Adobe Commerce vs Shopify: How to Choose the Best Ecommerce Platform for Your Business

Ecommerce continues its upward trajectory across sectors from retail, apparel to consumer packaged goods. Global retail ecommerce is projected to reach $5 trillion by 2022 growing at 20% annually.

This explosion in online shopping presents a lucrative opportunity for businesses to set up transactional websites and cash in.

However, the hardest question remains: which ecommerce platform should you build your digital store on?

In this comprehensive 2800+ word guide, we’ll compare the two most popular solutions – Adobe Commerce and Shopify on key criteria to determine the best fit as per your business requirements and goals.

By the end, you’ll be able to answer:

  • Should you choose Adobe Commerce or Shopify? What are their strengths and weaknesses?
  • How do features, scalability and technical complexity compare?
  • What business size (SMBs or enterprises) does each platform cater to?
  • How much does each platform cost? What is the TCO?
  • What capabilities does each offer around design, customizations, apps and support?

Let‘s dive in!

Overview of Ecommerce Platform Capabilities

Before analyzing individual solutions, let‘s establish what core capabilities you need from an ecommerce platform.

An ecommerce platform enables creating, managing and optimizing your transactional online store with tools for:

  • Catalog management
  • Shopping cart flows
  • Digital and retail POS integration
  • Order, inventory and warehouse management
  • Pricing and promotions engine
  • Integrated payments
  • Publishing content and multimedia
  • Search and browsing
  • Security and compliance
  • Reporting and analytics
  • SEO and marketing

Additionally, you need a robust infrastructure for web hosting, CDN and caching that ensures fast performance and reliability.

Leading platforms like Adobe Commerce and Shopify offer these features out of the box so you can focus on storefront experience and sales growth.

Now let‘s see how they compare.

Introduction to Adobe Commerce and Shopify

Adobe Commerce is an enterprise-grade open source ecommerce platform built on PHP. It was earlier known as Magento which got acquired by Adobe.

It promises powerful customizable features and supports stores of any size from SMB to large retailers.

Some notable Adobe Commerce customers include – Nike, Rosetta Stone, Paul Smith, Helly Hansen.

Shopify on the other hand is a fully integrated SaaS ecommerce platform built for simplifying online retail.

It makes launching an ecommerce store easy without needing extensive technical resources. It is designed for small and mid-sized businesses.

Some popular companies leveraging Shopify include – Wikipedia, General Electric, Budweiser, Nestle and over 1 million SMB merchants.

Both Shopify and Adobe Commerce have their own strengths making them leaders in their own segments. Let‘s compare them further.

Ease of Use

For non-technical users, Shopify is much easier to onboard and manage an online store.

Its intuitive UI and simplified tools lower the learning curve for small business owners and first-time entrepreneurs venturing into ecommerce.

Adobe Commerce backend however is geared more towards technical users. Being open source, it requires developers to customize storefront experiences by editing template code and config files.

So considerable technical expertise is assumed in Adobe Commerce environment. This suits mid-market and enterprise customers with deeper IT resources.

Shopify’s no-code simplicity trumps here for lean ecommerce teams.

Winner: Shopify


Adobe Commerce packs an exhaustive suite of advanced ecommerce features out of the box. This comprises –

  • Merchandising tools
  • Content Management
  • Catalog Management
  • Checkout flows
  • Order Management
  • Promotions engine
  • Analytics dashboard
  • 200+payment gateway integrations and more.

It also facilitates complex B2B implementations like customer groups, shared catalogs, quote requests and replenishment via extensions in its marketplace.

Shopify also provides a capable ecommerce platform covering cart flows, cms publishing, payment processing and 100+ other features via apps.

But enterprises may have to invest in additional extensions like ERP, warehouse integrations etc over time to match Adobe Commerce capabilities.

Adobe Commerce edges out with breadth of features relevant for large product catalogs and transaction volumes from the start.

Winner: Adobe Commerce

Table: Shopify vs Adobe Commerce feature comparison

Features Shopify Adobe Commerce
Catalog Management Basic catalog tools Advanced tools for complex catalogs
Shopping Cart Options Basic options Many inbuilt options + customization via code
Checkout Process 70+ pre-made templates Customizable checkout using code
Payment Gateways 100+ 200+
Shipping Management Apps required Native shipping and fulfillment support
Performant Caching CDN and caching layers Varnish compatible caching
Order Management Basic Advanced order workflow management
Promotions Discounts and coupons Advanced promotions engine
Analytics Standard reports Custom reporting dashboard via BI tools
Personalization Limited Robust segmentation and targeting

According to Digital Commerce 360, mid-sized companies see 2-10X revenue growth after migrating to Adobe Commerce from solutions like Shopify and Magento 1 showing the platform’s value in leveling up capabilities.

Design Flexibility

Shopify offers richer design flexibility without needing web developers.

It ships with 10+ free themes with starter templates for most categories – apparel, electronics, grocery, jewelry etc. Paid premium themes start from $140 with more sections and customization ability.

Further, editing themes is easy via Shopify’s browser editor allowing changing layouts, styles, colors without code. More advanced customization requires Liquid templating expertise.

In comparison, Adobe Commerce offers a modular web development approach by separating theme files from core application logic.

It has a smaller theme marketplace – around 6 premium offerings costing above $1500 each. Plus you need developer skills for editing theme visual elements like logos, fonts, sliders.

Unless you build a custom theme from scratch, Shopify pips Adobe Commerce in off-the-shelf design flexibility suited to tight budgets.

Winner: Shopify

App Ecosystem

Adobe Commerce boasts of an expansive ecosystem with 4000+ free and paid extensions to augment ecommerce stores. Solution partners actively contribute apps, supported by comprehensive documentation.

However, installing apps often needs development help. Choosing incompatible or bloated extensions slows down stores.

Shopify provides a curated app store with 1500+ integrations covering critical functionality like payments, shipping, tax, accounting, email marketing etc.

The apps smoothly plug into Shopify with minimal configuration using its guided Flow Builder. This enhances reliability.

Adobe Commerce offers exceptional breadth here. But Shopify simplifies app integration tailored for non-technical users.

Winner: Tie

As per Statista, Shopify powers over 1.7 million businesses from smaller brands to Fortune 500 companies showing wide applicability. Adobe Commerce also cites top brands choosing the platform indicating feature depth.


Shopify offers reliable 24/7 customer support via live chat, email and phone including weekend coverage. Support experts typically resolve common issues under 2 hours.

Their help center also includes extensive step-by-step tutorials, documentation and videos for DIY troubleshooting.

Adobe Commerce relies on community forums, partners and developer assistance for support as an open source platform. So latency and quality varies. Paid enterprise plans unlock 24/7 assistance and SLAs.

Between proactive assistance or opaque third party support, Shopify has a clear edge especially for non technical merchants.

Winner: Shopify

Pricing and TCO

Shopify plans start from $29/month making the platform accessible for early-stage independent ventures. More advanced tiers support business growth with extra features and lower payment fees.

Table: Shopify Pricing

Plan Price Key Features
Basic Shopify $29/month Core commerce capabilities, 2 staff accounts
Shopify $79/month More advanced features like gift cards support, 5 staff accounts
Advanced Shopify $299/month High volume features like advanced reporting. caters 15 staff accounts

Adobe Commerce Open Source can be downloaded for free. But it carries infrastructure and maintenance costs for self-hosting plus extensions.

Paid Adobe Commerce licenses provide technical support and cloud infrastructure costing minimum $22,000 per year. Further developer, ops and hosting expenses apply as hidden costs.

So Shopify proves far more affordable for lean small businesses to launch online stores faster. For established enterprise merchants, Adobe Commerce provides greater control despite high TCO.


  • Affordability – Shopify
  • Enterprise capabilities – Adobe Commerce

Final Verdict

  1. For simpler small ecommerce business needs, Shopify is the best bang for buck with low TCO to get started. Its easier onboarding, expansive themes, apps and integrated support accelerate your time-to-market and growth trajectory.

  2. For advanced enterprise ecommerce capabilities supporting complex catalogs and customizations, Adobe Commerce leads the pack. Its exhaustive native features, developer friendly architecture and robust scalability make it the de facto platform for large retailers. But the level of technical investment and internal skills required is much higher comparatively.

Evaluate your business requirements, budget, capabilities and growth plans to pick the platform that aligns with your current state and future vision. While both Shopify and Adobe Commerce achieve market leadership in their segments, identify what is most appropriate for your needs currently.

Next Steps

Still uncertain which platform suits you best? Schedule a demo today with our ecommerce experts to experience the Shopify and Adobe Commerce platforms firsthand.

Get answers to your specific questions and scenarios from industry specialists. Our platform demos and free consultation helps you validate your ecommerce platform choice further with total confidence.