Ecommerce Platforms for Larger Businesses

If you’re debating Magento, vs. Shopify Plus vs. Bigcommerce Enterprise, this is what I’ve learned:

Shopify Plus

Shopify Plus provides everything the standard Shopify account gives you, plus a lot more. If Shopify has the features you need, and you want some help getting setup and migrated, Shopify Plus is an excellent choice.

Advantages

  • Most reliable service in terms of uptime and scalability
  • Implement a beautiful responsive design easily
  • Large number of extensions, including discounts on some (such as 25% off ShipHero for the first year)
  • Works well for online and offline sales
  • Checkout is on your domain not Shopify’s domain
  • World class team

Disadvantages

  • The extensions do a lot and there’s an API you can use that allows you to do even more, but some things you can do on Magento just aren’t possible on Shopify.
  • You can use Shopify for $29. Shopify Plus is a lot more expensive than that.

Shopify Plus is a stand out in the ecommerce world due to its comprehensive service. Despite its higher upfront cost, Shopify Plus offers no transaction fees, intuitive account management, same domain checkout, and unlimited bandwidth. All of the hurdles that make professional ecommerce challenging have been addressed by Shopify Plus.

For a solid example of Shopify in action, visit http://www.nooncopenhagen.com/. This is a sleek watch selling company that has spent serious time on their presentation.

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You’ll notice with Noon that beneath the slick polish of the website is all the standard operators that consumers have come to expect when shopping online. They can browse the items spcs, pricing, description, and even compare it to other products. The add-to-cart functionality is particular smooth.

Magento

Magento can suit the most wide-ranging needs and can be customized the most deeply. Even if choosing an economy package, Magento will be the most expensive solution.

Magento is not SaaS, you run it on your own servers. You can choose what type of server, how many servers and where those servers are located. You can change the code as you wish.

Advantages:

  • Total control
  • Information security
  • You can build in depth modules to do things like product customization or size finders
  • You can integrate services like Google Express
  • Tons of available extensions

Disadvantages:

  • You need to manage scaling yourself (by building an auto-scaling infrastructure or manually adding and removing server capacity).
  • You need to manage your own PCI compliance.
  • You’ll need a staging server, as Magento is easy to break.
  • You need an engineer to make all these changes even just to install extensions.
  • High total cost of ownership due to engineering and server costs.

Magento has moved away from helping smaller companies, going so far as to shut down their free Magento Go service. This has not endeared them to “mom and pop” operations, but Magento still carries a large following with more powerful brands. The control and security are what makes them appealing. Check out the list of clients they still boast:

 

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Bigcommerce Enterprise

Bigcommerce Enterprise gives you everything a standard Bigcommerce account would, plus a support team. Bigcommerce Enterprise focus is helping you grow your sales.

Advantages

  • Get up and running quickly with setup and migration support
  • Account manager to help you grow your sales
  • 24/7 support
  • Google Trusted Stores

Disadvantages

ShopifyPlus

  • The extensions do a lot and there’s an API you can use that allows you to do even more, but some things you can do on Magento just aren’t possible on BigCommerce.
  • Have had some service reliability issues.

In the wake of Magento Go closing its doors, BigCommerce has become a more highly utilized resource for small businesses. Their focus on customer service and support have made them a preferred resource, and as a result, BigCommerce is growing quickly. Despite their growth, they are not as widely utilized for extremely large businesses as Magento, and they are not seen as user-friendly as Shopify.

Check out this nice example of BigCommerce in action, http://www.gradyscoldbrew.com/

http://www.gradyscoldbrew.com/

You’ll notice that BigCommerce allows for product organization as you would expect it, including categories, ite stats, description, etc. The BigCommerce templates are quite usable, but if you want to make a good impression you’ll want to have a few design employees or freelancers handy.

Conclusion

If you are a massive company, you might want the complete control and server autonomy granted by Magento. If you are just getting set up and need a lot of support, BigCommerce could be the way to go. However, based on my experience, Shopify is the best destination for business owners who want to set up a powerful and comprehensive ecommerce solution that is easy to use and maintain.

We stand behind our support of Shopify. In fact, If you’re a ShipHero customer, you get 20% off Shopify Plus for the first year.

Hopefully, this helps you move towards a decision on which ecommerce platform to go with. If you’re shipping your own product, check us out at ShipHero our product can probably help you reduce your errors, increase your visibility, and increase the output of your warehouse.

Author bio: This is a guest post from Aaron Rubin, CEO of ShipHero, a SaaS shipping and inventory solution that runs on iPads in the warehouse. Their customers are primarily ecommerce companies running on popular platforms such as  Magento, Shopify or Bigcommerce with sales also coming through marketplaces such as Amazon, eBay or flash sales sites.

Feature image curtsey of Dmitri Litvinov

Catalin Zorzini

I'm a web design blogger and started this project after spending a few weeks struggling to find out which is the best ecommerce platform for myself. Check out my current top 10 ecommerce site builders.