endeRH-Webdesign | Shopware Freelancer

Shopify or Shopware? These are the most important differences

Find out how to choose between Shopify and Shopware by my comparison

You want to get into e-commerce and are looking for the right store system. Or you are already online with your products and are not really satisfied with your store. It doesn’t perform well or you are missing important extensions. So you start your online research and discover that Shopify and Shopware are among the most important store systems. But which one is the right store for your needs?

The decision for a store system is far-reaching

Of course, you can switch to another store system at a later time and maybe you are planning to do so. But then you know that such actions are always connected with effort and stress. It’s much easier if you choose a suitable system right away, which can then grow with your business. By the way, this is very easy with Shopware. What are the exact differences between Shopify and Shopware?

Shopify or Shopware comparison: This is where the store systems come from

Shopware is a German store system based on an open source code. This means that the system source code is openly accessible. In addition to the Shopware developers, there is a lively community that is constantly advancing the system.

Because Shopware is developed in Germany and the server is located in the EU, you do not have to worry about the rules of the GDPR. What is it? The General Data Protection Regulation confronts you as a store operator with extensive regulations regarding the handling of customer data. You have to inform the visitors of your site exactly which data is collected and give them the possibility to object to the use and to get insight into their data profile. With Shopware you are on the safe side in this respect without having to extend or configure anything extra.

Shopify is not an open source platform. This means that companies cannot access the source code or make changes to the platform. The store system is only ever developed by the Shopify company itself. However, Shopify offers a wide range of customization options through its Theme Store and Shopify App Store.

As far as data protection is concerned, Shopify always has to be adjusted manually. This is because the German/European DSGVO regulations are among the strictest in the world, so many regulations within the non-European store system are not sufficient. This applies not only to the Shopify store itself, but also to plugins. Here you should keep in mind that the regulations around data protection are always updated.

How easy is it to get started in e-commerce?

With both systems and their existing features, you can easily and simply start with your store marketing. Shopware is even free in its Community Edition, the online store must then only be set up yourself. If you have never dealt with the topic yourself, you have to acquire the knowledge. This is possible, but ties up time resources. I offer you the opportunity to get a perfectly set up online store for a fixed amount and get started in e-commerce right away.

But you can theoretically do it yourself! As mentioned, the Shopware Community Edition is free, but it has to be hosted and there are no plugins/extensions included yet. So you need a webspace/your own domain. Starting with the Starter Edition of Shopware, cloud-based solutions are then possible, and with the Professional Edition you can even choose.
My agency offers you comprehensive information about the advantages and disadvantages of cloud and on-prem for your online store, so that you can decide more easily.

Shopify, on the other hand, is always cloud-based, which fundamentally differentiates the two store systems. But there is one important similarity, and that is the backend. Both companies offer customers the option of building their online store using the drag-and-drop principle. So you don’t necessarily need technical knowledge, but you can click through the menus and set up your online store that way. This is always true for Shopify, but not for every edition of Shopware, for the on-prem version the system looks a bit different. Here Shopify offers a convenient system from the start.

Who are your customers?

The decision for one of the store systems is easy if you know who your customers are. While Shopify is designed to create stores for end customers, Shopware is also capable of creating B2B stores with a complex store structure. This is much more complicated with Shopify. As a Shopware agency, I can advise you in detail on what the possibilities are here.

What extensions do the store systems have to offer?

No online store works properly without plugins, whether Shopware or Shopify. The extensions make your online store what it is. The advantage is that you can choose the appropriate plugins yourself and thus create an individual system that suits your customers. Plugins are part of your marketing, because they determine the services that you have to offer and that distinguish your company from others. What do the two store systems have to offer in this regard?

While Shopware offers its plugins in the Shopware Store, the extensions for Shopify can be found in the so-called App Store. However, it is again clear at this point that the two store systems were geared towards different markets from the start. Shopify offers many apps, but not all are available in Europe and some are not DSGVO compliant. Shopware, on the other hand, is geared towards the German-speaking market. Accordingly, all the extensions offered are also available and comply with data protection requirements. And the plugins for marketing are also oriented towards the German/European customer.

Shopify lets you set up an Instagram store for free, while Instagram shopping is chargeable with Shopware. Unlimited multi-channel sales are available starting with the Professional Edition.

Comparison Conclusion: Shopware or Shopify?

As a Shopware freelancer, I am naturally not completely objective, but there were many reasons why I too decided to work with Shopware at some point. In a direct comparison, Shopware and Shopify and their functions differ only in detail, but there are some points that speak for me quite clearly for Shopware:

  • With a German store system you are always on the safe side legally.
  • I am a fan of the open source idea.
  • The functions are convincing.
  • You can easily set up a B2B store as well.
  • The look is compelling from the get-go, whether you’re using free or paid themes (but that’s true for Shopify, too).

You want to know more about your possibilities? Then contact me and let me advise you. From the Community to the Professional Edition, I support you on the way to the perfect store.