When you’re starting as a business, it can be tricky to find a B2C or a B2B eCommerce platform that provides you with the required infrastructure and facilities, at a relatively low cost. It’s important to explore your options beyond the more obvious, so you can deliver the service that is right for both your business and, more importantly, your budget.
Being one of the leading service providers, Magento is a highly popular option among most eCommerce enterprises. Due to its customizable nature, hassle-free scalability, and code-level access, it is the preferred choice for most medium to large scale businesses. However, it’s not the perfect choice for everyone. In this guide we share, Top 5 Magento alternatives in 2021.
So, why not Magento?
While Magento boasts of best-in-class features, you should consider it only if you are prepared to shell out big bucks for their service. The reality is that it is not a universal solution for every business. For a new user who is venturing into the eCommerce space for the first time, and lacks the requisite coding and web development expertise, it can prove to be quite a troublesome experience. Its open-source nature calls for heavy-duty technical expertise and appropriate knowledge of the software.
With a demand for a separate hosting server, costly maintenance, and time-intensive development, Magento is best suited for well-established businesses. Hence, if you’re new to the sphere, it may be a better choice to opt for a Magento alternative to begin with.
Why are you looking for a Magneto Alternative?
Whether Magneto is already the leader in the market, but you may not be happier with it for several reasons. In such cases, the alternatives come into play. Here is why you should look for the Magento alternatives for your ease in work:
Magneto is costlier
Magneto is suitable for those who have big budgets. The license is going to cost as per the products you are choosing to sell. Though Magneto Open Source is free for downloads, it is not going to cover the cost for the shop owners. You need to pay for all the designs and developments to make your site run.
The Magneto commerce costs range between $22000-$125000, which is a hefty amount. Not necessarily all businesses are going to have this much capital.
Magneto is slow
Though Magneto comes with a myriad of extensions and plugins, the system lags oftentimes. In terms of speed, Magneto can actually lag behind rather than any other solutions in the market. This makes the system very time-consuming for the developers to optimize the speed of the site.
Dev time is longer for Magneto
Though Magneto is the biggest selling point, it takes a lot of time for development. Making complex changes while keeping the integrations workable enough with a smooth data flow is really very difficult. It takes an expert team to understand the whole infrastructure, which is very complex.
Difficult to maintain
Also, Magneto is undoubtedly difficult to maintain as the site is very prone to crash often. Not working or slowing down are the most common issues regarding the Magneto sites. Thus it leads to a number of bugs and glitches in your software which is actually a headache to maintain.
What are the alternative options available for you?
Here is a selection of our 5 top picks of Magento alternatives that can work wonders for you, depending on your specific needs.
List of Open-source alternatives for Magento in 2021:
If you are more comfortable having code-level access to your web store, here are three open-source alternatives to Magento in 2021:
- WooCommerce – the WordPress plug-in
If you are a WordPress user looking to expand your business into E-Commerce, WooCommerce is a plug-in built especially for this purpose. Although it is an open-source platform, it’s the most convenient way for a first-time retailer to get their business up and running. With numerous ready-to-use templates and customizable extensions (some of which are free), you can get all the basics you’d require without a problem. Having the technical expertise would be ideal, so you can get maximum functionality out of the features they offer.
However, one downside is that it can only work with WordPress. Additionally, payment processing is done through third-party plugins. As with all other platforms, developmental costs increase as your business grows, and hiring a web developer might become a necessity, and their customer support is available at a cost.
Best suited for a WordPress user who is just starting an online retail business
For an open-source CMS platform, Drupal is simply the great one. It is suitable for creating an eCommerce website. Moreover, it comes with its large list of extensions which makes it highly flexible. There are multiple themes that are variable on its official website, which actually lets you decorate your shop the way you want.
It includes all the essential features with which you can easily do almost anything to prepare your eCommerce platform. Moreover, the security it offers is very top-notch. It lets you easily install it from any of the webs servers just like you install any other platforms.
Bagisto is another very effective open-source eCommerce solution that comes with its frameworks built with Laravel. It comes with a very clean user experience and offers a lot of options that really do not need any kind of extra extensions. But you can obviously add extensions to it to extend its functionality to your site.
Bagisto comes with a demo experience with its official website. It lets you have a very impressive user experience from the admin panel and from the front end. Also, there are very useful options to easily change the design to give your shop a very impressive look.
Just like Magento, the PrestaShop platform offers users two versions – a cloud-deployed option or downloadable software. Available in over 60 languages, it is commonly used in non-English speaking countries. Being open-source, it has a significant international community, and getting answers to queries and solving programming issues is not a major worry. With thousands of customizable extensions, it’s a functionality-packed alternative to Magento. Best of all? It’s free to start with. However, PrestaShop lacks an in-house customer support team. As previously mentioned, due to the size of the community, troubleshooting solutions would be readily available, but for those who prefer outsourcing support – this platform is not the right option. There is also a lack of scalability, and if you project major growth in your business, you will face significant limitations on the feature front.
Best suited for small to mid-range businesses
OroCommerce is a top B2B open-source eCommerce platform designed with high flexibility and equipped with state-of-the-art features that can easily be customized to meet the requirements of transactions in sectors of B2B, B2C and even B2X (B2B2C, B2B2B, etc.). The platform also comes geared with an inbuilt CRM (Customer Relationship Management), OroCRM, giving users complete control and view of their dealings and relations with their clients. Some of the B2B features include personalization, localization, intelligent marketing tools, accurate reporting, and segmentation.
Some of the differences between Magento and Orocommerce are:
- Magento does not provide a Free Trial option, whereas OroCommerce offers a Free Trial option for its clients.
- Magento supports only large companies and enterprises, while OroCommerce supports freelancers as well as medium and large enterprises.
- Magento’s customer support is limited to Email, Phone, and Training while OroCommerce has these options as well as Live Support and Tickets.
- OroCommerce was specifically built for B2B, whereas Magento was built for B2C.
- OroCommerce has better security, maintenance, and customer care than Magento.
SaaS/Hosted platform alternatives for Magento:
In the field of SaaS platforms, BigCommerce and Shopify take the lead.
BigCommerce is one of the largest hosted eCommerce platforms available. Being a hosted service, the technical aspect of setting up your web store is taken completely out of your hands. It comes with a 15-day free trial and has an array of reasonably priced plans. The platform supports nearly all payment gateways, and more importantly, provides you with 24×7 support. The downside to BigCommerce is the lack of variety in design templates and features. Premium services that come attached with a hefty price tag could be unaffordable for starter businesses and still lack adequate customization.
Best suited for mid-sized businesses
Another major runner in the hosted eCommerce platform sphere is Shopify. As one of the most well-known SaaS platforms, it is an easy-to-use service, with a quick learning curve. Its most attractive features include convenience, hassle-free setup, and quick store development. It also comes with 24×7 customer support, and users need no IT experience to make use of this platform. Another upside to this platform is multi-channel integration. Integrating your store with third-party sites like Amazon, Facebook, etc. is just a click away.
However, when looking at Magento open-source alternatives, the features available on Shopify are limited in comparison. Additionally, while the base fee may be reasonable, the plug-ins and extensions tend to get very costly, very quickly.
Best suited for those looking for less technical web store development processes
For your most intuitive alternative for Magneto, the 3dcart can actually be the best one. It is very clear and easy to understand, and at the same time, it includes a very intuitive main user interface. The dashboard it includes is very clearly visible and workable enough. All the features it offers come with very clear showing facilities. There is also a guide and tutorial, which is available on the main page.
It is great for selling unlimited products. Also, it lets you manage unlimited orders, file storage, etc. There are 24/7 live chat and phone help for the customers. You can easily sell it using the option for eBay, Google, Facebook, and Amazon. Along with it also the upselling and cross-selling are possible.
It is undoubtedly very simple and easy to use. Moreover, it is affordable with its free forever plan. There are plenty of templates that make it look great and lets you have a storefront as per your requirement.
Another major contender in the space of hosted platforms is Volusion. The major upside to this platform is its user-friendliness, the lack of a transaction fee, and its inbuilt marketing tools. They provide 24×7 customer support, and their onboarding is fairly seamless. They boast of an intuitive dashboard, that can prove to be quite useful during setup.
However, as the traffic and popularity of your website increase, so do Volusion’s charges. Additionally, they are among the few platforms that do not provide an SSL certification. You will have to purchase one over and above the plan prices. Like Shopify, their add-on fees can get quite high.
Best suited for those with a limited range of products, needing additional assistance
As you can tell, each platform, whether open-source or SaaS, has its pros and cons. There is no ‘perfect’ platform out there, but your goal should be to find the right platform for you and your business. It is your prerogative to decide which features and functionalities offered by these platforms, you find essential, and which you can give a miss. Depending on those decisions, you can narrow down your search. We aim to ensure that your search for an E-commerce platform does not only begin and end with Magento. It is advisable that you explore other options and alternatives out there, so you can arrive at an informed decision.