Home – New Forums Selling online Magento vs big commerce

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  • #990708
    TF
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    Hi, any advice would be appreciated.
    We have a bricks and mortar store and want to expand online. From my research so far we’ve narrowed it down to a magento or big commerce site. We are looking at having hundred + items and want to be able to load and maintain ourselves. We are looking to expand into Ebay as well.
    Does anyone have any recommendations on which would be more suitable? Also any web designer recommendations would be great.

    Thanks :-)

    #1178244
    John Romaine
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    Big Commerce is horrible for SEO – avoid. I can’t speak on behalf of Magento because I haven’t spent much time with it.

    How many products will you have listed?

    #1178245
    TF
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    John Romaine, post: 207577 wrote:
    Big Commerce is horrible for SEO – avoid. I can’t speak on behalf of Magento because I haven’t spent much time with it.

    How many products will you have listed?

    Thanks John, good to hear about the SEO – that is a big concern for us (obviously!). We are looking at over 100 products.

    #1178246
    John Romaine
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    TF, post: 207578 wrote:
    Thanks John, good to hear about the SEO – that is a big concern for us (obviously!). We are looking at over 100 products.

    Ok.

    Wordpress with WooCommerce could handle this easily, unless of course you have specialized needs. I’m in the process of putting online stores together right now for 2 clients. One has 300 products and the other has over 700 products. Both are going with WooCommerce.

    WooCommerce is great for SEO, it can be customised to look exactly as you choose, can handle ordering and processing, is easy to maintain, supports a blog (which is essential for site promotion – content marketing) and best of all, has no ongoing monthly fees like you have when you use services like BigCommerce or Magento. You’re also the owner, you’re not “renting” a space on someone elses platform.

    Happy to discuss with you further if you like.

    #1178247
    JohnTranter
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    TF, post: 207576 wrote:
    From my research so far we’ve narrowed it down to a magento or big commerce site.

    Those are two extremely different shopping carts. (and I might be biased towards one!)

    If I was you, I would site down and write down a list of things that I want my online shop to do and then start asking around about fulfilling those requirements. e.g. shipping, payment solutions, order processing, newsletter integration, ebay integration, customer loyalty programs, reward systems, wholesale customers, price comparison websites etc.
    Think about your budget too, which may have a major effect on your selection. For instance Magento will be far more expensive than Bigcommerce to get up and running.

    I would recommend looking at the difference between hosted and self-hosted shopping carts, there are plenty of articles but in a nutshell
    Hosted : Easier, Simpler (e.g. Bigcommerce, Shopify)
    Self-Hosted : More customisable, you own it. (e.g. Magento, Woocommerce, Opencart)

    btw, nearly all carts will allow you to tailor the shop to look exactly how you want it. The SEO properties of most shops will really depend on the theme you’ve used rather than the platform, I’m pretty sure John.

    #1178248
    JohnTranter
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    John Romaine, post: 207579 wrote:
    no ongoing monthly fees like you have when you use services like BigCommerce or Magento

    Quick correction, Magento Community has no ongoing fees for the product*

    *There are the normal fees associated with any self-hosted site of course, such as hosting and paying your developer to update the site

    #1178249
    Hatching_It
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    TF, post: 207576 wrote:
    We are looking to expand into Ebay as well.

    Thanks :-)

    Something to consider on the eBay side, make sure whatever you use allows you to set different content for the eBay listing. What you list on eBay and what you list on your site will be totally different. Every listing needs to setout returns, business info, refunds, postage terms etc.

    I use Magento and it was very easy just to set a new group of attributes (fields) called “eBay price”, “eBay Title”, “eBay Subtitle”, “eBay content” (which has my template automatically set in it) etc and setup the eBay integration to create the listings from these fields.

    This allows me to list once on my website and copy parts of the content in to the eBay fields and Magento then creates my eBay listing exactly as I need it.

    If you’re going to use multiple sales channels you don’t want to be fighting your processes to get the job done.

    FYI: My Magento install uses:

    • Magento CE 1.9.X
    • LinkSync (for eParcel integration)
    • M2E Pro (for eBay integration)
    • SiftScience (for fraud analysis)
    • Ebizmarkets (for MailChimp and Mandrill email delivery)
    • Fishpig WordPress (for WordPress blog)
    • Fishpig Smart tabs (for easily creating new responsive tabs on your product pages
    • YOTPO reviews (for getting product/site reviews from customers in return for a small discount on new purchase)
    • Amasty Mass order actions (to allow me to update all orders with an eParcel tracking code, send the email to the customer and complete an order all in one button click
    • Zapier (It’s SaaS, not in Magento) for sending all PayPal email addresses from orders in to my MailChimp email list

    I also use Xero for accounting but I haven’t connected it to Magento, it gets feeds from my bank and PayPal directly. Integrating with Magento would double up on that.

    All of the above only cost about $200-$300. No idea if you can get that level of automation with the other carts.

    Maclean

    #1178250
    John Debrincat
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    TF, post: 207576 wrote:
    Hi, any advice would be appreciated.
    We have a bricks and mortar store and want to expand online. From my research so far we’ve narrowed it down to a magento or big commerce site. We are looking at having hundred + items and want to be able to load and maintain ourselves. We are looking to expand into Ebay as well.
    Does anyone have any recommendations on which would be more suitable? Also any web designer recommendations would be great.

    Thanks :-)

    What kind of products are you selling?

    Have you considered what payment provider or shipping method you will use?

    The type of shipping method is generally determined by the product size and weight.

    For a new online shop with 100 or so products Magento is total overkill. As mentioned WordPress / Woocommerce would be a better open source alternative. But then you need to build and manage it.

    BigCommerce is a hosted solution based in the USA you will pay in US$ (exchange rate is terrible) and some of the plans include commission.

    There are local hosted solutions like ours but also Neto, Australia Post My Online Shop and some others. We have eBay support built into some of our plans.

    It is important to think through your requirements.

    Looking at Maclean’s list all I see is lots of stuff from different companies and different addons. That is a recipe for disaster in my opinion. A change in Magento release and potential one or all of those might just stop. If you are technically inclined then go for it but if not keep it as simple as possible.

    If you can get everything from one provider you are far better off.

    Most eBay connectors will allow you to have different content on the online store versus eBay. We certainly do.

    Regards

    John

    #1178251
    John Romaine
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    JohnTranter, post: 207585 wrote:
    btw, nearly all carts will allow you to tailor the shop to look exactly how you want it. The SEO properties of most shops will really depend on the theme you’ve used rather than the platform, I’m pretty sure John.

    I’ve found the opposite John.

    I’ve worked with many business owners that want to make changes but can’t, because they’re bound to restrictions of the cart they’ve chosen.

    “We can’t change that because that’s beyond our control”
    “The support team said that’s a feature that they might consider”
    “We contacted the support staff about XYZ and they said it’s just the way it is”

    etc etc.

    I’d also tend to agree with the comments above about Magento being overkill for 100 products.

    I don’t mind either way to be honest, I’m not here to sell anyone or anything. I just see so many business owners confused with techno babble and sales pitches that they end up more confused than when they first asked the question.

    #1178252
    Craig.Smith
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    Just to throw in a different angle, don’t rule out nopCommerce which is built on the microsoft stack. I’ve built several sites on it, shopping cart has over a million downloads, open source, good range of themes/plugins and of course is free.

    #1178253
    JohnTranter
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    John Romaine, post: 207608 wrote:
    I’ve worked with many business owners that want to make changes but can’t, because they’re bound to restrictions of the cart they’ve chosen.

    “We can’t change that because that’s beyond our control”
    “The support team said that’s a feature that they might consider”
    “We contacted the support staff about XYZ and they said it’s just the way it is”

    Sorry John, I should clarify that I meant the look and feel rather than functionality.
    e.g. colours, layout, block placement, siteflow etc.

    Yes, you’re right on functionality, if the cart doesn’t support the functionality and it’s a hosted solution, then you’re generally out of luck. e.g. customer can pick up from one of multiple warehouses.

    However most of the self-hosted solutions can be extended to support nearly any functionality if you’re prepared to throw enough time/money at the problem. It’s the advantage that an open self-hosted system usually has.

    #1178254
    John Debrincat
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    JohnTranter, post: 207617 wrote:
    However most of the self-hosted solutions can be extended to support nearly any functionality if you’re prepared to throw enough time/money at the problem. It’s the advantage that an open self-hosted system usually has.

    Actually the cloud hosted solutions that I know and compete with can all be extended in whatever way required but at a cost.

    In our case we have Cloud Enterprise Plus and our major friendly competitors have similar. These retain all the benefits of the cloud and SaaS but are completely extensible from a design and functionality viewpoint. However they have major advantages in that they are fully supported and more secure than open source.

    I know that this is off the track of this thread a little but open source is often equated to flexibility however that could not be further from the truth. The cloud proprietary solutions come with deep levels of support and in general much better APIs, documentation and developer environments. But they are not free. However the total cost of ownership always ends up less than open source.

    We have used our cloud solutions on some large and complex projects like shop.weightwatchers.com.au so I don’t believe there are any real limitations.

    John

    #1178255
    Hatching_It
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    John Romaine, post: 207608 wrote:
    I’d also tend to agree with the comments above about Magento being overkill for 100 products.

    I don’t mind either way to be honest, I’m not here to sell anyone or anything. I just see so many business owners confused with techno babble and sales pitches that they end up more confused than when they first asked the question.

    I still don’t agree with deciding on a platform based just off number of products.

    I think the biggest problem for business owners is that they go in to a new website/store build without first looking at their processes and figuring out exactly what their requirements are.

    Things like logistics, fulfillment, marketing, crm, accounting, hr etc. Building a new website is a good opportunity to look at what you’re doing, look at what’s costing you money and look to improve on it.

    I chose Magento knowing that it was overkill for my business that was turning over $100/month at the time but also knowing that if I chose the right products to start with I could easily grow and not have to go and reinvent my website and processes every 6 months. As it stands I went from 10 orders a month to 150 orders a month and the only thing I spend longer on is pre packaging my products. Creating shipping labels, printing invoices, completing orders, reconciling payments etc don’t take any longer because it’s all automated.

    John Debrincat, post: 207599 wrote:
    For a new online shop with 100 or so products Magento is total overkill. As mentioned WordPress / Woocommerce would be a better open source alternative. But then you need to build and manage it.

    Looking at Maclean’s list all I see is lots of stuff from different companies and different addons. That is a recipe for disaster in my opinion. A change in Magento release and potential one or all of those might just stop. If you are technically inclined then go for it but if not keep it as simple as possible.

    If you can get everything from one provider you are far better off.

    Most eBay connectors will allow you to have different content on the online store versus eBay. We certainly do.

    Sorry if I came across as pushing towards Magento John, I was just trying to give the OP an understanding of things to consider when getting his website built, not pushing the individual systems.

    Yes I’m using solutions from a range of different providers, but using WooCommerce would be no different, EXCEPT that with WordPress/WooCommerce you’re looking at version upgrades every week or two. As a platform, Magento has much a much stabler release cycle and in my experience with merchants that run Magento, once a site is built they require very little changes/upgrades until a major redesign or process change. I’ve seen literally a hundred merchants sticking with Magento 1.4 and not requiring an upgrade until 1.9 – that’s something like 5 years.

    Like I replied to John T, business owners don’t think about their end to end sales processes and requirements and this is why they get quotes from $1000-$25000 for a new website and there’s no way to really compare them because they’re quotes for totally different ranges of services.

    I really like what eCorner do as a company though, I think you guys take that total approach when you work with business owners to make sure they end up with a solution, rather than just a flashy new website.

    #1178256
    John Debrincat
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    Hatching_It, post: 207664 wrote:
    I still don’t agree with deciding on a platform based just off number of products……..

    Sorry if I came across as pushing towards Magento John, I was just trying to give the OP an understanding of things to consider when getting his website built, not pushing the individual systems…..

    ….I’ve seen literally a hundred merchants sticking with Magento 1.4 and not requiring an upgrade until 1.9 – that’s something like 5 years.

    Hi Maclean,

    The number of products is a simple test for complexity but not perfect. However for a small business it almost always works. We have some enterprise customers selling insurance and there is just one product but exceedingly complex.

    There is nothing wrong with Magento but in the wrong hands it can be a disaster. There in lay the problem. There are not many business operators with the skill set to manage Magento but that is what they get left with.

    Your example of 5 year old Magento 1.4 installations is a great example of risk. That release had some major security issues and I doubt it would every pass a PCI compliance scan.

    Thanks for the kind words about eCorner.

    All the best

    John

    #1178257
    JohnTranter
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    John Debrincat, post: 207659 wrote:
    I know that this is off the track of this thread a little but open source is often equated to flexibility however that could not be further from the truth. The cloud proprietary solutions come with deep levels of support and in general much better APIs, documentation and developer environments.

    I think we’ll have to agree to disagree on this point John. (too many Johns in this thread)
    Developers will be limited by the access that the API’s and system give them. For example I know that people have been complaining for years that the checkout template on Shopify is locked and can’t be modified. I think you currently have the choice of 2 templates.
    https://ecommerce.shopify.com/c/shopify-discussion/t/why-can-t-we-customize-the-checkout-pages-118053

    Quote:
    The issue that comes with PCI compliance is they have to prevent merchants from being able to insert any functionality within the checkout that will allow the capture of credit card data.

    It’s a legitimate reason, but it’s still a limitation.

    Again, all systems have their advantages and disadvantages, so it’s really the business requirements that make the decision as to which is the best fit.

    btw I think eCorner is a great solution and I’ve championed it on several threads.

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