Choosing the right platform to launch an eCommerce store is a complicated decision because it can influence the success and future potential of the business. Among the most popular platforms, one can mention Magento, Shopify, and BigCommerce. Each of these platforms has its pros and cons depending on the needs of your business and resources that it has. Therefore, it is important to review these platforms and discuss how they can be effectively utilized.
Shopify and BigCommerce are software as a service (SaaS) platforms that provide the out of box solution with the hosting and store building. The users have to pay the monthly fee to access the ready-to-use store. You just need to add your items, set up the payment information, and keep track of the stock. More about the differences between BigCommerce and Shopify, you can read in our article about their comparison in the context of the small business. Meanwhile, Magento is an open-source software platform that can be customized and developed to fit the needs of any store. Considering the nature of the open-source software platforms, there is a need to host the store, create the design, and develop the store’s features. Unlike the SaaS platforms, the open-source one requires technical help to create and launch a store. Nevertheless, the high flexibility of Magento provides numerous advantages for the business that wants to make a unique store. Even though the big-scale stores are the ones that primarily use Magento, it is also possible to launch a site for small business operations. Nevertheless, the need to invest in development makes it more suitable for big businesses..
The pricing for SaaS platforms like Shopify and BigCommerce makes it easier to plan the costs to run a store. Both platforms offer very similar pricing with $29 for the basic plan, $79 for the mid-tier, and $299 and more for the advanced plans. However, both of these platforms have their differences with the plans. For instance, Shopify has transaction fees for every purchase outside the Shopify Payments system, while BigCommerce forces you to switch to the next-tier plan if your annual sales go over $50 000 annually. The pricing for Magento is not so obvious and much more complex to calculate. Although Magento Open Source is free to download, you need to include the cost for the development, hosting, security, and design of your store. Nevertheless,instead of developing features there is also a possibility to buy the needed modules on the marketplace. Since ready-to-use modules for Magent would soon become available with the subscription model, a store owner has to decide whether it is more cost-efficient to develop features on your own or pay monthly fees for the services. There is a significant benefit that once you develop your shop on Magento, it is completely yours and can be customized as you wish.
Starting with Shopify and BigCommerce, the primary advantage of these two SaaS platforms is the intuitive design and ability to manage a store from anywhere. Moreover, they do not require technical interactions to launch and run the store. Anyone can manage both the backend and front end of the store without a technical background. Even though Shopify is slightly more accessible than BigCommerce, both can be easily handled due to the intuitive interface. Meanwhile, the notion that Magento needs development might not be suitable for a person who runs a business alone. Creating a store with Magento requires hiring developers who can build the perfect website for you. However, for the developers who want to start working with Magento, we offer free courses to become Junior Magento Frontend or Backend Developers.
When it comes to implementing additional features for your online store, the competition between these platforms becomes more complicated. Namely, for the SaaS platforms BigCommerce and Shopify, you can purchase the plugins and extensions to meet the needs of your business. Although there are some free tools, the most effective and advanced ones can get very expensive. Even with the paid plugins, there is a chance that you won’t find what you need. But with the Magento and its open-source, the developers can customize any aspect and add any features to a store. As long as you have a team of experienced and proficient developers, you can solve any problem and achieve your goals in building a perfect store. Considering that more and more big companies use Magento and it has significant potential due to the acquisition by Adobe. In the article “Should developers study Magento in 2022?”, we discuss that this platform is not only relevant in 2022 but also has the potential for growth.
On the one hand, Shopify and BigCommerce offer multiple security features both out of box and as paid options. For instance, Shopify and BigCommerce provide SSL certificates and PCI compliance to protect your store from cyberattacks. Nevertheless, you can also install firewalls and anti-malware software to enhance security. On the other hand, Magento‘s security level depends on the measures you have implemented. Although Magento provides the security patches to protect from the most common threats, there is still the need to ensure every other security aspect. In our blog, we previously reviewed 10 most common security threats to an eCommerce store and how to avoid them. These tips can help set up a secure eCommerce store regardless of the platform you use.
One may agree that the most crucial difference between these platforms is the accessibility and resources needed to launch and maintain a store. With Shopify and BigCommerce, a store owner can just pay the monthly fee and use the themes and solutions that have been developed already. Building a store on Magento requires a team of professional developers who can create all the needed features and maintain an eCommerce site. However, the open-source nature of Magento allows almost endless opportunities for customization.