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BigCommerce vs Magento: Which Platform to Choose in 2024?

Last Updated on 27th Jun, 2024 | Magento

bigcommerce vs magento which ecommerce platform to choose in 2024

BigCommerce vs Magento: Detailed Comparison for 2024

The ecommerce landscape has evolved rapidly over the past decade. Shoppers today expect seamless, omnichannel shopping experiences. To meet these rising expectations, merchants need a robust, flexible ecommerce platform. Two of the leading contenders in the enterprise-level space are BigCommerce and Magento. As we move into 2024, choosing the right platform can make all the difference in delivering a seamless and successful online shopping experience. This BigCommerce vs Magento comparison guide will help inform your decision in 2024.

Key Takeaways:

  • BigCommerce and Magento are two of the most prominent enterprise-level ecommerce platforms.
  • Both platforms offer robust features and customization options, but they differ in their target market, pricing, and technical requirements.
  • Factors like business size, product catalog, budget, and technical expertise should guide your decision-making process.
  • Conducting a thorough evaluation of your needs and the platforms’ capabilities is crucial to ensure you choose the right ecommerce solution for your business.

Importance of Choosing the Right eCommerce Platform

Choosing the right ecommerce platform is crucial for the success and growth of your online business. The platform you select will have a significant impact on various aspects of your operations, from the customer experience to the backend processes. Here’s why the right ecommerce platform is so important:

  • Customer Experience: The e-commerce platform you choose will directly influence your customers’ shopping experience. A platform with a user-friendly interface, intuitive navigation, and seamless checkout process can significantly improve customer satisfaction and encourage repeat business.
  • Scalability and Flexibility: As your business grows, your ecommerce platform needs to be able to scale with you. The right platform should be able to handle increasing traffic, product catalogs, and orders without compromising performance or functionality. Additionally, the platform should offer the flexibility to adapt to changing business requirements and market trends.
  • Conversion Rate and Sales: The features and capabilities of your ecommerce platform can directly impact your conversion rates and overall sales. A platform with robust eCommerce marketing tools, personalization options, and effective sales funnels can help you attract, engage, and convert more customers.
  • Operational Efficiency: The ecommerce platform you choose should streamline your backend operations, such as inventory management, order processing, and reporting. An efficient platform can help you save time, reduce errors, and improve overall business productivity.
  • Integration and Ecosystem: The ecommerce platform should integrate seamlessly with your other business systems, such as CRM, accounting, and shipping providers. This integration helps create a cohesive and efficient ecosystem that enhances your overall operational capabilities.
  • Security and Compliance: Ecommerce platforms should prioritize security and compliance to protect your customers’ sensitive information and ensure your business operates within relevant regulations. Choosing a platform with robust security features and a commitment to compliance can help safeguard your business and build customer trust.
  • Technical Support and Maintenance: The ecommerce platform should provide reliable technical support and ongoing maintenance to ensure your online store remains up-to-date, secure, and functioning smoothly. This can be particularly important for businesses with limited in-house technical resources.

BigCommerce vs Magento: A Quick Overview

BigCommerce

BigCommerce is a cloud-based, all-in-one ecommerce platform that is designed to be user-friendly and scalable. It offers a range of features out of the box, including a drag-and-drop website builder, built-in SEO tools, and integrated payment processing. BigCommerce is often touted as a great option for small to medium-sized businesses that want an easy-to-use platform with robust functionality.

Pros of BigCommerce:

  • Highly intuitive and user-friendly
  • Excellent out-of-the-box features and functionality
  • Scalable to handle growing businesses
  • Reliable and secure hosting provided by BigCommerce

Cons of BigCommerce:

  • Limited customization options compared to Magento
  • Can be more expensive for larger, more complex businesses
  • Some features may require additional paid apps or add-ons

Magento

Magento, on the other hand, is a self-hosted, open-source ecommerce platform that is known for its extensive customization capabilities and powerful features. Magento is often considered the go-to choice for larger, more complex businesses that require a high degree of flexibility and control over their online store. However, Magento also comes with a steeper learning curve and higher technical requirements.

Pros of Magento:

  • Extensive customization and flexibility
  • Powerful features and functionality
  • Highly scalable to handle large product catalogs and high-traffic
  • Large, active community of developers and support resources

Cons of Magento:

  • Requires more technical expertise to set up and manage
  • Can be more expensive to implement and maintain
  • May have a steeper learning curve for non-technical users

BigCommerce vs Magento Comparison

Pricing Comparison

Pricing structures differ significantly between BigCommerce and Magento.

BigCommerce Pricing

  • Standard ($29/month) – For new and growing merchants
  • Plus ($79/month) – Adds advanced features like gift cards
  • Pro ($299/month) – For mid-market businesses
  • Enterprise (Custom pricing) – For large businesses

Magento Open Source

  • 100% free open-source software
  • No transaction fees
  • Merchants pay for hosting, maintenance, security, etc.

Magento Commerce Pricing

  • Starter ($22,000/year) – Entry plan for small merchants
  • Enterprise ($125,000/year) – For large brands and retailers

Magento Commerce Cloud

  • Managed cloud hosting for Magento Commerce
  • Starts at $2,000/month plus variable cloud hosting fees

Functionality Comparison

BigCommerce and Magento both offer robust core ecommerce functionality. However, key differences exist.

Built-in Features

BigCommerce

  • Drag-and-drop storefront design
  • Integrated CMS for custom pages
  • Built-in blog and news modules
  • Robust shipping and tax tools
  • Integrated payment gateways

Magento

  • Powerful admin dashboard and product management
  • Tools for promotions, catalog, and content
  • Advanced order management and shipping
  • Flexible tax configuration
  • Integrated payment gateways

Integrations and Apps

BigCommerce

  • App Store with hundreds of integrations
  • Native integration with Amazon, eBay, Facebook
  • Zapier integration for connecting 1000+ apps

Magento

  • Magento Marketplace with thousands of extensions
  • Open architecture allows limitless integrations
  • Integrates with popular ERPs out of the box
  • Easy and safe Magento CRM platforms integration

Both offer extensive functionality through apps and integrations. Magento offers more flexibility for advanced custom integrations.

Ease of Use

BigCommerce emphasizes ease of use, while Magento offers more complexity and flexibility.

BigCommerce

  • Intuitive drag-and-drop storefront design
  • Easy navigation from the centralized control panel
  • Simple product creation and management
  • No coding skills required

Magento

  • Steep learning curve for beginners
  • Complex site-building requires technical skills
  • Advanced options can complicate product setup
  • Benefits from developers/coders on staff

BigCommerce enables fast launch for small businesses. Magento is more difficult but accommodates growth.

Customization and Flexibility

Customization flexibility is a major distinction between the two platforms.

BigCommerce

  • User-friendly page and theme builder
  • Apps expand functionality
  • Open API for deeper integration

Magento

  • Fully open-source code enables complete control
  • Modify core codebase as needed
  • Design custom themes, modules, and apps
  • Ultimate flexibility derived from open-source

Magento provides near-limitless customization for developers. BigCommerce customization requires apps and integrations.

Scalability Comparison

Both platforms accommodate business growth, but Magento offers more enterprise scalability.

BigCommerce

  • Load balancing and hosting redundancy
  • Enterprise-grade security protections
  • Scaling capabilities supporting $150M+ businesses
  • Performance remains fast as catalog/traffic grows

Magento

  • Massive built-in catalog capacity
  • Support for B2B features like quick order
  • Robust caching and full-page caching
  • Ideal for high-volume retailers and brands

Magento was built for the enterprise. BigCommerce can scale to large operations through apps and integrations.

Security and Support

Magento users must handle security themselves. BigCommerce provides turnkey security and support.

BigCommerce Security and Support

  • 24/7 technical and account support
  • Automatic security patching and monitoring
  • DDoS protection and uptime/redundancy guarantees
  • Regular platform updates and improvements

Magento Security and Support

  • Open-source community provides unofficial support
  • Merchants responsible for security monitoring/updates
  • Need staff or agency for support and maintenance
  • Required technical expertise makes it costlier

BigCommerce reduces headaches with managed service. Magento requires significant technical resources.

BigCommerce vs Magento: Key Considerations for Right Selection

When deciding between BigCommerce vs Magento, it’s important to consider your specific business needs and requirements. Here are some key factors to keep in mind:

Business Size and Growth Potential

If you have a small to medium-sized business with a relatively simple product catalog, BigCommerce may be the most suitable choice. However, if you have a large, complex business with plans for significant growth, Magento’s scalability and customization options may be a better fit.

Technical Expertise

BigCommerce is generally easier to set up and manage, making it a good choice for businesses with limited technical resources. Magento, on the other hand, requires a higher level of technical expertise and may be better suited for businesses with in-house development teams or access to experienced Magento developers.

Budget

BigCommerce operates on a subscription-based model, which can be more predictable and manageable for some businesses. Magento, being an open-source platform, may have lower upfront costs, but the ongoing maintenance and development expenses can be higher.

Customization and Flexibility

If your business requires a high degree of customization and control over the ecommerce experience, Magento may be the better choice. BigCommerce offers more limited customization options, but its out-of-the-box features may be sufficient for businesses with simpler requirements.

What the Future Holds: 2024 and Beyond

The ecommerce landscape will likely evolve significantly by 2024 and beyond. Consider how BigCommerce and Magento may adapt to emerging trends:

  • Mobile commerce – Both invest heavily in improved mobile shopping experiences.
  • Progressive web apps – Magento and BigCommerce building PWA capabilities to power app-like mobile sites.
  • Voice commerce – With the proliferation of smart speakers and assistants, the future of voice commerce in eCommerce will see expanded voice-enabled capabilities.
  • Live streaming – Live video shopping is gaining traction, especially in Asia. Both platforms adding features to capitalize on this trend.
  • Social commerce – Look for deeper social integrations and social proof tools.
  • B2B capabilities – B2B becoming a priority. Platforms enhancing tools for B2B merchants.
  • Sustainability – Ethical commerce will be more important. Expect more tools for sustainability marketing.
  • Augmented reality – BigCommerce and Magento are partnering with AR providers for virtual try-ons and 3D previews.

As shopper behaviors evolve, BigCommerce and Magento will continue advancing their platforms to meet the demands of next-generation commerce.

Final Thoughts

The choice between BigCommerce vs Magento as your ecommerce platform ultimately comes down to evaluating your specific business needs, resources, and growth plans. BigCommerce offers a more user-friendly and simplified approach that is well-suited for small to medium-sized businesses, providing robust out-of-the-box features and streamlined operations. On the other hand, Magento’s open-source flexibility and customization capabilities make it a better fit for large, complex enterprises that require a high degree of control over their online store.

As you look ahead to 2024 and beyond, consider how each platform’s roadmap aligns with emerging ecommerce trends like mobile commerce, voice shopping, social integrations, and augmented reality. The platforms will continue to advance their offerings to meet the evolving needs of merchants and shoppers.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is BigCommerce better than Magento?

There is no definitive “better” platform. BigCommerce is easier to use out of the box but less customizable. Magento is more flexible but requires technical resources. Choose based on your business needs and capabilities.

Can BigCommerce scale to the enterprise level?

BigCommerce can scale to support large operations, but Magento has more robust enterprise-grade capabilities for complex sites with thousands of products. BigCommerce is best for SMBs.

Is Magento worth the cost?

The open-source version has no licensing fee, but you must pay for hosting, maintenance, etc. The enterprise version has substantial fees but unlocks advanced capabilities for complex operations.

Does BigCommerce offer a free trial?

Yes, BigCommerce offers a free 15-day trial, including setup, limited support, and no credit card required. Magento does not provide a free trial.

Can you customize BigCommerce themes?

Yes, you can customize themes using the built-in Stencil editor. However, you have less control vs. developing custom themes from scratch in Magento.

Does Magento require coding skills?

Not necessarily for the basics, but to maximize customization and plug-ins you will need developers with coding skills and experience with PHP, HTML, CSS, and JavaScript.

Which offers better SEO features?

Magento Open Source has slightly more advanced built-in SEO capabilities, but both platforms enable SEO best practices like meta tags, XML sitemaps, and SEO-friendly URLs.

Is Magento hard to learn?

Yes, Magento has a steep learning curve. The administration and site-building have substantial complexity. BigCommerce is much more intuitive for merchants without technical expertise.