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Magento vs Shopify vs BigCommerce: Which Platform is Right ?

Whether your business is small and looking to grow rapidly or a huge enterprise exploring new opportunities, choosing the right e-commerce platform for your e-commerce store is not an easy decision. As you research the options, no doubt some big names emerge, notably Magento, Shopify, and BigCommerce.

To help you make this important decision, we’ve made a side-by-side comparison of these three major players in the game. Not only do they control a significant share of the market, but they are also showing some interesting innovations as they adapt to the changing e-commerce environment.

Keep reading to find out what sets these ecommerce giants apart and which e-commerce platform is best for you.

Magento vs. Shopify vs. BigCommerce

Magento started out as open source software and has generally been used by large enterprises as it takes a lot of development effort to use its actual functionality and that requires a lot of budget.

Magento offers on-premises and cloud options, but what about SaaS (software as a service)? Many companies are interested in SaaS e-commerce solutions because they provide constant updates, including security fixes.

Shopify and BigCommerce are leaders in SaaS ecommerce. Both options are easy to use, include many features, and can help your business get started quickly.

Companies that are completely new to e-commerce can start with Shopify stores, but more established businesses and companies looking to grow often choose BigCommerce because of its extensibility and flexibility.

Magento vs Shopify vs BigCommerce: Which Ecommerce Platform is Right for You?
BigCommerce Shopify Magento
Pricing Accessible Accessible Expensive
Ease of use Easily Easily Complicated
Choosing a template Hundreds Hundreds Not here
Hosting Cloudy Cloudy Local, third party, cloud
Security High security Safe Depends on your standards
Functions Multifunctional Some built-in functions, third-party applications Multifunctional
Suitable for: Small and large stores looking for an optimized e-commerce experience Small shops looking to go online Huge teams with lots of resources

Breakdown: Magento vs. Shopify vs. BigCommerce

We’ve provided a quick rundown of each ecommerce platform above, but now it’s time to get down to the smallest details so you have the information you need to make the right decision.

Pricing

Your budget for an e-commerce platform can help narrow down your options, as some platforms are much more expensive than others. When deciding, be sure to consider all costs, not just the initial setup costs. Ongoing costs include things like maintenance, security and hosting.

1. Magento: expensive

Magento software licensing costs depend on which product you are using. Its Open Source (formerly Community Edition) is technically free to download from the Magento  website; however, you will have to pay all hosting, security, development and design costs. Also, this option is not supported.

Magento Enterprise Edition has a support package, but it is significantly more expensive. Your quote will depend on the size and complexity of your business, with an annual price ranging from $ 22,000 to $ 125,000.

Magento also offers Magento Cloud Edition. It has a Platform as a Service (PaaS) model that has some, but not all of the benefits of a SaaS (software as a service) platform. To learn more about the difference between PaaS and SaaS, check out this platform comparison. The cloud-based version is more expensive, costing between $40,000 and $125,000 per year, according to the source.

2. Shopify: affordable

Shopify also has a range of pricing models based on the complexity of the business, but the basic Shopify plan starts at $ 29 and has the fewest features. More advanced plans range from $ 79 to $ 299 per month. Shopify Plus, designed for large businesses, starts at around $ 2,000 per month.

Shopify’s lack of some basic built-in features can increase your total cost of ownership, so be sure to think about the additional features you’ll need and include them in your total cost.

3. BigCommerce: Affordable

BigCommerce is another affordable ecommerce solution worth considering, and it has several options for different price points. The simplest plan, BigCommerce Essentials, starts at $ 29 per month, with more advanced plans starting at $ 79 and $ 249. Enterprise plans with extensive built-in features are available at competitive prices depending on the size and complexity of the business.

Ease of use

Another important factor is how simple the platform is for your teams. You and your team need to be able to grow quickly, understand how to use the platform’s features, and make full use of them. Depending on the size and structure of your business, you will likely need an ecommerce platform that is easy to use in the backend and easy for marketing teams to make changes in the frontend.

1. Magento: very complex

There are no learning wheels in Magento. They do not provide developers to help you build your site. You will need either a developer or a group of developers to build your site, find a hosting partner who can host your site, AND find someone to integrate your tech stack.

Even after setting up, Magento requires a lot of training. Its flexibility can also be a problem for new users who cannot navigate its complexity without significant difficulty.

2. Shopify: intuitive

Shopify was created to cater to the needs of business owners looking to build an online store without any development experience. It has drag and drop tools making it easy to create a site. Shopify Development Company in Lahore works well for businesses that are new to building websites. You can get your website up and running quickly in a few simple steps. For more advanced features, you need to add additional apps or use custom coding.

3. BigCommerce: intuitive

BigCommerce makes it easy to create beautiful websites, even if you’ve never done it before. Once you’ve got everything set up, BigCommerce is also easy to launch via a simple store page for adding products and managing orders.

Another potential advantage of BigCommerce from an internal user perspective is headless suggestions. BigCommerce has several built-in plugins for interacting with CMS and DXP systems such as WordPress, Bloomreach, Drupal and others. This means that if you are already using one of these options to launch your website, you can plug in BigCommerce in the backend and continue using the system you are already familiar with in the frontend.

Choosing a theme

magento vs shopify vs bigcommerce: who wins when choosing a theme?

After budget and ease-of-use issues, many companies are primarily concerned with how their website will look. The first impression many shoppers have of your online store are visuals, and to compete for their attention, you’ll want your store to be a clean, functional and memorable extension of your brand. Therefore, choosing the right template or theme for your website is vital to create the desired look and feel.

1. Magento: not on site

Magento does not include themes as part of its own software. They also don’t offer customers a choice of themes. Instead, companies must find and buy their own on third-party sites like Themify, or pay a developer to build one.

2. Shopify: сотни

Shopify offers themes that are either free or available for purchase. These themes are optimized for mobile devices and integrate seamlessly into your store no matter which one you choose.

3. BigCommerce: hundreds.

BigCommerce also offers hundreds of fully customizable templates, both free and paid. With the help of the developers, you can customize every part of your sites, right down to the shopping cart.

Hosting

One of the main differences that can separate these platforms from each other is the way they are placed. Will you host the software locally or in the cloud?

1. Magento: local, third party or cloud

As we mentioned in the pricing section above, there are various Magento products available, so Magento can be hosted locally, through a third party, or in the cloud. Magento hosting capabilities depend on how you use the platform and because of this, you may be solely responsible for finding a hosting service to use. Magento is PaaS, not SaaS, so they won’t handle that much on your behalf.

2. Shopify: cloud-based

Hosting is included in your Shopify package. This means that you don’t have to find third-party hosting and solve startup problems.

3. BigCommerce: cloud-based

BigCommerce also runs in the cloud, with premium hosting and performance included with your BigCommerce account. You don’t have to worry about finding the right hosting or downtime, because BigCommerce has an industry-leading uptime of 99.9%..

Security

magento vs shopify vs bigcommerce: which security features are the best?

E-commerce sites cannot afford to be vulnerable to attacks that could compromise customer data and destroy faith in their brand, but e-commerce platforms vary in the degree of protection you take on. Based on the size of your team and your own familiarity with security best practices, you can decide how much of the burden you are willing to bear.

1. Magento: depends on your standards

Magento is as secure as a developer could wish for: even something as simple as SSL means you have to worry about authentication and maintenance, and Magento isn’t immune to known security threats (like the SQL injection that compromised 300,000 Magento stores in 2019 vulnerabilities), but your team needs to keep your site up to date.

2. Shopify: secure

One of the benefits of a SaaS solution is security. Shopify complies with all 6 categories of PCI standards and includes SSL security on their hosted sites.

3. BigCommerce: high level of security.

As a SaaS offering, BigCommerce also provides multiple layers of robust security for all sites they host. BigCommerce has site-wide SSL security, DDOS protection, 99.9% uptime, lightning fast speed, and is PCI-1 compliant. This allows business owners to focus on innovation and growing their business, rather than safety and productivity.

Functions

All businesses have different needs and priorities when it comes to the features you are looking for in an ecommerce platform. If you are a B2B seller, you may want options for different customer groups or, depending on your industry, you may need to offer multiple payment gateways and shipping options to keep up with the competition. We cannot provide a complete list of all the available features for these platforms here, but here’s a quick rundown.

1. Magento: multifunctional

Magento has a wide range of feature listing support for large product catalogs with many options, native packages and product groups, and cross-selling and upselling features. Users also have access to extensions and add-ons. Considering Magento, you can customize your e-commerce website with just about anything you need, but you will probably need to find developers who can do this and then maintain it.

2. Shopify: some built-in features

Shopify also has some built-in features, and other features can be achieved using third-party Shopify apps. Think about the features you need and add up the costs of the apps you need to do what you want . This can have a big impact on the overall cost of the platform. Additionally, Shopify Development Company in Lahore charges a transaction fee for not using their payment gateway (Shopify Payments), so take that into account.

3. BigCommerce: feature rich

BigCommerce offers a wide range of built-in features that can ultimately lead to cost savings since you won’t rely on so many third-party apps. Helpful BigCommerce Development Company in Lahore features include a channel manager to simplify omnichannel sales, an abandoned cart saver, and a wide selection of payment gateways.

Magento vs Shopify vs BigCommerce: Which is the Best Ecommerce Platform?

There is no one-size-fits-all ecommerce platform, although some are suitable for more use cases than others. The main thing is to find a platform that not only suits you now, but also allows your business to grow. You don’t want to tie your brand’s generalist to a platform that ultimately limits your growth; you need one that will grow with you as you grow.

1. Magento: best suited for large teams with a lot of resources.

If you have an established business with a large ecommerce budget and plenty of development resources to build and maintain your site, then Magento might be the right choice for you. With a team of developers working on the project, you can build your ecommerce site with Magento exactly how you want it to be. Remember that the number of qualified Magento developers is limited, so make sure you have a developer with enough bandwidth to complete your project.

You may also be interested in reading this post about Magento extensions that increase conversions and sales.

2. Shopify: Best for small stores looking to go online.

New to e-commerce? Shopify offers great features for those who don’t have a lot of experience building online stores. This works well for businesses that just want to get their small business online and get it up and running.

3. BigCommerce: Best suited for both small and large stores.

BigCommerce is ideal for businesses of all sizes and especially those looking to grow. It offers impressive e-commerce features, top-notch uptime, and reliable security. BigCommerce can handle not only small stores, but also large stores with many SKUs, so it can grow with your business. And with BigCommerce’s platform integrations, flexible APIs, and webhooks, you can offer endless customization options by leveraging your existing technology.

There’s no shortage of eCommerce platforms to choose from, but it’s no secret that Magento, Shopify and BigCommerce are some of the biggest names in the industry. We hope this guide will help you understand some of the key differences and decide which system is best for your business.

If you choose BigCommerce, we have a great list of BigCommerce apps to help you increase your sales.

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