BigCommerce & Magento score big in the latest Forrester reports

BigCommerce was recently recognised as a ‘Strong Performer’ in two industry reports from Forrester Research Inc.

These reports were the Forrester Wave: B2B Commerce Suites, Q2 2020 and the Forrester Wave: B2C Commerce Suites, Q2 2020. BigCommerce impressed many, however, were left in the shadow of Adobe, who was recognised as a ‘Leader’ in both of these reports.

In this blog, we take a look at the significance of these reports, what these scores mean, and how these two ecommerce platforms compared against each other. But first, we will cover what the Forrester Research represents, and the history and importance of the Forrester Wave reports.

Forrester Research and the Forrester Wave reports

Forrester Research is an independent research company that primarily focuses on creating technology research reports, and also provides other technology-related advisory services. They have gained the reputation of being one of the most influential research firms in the world. This has especially been the case since 2011, when Forrester shifted focus to the ‘age of the customer’. This is what they believe is a transition from organisations holding most of the power, to the consumers now holding this power. This is driven by customers having more leverage and much higher expectations than before. Since then they have fixated their strategy and research around helping organisations embrace ‘customer obsession’.

The Forrester Wave reports have a history dating back to the early 2000s. These Wave reports were created as a way for organisations to better understand the climate of the industry they operate in and emerging areas of technology. These reports also represent a unique way of comparing various organisation’s products/services available using transparent scoring criteria. The reports we will focus on are based on B2B & B2C research around ecommerce suites. These reports showed us how each provider measured up to the needs of modern-day ecommerce merchants in the process of choosing their next ecommerce platform. The methodology used in these reports consisted of questionnaires, product demo’s and customer references & interviews, and the criteria were grouped into three categories: Current offerings, Strategy and Market presence.

Areas where BigCommerce outshone Magento

The reports had huge praises for BigCommerce with both stating that “its product vision and roadmap are above par compared with others in this evaluation. Furthermore, its curated app store provides beginner, intermediate, and advanced capabilities that clients can swap-out as their needs evolve over time.” The feeling from both reports is that BigCommerce is great for businesses looking for a simpler and streamlined operational process.

On both reports, the area where BigCommerce scored higher than Magento was the ‘Delivery Model’ sub-category under the ‘Strategy’ category. This did not come as a surprise to many as BigCommerce is one of the leading Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) ecommerce platforms available. The SaaS delivery model of BigCommerce is a cloud-based software that allows organisations to pay a monthly or annual fee. This, in turn, eliminates the need for organisations to incur the expense of purchasing and maintaining expensive application servers and software. Under this delivery model these costs are covered, and any upgrades, including security patches, are left to the professionals at BigCommerce to deal with. Be sure to also read our blog about scaling up with BigCommerce.

This feature is acknowledged and valued by many as it allows the merchant to devote more resources and time to the user experience of their website. The reports say that “The company targets growth-minded brands that differentiate on customer experience. BigCommerce made a smart play in creating a business user interface that is simple to use and extend while also being flexible.” However, both reports have similar complaints of BigCommerce lacking in terms of integrations in certain areas. The B2B report states that BigCommerce is “best for B2B businesses experimenting with new markets or sub-brands, or simplifying their tech portfolio, moving away from legacy platforms.”

Areas where Magneto outshone BigCommerce

Despite BigCommerce being a ‘strong performer’ in both reports, there was only one area where it scored higher than Adobe’s Magento. Some of the areas, across both reports, where Magento scored higher than BigCommerce and got top marks for were Personalisation, Product Vision & Roadmap, Commerce Management, Supporting services, Commerce Suite and Delivery & Extensibility Ecosystem.

According to the reports, one of the main areas it excels, where BigCommerce was lacking, was ‘personalisation’. This is a strategy whereby messaging and marketing efforts are focused on the individual consumer and not just the group they belong to. Some of the ways it is possible to segment and personalise the experience for customers on Magento include by traffic source, search queries, account type, site engagement and customer information. Magento 2 comes with features to manage segmentation and personalisation. Ways you can use the data and personalise in Magento include showing certain banners, up-selling certain products and even applying separate shopping cart rules to allow for discounts to customers in a specific segment.

Another crucial area that appeared to separate the two ecommerce platforms were Adobe’s global partner ecosystem. The B2B & B2C reports say that “Adobe is well-positioned for broad reach with the combined forces of its sales teams and partner ecosystem” and that “Adobe’s strong set of implementation partners — both agencies and SIs — gives it the ability to deliver innovative experiences for subindustry niches despite a broad product approach.”

Adobe shines when it comes to their large global network of partners, which being an Adobe Gold Partner, we are also a part of. Adobe’s partners range from technology partners who “sell, support and extend Adobe products, providing solutions to expand your capabilities” to solution partners who have “expertise in specific solution, industries, and languages”. What this all means is that with Adobe’s Magento you can maximize your investment by connecting with partners from all over the globe. No matter where in the journey you are, or the industry you operate in, you can find a partner to help you succeed. The report’s verdict on Adobe was that it is “is best for brand-centric companies with rapidly evolving business models that differentiate on experience.”

Closing Words

The debate of BigCommerce vs Magento Commerce has gone on for years, and no doubt will continue for more years to come. The answer has never been that straightforward and varies for most businesses due to all the many considerations that go into this debate. However, being an Adobe Gold Partner and a Certified BigCommerce Agency Partner, we can say that both have incredible potential. We certainly would need more than one blog to highlight all the pros and cons of both, but what we can say from these latest Forrester Reports is that currently Adobe and Magento has the edge overall.

This is not to say BigCommerce is not a suitable platform in the modern-day. We recently wrote about the many SEO benefits of BigCommerce and how impactful they are compared to other platforms. As mentioned, being a SaaS platform is an invaluable aspect for certain businesses who value a streamlined process and the ability to use resources elsewhere. Being named a ‘Strong Performer’ in these reports is something not to be taken lightly and is huge acclaim. Nevertheless, in these reports Magento comes across as the platform that the more appealing to companies that are looking to transform their online business.

Whichever platform you may decide, as mentioned the experienced team at Williams Commerce are well equipped to help take your online business to new heights. Simply get in touch today to find out how we can work together to achieve that.


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