Comparing ecommerce platforms. Which one to use?

We have done all the hard work for you and compared five ecommerce platforms that you can implement to achieve a complete, end to end, omni-channel ecommerce solution. Here is our comparison of ecommerce platforms:

  • Magento
  • Maropost Commerce Cloud
  • BigCommerce
  • WooCommerce
  • Shopify

 

We look at each platform’s pros and cons and what type of business suits each platform, e.g. annual turnover, number of warehouses, and level of customisation requirements.

 

We consider business sizes to be:

  • Medium-sized business: $6-12 million+ annual turnover
  • Enterprise level business: $15 million+ annual turnover

Magento

Pros

  • Fully customisable to operations
  • Very flexible
  • A lot of 3rd party add-ons available
  • A step up from Woocommerce
  • Free to access and then enterprise level fee is $20,000 per year
  • Multi-store functionality
Cons

  • Self-hosted
  • Can be prone to breaking
  • Over time, upgrading from one version to the next can be challenging
  • Some security issues
  • expensive to maintain
  • expensive to upgrade and a need for a Magento expert to achieve website upgrade
  • Uncertain future with the recent takeover by Adobe
Best suited for

  • Enterprise level business
  • Business operations have outgrown all other platforms and require heavy customisation which can be resolved by Magento
  • Multiple warehouse operations

 

Maropost Commerce Cloud

Pros

  • All in one system with minimal add-ons required
  • Reasonably priced
  • Very flexible
  • Ability to sell B2B and B2C on the same store
  • Tailored with the Australian/New Zealand market in mind
Cons

  • Limited customisation and add-ons
  • Can be difficult to learn to operate
  • Lack of multi-store feature
  • Minimal apps marketplace
Best suited for

  • Medium to enterprise level
  • Multiple warehouse operations
  • Wholesalers
  • Auto industry (specific features available for this industry)

Neto is in direct competition with BigCommerce. This choice is often based on business preference. BigCommerce, integrations and business direction, is a bit more mature. Neto can be slightly erratic with platform updates.

 

BigCommerce

Pros

  • Scalable for business
  • All in one system with minimal add-ons required
  • Reasonably priced
  • Apps marketplace for addons
Cons

  • Limited customisation and add-ons
  • Can be difficult to learn
  • Customising of basic aspects of the aesthetics require coding
Best suited for

  • Multiple warehouses
  • Medium to enterprise level

BigCommerce is in direct competition with Neto. This choice is based on business preference. BigCommerce, integrations and business direction, is a bit more mature. Neto can be slightly erratic with platform updates.

 

WooCommerce

Pros

  • Cheap and simple to set up
  • Lots of community support and plugins available
  • Easy to use
  • Ownership of solution (ie. not held to pricing changes like a SaaS solution)
Cons

  • Not built for scalability
  • Requires a lot of plugins to achieve customisation
  • Security issues
  • Website prone to slowing down due to heavy plugins
  • Reliance on a WordPress expert to manage breakages or site issues
Best suited for

  • Startups / hobbyist
  • Under $500k annual turnover
  • Single warehouse operations

 

Shopify

Pros

  • CheapBase platform is relatively cheap
  • Easy to learn
  • It’s possible to make changes to the design without any coding knowledge
  • Abundance of Add-ons available which are either Shopify-made or crowd-sourced
  • Multi-currency option
Cons

  • Many features missing, requires a lot of add-ons which can be costly
  • Scalability issues that have to be resolved by addons or 3rd party integrations
  • There are better solutions for merchants selling B2B and/or both B2C and B2B
  • Some restrictions on industry verticals (eg. cannot sell guns)
Best suited for

 

So there you have it. Our comparison of ecommerce platforms for you to achieve a holistic omni channel ecommerce solution: Magento, Neto, BigCommerce, WooCommerce, and Shopify. Think about your unique retail operations. Which one best suits your ecommerce operation?

By David Donohue and Emily de la Pena

David Donohue is the Managing Director of Donohue Consultancy, an ecommerce agency specialising in omni channel ecommerce strategy and optimisation, and end-to-end solution design and implementation. Donohue consultancy partners with all ecommerce platforms and designs holistic, bespoke ecommerce digital solutions for medium-tier to enterprise level retail businesses. In a fast changing retail landscape, David understands the value of a solid omni channel ecommerce strategy to enable brand owners of any size to compete globally. David loves to help businesses, from specialty retailers to global manufacturers, to save time and money, and grow sales.

Emily de la Pena is a business strategist, award-winning business owner, and founder of Coding Kids. She is passionate about supporting business owners grow.

Emily was awarded 40 under 40: Top Young Entrepreneurs Brisbane, Queensland Women in Leadership Award, What’s on 4 Kids Award, and the Queensland Pearcey Award, Advance Queensland’s Community Digital Champion, and has been shortlisted for the Entrepreneur Award as part of the annual ARN Women in ICT Awards. Emily has also been on ABC Radio Brisbane, SBS radio, The Courier-Mail and various Australian news outlets as a thought leader on the intersection of marketing, business and technology.

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David Donohue

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