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Based on weighted criteria below
Low Pricing icon

Low Pricing (weighted 11%)

BigCommerce

29.95 USD/ month + 1.5% transaction fee
Sell an unlimited amount of products. Receive an unlimited amount of storage and bandwidth. Use powerful reporting tools, and accept PayPal and credit cards from customers. The checkout is not hosted on your domain for this plan, so it goes through the Bigcommerce module. Coupon codes, timed promotional tools and social media buttons are included with this plan.

79.95 USD/ month
Sell an unlimited amount of products without having to pay for any transaction fees. The checkout is hosted on your own domain, and you get omni-channel sales features and customer segmentation modules. The payment providers are top notch, carrier shipping is real time and pricing groups and rules are included. The plan offers comparisons on shopping sites, eBay integrations and all the features you would receive from the previous plan.

199.95 USD/ month
You get everything from the previous plan, high volume security and analytics, fraud monitoring and product filtering.

Custom Pricing for Enterprise Plan
This plan requires you to speak with the Bigcommerce team for pricing, but you receive an unlimited amount of products and zero transaction fees. The Google Trusted stores integration is a plus, along with product filtering and priority support. Advance SEO comes along with the HTTPS, and a dedicated account manager is there to help you out. Finally, the plan comes with API support, uptime SLA and all the features you receive from the previous plans.

Each plan provides mobile friendly themes, support at all hours of the day (24/7,) coupon code features, unlimited storage and bandwidth, and the ability to accept PayPal and credit cards. In addition, you get a 10% discount if you opt for the annual payment. Finally, you can try out the 15 day trial, create unlimited products and work with promotions and discounting rules.

Magento

Free
Since the Magento Community platform is an open source solution, you don't have to pay a dime to use it. Download the software, install it on your hosting account and get started building your site. No transaction fees are required of you, except any fees you may incur with the payment processor you go with. With your free account you get access to a free community forum, nice templates and an app store. Sell as many products as you want, but hosting is not included. Therefore, you must go find your own hosting and buy your own domain name. Feel free to upgrade to the Enterprise Edition if you need more.

Design icon

Design (weighted 11%)

BigCommerce

You gain access to around 42 paid themes and 16 free ones, which is nice, but the options are far greater with Magento. However, Bigcommerce themes are some of the best in the business and they work for both beginners and advanced users, whereas you need development experience to work with many Magento themes. Bigcommerce gives you access to HTML and CSS files, and you receive an FTP client. This is available in Magento as well.

Magento

Although Bigcommerce has a nice selection of themes, Magento Community Edition is a powerhouse in this area. It's open source, so many developers have created themes and placed them in the Magento Theme Marketplace. You can also buy themes from third parties, but you must be careful about the quality. Prices range dramatically, but a solid price point is around $50 to $100.

Frontend Features icon

Frontend Features (weighted 11%)

BigCommerce

This has one of the more robust frontends in the non-open source game, so it matches up with Magento rather well. However, Bigcommerce is easier to manage for beginners, with built-in features like lots of payment processors, product filtering, wishlists, product searching, live chat and a built-in blog. Customers can type in coupon codes, and social media integration works well for people to share your pages.

Magento

The frontend is one of the main reasons so many people go with the platform, since you can customize it to look however you want. Although it generally requires a little development experience, some of the frontend features include responsive designs, zoomable images, order statuses and product reviews. Wishlists, quantity discounts and cross sells (and upsells) also come along with your package. Related products are displayed, along with polls, newsletters and coupon codes.

Backend Features icon

Backend Features (weighted 11%)

BigCommerce

This platform is a gem for both beginners and advanced users, since you're greeted with a nice tour and step by step process for the primary tasks you should complete to build your store. The dashboard looks just like WordPress, where the tabs are on the left for things like analytics, marketing, customers, content and products. Creating products is pretty easy, and it rivals Magento with the amount of features that come along in this area. For example, you can change settings for pricing, bulk pricing, titles, custom fields, videos, inventory, details, images and more. Both may be overwhelming for those with just a few products, but they both work nicely for larger companies.

 

Magento

Although somewhat confusing for those just getting started with web development, the backend is rather powerful. If you do have some development experience, it shouldn't be a problem moving around the backend. You can view reports with just a few clicks, and the customer service modules are easily accessible. Integrate your payment system with Authorize.net or PayPal, and even sell virtual products through your store. You have an unlimited amount of product attributes, sortable customers, product bundles and free shipping options.

Marketing icon

Marketing (weighted 11%)

BigCommerce

SEO

Some might argue that Bigcommerce is even more SEO friendly than Magento, since it has both a sitemap and robots.txt file. Image descriptions and alt tags are available, along with SEO keywords that are product specific. Change header and title tags, and make SEO friendly URLs. Reviews are also nice for SEO, and you receive 301 redirects, Google Shopping support and files hosted on quick CDNs.

Social Media

The system provides access to a program called SocialShop for selling on Facebook. You can also publish a Facebook "Like" button on your products, but connections to Twitter and Pinterest are not available. However, you can always check out apps that support this.

Newsletter

You can integrate with solutions like MailChimp and iContact, but there is no built-in newsletter feature. Export and import subscribers and even create optin forms, welcome emails and check boxes.

Built-in promotion options

Offer gift wrapping and and gift certificates, work with time-limited promotions and use the discount engine. You can even tie all of this into the comparison sites for helping customers find deals.

Support of other selling channels

Bigcommerce is ideal for selling on other channels, with support for Google Products, Amazon and eBay. You receive a Google Trusted Stores integration as well. Apps can help you out with this as well.

 

Magento

SEO

Magento is extremely friendly when it comes to SEO, with the ability to make your URLs that are search engine friendly, and meta info for your products and categories. You have access to the Google Content API, and you can view which search terms people are using. Not to mention, it has a Google sitemap.

Social Media

Bigcommerce wins in the social media realm, since Magento doesn't really have anything built-into the system. However, plenty of integrations and apps provide social sharing, selling and following buttons and modules.

Newsletter

Many people connect to platforms like MailChimp when looking for newsletter support. A newsletter subscription management area is included, which allows for accepting subscriptions and seeing subscribers, which is still better than what Bigcommerce offers.

Built-in promotion options

Even though Bigcommerce provides quality built-in promotional options, Magento has more, with free shipping, wish lists, multi-tier pricing, promo pricing with restrictions, related products, upsells and product bundling.

Support of other selling channels

The options are endless for selling on other channels, but it requires development knowledge. Why? Because the Google Shopping API is open for you to integrate with comparison sites, and you can tap into other APIs like Amazon and eBay. However, an app can also help you out with this.

Statistics icon

Statistics (weighted 11%)

BigCommerce

Bigcommerce has a a store overview, but it's not as good as Magento. You also get order reports, abandoned cart info, traffic reports and details on what your customers are doing. Bigcommerce has some strong essentials, but not nearly as many options as Magento.

Magento

Although Bigcommerce is a great place for stats, Magento is unmatched, offering several reports and a few graphs in the dashboard, which is great for taking a quick glance at your site health (not built-into Bigcommerce). Check out your sales and tax reports, integrate with Google Analytics, and view everything from coupon usage to low stock to abandoned cart reports. In addition, you receive information on product reviews, refunds, best viewed products and purchased products.

Hosting & Security icon

Hosting & Security (weighted 11%)

BigCommerce

Hosting and security is solid, with enterprise level security, an included hosting system and a domain name. The hosting is offered through SAS 70 Type II certified servers, and the system is PCI Level 1 Compliant for keeping hackers away from your store.

Magento

When you go with Magento, you don't get built-in hosting. This means you must go out and find your own hosting, which can range from $3 to $50 per month, or even more depending on your site traffic. Since Bigcommerce has hosting built-in, it's much easier. SSL security support is provided and you don't have to worry about PCI compliance with Magento.

Extensibility icon

Extensibility (weighted 11%)

BigCommerce

The app store is quite large (http://apps.bigcommerce.com ), and they don't take long to setup. Some of them are paid, while others are free, and many of them are more mainstream than Magento. It's much easier to find a solution with Bigcommerce, but Magento has more options.

Magento

Magento is open source, so tons of developers build themes and extensions, and you can find many of them in the Magento Extension Store. Thousands of extensions are available. This blows away Bigcommerce, but Bigcommerce is still pretty solid, and all the apps are cleared by the company. Finding an app is quick, since they offer filtering and searching, and you can choose from apps that give you support for receipts, marketing, accounting and more. The only problem is you have to download the apps and upload them to your site, while with Bigcommerce it's a one or two click process in the dashboard.

Support icon

Support (weighted 11%)

BigCommerce

Bigcommerce provides dedicated 24/7 support, along with calling, emailing and live chatting. The blog and knowledge base work nicely, and the support team makes it so that you don't have to go searching through a forum.

Magento

Since the support forums are run by a community, you gain knowledge from thousands of people across the globe. This lets you search problems that have happened in the past, and make your own threads for topics that haven't been talked about yet. The one big downside is you can't talk to a dedicated support representative like with Bigcommerce.