Do you want to skip the read and get right to my winner? BigCommerce is the Winner within this BigCommerce vs Magento comparison platform test.
Introduction to our BigCommerce vs Magento Comparison
With every business taking to the online marketplace because of the spectre that is COVID-19, software as a service (SaaS) providers has risen to the challenge of creating solutions that can cope with the needs of companies that are poised for growth.
In which case, Magento has become the favourite ecommerce builder of companies that are scaling up from medium to large-scale operations. But hot on its heels is competitor BigCommerce which also offers a plethora of solutions growing companies can choose from to boost their online sales.
In this review, we stack up the best – and not so best – points for each of these eCommerce power players.
Overview: Which works best for your growing business?
Before we start with the comparison proper, here's an overview of BigCommerce Magento:
Headquartered in Texas, Big Commerce has been steadily growing its customer base for over a decade now and has built and hosted nearly 100,000 websites. It’s a modest record, but when you count bigwigs like jewellery atelier Davidoff, automotive titan Toyota, and Harvard Business Publishing among your clients, people sit up and take notice – and you certainly don’t want to mess with the SaaS people from Texas.
Magento got its start in 2008, a year before BigCommerce appeared on the scene. It's latest iteration Magento was released in 2015. But it really started making headway in 2018 following its acquisition by creative software developer Adobe Inc. To date, it has nearly 500,000 sites to its name. Also, as open-source ware, it pulls away from the pack as its source code has been downloaded over 2.5 million times.
For clarity, we'll be comparing BigCommerce vs Magento in this review.
Ease of Use:
BigCommerce is not the easiest platform to work with, for all that it claims that it’s a fairly intuitive builder. Unfortunately, it will take you some time to be able to navigate your way through the system without wrong-clicking through half the stuff in the menus. Once you’ve gotten the hang of it, you’ll have a working site up and running in a snap.
Let’s be clear about it from square one: like BigCommerce Magento is not for complete novices. In fact, because it was specifically created for medium, large, and very large-scale enterprises, it is assumed that the user will have a dedicated person taking charge of building the site and managing it for the long haul.
Winner – BigCommerce! We have two platforms which are for more expert users. But we are handing the win to BigCommerce for this BigCommerce vs Magento ‘Ease of Use' showdown.
Features and Flexibility:
How does BigCommerce vs Magento 2 compare in terms of features and flexibility?
BigCommerce plays true to current form with a drag and drop user interface (UI) and a whole platoon of tools that are intrinsic to creating a good (if not great) ecommerce user experience (UX.) The diversity of solutions built into the BigCommerce UI offers everything from store management to shipping and delivery support for customers across the globe.
At its most basic – Magento Open Source – Magento offers a feature-rich UI that covers everything from site building to online marketing, and even SEO. But to completely enjoy the full range of features the platform offers, one needs to avail of Magento Commerce, the premium edition – but this can come at a very steep price.
BigCommerce Magento Themes and Templates:
The platform offers a current total of 162 templates, all of which have three palette variations each – and this is a plus for users who need a colour scheme that suits their brand identity. However, it is important to note that only twelve of these are free and you need to pay up to $300 for the others.
If you’re looking for an easy way to get started, you won’t find it on Magento. The platform has only a bare minimum of pre-made templates for customers to use, so you really have to build your own aesthetic code and thematic set or purchase premium templates from 3rd party providers.
Two words: built in. You don’t need to download a secondary customisation app or plugin to customise your site as BigCommerce has all the bells and whistles you need to enhance the overall look and make the user experience (UX) easier and interactive.
Because one of Magento’s key selling points is its blank canvas approach to storefront building, you would think that customisation tools would be part of the package. But no: you’re on your own here, mate. You’re going to need to buy a third-party theme generator or a platform extension to create custom features like a payment gateway or discounting system.
3rd Party Integrations:
One word: diverse. You get everything you need to build and manage your online store from scheduling and communication apps to options for marketing, payment, shipping, and even language support.
Like BigCommerce Magento also has diverse integration capability. It currently interfaces with over 300 apps and programmes – and that’s just for payment. There are also a plethora of themes, widgets, and features available through the Magento Marketplace. However, these will cost you a pretty penny as very few of these enhancements don’t come for free.
It’s an SaaS provider that promises – and delivers – 99.99% uptime for its sites as it’s hosted via Google Cloud. Not only does this ensure that your site is online all the time, but it accords optimal online security and rapid page loading. T
Magento Commerce is self-hosted, but its free counterpart will leave users scratching their heads as they need to figure out where to host a site built with Magento Open Source. A domain name for your site as well as an SSL certificate will also cost you extra. This is pretty ironic at a time when both are already offered in standard packages by competitor platforms.
Unfortunately, between Magento vs BigCommerce, BigCommerce has no native functionality for backing up. It only relies instead on third-party backup apps to facilitate data retention, with Rewind being one of its favourite tools.
In previous programme releases, Magento did not have a built-in backup system. With the rollout of Magento 2.4, a scheduled backup feature is built into the UI. However, this is disabled by default and will require the services of a developer to activate – a hassle that shop owners don’t need.
While full cross-platform migration is still not in the cards for BigCommerce, the platform does have tools for moving important data like customer and inventory lists from a site built off-platform to one’s BigCommerce account.
In-platform migration from the legacy edition of Magento (Magento 1) to its current iteration proved to be a challenge for many users, as it called for developer intervention. Moving from a different platform also poses a conundrum. Like BigCommerce, you can’t move the whole site from, say Shopify, to Magento, but you can carry over important data which you will need to manually save as *.csv files.
Winner – BigCommerce! in this BigCommerce vs Magento ‘Features and Flexibility' comparison.
SEO and Mobility:
How do Magento vs BigCommerce help you breeze through the search engine rankings?
Both BigCommerce Magento have SEO tools built into their UIs. This makes it easier for users to optimise their sites for popular search engines like Google and Bing.
What's mobile responsivity like in BigCommerce Magento?
BigCommerce offers an app edition for both Android and iOS that enables users to manage their online stores from wherever they are at any time of the day.
Magento, on the other hand, also has an open-source app for both platforms that will set you back $149 – at least on paper. However, you will need to choose a service agreement for technical support that will push the price to over $300.
When it comes to loading times, who wins in Magento vs BigCommerce?
BigCommerce loads in as fast as 2.4 seconds.
One worrying aspect of the original Magento platform was that standard page-loading time clocked in at more than three seconds. Sites built on Magento, however, have since clocked in between 2.45 seconds and 3 seconds flat.
Winner: Between BigCommerce vs Magento, we’d like to give the win to the platform that makes things easier for users. Thus, this is BigCommerce’s game to win.
Which between Magento vs BigCommerce offers better online store features?
BigCommerce lives up to its name with the sheer variety of tools it offers to both retailers and stores that sell services rather than goods. Tools include solutions for offering and scheduling services (an advantageous solution for those working in the gig economy), provisions for selling digital downloads, and order process management.
Magento offers solutions for order management, business analytics (marketing and metrics), as well as solutions for payment, taxation, and international shipping support.
Winner – Draw! Between BigCommerce vs Magento, this battle is a draw for the ‘eCommerce Tools' category.
Support and Resources:
If you're in a bind, what kind and quality of customer support does Magento vs BigCommerce provide?
A constantly – and expertly updated – knowledge base is always a plus for any platform, and BigCommerce is no slouch when it comes to delivering well-researched and proven support solutions. Likewise, customers will be able to reach the technical support team at any time through various channels.
We can describe Magento’s support and resources in a single word: limited. Those using the open-source version of the platform will find themselves askance when it comes to trying to get through to customer care. Also, the knowledge base can be quite sketchy. Also, if you need more extensive support, it will cost you.
Winner – BigCommerce! for this BigCommerce vs Magento ‘Support and Resources' comparison category.
BigCommerce Magento Pricing:
Which platform offers better value for your money – Magento vs BigCommerce?
BigCommerce has four pricing plans in total. The first three plans are suitable for small and medium-sized businesses, though only the Plus and Pro plans yield up to a 10% discount if you pay annually. Also, depending on your revenue range, you may be charged a 2% fee per transaction. As stated on their terms of service page, the BigCommerce page builder offers a 15-day free trial.
While Magento’s open-source edition is free to download, Magento Commerce will come at a price.
As a minium;
The greater the functionality and size of your online store, the more you will pay for in terms of related apps and increased hosting costs. An example here is that while some of Magento’s apps are free, the ones that cost come with and installation and annual fee. This can often be seen at around $100 per app per year. As mentioned, the more paid for apps installed, the greater your cost.
Another cost consideration that may need to be take in into account is the potential of hiring a Magento eCommerce development team. If this option is taken then there is a fairly hefty financial investment involved, although you should expect an ‘all singing, all dancing’ site set up for this outlay.
Those companies looking to use the Enterprise version need to understand that Magento themselves set this up for you. This moves things up quite dramatically from a cost point of view. Indeed, there is no openly published price list on their website. You need to complete a contact form detailing your company and needs. Dependent upon what you are after, rumour has it that you will pay anything from £10,000 per annum and well in excess, dependent upon your needs.
Winner – BigCommerce! BigCommerce pricing gets our vote here between BigCommerce Magento. We like it when platforms are transparent about how much bang you get for your bucks.
Comparison Winner: Magento vs BigCommerce?
While Magento is rapidly getting a sizable share of the eCommerce sector, we feel compelled to give the win to BigCommerce, particularly for SMEs and start-ups.
Compared to BigCommerce Magento is certainly for more advanced development professionals – and hiring people like that will come at a cost, so it’s a platform best suited for businesses on a larger scale.
Conclusion and Recommendation to our BigCommerce vs Magento Comparison:
Finally, to wrap up this Magento vs BigCommerce showdown;
What is BigCommerce best for?
If you're looking for extreme scalability for your online store, then BigCommerce is your best bet. It has a fantastic set of SEO tools, sales features, and multi-channel integration.
What is Magento best for?
Magento works best for large corporations with complex requirements. Despite its open-source edition, it's structured at the moment for enterprises, and not small businesses.
Magento vs BigCommerce Alternatives:
Here's a list of the best Magento vs BigCommerce alternatives to create a an online eCommerce website:
|1||Shopify (and Shopify Plus)||Best All-In-One eCommerce solution|
|2||Squarespace||Best for design and creatives|
|3||Webflow||Best for advanced design tools|
|4||Square Online||Best for ease of use|
|5||BigCommerce||Best for medium to large stores|
|6||WooCommerce (with Nexcess)||Best for Wordpress Users|
|7||Wix||Good for general use|
|8||Big Cartel||Best for very simple sites|
|9||Ecwid||Best for adding to an existing website|
|10||Volusion||Best for advanced analytics|
BigCommerce vs Magento Final Word:
We have tried as much as we could to deliver a review featuring an unbiased look at the two platforms presented in this article. However, if you have specific needs for your website, you would do well to do some shopping around to see which platform will work best for you.
Be sure to take advantage of free trial (BigCommerce – 30 day free trial) and product demos (Magento free product demo) to really get a feel of both solutions.
Aside from BigCommerce vs Magento, what alternatives do I consider?
You can consider Shopify or WooCommerce for your large business. They have more affordable pricing structures compared to Magento 2 vs BigCommerce.
I own a small business. Is BigCommerce Magento a viable option for me?
We don't recommend these platforms for small businesses. They are built for very large enterprises.
That’s all for now:
If you've read our BigCommerce vs Magento comparison up to here, we are grateful. If you want to get a more in-depth understanding of the showdown between BigCommerce vs Magento, you can click on these articles:
Remember always to keep abreast of the latest developments on website builders, eCommerce, and other WooCommerce vs Shopify vs BigCommerce vs Magento 2 alternative comparison articles, such as the ones below;
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