Top 3 Alternatives To BigCommerce Enterprise
Like many Americans, I spend most of my time aimlessly wandering the web. Unlike most, I spend much of that time reading customer comments on eCommerce shopping carts.
Here’s what my wanderings have told me: A lot of e-tailers are incredibly frustrated with BigCommerce (see our review). When BigCommerce made a huge pricing change in April of this year (2016), a few of you found yourselves paying for BigCommerce’s enterprise level plan. And you didn’t even know you were an enterprise level business!
Maybe you’re one of those clients, wondering if BigCommerce Enterprise (see our review) is worth the price. Perhaps you weren’t affected by the pricing change but are so fed up with BigCommerce that you’re willing to switch to literally anything else (caps lock warriors, I’m looking at you). Or maybe you have no experience with BigCommerce at all; you’re just checking out your options.
Whatever the case, I’m here to show you a few alternatives to BigCommerce Enterprise. All three have areas where they match or surpass (I’ll use the terms meet or beat) BigCommerce Enterprise’s capabilities, and other areas where they fall short.
Before we get into our alternatives, here’s a quick summary of BigCommerce Enterprise’s features.
- Ease of Use: A simple dashboard makes adding products and editing themes easy (Try it out for yourself with a Free 15 Day Trial).
- Beautiful Web Design: There are 39 attractive pre-made mobile responsive themes available, ranging in price from free to $180.
- Advanced Features: BigCommerce is all about conversion with features like abandoned cart notifications and filtered search for your customers.
- Priority Customer Support: BigCommerce Enterprise offers priority customer support with prioritized call routing and the option to hire a Strategic Account Manager.
- Plenty of Integrations: There are 265 prefabricated (prefab) integrations available in the apps store, including integrations with 38 payment gateways, one of which is PayPal (Powered by Braintree). Bonus: If you use PayPal with your BigCommerce store, you’ll pay lower credit card transaction fees.
Of course, there’s more to know about BigCommerce Enterprise, most of which you can read in our full BigCommerce Enterprise Review, but that should be enough information for now.
Now, onto our comparison.
But first a quick note: Because pricing for enterprise solutions is always flexible depending upon the size and needs of your company, we will exclude pricing in our comparison of these shopping carts. Of course, pricing is an important factor that you’ll have to keep in mind when you make your decision. I highly recommend contacting every shopping cart you’re considering to find out what pricing will look like for you.
If you’ve looked into enterprise level eCommerce at all, you’ve heard of Shopify Plus (see our review). Over 275,000 stores worldwide use Shopify in some form or other, so you could say it’s a popular choice, and it is one of the shopping carts we love best here at Merchant Maverick. In terms of enterprise carts, Shopify Plus is the most similar available alternative to BigCommerce Enterprise.
Shopify Plus’s ease of use and elegant pre-made themes echo the hassle-free approach that BigCommerce Enterprise advertises. In fact, I would go so far as to say that Shopify Plus does it even better.
Here’s how Shopify Plus stacks up next to BigCommerce Enterprise
Meets or Beats
- Ease of Use: Shopify has one of the most user-friendly dashboards on the market with all the basics readily accessible, and Shopify Plus uses the same dashboard. Try it out with a Free 14 Day Trial (no credit card required).
- Stunning Themes: Shopify Plus has over 100 mobile responsive web designs available in the Theme Store. You can customize your theme using Liquid, Shopify’s own templating language. Liquid, admittedly, has a slight learning curve, though I’ve read that it’s a fairly straight-forward language in general.
- Expansive App Store: Shopify Plus’s strategy is to provide the basics in the dashboard and offer everything else in the app store. And I mean everything else. There are 1000+ apps available.
- Payment Gateway Options: Shopify Plus integrates with over 70 payment gateways. If you’re looking for a discount on credit card transaction fees, you might consider using Shopify Payments. You may be able to pay lower fees than you would with BigCommerce Enterprise and PayPal.
- Reliable Customer Service: Each Shopify Plus merchant is assigned their own Merchant Success Manager (without any extra fees). They are your direct line to Shopify support.
- No One-Page Checkout: I love single page checkout functions. Reducing the amount of steps your customer has to take to purchase your product results in fewer abandoned carts. One-page checkout is only available through an app, called CartHook, which costs $300/month.
- No Filtered Search: Filtered search helps your customers find what they want quickly. Filtered search is, of course, available through an app.
- Limited Discount Features: At the enterprise level, it’s important to be able to create super specific discounts: discounts targeted at a specific group of customers, discount for products of a specific type over a specific price, etc. Shopify Plus’s dashboard only allows the creation of discounts with one condition, which is fairly limited.
While Shopify Plus does have some disadvantages, most of them can be solved with the addition of an application. Admittedly, all of those apps can add up to big bucks (in which case, you might consider one of the two other shopping carts below). Regardless, Shopify Plus is still a notable competitor, and a compelling alternative to BigCommerce Enterprise. If you’re looking to keep the ease of use and simplicity that BigCommerce offers, Shopify Plus is an excellent choice.
Read our full review of Shopify Plus here.
Unlike Shopify Plus, Magento Enterprise Cloud Edition (see our review) (Magento ECE) is not at similar to BigCommerce Enterprise. Instead of offering usability, Magento ECE provides functionality. You don’t need to add on loads of apps to make your store function the way you want it to. Most features come built-in.
Magento is one of the most commonly used eCommerce software on the market, supporting 240,000 stores worldwide.
Magento ECE is PaaS (Platform as a Service) as opposed to SaaS (Software as a Service). This basically means that Magento ECE comes with a slightly lower level of support. Read more on the difference between PaaS and SaaS here.
Here are some other ways that Magento ECE and BigCommerce Enterprise compare.
Meets or Beats
- Endless Features: Magento ECE comes with more functionality than I’ve seen in any other shopping cart. There are functions for customer segmentation, a visual (drag and drop) merchandiser, and as many discount features as you can imagine. View the full features list here.
- Full Customizability: Magento ECE is designed specifically for customizability. You can customize your admin to streamline your actions. The storefront is similarly flexible; you can work with a web developer to make it look exactly how you want it or make adjustments to the storefront yourself with a WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get) editor.
- Open Source Documentation and a REST API: This is why Magento ECE is so customizable. Your developers have access to the tools that were used to build Magento.
- Cross-channel Selling Capabilities: Manage all of your sites from one admin.
- Priority Customer Support: On top of 24/7 phone support and plenty of documentation, Magento ECE clients are eligible for support from the Account Management team (at extra expense).
- Steep Learning Curve: Magento ECE is many things, but it is not easy to use. At least, not at first. After you and your developers have figured out how to use Magento’s diverse features, it should get a little better. All the comments I’ve seen have said that Magento is worth the time it takes to learn.
- Potentially More Expensive: Okay, okay. I know I said I wasn’t going to talk about price. I changed my mind. Most of these software cost around $1000/month at the lowest possible rate. But a sales representative told me that Magento Enterprise Edition (the locally-installed version) costs $22K-$32K a year. Because Magento ECE is fully-hosted, it will cost even more than that. Again, call the sales reps to find out more.
- No Ready-Made Themes: A ready-made theme is a lot like pre-made pie crust: It’s not perfect, but hey, at least you didn’t have to work on it. Magento ECE comes with exactly two themes: the mobile responsive Black theme and Luma (the demonstration theme). The idea is for you and your web developers to build the site that fits your brand to a tee. The pre-made pie crust just isn’t an option.
- Fewer Apps Available: Magento ECE uses the newly-released Magento 2.0. Currently, there aren’t a lot of apps in Magento’s marketplace that are compatible with Magento 2.0, but I expect this to change soon.
As far as enterprise shopping carts go, Magento ECE is one of my personal favorites. Granted, it doesn’t have the ease of use that BigCommerce Enterprise offers, which may be a determining factor for some folks. However, if you have the ability to hire a web developer (or a small team of them) Magento ECE is a stellar option.
For more information, read our Magento Enterprise Cloud Edition Review.
Mozu is Volusion’s solution for enterprise clients.Mozu was created over the course of 230,000 development hours and launched officially in September, 2013.
Much like Magento ECE, Mozu is all about customizability. There’s a lot Mozu has to offer, but in order to use the platform to its full extent, you can expect to hire a web developer (or two).
Here’s how Mozu compares with BigCommerce Enterprise.
Meets or Beats
- Robust Features List: Mozu has loads of features like customer management tools, filtered search, and targeted promotions. The full features list is spread out across three pages on Mozu’s main site.
- Faster Loading Times: Sites hosted by Mozu load quickly, which reduces bounce rates (the amount of customers who leave your site before a page finishes loading).
- Developer-Friendly Technology: Open-source documentation, a REST API and seven open-source SDKs (Software Developement Kits) make integrations and customizations easier.
- Hypr Theming Engine: Mozu does not come with any pre-made themes, but it does come with the Hypr Theming Engine, which should make developing your own theme a little easier.
- Account Manager: Every Mozu client is partnered with an Account Manager who offers priority level support service.
- No Pre-Made Themes: You are absolutely going to have to create your own. This gives you the opportunity to make a really quality custom theme, but it will take work and professional assistance.
- Not Easy to Use: Some assembly required. You will need a web developer.
- No Abandoned Cart Saver: There isn’t a built-in abandoned cart feature, though there is an app for that.
- Only Ten Payment Gateways: This is a fairly small number. Now, because Mozu is open-source and comes with a REST API, it shouldn’t be too difficult to integrate your favorite payment gateway. Nevertheless, it’s nice to have the connections already made for you.
Although Mozu does not come with the simple dashboard and clean themes BigCommerce Enterprise clients enjoy, it does come with a strong features set that drives conversion. And if you want a unique storefront and don’t mind putting in a little extra effort, Mozu is a good choice.
Read our full Mozu Review for more information.
Ultimately, you have to decide what sort of shopping cart you want: one that’s just like BigCommerce Enterprise, or one that’s radically different.
If you’re looking for BigCommerce Enterprise’s fraternal twin, Shopify Plus is the way to go. But if you want something far removed from BigCommerce Enterprise (and you don’t mind the web development involved), Mozu and Magento ECE are more up your alley.
And, like I’ve been saying this whole time, please, please call sales representatives from each shopping cart you’re considering. Yes, waiting on hold is annoying, but it’s important to get pricing information early on in process, as it could be the deciding factor in which cart you end up choosing.
If you’re still looking for more information, you might check out a few of my comparison articles for a big picture perspective on enterprise shopping carts. Good luck!