Choosing the right ecommerce software for your business is a big decision, so it’s good to consider all of the options.
Magento—now Adobe Commerce—is an ecommerce stalwart for mid-market and enterprise brands. It has long been celebrated as an open-source platform that can offer a wealth of customization.
However, in the past decade or two, many alternatives to Magento have sprung up. Those alternatives now offer much of what Magento can, but for less money and development work.
What is Adobe Commerce?
Adobe Commerce has a long and storied history, most of it under its more well-known name: Magento. The ecommerce software has gone through a number of different versions and products over the years. Here’s a quick rundown.
Magento was first released on an open-source license in 2008. The software, called Magento Community Edition, was built in the PHP framework and was free to use and customize. It quickly grew in popularity.
In 2016, the company spun out a paid product intended to serve the needs of large businesses, called Magento Enterprise Edition. This was a PaaS (platform as a service) offering, somewhat similar to SaaS (software as a service), where users pay a fee to license the software.
In 2017, Magento Community Edition was renamed Magento Open Source, and Magento Enterprise Edition was shortened to simply Magento Enterprise. The following year, Adobe acquired Magento and integrated its Enterprise Edition into the Adobe Experience Cloud.
To sum up, today Magento Open Source still exists, but if you’re looking for an enterprise ecommerce solution, you’re likely looking for the paid product. There are still a dizzying number of names for Magento’s main product—from Magento Commerce Cloud to Adobe Commerce Cloud—but suffice it to say, they all amount to the same thing.
For the purposes of simplicity, we’ll refer to Adobe Commerce for the rest of the article. If you’re looking for alternatives to Magento to host your ecommerce store, you’ve come to the right place.
3 reasons why you are looking for an Adobe Commerce competitor
No one researches alternative ecommerce platforms as a hobby. You’re here because you’re doing your due diligence to learn about Adobe Commerce alternatives, to make sure you’re choosing the right ecommerce technology for your large or small business. If you’re on Adobe now and looking to replatform, some of these pain points may ring a bell.
Total cost of ownership is high
The cost to build a store on Adobe Commerce will depend on the size of your business and the complexity of the site. In addition to the costs to get the store live, you will also be paying ongoing fees to maintain it. Things that are included with a SaaS solution, like security patches, hosting, and updates, will require developers to maintain.
The Magento developer website MagePlaza estimates the cost of licensing to be between $22,000 and $125,000, depending on the gross sales channel revenue.
Updates take too long
Ecommerce moves fast. Your customers’ wants, needs, expectations, and shopping channels of choice are a constantly moving target. The successful online retailer is one that is constantly staying abreast of changes and adapting in innovative ways to stay ahead of the competition. A nimble site that can make changes quickly is thus a huge asset.
However, because of the platform’s complexity, some Adobe Commerce users find that not only does launching a site take longer, so do updates. Not to mention the ongoing development costs related to making updates. This can really slow down innovation.
Performance is an issue
The complexity of Adobe Commerce that makes it highly customizable can also cause issues with performance. You may find your site falling behind in terms of page-load speed, especially during high traffic times. If you’re experiencing this particular pain point, you know how frustrating it can be for your site to fail to perform when you need it most.
8 great alternatives to Adobe Commerce
If you’re experiencing any of the pain points above, you’re in luck, because Adobe Commerce is far from the only ecommerce platform out there. In fact, there are some excellent alternatives that can provide the enterprise-level features you want, without the expense and bloat you don’t.
- Shopify Plus
- Salesforce Commerce Cloud
WooCommerce is an open-source ecommerce plug-in for WordPress. It’s primarily used by smaller and mid-market businesses. The plug-in was launched in 2011 and gained popularity as a way to monetize WordPress sites or spin up a quick online store. It is free to download and use but has optional paid extensions. Additionally, the business does have to pay for hosting, themes, and development of the site, as well as its ongoing maintenance. There are millions of websites running the plug-in, and according to WooCommerce, at least one million of them have had at least one sale. Customers of WooCommerce include Tiny Wood Stove and Squatwolf.
- Very customizable. If you’re looking for a project, WooCommerce, by virtue of being open-source, is flexible.
- A wide variety of plug-ins extend WooCommerce to make up for the core features it lacks.
- Not for beginners, as some coding will be needed to set things up.
- Has to be used with WordPress as the CMS (content management system).
- Many ecommerce features require additional plug-ins.
Next on our tour of open-source Adobe Commerce alternatives is OpenCart which is also a PHP-based platform. Unlike Adobe Commerce, which requires expensive licensing, OpenCart remains akin to legacy Magento Open Source (once Community Edition). Stores operating on OpenCart include the Illinois Railroad Museum and costume shop Immortal Masks.
- Free to use and customize.
- Works with most payment gateways and shipping solutions.
- Lacks robust SEO features.
- Checkout experience and point of sale (POS) can be slow.
- You have to rely on community support or pay for a limited customer support package.
Leaving behind the land of open-source and coming to our SaaS options, Shopify Plus has a fee to license but includes security, hosting, and updates. The platform provides enterprise-level features and APIs, integrates easily with your business systems and tools, has automated workflows to help your online business run smoothly, and has tools built in to create innovative shopping experiences. Businesses that sell online through Shopify Plus include Rebecca Minkoff, Bombas, and Allbirds.
- User-friendly website builder means you can launch faster—an average of 90 days.
- Highly cost-effective compared to other enterprise offerings.
- Built-in tools for cutting-edge shopping experiences like AR, 3D, and product videos.
- Shopify Flow automates tasks across your stores and apps.
Another SaaS option, BigCommerce also includes hosting and security for a regular license fee. The BigCommerce Enterprise product includes enterprise features, an open architecture that gives you opportunities to customize, and a relatively easy-to-use website builder. BigCommerce customers include Solo Stove, Skullcandy, and Natori.
- Open architecture makes it easy to operate headlessly.
- Cost effective for total cost of ownership compared to Adobe Commerce.
- Good SEO tools.
- Multi-language tools require some workarounds if you’re operating globally.
- Somewhat of a learning curve to operate on the back end.
- Smaller ecosystem of solutions that it integrates with.
Salesforce Commerce Cloud
Yet another SaaS offering, Salesforce Commerce Cloud (formerly Demandware) has two products: one for B2C retailers and one for B2B. That’s markedly different from Adobe Commerce’s approach of having features for both in the same platform. Stores running on Salesforce include Bentley, e.l.f., and Kellogg’s.
- Includes Einstein, a proprietary AI product recommendation software.
- Has strong merchandising and inventory management.
- Can support multiple stores and languages.
- You need to get both the B2C and B2B products if you want the features of both.
- More expensive than other SaaS options.
Now we’ll look at ecommerce software that can be delivered in multiple ways. Shopware is a commerce solution popular in Germany that can be delivered on-premise or as SaaS. Shopware offers a PaaS (hosting and software management handled together) option called Shopware Enterprise Cloud for larger businesses. All models are based on the same code, which is open source. Stores operating on Shopware include PhiAcademy, Calumet Photographic, and Famo.
- Flexible and scalable.
- Good search engine optimization (SEO) features and promotions.
- B2B Suite includes advanced capabilities for B2B sellers.
- Support comes as an additional cost and free community support is only available in German.
- Not very user-friendly and will require developer resources to set up and update.
VTEX is both a SaaS ecommerce platform and marketplace solution. Like many others on this list (minus Salesforce), it includes B2B and B2C features in a single product. Big brands have used VTEX because it can help them create marketplaces in addition to shopping cart functionality and order management. Big brands including Walmart, Sony, and Coca-Cola run their stores and marketplaces with VTEX.
- Has “Workspaces” so code can be deployed without affecting user experience
- Launching and updates can be relatively quick, given the microservices-first, modular approach of “store blocks.”
- There are limits to how much you can personalize the storefront.
- Price, based on sales, can be high.
Spryker is a cloud-based PaaS solution designed for B2B and B2C enterprise businesses. Like Shopware, above, Spyrker is also a German-based company. Spyker is a modular and customizable platform, and could be a good choice for stores looking for a headless approach. Customers who built their ecommerce websites on Spryker include Toyota, Aldi, and Ricoh.
- Flexible and customizable.
- Supports headless/composable commerce.
- Has strong B2B capabilities.
- Good developer knowledge of the system is required; it can be complex.
- Total cost of ownership can be expensive.
Why Shopify Plus should be your alternative
With all these enterprise ecommerce solutions to choose from, it’s clear Adobe Commerce has many alternatives that may be able to provide you the same functionality without the pain points. But which one is right for your business model?
While no one platform is the perfect fit for every business, for the vast majority of use cases, Shopify Plus can likely meet your needs with pricing that delivers a lower total cost of ownership to Adobe Commerce and a faster launch time. Without your budget and developer resources tied up in your platform, you can devote them to more innovative, revenue-generating updates.
Other reasons why Shopify Plus should be your alternative:
- Shopify Plus integrates with a huge ecosystem of systems and tools, workflow automations to make your job easier, ecommerce-optimized templates, and tools to create innovative shopping experiences built in.
- Feel supported from first conversation to launch and beyond, with ongoing strategy, resources, and access to the largest partner and app ecosystem in the industry.
- Industry-leading security, compliance, data encryption, and fraud and bot protection
- Convert carts with the best customizable checkout and conversion tools on the internet Migrate and launch your online store on Shopify fast with a customizable, easy-to-use platform.
2 businesses that migrated from Magento (Adobe Commerce) to Shopify Plus
Here are two businesses that found greater success after moving from Magento (Adobe Commerce).
Bombas is well-known for its comfortable, high-performance socks. Founded in 2013, the company really took off when it was featured on Shark Tank. Unfortunately, it quickly realized its Magento site wasn’t ready for its explosive growth. Customers were unable to check out, leading to loss of revenue.
Updating the site to scale with its growth would have been very costly on Magento, so it explored other options. By switching to Shopify Plus, Bombas began saving $108,000 a year in platform costs. On top of that, it had a reliable site that wouldn’t experience bugs during crucial high-traffic times.
Rebecca Minkoff is known not only for its high-couture fashion, but also for its cutting-edge tech advancements. The company wanted to continue to remain ahead of the competition in innovation on its website by integrating 3D modeling and augmented reality on product pages.
Making quick updates on its Magneto website was difficult. Rebecca Minkoff turned to Shopify Plus for its built-in tools, which made creating product pages to truly improve the customer experience and help visualize how they would look with the products easier. In the end Rebecca Minkoff discovered the customers who viewed a product in AR were 65% more likely to make a purchase.
If you’re considering whether Adobe Commerce is the right choice for your business, it’s important to consider all the alternatives. Learn more about why Shopify Plus might be the right Adobe Commerce alternative for your business.
Adobe Commerce alternatives FAQ
Who is Adobe Commerce a good fit for?
Adobe Commerce is a good fit for businesses with large catalogs and large budgets. Ideally, they will have a strong team of Adobe/Magento developers at the ready to maintain the platform.
What are some alternatives to Adobe Commerce?
There are a ton of options for enterprise ecommerce platforms. A few to consider include Shopify Plus, BigCommerce, WooCommerce, Salesforce Commerce Cloud, Shopware, VTEX, Spyker, and OpenCart.
What are some reasons businesses might be looking for an Adobe Commerce alternative?
Businesses on Adobe Commerce might be looking for alternatives because they are finding their website isn’t performing well. They also might realize they could get the same functionality for less by using an alternative solution.