrating additional features. Shopify has its own app store which is filled with approved third-party and self-developed adds, which can easily be integrated with your store.

With Shopify, you can create customisations within the system itself. And with an intuitive dashboard, you can have access to all of the information you need.

For our client, World of Wool, we created a range of custom apps that allowed extra product data, faceted searches, VAT validation, blogging and a custom shipping service.

Shopwired - offer a limited amount of apps and extensions. Some are free to use, whereas others require monthly payments. It's easy to rack up a large monthly bill for extras and features you didn't initially plan for.

Magneto - have a wide range of plugins available. But generally speaking, these apps are costly and much more complex to integrate, in comparison with Shopify and Shopwired.

Digital marketing integration 

With a well researched digital marketing strategy, you can target relevant keywords and optimise your website to improve search engine visibility. And you can also incorporate other channels like email marketing and social media to build awareness of your business and increase sales.

Shopify - features useful marketing integrations such as MailChimp and Google plugins. With extensive customisation features, Shopify enables you to edit metadata and increase click-through rates on popular search engines.

Shopwired and Magento - both feature built-in SEO options including metadata and more technical elements such as sitemaps and robots.txt files, as well as social network integration.


Shopify - features an integrated eCommerce reporting tool, which enables you to see how many orders your site has received. The intuitive report enables you to filter by date, visibility of which orders have been paid for and what status the order is at (e.g. packing/shipped). The user-friendly interface of the Shopify dashboard means it's easy to add Google Analytics tracking codes.

Shopwired - provides an overview of orders, value and visitor analytics in a single dashboard.

Magento - requires plugins and additional installations to run eCommerce analytics within the reporting dashboard. You can add a range of analytics platforms, from Google Analytics to custom eCommerce metrics. However, because the integration is made by custom developers, support is an issue.

Customisation is key to the success of your eCommerce site

Through the development of multiple eCommerce sites over the years, we’ve found that the power of eCommerce solutions lies in customisation.

And in our experience, Shopify outperforms the competition as it offers a simple user interface, and the ability to customise elements to tailor the system to your bespoke needs.

With Shopify, custom builds aren’t as daunting as you might think. Shopify features entirely new designs and individual feature customisations, giving you more functionality than ever before. You can also rest assured knowing your site is secured and you can benefit from immediate responses from the customer service team.

World of Wool - the world's favourite place for crafters to buy wool, turned to Applied Digital to create a new eCommerce site capable of supporting their multi-million-pound turnover. See the result here.

Alternatively, get in touch with our eCommerce team for advice on how you can improve your online presence and increase sales.

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