BigCommerce vs. Magento - differences in two giants


These two platforms have been around a long time - however, one transformed from hosted to SAAS (Software as a Service) and not just SAAS, but Open SAAS. That would be BigCommerce re-inventing its architecture all the while Magento which is one of the most capable yet complex architectures in eCommerce is now receiving pressure on ease of use and managing of the online stores. While Multi-store has been a strength with Magento, as well as managing B2B and B2C from within a single store, BigCommerce's capabilities to match and exceed the commercial toolset has been relentless and is showing greater capability as an industry leader.


Battle of the Big Guns


When you have to evaluate Enterprise-level systems, it isn't just a Shopping Cart comparison, it is more involved when it comes to operations and departments interfacing with it. Sure, you have Shopify Plus in the mix when it comes to BigCommerce vs. Magento - however, Shopify Plus has limitations in B2B, product complexity in SKUs, and a much slower API when it comes to integrations, which is why we have ruled them out in this comparison. BigCommerce and Magento will be compared on being PCI compliant, inventory management, credit card processing, search engine optimization, and how you manage products.


The main differences


Below are the main differences in the capabilities and features between the two platforms:

  • Automatic Updates: BigCommerce being SAAS-based, applies core updates to all of its merchants on the platform, while with Magento the update and regression testing (for compatibility of the various extensions) is a required ritual.

  • Theme editor: As part of the ease of use for online store owners to edit their themes and give the site the look and feel the brand wants to deliver to the audience. This is not a feature that Magento supports.

  • Abandoned Cart saver: While Magento can have an extension to have this feature, it is part of the BigCommerce core features at the Enterprise-level.

  • Integrations: WordPress, Bloomreach, SiteCore, and Drupal are all part of BigCommerce's native capability while Magento may not have a 3rd party Extension or if it does as in Drupal, it usually comes at an additional cost.

  • PCI/DSS requirements: Focusing on industry data security standards and credit card data the ease of integration with OCI compliant Payment Gateways makes the BigCommerce store stand out over Magento. Avoiding data breaches is paramount to having consumer confidence at its highest for the online shopper.

  • Multi-store: Being Magento's strength for years, this is a key differentiator as of today. While you can achieve multi-store with Headless and WordPress, it isn't considered as part of its core architecture.

Capabilities that differ but are both supported


While features are listed on both sides but work differently - how they work may favor an industry or best practice:

  • Inventory Management System: While both have this feature, they work in different ways. With Magento it deducts inventory within a multi-store environment - Introduced in 2.4 back in August 2021, stock levels could finally be tracked within, however, if you have integrations with Marketplaces, it is required that they update their extensions to make inventory levels accurate. BigCommerce has had inventory management in place for a long time, and marketplace integrations have been in synch with this feature.

  • Customization: While both systems have an API, and can be customized for the ultimate experience technology has to offer, the main difference is the cost of ownership, cost of maintenance, and time to market leans towards BigCommerce. Magento requires management between patches and updates with the extensions that are installed, making the effort much larger given that features are added via these extensions and can have conflicts. With BigCommerce the integrations are mostly internal, which are tested within the core development of the SAAS environment, making you have fewer Apps, with fewer integration issues.

  • Security: Again, you can have security on both sides, however, with BigCommerce your environment comes with it, while with Magento, you have to configure it, and have PCI compliance services verify it. The cost and time to reach the same level of security, and maintaining it through the patches/fixes is a burden on the business which is not present on the BigCommerce site.

Conclusion


Magento has been a pioneer in marketing and selling online for a very long time, and while the community that supports it is alive and well, its market share is shrinking as online store owners are looking to lower costs and simplify their cost of ownership - which SAAS provides. Those very same store owners don't want to give up their control and flexibility of their eCommerce which is why they choose an Open SAAS system to migrate to. Having a super-fast API has its advantages at the Enterprise level as other systems can real-time access information, produce reports, and give you the analysis that you might need to manage the business. If you have any questions and would like to enquire more about these two systems, feel free to reach out to us at wish@thegenielab.com


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