It’s finally time to face the inevitable: support for Magento 1 is officially ending in June 2020. Everyone using the eCommerce platform will have to make the switch to Magento 2 or an alternative.
Moving an eCommerce site can be a mammoth task that can seem easier to keep putting off but it can also be a fantastic opportunity to consider which eCommerce platform really serves your needs. Your future self will thank you for getting the ball rolling now.
It’s more than a migration. It’s a total shift.
If you like to do your research online, then you’ll probably have noticed all the information circulating about eCommerce vendors that they can help you migrate from Magento 1 to Magento 2.
But it isn’t quite that simple.
Magento 1 and Magento 2 are hosted on different servers and the only option to migrate is to physically shift your website (and all its plugins) from the old server to the new one.
This means you can’t just flick a switch to sync your eCommerce store with Magento 2.
Magento is a robust and flexible solution, but its biggest pain point for many retailers is the amount of developer effort required to build a store on the platform.
Shifting from Magento 1 to Magento 2 is no different. Unless you’re seriously tech-savvy, you’ll require an experienced Magento developer to help you transition to the newer version.
Due to the complex nature of setting up an online shopping cart with Magento, developers who specialise in the platform tend to be slightly more expensive than other eCommerce developers.
So what are the alternatives and how do they differ? Take a look at the Magento 2 alternatives and how they stack up against your other options for shopping cart solutions on the market below.
If you’re used to the full kit and kaboodle of Magento 1, you’ll be happy to know that you’ll get all the same features in Magento 2 but they’ll be more enhanced.
For example, Magento 2 offers faster page load speed compared to Magento 1, as well as faster order processing speed and add-to-cart server response times.
Magento 2 really is a powerful and flexible shopping cart solution, but it’s biggest downside is the price. Not only does the solution come with a hefty price tag, you’ll also require developer time to get your store up and running.
- Extensions. If you’ve got Magento 1 plugins and extensions you can’t live without you’ll be able to access everything in Magneto 2. All third party vendors will still be available on Magento 2.
- Flexibility. Magento stores are like a blank canvas—meaning you can do whatever you want with it. Other platforms offer pre-built templates, but with Magento, you can build whatever you like.
- Workflows. SKUs, product weights and dimensions, and order and fulfilment status are highly detailed and customisable.
- Community. Magento has a great community brimming with information and tips. Magneto also runs regular events and meetups to help support their clients.
- Price. Magento 2 was purchased by Adobe for $1.68 billion in 2018, but it’s still quite expensive and only offers custom pricing. If you’re looking to keep your spend in check you may want to consider one of the alternatives.
- Complexity. If you’re looking to get set up really quickly and start selling straight away then Magento 2 may not be right for you. You’ll need time to work with a developer to ensure you get the end result you’re looking for.
Shopify Plus has been gaining momentum in the eCommerce market over the last few years, as it presents a fantastic solution for lean eCommerce businesses looking to invest development time into marketing and their product.
Many eCommerce businesses have seriously considered Shopify Plus over Magento 2 because it eliminates the steep build price tag that comes with Magento 2, making it more cost-effective.
- Templates. Out of the box, Shopify Plus is easy to use with its range of templates. This slashes tonnes of time and development money required for Magento 2.
Uploading SKUs. Unlike Magento 2, anyone can upload SKUs into Shopify Plus with minimal technical knowledge. Equivalent
- Cost-effective. If you require development work for Shopify Plus, it won’t set you back as far and there are more vendors on the market.
- App marketplace. You should be able to replace all your Magento 1 apps and extensions with apps from the Shopify app store.
- Dimensions. Unfortunately, there are no fields to add product dimensions in Shopify Plus, although you are able to add your product weight.
Not many retailers would have thought of it, but BigCommerce provides fierce competition when it comes to Shopify Plus and Magento 2. It’s cost-effective, fast to set up and has a comprehensive marketplace of apps to make any online store thrive.
- Scalability. With BigCommerce, you don’t have to change plans or platforms as you grow. All you need to do is unlock features that are suited to your stage of growth.
Price. BigCommerce is the most cost-effective solution of all the Magneto 1 alternatives.
- Marketplace. Just like Shopify Plus, BigCommerce boasts a huge marketplace for apps and plugins that will take your store to the next level without breaking the bank with developers.
- Dimensions. With BigCommerce, you’ll have the ability to add both weights and dimensions for your products.
- Ecosystem. The partner ecosystem is not as developed as Shopify Plus.
All solutions integrate with Shippit
When you break down the individual features of each solution, it’s really up to the needs of your business when it comes to the final choice. The good news though, is that all solutions have a lot of similarities, and they all integrate with Shippit so you can fulfil orders from a range of channels without a hitch.
Here are a few pros for all alternatives:
- Multi-channel selling. Each shopping cart provider integrates with marketplaces like eBay and Amazon, meaning you’ll be able to sync and fulfil all orders in Shippit for faster and cheaper shipping.
- Easy to set up. Ok, maybe Magento 2 isn’t as easy to set up as Shopify and BigCommerce, but each solution has a direct integration with Shippit so you can start providing a better delivery experience to your customers in no time.
- More payment gateways. All these solutions integrate with a diverse range of payment gateways including Braintree, Afterpay, ZipPay and Xero, so you don’t need to change your backend solution drastically to start using them.
- More marketing tools. They all also work well with marketing tools like Mailchimp and are built for the modern eCommerce shopping experience.
Want to take this opportunity to switch from Magento 1 to a more suitable solution? Have a chat with us about what your fulfilment process should look as you make the change. Our solutions experts have experience working with many eCommerce platforms and shopping cart solutions.