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Best eCommerce Platforms for SMB (Part 2): Wix vs BigCommerce vs Magento

Posted by Billy Gray on

Best eCommerce Platforms for SMB (Part 2): Wix vs BigCommerce vs Magento

Choosing the right eCommerce platform for your business is an important step. Your website is how shoppers will interact with your products and brand, so it’s crucial to get it right.

Followed up Part 1 about Shopify and WooCommerce, we’ve compiled three other leading eCommerce platforms and compared them to help you decide which direction to go in when first launching your online shop.

This is an insightful look into Wix, BigCommerce and Magento.

Best eCommerce platforms: Comparison 

Criteria

Wix 

BigCommerce

Magento 

Ease of use

+1 

+1

0

Costs

+1

+1

0

Apps and Widgets

0

+1

+1

Themes

+1

+1

+1

Scalability

0

+1

+1

Best for

  • Well suited for small businesses that don’t know the technical side of website management
  • Best for stores with less than 100 products.
  • Medium-sized businesses
  • Those that don’t have the time or budget to build a website from scratch
  • Those that don't want to hire a team of developers
  • Businesses that have a developer (or team of them) to hand
  •  Unicorn start-ups  lots of investment

TOTAL: 

3

5

3


Wix, BigCommerce, and Magento: Side by side comparison 

1) Wix

wix for smb ecommerce magento vs wix vs bigcommerce

Wix has great designs that are specialized for small businesses, restaurants, artists, and other everyday merchants. The features lean the platform towards a more ‘portfolio’ style showcase, although this makes Wix less than ideal for large eCommerce stores. 

The platform is more closely related to Shopify than WooCommerce in that you can’t customize the fundamentals of your site, but you can decorate it to look however you want. 

Wix is great for small businesses that are just starting out online and don’t have much technical know-how.

The platform doesn’t offer much in the way of eCommerce features and is quite slow when lots of products (usually more than 100)  are added. 

2) BigCommerce 

bigcommerce for smb ecommerce magento vs wix vs bigcommerce

BigCommerce is a SaaS company (software as a service) which means your data is stored in the cloud and can be accessed from anywhere. They will also take care of hosting, so you don’t have to worry about that. 

It’s aimed at businesses with a larger revenue, who don’t want to mess around with coding skills, although you can make edits to the HTML and CSS of your site if you want. 

BigCommerce is similar to Shopify in that everything is available in-house. You can find lots of themes, apps, and customize your store directly within the platform. 

3) Magento

magento for smb ecommerce magento vs wix vs bigcommerce

Magento is an open-source platform written in PHP that offers an incredible eCommerce experience for larger businesses. It’s not an easy platform to use, but the rewards are high functionality and an unbeatable UI/UX.  

Magento can be pricier than its contemporaries, but if you want a slick eCommerce website that shows your brand in the best light, with everything purpose-built from scratch, then this is the platform for you. 

Ease of use 

1) Wix: "Beginner-friendly"

Wix is pretty easy to use compared to other eCommerce platforms. It’s designed for the everyday person who wants to build a professional portfolio, a small business website, or a full-scale enterprise online. You won’t need to learn how to code to set up your website and there are pre-built templates for a variety of industries.

wix easy to use magento vs wix vs bigcommerce
Wix has a very easy-to-use web-building interface. 

Newbies can also use Wix ADI (Artificial Design Intelligence). This automated tool helps you to build your first website, doing things like connecting your social accounts, generating forms, and even suggesting the best designs for your site. 

2) BigCommerce: Intuitive with pre-built plug-ins 

BigCommerce is an out-of-the-box platform. This means you don’t need to rely on developers to set up your store and can instead just choose a theme and install apps for advanced sales features. That said, thanks to their targeting of larger stores, there’s still a learning curve.

BigCommerce has a lot of features under its hood that smaller stores may not need. If you’re just selling a few products then you might be better off with Wix. 

3) Magento: Highly sophisticated 

Magento has a notoriously steep learning curve and you’ll likely need to hire developers to set up your store. Many of the app and software installations are ultra-specific and will cost a lot of money and technical know-how to complete. 

This is not a platform for the non-technologically inclined. There’s also practically no customer support whatsoever for Magento, although there is a huge and dedicated community of users and developers online who can point you in the right direction. 

Costs 

1) Wix: The most cost-saving choice

Wix is quite cheap and follows a similar fixed-price plan system like Shopify. The more storage space you want on your site, the more money you pay. 

There are also apps that you might have to pay for, so keep this in mind as you scale your business. Apps include everything from marketing to sales channels, and the price can range from free to $100+. 

Personal plans start at just $4.50 and scale to $24.50 per month - but these aren’t sufficient for building an eCommerce store. The Wix Business pricing plans are as follows:

wix pricing for ecommerce business magento vs wix vs bigcommerce

2) BigCommerce: Fixed pricing based on revenue 

BigCommerce is priced in fixed packages that scale based on the revenue of your store. This is a strange way to offer plans and many businesses don’t like that they have to earn more revenue just to access features like Cart Recovery. 

bigcommerce pricing for smb ecommerce magento vs wix vs bigcommerce

Still, even the basic plan gives you unlimited products and staff accounts. The Plus Plan is the most balanced offering, with store credit cards and loyalty rewards. 

BigCommerce also doesn’t charge any transaction fees at all, which can save you a lot of money over the course of a year. 

3) Magento: A high-end option with hidden costs 

Magento is very expensive. While it’s free to install, it’ll still likely cost you thousands to set up a half-decent store. More advanced Magento plans are eye-wateringly expensive for a sole trader or aspiring e-business owner. 

You’ll also need to pay developers to set up your store and fix any bugs that arise. You’ll likely need them to install apps as well. 

Apps and widgets

1) Wix: Doesn't have many choices 

Wix has hundreds of apps to make your website better, including marketing tools, social widgets, newsletter apps, and much more. This gives business owners plenty of opportunities to optimize their online store.

wix app market wix vs bigcommerce vs magento

All the extensions for Wix websites are on the Wix App Market. You can use the search function or the left-side filter to find a suitable app. However, Wix App Market is much less diverse than other platforms. For example, there are only 3 apps for dropshipping on Wix while Shopify App Store has 175.

2) BigCommerce: Some free apps available

BigCommerce has several hundred apps on its own store to help you scale your business. The platform has loads of great marketing tools and advanced sales features.

bigcommerce apps for marketing magento vs wix vs bigcommerce

An example of some marketing apps listed on the BigCommerce App Store. 

There are many free plans and apps available, although most have paid plans to upgrade to. Most apps are developed by third-parties for the BigCommerce App Store.

3) Magento: Very diverse with a large price range 

There are more than 3,400 apps and extensions for Magento,  stored in the Magento Marketplace. The cheapest ones are under $40 and they can scale to more than $10,000 for the most expensive. There are apps to suit every need your eCommerce store could have from marketing to sales tools to SEO, just be prepared to spend a pretty penny. 

Themes

1) Wix: Free tailor-made templates for different industries 

Wix has more than 300 of its own templates to help you set up your online store. There are different templates for different industries so you can get something uniquely tailored to your needs. The templates are all free to use once you’ve chosen a plan.

wix prebuilt templates magento vs wix vs bigcommerce

Wix has free templates for various industries including construction, coaching, and consulting. 

2) BigCommerce: Various templates, but not many free options

BigCommerce theme store has dozens of high-converting templates to choose from. Much like Shopify, the themes don’t require you to learn any coding or hire a developer. You can make edits easily in the page editor. 

Only 12 are free, while others will cost up to $300 or more. 

3) Magento: More freedom for customization 

Seeing as Magento is open-source, there are thousands of theme templates to choose from. You can visit various marketplaces to buy theme templates, or you can use one of the two the Magento offers to beginners.

theme for magento on themeforest magento vs wix vs bigcommerce

An example of a paid Magento theme - Shopper Theme ($55) on Themeforest.

Customization is endless on Magento and it’s assumed that most people will design their own website. This makes it a lot more difficult to set up than out-of-the-box eCommerce platforms like Shopify and BigCommerce. 

Scalability 

1) Wix: Difficult to create unique selling points

Wix is slightly less scalable than other platforms due to its rigid structure. The platform doesn’t let you access and changes the code on your site, which puts you at a disadvantage if you want to create something truly unique. 

2) BigCommerce: Easy to localize and globalize 

BigCommerce is very scalable and this is evident given some of the huge brands that use it, including Ben & Jerries, SkullCandy, and more.

magento global merchant example magento vs wix vs bigcommerce

Top brands like Ben & Jerry’s use BigCommerce to power their online presence. 

There are enough currencies, translation tools, and options for international domains to ensure your business can expand across borders and flourish into a truly global brand. 

3) Magento: Scaling up with substantial charges 

As an open source platform, Magento is an excellent choice for growing Ecommerce companies. In fact, it’s really not a platform for small businesses. You’re more likely going to find yourself here if you’re ready to take your business to the next level. 

Magento costs a lot to build with and you’d need a team of developers to help you get the platform together. That's why it’s not a good idea for eCommerce start-ups with a tight budget.

Conclusion: The winner is… 

Overall, the best eCommerce platform for small businesses in 2021 in this section is BigCommerce. The platform is easy to set up and manage and has plans that scale with the size of your business’s revenue. 

The fair pricing of the plans makes it an affordable choice for small businesses and the advanced features and apps it offers to mean it’s great for scaling.