At Zen Den, our web development and design team is well versed in a variety of ecommerce website platforms having built extensively on Shopify, WooCommerce, BigCommerce, Magento, and Zencart, to name a few. Of course in our client’s best interest we choose the eCommerce platform that meets their needs and provides the right solutions for their business. Regardless of what platform is chosen we provide the same attention to detail by customizing layouts and creating a website that is unique to each business, as well as integrating SEO and marketing strategies into their site.
With our experience designing and developing websites using these various platforms we wanted to offer some pros and cons to working with three of the largest eCommerce platforms; Shopify, MagentoGo, and BigCommerce. Each offer great solutions and benefits, but also present different challenges. Please read our unbiased review which should help you understand why we might recommend one platform over the other.
MagentoGo is a bit different from the community version as it offers premium hosting, PCI compliance and world-class support. It is still an open source shopping cart platform that provides the same features to users and allows developers and programmers to build on the functionality and implement on their client’s sites. MagentoGo alleviates some of the traditional problems as Magento Community because of their support team and hosting services, but can still be difficult for clients to manage, update, and upgrade on their own. The Magento community is all adding new features and customizing or tweaking old ones, which is useful, but the themes available can pose longer development time as they aren’t as tightly coded as they could be. Development time does take a bit longer than say, WordPress, but it is a powerful eCommerce site that has extensive options for clients who are technically savvy or have a larger budget to hire a development team. MagentoGo is a good pick is you are looking for rapid growth within your business and don’t mind the learning curve associated with the platform. Features can be customized on a daily basis and modifications to functionalities can be made as frequently as you like. There are a variety of extensions and plugins that are readily available, but everything comes at a price. MagentoGo is around 25% more than BigCommerce and as mentioned previous development time can take a bit longer.
MagentoGo has different pricing tiers:
- Offers 30-Day FREE Trial
- GetGoing (100 products, 200MB storage, 4GB bandwidth) for $15 per month
- Going Places (100 products, 500MB storage, 8GB bandwidth) for $25 per month
- Go Beyond (Price drop to $50 after Stimulus deal. 1000 products, 800MB storage, 16GB bandwidth)for $65 per month
- Go Anywhere ($110 after Stimulus deal, 10000 products, 5GB storage, 32GB bandwidth) for $125 per month
For more information check out their plans & pricing here.
Who’s using MagentoGo?
- Men and Women’s Fashion Site, ArtDisco
- Architecture Filmmakers, PlanetArchitecture
- Children’s Toy Company, Vintage Toys
BigCommerce is a shopping cart platform that offers a supported and backed eCommerce solution. There biggest plus is their A+ customer service support that assists with anything from outside APIs and payment gateways to distribution partnerships and technical errors, but operates during standard business hours and unfortunately not 24/7. Their tech and development team manage the growth and updates to the features and options available to users to ensure quality control. BigCommerce is also one of the few shopping cart sites with significant tools for SEO. The straightforward optimization tools allows eCommerce businesses to establish their online presence and create a marketing strategy to assist in search engine visibility, traffic, and rankings. This eCommerce solution is great for the traditional brick and mortar retails who is beginning to create an online business as the platform can be operated with little technical knowledge and is affordable.
It is a user-friendly shopping cart which takes minimal development time and an easy to manage CMS, but isn’t as feature-rich as other eCommerce platforms. Many of their theme designs are outdated and not as polished as the competition. It is a matter of preference because BigCommerce offers over 100 free templates and is more affordable than, Shopify and Magento.
- BigCommerce Bronze $24.95/month (100 products, 200MB storage, 2GB bandwidth)
- BigCommerce Silver $39.95/month (500 products, 300MB storage, 3GB bandwidth)
- BigCommerce Gold $79.95/month (1000 products, 500MB storage, 5GB bandwidth)
- BigCommerce Platinum $149.95/month (unlimited products, 1GB storage,15GB bandwidth)
Who’s using BigCommerce?
And now, Shopify, an all-in-one and out-of-the-box solution for small and big retailers. It provides an easy to use and set up eCommerce store rich in features like built in marketing tools and one-click landing pages. It is a hosted solution which means setup can be accomplished in minutes. All of the technical details are taken care of by the Shopify team. The platform is very intuitive and the CMS is easy to use making customizations a cinch. Shopify also offers customer support 24 hours a day 7 days a week to handle all queries. The platform is feature-rich providing a large library of add-ons and plugins, but it is difficult to customize and create your own. Unfortunately Shopify is one of the more expensive platforms starting at $179 per month. They also charge a 2% transaction fee for Basic plans and 1% for professional plans which can eat up profits in a low-margin retailer. Lastly if your business decides to migrate away from Shopify your entire store and account will be deleted permanently making it difficult to move your store elsewhere.
- Shopify Basic $29/month (100 products, 1GB storage, Unlimited bandwidth) But Shopify is the only one that charges 2% transaction fee($29) or 1% transaction fee($59 and $99)
- Shopify Professional $59/month (2500 products, 5GB storage, Unlimited bandwidth)
- Shopify Business $99/month (10000 products, 10GB storage, Unlimited bandwidth)
- Shopify Unlimited $179/month (Unlimited products, Unlimited storage, Unlimited bandwidth)
Who’s using Shopify?
We will always recommend an eCommerce website that suits our clients business. If you want to learn more about eCommerce website design or request a quote, contact us today!