Enterprise Ecommerce Platforms: The Right Solution for You?
Nice work! Your business has reached enterprise level. You now need an ecommerce platform that can handle your high demand while providing powerful, scalable solutions.
Why bother using an enterprise ecommerce platform? Let’s just say using a ‘regular’ ecommerce platform would be like hosting the Super Bowl in your back garden – you won’t have nearly enough space or facilities to run a smooth operation.
We’ve tested over 50 website builders and we know exactly what your enterprise needs from its ecommerce platform. Using our expertise, we’ve found the five best enterprise ecommerce platforms available today.
The best enterprise ecommerce platforms
We’re pretty proud of our research process, because not many sites can say they’ve carried out such in-depth testing before making recommendations. Here’s how our in-house research team go about finding the best website builders on the market.
Every single builder goes through our thorough research process. We investigate important areas such as:
- Ease of use
- Design flexibility
- Value for money
- Feature quality
- Help and support
- Customer satisfaction
This helps us rate and compare the builders fairly, focusing on important factors that users have told us matter most.
We even get groups of everyday people to test the builders out and give us feedback, which we then analyze. This helps us:
- understand exactly how easy (or difficult) beginners find the builder
- uncover any issues within the builder
- judge customer satisfaction
We’ve applied this process to over 50 website builders so far – all so we can bring you the most accurate results and recommendations!
Still got questions? Read our report on How We Conduct Our Website Builder Research for a more detailed explanation.
From our research, we found Shopify Plus to be the best all-around solution for enterprises, with BigCommerce Enterprise finishing a close runner-up with its awesome array of built-in features. For more detail on each platform’s pricing, features, pros, and cons, read on.
Best Overall Enterprise Ecommerce Platform
At a glance
Shopify Plus Pros
Shopify Plus takes our top spot for a reason. Check out Shopify’s plus side below to see why:
- Quick and easy to get started: Shopify is a fully hosted ecommerce platform, so you don’t need to worry about coding your site’s backend or managing your bandwidth.
- Extensive range of plugins: Choose from over 1,500 apps to integrate with your online store, helping to improve the performance of your website in all areas of ecommerce.
- Cost-effective: Shopify Plus remains a far cheaper option than hiring a web development agency, and you have access to brilliant, 24/7 customer support.
- Process 10,000 transactions per minute: Shopify Plus will keep your store running without a hitch during sales spikes.
Shopify Plus Cons
Sadly, no ecommerce platform is perfect. Read the negatives to Shopify Plus here:
- Limited creativity: While you can customize your code through apps, you can’t create custom designs from scratch like you can on Magento or WooCommerce. However, this is the case for all hosted platforms, not just Shopify.
- Plugin costs can add up: Despite Shopify’s relatively low subscription costs, you might need to spend more on third party plugins than you would on BigCommerce, which offers far more built-in tools.
Shopify Plus: Key Features
10 free and 59 paid themes
Ensure the design of your storefront accurately reflects your powerful business with 69 professionally-crafted templates.
Use Shopify’s app, previously Shopify Pay, to enable customers to save their shipping and billing information to accelerate the checkout process, and improve your conversion rates by 18%.
Manage up to 10 stores at once
Use Shopify’s brilliant tools to grow all the different online stores that comprise your enterprise business, from one place.
Shopify Plus Academy
Keep your business operating smoothly with brilliant customer support, plus access to the Shopify Plus Academy, featuring self-guided training dedicated to growing your business.
Best for Onboarding Speed
At a glance
BigCommerce Enterprise: Pros
As the name suggests, BigCommerce is one of the biggest hitters in the enterprise game. Here’s why:
- Quick onboarding: 95% of BigCommerce Enterprise merchants have been set up within four months or less, boasting 50% faster setup times than most competitors.
- 24/7 customer support: You’ll receive support around the clock via email, live chat, and phone. You’ll also gain access to priority support through a Senior Technical Support agent, who can answer your call within 30 seconds
- Built-in features: Unlike Shopify Plus and its reliance on apps, BigCommerce Enterprise offers everything you need for scaling your enterprise built-in, saving you approximately $5,800-$30,000+ per year in app subscription costs compared to Shopify Plus.
- 99.98% uptime: BigCommerce won’t allow your website to crash even at your busiest times. The platform will also handle all upgrades and troubleshooting issues for you, without you needing to lift a finger.
BigCommerce Enterprise: Cons
Like all platforms, there are some small downsides to BigCommerce Enterprise, which you can see below:
- PayPal fees: There is no reduction in transaction fees when you sell products through PayPal’s payment gateway on the BigCommerce Enterprise plan, meaning you’ll pay the same amount of PayPal transaction fees as you would on BigCommerce’s ‘Basic’ plan.
- Limited to built-in features: While the built-in features are exceptionally strong, you’re unable to personalize and customize your store as much as you can with Shopify and its vast app market.
BigCommerce Enterprise: Key Features
Big fan of built-in features? Then you’ll love BigCommerce’s offerings:
Product search function
Create product search filters, and personalize the user experience with suggestions (based on the user’s language, location, and purchasing history) in order to improve the chance of making a sale.
400 API calls per second
BigCommerce Enterprise supports 400 API calls per second (compared to Shopify Plus’ 10), meaning you can sync large product catalogues within minutes rather than hours.
250+ local payment methods
With BigCommerce Enterprise, you can sell your products to every corner of the world, through the platform’s ability to accept over 250 types of payment in over 100 countries.
Keep your online store secure with multi-layered security and Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) protection, helping to prevent hackers from disrupting your hosting services in order to stop users using your website.
View all your web design changes in real time before you publish your updates, whether you’re updating your desktop or mobile site.
Best for Pro Web Developers
At a glance
- Pricing: Licensing fees from $1,988/month, on top of hosting, domain name, and site development costs which can cost anywhere between £100k and $1m depending on the project.
- Enterprise requirements: Bespoke quotes based on your annual turnover
- Currently powers: Paul Smith, Barbour, HP
- Quick fact: Acquired by Adobe in 2018 for $1.68bn
Magento Commerce: Pros
Magento Commerce is a self-hosted platform, which means you have total creative freedom – provided you have the coding know-how!
- Integrations: Magento Commerce boasts an unrivalled choice of integrations, offering extensive creative control.
- Advanced features: Magento Commerce was built for users with web development experience, providing highly flexible and complex ecommerce features.
- Large developer community: As a self-hosted platform, there is no dedicated Magento support team. Instead, it has the largest community of developers in the ecommerce industry, offering support for your issues and answers to your questions.
Magento Commerce: Cons
On the flipside, self-hosted platforms provide little in the way of support, and can surprise you with hidden costs:
- Hidden costs: Unlike Shopify or BigCommerce, you’re required to buy your own hosting, domain name, and security certificates. Also, Magento will charge your business between $1,000 and $5,000 if vulnerabilities are found within your code during security checks.
- Costly migrations: Your online store will undergo expensive and time-consuming migrations once every few years. For example, Magento recently migrated to Magento 2 Commerce.
- Slows with scale: Many enterprises handling lots of transactions and customer data have complained about bugs and slow-loading speeds when upscaling.
Magento Commerce Key Features
Your customers can use previously stored payment and shipping information to skip checkout steps, creating a faster and easier process – especially for mobile users.
Set automated rules to determine which of your products will be suggested to certain customers, whether you want to suggest related products or more expensive options, to help increase sales.
Magento has recently introduced drag-and-drop design functionality (as you’d find on Shopify or BigCommerce) for your site’s front-end, meaning you can reshuffle your visual content with ease. However, you’ll still need to code your backend.
Best Low Cost Option
At a glance
WooCommerce for Enterprise: Pros
With WooCommerce, you’re working with a trustworthy brand in WordPress. Here are some of the biggest ticks that make WooCommerce tick:
- Flexibility: As a WordPress plugin (similar to an app), WooCommerce can be installed and used to support any part of your online store, whether it’s the entire backbone or simply a key component of your content structure.
- Cheap themes: WooCommerce has 18 in-house themes which start from just $39, which you can customize to your heart’s content (if you know how to code).
- Secure code: WooCommerce is audited by industry leading coding experts to ensure it follows best practices and maintains high coding standards, keeping your enterprise store in safe hands.
WooCommerce for Enterprise: Cons
Clue yourself up on the downsides of WooCommerce for Enterprise. For starters, it can’t match Magento Commerce for creative freedom, or Shopify Plus for ease of use:
- Lack of support: Unlike with Shopify or BigCommerce, there is no dedicated support team to rely on to help with your issues. Instead, you’ll need to consult other web developers, which is much more time consuming and expensive.
- Ease of use: Like all self-hosted platforms, WooCommerce is difficult to use if you don’t have the technical ability. If you don’t have any coding experience, then we’d recommend using hosted software like Shopify or BigCommerce.
- Hidden costs: While the plugin WooCommerce is free to install, you’ll need to pay for a hosting provider, a domain name, SSL security, themes, apps, and other resources, such as support from web developers.
WooCommerce for Enterprise: Key Features
WooCommerce is an ecommerce plugin that can turn your website into a powerful online store. However, it doesn’t possess as many built-in features as you’d find on a fully hosted, ‘ready-out-the-box’ platform like BigCommerce. Below are the best features found on WooCommerce for Enterprise:
Offering your customers the chance to get money back instantly will improve the overall user experience, and should encourage repeat sales.
What WooCommerce lacks in features, it makes up for with its unlimited coding capabilities. You can customize everything from your homepage right to the checkout page, to ensure your online store accurately reflects your unique brand.
Best for International Business
At a glance
Salesforce Commerce Cloud: Pros
Based in the Cloud (i.e. based entirely on the internet without any hardware), Salesforce Commerce Cloud is infinitely scalable. If you like the sound of this platform’s biggest pros, then may the Salesforce be with you:
- Salesforce software: You can easily integrate your ecommerce store with Salesforce’s other cloud-based CRM (customer relationship management) software to create consistency across your business.
- Great for international brands: Manage multiple storefronts from one back-end, while accepting different types of currency and efficiently using different languages on each store.
- Customer support: Unlike Magento or WooCommerce, you can benefit from comprehensive 24/7 support, while the Salesforce Commerce Cloud support team will handle all core system upgrades for you.
Salesforce Commerce Cloud: Cons
There are some not-so-silver linings to Salesforce Commerce Cloud, namely in its high cost of ownership and lack of intuitive design tools:
- Inflexible: It’s not the most intuitive platform to use, so you will struggle to build an efficient, professional-looking store if you don’t have the web development experience.
- Expensive: Because you’re paying a percentage of your sales in order to use Salesforce Commerce Cloud, you will cut deeper into your profit margin the more money your business earns each year. So, if your business generates $20m-$500m each year, you may end up spending $200,000+ per year on Salesforce!
Salesforce Commerce Cloud: Key Features
With Salesforce Commerce Cloud, you can manage (and sell products from) your online store, social media channels, mobile site, and brick-and-mortar store, all in one place.
Customer data reports
This platform will gather data and insights into the shopping behavior of your customers using its own personalization engine, called Einstein, and use that data to personalize the user’s shopping experience – helping to improve conversions and increase sales.
You’ve made it this far in building your enterprise, so you need to make sure you pick the ecommerce platform that best suits your needs and ambitions. Below are some of the most vital features, facts, and fine prints you should look out for when choosing an enterprise ecommerce platform…
As an enterprise ecommerce owner, you want to get your online business up and running as quickly as possible. Fully hosted platforms like Shopify Plus and BigCommerce Enterprise are ‘ready-to-go’ packages, providing everything you need for growing your enterprise, all in one place. With these platforms, you don’t need to think about coding, hosting, bandwidth, or any other web development tactic.
Do you sell to businesses or consumers?
Some platforms have tools that are better suited to selling I.T. software on a large scale to businesses worldwide, while other ecommerce platforms will have features specifically designed for selling individual retail products like sportswear or perfume. Shopify Plus and BigCommerce Enterprise tick both customer boxes, offering all the tools you’d need to sell B2B and B2C (business to business and business to consumer).
In order to get the most accurate pricing information, you’ll need to request quotes from each platform, which is really simple to do. However, once you’ve compared bespoke quotes from your selected enterprise ecommerce platforms, you’ll need to look further than the subscription costs. Will your chosen platform incur additional costs for things like web hosting, IT support, domain names, and plugins?
Consult other teams within your business
The enterprise ecommerce solution you choose will impact all areas of your business, so make sure you consult other departments in order to pick the solution that benefits everybody. For instance, your marketing team will have opinions on the platform’s personalization features, while your IT department may ask how the software would integrate with your own computer systems.
By now, you should know which enterprise ecommerce platform is best for your business. Let’s quickly recap our list….
The best enterprise ecommerce platforms are:
- Shopify Plus: Best Overall Enterprise Ecommerce Platform
- BigCommerce Enterprise: Best for Onboarding Speed
- Magento Commerce: Best for Pro Web Developers
- WooCommerce for Enterprise: Best Low Cost Option
- Salesforce Commerce Cloud: Best for International Business
While they’re all excellent platforms, we’d recommend Shopify Plus for enterprises of all sizes, while the close runner-up is BigCommerce Enterprise, boasting an impressive range of built-in features.
Whichever platform you choose, though, you’ll be working with a trustworthy brand with years of experience in the ecommerce world.
Sadly, though, it’s now time to say goodbye and good luck – we look forward to seeing your enterprise bossing it online soon!
What is enterprise ecommerce?
An enterprise ecommerce system is an online platform that’s either self-hosted (e.g. Magento Commerce) or on-site (e.g. Shopify Plus) that can enable enterprise-sized ecommerce businesses to scale and sell online. Typically, an enterprise ecommerce business processes thousands of orders per minute through multiple online storefronts.
What is the best enterprise ecommerce platform?
Combining ease of use with the finest sales tools on the market and the ability to process over 10,000 orders per minute, Shopify Plus is the best enterprise ecommerce platform on the market, currently supporting over 7,000 large brands across 175 countries.
How do I choose an enterprise ecommerce platform?
Not only do you need to consider the pricing, but you also need to appreciate that self-hosted platforms such as Magento Commerce require a high level of coding knowledge. Meanwhile, fully hosted platforms like Shopify Plus enable anyone to build an enterprise store quickly and easily.
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Please note the insight contained within this article is for general information purposes only. We’re glad to answer any questions you may have about this article and its supporting research. For further information, please contact Website Builder Expert directly via email at email@example.com.