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Magento vs BigCommerce – It All Depends on Company Size

When it comes to eCommerce platforms, both Magento and BigCommerce are locked in somewhere towards the top. You are probably having issues choosing between the two. In the likely scenario that you’ve already asked around and can’t find the answer, don’t worry.

Each of these two eCommerce beasts comes with its own set of upshots and drawbacks. Making a perfect choice isn’t easy, but it is incredibly important for your business. The current size of your business, as well as your plans, play an essential role here. Here’s how to make up your mind between Magento and BigCommerce.

SaaS vs Open Source

Both Magento and BigCommerce are fantastic eCommerce platform choices. The two aren’t exactly worlds apart, but they do feature a set of fundamental differences that might make your choice that much easier.

The main discrepancy between the two popular platforms is that Magento is PaaS, and BigCommerce is SaaS. If you are confused, PaaS is short for Platform as a Service, and SaaS means Software as a Service. If you still don’t get the gist of it, don’t worry, it’s simple. BigCommerce is cloud-based, while Magento is an open-source solution.

Yes, it’s simple as that. As SaaS software, BigCommerce issues its licenses to the users. That means that you, as a merchant, will be able to access your webstore from anywhere, as long as you have an internet-connected device. Alternatively, PaaS software like Magneto is open-source and, therefore, a vastly different beast.

As open-source software, Magento lacks in certain aspects like uniformity and cross-device responsiveness. On the other hand, it flourishes when it comes to interesting and innovative software updates and upgrades.

Which One?

So, which one of the two should you choose? By and large, it depends on your business plans and goals. If you are a small business and aren’t planning on turning into a huge company, BigCommerce might be overkill. Magento may do the trick for you and give you some unique ideas and options.

If you are a large business or a small business that wants to grow and keep on growing, considering BigCommerce might not be a bad idea.

That said, things are a bit more complicated than that. Magento can work for large businesses, while many small businesses have notably used BigCommerce.

Either way, it is very important that you try and avoid switching eCommerce platforms and that you keep using the one you select. Migrating from one platform to another can turn out quite the nightmare. That is one of the reasons why you need to know what you want your business to become.

Out-of-the-Box vs Open-Source

The fact that BigCommerce is a SaaS platform makes it an out-of-the-box solution. What this means is that it takes care of everything from setting up to hosting your webstore.

Here, you can go with pre-built, customizable themes, which means that you don’t need an IT team to make the webstore and maintain it. You also gain access to a variety of features, such as digital marketing, product reviews, and loyalty programs. Yes, this is a part of the core BigCommerce product.

Alternatively, Magento is, as mentioned, open-source. That means that any individual can modify and create their webstore code. Outside developers make most plug-ins and enhancements. That means that your developers get a lot of creative freedom, which further means that they can deliver a unique webstore.

On the other hand, you will either need a team of in-house developers or outsource an agency to come up with your webstore. It may turn out quite expensive.

Which One?

So, in this department, Magento would make more sense for a large-scale business or one that has big growth plans. With Magento, you are expected to provide IT expertise, one way or another. With BigCommerce, you get templates and various features from the start. If you are a small business but happen to have in-house technical expertise, Magento would likely be a better choice, though.

Maintenance

As an open-source platform, Magento doesn’t help you with maintenance. As a seller, it is you (or your business) that sets up the administration and infrastructure. The same goes for all software upgrades, bugs, errors, etc. With Magento, you are pretty much responsible for everything.

Now, this may sound as if Magento is a bad choice, but if you happen to have an IT expert on your team, it is a preferable solution to BigCommerce. With Magento, you get more control and customizability, which means more than you may think. If you want to own the capabilities of your eCommerce infrastructure, Magento is the way to go.

On the other hand, BigCommerce takes care of maintenance for you. They host your webstore and provide you with software updates and upgrades. They rely on their team to fix your problems. Naturally, this comes at a cost. You get a lot less control with BigCommerce, in comparison with Magento.

Which One?

If you are a large business, you likely have an in-house IT team. Not only that, but you’ll be able to assign a part of that team to perform eCommerce maintenance, meaning that Magento might be a better choice for you.

Some small businesses have an IT team, as well and, if you can spare a few employees (depending on the size of your team and your company goals), Magento still might be a legitimate choice.

On the other hand, as a small business without an IT team, you’ll want to go with BigCommerce. Sure, you could hire an expert or outsource, but this will set you back. BigCommerce is a much simpler, template-based service.

Magento vs BigCommerce - Verdict

Your company’s size plays a vital role in choosing which eCommerce platform you should choose. The answer, however, isn’t as simple as it sounds. Neither Magento nor BigCommerce are platforms strictly built for large/small companies. However, the size of your company and your company goals probably play the most important role in making this choice.

Either way, you’ll want to settle for an eCommerce platform for the long-term. Migrating from one to another can be quite nightmarish, and it will hinder your business’ performance during the transition period.

Be smart. Know what you want. Choose your eCommerce platform on time.

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By interactivated • on November 15, 2019

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