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magento & ecommerce

Is BigCommerce a big threat to Magento?

BigCommerce is an increasingly popular ecommerce platform. Some see it as the future king of all things online and others see it as a subtle attempt to dethrone Magento. But, it’s not that easy to answer the question.

In order to see how much of a threat BigCommerce is or how much of a threat it can become, it’s important to compare some key features of both.

This article will put Magento and BigCommerce head-to-head in a couple of key categories. For the purpose of not boring you, we’ve steered clear of backend potential and frontend features as those categories are in Magento’s favor for the time being.

A quick comparison

Pricing

The first major difference between BigCommerce and Magento is the pricing plan. BigCommerce has a couple of monthly payment plans in place. The more you pay the more features you get access to. Even the analytics and security features seem to get an upgrade with the more expensive the subscription.

In this regard, BigCommerce is not exactly a big threat but more like zero threat to Magento. The beauty of Magento’s open source solution makes it so anyone can use it at any time. The software can be downloaded for free and websites/ecommerce stores can be built in record time.

Yes, BigCommerce does offer some assistance and it gets better at the higher subscription level. However, because Magento is an open source platform, the community hub is huge. It’s just as easy to browse through guides or ask for help, and it doesn’t cost extra.

In fact, Magento doesn’t cost you anything. What does cost you is buying your own domain name and hosting. But, if you want to set up a store quickly and with minimal investment, Magento is still the reigning MVP.

Marketing

1. Social Media Integration

BigCommerce is known for handling Facebook sales really well. The platform has a sweet SocialShop interface. What it lacks is Twitter and Pinterest support. You may have to turn to external apps do get those integrated.

In this regard, BigCommerce is no longer a threat to Magento. In terms of social media integration it has surpassed the open source platform. Magento doesn’t come with built-in social media support. You can still make use of third-party apps but it’s just not the same.

2. SEO

Magento is as SEO-friendly as it gets. Besides the customizable URLs, the product Meta data is easy to set up and you benefit from a Google sitemap. You can also access Google content API to get a better sense of where you need to improve.

BigCommerce has pretty much the same SEO features. It also comes with robots.txt file alongside the sitemap. The URLs may be a bit more customizable but they don’t make as big of an impact as you might think.

In terms of SEO props, both platforms are neck and neck. Because of this, you could say that a user could easily go with BigCommerce in lieu of Magento.

3. Promotions

Magento edges out BigCommerce with its built-in promotions system. It provides everything from free shipping and multi-tier pricing to upsells and product bundling.

BigCommerce has been a bit slow on the integrated promotions front. The platform is limited to gift wrapping and gift certificates mostly. And, it doesn’t look like BigCommerce is making big strides to improve on this.

Stats

Here are the stats that BigCommerce sees as relevant: store overview, order reports, traffic reports, abandoned cart info, and minor details on customer activities. For a small business that may be enough, but for a medium-sized online store or an enterprise venture, it’s not nearly enough.

Magento is king when it comes to providing detailed analytics and stats for the shop and the customers. One of the reasons why the store overview is superior on this platform is the introduction of advanced graphs. You won’t find this feature in BigCommerce.

Tax reports and sales reports can all be integrated with Google Analytics. Information on product reviews, product popularity, and projected trends is also available.

BigCommerce has a lot to improve upon in order to challenge Magento’s dominance in analytics.

Hosting services

This topic is a bit tricky to judge. BigCommerce does offer hosting but it’s not like it’s free. Sure it is included in the price of the monthly subscription but is it really that solid? The servers are SAS 70 Type II certified servers which should be good enough for most sites.

But, if you want something that’s guaranteed to be better, you don’t really have the option. But if you’re using Magento you have to find and pay for your own hosting, though it comes with a choice.

You can take your business to the cheapest servers on the market or pay for the most high-end services money can buy. You essentially get to design how tight you want your security to be. Also, you can guarantee that those servers can handle your traffic increases, should you hit it big.

Support

If there’s one thing truly lacking from Magento is 24/7 support. Yes, the community is immense and there are plenty of expert developers ready to assist, different time zones can cause issues. No one is getting paid for 24/7 assistance so you might have to be patient at times.

BigCommerce obviously has the edge here. Since this is a pay-to-use platform, their customers have access to a call center. Of course, if you’re an experienced developer you might not need to spend 2 hours on the phone.

For some users it’s enough to read through a couple of forum topics. Beginners or intermediate users may benefit more from BigCommerce’s support center.

Final verdict

Can BigCommerce become a legitimate threat to Magento in the future? – The answer is yes. Is BigCommerce a big threat to Magento now? – That answer would be no.

BigCommerce is impressive these days, especially considering the platform’s questionable start. However, it still lacks in certain key areas such as pricing, overall marketing, and most importantly analytics.

For most site owners, ecommerce is all about analytics, stats, and ways to predict sales, product popularity, etc. Because of this, and because of how cost-effective and easy it is to get rolling with a Magento-based online store, BigCommerce is not so much a threat but might cut into Magento’s market share down the road without significantly affecting its number of total users.

By interactivated • on July 16, 2018

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