When Amazon launched its webstore in 1996, it was a game changer. Suddenly, anyone could have a store on the world’s largest online marketplace. Since then, many e-commerce platforms have risen to power and altered the game permanently. One such platform is called Magento. If you’re looking to launch your own online store, then you might want to consider exploring this e-commerce powerhouse.
Why Should You Consider Magento?
When it comes to building your e-commerce store, there are countless options. However, not all of them are created equal. Choosing the right platform for your needs can be difficult. For example, do you need a free option? Or a paid one with a custom domain? What features do you need? How much functionality do you need? The list of questions goes on. To help you make the right decision, we’ve put together a detailed comparison of the best e-commerce platforms, which we’ll walk you through in this article.
Before we dive into the comparison, let’s briefly discuss the general features of each platform.
- Free option: Many platforms offer a free option, but the features are quite limited. Shopify, for example, offers a free plan with limited features. In order to build a powerful online store, you will have to upgrade.
- Paid option: The paid plans of most e-commerce platforms offer features that the free ones do not. However, you will have to pay for these additional features. BigCommerce, for example, offers a free basic plan with limited features. In order to get all the functionalities, you will have to pay its monthly fee. Once again, this is where you’ll need to decide whether you want a free or paid option.
- Features: Each platform offers a host of features that you might find useful. For example, Shopify provides some basic marketing tools as well as a free domain. BigCommerce offers a huge featureset, which includes advanced marketing tools as well as a payment gateway and shipping integration. Magento, as we already mentioned, is a popular choice among those looking to build an online store, as it offers a range of features from marketing tools to order management and shipping. If you’re not familiar with any of these platforms, take some time to check out their features before making a decision.
- User Interface: Since you’ll be using the platform regularly, you want to make sure that the user experience is fluid and easy to navigate. Fortunately, all the platforms we mentioned offer pleasant user interfaces, which should make it easy for anyone to figure out how to use them. If you’re looking for a simple way to create an online store, with limited features, then Shopify and BigCommerce offer clean and simple interfaces, while Magento is a bit more advanced and comes with lots of features, which might be a deterrent for some. If you’re not familiar with any of these platforms, the learning curve should not be a problem, as all of them are very approachable and easy to use.
- Security: Whether you opt for a free or paid option, you want to ensure that your data is safe and secure. Fortunately, all the platforms we mentioned offer some advanced security features, which should deter any potential security breaches. Additionally, you can rest assured that the reputable providers, such as Shopify and BigCommerce, will never ask you for your credit card details, as they have this functionality built into their apps.
- Additional Functionality: Depending on your industry and what you need to accomplish, you might want to look into the additional functionality that the various platforms offer. For example, if you’re looking for a marketing platform, then BigCommerce and Shopify offer some powerful features that can assist you in this area. If you’re not familiar with any of these platforms, take some time to read their documentation, as it will provide you with a clear idea of what they can do and how they can help you.
Now that you have a basic idea of what each platform offers, it’s time to compare them. Before we do that, let’s define a couple of terms. A store consists of products you sell to people who come to your website. When someone purchases an item from your store, you record the transaction and provide the customer with the order info they need to complete their purchase. An e-commerce store, as we’ve already established, is where you sell your products online.
Before we dive into the comparison, let’s examine the differences in each platform’s featureset. In the table below, you’ll see a tally of the features for each platform.
As you might have guessed, Magento comes out on top, as it provides a wide range of features. To put that into perspective, let’s look at the differences between its paid and free versions. To begin with, the free version of Magento comes with limited features, while the paid one does not. The free version of Magento allows you to create shops with up to three levels of product categories and a maximum of 20 products per category. Additionally, you can choose your store’s theme, logo, and color scheme, and you can use the free version’s built-in design tools to launch a beautiful store without needing any technical skills. In order to create a fully-functional store, you will need to upgrade to the paid version. This is where things start to change. The paid version of Magento offers a lot more features than the free one. This includes tools for product management, marketing, and sales. To give you an idea of the power this version of the platform provides, let’s take a look at the features that are included in the paid version, as shown in the comparison table below. You’ll notice that many of the features are quite similar to those included in the premium version of Shopify.
Shopify’s premium plan, as mentioned, provides many of the same features as the paid version of Magento. However, it also offers a few exclusive features that the latter does not include. For example, the premium version of Shopify provides tools for SEO, product analysis, and social media integration. If you compare the features of Shopify’s two premium plans, you’ll notice that the paid version of Magento provides more functionality and additional tools, which should give you a good idea of the wide range of features this platform offers.
As we’ve established, many platforms exist that you can use to build an online store. If you are looking to create a simple, yet effective store, with limited features, then Magento might be the ideal choice. It’s completely free, so there’s no risk of wasting your time or money. Additionally, Magento comes with a host of features that should make it easy for anyone to get started. You won’t find a more approachable platform when it comes to shopping for supplies, as there are lots of online guides, videos, and tutorials available that can help you along the way.
However, if you are looking for a more robust option that can assist you in expanding your business, then Shopify might be the ideal choice. It’s a popular choice among businesses that need a bit more complexity, as it provides a lot of flexibility and power. Additionally, as a Google merchant, you’ll be able to take advantage of Google’s powerful search engine, which can assist you in reaching a larger audience.
In the end, no comparison is perfect and this one is no different. However, if you must have a comparison, then we recommend comparing the features of the free version of each platform to the paid ones. This way, you’ll get a feel for what each one can offer. If you’re looking for an ideal platform to build your e-commerce store on, then take a look at Shopify, BigCommerce, and Magento.