Pimcore vs. Shopify: How to decide which eCommerce platform to use

A search for a new eCommerce platform has led you to this Pimcore vs. Shopify comparison? We’ll tell you all you should know about PIM and CMS platforms, as well as about Pimcore and Shopify. 

Both Pimcore and Shopify can strongly support eCommerce businesses, but their user segments are somewhat different. While Shopify may be a popular choice for small businesses, Pimcore is an excellent choice for larger businesses with complex information structures. 

Still, there’s much more to know before you go on and make your decision. 

Let’s dive into the article and find out how Pimcore and Shopify can help your eCommerce business! 

What are Product Information Management (PIM) and Content Management System (CMS)? 

Both PIM and CMS are valuable systems designed to handle critical business data and content. And if you’re running an eCommerce company, you’ll most certainly want to get your hands on both of these systems.

Let’s do a quick overview of both PIM and CMS! 

How does a content management system (CMS) help companies? 

Almost any business, ranging from small blogs to massive enterprises, finds great use in content management systems. In essence, content management systems are designed to help you manage all your content, properly enrich it with the right data, and distribute it across communication channels of your choice. 

If you’re a non-technical user, a content management system will make handling all your content much easier for you. With a CMS, you can independently create functional pages and involve yourself in the content management process. Knowing some of the programming languages is helpful, but it’s not necessary in order to manage your content via a CMS. 

While CMS is a system designed to help you manage your content, PIM, on the other hand, is a system designed to help you manage all of your product data. 

How does a product information management (PIM) system help companies improve their business results? 

The main use of a product information management system is to provide you with high-quality product information and to help you deliver that information to your customers. 

Having a PIM system in place is one of the crucial factors in improving the customer experience and satisfaction. And if you’re managing a larger eCommerce business, accurate product information comes off as even more important. Some eCommerce platforms may have built-in product management capabilities, but when compared to a top-level PIM system, the difference is huge.

Now, how does PIM handle data? It gathers all of the data from the connected data sources (ERP, CRM, BI, ESB,...), optimizes the data, and distributes it via across any channel of your choice. Having a single location from which you can manage all your data is of great importance, especially if you’re managing huge amounts of data from multiple sources.

We’ve talked about PIM and CMS, and it’s time to transition to the main topic of this article - Pimcore vs. Shopify comparison! 

What is Pimcore? 

Pimcore is an open-source digital experience platform capable of handling almost any business need with its wide arsenal of features. It consists of 6 modules, each representing a different system, such as content management system, product information management, digital asset management, and so on.

What is Pimcore - Pimcore vs. Shopify comparison


In short, Pimcore is a one-stop solution for a majority of business needs. It’s used to manage and optimize data, execute omnichannel strategies, and fully support eCommerce businesses in terms of optimizing sales and marketing efforts. 

Additionally, Pimcore is capable of automating marketing activities, personalizing content in real-time, and creating complex workflows for all assigned employees. By using Pimcore, businesses can replace numerous systems with only a single platform.

What is Shopify? 

Shopify is one of the most popular eCommerce platforms on the market. It’s used by companies of all sizes, mostly small businesses as it offers a low-cost entry into the market. It’s a subscription-based software that allows anyone to quickly set up an online store and start selling products. 

What is Shopify - Pimcore vs. Shopify comparison

Shopify is a widespread platform intended primarily for small businesses. Its plugin marketplace offers a huge amount of plugins with many of them being completely free. Unlike WordPress and its plugin marketplace, Shopify provides its business users with a risk-free plugin marketplace.  

Unlike Pimcore, Shopify is a closed-source platform. This means that there is no option for Shopify community members to take part in the development of the platform, as it’s fully maintained and developed by a dedicated team. 

Even though it’s closed-source, merchants can rely on Shopify when dealing with all kinds of eCommerce challenges. The plugin marketplace heavily extends the reach of Shopify features, allowing for full SEO optimization, marketing automation, and content management.

But what really makes Shopify an attractive platform to start with is its ease of use. Shopify’s dashboards are visually attractive and very easy to navigate through, as their target user base is primarily non-technical. 

Now, let’s jump right into the Pimcore vs. Shopify comparison, reveal more information on both platforms, and see which one suits your needs better! 

Pimcore vs. Shopify - the comparison

Both Pimcore and Shopify can support your eCommerce efforts, but for Shopify, that’s as far as it can go without using additional plugins. Pimcore is a well-rounded platform with all the capabilities needed to replace your existing systems and connect with all data sources. On the other hand, Shopify may seem like a better alternative if you’re working with a small budget. 

Both platforms enable you to: 

  • Manage your website content
  • Optimize your content for search engines (Shopify can with plugins)
  • Translate content into numerous languages
  • Integrate 3rd party apps
  • Automate marketing activities (Shopify can with plugins)
  • Personalize content (Shopify can with plugins)
  • Prepare content for web-to-print (Shopify can with plugins)
  • Introduce new products and handle product information (Shopify handles basic information) 
  • Customize the storefront
  • Handle promotions, discounts, and shopping cart abandonment
  • Product search and filtering

Still, there are a lot of differences between Pimcore and Shopify. Even though Shopify isn’t such a comprehensive platform as Pimcore, there are some features that make Shopify shine: 

  • Extremely easy to set up and use
  • Product promotions, discounts, and cart abandonment is easily handled
  • Simple introduction of product reviews
  • Product configuration is easily introduced with a plugin
  • Payment and shipping options are easy to configure
  • Instantly optimized for mobile devices
  • High-level performance and security from the start
  • A wide range of free website templates

Alternatively, Pimcore stands as an all-in-one solution with a wide range of features for driving sales and optimizing internal processes: 

  • Product feed management for all channels
  • Marketplace integration
  • Connecting any external system to Pimcore
  • Easy data import from any data source
  • Built-in photo editor
  • Built-in SEO management dashboard
  • Elimination of data silos
  • Easy creation of product catalogs
  • Strong personalization capabilities through behavioral targeting engine
  • In-built analytics dashboards
  • A complex pricing rules engine
  • Creating and managing complex workflows
  • Endless on-site customization

What's the difference between Pimcore and Shopify?

Whatever kind of data you need to manage, maintain, enrich, or distribute - Pimcore can easily handle it. From handling critical data quality issues to personalizing content and distributing it, Pimcore offers solutions for a wide range of business problems.

Shopify, on the other hand, is much simpler. Unlike Pimcore, it lacks in the areas of data and content management. When working on complex projects, Shopify may not be your first choice due to its lack of features. 

Additionally, Shopify requires a good amount of plugins in order for you to successfully run an eCommerce business. Be it SEO, marketing automation, or content personalization - you’ll need a plugin to help you. And most of the time, the plugins will turn out to be somewhat expensive. 
Why and when should you choose Pimcore and when to choose Shopify? 

As new eCommerce trends and customer expectations advance, having a powerful eCommerce platform becomes imperative. And when choosing the next eCommerce platform for your business, you certainly need to take the complexity of your business into consideration.

So, if you’re running a smaller eCommerce business, or you’re looking to start one from scratch - Shopify may be the better choice for you than Pimcore. It’s fully optimized for eCommerce newcomers and has all the tools you need to easily start without any need for development assistance.

Shopify is easy to use and it’s user-friendly up to the point where you can easily set up an online store and start adding products in just a few hours. If you’re on a budget and you’re looking for a low-risk entry point into eCommerce, Shopify is the way to go. It’s subscription-based, meaning that for only $29 a month you can have a fully functional eCommerce website! 

Of course, there are various plugin costs to be taken into account, but when first starting out, some of the entry-level free plugins will do the job. This will enable you to create your first landing pages, blog posts, add new products, create discounts, market your website, and more - for a low price. 

Important to note is that even though Shopify isn't a CMS in its full definition, it has enough content management features to handle basic content management needs. And regarding PIM system, even though Shopify isn't a PIM or doesn't have any product information management capabilities, it's possible to integrate a PIM system with Shopify - even Pimcore's PIM system! 

On the other hand, if you’re looking for a platform that can fully optimize your results and help you take on complex projects, Pimcore is your go-to platform. With its wide range of data management and experience management features, Pimcore helps you tackle almost every business problem you may face. 

Pimcore consists of 6 different modules, including product information management, digital asset management, master data management, customer data platform, eCommerce module, and a content management system component. 

Depending on your business needs, you can use any Pimcore module you need. For example, you can use PIM and DAM modules in combination with Pimcore’s eCommerce module. Or you can use only the CMS module as a standalone. And if you’re tacking a comprehensive project, you can even go for a combination of all Pimcore modules to allow you for complete control of all data and processes. 

And even though there are multiple modules, you can control every aspect of your business from a single dashboard. Every piece of data and content is easily accessible from that single dashboard, making collaboration between numerous team members much easier. 

Pimcore vs. Shopify - the pricing comparison

Pimcore is available in two editions - paid Enterprise Edition and free Community Edition. 

The paid Enterprise Edition costs start at about €19,200 on a yearly basis. By choosing the Enterprise Edition, you’ll have access to a variety of Enterprise-only features such as product data syndication, product feed management, product and asset experience portals, and much more. 

Moreover, Pimcore’s Enterprise Edition offers you more in terms of long-term support (LTS), service level agreements (SLA), and professional services from the Pimcore team including consulting, development, and training! 

On the other hand, Pimcore’s Community Edition is completely free. There are no license fees or subscription fees, but you’ll still need a reliable development partner to help build your Pimcore solution. Even though Pimcore’s Community Edition is free, you’ll have access to a variety of features that will help you successfully manage a company of any size. You can use Pimcore’s free edition in any business environment, as well as all 6 modules. 

When compared to Pimcore, Shopify is a much cheaper eCommerce platform. Unlike Pimcore, Shopify is a subscription-based platform with affordable pricing plans. Here’s a quick overview of Shopify's pricing plans.

Shopify pricing plans - Pimcore vs. Shopify comparison

The pricing plans may seem cheap, but if you’re handling a large number of orders, you may want to consider calculating transaction fees Shopify charges on every transaction. For example, with the Basic Shopify plan activated, there is a 2% transaction fee you won’t be able to avoid. 

Also important to note, Shopify is a low-code platform, meaning that you won’t need extensive development assistance to get your eCommerce store up and running. 

All in all, Shopify comes off as a much cheaper platform than Pimcore. Shopify is mainly used by small businesses, hence the low-code approach and affordable pricing plans. The development costs of a Shopify store are significantly lower than the costs of developing a complex Pimcore solution.

Pimcore vs. Shopify - which eCommerce platform takes the win? 

After all of the similarities and differences of Pimcore and Shopify have been taken into account, it’s easy to say that Pimcore is a much more powerful platform than Shopify. It brings a large number of features to the table and it’s easy to connect it with any external system. 

Pimcore’s variety of features and benefits easily takes the lead in front of Shopify. With Shopify being categorized as an eCommerce platform, Pimcore is more than that, featuring an eCommerce platform as only one of its 6 modules.

If you’re planning a complex project, or you need a strong platform to help you manage all your data and processes, Pimcore is your go-to platform. 

But if you’re planning on opening a smaller eCommerce store, or you’re looking for a cheaper alternative to various eCommerce platforms for your small business - Shopify may be a better choice for you than Pimcore.

And finally, if you’re looking for a reliable development partner to help you design and build your eCommerce solution, reach out to us! We’d love to hear about your ideas and talk more about how we can help you reach your goals!

Pimcore vs. Competitors

You'd like to know how Pimcore compares to the rest of its competitors? 

Here are a few comparisons you may find useful:

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