eBay broke the news earlier this year that they will be shutting down their small business ecommerce platforms, Magento Go and Pro Stores. This decision allows them to focus on Magento Enterprise and Community editions for enterprise level users.
If you’ve invested time and energy building your online store then you’ll want to reserve some time to consider your options for a new ecommerce provider. The February 2015 deadline at least allows etailers to cash in on the holiday shopping period, but there is still time if you’d prefer to get moving before. Either way, you need to start thinking about your options.
eBay themselves recommend moving to Bigcommerce but it’s not your only option, we’ve taken a look at some of the alternatives available out there and compared important features to save you some of the leg work.
A cloud-based ecommerce solution, Magento Go is hosted by Magento so you didn’t need to worry about sourcing web hosting. Finding hosting isn’t too difficult but if you don’t need the extra hassle then opting for a hosted solution might be preferable.
If you’re still exploring the world of online retail and need someone on hand to answer your queries then the support offered with your new ecommerce platform will be an important factor for you. Whilst some people are happy to Google the answers to their questions and discuss issues with fellow users on forums, others need a friendly voice on the end of the phone.
|Bigcommerce||Magento community||Magento enterprise||Shopify||Zencart||WooCommerce||Prestashop|
|Who are they?||Started in 2010, around 300 employees with offices in Sydney, Austin and San Francisco.||An eBay company based in California, around 200 dedicated employees.||An eBay company based in California, around 200 dedicated employees.||Launched in 2006, 501 employees, based in Canada.||Zen Cart branched from osCommerce as a separate project in 2003.||Launched in 2011, 30 employees working remotely in a number of different countries.||70 developers, designers, and professional staff, HQ in Paris and Miami.|
|Pricing||From $34.95/month||FREE||From $15,550/year||From $29/month||FREE||FREE||FREE|
|Contract length||Month or annual – you choose||n/a||Annual||Month or annual – you choose||n/a||n/a||n/a|
|Hosted?||Yes, included in price||No, you will need to arrange hosting||No, you will need to arrange hosting||Yes, included in price||No, you will need to arrange hosting||No, host with your WordPress site||No but 'PrestaBox' provides a one-stop solution|
|Support||Yes, phone, email & chat||No, community-based support||Yes, SLA-backed support||Yes, 24/7||No, community-based support via forum||Online forum & guides||Support available from $399/ Year|
|eBay listing integration?||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||No||Yes – using an extension||Export products to eBay – using a free module|
|Plug-ins / add-ons?||Yes – apps||Yes – extensions from Magento Connect||Yes – extensions from Magento Connect||Yes – Shopify App Store||Yes – Plugins and Addons for Zen Cart contributed by the community||Yes – plugins||Yes – 3,500+ Modules and Themes|
|Customer reviews?||Yes, built-in||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes, free add-on||Yes||Yes|
|Postcode Anywhere integration for address lookup?||No app currently||Yes – extension in Magento Connect||Yes – extension in Magento Connect||No app currently||Yes – plugin available||Yes – address validation extension||No module currently|
|Responsive for mobile?||Yes but depends which theme you choose||Yes – you're in control of the theme/code||Yes but depends which theme you choose||Yes||Yes but depends which theme you choose||Yes but depends which theme you choose||Yes but depends which theme you choose|
|Migrating from Magento Go||Import from a standard CSV file, Bigcommerce will transition Magento clients to its e-commerce platform for free.||Tools available in the Migration center.||Tools available in the Migration center.||Magento to Shopify importer app to copy over products.||Third party services available such as: cart2cart.||Third party services available such as: cart2cart.||Third party services available such as: cart2cart.|
|Popularity||Over 50,000 stores||Around 200,000 stores||Almost 10,000 stores||Over 100,000 active stores||Around 150,000 stores||Over 250,000 stores||Over 185,000 stores|
|Comments||Suggested by eBay as the place to move to, migration offers for Magento Go & ProStores clients.||Perfect if you're a developer or tech-savvy merchant as you can modify the core code.||Magento for fast-growing and large businesses.||Also Shopify POS (an iPad point of sale system, to sell your products in your retail location).||Zen Cart branched from osCommerce as a separate project in 2003.||From WordPress – for small to medium-sized online merchants using WordPress.||Lots of features and options available out of the box, easy to use.|
- When you’ve narrowed down the options, it’s a good idea to visit some example websites that are built using that platform – these can normally be found on the ‘examples’ or ‘case studies’ sections of platform vendors’ websites. Try searching for products and adding them to your basket. Take a good look around, how many images do products have, how does it look on a tablet or smartphone and what does the checkout process feel like? This will give you a good idea of how your online shop might feel too.
- Talk to some users. LinkedIn, Facebook and twitter are useful tools for connecting with other small business people. Find a group or hashtag relating to the ecommerce platform and ask some questions – How easy is it to use and maintain your website? Was setup stress free? What is the support like? There will of course be good and bad reviews for every option but it will help to give you an overview of usability and reputation.
- Check your chosen ecommerce platform has the key features of successful ecommerce sites: quality product images (with options for zooming in or seeing different views), effective navigation (links to new or related products and logical categorisation), a quality search option (can it find misspelt or similar words?), speedy checkout (shorter forms and the option to use address lookup could both optimise your conversion rates), product ratings/reviews from previous customers and a design that works equally well for shoppers using mobile devices.
- Take advantage of a free trial – you won’t want to spend hours adding products and configuring a trial site but if a free demo is available you might like to login and take a look around the user interface.
For more information about the Magento closure, merchants can log into their Migration Center.
Moving your store from Magento Go? Tell us which platform you’ve chosen…