Choosing an enterprise ecommerce platform is tough. Especially if you’re too busy managing your business operations and serving your customers around the globe.
For better or worse, there are a lot of enterprise ecommerce solutions to choose from. Each of them offers some distinct feature sets, targets different markets and niches, and presents varying levels of complexity from a technical viewpoint.
As a company specializing in ecommerce, we spend a great deal of time analyzing the ecommerce market and can tell you for sure that there’s no one-size-fits-all solution. But that’s why we’ve prepared this comprehensive guide for you: to see the pros and cons of each enterprise ecommerce platform and make the right decision for your business. So make yourself comfortable and enjoy this longread!
Take note: this list is constantly being updated. Initially written in 2019, the guide has been complemented with new trends and rising enterprise ecommerce platforms, the latest one being commercetools.
Choosing the right ecommerce platform can be much easier once you have an ecommerce strategy that lays out your business requirements. While ecommerce experts and web developers can recommend platforms to meet your requirements and suit your business needs, it’s always best to research the options yourself.
First, you need to figure out your functional and non-functional requirements, which is the key to a successful project. Well-defined, accurate requirements can help reduce financial risks and meet deadlines.
We should differentiate functional and non-functional requirements. Functional requirements are those that deal with what the system should provide for users whereas non-functional requirements describe how the system will do so. Let me explain this further.
Functional requirements are product functions that software developers must implement to allow users to execute their specific tasks. In brief, they are the main functionalities a software system must guarantee. Generally, these requirements can be described as the ‘goal’ of the software product to be developed.
The functional requirements form the foundation of the whole software development process. When a software project is undertaken, the functional requirements are usually outlined in a specific document. Some of the more typical functional requirements include new features, bug fixes, and new behavior. Functional requirements will specify a function, for instance: “The web application should accept customer orders.”
Non-functional requirements refer to the system’s non-functional properties and system qualities. They are usually named “quality attributes” of a system. These are implicit expectations from the product.
Non-functional requirements are an extension of the functional requirements. They deal with all the remaining requirements which are not covered by the functional requirements. Some of the most typical non-functional requirements include usability, accessibility, security, reliability, effectiveness, documentation, response time, performance, availability, scalability, data integrity and retention, and compatibility. For example, the website should be available in several languages.
Before designing an ecommerce website, we ask our clients a lot of questions about their functional and nonfunctional requirements to create the site in the most effective way.
Here’s what we ask our clients about their functional requirements:
And here are a few things we ask our clients about their non-functional requirements:
Money… everyone’s favorite subject. When it comes to software, budget defines everything. The services provided by ecommerce platforms differ significantly in price. Budget requirements include design and development, fixed costs, marketing, integration, SEO, and licensing costs.
The design and development costs are definitely the highest expenditures for your enterprise. The costs for enterprise website design and development starts at $100,000 and can go to more than $10,000,000 if you decide to use an external agency. One of the most crucial aspects to consider is how your development will be provided. You need to figure out whether you want to build your online store using your existing team or by employing a team from a software development agency. Expenditure on design varies depending on whether you build your ecommerce website using purchased themes or design it from scratch (custom design).
Maintenance expenses include platform support, SEO optimization, analytics, and data management. You should take into consideration the cost of keeping your online store running once you’ve set it up.
Fixed expenses are regular monthly fees. These include things like website hosting, transactions, and subscriptions. For hosted platforms like Shopify, you have to pay for the monthly subscription and transactions. For self-hosted platforms like Magento, you must pay for server storage, bandwidth, and plug-ins.
Integration of third-party systems or modules will cost less than developing non-standard solutions. You have to take such fees into consideration when comparing different platforms.
Marketing costs are the most significant aspects from a strategic point of view. They include advertising costs on Google and posters.
Licensing fees depend on the vendor you choose: some retain the same price each year, others increase it based on your income. Thoroughly consider the impact the license structure will have on long-term costs.
You need to have a beautiful and convenient design if you want to achieve your marketing goals. When you design your website you can apply ready-made themes or custom designs.
You can select aready-made theme from an extensive library and apply it to your website design. These templates are quite affordable and sometimes free of charge. However, you are not allowed to build any unique designs you might need for your online store.
With custom design, all the visual and functional features of the website, such as color palette, font size, layouts of the web pages, scrolling animation, responsive adaptation, and many other website features, are created, coded, and tested specifically for your brand and its target audience. A custom approach gives you the opportunity to design a website that is unique for your project. Of course, you could pay more, but the chance of someone else having the same design is zero in this case.
Whether you decide to adopt a custom theme or a ready-made theme, make sure that your online store design reflects your enterprise’s professional image.
Outlining long-term aims before selecting the enterprise platform gives you the opportunity to concentrate on what’s essential through the project. You need to think carefully about what your ecommerce online store will be in five years.
There are plenty of paths you can follow. Ecommerce platforms will offer you different out-of-the-box features at various fees.
While technology is steadily developing, a comparison based on licensing can still be useful. One solution may cost less in the first year, but it can cost much more in the long run. For instance, some solutions have a more powerful feature set, which implies that there will be fewer customizations required to reach the enterprise’s objectives in the future.
All internet activities begin with a search, so your business may be in trouble if users can’t find your online store at the top of the Google search. Search engines read the keywords you’ve incorporated throughout your storefront to define your website’s content and determine whether your online store is a pertinent search result.
When selecting an enterprise ecommerce platform to launch your online store, it’s crucial to consider the SEO features in your decision-making process. Let’s examine three key features that your ecommerce platform must have.
The robots exclusion protocol is a text file that tells web spiders which pages on your site to crawl. The Robots.txt file enables you to tell the search crawler which pages to ignore when crawling your site and which URLs and directories to identify to index it for the search engines.
This is particularly useful for blocking search engines from crawling non-HTML files (e.g. PDF) that don’t sustain the robots meta tag. The robots noindex meta tag is the best solution to keep specific pages from occurring in Google search results. It’s better to find an ecommerce platform that enables you to set individual pages to show the noindex meta tag.
Your ecommerce online store should give users the option to search for products on your site. Ecommerce platform needs to be integrated with the Google Analytics site search reporting feature. This will enable you to check the keywords that users type when searching.
While this feature seems rather obvious, many ecommerce platforms support only basic Google Analytics code but don’t support Google Analytics ecommerce transaction tracking. When choosing the platform, it’s a good idea to check whether the platform supports Google Analytics ecommerce tracking.
Canonical URLs enable your content to be syndicated in different places online while telling Google to concentrate only on one URL. It allows Google to define the page you want to rank. This is a helpful solution in cases where you need to use multiple URLs for the same product category.
If your ecommerce business applies multiple domains, you need to spend some time installing canonical URLs or 301 redirects to send both users and search engines to a different URL from the one they initially demanded. If you don’t do this, you’ll risk dropping your search ranking as you’re sending traffic to broken links.
If calculating your 301 redirects and canonical URLs is not a good option for you, then an ecommerce platform that supports automatic redirects could be a solution for you.
It’s crucial that you set the technical requirements for your business as this will contribute greatly to the final decision of which ecommerce platform to choose. These requirements include:
How many users and transactions do you expect to receive on a daily/monthly basis? It’s not easy to count the number of connections an online store can manage without conducting tests, but it’s reasonable to check the limitations of a system.
When selecting the ecommerce platform, you should think about the prospective opportunities of expanding your online store and make certain that you don’t run out of alternatives when you scale up.
Usually, our clients ask us to design an online store which can cater to huge traffic with several hundred thousand users making transactions on the platform at the same time.
Once you’ve established your company’s primary business activities, you can use various channels to advertise the brand, build customer relationships, and boost sales.
As people who work in the ecommerce sector, we’re often asked the question, “What ecommerce platform should our company implement?” The answer is obvious, “It depends.”
Here are a few ecommerce platforms on the market to select from. We’ve focused on the pros and cons of the most popular ones – Magento vs commercetools vs Shopify vs SAP Hybris Commerce vs Salesforce vs Bigcommerce vs Oracle Commerce Cloud. Some of these platforms are open source; some are SaaS solutions, and others are appropriate only for large enterprises’ needs. We’re going to elaborate on each of them to show you the advantages and disadvantages of each solution for ecommerce business.
Though there are many major players in the ecommerce market, Magento is the leader in the online business world. This is due to the perfectly balanced service it offers.
After their recent acquisition by Adobe, Magento Commerce has become far more accessible to businesses, providing their customers, partners, and developers with enormous commerce solutions and experiences. If you are using Adobe Cloud Products, you should consider Magento as the integrations are already added to the roadmap.
Luckily, ecommerce enterprise platforms like Magento don’t distinguish between B2B and B2C ecommerce. Magento allows you to launch your ecommerce online store for both B2B and B2C solutions and enables you to run both B2B and B2C storefronts on the same platform.
The Forrester Wave market research company named Magento the best B2B platform. This ecommerce solution helps B2B companies reach the most difficult business goals as it offers rich, built-in B2B functionality.
Magento Commerce provides customers with a bundle of flexible modules and plugins. There are about 5,000 available extensions classified into different categories on Magento Marketplace. These extensions are tested and verified by the Magento team and are tailored for online-to-offline retailers, giving many advantages to your online store. Magento extensions will assist in converting your sales and managing your supply chain.
Magento Commerce has an abundance of features to operate, such as multiple stores and multiple locations, various languages, product types (simple, grouped, configurable, virtual, bundle, downloadable, gift card), color swatches and, since Magento 2.3’s release, multiple warehouses, different price tags and a variety of currencies.
With regard to its inbuilt features, Magento Commerce presents powerful options when it comes to marketing, user loyalty, user experience, and business efficiency. Useful features involve catalog management, order management and customer service, catalog and product browsing, seamless third-party integration, search engine optimization, analytics and reporting, shipping and payment options, responsive design and lots more.
License Costs. Magento license costs are usually based on a store’s profit through the platform. Magento Commerce Cloud licensing begins at $2,000 per month or on-premise begins at $23,000 per year. These fees go up depending on unique merchant turnover.
Development and Maintenance Costs. The price depends on the functional requirements agreed upon between you and the agency. You should expect to pay between $150-500k for the building, design, and development of your plan.
Annually, online store owners usually have their own plan to maintain their websites. This maintenance ensures your site is stable and avoids possible problems. Annual fees can be estimated from approximately $500 to $1,000, depending on each provider.
Stores built with this platform: Radley, Bulgari, Oliver Sweeney, Ford, Chopard, Christian Louboutin, Oliver Bonas, Land Rover, Easy Spirit and more.
Flexibility. Magento’s template system enables you to customize everything from A to Z, so you can design your site exactly as you wish. For this reason, Magento is the best enterprise ecommerce solution for businesses that are planning to expand.
Third-party integration. Magento enables third-party integration for various aims, for example, importing products, analyzing the performance of websites and getting real-time information.
User-friendliness. Magento websites have one of the best navigation systems available. You can browse easily and navigate smoothly through the shopping cart with the help of layered design. The personalized user experience will make you feel more comfortable while choosing your products.
Scalability. Magento Commerce can deal with several products or thousands of them. Actually, Magento Commerce can maintain up to five hundred thousand products and thousands of transactions per hour. It’s a noticeable benefit because you can customize Magento without restrictions.
Mobile-first solution. Magento is a mobile-friendly platform as it provides an opportunity to design a site optimized for mobile without difficulties and to deliver the best mobile experience to customers. Moreover, Magento Commerce introduced Magento Progressive Web Applications (PWA) Studio, a set of tools for designing online stores with simple, front-end experiences on mobile devices.
Wide community. There is a wide community of Magento users as it’s one of the most popular ecommerce platforms in the world. As a result, it has helped ensure quick support. What is more, the active developer community has developed a large number of extensions and plugins. Therefore, if you have any difficulties in implementing the platform, you can get more support thanks to a huge developer community.
Magento Commerce also supports multiple languages, multiple currency checkout, and localized payment methods.
Time-consuming solution. Magento is a layered software, and its complicated architecture makes the process of designing the site quite difficult and time-consuming. It often takes more time for Magento to make the same customizations as other platforms do in less.
The need for developers. Magento is a huge platform (over twenty thousand files and two hundred database tables). It’s not easy to find skilled and experienced Magento developers. The main reason for this is the need for profound knowledge about object-oriented development and extensive experience with the core software.However, with the growing popularity of this platform in recent years, many agencies appeared, ready to assist Magento merchants. Our Magento development company specializes in Magento platform. We are a team of professionals who are proficient in design and technical support. Our developers are ready to help you fulfill the aim of your project.
Named a leader in 2020 Gartner Magic Quadrant for Digital Commerce, commercetools is making strides as a next generation headless ecommerce platform. It’s a relatively new yet progressive platform founded in 2006, offering an API-first, multi-tenant SaaS commerce solution.
The platform targets chief technical officers (CTO) enchanting them with its MACH technology (Microservices, API-First, Cloud Native, and Headless) and convincing them to later sell the platform to enterprise CEOs. In fact, in just a few years, commercetools has won the trust of Tiffany, Audi, Mercedes, Yamaha, LEGO, and a couple of other big guys in the retail sector.
Hosting solution: cloud-based.
Price: the vendor doesn’t specify the license cost but offers a provisional and immediate 60-day trial period. We assume that the price for the solution implementation and specialized resources will depend on your project requirements.
Microservice architecture. Commercetools offers 300+ API endpoints that enable merchants to integrate new services quickly, customize customers’ experience, and scale fast. Thanks to microservices, you can build your store brick by brick, service by service, swapping vendors in and out. You can also deploy updates without worrying about ruining your complex software ecosystem, which is the usual problem with monolithic architecture that has everything tightly coupled inside of it. The business benefits of such a composable solution are numerous, including headless ecommerce that’s been on trend lately.
Omnichannel customer experience. Because the platform integrates with so many outside services, you can deliver a seamless digital experience across various channels. Build Progressive Web Apps (PWAs) and iOS or Android native apps to reach your customers on their mobile devices. Interact with the Internet of Things (IoT) and integrate buy buttons, smart home applications, and others into your webstore. Create your own digital marketplace or sell on social media within a few clicks.
Cloud-based nature of the platform. Running purely on SaaS, the platform allows a merchant to take advantage of all state-of-the-art cloud functionality. First, you can scale fast and build on your ecommerce architecture without concern about server maintenance. Second, commercetools is also resilient to high-load traffic and spikes in user activity, so you won’t have to worry about downtimes during holiday sales.
Limited B2B functionality. Although commercetools supports both B2B and B2C solutions, it misses out on some features that other platforms offer, like customer group specific catalogs and price lists.
Suitable only for digitally mature companies. An enterprise undertaking commercetools has to be technically innovative. Your product catalog and warehouse may be huge, but the complexity of the system and its integrations will swamp digital beginners not ready for transformation. You should have integration experience yourself or hire reliable developers to implement the headless ecommerce solution for you.
Elogic keeps up with new ecommerce trends and has developed expertise in commercetools too.
Salesforce Commerce Cloud, formerly called Demandware, is a platform designed to allow merchants to operate smoothly across digital channels without bothering about servers, security, or customization.
Salesforce is a feature-rich customer service software. If you are a big company, you can easily benefit from the features the platform has to offer with pricing plans optimized for small businesses.
Salesforce Commerce Cloud provides solutions for both B2C and B2B commerce. Due to the acquisition of CloudCraze, Commerce Cloud now also provides customers with a leading B2B commerce solution optimized particularly for businesses that are willing to have remarkable ecommerce experiences for their business clients. Built on the Salesforce platform, Commerce Cloud enables B2B and B2C enterprises to increase the sales, lower the costs and attract new customers.
There are many Salesforce Commerce Cloud extensions that will simplify your work. They include Salesforce Navigator, Salesforce Inspector, Apex debugger, Salesforce API Fieldnames, Record and Metadata Comparator for Salesforce, and Salesforce Advanced Code Searcher.
Similar to Magento, Demandware also provides useful features including campaigns and catalog management, opportunity management, search engine optimization, multi-site management, reports and dashboards, content management, social integrations, price management, AI-powered personalization, split shipments across multiple locations, cart and checkout, targeted promotion management and lots more.
License Costs. Salesforce Commerce Cloud is fairly closed about the prices; they operate a “Shared Success” model, implying the higher the merchant profit, the higher the monthly fees. For instance, a merchant with $10 million in annual sales would anticipate spending approximately $100,000-$200,000 per year in licensing fees.
Development and Maintenance Costs. There are much less highly skilled partners on the Salesforce Commerce Cloud side. If you compare Demandware vs Magento, the prices from agencies specializing in Salesforce Commerce Cloud seem to charge much more for all types of services.
Stores built with this platform: Hugo Boss, Ralph Lauren, Adidas, L’oreal USA, Clarins, Converse, Lacoste, Lancome, Tourneau, Tate Modern and more.
Customizable dashboard. When you sign in, the platform’s dashboard enables you to check multiple reports, giving you a chance to gain perspective on your company’s progress. Salesforce Commerce Cloud allows swift customization for different retail industries.
Easy-to-navigate software. The software is very simple to navigate. The tabs are divided into different categories, such as Accounts, Leads, Home, Forecasts Files, Opportunities, Contacts, Leads, Campaigns, and Forecasts Files.
Scalability. Salesforce Commerce Cloud can also manage huge demands and support hundreds of thousands of products and thousands of transactions per hour. The ecommerce platform scales smoothly in the background with no interference involved.
Einstein for B2C Commerce features are directly incorporated into B2C Commerce, permitting marketers and merchandisers to apply AI without hiring data specialists. Commerce Cloud Einstein excludes the necessity for daunting tasks like manual merchandising, creating new product groupings, and updating customer segments.
Einstein for B2C Commerce supports such capabilities as Einstein Product Recommendations, Einstein Predictive Sort, Einstein Commerce Insights, Einstein Search Dictionaries, Einstein Search Recommendations, and Einstein Labs.
Seamless upgrades. Since the platform is SaaS-based, Salesforce frequently introduces new features in the background. You don’t need technical support to access these features as they are easily reached through the administration panel.
Integrations. Salesforce Commerce integrates with apps and third-party systems in Salesforce’s AppExchange.
Demandware also supports multiple languages, multiple currency checkout, and localized payment methods.
Problematic technical support. It’s quite complicated to contact Salesforce technical support in case questions arise. Frequently, it takes days or even weeks to connect with a person from technical support. For this reason, the majority of companies tend to work with third-party companies that ensure Salesforce support.
Customization. Customizing is complicated, and Salesforce’s prior approval is required. Merchants must ask for approval for site customizations. There are also some limitations to customization.
Hybris is a customer engagement platform that is flexible enough to work on any given channel. It’s simple to navigate, flexible enough to adapt to functional and non-functional requirements, and compatible with most of the third-party services
Hybris is an ecommerce platform which enables its consumers to trade efficiently in both B2B and B2C markets.
SAP Hybris provides customers with many flexible modules and plugins. There are several SAP Hybris extensions that will simplify your work. It includes Gigya, Neteven, LSC-H, Sprinklr, Celum, Certona Platform, CyberSource, Adobe analytics, AppDynamics, Dynatrace, Kore.ai and many more.
Hybris presents a wide range of features that incorporate most of marketing’s best practices to push your business further. It includes built-in SEO optimization tools, sales performance management, sales force automation, subscription order management, optimized pricing simulation, customer financial management and more. Versatile features provide incredible support for the design of a well-performing online store.
License Costs. Hybris doesn’t have a fixed price tag like Magento and Salesforce; the company provides customers with tailored offers for every enterprise. License costs for Hybris begin at $54,000 annually but can go up if you require more complex solutions. The final price tag depends on business requirements, including requested features, the type of development model, system restrictions, integration points, and so on.
Development and Maintenance Costs. Hybris is a platform that costs a fortune. According to the ecommerce experts, the build costs of a Hybris implementation could easily begin at $500,000 and can be as high as 2-6 million dollars. It makes this platform one of the most expensive available on the market. In the Magento vs Hybris battle, when it comes to price, Magento wins as it’s far more affordable.
Stores built with this platform: Aldo, Asics, Joules, L.K. Bennett, MaxMara, Target, Costco, Oakley, Maplin and more.
Omni-channel fulfillment. The Omni-channel ecommerce feature means that merchants can sell online, in-store, and on mobile. Hybris creates an excellent user experience across all channels, including desktop, mobile, and tablet and doesn’t restrict a retail company to one channel, increasing income opportunities.
Integration with all SAP solutions. The platform can be integrated smoothly with existing business solutions, such as CRM and ERP, CSV, ImpEx, and SAP.
Product Content Management module. This allows merchants to support better customer engagement and customer experiences. PCM collects data from various sources and enables product managers, suppliers and stakeholders to work together at the same time. Numerous catalogs can be handled and distributed among the organization, presenting the same regular data everywhere.
A scalable system. SAP Hybris easily manages increased traffic and supports thousands of transactions per hour.
SAP Hybris also handles multiple languages, multiple currency checkout, and localized payment methods.
Small community. The Hybris support community is very small and is not as developed as other communities.
Developers. Hybris is known to be a robust system. There is a multi-layered system with restrictions for customization. It demands the understanding of Model, Service, and Jalo tiers. That’s why there are not many development agencies that can give high-quality Hybris implementation.
Reporting and analytics. SAP Hybris has received negative feedback concerning their reporting and analytics. Native reporting and analytics features are lackluster and ineffective, and for many customers it causes frustration on a day-to-day basis.
Shopify Plus is Shopify’s enterprise ecommerce platform for big and expanding online shops and brands. Shopify Plus is a fully-hosted ecommerce platform that provides everything you require from end to end to launch the business and begin selling your products to the world. The platform is scalable and has the infrastructure to help medium-sized and fast-growing merchants to reach their business goals.
Shopify Plus enables you to establish your ecommerce online store for both B2B and B2C solutions. It should be mentioned that Shopify Plus lacks many important features, and it’s not an adequate fit for big enterprises. However, B2C retailers with a simple wholesale channel are able to operate on the Shopify Plus platform smoothly.
Shopify Plus provides customers with a bundle of flexible modules and plugins. Shopify has a robust API (Application Programming Interface) and numerous built-in integrations with well-known providers (e.g. NetSuite, SAP), and they also have many useful extensions to select from, such as, Free Shipping Bar, Plug in SEO, Beeketing Checkout Boost, Kit, Bundle Upsell, Wishlist Plus, Pinterest Buyable Pins, Snapppt, Sticky Buy Button, and Referralcandy.
Shopify Plus has all the essential features needed to design an amazing online store that will appeal to your target audience. Shopify Plus includes the following features: wholesale store experience, additional payment gateway options, multiple storefronts, automation, and workflows to eliminate manual processes, additional payment gateway options, advanced Shopify apps, a customizable checkout, additional API calls, the merchant success program, a launch engineer and more.
Licensing costs. Shopify Plus charges their customers $2,000 to $40,000 per month. It increases significantly if you exceed $800,000 turnover in a month. Shopify Plus licensing fees start at $24,000 per year.
Development and Maintenance Costs. To develop an online store, you must anticipate paying a third-party design agency anywhere from $30,000 to $250,000 and beyond. Expect to pay 1.6% ( $0.35) per transaction for processing fees if using Shopify Payments and 0.15% for using a third-party processor.
Maintenance and security are done through the Shopify Plus team. Most enterprise stores must currently pay a significant cost that you won’t need to pay if you are using Shopify Plus.
Stores built with this platform: Nestle, Mavi, Red Bull, Tesla Motors, KKW Beauty, MVMT Watches, Pepsico and more.
Simplicity. The Shopify Plus platform is among one of the most user-friendly ecommerce solutions out there, making it a top choice for those who are bogged down by technology and other tedious administrative tasks. When it comes to a Magento vs Shopify comparison, Shopify is a much easier platform to implement.
Scalability. The Shopify Plus platform manages thousands and thousands of transactions per minute so that your online store functions in an efficient way to provide excellent browsing experiences.
Apps and Integration. App variety is probably one of the biggest advantages of this ecommerce platform. For instance, Shopify Plus provides you with effective apps like Wholesale channel, Shopify Flow, Launchpad, Script Editor, Transporter app, and Bulk Account Inviter. Apps like Klaviyo and Rare.io enable you to integrate email marketing campaigns.
Well-designed themes. One of the main benefits of choosing Shopify Plus is access to hundreds of themes, so you shouldn’t worry about finding something that suits the style of your online store. Shopify Plus has 10 free ecommerce themes. Each of these themes is available in two or three different versions, so they are actually adapted to quite a variety of designs. If you aren’t pleased with the theme provided by Shopify, you can buy a paid template or create your own template.
Customer Support. Shopify Plus’s customer support is one of the best on the market as it gives access to a Launch Manager and a Merchant Success Manager. It’s like employing full-time staff members to assist in every aspect of the functionality of your online store.
Content limitations. Shopify Plus doesn’t maintain a large variety of data types in an effective way. The blog layouts are quite limited, so if you wanted to do something unusual, you’d have to set it up on another blogging platform like squarespace or Tumblr and then run it on blog.yoursite.com.
Migration. If you change your mind and consider switching platforms, it’s not easy to migrate. Shopify Plus doesn’t offer a smooth transition as you can lose some of your store data. The best you can hope for is a CSV (Comma Separated Value) export of your site.
Shopify Plus doesn’t handle multiple languages, multiple currency checkout, or localised payment methods.
Bigcommerce is a ‘hosted’ ecommerce platform that enables merchants to build an online store quickly. It’s a software as a service (SaaS) product, which means that you don’t own the software, but pay a fee per month to run a store on it. BigCommerce is an ecommerce solution that is geared towards small and medium businesses.
There’s also Bigcommerce “Enterprise” plan for large businesses that have high volumes of sales (typically, over $1,000,000) and require advanced selling features.
BigCommerce enables you to build an ecommerce store for both B2B and B2C models.
The BigCommerce app marketplace is smaller in comparison to other ecommerce solutions. The number of extensions available here is far fewer in comparison to other platforms that offer a similar level of services. With BigCommerce, you need to install extensions directly to your store that results in an easier installation process.
BigCommerce also offers a great variety of out-of-box features to effectively run your ecommerce website. General BigCommerce features list include payment and inventory management, SEO and analytics optimization, product catalog, marketing tools, multi-currency support, merchandising, product options and bundling, and more.
‘Enterprise’ plan includes such features as product filtering, price lists, unlimited API calls, priority support, and more.
Bigcommerce offers four month-to-month pricing plans:
Standard – $29.95 per month.
Plus – $79.95 per month.
Pro – $199.95 per month.
Enterprise – quote-based.
Stores built with this platform: Toyota, Kodak, Ben & Jerry’s, Ford UK, Motorola, Gazelle, Rand McNally, and more.
Advanced security. The security is one of the stronger points of BigCommerce. BigCommerce offers multiple layers of security to prevent unauthorized access. With Bigcommerce, the platform even enables you to implement features such as PayPal or Apple Pay for those customers who are concerned about the security of personal info. All sites hosted on BigCommerce are Level 1 PCI compliant, which means that personal and financial information that passes through your online store is secure. A shared SSL certificate is included with every plan.
Multiplatform. With BigCommerce, you have an opportunity to integrate your ecommerce in marketplaces like Amazon, eBay to attract more traffic to your ecommerce business. You can also integrate your business on Facebook to promote your products on social media.
Ease of Use. BigCommerce provides an intuitive and user-friendly experience in comparison to other platforms on the list. Store owners will be able to develop a fully-functional store and run a website as soon as possible without profound technical knowledge. The admin dashboard is clear which makes the navigation process smooth and easy.
Customer support. The support page includes online forums, emails, tutorials, live chat, phone calls, video tutorials. Access to support channels depends on what price plan you’re using. Generally, BigCommerce offers 24/7 phone and live chat support.
SEO benefits. Search Engine Optimization is a crucial part of marketing your ecommerce business with regard to driving traffic and attracting new customers. Bigcommerce gives you an opportunity to perform significant tasks such as optimizing your pictures, customizing page meta tags, altering search links. Moreover, its themes give each page a unique URL, making sure your content is never duplicated. BigCommerce Content Delivery Network (CDN) helps to speed up your store resulting in higher search engine rankings.
Product and Inventory Management. To efficiently run a store, you have to not only be able to sell the products but also ship them to your customers, managing inventory. With BigCommerce, inventory is accessed via each product screen in comparison to other platforms that enable you to manage all your inventory on one screen. If you’re dealing with a wide range of products with a lot of turnovers, then it could impact negatively your efficiency.
Limited Free Themes. BigCommerce provides a range of customizable themes tailored to various ecommerce businesses, only 7 of those templates are free. Thus, you will need to purchase a theme to have an appealing design for your ecommerce business. The price of paid themes ranges from $145 up to $235.
Scalability. BigCommerce provides unlimited storage space and bandwidth. With BigCommerce, pricing plans are based on your store’s annual sales. If your sales limits exceed or if you decide to scale up, your pricing plan will be changed to a higher one. If you are on the Pro plan and surpass your sales limit, you will be charged additional costs. These hidden fees could be an obstacle to scale your ecommerce store.
Oracle Commerce Cloud is a SaaS (software as a service) delivery model that automates innovation and gives you an opportunity to concentrate on differentiating your customer experience. Both the app and data are physically stored in Oracle Cloud hosting. This ecommerce solution provides full scalability and high performance as well as continuous updates with new technologies and functionalities.
Oracle Commerce Cloud supports both B2B and B2C models.
Oracle Commerce Cloud provides customers with a great variety of flexible modules and plugins to manage and track sales, operate inventories, make the checkout process easier, or use advanced marketing tools, and more.
Oracle Commerce Cloud presents a wide range of features that include advanced segments, targeted content, API-first architecture, simplified extensibility, automatic seamless upgrades, guided navigation, scale and performance, search engine optimization, reporting, big data analytics, and more.
The cost of the ecommerce solution is $500 000 for the first year and $ 110,000 for each coming year.
Stores built with this platform: Motorola Solutions, C-sgroup, ODL, Laura Ashley, Moleskine, Team Sportia, Lenox, Calix, Elaine Turner, and more.
User-friendly and easily customizable. Oracle Commerce Cloud includes features and page designs with restricted programming and development requirements on the back end. The dashboards and search tools are user-friendly. With Commerce Cloud, you can also customize the platform to meet your business requirements.
International capabilities. With Oracle Commerce Cloud, you have the possibility to quickly set up ecommerce stores in various languages to address a global target market. The Oracle Commerce Cloud supports 35 languages and 60 global currencies out-of-the-box. It is also optimized for viewing by both desktop and mobile devices.
Built-in testing capabilities. Oracle Commerce Cloud is the only enterprise commerce platform on the list with native A/B testing capabilities offering great insights to boost conversions and increase sales. With Oracle Commerce Cloud, you are able to run A/B tests for photos, text, or navigation elements. A/B tests allow merchants to make the data-driven decisions in real-time, schedule tests in advance, and compare various widgets. Integrated reporting enables store owners to view core KPIs (key performance indicators), including site and monetary metrics.
Excellent customer support. The Oracle Commerce Cloud provides excellent customer support across a variety of channels. If you have an urgent question or need help or advice, the Oracle Commerce Cloud service team is available 24 hours a day by email or phone. The service team addresses customer issues efficiently and on time.
Performance difficulties. With Oracle Commerce Cloud you can experience network slowness, decreased performance.
The high cost of ownership. Oracle Commerce Cloud pricing model is pretty expensive and is best suited for medium to large-size companies. Website maintenance is also quite pricey.
When it comes to deciding which ecommerce platform to choose, you need to bear in mind that your online store will dictate the following 4 things:
Here’re some other recommendations for you to consider:
Participate in meetups and conferences. Many ecommerce companies organize events and meetings to explain how their platforms work. There a huge list of ecommerce conferences where meet experts and cooperate with them in the future.
Talk to ecommerce consultants. Ask for advice of ecommerce professionals who know the platforms like the backs of their hands. They will evaluate your project, hear out your business objectives and concerns, and recommend the best solution for you.
Consult with a platform provider. Talk to your platform provider and ask them where you can find experienced web developers who are proficient in their platform. Mind that they can be biased in this matter if they have a partner network.
The choices of enterprise ecommerce platfoms may seem endless. Each of the aforementioned ones has its pros and cons that you should study carefully before making a decision.
You should make a list of key functional and non-functional requirements and then analyze the best enterprise ecommerce retail platforms available on the market or select from platforms we’ve analyzed in this article. Now, you have food for thought to help you decide which ecommerce platform best suits your retail enterprise.