Choosing an eCommerce platform has never been easy for store owners, especially for those who are newbies in online business. Currently, there are a large number of platforms that you can choose. Some of the big bosses which always rank in the top position in this field are WooCommerce, Shopify, Magento, and BigCommerce. In the previous articles, we have compared these eCommerce platforms, you can refer to our latest comparisons of Magento vs Shopify, WooCommerce vs Shopify, WooCommerce vs Magento.
So, today we will keep working with the two popular eCommerce platforms: BigCommerce vs Magento. Take a look at the line chart below which shows the trend of searching Magento vs BigCommerce keywords.
As you can see, in five recent years, the popularity of Magento has always been bigger than BigCommerce. Why is that? Now, follow me to dive into a deeper comparison between BigCommerce vs Magento. I hope after reading this article, you will have a better idea of whether BigCommerce or Magento is the best option for you.
BigCommerce vs Magento: Overview
BigCommerce vs Magento are the two popular eCommerce platforms, they rank in the top 5 platforms. According to Builtwith statistics, while Magento accounts for 7% live website in the top one million sites, that figure for BigCommerce is 3%.
BigCommerce is a hosted platform like Shopify and Volusion. It has some highlight strengths such as ease of use, strong built-in features, many support methods, and high security. Currently, BigCommerce is home for 42,453 online stores. Some of the big brands are using BigCommerce platforms like Toyota, Kodak, and Ben & Jerry’s, etc.
Magento is an open-source platform that offers some outstanding advantages including paying no monthly fee, having a wide range of apps and extensions, and customizability. At present, there are 170,282 store owners using Magento platform. Many widely-known companies are using the Magento platform to shape their websites such as Coca Cola, Hermes, Nike, Samsung.
Pricing is an essential factor when choosing an eCommerce platform. You have to calculate the budget before deciding which plan is suitable for you. Follow me to find out the packages that BigCommerce and Magento provide.
Currently, BigCommerce is providing four pricing plans for you to choose from, the price starts from $29 to custom cost. In addition, with the Plus and Pro plans, you can save up to 10% when you pay annually.
In general, all BigCommerce packages offer essential features and functions which help you start your online business easily and effectively. Some of the common features you can access on any pricing model such as incredible single-page checkout, unlimited products, responsive website, free transaction fees, etc. Obviously, there are some outstanding ones that are only available in more expensive plans.
So, which BigCommerce plan is the best option for you?
- The Standard Plan is the cheapest at $29.95 per month. This plan has all the necessary features for you to start your online business. With this plan, online sales per year are limited, the revenue per year is only permitted up to $50,000. Therefore, it’s suitable for newbies or small businesses.
- The Plus Plan – most popular plan with $79. The BigCommerce Plus Plan has all the Standard Plan features. Other additions include customer groups and segmentation, persistent cart, and an abandoned cart saver. The revenue per year is up to $180,000, store owners who have medium scale businesses should come with this plan.
- The Pro Plan will cost you $299 per month and provides even more scalable features than Plus Plan. Some of additional features are google customer reviews, faceted search (product filtering), custom SSL. Pro Plan seems like for businesses scaling up or larger business, but if your revenue surpasses over $400,000 per year, you have to pay additional fees (+$150/mo for each additional $200,000 in online sales).
- The Enterprise Plan is the most advanced plan. It has custom pricing, which depends on customers’ online sales. Not only does it cover everything included on the other plans but it also offers some extra powers. Moreover, you will receive priority support from the experts if you have any troubles. So the Enterprise Plan should work well with companies that are moving very fast.
At present, Magento is providing three editions including Magento Open Source (previously known as Magento Community), Magento Commerce Edition(previously known as Magento Enterprise), and Magento Commerce Cloud (The old name is Magento Enterprise Cloud Edition). Let’s compare the cost that you have to pay for each one. First, Take a look at the table below!
|Revenue per year (USD)||Magento Commerce Edition (self-host)||Magento Commerce Cloud|
|0 – <1 M||$22,000||$40,000|
|1 – <5 M||$32,000||$55,000|
|5 – <10 M||$49,000||$80,000|
|10 – <25 M||$75,000||$120,000|
|25 – <50 M||$125,000||$190,000|
The table shows the license fee of Magento Commerce and the cost of Magento Commerce Cloud (including license and hosting fee) per year. The higher revenue you receive, the more you have to pay.
With Magento Open Source Edition, you don’t have to pay a license fee as in Magento Commerce and Magento Commerce Cloud. But both Magento Commerce Edition and Magento Open Source Edition require a hosting fee which ranges from $4 to $1000. With the former, you will unlock more features than the later. You can refer to our article comparing Magento Community vs Enterprise Edition for more information.
Beside that, while running your online store on Magento, you may need the help of web agencies or developers because using this platform is quite complex. The hourly rates for Magento development varies from the experience level of the developer. However, on an average, a quality Magento developer will cost between $65 to $150 per hour. So, that will cost you quite a lot of money if you do not have technical skills or an in-house developer team to execute the changes you want.
Which Magento edition should you choose?
Magento Open Source is suitable for beginners or small online businesses. This edition will help you save a lot of money compared to the two other options and still allow you to build your online stores quickly.
Magento Commerce Edition gives users out-of-the-box features, an unlimited ability to customize, and seamless third-party integrations. It’s quite important to know that you can also get 24/7 email support. Magento EE suits B2B enterprises and stores with high traffic, large product catalogs, or high business complexity.
Magento Commerce Cloud Edition is more suitable for large companies that are looking for a solution with cutting-edge functionality, easy customization, 24/7 support, and that don’t want to worry about hosting. This version combines all Magento 2 Commerce features and adds enhanced Cloud infrastructure.
In conclusion, the pricing plans for both BigCommerce vs Magento are quite similar. They have various packages for you to choose from, these plans are made for all store owners from beginners to enterprise.
Whether you are a newbie or senior in online business, there would be times when you need expert’s advice to solve website-related problems. Hence, the platform’s customer support service is an essential factor that you need to think about.
At this time, BigCommerce supports 24/7 through phone and live chat, email, and help center for all plans. Also, when you sign up for a free trial, you get an email offering an appointment for a 10-minute call to discuss your business and how BigCommerce can help you succeed.
Especially with enterprise plans, you’ll get priority support. This includes an onboarding consultant, as well as prioritized phone calls. You can connect instantly to highly-trained support staffs.
As for Magento, it doesn’t provide a variety of support types like BigCommerce. If using Magento Open Source, you can only find answers from other experienced users and developers on Magento Forums. When you sign up for Magento Commerce and Magento Cloud Edition, you’ll get more support through live chat and email.
Ease of use
As a store owner, you always want to spend more time focusing on your customers, products, and brand, you don’t want to take much time on building, customizing, and editing a website. So, ease of use is a crucial element when it comes to choosing a platform. Let’s find out how easy it is to use BigCommerce and Magento.
You can easily set up your store with detailed instructions on the dashboard. There are 8 key things you need to establish before your store can go live including store profile, currencies, payments, store settings, shipping, tax, point of sale, and accounting.
BigCommerce allows easy navigation on its interface, everything is quite smooth. However, this platform uses various tech terms, which is not easy to handle for non-technical people. If you are not techie, you may need help from Google a lot to understand all the terminologies every time performing basic tasks such as adding a product.
Besides, there is one drawback of BigCommerce design interface. When you’re creating your store, it’s split between two areas. One is where you add products and manage your backend, while the other is where you edit your storefront. This can be confusing to navigate.
Setting up a new Magento store is not simple since there are many steps to take including download Magento, set up FTP, transfer Magento archive to your hosted system, etc. You can read this article for more details about the process of setting up a Magento store. Moreover, you have to find ways to integrate extensions and customize themes yourself. Hence, you would need help from experts or developers to finish the task.
However, Magento interface is well-designed and thought-out if comparing its latest version, Magento 2 with the previous one. Although it also uses complicated terminology on each page like BigCommerce, Magento 2 has a highly-improved admin interface compared to Magento 1, allowing non-technical users to accomplish more without having to rely on their developers. Everything is consolidated on the navigational menu such as customers, products, promotions, sales, and reports.
In summary, BigCommerce is easier to use than Magento, the setting up process is quick and easy with clear instructions. Furthermore, unlike Magento, you don’t need to know technical skills to customize your website because almost all the functions you need can be found on the BigCommerce dashboard.
Themes and interface customization
One of the most important things that merchants care about is the look of their platform. That will be the first impression shoppers have on the brands, therefore, it is of great significance. So, follow me to find out the difference about theme and level of interface customization between BigCommerce vs Magento.
Currently, BigCommerce is providing 12 free themes and 100+ paid options which cost from $145 to $235 each. All of these themes are mobile responsive and easy to customize with the help of Stencil – BigCommerce front-end development framework.
On the other hand, Magento offers 14 theme options in total both free and paid. Paid options cost from $29 to $499, 10 of which are fully mobile responsive. With Magento, you can even create your theme from scratch but this requires you to have deep coding knowledge, or you can hire developers to do it for you.
When it comes to themes, BigCommerce offers a variety of options for you to choose from, but Magento offers much more design flexibility than BigCommerce. Magento lets you customize your themes any way you want as long as you have enough coding experience to pull it off.
Apps and extensions
As a hosted platform, BigCommerce provides strong built-in features that help your online store perform better, some of the outstanding ones are:
- Abandoned cart reminders: This feature allows users to create and send out automated emails to any website visitors who went through the sales funnel and left without making a purchase.
- Analytic tools and reporting: With this feature, you can manage your site’s performance and assess campaigns..
BigCommerce also provides a wide range of apps for you to expand the functions of your store. At present, it supports over 600 Apps belonging to different categories such as Marketing, Analytic & Reporting, Payment & Security and Accounting, etc. One of the famous extensions is MailChimp app which is free to install. One of its main features is automatic product recommendations based on customers’ previous purchases.
Like BigCommerce, Magento offers various and powerful built-in features such as: Integrated checkout, payment, and shipping; mobile optimized shopping; catalog management; instant purchase and so on. And of course, you can also buy thirt-party extensions on Magento Marketplace which is now providing 5831+ extensions in all categories. You can refer to some highlight extensions of Magento here.
In a nutshell, both Magento and BigCommerce offers many robust integrated functions and supports a wide range of extensions on their marketplaces. However, Magento is the winner in terms of quantity.
Payment options and fees
BigCommerce offers over 65 integrated payment gateways to its users. Some of the big bosses are PayPal, Stripe, Square, Apple Pay, etc. All BigCommerce plans require no transaction fees. You just need to pay credit card rates, the higher the plan you choose, the less you have to pay for credit card rates.
Take a look at the below table, it shows credit card rates on each pricing plan of BigCommerce.
|2.9% + $0.30¢
|2.5% + $0.30¢
|2.2% + $0.30¢
|2.2% + $0.30¢ or lower
Contrasting to BigCommerce, with Magento, you have to use third-party payment methods, there are 364 Apps in the Magento Marketplace for you to choose from. Therefore, it may take you some time to select and integrate. However, some apps provide gateways that support other countries and languages, which is ideal for international businesses.
To summarise, in terms of Payment Gateway, BigCommerce allows you to integrate Payment Processors quicker and easier, without transaction fees on any pricing plans. While adding payment gateways into BigCommerce can be done with just a couple of clicks from the dashboard, Magento requires apps which may cost extra fee.
SEO and marketing tools
When running an online business, optimizing SEO is necessary. In both platforms, you can edit page title and meta description, add alt text to images and customize URLs. However, let’s go further to see the differences between BigCommerce vs Magento in terms of SEO and marketing tools.
BigCommerce has some built-in SEO features like:
- Unique URLs: Ensuring that every unique page has only one URL, so you don’t get punished for duplicate content.
- Microdata: BigCommerce has integrated microdata (rich snippets) into your product pages to enhance your search result listings with information like ratings, pricing, brand, and stock levels.
- 301 redirects and URL rewrites: When you rename a product, it will automatically generate a new URL and the old URL will be redirected to the new URL. This helps search engines understand when you’ve made changes or moved pages on your site without manual effort.
- CDN (Content Delivery Network): This feature is always working in the background to ensure your site loads quickly for both shoppers and search engines. The fast site speed will boost website’s search rankings.
Magento doesn’t offer as many built-in SEO features as BigCommerce, so you need to integrate SEO apps into a Magento store.
Some of the apps that help expand Magento SEO functionality are:
- SEO Toolkit, some of the top-notch features this extension offers you are:
- Generate relevant meta tags with ease
- Help you build robust sitemaps
- Quickly import and export product tags
- Make your product reviews SEO-friendly
- Show rich snippets in search results
- Create and automate meta tags templates
- Advanced SEO Suite, some of highlight features of this extension are:
- Take care of SEO settings for pages, layered navigation and categories
- Take advanced rich snippets
- Generate Meta-tags by templates
- Generate advanced Sitemap for Google
- Manage all redirects quickly and easily
- Get SEO analysis of every page
- Increase your website visibility on search engine and grow your CTR
Multichannel Selling tactic is a marketing strategy in which retailers can interact with potential buyers via several important social media and Marketplaces. Both BigCommerce and Magento are offering an ability to sell products on Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, eBay, Amazon, etc by default. While these sales channels are available in BigCommerce platform, Magento requires you to add extensions (M2E or Sellbrire) to enable integration.
In conclusion, BigCommerce has better integrated marketing features than Magento, it has full marks in SEO and automatically links your store to numerous channels like Facebook, Amazon, and eBay. By contrast, with Magento, if you want to rank your website, you should buy SEO extensions on Magento MarketPlace and Magento also requires third-party extensions for multi-channel selling.
When choosing eCommerce platforms, you need to take into account the future business scale that you are orienting to.
Magento has some incredible performance and scalability standards as follows:
- Processes significantly more orders per hour on the same hardware
- Offer near-instant server response times for catalog browsing
- Deliver double-digit decreases in response times for cart and checkout pages
- Better handle peak order volume, extra-large catalogs, and outsized customer lists
- Supports significantly more simultaneous administrative users on the backend
BigCommerce has some outstanding features to plan for your store future growth:
- Open API: BigCommerce enables developers to create an entirely customised user experience for their customers with an open API.
- 100% uptime: This is a very important factor as your business grows and traffic increases. BigCommerce will ensure that your store will maintain the normal loading speed during peak periods.
- Bringing order to the back-end with an ERP: An integrated ERP allows employees in different departments( eg: accounting, logistics, and sales, etc) to rely on the same information and data source
- Product information management (PIM): it is a solution which provides a single place to collect, manage, and enrich your product information, create a product catalog, and distribute it to your sales and eCommerce channels.
So, we have compared BigCommerce vs Magento, you can see the brief information below!
After comparing and assessing the two platforms: BigCommerce vs Magento with all the key criteria that matter the most, we can conclude that both BigCommerce and Magento are suitable for all types of business, from small to large scale.
However, if you only have little technical knowledge, going with BigCommerce will be a better choice as it has all essential features and a decent support to help you quickly kick off an online business .
Meanwhile, technical people can take more advantages with Magento as it has a free edition and gives you limitless customizability. Magento lets you fully control and optimize your stores as you wish.
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