Xumulus Blog

Shopping for an e-commerce solution

Though it used to be Magento was the big leader in e-commerce, there has certainly been major progress from the SaaS vendors (software as a service). Here is a high-level look at how the leading open source platform (Magento) stacks up to the leading SaaS providers, BigCommerce and Shopify.

Any retail company without an e-commerce store as an another channel to sell and promote their products to the consumer is really missing out.  Today’s alternatives on platforms can make this effort much easier.

If you do not have an e-commerce store, then you are likely missing out on sales to the 60 percent of Americans who use online stores regularly. But before you subscribe to the first e-commerce solution that shows up in Google, consider the needs of your business. To get you started, we will compare three of the most popular e-commerce store providers below.

Shopify

The monthly price for Shopify starts at $9 and can go as high as $299 per month. Their basic plan, Shopify Lite, comes with basic features such as Messenger chat support, buy buttons and a Facebook plug-in. One of the biggest benefits of using Shopify is that it comes with free hosting. This means that clients do not have to do anything more than purchase and create an e-store to start selling right away. Shopify also comes with a multitude of SEO options and social links.

Because Shopify’s admin area is sleek and modern, both novices and e-commerce professionals will find the UI easy to use. This platform allows users to launch an online store relatively simply, so it is great for shops that are just starting up. All you have to do to be operational is create an account, select a free theme and customize the design. As your business grows, you can expand into Shopify Plus.

Magento

Magento’s plans range from free for the community edition to $100,000+ annually for their most expensive product offerings. Two of the benefits to paying those high fees are the variety of extensions available and the extremely customizable UI. This can be a double-edged sword, though; while there is a strong developer community around Magento, beginners entering the e-commerce sphere may find themselves drowning in the sheer volume of options available.

Magento also works in the cloud space, offering PaaS-based production environments optimized for its service. DDoS protection due to generous bandwidth allowances is also a plus for larger online e-commerce sites.

Big Commerce

Big Commerce offers the best of both worlds, blending Magento’s extensive features list with Shopify’s easy-to-use interface. The admin page is user-friendly and guides clients through the entire process from start to finish. It also comes with free hosting and a number of free and paid themes. Those not looking to simply plug ‘n’ play a theme can utilize Big Commerce’s on-site HTML/CSS editor to code their own.

What really comes in handy, though, is the customer database. Big Commerce provides extensive client information, which is invaluable for anyone who would like to build marketing campaigns based on consumer trends as they pertain to their business. Those features make Big Commerce the choice du jour for rapidly growing companies. The pricing range is comparable to Shopify’s, starting at $29.95 a month for a standard package to $249.95 a month for the pro package.

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