A perfectly scalable e-commerce platform lies at the heart of any e-commerce business or operation. In the past, shopping was everything related to a brick and mortar store or a fancy retail outlet, which covered the local neighborhood. However, today’s picture is far from it. In the current era of the internet-fueled e-commerce boom, a web store becomes the storefront, which hosts its products and services. Hence, a website can be the differentiator between an iconic brand and one that gradually fades into the oblivion. However, with the number of options available in the market, today choosing the correct e-commerce platform is no mean fete.
To start with, many factors come to play. While choosing an e-commerce platform, below are a few factors to consider.
- Is the e-commerce platform hosted or self-hosted
- Ability to provide robust support and back up network
- Ability to integrate with various back end systems
- Pricing and maintenance cost
Upon considering these points, no seasoned analyst with a penchant for eCommerce can fail to compare the two most robust and scalable e-commerce platforms operating in the domain, Magento and Demandware.
Magento vs Demandware
In this article, we will dwell deeper into the features of two top of the line eCommerce platforms, which are both contemporaries and leaders, related to certain features.
Some of the largest e-commerce stores are powered by the platforms Demandware and Magento. This article outlines the features of both the platform through the prism of the broad categories which is important while identifying an eCommerce platform.
Hosting and Maintenance
Demandware: This e-commerce platform offers a fully hosted multi-tenant proprietary solution, which means all the infrastructure is managed by Demandware. This is an attractive option for e-commerce companies, who do not want to get into the hassles of security and maintenance of the site and solely concentrate on selling their products and services.
But the real problem arises when a business wants to install a customized add on module for their eStore. These exclusive customizations require approval from Demandware and their restrictions are said to be in place to ensure the site still functions after the customization. However, this makes rolling out of quick and customized solutions to scale up e-commerce operations near to impossible with Demandware.
Magento: E-commerce businesses must have come across enough criticism related to Magento of being too technical and complicated to manage. However, Magento on the other side, it is a self-hosted solution and gives complete control to the store owner over the infrastructure.
There are many expert Magento agencies which maintain strong relations with hosting partners and act as intermediaries to handle any upgrade and infrastructural changes. There is even scope for adding customized modules to scale up a business without the need to take any approvals, in short Magento lets the e-commerce business own their store infrastructure. Hosting is a topic in itself. Here is a blog from our very own Ankit Agarwal on what goes into infrastructure planning. Have you tried Nexcess?
Scope for Integration
Demandware: All the features required for flawless functioning of an e-commerce store is taken care in the platform Demandware. It unifies order management, POS and other offline store operations into one solution.
There are even built-in tools that enable in-store representatives to engage with customers on the shop floor using mobile devices, which eases assisting customers by offering personalized product suggestions.
Magento: This platform is an open-source platform that increases the elbow space for businesses to maneuver around and scale their operations with customized integration modules. It is a clear advantage over Demandware.
There is an ever-increasing community of Magento evangelists, developers and agencies available worldwide that helps in upkeep and maintenance of Magento platform. This is the appeal and clear advantage that Magento holds up its sleeve because of the existing integration available for third-party service of choice with a huge array of modules pre-built and available through the Magento marketplace. Read our ebook on ERP Magento integration touchpoints to get a feel of the flexibility offered by Magento.
Support and flexibility
Demandware: There is a robust support system in place for Demandware platform with a 24/7 support available which is not confined to only support for core issues. Apart from the support system in place, the other issues that the Demandware platform addresses for its users are:
- Flexibility around the SEO
- Giving users control over redirects
- Powerful cross-selling and up-selling options
- Customer-facing email management
- Built-in PLP merchandising
The support and flexibility offered by Demandware look great for any eCommerce business. However, it comes with a heavy price tag, which is a huge drawback for small and medium-sized eCommerce operations looking for a scalable eCommerce platform option.
Magento: The platform of Magento is renowned for the eco-system of support services it has in place and the level of support it provides even deals with serious code issues which are very important for the smooth running of eCommerce operations.
Apart from that, Magento even offers services such as:
- Purchase mails email management
- Options for the customer service representatives to input orders through backend which is a huge advantage to reducing the scope for manual errors if bi-directional sync between Magento and ERP is made
- Excellent built-in visual merchandising after Magento acquired Ontap Visual merchandizer extension
- Customized coupons
The clear advantage Magento has over Demandware is the number of features available to e-commerce players without being too costly and taking a toll on their economies.
Magento: Customization includes overall store interface including themes as well as the backend. Magento opens up the code to make any necessary changes to it. With the presence of a large agency network and a thriving community, it is very easy to make these visual changes.
Demandware: While Demandware also provides flexibility to customize the platform, it is nowhere near to that of Magento. Demandware team must approve any changes made on the platform. The community and the agencies for Demandware are limited and hence, the resources are rarely making them costly.
Magento: Magento enjoys the benefits of having a large community. The community edition of Magento has given eCommerce players the flexibility to make any necessary changes. Today, this community grew to more than a hundred thousand community members. The sheer amount of value you can derive from this community is overwhelming.
Demandware: Demandware, on the other hand, has a limited number of registered agencies who can help you make changes to the platform. The resources with Demandware expertise are expensive ones and it is hard to find quality consultants, who can help you improve your platform. While you have most features needed for your business, aspects like developing specific feature because it is important for your business, is going to be difficult.
Magento: Magento has picked up a lot of market learning from Magento 1 and brought it to Magento 2. Today, Magento 2 is a platform with rich B2B features. Most customers can readily access the B2B business features in Magento like
- Multiple buyers per account
- Request a quote
- Quick order entry and requisition list
- Payment to accounts
- Company credits & more
Customers had to depend on third-party extensions in the past to enable these features.
Demandware: While Demandware fares decently in B2C features, most features required for B2B are missing in Demandware. This is a critical shortfall in Demandware. This is the reason most B2B eCommerce companies do not opt for Demandware. While this gap can be filled using extensions, it makes the development process complicated.
Agencies and Developers
Demandware: There are not many agencies, who can work on Demandware, and even the number of developers who can work on Demandware software is particularly less. The number of websites on the Demandware platform is 49,994 and the agencies which work on Demandware charge exorbitant prices.
Magento: This is the segment where Magento beats Demandware hollow. The number of websites that run on Magento platform hovers at the number 356,123 and boasts a strong agency and developer community. Magento is available in both the free and the paid enterprise version even the experienced agencies that work on Magento quote prices which are far economical compared to its pricier counterpart.
Demandware: Given the number of features being offered by eCommerce platforms pricing would definitely be perceived as a deal clincher for small and mid-size enterprises. Demandware charges eCommerce businesses a license fee and a commission from the sale made via the platform.
As the eCommerce business grows, they need to shell out more for the Demandware platform. The annual subscription of Demandware would make the e-commerce business poorer by 700,000 USD and the implementation would cost 400,000 USD.
Magento: Magento is not the market leader in e-commerce platforms without a reason and the primary reason being the price where even the paid version of Magento i.e the Enterprise Edition costs way lesser than Demandware.
The annual licensing fee of Magento would cost 18,000 USD per server and the implementation would cost 375,000 USD. Even if the annual recurring costs are calculated Magento still makes a more economical and scalable bet for small and mid-size e-commerce businesses. Here is our blog on Magento Community Vs Enterprise comparison including the prices of these editions.
We are a Magento Silver Solution Partner who possesses the niche expertise of offering end to end eCommerce services right from the inception of the design, development of the store to integrate the store with most popular backend ERP systems like MS Dynamics NAV, AX, GP, SAP B1 and SAGE 100.
For more details on our Magento services and offerings please visit our page http://www.i95dev.com/services/magento-ecommerce/.