In this article we will be assessing the different implications of using either Magento or BigCommerce for a website.
Magento vs BigCommerce - Whats right for me?
“Which website platform would best suit my business needs?”
We always advise that the best option depends on your business, your target market(s), and your plans for growth. We can integrate with an array of carts and platforms that you can utilise to sell your products, in this article we will be discussing and comparing the costs of the two most popular website platforms with Linnworks, Magento & BigCommerce - Here’s why.
Magento is a very popular Open Source eCommerce platform, featuring strong back-end processing, a good overall customer experience and good cart functionality. Linnworks can directly integrate with multiple Magento stores, pulling in the orders from your site(s) and those from your marketplace accounts – a synchronised single inventory.
The Magento platform has an interesting functionality known as ‘Multi-Store’, this advanced feature allows for management of multiple websites and stores within one installation. In effect, you can have two web-stores within one Magento Website – cool right? It gets even better, one store within a website can have multiple ‘store views’ like an English, French and German view of your store. Linnworks is able to facilitate this to full effect. For example, if you have one Magento website with multiple stores, each store is configured and treated as a separate channel within the system.
Magento Connect Extensions
Magento Connect is Magento’s official extension marketplace, in which you can browse and find extensions to customise your Magento stores. Similar to WordPress, you are able to purchase and integrate plug-ins to make the most out of your website, this ranges from marketing Analytics and SEO extensions through to CRM and Accounts extensions. Further enhancing personalisation and utilisation. Plugins may affect the Magento integration to Linnworks however, so be aware that you should always allow time for testing with Linnworks before making an extension live.
Packages & Pricing
The Magento platform primarily has three packages;
Magento Community Edition – FREE
Magento Go – From £9.99 - £79.99 per month.
Magento Enterprise Edition – From approx. £10’000 per annum
Magento Enterprise ‘Premium Edition’ – From approx. £32’000 per annum
Similar to Linnworks, Magento offer a free download of their open source software, this comes in the form of Magento Community Edition, a solution that sits on a web server of your choice. If you have some development skills or consider yourself to be tech savvy you are able to alter the core code and add features/functionalities by installing extensions from the Magento Connect marketplace. The Magento Community edition is compatible with the LinnLive listing tool.
With this free version of the software you are not entitled to Technical Support from Magento, but you do have access to documentation and user forums. If you wanted more functionality and support for your website you can consider looking at the Magento Go Package. You are able to agree flexible monthly arrangements for ongoing support if you deem it necessary, this is normally paid on a ‘Support Hours spent per month”
Magento Go is a hosted cloud based solution designed for merchants that are new to eCommerce or don’t want to retain separate development and support for Community Edition. The Magento Go edition boasts a customisable environment equipped with a robust set of tools designed to help you create, manage and grow your online business.
This edition gives you the opportunity to completely customise the look and feel of your stores, product catalogues and even have control over SEO functionalities. All of this can be utilised to optimise your customer engagement, increasing interactivity and the potential of repeat business. Magento Go is not currently compatible with the LinnLive listing tool.
The Magento Enterprise Solution is the package designed for businesses working with large volumes of data and orders across multiple stores, optimised for high end servers. Enterprise Edition and its derivatives are compatible with LinnLive. This package offers full functionality of the software and a highly customisable solution, providing you with a list of features at your disposal, enabling you to completely tailor your site to your business preferences with 24/7 extensive support. If you still wanted more Magento offer the Enterprise ‘Premium Edition’ which would entitle you to a Premium suite of services to help large Corporate businesses to build and manage dynamic eCommerce sites.
Custom development to get your site launched will come at a cost, for the standard packages, themes and features generally starts at around £500 and can rise to around about £3500 for highly customised site. You are able to agree flexible monthly arrangements for ongoing development support if you deem it necessary, this is normally paid on a ‘Support Hours spent per month”, it’s a flexible arrangement and gives customers full control on monthly development costs.
Off-Page SEO work ranges from around £300-£550 per month, On-Page SEO ranges from £300-£1000 at a one off charge. The SEO costs are for Magento Community & GO sites, prices for Enterprise Editions may be considerably higher.
BigCommerce is a well-supported and highly popular paid for eCommerce solution that also allows owners to set up an online store and sell their products online. This platform comes with a range of customisable templates to help you design your web-store, but similar to Magento, allows web designers to tweak at the HTML and CSS of their sites too. The BigCommerce integration with Linnworks allows for the system to effectively synchronise inventory levels, but similar to Magento, you are able to list on BigCommerce using LinnLive.
Packages & Pricing
The BigCommerce pricing structure is different to that of Magento’s, the price ranges from approx. £16 - £193 per month. The starter plan allows for you to sell 100 products and provides you with 1GB of server storage for your products, images, videos and more. As your business grows you can upgrade your subscription level to provide your website with more server storage and a higher product limit.
The ‘Gold’ plan is deemed as the most popular at a reasonable £50 per month and gives you the added functionality of an ‘Abandoned Cart Saver’ – this helps to recover an average 15% of sales by sending a series of customisable emails to shoppers that left your cart without buying, you can even include a coupon code in the emails. Regardless of the level of subscription you wish to purchase, BigCommerce will also throw in a £65 Google Adwords Voucher. BigCommerce operates as a ‘pay as you go’ service without contracts which is often appealing to a business owner. On top of that you can save yourself 10% on any package by paying for an annual subscription.
- Paypal Integration at no extra cost
- A full Content Management System (CRM)
- Advanced SEO options
- E-newsletter integration with services such as iContact, Interspire and Mailchimp
- Abandoned Cart Saver
- Discount Coupons and Gift Vouchers
- A variety of template designs
- The ability to tweak CSS and HTML
In Summary of this analysis of both platforms it seems that for a start-up online retailer BigCommerce may be a more of a justifiable option, with lower package costs, template designs and a relatively user friendly interface. There are no contracts involved, no commissions or transaction fees which would be more appealing to a relatively new business starter.
On the other hand, the Magento system is highly customisable and has the capacity to facilitate more functionalities, however this does come at a higher price – again you are able to opt out of Magento Go as these plans are offered on a month-to-month basis, in parallel the Premium Enterprise includes a Platinum Level Service License Agreement.
Both platforms offer a free trial, do your research and give the trials a go.
We hope that this article has been of benefit to you when choosing your next platform.