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05 Aug 2022

Shopify, Magento, Salesforce or WooCommerce : which platform is the best fit for your eCommerce?

Shopify, Magento, Salesforce or WooCommerce : which platform is the best fit for your eCommerce?

You want to launch a new online store? Your business wants to attack its digital transformation with an eCommerce store? You already have a transactionnal website, but it’s time to bring it up to date? Selecting the right plateform to build your new eCommerce is one of the first and key decision of your project, but the increasing amounts of possibilities and the wide variety of functionnalities and caracteristics can make this a daunting task. Let’s demystify the advantages and disadvantages of the well-adopted platform currently on the market and make sure that you make the best decision for your business and its reality.

  1.  Adobe Commerce (Magento)

Adobe Commerce, simply refered to as Magento until recently, is an open source commerce solution run, since 2018, by Adobe. The 1.0 version of Magento, formerly named Varien, was first launched in 2008. The version that we know and use today, Magento 2.0, is from 2015.

  • Advantages :
    • Its evolution sustains high growth eCommerce business
    • Limitless customization (open source)
    • Specialised features and integrations for B2B eCommerce, multisite management, and multilingual websites
    • Supports huge prodoct catalogues and can manage pricing lists by product
    • Integrates with most related eCommerce solution
    • Enables bulk product update
  • Disadvantages :
    • Higher price point
    • Highly technical platform that absolutely requires a development team
    • You have to manage the hosting of the website and are therefore responsible for your website’s performance and security (Community plan)
    • Frequent security update
  • Pricing :
    • Magento Open Source Edition (Community) : free
    • Magento Commerce Edition (Enterprise) : yearly subscription

Attention : hosting and maintenance is your responsibility with the Community plan

  • This platform is made for :
    • Businesses with large product catalogues and specific needs related to the B2B or B2C business model.
    • Businesses with the ressources to hire a front end and back end development team that has experience with open source technologies.

2. Shopify

Shopify is a SaaS (software as a service). It’s the most popular eCommerce platform with over 1.7 million  stores and more than 7000 employees. This canadian solution was originaly conceived in 2006 by Tobias Lütke and his team with the purpose of enabling merchants to create an online store by simply adding products’ pictures and information.

  • Advantages :
    • Quick and easy launch
    • Ballistic growth ensuring the sustainability of your eCommerce
    • Biggest theme and app library to customize and adapt your eCommerce
    • Easy integration to basically all eCommerce related technologies (marketing automation, helpdesk, BNPL, loyalty programs, IMS, etc.)
    • Complete, self-explanatory dashbord
    • No requirement for a development team unless you want advance customization
    • Hosting and maintenance is totaly handled Shopify
    • The largest community of users to seek tips and support
  • Disadvantages :
    • Creating a multilingual Shopify store can be an hassle
    • Advance customization will require expertise in web development
    • DTC centric platform, but B2B functionnalities are starting to roll out
  • Pricing :
    • Monthly fee based on the selected plan
    • Some themes and apps are not free
    • Transaction fees based on the selected plan
  • This platform is made for :
    • Businesses that want to quickly set up an online store without the hassle of complicated web-development and expensive fees
    • High-growth businesses that need a platform that will grow and evolve at the same pace.

3. WooCommerce by WordPress

WooCommerce is an open source extension available since 2011 in the WordPress ecosystem.

  • Advantages :
    • Easy to use and set up in WordPress
    • Simple customization with the plugin and WordPress themes
    • Afordable and scalable for a very small store
    • Large community for help and support
  • Disadvantages :
    • Hosting and maintenance are your responsibility
    • Likely will require some paid plugins to function properly
    • Not compatible with all of WordPress themes
    • Limited for larger product catalogues
    • Does not include legal documentation
    • Performance issues with high volume of visists and transactions
    • Advance customization will require a web developer
    • Sevurity challenges related to the updates, and complicated updates of the theme and plugins
  • Pricing :
    • Free
    • Some themes and plugins have to be paid for
    • Hosting and maintenance are not included
  • This platform is made for :
    • Companies with a site primarily for information purposes, such as a blog, and wishing to sell a limited volume of products to a limited volume of buyers.

4. Custom platform

Although it is becoming an increasingly less popular choice with the democratization of eCommerce technologies, it is still possible with certain suppliers to develop a so-called custom solution. This means that the technology is developed from scratch or by using certain elements from other open source technologies to assemble your eCommerce site.

  • Advantages :
    • A solution developed to meet your specific needs
    • Appearance and functionality unique to your eCommerce site
    • No license fees in theory (may vary by provider)
  • Disadvantages :
    • The need for specialized front end and back end developers from the start of the project and throughout the life of the website
    • The cost of conception and the difficulty of developing/maintaining the site afterwards
    • The complexity of integrating third-party applications and solutions to meet the marketing, analytical, accounting, etc. needs of your business
    • You must support the hosting and maintenance of the site
    • Full responsibility of the cybersecurity and future-proofing of your technology
    • Your dependence on your supplier or developer for any desired development on the site or for any bug fixes
  • This solution is made for :
    • Companies with a high budget, a complete development team, or a unique complexity in its service offering that other technologies cannot fulfill the needs, even with an headless* build.

It goes without saying that choosing your eCommerce platform is complex and that you need to surround yourself with experts to properly assess all the elements to be taken into consideration. The Novatize team has supported hundreds of companies in their eCommerce strategy since 2014 and can help you make the best decision for your business. Make an appointment with an eCommerce advisor today!

*Headless : A Headless build separates the back end from the front end of an existing technology, like Shopify, to develop a 100% personalized front end on the existing back end technology.

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