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The Ultimate Comparison between BigCommerce and Magento

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BigCommerce vs Magento

We’ve all heard of Magento and BigCommerce. But how do you decide which one is right for you? What are the key differences between them that one should look out for?In this blog, we’ll answer that very question. Read on to find out.

They most fundamental difference between both platforms is that BigCommerce is a SaaS, cloud-based solution, whereas Magento is an open source ecommerce platform that has to be installed on-premise.

With BigCommerce, merchants don’t have to worry about hosting their web store(s) since BigCommerce takes care of the hosting requirements. Magento on the other hand, is installed on the merchant’s own servers. This basic difference affects many other attributes of the two platforms.

Here are some of the key factors that merchants need to take into account while choosing between Magento and BigCommerce.

Customization & Technical Expertise

Magento, being an open-source platform allows for modifications to be made to the website’s code. For plug-ins and enhancements, it relies on third-party developers, who enjoy endless creative freedom. Merchants opting for Magento, should ideally have an in-house development team or a partnership with an agency to make necessary adjustments to their web store(s).

BigCommerce on the other hand takes care of the entire setup process and hosting services for your store. Most of BigCommerce’s key features are part of the core product and it also offers pre-built, customizable design themes that you can configure on your own, without needing an in-house IT team.

Maintenance

With Magento, merchants are responsible for all the setup and administration activities of their web store, from choosing a hosting provider to platform updates and bug fixes. To manage and maintain a Magento based web store you’ll need to have either Magento certified developers in-house, or partner with a third party Magento certified development agency.

SaaS based Magento competitors like BigCommerce take care of all hosting, platform updates and bug fixing related requirements. That’s why BigCommerce boasts a 99.99 per cent server up-time and even offers SLAs to merchants.

Security

Security is one area in ecommerce that should not be ignored. Whereas BigCommerce takes care of all PCI compliance requirements for merchants (in order to safeguard customers’ payment information); Magento requires merchants to meet PCI data security standards themselves, so you need to update your storefront with patches and updates yourself, in case of any reported issues or updated security requirements.

Functionality & Extensions

When it comes to basic ecommerce functionality needs, both these platforms are on par. Both allow you to customize your store, create pages, manage products and all that. Both platforms have lots of plug-ins that further enhance their standard functionality. However, BigCommerce’s app store is smaller as compared to Magento’s marketplace. But since most of the key functionality is already built into the core BigCommerce product, the smaller plug-in/extension marketplace really doesn’t matter, as it does not have a negative impact on BigCommerce’s offering.

What is more important though, is the difference between the app installation process. Magento allows extensions to be traditionally installed, and the merchant is responsible for the extension’s maintenance and upgrades. With BigCommerce though, the extension/app is downloaded and installed directly to the store and since the platform is cloud-based, that app developer is responsible for the app/extension’s maintenance and updates.

Enterprise

Both platforms offer Enterprise plans catering to businesses with high-volume of orders, complex processes, large product catalogs and integrations with back end systems. Magento offers better support options though and additional functionality to Enterprise customers. BigCommerce too offers additional features in its Enterprise version, along with advanced development tools for easier coding.

Both these ecommerce platforms have traditionally been geared toward B2C sellers and have limited B2B functionalities. However, over the past few years, both  Magento and BigCommerce have made efforts to incorporate more B2B modules and functionality into their offferings.

Integration

Both Magento and BigCommerce integrate well with other systems: their APIs can be used to manage data between systems. However, Magento integration is a bit complex since it allows customization to a greater degree. This opens up many possibilities, which ultimately require more complex communication with the IT team or the development partner involved.

With a more limited customization capabitilies, BigCommerce projects are more predictable and BigCommerce’s powerful API integrates well with other systems, allowing for real-time data processing. When it comes to future scalability, the ease of integration with other systems that BigCommerce offers vs Magento, should be considered.

Scalability

With Magento you can easily scale up to meet your changing business needs. It serves as the best choice for small to medium sized businesses where scalability is concerned. Whereas BigCommerce, is for a good choice for small businesses and startups. With a sales threshold attached to the plans BigCommerce offers, an upgrade is required for businesses who outgrow their plan’s annual sales cap.
Go-to-Market Time

With a hosted, cloud-based platform, the launch time for BigCommerce is much faster. By utilizing pre-built store themes and out-of-the-box functionality, merchants can launch and start running their BigCommerce stores must faster. By comparison, Magento merchants have to do a lot more in terms of setting up, hosting, designing and taking care of additional functionality on their web stores, therefor the go-to-market time for starting a Magento store, is longer.

Pricing Structures

Since BigCommerce is an out-of-the-box solution, merchants have to pay a lot less than with other ecommerce platforms. However, keep in mind that BigCommerce requires you to pay recurring monthly costs which may include charges for additional services which you do not necessarily need. With Magento, merchants only have to worry about the initial spend on setting up their web store. So if pricing is a concern, be sure to keep these points in mind when making your decision between BigCommerce and Magento.

BigCommerce vs Magento in a Nutshell

BigCommerce is ideal for businesses that:

  • Are fast growing
  • Need a scalable and flexible solution
  • Have smaller budgets
  • Are looking for an out-of-the-box solution
  • Have shorter time frames to go live
  • Do not have an IT team

Magento is ideal for businesses that:

  • Are more established
  • Want extreme control over design and functionality
  • Have IT teams that can setup and administer the software
  • Are willing to work with an agency that can maintain the store for them
  • Want to be creative and take their time to go-live

As an eCommerce design & development agency, we specialize in both Magento and BigCommerce. So if you need any help with custom Magento development, Magento 2 upgrade, Magento extensions development, Magento support, migration to Magento or BigCommerce design & development, Bigcommerce support or Bigcommerce integration, please feel free to get in touch with us.

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