The Best Ecommerce Platform for Your Business: Magento vs BigCommerce vs Shopify
Choosing the right eCommerce platform for your business takes time and effort. There are many different options out there, each with its set of pros and cons.
This post compares Magento, Shopify, and BigCommerce. We outline the key differences between these platforms to help you decide the best fit for your business.
Magento, now Adobe Commerce, is a powerful eCommerce platform, perfect for businesses that need a lot of flexibility and control. Shopify is a more user-friendly platform, ideal for small businesses and beginners. BigCommerce is a hybrid platform that combines Magento’s flexibility with Shopify’s ease of use.
So, which one is right for you? Read on to find out.
Which is the Most Popular Platform?
Magento hosts 260,000+ online stores, most from the United States. Research Firm Gartner has ranked it the leading e-commerce platform for three consecutive years, and it’s easy to see why. The platform is popular among companies with thousands of products and enterprises that need multiple customization options.
Shopify hosts 3.8 million + websites. Most Shopify stores are from the US, but the platform still has more European sites than Magento. Because Shopify is a very versatile platform, it can accommodate any business. That’s why it’s popular among small companies or freelancers who don’t have a huge budget for eCommerce storefronts. Plus, it’s intuitive, so you can easily set up shop and increase Shopify sales in months.
BigCommerce is not as popular as Shopify or Magento. However, it’s still a powerful e-commerce tool with 52,000+ websites, most from the United States. BigCommerce offers an array of web-building features; hence ideal if you’re after an open-source solution that doesn’t cost too much upfront.
Magento vs Shopify vs BigCommerce Comparison
Magento: Affordable for Enterprises, Expensive for Small Biz
Magento has a free-to-use version if you opt for the Magento Open Source offering. However, you’ll need to pay for hosting, a domain name, and hire a developer to customize the platform, which can cost $20,000+, depending on your service provider.
The Magento Commerce option is more inclusive but has a high price tag. On average, you’ll need roughly $20K to $150K to set up shop on Magento.
Shopify & BigCommerce: Affordable for Small Biz
Shopify and BigCommerce have very similar pricing plans. Both start at $29/month for the basic plan and go up to $299/month for the advanced plan. Both platforms offer enterprise plans for businesses needing more customization and support, priced according to the brand’s specific needs.
For example, Shopify has a premium offering for brands looking to increase Shopify sales- the Shopify Plus, which costs up to $2K per month.
Magento isn’t as user-friendly as Shopify or BigCommerce. The platform has advanced features like product customization, theme building, payment gateways, social media integration, etc., which require in-depth web development knowledge to crack. This platform is best for well-established enterprises with the workforce and resources to handle these complex tasks.
Shopify: Most Intuitive
Shopify is the most user-friendly platform for beginners. It is simple to use and offers just enough customization options, making it easy to set up shop online.
Shopify has a library of themes that are adaptive and easy to use. The platform also offers many free apps– e.g., Facebook Ads, Google Analytics, Google Adwords, etc. if you need to increase Shopify sales.
BigCommerce: Userfriendly Drag-&-Drop Functionality
BigCommerce is relatively friendly compared to Magento, thanks to its intuitive drag-and-drop functionality. You can easily edit the themes and layouts to achieve a preferred design.
Still, the platform comes with many advanced features like product customization options, multichannel integration, etc., which may be challenging if you’re new to web development.
SEO and Marketing Comparison
As an eCommerce business, you know that SEO and marketing are essential to driving traffic and sales. So, which platform is best for SEO and marketing? All three platforms offer various features to help with SEO and marketing, but Magento offers the most comprehensive and flexible solution.
With Magento, you have complete control over your website’s URL structure, title tags, meta descriptions, and more.
However, Shopify still wins in intuitiveness, even on the SEO and marketing front. Even newbie website owners can increase Shopify sales in a matter of months.
BigCommerce also has intuitive marketing and SEO features to help you reach customers. For example, you can integrate with social media and boost revenue as shoppers can order products directly from their favorite platforms.
Beyond social media marketing, Bigcommerce helps with other campaigns like free shipping, customer targeting, cart abandonment reduction, etc.
Magento: Most Scalable for Large Companies
Magento is the most scalable platform for established enterprises. It is highly programmable and can accommodate growing businesses to enterprise-level organizations.
Magento also has a wide range of features, including:
- Product customization
- Payment gateway setup
- Enhanced security
- Advanced experience management
- Social media integration
Plus, you can tailor all these to meet your brand’s changing needs.
Shopify and BigCommerce: Best for SMB Growth
Micro to medium-sized businesses can increase Shopify sales and grow with the platform. Though not as scalable as Magento, Shopify is adaptive and feature-rich. The platform can accommodate your changing needs as you grow from a small retailer to a full-blown brand.
BigCommerce is perfect for companies looking for an eCommerce platform that allows for growth and provides many features out-of-the-box. However, like Shopify, it is less scalable than Magento.
All three platforms offer multiple theme options, so you can find a layout that fits your brand.
Shopify: Best for Multiple Free/Paid Theme Options
Shopify has six free-to-use and 65+ paid-for themes, plus the alternative to create your desired theme. Choosing the right one can be challenging with so many options available. Focus on your target audience when selecting layouts because an intuitive website is one way to increase Shopify sales.
BigCommerce: Best Drag-and-Drop/Customizable Themes
BigCommerce offers five free themes with different layouts and colors. These free themes are customizable and feature twelve styles to help you achieve a desired layout and color scheme.
Magento: Best for Custom Coded & Unique Themes
Magento only offers two themes- Blank and Luma. But you can also update your website to a preferred theme if you have coding knowledge and a budget.
Overall, Shopify gives you the most theme options. But if you want a unique store that stands out from the crowd, Magento is the way to go.
Magento: Gives You Total Control of Security
Magento is an open-source platform, which means its code is accessible for anyone to view and edit. This can be a double-edged sword in security, as it can make it easier for hackers to find vulnerabilities.
But that’s also an advantage because you are in charge of safeguarding your site. Businesses using this solution must update their security systems regularly to protect their customers’ payment data.
Shopify: Encrypts Data with the SSL certificate, Also PCI-Compliant
Security will be a primary concern as you increase Shopify sales. But the platform takes security seriously, so that won’t be a problem. All Shopify plans come with an SSL certificate, which encrypts data and ensures it remains private. In addition, Shopify is PCI compliant, meaning it meets the security standards set by credit card companies.
Image: Shopify third-party payment providers
BigCommerce: Fortifies SSL Certificate & PCI-Compliance with DDOS
But BigCommerce takes the security game a notch higher, adding DDOS protection on top of SSL certificate and PCI compliance. DDOS is short for Distributed Denial of Service. It has an extra layer of security for customer payment info.
Magento is a popular shopping cart software. The platform boasts many unique features like multi-language support, customizable themes, and advanced e-commerce features.
Magento’s customizability sets it apart from other eCommerce platforms such as Shopify. This is the ideal platform for you if you want to create a unique storefront or customize its look and feel. The Magento community has thousands of developers who are constantly updating the platform with new themes and plugins so that it continues to grow in popularity.
The Magento core includes an eCommerce engine that runs on top of MySQL databases. You can choose between two different server types:
- Community Server (CS)
- Enterprise Server (ES).
CS offers limited products per page, while ES provides unlimited products per page. Both versions support HTML5, CSS3, and jQuery Mobile compatible browsers. CS also includes an advanced theme editor for designers who want to create unique themes — this is perfect if you want total control over your site’s appearance.
BigCommerce offers multiple features, such as drag-and-drop interfaces, numerous shipping options, and five free themes (with 12 styles).
It also includes extra perks like unlimited products and storage, plus advanced analytics tools to help you run a successful online business. And for further safety, it adds DDOS protection on top of the SSL certificate and PCI compliance standards.
Shopify is yet another feature-rich eCommerce platform with plenty to offer, including order management and marketing tools.
Pro accounts offer more advanced services to help you increase Shopify sales. Some premium offerings include, e.g.,
- Custom domain names and URLs
- Google Analytics support
- Advanced Reporting
- Unlimited products and variations
- Custom fonts and stylesheets
- Social media integration
Ultimately, Magento is the best eCommerce platform for established businesses because it offers the most flexibility and control. It’s also a good option if you need advanced features or want to build a custom eCommerce store. However, if you’re looking for a platform that is easy to use, has built-in components, and doesn’t require much technical knowledge, Shopify might be a better option.
BigCommerce is yet another one-stop shop for your e-commerce needs. It is a perfect alternative if you can’t set up shop on Magento or generate Shopify sales.