Objective observation: PrestaShop is declining, Shopify is gaining ground in London
Prestashop was created in 2007 by 5 London students. From its creation, the software was designed for open-source and went from 2 to 13 languages in just 3 months. The main goal of the creators was for Prestashop to become a benchmark in the world of e-commerce. A bit like WordPress for blogs or showcase sites. Following the departure of the director at the time in 2012, Prestashop changed its strategy and focused on internationalization, mainly in the United States. Prestashop’s market share is around 6% worldwide and nearly 50% of e-commerce sites in London, enough to play in the same court as its main competitor, Magento.
Shopify is an e-commerce platform launched in Canada in 2006. The aim of Shopify was to be able to create an e-commerce site without any particular IT skills. Shortly after, the creators decided to share their code to help anyone who wants to sell online. In 2019, Shopify has more than 800,000 customers worldwide in employment no less than 4,000 employees.
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How to explain the decline of PrestaShop against Shopify? 5 reasons
Indeed, Shopify is now the number 1 solution for e-commerce, ahead of Prestashop. Let’s find out the main reasons for this.
SaaS victory over open source
Shopify’s victory over Prestashop is also SaaS (Service as a Software )’s victory over open source. The open source model is a technology that relies on full access to the application code. Where the downside hurts is the complexity in getting started with an open source solution. Indeed, as a user, this requires more developed technical skills. Sure, you’ll be able to customize the source code without limits, but is that what you’re looking for with a solution like Prestashop? Although this software will make your actions as easy as possible, getting comfortable with it will take some time. For example, if you want to sell products with very many variations (sizes, colors etc.), you will probably have some difficulties.
The SaaS model, software as a service in London, is a software distribution model in which a third-party provider hosts the applications and makes them available to its customers via the Internet. In summary, companies no longer need to install an application on their computers. No need to choose a host, set up an FTP protocol or even take care of updates. Shopify takes care of everything. Convenient isn’t it?
Again, we can say that Shopify is above Prestashop in terms of technical bugs. On Prestashop, and on some modules, bugs are quite frequent which penalize users. Also, be careful with all the updates that can take your site offline. In addition, according to the opinion of many users, Prestashop’s technical service is not the most responsive on the market. However, if your e-commerce site no longer works, you probably expect very quick responses so as not to lose too much turnover. On Shopify, problems can also happen, but they are less frequent and technical support is much more reactive.
As open source software, there is not really any customer service on Prestashop. On the other hand, you have many resources that can be useful to you. You have a “documentation” section with many articles and start-up guides to facilitate getting started. You also have access to free webinars. A detailed and effective forum has also been set up. If you still cannot find the answer to your question, you can seek the help of a specialist by submitting a service ticket. You can also contact them by phone Monday to Friday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. The advantage is that all of these resources are in London. However, there is no live chat.
On the side of Shopify, its customer service has an excellent reputation. As with Prestashop, you have several options to help you. A very complete blog with a multitude of tips to apply on your site. You also have access to a forum made up of more than 610,000 members who will be able to answer all your questions. It also has free webinars and tools to help you develop your business (logo creator, gift voucher template, invoice template, etc.). Finally, and this is the big difference with Prestashop, it is that Shopify has a live chat (under test), the possibility to send an email or even chat with them via Twitter. However, it does not have a telephone number.
Here we are in a new point that is probably close to your heart, the price. Does it cost more to create a site via Prestashop or via Shopify? At first glance, you tell yourself that Prestashop is open source software and therefore free, but it is not that simple. Indeed, you will have to take out your checkbook to buy hosting, a domain name and, above all, plugins that will be almost essential to your store. The plugins on Prestashop are quite expensive, sometimes more than 300 euros, but will be very useful for the development of your store. Finally, don’t forget about technical assistance. Indeed, bugs are quite common on this platform and assistance is paid (a simple intervention ticket costs 99.99 euros).
On the side of Shopify, as SaaS software, you will have to pay a monthly or annual subscription. Packages start at $ 29 per month (Basic), then another at $ 79 per month (Shopify) and finally another at $ 299 per month (Advanced Shopify). With the basic package for example, you will have 24/7 assistance, a free SSL certificate and 2% transaction fees. In the end, creating a site on Shopify often costs less than with Prestashop.
Greater financial capacity of Shopify
Again, Shopify has succeeded in outperforming Prestashop competition by becoming a real playmaker in the e-commerce site creation sector. Founded in 2006, Shopify successfully raised its first $ 7 million in 2010. The following year, 15 million were raised to hire more staff, particularly in the development of extensions for the platform. In 2013, it was no less than $ 100 million raised. There was therefore no shortage of funds for the development and improvement of the platform while still winning more market share. Today, Shopify is more than 800,000 customers worldwide, more than 4,000 employees and $ 100 billion in sales on the sites they propel. Far from the 250,000 sites powered by Prestashop.
It is true, at first glance, when you choose a platform to develop your e-commerce site, you can hesitate between Prestashop and Shopify. However, there is clearly less and less to hesitate … Indeed, Shopify has taken a step ahead which will be difficult to catch up with Prestashop. Cheaper, better customer service, less frequent technical bugs, Shopify has really taken precedence over Prestashop. And you, do you have a preference between these 2 platforms?
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