Here is an easy guide to help you compare BigCommerce and Magento Commerce Cloud.

Are you a Magento 1 user wondering what the next steps should be for your business?

With both Community and Enterprise editions of Magento 1 reaching their end of life in June, there won’t be any more product updates, security patches and support, so a change needs to be on your agenda. There are a lot of options available, so we hope you’ll find this summary of two of the leading platforms helpful.

BigCommerce 

BigCommerce is a software as a service (SaaS) ecommerce platform where servers and database storage, security patches and upgrades are managed for you. Founded in 2009, BigCommerce supports small, medium and enterprise-scale brands with a Cloud-based website, product management, omnichannel and B2B functionality. As an end-to-end solution, BigCommerce accepts payments, integrates with popular apps and coordinates shipping and fulfilment.

Magento Commerce 

Founded in 2008, Magento has become a popular ecommerce platform around the world. Magento 1’s powerful functionality and customizable framework helped the platform to become widely adopted.
Magento Commerce Cloud (MCC) is a managed, automated hosting platform as a service (PaaS) for the latest Magento Commerce software. MCC comes with
additional features that make it fast and easy to customize and deploy.

Features BigCommerce Magento Commerce Cloud
Templates, customization and content management Pre-built responsive templates are included. Customized design themes can be bought or designed with an agency partner. Products and pages can be created, managed and published and changes can be viewed in real time. Developers can customize website and shopping cart templates and can test before publishing. Themes are available on the Magento Marketplace and the drag and drop Page Builder includes editing, live preview, content staging and scheduled publication. Blank themes or inherited base themes can be customized. A test before publishing facility isn’t included.
Payment Currently over 65 payment gateway integrations and options for digital and mobile wallets are available. Magento Payments allows businesses to accept a wide variety of payment methods.

The Instant Purchase checkout option allows customers to use previously stored payment credentials and shipping information to skip checkout steps.

Mobile and search engine optimization (SEO) Templates support mobile responsiveness and have built-in SEO features. Responsive design themes adapt menus, images, checkout. A Google sitemap is automatically generated.
Omnichannel selling Inventory can be synchronized across channels. Magento Omnichannel features allow catalogs to be synchronized, social store fronts to be created and fulfilment coordinated.
Application integration Integrates with external applications and maintains a marketplace of approved third-party applications. Magento Marketplace offers a wide range of extensions providing integration options.
Application programming interface (API) robust API allows you to build or integrate third-party applications. Platform extensibility and ‘microservice layer’ technologies allow APIs to be adopted quickly for different customer touchpoints.
Business to business (B2B) ecommerce Integration is available for enterprise resource planning (ERP), product information management (PIM), point of sale (POS) systems, marketing automation tools, customer groups and B2B payment solutions and options. B2B functionality is included to support company accounts, purchasing, quotes, payment methods and credit. Quote workflow, quick order, and reporting options are available.

Here are some other issues you will also want to take into account.

Cost  as a SaaS solution, your server costs are included with BigCommerce, making it a cheaper option than an on-premise platform. There are three monthly pricing plans and a custom-priced Enterprise plan, and you also have the option to pay annually. The pricing structure is based on online sales per year, so subscription plan prices increase when specific annual sales thresholds are reached.

Magento Commerce Cloud combines the licence and hosting in an annual fee and also offers a monthly subscription option.

Looking at price alone, BigCommerce is the cheaper option.

Upgrades Costs  - With BigCommerce, upgrades and patches come with the platform which can over time amount to a significant saving, whereas Magento all have upgrades and patches that your agency has to do for you but this gives a lot more extensibility.  This should be factored into your total cost of ownership ad for some merchants the saving in ongoing costs can be the deciding factor if they don't need lots of flexibility on functionality

Ease of use – many users find that it’s easier to build an online store using BigCommerce rather than Magento. They also favor BigCommerce’s easy-to-use CMS for an intuitive back-end experience. If you aren’t a developer, updating and maintaining Magento’s powerful functionality can be more of a challenge, requiring development support and leading to operational overheads.

Out of the box functions  many businesses use Magento extensions to enhance their website functionality although it’s important to take into account the cost of multiple integration licence fees. BigCommerce includes many out-of-the-box ecommerce functions which will help to reduce costs and simplify extension configurations.

Custom app development  the APIs for both Magento and BigCommerce support third-party app development. BigCommerce checks apps offered in their store for security and stability. Developers find that they can often create custom apps more quickly and with less effort with BigCommerce. Magento has recognized the need for quality assurance in its Marketplace and now reviews the apps it offers for download. However, its new review framework might take longer than you would expect to approve new apps.

Time to market – typically, less development time is needed to launch a BigCommerce solution than for Magento.

Blogging – a BigCommerce weakness is its support for blogging and many users host their blogs on platforms like HubSpot or WordPress, although they can be integrated with an app.

Checkout - Magento Commerce has reduced the number of checkout steps to reduce purchasing friction and users can now see their order information after completing their purchase. This creates a smoother checkout experience that could contribute to higher conversion rates. The BigCommerce Checkout software development kit (SDK) handles the business logic that powers the ecommerce checkout process, allowing developers can focus on customizing the look, feel and customer experience

High volume SKUs – for brands managing a product catalog of over 100,000 stock keeping units (SKUs), Magento could be a good fit.

Multi-country and multi-store options - many businesses operate around the world, making multi-store functionality a key requirement. This is a strength for MCC, which can manage multiple storefronts from the same admin panel. Multi-store and multi-country functionality allow businesses to host stores on different domains, use different languages, and to offer different payment methods.

Reliability - BigCommerce offers 99.99% uptime, which is matched by MCC running on Amazon Web Services (AWS).

If you would like advice on your next ecommerce steps, please get in touch.