Times of uncertainty and economic hardship have often simultaneously been times of great human ingenuity. Some of the most successful companies of this decade started during the Great Recession, i.e., Airbnb, Warby Parker, etc. Disney was founded in 1929, at the onset of the Great Depression. After reassessing their priorities and what is important to them, many individuals feel that there is no time better than today to start businesses.
Gone are the days when businesses needed considerable investment cash and human capital to start a business for just a hyper-local reach. In just the past decade alone, technological advancement has leveled the playing field where anyone can create and scale a global empire from their apartment.
Businesses are gravitating towards our eCommerce. The consumer demand for online shopping, the extent to which it can leverage a person’s creativity, and the ease of setting up are all great tailwinds. Regarding actual operations of the business, everything can be outsourced to specialists, be it for inventory management, logistics, payment processing, customer support, and sales and marketing, to name a few. Two names that have been big in offering an infrastructure that can serve as the all-in-one backbone of an eCommerce business are Shopify and PrestaShop.
One is a relative newcomer, while the other is more established and seasoned. Both have great features that can be a specific fit based on the distinct needs of different business owners. Below we look at the offering of both PrestaShop and Shopify, their core strengths, customer experience, and of course, pricing.
What does PrestaShop offer?
PrestaShop has increasingly become established as an open-source eCommerce solution. Businesses of many sizes can use the platform to build online stores, both large or small, and then scale as they go. The company, founded in 2007, has a robust customer base counting nearly 330,000 websites worldwide. Prestashop offers a massive feature-rich offering built into the platform and includes benefits such as:
An open-source platform lets customers customize and scale their store as they need.
Prestashop can be downloaded for free and includes inventory management, an online shopping cart, and reporting and analytics tools.
Order-management features allow customers to set up their accounts and track their purchase history.
What does Shopify offer?
One of the best eCommerce platforms which has established a name is Shopify. It has a considerable lead as an incumbent in the industry as an eCommerce platform and has solidified that lead with the company’s various offerings over the years. These include:
A SaaS that provides a fully-hosted plug-n-play store that is highly user-friendly
Extensive customizable offering to instantaneously update themes for a specific event or the holidays.
There is a robust library of add-on features and tools such as a tax calculator, a POS system, and Shop Pay for quick checkouts.
Syncs with almost all payment gateways and wallets currently available on the market
Integrates with a wide variety of social media sites, marketplaces, and third-party vendors.
There is no one size fits all pricing that Shopify applies. The company has multiple pricing plans depending on the size of the business that it serves. The logic is to offer a price that accommodates small companies to grow and drive value on the platform and pays a more applicable rate as the businesses grow.
|Shopify Lite Plan||Basic Shopify Plan||Shopify Plan||Advanced Shopify Plan|
|Payment processing Fee||2.90% + $0.30||2.90% + $0.30||2.90% + $0.30||2.90% + $0.30|
|Limits on Products||–||Unlimited||Unlimited||Unlimited|
|Links online store with brick and mortar locations?||–||Up to 4||Up to 5||Up to 8|
|*There are no transaction fees applicable if businesses decide to use Shopify Pay.|
Shopify also offers a Shopify Plus plan to enterprise customers for which pricing is available after discussion with the company.
PrestaShop does not have any monthly fees or transaction fees levied on sales on its platform. However, fees are charged for themes, usually around $100, and plugins often start at $50. If you want to integrate with your stores on eBay or Amazon, it will cost you $289 and $299, respectively.
Any cost associated with website setup, domain hosting, or SSL certification for web security is all the business’s responsibility to set up. You will also have to find your merchant account provider and set up a payments gateway at an additional cost.
The customer experience
Prestashop is a very bare-bones operation. It’s straightforward to set up a basic business on the platform, but a more elaborate setup would require technical development expertise. There are no recurring expenses that companies would need to pay PrestaShop, but that doesn’t mean they won’t have any. They may have to hire a code to manage continually and further develop their online store on the platform. This is necessary because they have to troubleshoot development problems arising from the conflict in code with that of PrestaShop.
On the other hand, Shopify has a very intuitive setup process allowing customers to set up stores quickly and seamlessly on their own. There are many plugins and themes to choose from, but you never feel overwhelmed. It’s always just the right amount of technicality that one can resolve. Overall, it is much easier to get an online store up and running on Shopify than on PrestaShop.
Another aspect of the customer experience is the support option. PrestaShop has chat, email, and phone support available, as well as a community forum that can assist on any issues customers run into. However, support is not always free. Presta Online Assistance offers free assistance via tutorials, guidelines, and FAQs. However, its more detailed, Presta Technical Assistance, is a 15-minute call with a Technical Specialist that you can utilize for any inquiry and can cost as high as $1,399.
Shopify offers the same omnichannel support 24/7, along with an online community to assist with any inquiries. Furthermore, the company provides text and email support in 19 different languages.
Although starting and managing a business is no easy feat, it has never been easier. Online marketplaces and platforms make operating an eCommerce business much more feasible. Social media eliminates many intermediaries, and lets entrepreneurs reach directly, making marketing much more targeted and effective. An individual no longer needs to buy bulk technologies to store data or hire consultants to advise on and manage multiple payments options and plans. These tasks are much smoother, quicker, and offered at a fraction of the costs and magnitudes higher in quality and versatility.
Shopify and PrestaShop are two platforms that offer great marketplace and eCommerce businesses and tools for integration with the right partnerships, online presence and branding, and a tremendous customer experience. One is more seasoned and polished, while the other packs an incredible punch in tools and offerings. Both offer unique strengths and can be suited for different business owners based on their strengths and needs.