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Choosing The Best Ecommerce Platform: Enterprise Edition

 

When choosing an ecommerce platform for your enterprise level business, understanding your options can be a difficult process. The abundance of choices and the flurry of information available makes it difficult to navigate. Harder still is the process of trying to tell the difference between the choices.  Varying experts praise one platform as the best while others stand behind another.  It’s important to separate the fact from the fiction.

 

Know What You Are Looking For

 

The ecommerce platform is the basis for how your business will operate and be able to grow. In addition to scalability, cost of service, and optimization tools should all factor into the final decision for which to choose.  Amongst enterprise ecommerce solutions, Magento, BigCommerce, and Shopify Plus, are currently the industry leaders. Each offers unique opportunities for growing your business through client relationship management tools, an abundance of design/template options and communities for discussion.

 

Many owners and managers make the mistake of attempting to build out a custom solution. This can cause a few issues:

  1. Unless your budget and time allotment permits, testing the system and the costly process of sourcing a qualified development team is not worth it.
  2. If the system is not easy enough to be used by anyone, it can bring business operations to a standstill if there are usability problems.
  3. Security can be an issue. The aforementioned time allotment is not only for testing site usability on the front and backend, but also security requirements.

 

Understanding your team’s resources are the basis for choosing a system. If your team possesses a designated content system manager that understands a particular system, best practices dictate choosing something they are familiar with but that can be learned easily/adapted to. 

 

Your main criteria for choosing the best ecommerce solution for your enterprise businesses is as follows:

 

  1. Price
  2. Flexibility
  3. Ease Of Use
  4. Customer Service

Deciding on the ecommerce platform to use will be a team decision, however, your research will determine if you will be able to lead/make the the best choice versus an acceptable decision.  When buying based off price, consider both the use for customer as well as your team.  The ideal platform will cover your marketing/optimization needs in terms of understanding your clients/customers and ensuring their experience constantly gets better.  Going for a lower priced solution just to save money and miss out on a few necessary features will lead to more headaches later on.

 

The Best Ecommerce Platforms

 

Bigcommerce Enterprise:

 

Though known for being a relatively new company compared to other ecommerce solutions of this size, BigCommerce is known for it’s flexibility and scalability starting off at around $1000 a month for a basic plan. With templates and plugins that can be used in almost any niche/industry it’s robust usability makes it a contender for one of the top systems on the market.

 

 Used by hundreds upon hundreds of businesses, it boasts dedicated customer support and account managers to aid in growth and development.  This can range from optimization of layout and other design elements, to understanding the data and traffic acquisition opportunities your traffic may allow. Big Commerce also offers support on transitioning between platforms, easing the stress and potential for loss that may be enacted if done with another platform.  Another feature of note is the chance to request a custom features list from Bigcommerce for your site.

 

Magento:

 

In addition to basic plans starting off at $1000 a month, Magento leads the market as the number one ecommerce platform.  While made specifically for larger sized businesses doing at least a million in revenue a year, it’s dedication to offering growth opportunities is at the forefront. It’s focus on creating a natural navigation system for customers has made it the best for focusing on growth with a host of options for optimizing your customer experience process.  There is a large community of users and a long history that makes most support or technical usage issues easy to find and solve.

 

 Like BigCommerce and other solutions, Magento offers dedicated rapid support managers to aid in everything from making site changes without impacting the live site to testing layout options securely. 

 

However, Magento is hosted on its client’s servers. This allows your options for managing security to be fairly open to how your company wants to handle it. This can be a plus or minus depending on your company’s view of self lead security and can be an additional cost that may not be wanted. PCI regulations are extremely detailed and can lead to higher unseen costs not naturally factored into just the system pricing.

 

Shopify Plus

 

With plans starting at $2000 a month, Shopify Plus is an example of “you get what you pay for”.  In this case, Shopify Plus possesses advanced analytics, concierge tier support, and a customizable variety of design and setup options. In terms of ease of use, it is the easiest on this short list. The learning curve is much less due to this enterprise system being based in the same “simplicity in function” mantra that originally made Shopify’s lighter options popular. This focus lead to their rapid growth in the past two years as a front runner as a scalable cost effective enterprise ecommerce solution.

 

The simplicity of Shopify Plus also allows your team to effectively manage the site.  Most tasks that would be handled by a team marketer or support member are easily accessible and managed from an admin panel. When compared to other services, this makes Shopify Plus the easiest to use system for any team member.

 

In terms of security comparisons, Shopify Plus has the top security level available for PCI compliance. This means that amongst the other choices, Shopify Plus provides the best standard security option for protecting valuable financial information on par with the top financial institutions.

 

In Conclusion

 

When trying to pick between the best ecommerce platforms, remembering that your business’s growth is dependent upon the infrastructure your chosen solution offers.  Budget, ease of use, and flexibility should act as the basis for your final decision. With the large communities each of the aforementioned platforms possess, actively examining the example businesses using each platform can go a long way to understanding which is best suited for your industry/company.

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