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Guide | August 05, 2021

BigCommerce vs Magento Guide to Picking the Right eCommerce Platform

Choosing the right eCommerce platform has never been easy for any store owners, especially for those who are newbies in online business. Unlike plugins or extensions, the platform is something you can’t switch because it costs you a lot of money, time, and effort to migrate your whole business to another platform. Thus, business owners mustn't bet their business on some new-rising technology trends or make decisions based on what their competitors are doing. In fact, they need to do research and consult eCommerce experts to make sure their decision benefits them in the long run.

In terms of eCommerce platforms, some of the big players who always rank in the top positions are WooCommerce, Shopify, Magento, and BigCommerce. Today in this article, we will give you insights into the 2 most popular eCommerce platforms: BigCommerce vs Magento.

BigCommerce vs Magento

According to Builtwith statistics, among the world’s top 1 Million eCommerce sites, Magento accounts for 7% of live websites while that figure for BigCommerce is 3%. 

ecommerce usage

Magento accounts for 7% of live websites while that figure for BigCommerce is 3%

After Magento was bought by Adobe Inc., an American multinational computer software company, many changes have been made. In June 2020, Magento sunsetted Magento 1 Community and Enterprise, thus discontinuing all product updates, security patches and support. Those 115,000 sites affected by this decision had two options: to migrate into Magento 2 or to go for an alternative platform, such as BigCommerce. 

Magento 2 Overview 

If it only accounts for 7% of the top popular websites - How popular exactly is Magento? According to Magento - now Adobe Commerce, as of June 2021, there are more than 250,000 active eCommerce sites powered by Magento, which accounts for around 12% of all online stores. If we count the number of websites used to run on this platform, the number is much bigger (over 756,000). This popularity is also helped by a large number of over 150,000 trained Magento developers worldwide, creating a robust resource of well-tested and trusted extensions that add a wide range of functions to online stores.

Today, you might have surfed a website using Magento without knowing because many world-class companies like Coca-Cola, Ford, Range Rover, etc. are using it for its robust features, great scalability, and huge support. 

See more: 5 Key Considerations to Choose a Magento Partner

BigCommerce Overview

While Magento is a PaaS (Platform-as-a-service), BigCommerce is a SaaS (Software-as-a-Service). Even though BigCommerce only has around 51,383 live sites using its technology - much smaller in comparison to the number of Magento users, this platform is among the greatest leaders in SaaS ecommerce solutions.

saas

BigCommerce is among the greatest leaders in SaaS ecommerce solutions

Founded in 2009, BigCommerce helps users leverage all technological advantages with cloud-based websites, product management, omnichannel and B2B functionality. As an end-to-end solution, BigCommerce accepts payments, integrates with popular apps and coordinates shipping and fulfillment. SaaS platforms like BigCommerce host content on behalf of eCommerce businesses. They also usually take less time to develop, customize and deploy and easily integrate with external ERP or CRM systems.

If you are intending to move to Magento from BigCommerce or vice versa, SmartOSC offers a great migration service that helps you transfer your data from the current eCommerce platform to a new one accurately, painlessly with utmost security.

See our Magento or BigCommerce capability for more information

BigCommerce and Magento Comparison 

 Magento vs BigCommerce comparison

BigCommerce and Magento Brief Comparison 

BigCommerce SaaS platform vs Magento Open Source

Magento is an open-source platform, meaning everyone on your team can be granted access to modify the website's code. You can modify your store on your own, or rely on third-party developers for enhancements and plug-in support. Magento developers have the freedom to create unique designs and configure a website upon their preferences. Open source platforms attract sellers who have qualified developers in-house or trusted eCommerce solution vendors to execute their ambition

BigCommerce, on the other hand, is an out-of-the-box solution. While you can have the freedom of choosing pre-built and customizable themes without the help of an in-house IT team, they take care of setting up and hosting your webstore. You can choose to build or maintain your website. Features like product reviews, digital marketing, and loyalty programs are part of the core product. Business owners don’t have to rely heavily on apps or extensions, which can add extra costs to the final expense.

These core differences also affect many other features and functions of each platform.

Maintenance

With more freedom to design, control and customize your eCommerce platform comes more responsibility. For example, if your site goes down, you or your trusted Magento service providers must fix the problem yourself since you manage the hosting. Magento sellers are only in charge of infrastructure and administration-related issues.  

For some merchants wanting complete ownership of their infrastructure’s capabilities, this is acceptable and well-expected. But without adequate IT personnel or an external support team, many others aren’t happy with this type of responsibility. This is where BigCommerce comes to the rescue. 

BigCommerce takes care of hosting and software updates right after new releases. BigCommerce also advertises 99.99% server uptime. If there are any problems, their team fixes the issue.

Functionality

Both Magento and BigCommerce will meet more than your basic eCommerce functionality needs. Business owners will be able to pick and choose their web store theme, checkout pages, manage products, perform email marketing, and much more. Additionally, on BigCommerce, developers can also test the website before publishing. This is a key benefit missing from platforms like Magento.

However, depending on your business model, you need to have the right mindset of what fits you most, not what’s the most trending. For example, a B2B merchant would make sure that their website gave the pricing by customer segments or certain gift card requirements integrated, not some trending live stream features and so on.

In this field, open-source platforms have more of the upper hand as they have a wide range of  plugins and features to serve your unique or even complex requirements. You can even build one yourself if Magento doesn’t have it available. BigCommerce, on the other hand, keep you stuck with out-of-the-box functionality availability. Many merchants have ended up on a waitlist for BigCommerce to release new functionality - if they decide to build it.

Go-to-market time

One of the biggest advantages of a hosted, cloud-based platform like BigCommerce is faster launch time. Utilizing pre-built themes along with out-of-the-box functionality, merchants can be up and running on BigCommerce faster than Magento.

While with Magento, all issues including hosting, security, website design, and any additional functionality must be checked by your IT team or agency partner first before going live. This is why Magento projects usually take more time and patience.

So for those having a firm deadline to get your site live, BigCommerce might be the best route.

Support 

Good support can lift a hefty amount of tasks up your shoulder and determine whether your online store is successful or not.

BigCommerce University is available for users looking to learn how to increase sales with the platform.

With a large number of developers and merchants using its technology, Magento comes with a robust community. This technology owns several forums full of developers who are able to answer questions and are striving to make Magento a better platform. In addition, users can find support from the extension developers they purchase from.

Ease of use

For beginners who just set their foot onto the online landscape, one of the most important factors when deciding on a platform is how easy it is to use. In this aspect, BigCommerce is more beginner-friendly than Magento as Magento is well-suited for developers.

While beginners might find it challenging to navigate in Magento, BigCommerce has a clear, clean dashboard that makes it easy for users to get their site up and running in no time. When opening up the dashboard, they will be greeted by step-by-step instructions, allowing them to create and manage the store without web coding knowledge.

Payment method

While both Magento and BigCommerce support a diversity of payment gateways, Bigcommerce wins in terms of quantity. This platform supports more than 40 options, including PayPal, Stripe, Amazon Pay, Authorize.net, etc. However, the fact that Magento offers fewer payment gateways is not a big drawback because it still integrates the most commonly used payment methods like Paypal, Braintree, or Authorize.Net. For wider needs, businesses can integrate more payment methods in several ways.

Cost

Both Magento and BigCommerce are providing different pricing options to match customer’s demands.

 

bigcommerce pricing

BigCommerce Pricing

Currently, BigCommerce is offering merchants 4 pricing plans, starting from $29.95 to custom cost for the enterprise plan. With the middle Plus and Pro plans, merchants can save up to 10% when paying annually. The two first plans of Standard and Plus are suitable for new and emerging businesses, while the other two are more suitable for fast-growing and well-established brands. The processing fee for debit/credit cards starts from 2.9% + $0.30 per transaction, applied to all BigCommerce plans. 

Pricing is one of the drawbacks for BigCommerce as its pricing structure focuses on annual online sales. This means BigCommerce will automatically increase subscription plans when your business expands to a designated annual sales threshold. On the bright side, the upgraded plans help businesses leverage premium features such as abandoned carts and stored credit cards. And of course, upgraded subscription plans would mean additional costs. 

Currently, Magento is providing 3 plans including the free version named Adobe Open Source (previously known as Magento Community/ Magento Open Source), and two other paid versions called Adobe Commerce (previously known as Magento Enterprise/ Magento Commerce), and Adobe Commerce Cloud (previously known as Magento Enterprise Cloud Edition). 

While Adobe Open Source is open-source software available to anyone with an interest in opening an online store, Adobe Commerce is the expensive, hosted version, costing over $10,000 per year. 

For Magento Pricing, check out this site

SEO

Today SEO is more important than ever. It is the source of trust for customers and the first touchpoint of many prospecting with already existing demands in mind. The more open your first marketing funnel is, the easier for other lower funnels to expand. According to a ranking of the best eCommerce platforms, Magento 2 is now ranked in the highest position in terms of SEO ranking. This can be attributed to their great solutions and tools to support traffic drivers and visibility. For more advanced functionality, merchants have many choices of third-party modules to integrate into their stores. 

Default SEO settings in Magento 2 include: 

  • Metadata
  • Personalized URL 
  • 301 Redirects 
  • Sitemap 
  • Canonical tag 
  • Google tool 

Regarding SEO, BigCommerce stands quite small in comparison to Magento. Even though BigCommerce comes with basic SEO settings and some advanced features like Microdata (Rich Snippets) to improve the website appearance on search engines robots.txt and Google sitemap, the platform still falls short. However, BigCommerce is totally beaten by Magento with its huge set of marketing tools. 

Scalability

The scalability is the reason why ASUS Singapore chose Magento to be the platform for their new website in 2019. Magento is the most scalable platform, making it one of the ideal solutions for large-scale online stores. It allows smooth scale-up of catalogs and products in stores with a great inventory management system. 

See how ASUS Singapore conquered the market in a digital-first world: HERE

Unlike BigCommerce, Magento gives users the freedom to easily process more orders per hour on the same hardware as well as deal with order volume strikes. What about BigCommerce? If you decide to scale up with BigCommerce, you will need to move to higher plans. 

Conclusion

After pages and pages of text, what do we have finally? What is better, BigCommerce or Magento? The answer is they are both suitable for all types of business, from small to large scale. Your choice must not be decided upon a guide, but upon your understanding of the project and business goals as well as company resources.

For example, if you only have little technical knowledge and a tight budget, going with BigCommerce will be a better choice as it has all the essential features and decent support to help merchants quickly kick off an online business. But, if you are more of a merchant with a decent budget and long-term vision, taking advantage of Magento and its limitless customizability will give you full control to optimize and scale your stores in any market as you wish.

Whether you are considering a new online store, changes for the outdated legacy website of the enterprise, or want to migrate your Magento/ BigCommerce store, the SmartOSC team is happy to help.

Contact us or read more to see how SmartOSC helps customers make their ambition come to life.

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