Do you want to skip the read and get right to my winner? Shopify is our Winner within this Prestashop vs Shopify comparison platform test.
Introduction: Will PrestaShop Provide Or Shopify Succeed When It Comes To Your Choice Of Online Store?
In our Prestashop vs Shopify comparison we will give you the lowdown on both. This should help you to fill your e-commerce trolley platform requirements and make your checkout decision on which provider to use that little bit easier.
We have dug deeply into the Prestashop Shopify platforms in order to help you clearly see what both have to offer. Our guide is a side-by-side view on what we feel are most important when looking at these two web building platforms. To help you clearly understand the differences we have also placed a Prestashop Shopify winners verdict at the end of each section.
Prestashop vs Shopify Overview:
Before we dig deep into our Prestashop vs Shopify review let’s take an overview of each platform.
PrestaShop are headquartered in Paris and have offices around the globe. Their online store shopping solution is used by around 300,000 businesses worldwide.
The PrestaShop Ecommerce solution is open-source and the software is completely free for download and use.
The fact that anyone using the service has full code access to build their site means that programming, development and design skills will be highly beneficial.
Having said this, those without technical expertise can still build their store using the PrestaShop WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) editor.
It should be noted that the company has launched a “PrestaShop Ready” option which is their hosted PrestaShop Ecommerce option.
Using this makes life easier for non-technical users but does limit access to the code required for customisation and you will pay on a monthly basis.
Shopify is the opposite. This service is classed as a fully hosted platform. Your online presence will be fully hosted, so no worries about finding a hosting provider or worrying about technical aspects.
Of course, being a hosted service means you need to pay monthly subscription costs.
The platform is admired by many and Shopify currently has more than 600,000 subscribed users. This is double the number of Prestashop.
Shopify is seen in a positive light for the initial ease of store set-up and its app store offerings. These features give the ability to grow your online store at a pace that fits your business planning.
Ease of Use:
When considering whether to use Prestashop or Shopify as your online selling platform, ease of use is a key factor. We will consider this factor and start with:
The PrestaShop online store set-up can take time and patience.
This is because the back-end (the part of the system you see, your customers do not) is more technical to get to grips with than that of hosted platform.
Having said this, once you get started, PrestaShop provide a demo video with advice that walks you through the first stage of store set-up.
Once the initial set-up process is complete, your next challenge is deciding which modules your online store requires.
If you do not have in-house expertise for this, you could save time and stress by paying for the assistance of an expert.
This of course will cost you money so would need to be budgeted for.
Once set-up, required integrations and relevant modules are created the daily admin of your store is very straightforward.
Shopify makes set-up very easy. The interface is intuitive and takes very little time to get used to.
The drag and drop functionality of customising your store exactly as you wish requires no technical ability whatsoever.
Being a hosted platform means the onus is on Shopify to provide all the tools you require to build a store from scratch and then to run it.
It should be noted that once you have signed up, Shopify even present you with a default store which you can make changes to immediately.
When setting up any online store you need to consider such things as:
- Customised image insertion (these are images of your brand, products, services etc.)
- Loading of initial product range and the ability to add future products
- Payment set-up (we all need that!)
- Store customisation to suit your style.
Shopify offer all of this and more in an easy to use way and do it very well.
Winner – Shopify! within this ‘Ease of Use' Prestashop or Shopify comparison.
Prestashop Shopify Features and Flexibility:
In terms of features and flexibility when considering Prestashop or Shopify, the battle is very close. Here’s a few key pointers on both.
PrestaShop excel in the number of features and tools available.
You get in excess of 600 pre-built in features to choose from.
Being open-source you can choose any features of tool add-ons you please.
You can sell any digital products you wish, there are features that alert you to ‘time-sensitive’ products and you can place ‘expiry’ dates on special offers relating to products or services.
They also offer an extensive inventory management system. This tracks inventory and gives restocking alerts.
When it comes to payment gateway options you have a huge choice. The decision you make can be dependent upon the countries you are selling to.
It goes without saying that in some countries, certain payment gateways are far more popular than in others.
Do check transaction fees of these payment options. They can have a significant impact on your bottom line.
All of the basic tools required to run your store are available on the Shopify platform.
You will get the basic (required) features to set-up and run your online business.
This includes product pages, shopping carts and checkout modules.
The higher you go on the Shopify price plans the more you get.
When it comes to payment gateway options you have well over 70 to choose from. This should meet any needs you have in the payment arena.
It should be noted that using the ‘Shopify Payments’ system means 0% per transaction.
Using other gateways will cost a percentage for each transaction.
The latter can add up!
Themes & Templates:
You will not be short of templates when using PrestaShop.
Being an open-source platform there are in excess of 1,500 themes and templates to choose from.
Do take your time in choosing, some are far better quality than others.
Granted, some are free, others you pay for, but the reality is that whatever you want you will get.
One thing is for sure, whatever business niche you are in, you will find something to suit.
Also, the fact that this is an open source platform means that you have complete flexibility in designs, additions and add-ons.
Shopify also offers quality in terms of templates.
They have over 60 themes which have been designed professionally and will certainly attract.
These are free as well as paid-for, so going for a ‘premium’ theme design will cost.
Those going down the premium route should view this as a long-term investment.
Once chosen you can customise your online store to your hearts content.
3rd Party Apps & Plugins:
The apps available when using the PrestaShop platform are wide and varied.
Some are free, many you will pay for. Do make sure that if purchasing an app for use that you take one from a respected, well-reviewed source.
Basically, you will find whatever app you are looking for, but you do need to bear in mind that additional costs for these apps need to be added to your overall budget.
With a very healthy app store offering around 2,500 apps to choose from you will not go wrong with Shopify.
These apps are both free and paid for. By taking advantage of selected apps from a wide range of sources, you will certainly add power to your store.
Shopify excel in the ‘apps search’ category. This feature makes it very easy to find the type of app you are searching for.
Hosting & Back-up:
It is important to remember that PrestaShop is a self-hosting platform. This means you are responsible for your back-up and restore.
Using a good hosting provider will mitigate what you are required to do in this area, but do fully check exactly what the provider offers in this respect.
Daily back-up is a minimum expectation (this also stands if you are hosting yourself) and as for any restore required, do check if this is included in hosting costs or you have to pay.
Do not forget that any apps and add-ons you have also need to be regularly updated as new releases are issued.
It also makes sense to carry out your own back-ups regardless of what your hosting provider offers.
Being a hosted service, Shopify looks after hosting for you.
Automated backups are not built into the system and users need to save their stores’ information into *.csv files in which case you’re going to be better off with a third-party app to help you out like Rewind.
Winner – Draw! within this ‘Feature and Flexibility' Prestashop vs Shopify comparison.
Whether you choose Prestashop Shopify or any other platform the availability of eCommerce tools is absolutely crucial to making the most of your online presence. Both platforms offer extensive choice.
- No limit on listings: List as many products as you like
- Digital Product sales: Sell digital products as you wish. There is also a downloadable function that allows ‘expiry date’ for any ‘time-sensitive’ products
- Inventory management: The comprehensive inventory management tool includes tracking of inventory as well as providing restock alerts
- Estimated shipping costs: This is one of the PrestaShop features that will ensure those buying from you do not get an unexpected ‘add-on’ at checkout
- Payment options: You have the ability to integrate a 3rd party payment process, or for customers to pay by cheque or wire transfer
- Gift Packaging: Set an extra charge for gift packaging of products. It’s a nice touch.
- Multi-language options: With translations in 65 languages and acceptance of multiple currencies you can sell globally
- Abandoned Cart Notifications: This is one of the PrestaShop features we recommend you utilize. It gives you the opportunity to auto-e-mail customers who have abandoned their cart
- Promotions customised: Various options for promotion customisation such as specific products, groups and orders
- Post-transaction automated Emails: Give customers peace of mind by automatically confirming their purchase
- Ease of product description: Easily insert images, product details and descriptions for each specific item
- Inventory management: Highly effective tool that allows you to manage inventory
- Individual customer account set-up: Set up personal, individual customer accounts that give secure log-in access to manage personal data and details. Regular customers benefit through an enhanced purchase completion process
- Organised categories: This tool makes it easy for customers to find exactly what product or service they are searching for
- Abandoned cart feature: As explained in the BigCommerce ecommerce section this is a highly recommended tool to deploy for those opting to use the Shopify platform
- Webpage and Blog ease of addition: A very useful, easy to use feature that allows the addition of webpages and blogs with the intention of increasing brand awareness
- Payment processors: Over 70 different payment processors as well as the ability to create multi-currency process calculations
- Tracking tool: This allows you to track customer and order details with ease
- Client analysis: This function allows you to analyse and clearly understand such things as customer location and their spending behaviour. By making use of such information, far more focused marketing initiatives can be put in place
- Multiple staff login ability: Allows for delegation of staff access according to their responsibilities
Winner – Shopify! within our ‘eCommerce Tools' Prestashop vs Shopify comparison.
SEO and Mobility:
In the Prestashop vs Shopify decision stakes the SEO & Mobility features cannot be ignored. The good news is that both offer advantages for your online presence. Here are highlights of the Prestashop vs Shopify SEO & Mobile functionality.
SEO is crucial to your online store recognition. PrestaShop offer tutorials and apps to help you along.
Some of these have been specifically designed by the platform, others are from 3rdParties.
We keep repeating this, but it is important to understand that while the PrestaShop software is free to download, you will have to budget for add-ons.
Good SEO module(s) are certainly something you should be prepared to pay for when using this platform.
With the rise in mobile device users your store must be fully mobile responsive.
PrestaShop offers this across their themes and platform.
Before plumping for a theme do fully check its mobile responsiveness.
One thing you also need to be aware of is site speed and this will largely be down to your hosting provider.
Again, it is important to check that your hosting provider is up to the ‘mobile’ responsive standards required.
Shopify is solid when it comes to SEO features.
Their tutorials are very informative and inclusive SEO features should be used to maximum effect.
Things such as their SEO issues scan and Site Speed Check features are something you can take full advantage of.
Shopify realise the importance of mobile device visitors and customers.
The good news is that all of their themes come as mobile responsive.
Your store will look as appealing to customers viewing from a mobile device as those viewing from any other more ‘traditional’ device (PC, Laptop etc.).
Winner – Shopify! within Prestashop vs Shopify due to inclusive SEO features and tools.
Support and Resources:
A Prestashop or Shopify comparison when it comes to support and resources puts Shopify in a stronger position. This is because their commitment to support and resources offered is hard to match in the industry.
When it comes to PrestaShop this is an interesting one.
They have an excellent ‘community’ where other users offer free real-life solutions to challenges you may come across.
While this is comprehensive (as are the tutorials and online material available from PrestaShop), you need to realise that this is very much a DIY solution and may take precious time to find exactly what you are looking for.
An alternative is ‘paid-for’ assistance where the platform offers a certain number of support ‘hours’ for a certain cost.
This should certainly get your issues resolved but it is NOT cheap.
If taking the ‘paid for’ option, please do bear in mind the additional, potentially significant costs involved.
All-inclusive means just that when it comes to what you pay for on a monthly basis with Shopify.
In the first instance you have excellent knowledge-based tutorials that come with screenshots and tips.
Taking time to read and learn will certainly reap rewards.
Shopify also provides support via E-mail, Live Chat and 24/7 telephone support which is included in your monthly fee.
You should also not dismiss the Shopify ‘community’. This is an excellent resource made up of fellow users.
Winner – Shopify. Once again, when considering the PrestaShop Shopify Help & Support options, due to the inclusive nature of what is offered and its breadth.
Prestashop or Shopify Pricing:
One of the first things many will look at when considering Prestashop or Shopify is the pricing structure. Quite understandable!
You can choose between 3 ’regular’ price plans;
Two other plans are available.
- The first is a basic ‘Lite’ plan, but this does not allow the establishment of an eCommerce store. Instead, you simply add a ‘buy button’ to your existing store.
- The other is top end ‘Enterprise’ for large organisations. Pricing needs to be discussed with Shopify to understand your needs.
While lots of features and services are included in the monthly price plans, you do need to bear in mind that any paid for apps and add-ons will add to your set-up/running costs.
As stated on their terms of service page, the platform offers a 14-day trial, letting you wade through Shopify first before committing.
While the software is free to download, you need to take into account other costs.
The costs here can start off quite low and are less than a basic Shopify plan BUT in order to get your site working correctly you may need to pay for a variety of things. To give you a flavour of potential costs involved and maintain a realistic approach to actual costs you will need to factor in prices for such things as:
- Themes (design of your site)
- Plugins (apps to add functionality)
- Potential site development costs using a professional developer/agency
So if a beginner then your costs will likely be more than a Shopify plan. When we consider all the extra costs you should engage for Prestashop then we would have to favour Shopify for this section winner as a more affordable option.
Winner – Shopify! within our ‘Pricing' category for Prestashop vs Shopify comparison.
Prestashop or Shopify Comparison Winner:
|Builder||Battle Score||Visit Official Website|
|Prestashop||1 / 6||www.prestashop.com|
|Shopify||6 / 6||www.shopify.com|
Whilst both platforms are excellent choices for your online eCommerce presence, we have used and studied both platforms thoroughly and find a Shopify the Winner within this Prestashop Shopify comparison platform test.
Remember; everyone's needs are different so what we have found the better of the two, may not be the best option for you. So please do your own research based on your businesses needs.
Conclusion and Recommendation:
Choosing Prestashop or Shopify as your online store platform of choice depends on many variables.
What is Prestashop best used for?
Those with technical nous (or those prepared for a steep, but effective learning curve) will appreciate the true flexibility that PrestaShop offers.
Anyone selling to an international audience will also appreciate the fact that their online store can be made available in 65 languages.
What is Shopify best used for?
On the other hand, when considering PrestaShop vs Shopify for those who want the back-end of their store (i.e. the working parts!) looking after without having to worry about hosting, security and feature functionality, then they will definitely benefit from going down the Shopify route.
Prestashop Shopify Alternatives
Remember; everyone's needs are different so what we have found the better between Prestashop or Shopify, may not be the best option for you. So please do your own research based on your businesses needs. Here's a list of the best Prestashop Shopify alternatives to create a an online store:
|1||Shopify (and Shopify Plus)||Best All-In-One eCommerce solution|
|2||Squarespace||Best for design and creatives|
|3||Square Online||Best for ease of use|
|4||Webflow||Best for advanced design tools|
|5||WooCommerce||Best for Wordpress Users|
|6||BigCommerce||Best for medium to large stores|
|7||Wix||Good for general use|
|8||Big Cartel||Best for very simple sites|
|9||Ecwid||Best for adding to an existing website|
|10||Volusion||Best for advanced analytics|
Prestashop or Shopify Final Word:
For this reason and overall ease of management in our PrestaShop or Shopify comparison, we feel Shopify will suit more online store owners than PrestaShop.
We do hope our Prestashop Shopify comparison has helped clarify what both platforms have to offer and made your decision that little bit easier.
For those who are still undecided, a final important note when considering Prestashop vs Shopify. Shopify offers a 14-day free trial period. It would do no harm whatsoever to take advantage of such an offer and test-drive each to see which fits your business model most appropriately. Two weeks should be ample time for you to test-drive each platform in order to decide as to which suits your needs best.
That’s all for now:
If you've read our Prestashop Shopify comparison up to here, we are grateful.
To assess major Prestashop Shopify highlights in terms of Pros and Cons for these two powerful website builders please click on the following links;
Remember to always keep abreast of the latest developments on website builders, eCommerce, and other Prestashop Shopify alternative comparison articles, such as the ones below;
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Digital Marketing Specialist
Being a veteran in the website building and eCommerce game definitely has its benefits. Richard has long been in the industry with more than 10 years of experience with building websites and constructing eCommerce platforms for clients. He’s also a bit of a whiskey connoisseur.