Growing an ecommerce business from small to midmarket to enterprise is exciting, but also comes with new challenges. Operating an enterprise ecommerce business can put new strain on your existing technology.
To run an enterprise—and continue to see growth—you need the right technology for the job. You need an ecommerce platform that can handle your number of products and transactions with flawless performance, even during high-traffic times. You need it to expand to serve new geographies and channels where customers are waiting to discover your products. You need it to integrate with the solutions your large or small business requires to fuel growth.
If you’re currently on BigCommerce or considering it for your enterprise business, here’s a little more information about the platform and several BigCommerce competitors to consider.
What is BigCommerce?
BigCommerce is a SaaS ecommerce platform used by nearly 50,000 live websites. The company was founded in 2009 in Australia, but is now headquartered in Austin, Texas. The ecommerce company has been listed on the NASDAQ since going public in 2020.
As a SaaS platform, BigCommerce provides web hosting and security, along with access to the ecommerce software for an ongoing fee. The product is offered at different tiers and price points within that fee.
BigCommerce Essentials serves the needs of small and lower mid-market businesses with Standard, Plus, and Pro Plans. BigCommerce Enterprise offers more advanced features and is aimed at upper midmarket and enterprise business owners. Its pricing is based on the revenue of the company.
4 reasons to look for a BigCommerce alternative
Chances are you’re here for one of two reasons. One is you’re considering BigCommerce for your online store from among the many ecommerce platforms on the market, and you’re doing your due diligence in considering all the options. There are, after all, a lot of platforms to consider: WordPress, Squarespace, Wix, WooCommerce, and Volusion, plus the eight mentioned in this article. The other reason is that you’re already on BigCommerce and want out—or at least want to see what else is out there that can solve your existing pain points with BigCommerce. Here are four reasons to look for a BigCommerce alternative.
BigCommerce doesn’t integrate with the solutions you need.
While it would be nice if the platform and its features could stand completely alone, most ecommerce brands—especially those operating at an enterprise level—are going to leverage some third-party integrations.
These tools specialize in different functions. For example, there may be tools for marketing, store design, or product sourcing and fulfillment. While the BigCommerce ecosystem has around 1,000 apps and technology solutions available, this is relatively small compared to the number available with other enterprise ecommerce platform providers. For example, Shopify Plus features eight times that number. If the solution you need for your business doesn’t integrate with BigCommerce, you may be looking to move on.
BigCommerce is hard to use
The BigCommerce back end does have a learning curve. Some businesses may choose to move to another platform that has greater ease of use, especially if you have a lot of users who need to be trained. After all, time is money, and the longer it takes new users to get up to speed on the technology, the less time they have to spend on revenue-generating work.
You’ve outgrown BigCommerce
Some businesses might find that BigCommerce can’t keep pace with their growth. If, for example, the next phase of your expansion is developing a strong DTC presence, you might find you’re better supported by a platform that can help you hone your brand and offer built-in options known for a high conversion rate. Or if you want to strengthen your international presence, you might feel constrained by the lack of multi-language capabilities.
You’re having trouble selling offline and online
If your store is primarily offline and planning to move online, or if you are online now but expanding to a greater brick-and-mortar presence, you may need to upgrade to a platform with better multi-location inventory management and a native BOPIS feature.
Features to look for in your next enterprise ecommerce platform
Your online business is growing, and you’re edging from midmarket to enterprise. Maybe you’re already there. Obviously, all businesses have different needs and specifications. The B2B seller of car and van parts will likely have quite a few differences from the international brand selling fragrances in stores around the world and online direct to consumers.
That said, there are a few likely must-haves for anyone selling high-volume at an enterprise level.
Secure data and payments
This one is non-negotiable. Your platform must be able to offer top-of-the-line security. Your business must use a secure hosting environment. Opting for cloud storage and hosting avoids a single access point.
Scalability to meet high traffic demands
Your ecommerce platform needs to support your needs now and for your future growth. It should supply high performance at peak times, such as the Cyber 5 or during flash sales.
Integrations with key business-critical systems
Your platform needs to integrate with your CRM, ERP, payment gateways, ecommerce shipping solutions, and more. Plan for what your business uses now and for tools you might need in the future. By preparing now and looking for places to plug in your needed technology, you can save yourself costly development work later if an existing integration already exists.
In ecommerce, change is the name of the game. What customers want today is not necessarily what they will want tomorrow. As a retailer, you need your ecommerce platform to have highly customizable and intuitive templates to make it easy to change things up to meet rapidly evolving customer demands. The platform itself should be easy to extend and customize, so you won’t find yourself needing to replatform again before too long.
Strong inventory management
Many enterprise businesses will have a vast inventory of products. Your chosen platform needs to manage your inventory well on the back end and deliver it with fast page-load speeds on the front end.
Omnichannel is providing a consistent customer experience across channels. Your ecommerce software should provide a frictionless customer journey and brand experience for the customer who finds you on social media, visits your site organically after finding you through search engine optimization (SEO), sees your store on the street, through a mobile app or email marketing, or encounters you in an online marketplace.
8 alternatives to BigCommerce
If you’re considering BigCommerce for your enterprise ecommerce platform, here are a few BigCommerce alternatives to consider.
- Shopify Plus
- Adobe Commerce (formerly Magento)
- Salesforce Commerce Cloud
- SAP Commerce Cloud
- Oracle Commerce
- Elastic Path
Shopify is a SaaS platform that powers more than three million ecommerce sites around the world and has the largest market share of ecommerce websites. The ease of use and flexibility that have made Shopify nearly synonymous with ecommerce also extend into its enterprise-level product, Shopify Plus, which has a greater array of features, including a built-in wholesale channel and automation tools. Shopify Plus customers include Rebecca Minkoff, Bombas, and Allbirds.
- Easy to set up and user-friendly website builder means there’s an average launch time of 90 days.
- Highly cost-effective compared to other enterprise offerings.
- Customizable checkout and access to API resources (REST and GraphQL), apps, and add-ons to adapt the product to fit your brand.
- Shopify Flow automates tasks across your stores and apps for either process workflows.
- Run your B2B and DTC business from one place with the power and simplicity of an all-in-one platform.
Adobe Commerce (formerly Magento)
Adobe Commerce (formerly known as Magneto) is an open-source ecommerce platform written in PHP. Magento was founded in 2008, and was purchased by Adobe in 2018. Adobe Commerce is built on Magento and integrated into the Adobe Experience Manager. Because of its higher price and capacity for customization, Adobe Commerce is primarily used by bigger brands. Its customers include Land Rover, Christian Louboutin, and Olympus.
- As an open-source platform, it’s extremely customizable.
- It has a ton of complex ecommerce features, especially helpful for handling multiple stores, languages, and currencies.
- Very scalable and can handle thousands of products and transactions.
- Expensive both to have and to maintain.
- Complex architecture makes it slow to launch and make updates.
- Need Adobe-focused developers, which can be hard to find.
Salesforce Commerce Cloud
Salesforce Commerce Cloud (previously known as Demandware until acquired by Salesforce in 2016) is a SaaS ecommerce solution. Salesforce has separate products aimed at B2C and B2B ecommerce merchants, each with unique features. It powers big brands including Bentley, e.l.f., and Kellog’s.
- Advantages of SaaS including hosting, security, and updates included.
- Can support stores across multiple channels, languages, and currencies.
- Separate B2B and B2C products offer specialized ecommerce features.
- Customization and third-party apps are limited.
- Total cost of ownership can be high and unpredictable.
SAP Commerce Cloud
SAP Commerce Cloud is a cloud-native omnichannel commerce solution targeted at B2C, B2B, and hybrid businesses. The platform and suite of tools offers order management and aims to provide a better customer experience from search to sales. SAP Commerce Cloud powers over 2,500 stores including Flexi, Caseys, and Moen.
- If omnichannel is a foundational part of your strategy, SAP does this well and can adapt to provide a frictionless customer journey across touchpoints.
- It’s adaptable to different types of businesses.
- Uses customer data to deliver personalized experiences.
- Very expensive.
- Implementation and management will require specialists.
- For stores with a large product inventory, it can be slow.
Oracle Commerce is a SaaS ecommerce solution designed for both B2B and B2C sellers all in one platform. Oracle acquired the core ecommerce engine behind Commerce Cloud in 2010 when it bought ecommerce tool ATG. Like most of the SaaS platforms on this list, it has an array of strong shopping cart features as well as merchandising, A/B testing, and automatic updates. Oracle customers include Bruno Fritsch, Banco Nacional, and Delly’s.
- Strong ecommerce management features, especially for multi-store management.
- Integrates with other Oracle products for advertising and customer experience.
- It’s unclear how much Oracle is investing in continuing to maintain its commerce offering.
- Documentation could be better.
VTEX is a multi-tenant SaaS ecommerce platform and marketplace solution that includes B2B and B2C features in one product. In addition to shopping cart functionality and order management, VTEX also includes the power to build marketplaces. VTEX supports over 3,000 customers in more than 40 countries around the world. Huge brands including Walmart, Sony, and Coca-Cola power their online shops with VTEX.
- Besides commerce functionality, VTEX includes a suite of products to run an efficient omnichannel operation.
- Because it’s cloud-based and modular, launching and making updates can be fairly quick.
- The ability to personalize the storefront is somewhat limited.
- Depending on your business, the B2C features are stronger than B2B.
Elastic Path is a headless-first ecommerce solution targeted to enterprise brands, particularly those who need multiple stores across different geographies, currencies, and languages. As a microservices offering, Elastic Path is great for brands that want to customize. Elastic Path powers the online stores of HarperCollins Publishers, Deckers, and Pella.
- Seamlessly integrates with front-end technologies, but also includes front-end technology so you don’t have to start from scratch.
- Possible to cloud host or host on premise.
- Strong learning curve, and the documentation to help could be better.
- Depending on the level of customization, it can be time consuming.
Like Elastic Path above, if your enterprise is looking for a headless-first approach, commercetools is an option. It’s an API-driven SaaS platform that takes a microservices approach. This means that commercetools provides the back-end shopping cart functionality and integrates with various front-end applications to provide the customer-facing experience. Customers of commercetools include Audi, Express, and Eurail.
- APIs cover the full range of ecommerce functionality for the platform and can easily be extended.
- Modular, microservices approach can be cost-effective for some enterprises.
- Complex architecture does require a level of digital maturity.
- There’s no storefront. In addition to managing the commerce platform, you also have to figure out the front end.
Choosing Shopify Plus as your alternative
Now as you may have noticed, you’re on the Shopify Plus blog right now, which means that while many of the above alternatives might work well for your enterprise business, we can’t help but remind you that for the vast majority of use cases, Shopify Plus might be the right fit for you.
Shopify Plus is a feature-rich platform that provides enterprise functionality without the high costs and complexity. Some of the most expensive enterprise options have features and customizations you may never use (but will certainly be paying for). If you’re not one of a handful of use cases, Shopify might be able to provide the faster time to market, efficiency, and innovation you’ve been looking for.
Shopify Plus might be right for your enterprise business if you want to:
- Customize the storefront, checkout, and back end through flexible APIs without having to bring in a fleet of specialized developers
- Launch your new store faster without compromising on innovation
- Continue to grow and have your platform grow with you without significant tech debt
- Sell in multiple languages and multiple currencies without a separate app or complex setup
- Automate processes, create drag-and-drop workflows, and develop efficiency without losing touch with customers
- Streamline content management through an advanced CMS and SEO tools
- Run DTC and B2B in one place. Run your B2B and DTC business from one place with the power and simplicity of an all-in-one platform
If any of these reasons speak to you, Shopify Plus might be the BigCommerce alternative you’re looking for.
Businesses that migrated from BigCommerce to Shopify Plus
Here are two very different businesses who moved from BigCommerce to Shopify Plus. Both have since found greater success and the power to grow their businesses after migrating.
After starting off in pop-up markets a decade ago, this shoe-seller is now an international brand, selling popular footwear in 11 countries.
Eight years after its founding, Rollie Nation was interested in growing, but felt constrained by BigCommerce, and not able to reach its customers directly. Rollie Nation was able to get its Shopify Plus store up and running in a matter of weeks. It used a number of solutions that easily integrated with Shopify and made it easy to reach its customers where they were shopping.
Since migrating to Shopify Plus, Rollie Nation has seen a 62% reduction in its average page load time, a 1.5% reduction in its bounce rate, and a 3.5% bump in conversion rate.
BPI Sports is a Florida-based seller of nutrition and fitness supplements. The brand sells its products in stores around the country, but also wanted to grow its online presence to sell direct to consumer. On BigCommerce, BPI wasn’t sure its website could handle the new direction.
By switching to Shopify Plus, BPI Sports not only saved significantly in development costs but was able to forge a new DTC-friendly website. In a short time, BPI Sports saw tremendous growth in its DTC offerings, putting it on pace to triple its DTC sales over the previous year.
There are plenty of choices for enterprise ecommerce software on the market, which means you don’t have to stick with the one you’re currently on if you’re outgrown it. If BigCommerce isn’t meeting your needs anymore, find a platform that can take your business into the future.