Looked at BigCommerce, WooCommerce, Wix & Magento as alternatives to Shopify + developer ecosystems. Here’s what we found.

For context, my team and I have a Shopify app called Monk upsell and we're working to diversify away from Shopify to de-risk ourselves and hence undertook this in-depth research of where could we go next. Relevant for Shopify app devs/DTC agencies & founders starting from scratch or looking to switch platforms.

Here's what we learnt from our analysis:

As you go from small to mid to up-market DTC brands the share of platform broadly changes like this:

Small stores (~$50k sales/month)
– Wix
– WooCommerce

Medium stores (~$200k sales/month)
– BigCommerce

Large stores (>$1M sales/month)
– Magento

Shopify has a strong presence across all three store segments which doesn't come as a surprise but they're trying to move up-market which is currently dominated by Magento, Salesforce & SAP Commerce Clouds.

Weebly wasn't looked at much cause they seem to have shut their partner ecosystem ever since Square acquired them. PrestaShop too seems to be a big player especially in EU but we weren't able to collect any great stats or intel about their customers & ecosystem.

It is almost exclusively enterprise-first. They have a diverse plugin marketplace with several key players & use cases although we're not fully sure how these plugins are marketed/distributed.
Seems like they're created by Magento-focused agencies who already have a direct sales strategy in place. Magento is also developer centric which makes sense cause they're speaking to product + dev folks at large scale orgs.

Has the highest market share by faaar in terms of store count but most of these are small stores which probably just use WooCommerce cause it's free and is a very natural e-commerce extension of WordPress's CMS. Woo definitely needs the founder to have a working understanding of tech or work with an agency/devs that understand the ecosystem.
It's plugin marketplace is massive.
It has all kinds of plugins although it's different from Shopify's app ecosystem in two aspects:
– Woo plugins have a one time upfront cost as opposed to monthly recurring billing for Shopify apps.
– Seems like a large % of the plugin market share is dominated by Woo's own self built plugins.

Probably the easiest to set-up ecommerce platform even for non-tech founders and seems to be operating as an extension of their already existing set of CMS users but can be limiting as the store grows. Very similar to Woo in terms of their typical customer. Wix has a highly gated app marketplace and they're very particular about not having any copycat or similar kinds of apps. It has only about ~300 apps with very few ones addressing similar use cases + a very long and strict review process.

Seems to be the choice of platform for the mid/mid to large scale stores. From a tech perspective, is isn't as complex as Magento or Woo but isn't as easy as Shopify. It offers immense flexibility & hence stores on them are quite reliant on third-party software. BigC's app marketplace is almost identical to what Shopify's was in 2015/16. A lot of clear early market leaders but definitely room for several more players + use cases. Unlike Shopify, BigC also considers agencies as a part of their partner ecosystem. This makes sense cause of the higher complexity required to get started with BigC + mid sized stores that probably are anyway looking to outsource store dev & management.

In terms of geography, only Shopify is the truly global solution with a sizable # of stores from markets like India & Brazil. Remaining all operate heavily in North America and some parts of Europe (UK, Germany & France).

We concluded and chose BigCommerce, will be launching the app there soon 🙂

submitted by /u/ravish23mehta
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