BigCommerce vs Magento: Everything You Need to Know

Statistics show that the eCommerce industry is currently growing by 23% year-on-year, with the number of digital buyers expected to hit 2.14 billion next year. If you’re thinking of taking your business online, 2020 is the perfect time to do it.

From Shopify and BigCommerce, to Magento and WooCommerce, there are tons of eCommerce platforms you can build your website with. But choosing the most adequate match for your business can be tricky. In the second installment in a series of blog posts exploring popular eCommerce solutions, we’re comparing Magento and BigCommerce.

What is BigCommerce?

BigCommerce is a SaaS, cloud-based eCommerce store builder founded in 2009. It is highly flexible, which means it can be used either as a headless eCommerce platform or to create websites from the ground up. It currently powers websites for Kodak, Ben & Jerry’s and Toyota.

What is Magento?

Magento 2 is a PaaS, open-source solution first introduced in 2016. Magento 2 replaces its predecessor, Magento 1, which will stop being supported by Adobe in June 2020. As one of the more popular eCommerce providers, Magento currently powers around 250,000 online stores including Nike, Land Rover, and Nestle Nespresso.

Ease of Use

B: Setting up a BigCommerce store involves a basic sign-up wizard followed by a tour of the main dashboard. It’s clear that the BigCommerce team wants the platform to be easy to navigate. The BigCommerce dashboard itself is intuitive to use and the platform requires very little coding knowledge.

M: Magento, whereas, is typically only suitable for those who know how to code. You can create a Magento store by heading to their website, signing up, naming your store and choosing a theme (if want a themed website). But without knowledge of coding, this is about as far as you can progress. Magento is complex, so you’ll probably need developers who understand HTML, CSS, and JavaScript to look after your website.

Flexibility

B: BigCommerce currently offers 7 free themes and 50 paid themes, costing between £145 and £245. All of these themes are responsive and easy to customise using BigCommerce’s front end development framework, Stencil. As a headless eCommerce platform, BigCommerce also has the flexibility to integrate with bespoke front-end solutions, as well as WordPress, which is the world’s most popular CMS.

M: Magento is an open-source solution, which means users can access and modify their stores’ web code. In other words, Magento users have unrestricted creative freedom and can tailor their stores exactly how they envisage. There are currently 12 official Magento themes, but only 10 of these are mobile responsive. However, there are tons of unofficial themes available on websites such as ThemeForest.

Scalability

B: With a whole host of built-in features, BigCommerce is very scalable. Users benefit from unlimited products, unlimited storage space and unlimited bandwidth. As a headless solution, merchants aren’t tied to BigCommerce’s front-end technology, and can instead choose the most suitable offering.

M: Magento 2 is highly scalable, which is why it’s a popular choice amongst large enterprises. Magento’s open-source nature means that merchants can grow seamlessly according to their needs. Developers can boost database flexibility to handle peak loads, optimise web pages for faster delivery and increase server response times. What’s more, Magento features several ERP and inventory management integrations which make scaling much easier.

Build Time

B: BigCommerce is pretty much a one-stop-shop; it has everything you need in one place. This means that your site can be built and launched pretty quickly, depending on your requirements. In fact, according to BigCommerce’s website, they have a 50% faster go-to-market time than Magento builds. Most of our BigCommerce clients can expect a fully completed website within one month.

M: As a more bespoke offering, Magento websites take longer to build. This is because most functionalities have to be built from scratch. Unlike BigCommerce, things like hosting and security compliance aren’t included with Magento, so it’s down to your developer to ensure your website is up-to-scratch. If you’re envisaging a highly technical Magento website, expect it to take several months to build.

Help and Support

B: BigCommerce offers unparalleled customer support. Merchants can raise issues via web chat, email or telephone – and most of these options are available 24/7. On top of this, BigCommerce also has a large collection of webinars, guides, and resources to help users get the most out of the platform.

M: Magento’s support offerings differ depending on whether you’re using the Community or Enterprise edition. Enterprise customers have access to Magento customer support via phone, chat and support tickets. Community users, however, have no dedicated customer support. Nevertheless, as one of the most widely used eCommerce platforms, there is a full community of people and resources to utilise. Community users also have access to Magento user documentation and forums.

Pricing

B: BigCommerce offer a three-tier pricing structure. Each tier is equipped with different features, and you will automatically move up a tier if you exceed certain yearly sales thresholds. BigCommerce’s ‘Standard’ plan costs $29.95 per month, their ‘Plus’ package costs $79.95 per month and their ‘Pro’ plan costs $249.95 per month.

M: Similarly, Magento has a two-tier pricing structure. The Community edition of Magento can be downloaded and used for free. But if you’re interested in the Enterprise version you’ll need to get a custom quote that depends on the individual needs of your business. On top of this, you’ll also have to pay for website hosting, since Magento doesn’t include this. Typically, this ranges from between £10-100.

Features

B:

  • SSL certificates
  • PCI compliance
  • Cloud-hosted
  • SEO
  • Omni-channel selling – integrations with Amazon and eBay
  • Multiple payment gateways

M:

  • Tons of integrations
  • Unlimited amount of product attributes
  • Multi-currency and multi-language
  • CAPTCHA functionality
  • Tax rules and creation management
  • Multiple payment gateways

Final Thoughts

It’s fair to say that BigCommerce and Magento are both top-notch solutions. Magento is the best option for large enterprises that are looking for a website that is completely bespoke and unlike anything that they’ve seen before. Other than that, BigCommerce is probably a more viable option.

Interested in re-platforming from Magento 1, or thinking of starting an eCommerce store? Get in touch, let’s talk about your options!

Rachel Blackburn
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