PrestaShop vs Shopify: Which One to Choose for Your E-commerce Website?
Development & Product

PrestaShop vs Shopify: Which One to Choose for Your E-commerce Website?

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Choosing the right e-commerce platform for your business is a critical decision when launching an online store.

Your e-commerce platform dictates how you will:

Fortunately, there are many platforms on the market. Each with different capabilities that may or may not meet your specific needs and budget.

Shopify vs PrestaShop: Overview

At first, PrestaShop and Shopify seem similar. They both allow you to:

  • Create and customize your online store,
  • Add and market your products,
  • Accept payments,
  • Manage and complete orders and,
  • Give your customers online shopping cart functionality.

Overall, PrestaShop and Shopify are all-inclusive platforms with robust built-in features.

prestashop vs shopify

Dig deeper, and you’ll find a major and important difference. Shopify is a fully hosted platform available on a paid subscription basis.

In other words, for the subscription price you pay to access the software, Shopify takes care of:

  • Hosting your online store,
  • Security management,
  • Maintenance and,
  • updates.

PrestaShop, on the other hand, is an open-source platform. You can download PrestaShop for free, but you have to take care of the installation yourself, as well as find and pay for web hosting and perform updates and maintenance if needed.

PrestaShop is an open-source software that gives you access to its code that can be modified according to your needs.

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PrestaShop features

logo prestashop

PrestaShop gives you the ability to completely customize your online store the way you want. It also offers impressive out-of-the-box features. Here are some of the most important features:

Online store development

You can customize the main PrestaShop theme with the help of PHP programming language.

This allows you to choose from over 6,000 paid and free theme templates found in the PrestaShop add-on marketplace or modify one of these themes to suit your industry.

Although you must purchase your own web hosting, PrestaShop offers a secure, pre-installed hosting solution that you can choose to purchase from its hosting partner, 1&1 IONOS.

Products and inventory

PrestaShop allows you to list your products, physical or digital, to sell them online. The software allows you to organize them by:

  • Categories,
  • Characteristics,
  • Values,
  • Variants and,
  • Packs.

You can sell customizable goods, track the inventory of each of your products and create suppliers and manufacturers to associate with the respective products.

Payments

PrestaShop allows you to accept and offer your customers several different payment methods. These include checks, bank transfers, cash on delivery, and debit and credit cards.

You can integrate with a variety of payment processors, including leading providers like PayPal, Stripe, and Square.

PrestaShop offers free payment integrations from its partners, as well as paid options you can add from its marketplace.

Payment completion

PrestaShop provides a checkout page and gives you the ability to customize the process by offering pages of:

  • Summary,
  • Customer account creation,
  • Order validation and,
  • Confirmation.

Orders and shipping

With PrestaShop, you can create your order, fulfillment, and returns workflow; manage all orders from the administration, and send default emails to your customers throughout the process.

PrestaShop allows you to configure your shipping methods, choosing shipping zones, shipping services, shipping costs, and taxes based on location.

International sales

This platform offers capabilities specifically for businesses looking to sell internationally.

PrestaShop gives you the ability to set up quotes, use a multilingual product listing, manage multiple stores from a single interface, and ensure that your payment process is compliant with European laws.

Marketing and promotions

PrestaShop allows you to create coupons, price rules, discounts, and special offers. As well as cross-sell, promote and suggest products.

The platform also includes :

  • SEO tools,
  • Abandoned cart emailing capabilities,
  • Connections to social platforms and,
  • Reports and category tracking.

PrestaShop gives you the ability to:

  • Develop a customer database,
  • Create customer groups to personalize the experience,
  • Receive notifications,
  • Set default responses and,
  • Manage any customer service request.

Integrations and add-ons

If you want to integrate a third-party tool or add a feature you’re missing, PrestaShop offers more than 10,000 free and paid modules, themes, and services on its marketplace.

But also from blogging tools to shipping and tax plug-ins to connections to the marketplace sales channels.

Customer support

PrestaShop offers customer support resources on its website, including documentation, webinars, videos, tutorials, and a community forum.

Unlike many open-source platforms, it also gives you the option to purchase a customer support plan, which provides access to personalized technical help for your store.

In addition, PrestaShop offers training with its experts to teach merchants, developers, or digital professionals the ins and outs of its software.


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Features of Shopify

logo shopify

Unlike PrestaShop, where all the features are available to you as soon as you download the software, the feature set you have with Shopify depends on the subscription plan you choose.

As the price of Shopify plans increases, so do their features. Here are some of the most notable features of Shopify as a whole:

Online store creation

To create your online store with Shopify, you can choose from one of its 80+ paid and free Shopify themes and customize it using their drag-and-drop builder.

All Shopify stores are mobile-ready and include a blog and a full content management system.

Web hosting and security

Shopify offers:

  • Web hosting,
  • Free SSL certificate,
  • Instant updates,
  • Unlimited bandwidth with 24/7 monitoring.

You have the option to use your own domain name with Shopify. If you don’t have a domain name, you can purchase it from them.

Products and inventory

With Shopify, you can list an unlimited number of products, create product variants, and organize your inventory by category, type, season, sales, and more.

Shopify also tracks your inventory and automatically stops selling a product when it runs out.

Shopping cart

Shopify allows you to customize your shopping cart and checkout, giving you the ability to set up automatic and flexible shipping rates, free shipping, automatic taxes, multiple checkout languages, and abandoned cart emails.

Payments

To accept online payments in your Shopify store, Shopify gives you the option to work with its in-house processing, Shopify Payments, or integrate with one of over 100 external gateways.

Orders and customers

Shopify allows you to fulfill one or more orders with a single click, connect to fulfillment centers and dropshipping apps, and set up automatic emails for your store.

You can also create customer profiles and groups, allow your customers to create a checkout account or checkout as a guest, and offer refunds.

Marketing and analytics

Shopify provides built-in SEO tools as well as a generated e-commerce sitemap. Shopify also allows you to offer:

  • Discounts and gift cards,
  • Enable product reviews,
  • Integrate your social media platforms and,
  • Sell on Facebook and other online marketplaces.

In addition, your Shopify dashboard gives you the ability to track sales, orders, and web analytics, as well as generate reports and connect to Google Analytics.

Shopify mobile app

With Shopify, you can download its free mobile app and manage your store on the go.

The app allows you to:

  • Capture payments,
  • Fulfill orders,
  • Send shipping notifications,
  • Manage inventory and,
  • Connect with customers.

Plus, all your data is automatically synced between the Shopify app and your online store.

Shopify app store

online sales with shopify

To extend the functionality of your store or connect to third-party tools you already use, you can download add-ons from the Shopify app store.

The Shopify app store includes over 7,000 free and paid integration options. Ranging from email marketing platforms to chatbots to accounting software.

Customer support

Shopify offers dedicated customer support from its team 24/7.

Whether it’s via:

  • Email,
  • Live chat and,
  • Phone.

Shopify’s website also includes resources for customers, such as discussion forums. But also the Shopify Help Center, which includes FAQs, user guides and tutorials, and its Shopify Learn resource.

Finally, Shopify is home to a library of experts, including designers, developers, and marketers. You can hire them to get personalized and hands-on assistance for your e-commerce operations.

PrestaShop pricing

Although PrestaShop is free to download, it won’t be completely free to use this software to operate your online store.

To use PrestaShop for your e-commerce site, you will need to find and pay for web hosting.

The cost of hosting can vary, but if you use PrestaShop’s hosting partner, you’ll pay anywhere from $4 to $14 per month, depending on the plan you choose.

Next, consider the costs you incur for setting up your e-commerce site, including any development and customization.

Since PrestaShop is an open-source solution, any customization you want to add to your platform will have to be done with code. This means that you will probably need to hire a developer or an agency like RHILLANE Digital Marketing, with 5 years of success and over 120 e-commerce sites optimized for sales worth millions of dollars each year.

The cost of a developer varies depending on the person and the services you need.

Even if you hire a developer for the initial setup and customization, keep in mind that you may still need to use this resource for

  • Maintenance,
  • updates and,
  • Security monitoring.

Also, consider the cost of PrestaShop add-ons and themes. While some of the PrestaShop integration options on the PrestaShop marketplace are free, many ranges in price from $35 to over $200 per add-on.

If you need multiple add-ons, you need to remember that you will have to pay the associated cost for each one.

Finally, consider the cost of payment processing. PrestaShop does not charge any additional transaction fees beyond those that come directly from your processor. However, it does charge for several of its payment modules.

If you choose to use Square as your payment processor, you’ll pay Square’s cost per transaction (2.9% plus 30 cents), as well as the $174.99 to download the Square module to the PrestaShop marketplace.

While you may choose to have your developer create modules other than those offered on the PrestaShop marketplace, you will then have to pay those development costs as well.

Ultimately, the price of using PrestaShop will largely depend on your customization needs and development costs.

Shopify pricing

With Shopify, costs are much more predictable. Shopify offers its e-commerce software on a subscription basis, which gives you the option to choose a plan and pay the corresponding monthly fee.

Unlike PrestaShop, the Shopify plan you choose determines the extent of included features you receive on your e-commerce site.

Shopify offers four basic plans: Shopify Starter, Shopify Basic, Shopify, and Shopify Advanced.

It also offers an enterprise solution, Shopify Plus, which is designed for high-volume merchants and is available by quote. The first plan, Shopify Starter, costs $5 per month.

However, this plan doesn’t give you the ability to create an online store, instead, it allows you to sell on social media platforms or add products to an existing website or blog.

The other three plans offer full online store functionality. Shopify’s basic plan costs $29 per month and includes the following:

  • Online store (e-commerce website and blog).
  • Unlimited products.
  • 2 personal accounts.
  • 24/7 support.
  • Multiple sales channels.
  • Manual order creation.
  • Discount codes.
  • Free SSL certificate.
  • Abandoned cart recovery.
  • Printing of shipping labels.
  • Up to 77% off shipping costs.
  • Support for Shopify POS application and hardware devices.
  • Third-party POS applications.

Shopify costs $79 per month and covers all the basic Shopify features, plus :

  • 5 staff accounts.
  • Gift cards.
  • Professional reports.
  • Up to 88% off shipping costs.
  • Cubic USPS priority mail pricing.
  • Unlimited number of Shopify POS staff PIN codes.

Advanced Shopify costs $299 per month and includes all the features of the previous two plans, plus:

  • 15 staff accounts.
  • Advanced report builder.
  • Third-party calculated shipping rates.
  • Up to 88% off shipping costs.

If you want to expand your functionality using Shopify apps, you can do so, but you may have to pay a fee, depending on the specific expansion.

You will also have to pay the cost of online credit card processing. This is one area where the two platforms differ greatly.

Shopify offers in-house processing with Shopify Payments (which PrestaShop does not).

If you use Shopify Payments, you’ll pay 2.9% plus 30 cents per online transaction with the basic plan, 2.6% plus 30 cents per online transaction for the Shopify plan, and 2.4% plus 30 cents per online transaction with the advanced plan.

While PrestaShop does not charge any transaction fees regardless of the processor you use. Shopify charges an additional fee if you use a provider other than Shopify Payments. These fees vary across the three plans but range from 0.5% to 2%.


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PrestaShop reviews

Most users write positively about their experience with this open-source platform for their e-commerce sites.

Reviewers generally say that PrestaShop is scalable, customizable, and professional looking.

Users also point to the built-in international sales capabilities, as well as the large network of PrestaShop developers and experts that are available for support.

While most online reviews are positive, users do mention a few drawbacks to the software.

Most often, the comments focus on the expensive add-ons and the overall development effort required to set up and maintain a store using PrestaShop.

However, many reviewers also write that PrestaShop is much more accessible and easy to use compared to other open-source platforms, like Magento.

Reviews of Shopify

As with PrestaShop, online reviews of Shopify are generally positive. Shopify reviewers write about how simple and easy the platform is to use. And accessible to all types of business owners.

Users point out:

  • The customization capabilities,
  • The design templates,
  • The mobile functionality and,
  • The additional tools included.

When discussing the negative aspects of the Shopify platform, users most often talk about the price of Shopify.

They say that the subscription cost is high. Especially if you’re just starting out, or if you need additional features that are only available in the higher-level plans.

Also, users don’t like the transaction fees Shopify charges for using a third-party payment gateway. Nevertheless, most online reviewers seem satisfied with their overall experience with Shopify.

PrestaShop’s strengths

prestashop illustration

Let’s take a look at the strengths of PrestaShop in the PrestaShop vs Shopify comparison.

Customization

While both PrestaShop and Shopify offer significant customization capabilities, there is no doubt that PrestaShop offers more.

As an open-source platform, everything about PrestaShop can be completely edited, modified, and customized for your business.

Not only does PrestaShop include impressive built-in features out of the box, but the platform also gives you the ability to significantly modify and extend your functionality.

In addition, the number of themes and modules on the PrestaShop marketplace is truly impressive. This means that if there is a feature or tool you want to add, you will more than likely be able to find it there.

Perhaps one of the most notable customization options that PrestaShop offers is payment processing. PrestaShop allows you to integrate a variety of payment providers and does not charge extra for credit card processing.

International capabilities

While Shopify offers only minimal functionality for international sales, PrestaShop offers a variety of features designed specifically for international e-commerce.

Some of PrestaShop’s built-in features include:

  • Multiple languages and currency capabilities,
  • Payment options for international taxes and shipping.

And with all the different payment processing options that PrestaShop offers, international merchants can choose the one that works best for them.

This is in stark contrast to Shopify, which charges additional transaction fees if you don’t use Shopify Payments (available in a limited number of countries).

Shopify’s strengths

While PrestaShop offers more in the way of customization and international sales, there are two areas where Shopify wins in the PrestaShop vs Shopify comparison.

Usability

When it comes to usability, no e-commerce platform can compete with Shopify. Shopify is easy to use and understand and allows you to set up your online store quickly.

Plus, because it’s a fully hosted solution with a drag-and-drop web builder, Shopify is accessible to business owners of all levels and experience. You can create, customize and manage your online store on Shopify without any technical knowledge or coding.

Although PrestaShop is known as a much more usable platform compared to other open-source e-commerce software options, you may still need the help of a developer.

Predictability

As an open-source platform that requires development work, PrestaShop’s cost is unpredictable and can vary greatly depending on the specific business and situation.

Shopify, on the other hand, offers greater cost transparency. While the cost of Shopify depends on your plan, add-ons, and payment processing, you can more easily predict the final price you’ll pay to use the platform.

Before you choose a Shopify plan, you know what features are included and how much it will cost you per month.

If your plan is missing something and you need to purchase it as an add-on, you can account for it ahead of time.

Similarly, if you use Shopify Payments, you know how much you’ll be charged per transaction. And, while you’ll pay more if you use a third-party merchant service provider, Shopify lets you know the details of that cost upfront.

PrestaShop vs Shopify: which one to choose?

prestashop vs shopify logos

PrestaShop or Shopify? The question that most people ask to create their e-commerce site.

Both PrestaShop and Shopify offer solid e-commerce functionality, but the platform that is right for your business will depend on your specific needs and budget.

If you’re looking for a predictable, easy-to-use platform that doesn’t require technical knowledge, Shopify is the best option for your online store.

On the other hand, if you’re looking for a platform that offers the most customization as well as the ability to sell internationally, PrestaShop will better suit your needs.

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