With the final curtain call for Magento 1 out last year, many of my clients using the Magento platform were left wondering – where do we go from here? Businesses using Magento 1 had two options: upgrade to Magento 2 or explore other platforms.
BigCommerce was the next platform giant most businesses were willing to consider. After realizing that the battle for the most powerful platform was a close one, I decided to do extensive research on both these platforms on key areas of performance.
Whether you are starting or planning to switch platforms, deciding between the two is a tough task.
I have compared BigCommerce vs. Magento in this blog based on various essential factors. Moreover, I have also listed the pros and cons of both platforms. Hence, you can choose the best for your business.
Before looking at the detailed comparison between BigCommerce and Magento, it’s important to understand the main difference. So, let’s get started.
What is the Difference Between BigCommerce and Magento?
BigCommerce is an affordable Software-as-a-service (SaaS) platform, While Magento is a Platform-as-a-service (PaaS) cloud-based platform. BigCommerce is especially targeted at businesses that want to set up and grow their business. On the other hand, Magento is targeted at B2B and B2C organizations and allows more customization with which you can offer a personalized experience to your customers.
BigCommerce vs Magento: A Detailed Comparison
Let us compare BigCommerce vs Magento based on some of the essential factors.
The market share of BigCommerce in the top million sites by traffic is about 0.18%, and that of Magento is 0.83%.
BigCommerce powers around 50K+ websites and more than 160K websites run on Magento. While the numbers are impressive, they don’t usually tell the whole story.
After looking at the popularity of these eCommerce platforms, you must have understood that both are highly favored by businesses worldwide. However, Magento is used more compared to BigCommerce.
eCommerce stores need a fully-fledged CMS to manage products and pages on their e-stores.
BigCommerce lets you publish pages and make and review changes in real-time. Moreover, with its headless API, seamlessly integrating with a merchant’s choice of CMS is easier.
Magento also runs many front-ends from a single back-end, processing orders, and managing promotions. Due to its apparent lack of flexibility, many stores choose to integrate Magento with other CMS. However, to take benefit of Magento, you can still go in for CMS widgets, customized modules, and extensions.
Magento is at the forefront of platforms offering omnichannel functionality. It offers cross-channel inventory visibility, social media integration, quick integration & customization with third-party solutions, and a connected shopping experience spread across various selling channels and multiple devices.
BigCommerce’s omnichannel functionality allows stores to manage inventory from a single location and provide better product visibility. And, it allows you to coordinate inventory across other selling channels such as Facebook, Amazon, eBay, Instagram, and more.
Multi-country and Multi-store Functionality
As businesses keep growing, they need multi-country and multi-store functionality.
Magento allows brands to work in different languages, host stores in various locations, and provide a variety of payment methods to brands.
BigCommerce, on the other hand, offers multi-location inventory tracking, the ability to create multiple stores in a single account, multi-language usage, and multi-vendor functionality among others.
Whether you are a beginner or a senior running an eCommerce store business doesn’t matter. You require support to resolve website-related issues. Therefore, a platform’s customer support is highly essential than you think.
BigCommerce is great if we talk about the support. The platform provides round-the-clock support via phone & chat, email, and help center on all its plans. Besides this, if you sign up for a trial, BigCommerce allows you to connect with a BigCommerce expert. The expert will understand your business and provide you with the best solution.
The BigCommerce enterprise version provides priority support. It consists of an onboarding consultant and lets you connect with a trained professional immediately via call.
Magento doesn’t offer any support compared to BigCommerce. If you are utilizing Open-Source Magento, you can take the help of other Magento experts and developers available on the Magento Forums. If you have Magento Commerce or Cloud addition, you get real-time chat and email support.
In BigCommerce Vs. Magento Support argument, BigCommerce wins as it provides dedicated support no matter what plan you choose.
Apps and Extensions
If you can’t meet the needs of your store functionalities through built-in features, you can definitely go with extensions and apps.
BigCommerce is a hosted platform that offers various essential features to ensure that your store performs well. It includes abandoned cart reminders and analytics reporting.
Besides this, BigCommerce provides more than 1000+ extensions, including both paid and free, through which you can integrate new functionality into your store. All these extensions are available on the store admin panel, and you can instantly download & install them easily.
Magento also provides various robust built-in features like payment & shipping, instant purchase, etc. The platform offers more than 3500+ extensions in multiple categories. The installation process is complex, and you need to verify compatibility before installing any extension.
Many businesses ignore this important feature when deciding on the right eCommerce platform.
Although BigCommerce offers unlimited bandwidth and space, you must move to a higher pricing plan if you need to scale up. Also, while scaling up, you may need to use heavy extensions and small themes to speed up your eCommerce website.
Magento’s scalability is unrivaled; it can scale up as your business grows. The ERP integrations and inventory management are seamless as well. So, in BigCommerce Vs. Magento Scalability comparison, Magento wins as it gives more control to scale up your online store.
Website Build Time
Build time and ease of use go hand in hand. Unlike Magento, it is easier, faster, and less tedious to build your store using BigCommerce. The development time for Magento websites can vary from six weeks for a simple site to a few months to a year as they grow in size and complexity.
As far as pricing is concerned, Magento and BigCommerce are unique in their offerings.
BigCommerce has four pricing plans. Standard and Plus plans are targeted at emerging brands. However, the Pro and Enterprise plans are suited for their established businesses. Out of these, three plans come with pricing thresholds. It means you need to purchase a higher plan whenever your store sales reach a specific threshold.
- The Standard plan starts at $29.95 per month with an extra transaction fee of 1.5%. It is suitable for annual revenues up to $50k.
- The Plus & Pro Plans cost $79.95 and $299.95 per month respectively. Established merchants with higher sales volume can opt for the Enterprise plan, which offers tailored pricing. Plus plan supports annual revenue up to $180k. However, the Pro plan supports annual revenue up to $400k.
- It also offers an enterprise plan on request.
All the BigCommerce plans provide you with hosting and a domain name.
Magento offers a community edition which is available free of cost. The cost of the Magento website varies based on the need. But, it could cost around $4,000 to $5,000 to create a feature-rich store.
Magento is a self-hosted platform; you have to pay for hosting & domain. It would cost around $15 to $110 per month.
Besides these costs, you also need to pay for Magento themes & extensions. To purchase any Magento extension, you need to pay $70 to $400 for a lifetime. However, you have to pay $80 to $150 to buy any Magento theme.
Ease of Use
If you are setting up your store, you’ll find it easier to do it on BigCommerce than on Magento. BigCommerce requires a significantly minimal amount of coding knowledge. With its intuitive dashboard, you can set your store up within hours. To help you through the setup process, BigCommerce has many tutorials, tooltips, and step-by-step instructions. And when you choose the paid plan, you also have access to dedicated customer service.
Even if you don’t need technical prowess to work with BigCommerce, you will have to spend considerable time and energy learning your way around. That is why businesses choose Bigcommerce for their eCommerce store.
Unlike BigCommerce, Magento can be a bit tricky to work on. It demands a higher level of technical know-how to be able to set up a store. However, since the platform is written on PHP, the customization options are virtually limitless.
Magento certainly is a challenging platform for beginners. Complex technical jargon aside, Magento’s set-up process can be complicated and time-consuming. You will need the help of an experienced Magento development company to leverage the benefits of Magento’s limitless customization possibilities.
BigCommerce is the best when it comes to payment methods. The eCommerce platform supports more than 65+ payment gateways and some big players like Apple pay, Google Pay, etc. And the best part is, you don’t need to pay any transaction fees.
Talking about offline payment, BigCommerce accepts payments through checks, bank deposits, and cash on delivery.
However, you need to pay certain transaction charges whenever you purchase anything using a credit card.
Magento supports only two payment gateways, which include Paypal and Authorize.net. It allows you to integrate third-party payment methods from its marketplace. However, you might need to pay some amount for the transaction.
In the end, BigCommerce takes less time to install any payment gateway. On the other hand, Magento requires more time to integrate payment options. The Magento eCommerce platform is best suited for businesses with massive transactions or orders with large quantities.
SEO & Marketing
Search engine optimization is a set of practices to rank your website on the top pages of search engines like Google. It allows you to get a massive amount of traffic.
Starting with BigCommerce, the eCommerce platform offers some inherent features, such as unique URLs, rewrite URLs, 301 redirects, blog, mobile-friendliness, meta description, and Google site map.
In the case of Magento, it has all the SEO features of BigCommerce with one exception, i.e., a built-in blog. If you want to include a blog in your Magento store, you can achieve it using an extension.
Themes & Templates
Built-in themes & templates are essential to developing a suitable website for your business. Let us check how many themes & templates are available on BigCommerce & Magento.
BigCommerce offers 12 free themes and 100+ paid themes. All the paid themes are available for $150 to $300 each. You can modify these themes using Stencil, a front-end development framework from BigCommerce.
On the contrary, Magento provides only five themes for both free & paid. The cost of paid themes is around $29 to $499, and they are highly responsive. Using Magento, you can develop a website from scratch, provided you have technical coding knowledge. Otherwise, you can hire dedicated developers who can deliver the best eCommerce store.
A website that loads content instantly enhances the shopping experience of users. On the other hand, a slow website degrades the shopping experience and forces a customer to leave.
The performance of an eCommerce store relies heavily on various aspects, such as photo sizes, caching, hosting, and more.
BigCommerce is a self-hosted platform that promises 99.99% uptime on average and merges well with Google AMP for faster page loading. It also comprises an image management tool that optimizes all the images to ensure quick loading of images.
Magento is built to handle a massive amount of products in the store. The platform offers excellent performance because of storage, CDN, hosting plan, etc.
The platform enables users to select a server and modify it to enhance performance. If you go with Magento Commerce, your eCommerce store will get hosted on the cloud. It indicates that the website functions well, and Magento offers enhanced support.
E-commerce store security is the core concern in today’s era. Therefore, it is necessary to consider security before choosing a platform. Multi-level security is a must-have feature for a successful eCommerce store.
BigCommerce is a self-hosted platform that efficiently looks after your eCommerce store’s security. It offers additional security like a firewall, file integrity scanners, 24*7 tracking, and more.
Magento is an open-source platform and doesn’t provide security like BigCommerce. Here, you need to look after various things like SSL certificates, two-factor authentication, configuring site plugins, and PCI compliance.
Magento security updates are released regularly to ensure the system remains safe from any malware & the store performs at its best. But, a person needs to update security updates manually, which is challenging for non-technical users.
BigCommerce vs Magento: Pros and Cons
Pros and Cons of BigCommerce
|It is easy to set up and use||It doesn't come with a mobile app|
|Provides extensive free and paid templates||Complex terminology used can be overwhelming for beginners|
|Highly affordable||Editing can get complicated|
|Fairly easy to learn and doesn't require coding knowledge||Adding extensions and apps can make the platform quite expensive for small/medium business owners|
|It is a feature-rich platform||The selection of free themes is limited|
|It offers Multi-channel selling and comes with abundant SEO options.||Certainly not as customizable as Magento|
Pros and Cons of Magento
|It is free with a large developer community||It demands extensive coding language|
|The scalability is one of the best offered by any platform||It has a steep learning curve –not suitable for beginners|
|Offers advanced features through its add-ons and extensions||Time-consuming to set up a store|
|Works well for SEO use||You have to pay extra for apps and hosting|
|It comes as a fully customizable platform||It can get expensive and complex to develop|
|It is feature-rich and gives immense design flexibility to developers||You might require Magento developers to help you out|
When Should You Go With Which One?
BigCommerce works best for businesses looking to grow into large enterprises. You can build your store with BigCommerce in no time with limited coding knowledge.
You also get endless customization options with its apps, integrations, and flexibility. It can work on a limited budget, and you don’t have to have a dedicated IT team to help.
Magento is the best bet for established or large enterprises that require immense customization and unique features. With its scalability, your store can keep pace with surging sales.
If you are not in a rush to develop a website and have a considerable amount of time (and money) at your disposal, you can choose Magento development. Its extensive community support will also come in handy.
In conclusion, I will repeat what I usually tell my eCommerce clients: before deciding on the perfect platform for your business, you must determine what kind of business merchant you are.
If you are a small or medium-scale store owner looking to set up shop and get going, BigCommerce will satisfy all your needs and more. If you are a large-scale enterprise that needs extreme customization and flexibility, then Magento is the best bet.