In the Before Time, eCommerce used to be a convenient and tech-rich alternative to physical markets. The pandemic changed that to extents no online retailer ever imagined. The staggering growth of global eCommerce has many otherwise tech reluctant businesses to rethink digitization. Even leading online retailers had to scale up their technology and revamp operations. And eCommerce platforms have been an undeniably important factor in all these.
With an ever-increasing presence of eCommerce platforms, choosing the right one could seem overwhelming. That is why this post is here to help you make an informed decision about eCommerce. I will explain to you the key features and downsides of three of the most popular platforms without going much deep into the technical nitty-gritty. Magento, Shopify, and BigCommerce undoubtedly make a list of the best ones. Let’s dive in!
Magento vs. Shopify vs. BigCommerce – Comparing Key Factors
Even though Magento, Shopify, and BigCommerce look similar in terms of the purpose they serve, they are strikingly different in many aspects. Whether it's the core structure, functionalities, or payment options, all three are strikingly different. Let’s take a look at how these platforms stand on different key parameters.
Customization & store management
Magento, Shopify, and BigCommerce exhibit striking differences when it comes to personalization and control. Magento is self-hosted. So, you have full control over servers and the hosting service you choose. Since it’s an open-source development framework, you have virtually limitless customization possibilities. Magento enables you to redesign and customize your online store according to your wish.
Shopify is a hosted eCommerce platform. That means you don’t need to hire any developer for launching your online store. With Shopify, you can quickly start your online store without having to deal with store configuration. You also don’t need to choose any hosting service. However, customization options are limited since you don’t get access to the source code.
BigCommerce, too, offers a hosted eCommerce platform. You just need to create your account, buy a subscription, and launch your online store. Like Shopify, BigCommerce also limits your customization options. However, the biggest advantage of choosing a hosted service is that you don’t have to do anything except managing the store.
Ease of use
Magento requires you to learn a comparatively complex process for managing the store. Since it provides great flexibility for a diverse array of online retailers, it’s not the easiest platform to learn quickly. It offers an extensive range of features and functionalities that make it complex.
Shopify is much easier to manage than Magento. You can easily modify the basic features and layout of the store using drag-and-drop capabilities. The overall design of Shopify makes it incredibly user-friendly.
BigCommerce, like Shopify, offers a user-friendly experience. You can easily run an eCommerce store even without any technical knowledge. Keep in mind that BigCommerce doesn’t allow any customization.
Themes & layout
The availability of themes and the site’s design plays a crucial role in your eCommerce. After all, it’s the store’s design that puts the first impression on every new visitor and prospective buyers. As online retailers compete for customers’ attention in an overcrowded space, design plays the first key role. Magento doesn’t offer any themes on the platform. Businesses could, however, purchase themes from third-party or develop their theme.
Shopify has a significant advantage over others when it comes to themes and design. The platform offers an array of themes that store owners can according to their design preferences. All Shopify themes are mobile-optimized.
BigCommerce has a sprawling range of customizable templates. Store owners can easily customize these and create the design they want. With the help of a professional theme developer, you can fully customize the store — from its landing to shopping the shopping cart.
Whether you’re are a store owner or an online shopper, you just cannot afford to use a site vulnerable to attacks. And that’s why security is so crucial to everyone. Security on the Magento platform depends heavily on how you develop and manage the store. Magento provides comprehensive guidelines for security best practices. The platform is designed to offer optimal security.
Shopify, being a SaaS platform, ensures robust security without you having to do anything. Shopify also meets all the PCI standards and has SSL security capabilities. BigCommerce, another SaaS, also provides reliable security. The platform is protected with multiple layers of security elements. It has platform-wide SSL security, DDOS protection, and PCI-1 compliance, among other things.
eCommerce is one of the most diverse and dynamic areas of the modern-day business world. Since every online business is unique in terms of operations, their requirements vary greatly. But the factors we discussed above form a common ground where we can compare eCommerce platforms before choosing. Most experts would tell you that the most important factors are your specific requirements and goals.
Big and diversified businesses with a large budget usually choose Magento. The platform requires dedicated development and maintenance. Small enterprises that quickly want to get online should consider Shopify. It’s easy to use and doesn’t need much effort for store management. BigCommerce is suitable for small and large businesses alike.