Magento 1 End of Life Means You May Need to Replatform. But Which eCommerce Platform is best?
The Magento 1 end of life date is looming with the start of July, meaning the software support for Magento Commerce/Enterprise 1 will cease from this date onwards. As such, brands using Magento 1 need to switch over to a new platform immediately in order to protect their site and keep it working effectively, as without Magento supporting the system, the platform becomes vulnerable to security hacks and outdated technology.
With this in mind, Magento 1 users have the tiresome task of deciding where they are going to re-platform and it doesn’t necessarily have to be to Magento 2!
With the ever-changing consumer behaviour and with the post-COVID-19 landscape to consider, we’ve shared some top tips when it comes to choosing the right e-commerce platform for luxury brands.
Investing in a new website doesn’t have to break the bank but being strategic about your decision can potentially shave off thousands. Those of you already on Magento will know the annual license fees don’t come cheap; starting at £30,000. On top of that, the development costs for the complex eCommerce platform means the Magento software is best suited for large enterprise companies. Developers need to be Magento-qualified to update the code for Magento and Magento 2 and so there are larger on-going maintenance fees.
For luxury brands, typically you would need to invest in Shopify Plus in order to use all of the features and functionality and to have the capability to fully customise the theme, including the checkout. This starts at $2,000 per month. For luxury brands, in particular, customising the website at each point supports brand engagement and the online purchase journey.
WordPress / Drupal
Opensource CMS’s such as WordPress and Drupal are powerful tools that come at no monthly fee. Here there are native eCommerce add-ons, or this can be done via a headless approach with BigCommerce which we have done recently for a new client. We will share the project soon so we can truly explain how a headless approach really works.
For a luxury brand subscriptions start at $79.95 per month for the Plus version but the cost highly depends on your annual revenue. Unlike Shopify, BigCommerce offers a larger variety of additional extras as part of its core code such as Apple & Google Pay, product reviews, ore advanced filtering meaning you there is less reliability on third party apps.
Ease of use
WordPress & Shopify
WordPress and Shopify are by far the easiest to use when it comes to day to day management of your eCommerce business. The back-end interface for WordPress and its WooCommerce add on are highly intuitive and can be easily picked up by anyone in your business, tech-savvy or not. The same goes for Shopify.
Magento, despite being flexible and scalable from a long term perspective, is highly complex and requires a deep level of training. Furthermore, as previously mentioned, there is an extra layer of complication as you’ll need a qualified Magento developer to keep bugs at bay and to keep the platform running smoothly.
It is no doubt BigCommerce is a more challenging platform than Shopify but offers a great onboarding experience where you are guided round the back-end of the CMS meaning clients have a good understanding of how to maintain their site with good support system if they need to make the most of it.
Shopify was created for small business owners and so when it comes to advanced technology, it’s somewhat restricted which for scalability and future-proofing has its downfalls.
WordPress & Magento
Most third-party integrations for eCommerce, stock systems, CRM, vouchers, booking systems, etc have native integrations for WordPress & Magento. As a result, this makes it easier to introduce different features and functionality.
Furthermore, with WordPress & Magento being open-source, the advice of ‘anything is possible’ isn’t so far out there. Our development team has the skillset and expert knowledge to build bespoke features without the use of extensions and plugins that essentially cause site performance, speed and security to be compromised.
BigCommerce has the most inbuilt features than any other ecommerce platform including advanced product categories, abandoned cart functionality and a better multi-currency solution out of box with automatic currency conversion based on IP, than what Shopify have to offer.
Performance not only applies to the speed and security of how the site runs but also in terms of search engine optimisation (SEO).
WordPress & Magento
Both are Opensource platforms, and are regularly supported with “security patches” and updates to ensure your site and your customer’s data is not open for security breaches. These updates take place at least a couple of times a year. Usually, the patches come with extra new features and functionality, which can benefit the UX (user experience) – similar to how your App Store notifies you to update your apps. Although updates can be time-consuming, you’ll reap the benefits and avoid a slower site. With shrinking attention spans, slow loading times on your site could deter consumers from completing their purchase journey or continuing their brand discovery, and therefore your brand could risk losing a consumer to a competitor – hence the importance of keeping your site updated.
Shopify & BigCommerce
Subscription-based platform updates such as Shopify & BigCommerce are much easier to update as the platform itself manages the process instead of needing a developer to update the system. This is a bonus to avoid having to pay web developers to do this on your behalf in the future.
Most platforms have apps and plugins to support SEO, and SEO best practice, however, there is only so much you can do here. SEO is a “long- term game” and you need to have a continuous roadmap in place which is informing new opportunities and protecting and bettering brand ranking within the SERPs.
There is no right answer as the solution you choose needs to fit the brand, the functionality, the size, your budget amongst a number of other different factors. VERB Brands start its journey in web design and whilst we’re now a full-service digital agency, we were a website agency for luxury and premium brands first so we like to think we know our stuff when it comes to finding the right solution. Get in touch if you would like to speak to one of our web experts about this or if you are interested in re-platforming your site with our help.