When it comes to setting up an online store, choosing the right ecommerce platform is crucial for the success of your business. Shopify, Magento, and BigCommerce are three major players in the ecommerce industry, each offering unique features and capabilities. Explore an in-depth comparison of Magento vs. Shopify vs. BigCommerce to help you make an informed choice for your ecommerce platform.
In this blog post, we will compare Shopify, Magento, and BigCommerce to help you make an informed decision about which platform is the best fit for your online store.
- Shopify currently runs over 500,000 online stores worldwide, offering diverse businesses.
- Shopify possesses a robust ecommerce ecosystem with a selection of over 1,400 apps available in their App Store.
- Their support team is available 24/7 through phone support, online live chat, and email.
- Shopify offers more than 100 professional themes, which are also compatible with other popular platforms.
- The platform ensures that your online store is mobile-friendly.
- You can directly edit HTML and CSS to customize your store.
- Shopify allows you to create your domain name for branding purposes.
- The user-friendly ecommerce website builder simplifies the process of creating your online store.
- It includes a full blogging platform, enhancing content marketing capabilities.
- Shopify prioritizes marketing and SEO optimization to help your store succeed.
- Their plans offer unlimited bandwidth and online storage.
- You gain access to site analytics to track your store’s performance.
- Shopify supports inventory management to help you keep track of your products.
- You can accept payments from 70 different payment processors, accommodating various currencies.
- It includes a free and built-in mobile ecommerce shopping cart feature.
Shopify offers several pricing plans, including:
- Shopify Basic: $24.02 per month (with discounts for annual subscriptions).
- Shopify: $90.12 per month (for small businesses).
- Advanced Shopify: $363.18 per month (for medium to large businesses).
There are also two additional plans: Shopify Lite ($9 per month) and Shopify Gold for fast-growing brands seeking enterprise-level features at reduced costs.
Shopify excels in the following areas:
- Ease of setup, making it accessible for ecommerce beginners.
- High-speed and secure handling of sensitive data and payments.
- A wide range of add-ons to expand functionality.
- Seamless integration with other platforms and tools, such as Shopify to Google Sheets.
- Free hosting for your store.
- Abundant SEO options and social links for effective promotion.
- A modern and user-friendly admin area interface.
However, there are some drawbacks to consider:
- Costs, including monthly fees and transaction processing fees if not using Shopify Payments, can accumulate, especially for high-volume sellers.
- Limited default product attributes (size, color, material) with no option to create new ones.
- Monthly expenses can increase when integrating multiple paid apps from the extensive App Store selection.
Best Suited For
- Shopify is good for both beginners and professionals.
- Beginners benefit from its user-friendly design, while professionals can leverage its extensive customization options.
Ease of Use
Shopify provides advanced development tools while keeping the process accessible:
- Apps from the App Store are quick to download and integrate.
- A pre-launch testing phase ensures your store is ready before going live.
- Live editing allows immediate visualization of changes.
- Users can follow simple dashboard steps or expand functionality with apps and custom coding.
Read More: Shopify Store Development
- BigCommerce, launched in 2009, currently hosts over 55,000 online stores and ranks among the top ecommerce platforms.
- BigCommerce is often considered the best choice for those with limited technical skills or coding knowledge, thanks to its extensive list of built-in features.
- It offers additional ecommerce features like gift cards, reviews & ratings, and basic marketing tools to give your store a unique identity.
BigCommerce provides various built-in features.
- It does not charge any transaction fees.
- The platform offers responsive and mobile-friendly themes, both free and paid.
- You have full control over inventory without needing third-party software.
- BigCommerce provides good customer support.
- Design options include themes, point-and-click tools, and customizable CSS/HTML.
- Reports and payment gateways are integrated into the platform.
- It offers over 100 free templates.
- You can accept payments from over 60 different payment processors in various currencies.
BigCommerce is a feature-packed online store builder with various benefits:
- Unlimited products and storage.
- No transaction fees.
- Unlimited bandwidth on the standard $29.00/month plan.
- Accepts credit cards and PayPal.
- A 5% transaction fee is applicable for the $29.95/month plan; to avoid transaction fees, you can upgrade to the $79.95/month plan.
- Standard: $29.00/month (Up to $50,000 in sales)
- Plus: $79.00/month (Up to $150,000 in sales)
- Pro: $299.00/month (Up to $1,000,000 in sales)
- Enterprise: Custom pricing (Unlimited sales)
- BigCommerce offers practical and comprehensive tools included in their monthly package.
- It can boost your sales across different social channels with minimal effort.
- BigCommerce provides free hosting and offers various themes, both free and paid. You can even code your theme using a special HTML/CSS editor on the site.
- Their 24/7 support assists with complex issues and helps with SEO and other aspects of your online store.
- BigCommerce includes a robust marketing module with AdWords integration, coupons, and more, allowing you to manage your store’s marketing partially on autopilot.
- BigCommerce supports multiple currencies simultaneously.
- Premium themes can be costly, with some priced as high as $250 each.
- BigCommerce offers only 7 free templates, which is limited compared to competitors like Shopify, which has 24 free templates.
- There are no mobile apps available for managing your store on BigCommerce.
Best Suited For
- BigCommerce is best suited for those experiencing rapid growth and operating on a large scale.
- For those just starting and selling 1-10 products, there are better alternatives available.
Ease of Use
- BigCommerce efficiently manages your store, handles orders, adds products, and provides analytics. It simplifies task execution and is user-friendly.
- BigCommerce makes it easy to create discounts and coupon codes, allowing you to apply them to entire orders or specific categories, though not to individual products.
- With its modern design and user-friendly admin page, BigCommerce offers a straightforward approach to creating an online shop, making it a strong alternative to Shopify and other platforms on the list.
Read More: BigCommerce Store Development
Adobe Commerce (Magento)
- Adobe Commerce (Magento), with over 250,000 registered merchants, is a leading self-hosted platform in the ecommerce industry.
- It’s known for its rich feature set and high customizability, making it ideal for businesses with the resources to implement advanced technology.
- However, Magento is not recommended for beginners or small ecommerce businesses.
- Multiple payment gateway options.
- Inventory management capabilities.
- Over 700 responsive themes.
- Shipping charge management.
- Coupon management system.
- Fully customizable design using templates.
- Web services API.
- Over 5,000 available extensions.
- Built-in multilingual support.
- Optimized for mobile and tablet devices.
- Built-in SEO features.
- Support for unlimited product attributes.
- Integrated content management system.
- Private sales feature.
- Newsletter management.
- Marketing tools.
- Site management features.
- Order processing.
- Customer service tools.
Magento offers two editions: Magento Open Source (formerly Community Edition) for free, and Magento Commerce (also known as Enterprise) with two pricing plans:
- Magento Commerce Starter: $1,999 per month.
- Magento Commerce Pro: $3,399 per month.
- Some reports suggest that Magento 2 Enterprise Edition pricing starts at $22,000 to $32,000 per year, which is a substantial investment, making it less accessible for small businesses and beginners.
- Magento is user-friendly for those without coding expertise, allowing them to build a unique solution.
- The admin area is designed to be accessible to users without extensive technical knowledge.
- Magento is highly scalable, accommodating businesses with a few products or thousands.
- Data migration from Magento to Shopify is straightforward.
- It offers an extensive feature set and a marketplace for additional functionalities.
- Magento is highly customizable, allowing businesses to tailor the admin and storefront to their specific needs.
- Magento can be slow, which can affect effective admin management and search engine rankings.
- Its premium plan is expensive.
- Compared to other ecommerce platforms, Magento is less user-friendly, requiring more steps for customization.
- Hosting must be robust due to Magento’s resource-intensive nature.
Best Suited For
- Smaller businesses entering ecommerce may find lighter solutions more suitable.
- Established businesses with funding and time to customize Magento can benefit from its flexibility.
- Magento is optimized for larger enterprises with extensive product catalogs, high traffic, and significant sales.
Ease of Use
- Magento can be challenging for beginners without prior experience in business development.
- It’s more suitable for businesses with sufficient budgets.
- Once set up, Magento is reasonably easy to operate, with a clean and intuitive dashboard.
- Adding products and configuring settings is straightforward, with options for tax, shipping, and SEO optimization available.
Also Read: Magento Website Development
Who Can Use Which Ecommerce Platform?
There is no one-size-fits-all ecommerce platform, though some are better suited to a wider range of use cases than others. The key is to find a platform that is a good fit for you right now and in the future. You don’t want to tie your brand’s wagon to a platform that will limit its growth — you want one that will evolve with you as it grows.
Adobe Commerce (Magento)
- Magento might be the best option for you if you are a well-established company with a sizable ecommerce budget and plenty of developer resources available for site setup and maintenance.
- If you have a group of developers working on the project, Magento can offer opportunities to tailor your ecommerce website to your precise requirements.
- There are only a limited number of qualified Magento developers available, so make sure you have enough of them to complete your project.
- Are you new to ecommerce? Shopify has excellent features for those who are new to creating online storefronts.
- It’s a good fit for companies that just want to get their small business online and running.
- BigCommerce is an excellent choice for businesses of all sizes, particularly those seeking to expand.
- BigCommerce provides impressive ecommerce features, best-in-class uptime, unrivaled customer service, and strong security.
- It is capable of handling not only small stores but also large stores with many SKUs, allowing it to scale with your company.
- Furthermore, the BigCommerce platform’s integrations and flexible APIs and webhooks allow for limitless customization while using your existing tech stack.
Magento vs. Shopify vs. BigCommerce – How They Differ
The BuiltWith platform’s database is regularly updated to show the number of ecommerce websites built on the majority of popular ecommerce platforms.
Here are some of the recent findings in the Magento vs. Shopify vs. BigCommerce comparison:
- Magento has an ecommerce market share of 185,679 ecommerce websites. The majority of them are in the United States.
- After being purchased by Adobe, the platform has been constantly evolving, adding new functionality and advanced features.
- Gartner, the world’s leading research and advisory firm, has repeatedly named Magento the best ecommerce platform.
- Shopify has a market share of 3,856,909 ecommerce websites. Although the majority of this platform’s users are based in the United States, European ecommerce companies outnumber Magento.
- In comparison to previous ecommerce platforms, BigCommerce has a relatively small customer base. According to BuiltWith, BigCommerce has 52,198 customer businesses. US websites, like its competitors, account for a sizable portion.
- You’ll be able to modify everything a lot more with open-source ecommerce solutions like Magento, increasing the possibility that something will break in the process.
- Shopify, on the other hand, won’t let you change much of the essential ecommerce stuff (like the checkout page, shipping, and transaction emails), which shouldn’t be a deal breaker for those who value substance over style.
- Nonetheless, platforms such as Shopify and BigCommerce provide multiple options for your site’s appearance, such as themes, templates, and color schemes.
- Shopify now has over 120 eye-catching, mobile-friendly storefront themes and templates, but only a small percentage of them are free.
- The same can be said for BigCommerce, which offers over 170 e-commerce-specific themes designed to suit a wide range of businesses. However, there are only 12 free themes, while premium themes range in price from $150 to $300.
- Magento 2 has significantly enhanced its performance, offering optimizations for web pages, reduced server response times, and improved efficiency in backend operations.
- In the case of BigCommerce, it stands out as a platform ideally suited for large-scale ventures, well-equipped to handle substantial traffic without requiring additional optimizations.
- Turning to Shopify, you can rest assured about performance. Shopify’s servers dynamically adjust to workload demands, ensuring smooth operation.
- Additionally, for larger stores with aspirations to expand further, there’s the Shopify Plus version, offering scalable potential.
Ecommerce Marketing Tools
- While all three ecommerce solutions include marketing tools, Shopify and BigCommerce include them right out of the box. However, if you want the open-source solution Magento to work properly, set up additional plug-ins and modify all the details.
- Magento is well-known for advanced search engine optimization (SEO) and digital marketing but to take advantage of these features, you’ll need to know which marketing extensions and plugins to purchase.
- It will initially take time and more technical knowledge to optimize your site and master marketing using this solution.
- Finally, perhaps the most compelling feature of open-source platforms is the ability to buy and install only the plug-ins that you intend to use.
Security, Safety, and Stability Comparison
- When it comes to ensuring the security, safety, and stability of your online store, Shopify stores and BigCommerce offer comprehensive built-in features, while self-hosted solutions like Magento require additional considerations.
- Shopify provides a robust security package without any extra costs. It includes PCI-compliant hosting, GDPR-compliance features, multi-factor authentication (MFA), SSL certificates, a built-in fraud analysis system, scheduled backups, and more.
- BigCommerce also prioritizes security, offering PCI DSS compliance, TLS, SSL, HTTPS authentication, multi-factor authentication options (MFA, 2FA, and 2SV), and protection against DDoS attacks, malware, and ransomware.
- However, when using self-hosted solutions like Magento, ensuring security can be more intricate. You’ll need to carefully assess the security features provided by your chosen web hosting provider.
- Whether you’re utilizing a proprietary platform or an open-source one, you can access comprehensive how-to guides and an extensive knowledge base.
- Additionally, you’ll find an FAQ section, an official blog, and a community forum where you can seek assistance from fellow users.
- With Magento, you’ll also become a part of a dedicated developer community, and receive support from them. This solution doesn’t provide professional support channels like phone support, live chat, or a ticketing system, so you’ll need to rely on self-service or reach out to the team via their social media accounts.
- For Shopify, BigCommerce, and Adobe Commerce, the technical teams should be available 24/7 through the standard support channels.
Final Comparison of Ecommerce Solutions: Magento vs. Shopify vs. BigCommerce
Choosing the right platform is crucial to your ecommerce business’s success. Let’s explore the key factors that set Magento, Shopify, and BigCommerce apart.
- Hosted Solution: Shopify stands out as a hosted solution, making it incredibly user-friendly. You don’t need to worry about managing hosting or technical details.
- Free Trials: Both Shopify and BigCommerce offer free trials, allowing you to test their platforms before committing.
- Magento Enterprise: Magento Enterprise is the go-to choice for larger businesses with big budgets. It’s known for its scalability and advanced features, making it an ideal choice for enterprise-level ecommerce.
- Open-Source Platforms: Magento, particularly the Community Edition, is an open-source ecommerce platform, that provides you with access to the source code for customization.
- Technical Support: All three platforms offer various levels of technical support, with Magento and Shopify stores catering to a wide range of users, from small companies to big names in the ecommerce industry.
- Payment Options: You’ll find diverse payment options on all platforms, allowing you to choose the ones that suit your target audience.
- Essential Features: Each platform offers essential ecommerce features, but the suitability depends on your specific needs and goals.
- Total Costs: When considering costs, ensure that Magento’s pricing structure can be more complex due to hosting, development, and extensions.
- Target Audience: Your choice should align with your target audience’s preferences and your business’s size and aspirations.
- SEO and Search Engines: Magento is often favored for its SEO capabilities, but all three platforms offer tools for optimizing your online presence.
- User Base: Shopify boasts a large user base, particularly among small business owners and Shopify merchants, while Magento and BigCommerce cater to a broader range of businesses.
- Online Business: Regardless of your choice, these platforms are well-equipped to support your online business, whether you’re just starting or have been around for some time.
- Platform Features: Magento’s Enterprise Edition and BigCommerce offer robust features for larger enterprises, while Shopify’s simplicity makes it a popular choice for small business owners.
- Migration Considerations: Remember that migrating from one platform to another can be time-consuming, so it’s essential to choose the best fit from the start.
- Security and Updates: Magento, as an open-source platform, requires vigilant security patches and updates, while Shopify and BigCommerce manage these aspects for you.
Selecting the best platform among Magento, Shopify, and BigCommerce hinges on your unique business needs, budget, technical expertise, and long-term goals. Take the time to evaluate these factors carefully, and you’ll find the ideal solution to drive your ecommerce success.
Selecting the right ecommerce solution is crucial, regardless of your business size, as it can significantly impact your sales.
Switching to a different platform later on can be a costly and headache-inducing process, underscoring the importance of making the right decision from the outset.
Each ecommerce platform serves different use cases, and before making your choice, consider the following questions:
- Domain and Hosting: Are you comfortable managing your domain and hosting, or do you prefer a hosted platform? Shopify stores are an excellent choice if you prefer an easy, hassle-free option.
- Tech Savviness: Are you tech-savvy, or do you prefer a user-friendly solution? Shopify is well-suited for those who are not tech-savvy and seek simplicity. If you’re looking to create a professional ecommerce store, reach out to Klizer for expert assistance.
- Search Optimization: Is search engine optimization crucial to your business plan? Magento is recommended for stores that rely on organic search visibility. If you’re not familiar with search optimization, it might not be a priority for your store.
- Business Size: Consider the size of your business and your growth aspirations.
Once you have clear answers to these questions, you can embark on your journey to achieving ecommerce success.
What is a hosted solution in ecommerce, and how does it apply to Magento, Shopify, and BigCommerce?
A hosted solution in ecommerce means that your online store is hosted on a platform’s servers, relieving you of the responsibility for managing hosting infrastructure. Among the three platforms, Shopify is a hosted solution by default, while Magento offers both hosted and self-hosted versions. BigCommerce is also a hosted ecommerce platform.
Can you try out these ecommerce platforms for free before committing?
Yes, both Shopify and BigCommerce offer free trials, allowing you to explore their features and functionalities. Magento, on the other hand, primarily offers an Enterprise Edition, which is not free, but there’s a free Community Edition available.
What are the main advantages of Magento Enterprise Edition over other platforms?
Magento Enterprise Edition is known for its robustness and scalability. It’s an ideal choice for larger businesses with a big budget. It provides advanced features, technical support, and security patches, making it suitable for enterprises.
Which ecommerce platform is best for small businesses and startups?
For small companies and startups with limited resources, Shopify is a popular choice due to its user-friendliness, affordable pricing, and technical support. BigCommerce also caters to small business owners with various features.
What payment options are available on these ecommerce platforms?
All three platforms offer various payment options, including credit card processors, PayPal, and additional third-party payment gateways. The specific options may vary depending on your location and chosen plan.
Are there any differences in the SEO capabilities of these platforms?
Magento is often recommended for stores that prioritize search engine optimization (SEO) due to its open-source ecommerce platform nature and flexibility in optimizing for search engines. However, all three platforms have essential features for SEO, and success depends on how you implement SEO best practices.
How do the costs compare between Magento, Shopify, and BigCommerce?
The total cost of ownership varies depending on your specific needs and the size of your business. Shopify and BigCommerce platforms have monthly subscription fees, while Magento has a more complex pricing structure, with costs associated with hosting, development, and extensions.
Which ecommerce platform is suitable for larger companies with a growing user base?
Magento, particularly the Enterprise Edition, is often considered a good choice for larger companies with a growing user base due to its scalability and robust features. BigCommerce also caters to enterprise businesses.
Can I migrate from one platform to another if I choose the wrong ecommerce platform initially?
Yes, it’s possible to migrate from one platform to another, but it can be a complex and time-consuming process. It’s essential to carefully evaluate your needs and choose the best platform from the start to avoid such complications.
What are some good resources for comparing these ecommerce platforms in more detail?
You can find detailed comparisons of Magento, Shopify, and BigCommerce in articles and comparison articles on various ecommerce blogs and ecommerce websites. These resources offer in-depth insights into the features, pros, and cons of each platform to help you make an informed decision for your online business.