If you've got a B2B business model, and want to optimize your eCommerce, you'll need a CMS that fits your business needs. With so many options available, this decision can be daunting. Don’t despair. In this article, we're sharing some of the features of two of the most popular options, so you can pick which one is best suited to your goals and needs. Keep reading and find out the details of this CMS showdown.
In one corner, PrestaShop.
PrestaShop is a flexible open-source eCommerce platform considered to be one of the best open-source solutions with unique features. It runs on PHP, has an easy-to-use backend, and a clean interface.
In the other corner, BigCommerce.
BigCommerce is an all-in-one CMS that lets you create an online store without worrying about infrastructure issues. It comes with many integrated features, which provides a high level of customization. As a Headless Commerce platform, it allows the back-end infrastructure to be completely separated from the front-end design.
Now that we got the introductions out of the way, let's see their differences and decide which one is right for you.
BigCommerce VS Prestashop… FIGHT!
Ease of Use vs Total Cost
Prestashop is open-source. This means you can modify the source code, but it also increases complexity. That can involve higher costs and timelines as it requires more development resources. It is free to download. However, you must consider other associated costs such as hosting, domain, technical support, maintenance and development. Modules and extensions too. Prestashop doesn't offer a free trial of extensions, but they do offer a detailed demo to help you decide which paid features you want.
BigCommerce offers subscription plans that include these costs, allowing you to focus on managing your business without worrying about maintenance. The prices of their three subscription plans - Standard, Plus and Pro - are based on your business's annual online sales. If you have more advanced requirements, you can opt for the Enterprise plan. And to ensure you make the right decision, there's a 15-day free trial available for new users.
When it comes to ease of use, BigCommerce comes out on top. Its control panel doesn't require coding knowledge and has a user-friendly interface, making it quick and simple to set up a store. As an Open SaaS solution, BigCommerce combines the basic functionality of an online business with the flexibility to expand the platform to meet your specific needs.
If you prefer to kickstart your online business with a free platform with (very) basic functionalities, freedom to modify the source code and full control over design and operation, Prestashop is your option. Bear in mind that you will have to invest on several add-ons along the way to have a truly functional platform. No such thing as a free lunch. If you prefer a more user-friendly platform that combines basic functionality with flexibility for expansions, and has subscription plans that include associated costs, BigCommerce is the way to go.
Functionalities and features
Apart from cost and ease of use, these two great solutions offer features in key areas for your eCommerce.
How easy is it to manage your products? Can you create and organize them quickly and easily? How do you manage your inventory? Let's take a look at how PrestaShop and BigCommerce answer these key questions.
PrestaShop, for example, offers a robust yet user-friendly product design and management system. With its configurable features and preset values, you can quickly create products and organize them into groups, which is important for large stores with a high volume of products. It also supports all types of product variants, including digital products like music, photos, and e-books. Keeping track of your stock is also easy with PrestaShop, as you can set a minimum quantity and receive alerts when stock is running low.
BigCommerce, on the other hand, allows you to import products, track your inventory, and easily understand order trends over time. You can adjust every detail about your products to your preference. It also has a unique feature - you can sell products without paying for third-party applications.
Themes and customization
Why settle for a bland website that doesn't showcase your brand's unique personality? A platform with customizable themes and design options is a must-have for any eCommerce store. Both PrestaShop and BigCommerce offer a wide variety of themes and customization tools to ensure your store looks exactly how you want it to. Let's see the differences.
With PrestaShop, you can start with a (very) basic theme for free. Now, if you want to access higher-quality, responsive themes, you'll need to be prepared to pay more or turn to a developer who can modify the code and customize your store to your liking.
BigCommerce offers 12 free themes and over 100 paid options available for a small extra investment.
Other platforms are good at removing choice from merchants who aren't ready for it. BigCommerce is great for those who are. Its developer-friendly Stencil theme platform and its default Cornerstone theme provide a basic, flexible theme blueprint that allows you the freedom to satisfy your creative expectations with a reasonably low coding barrier and investment on front-end services.
For an eCommerce business to be successful, it's crucial for customers to be able to find it easily. Let's compare what BigCommerce and Prestashop offer to support your SEO strategy.
PrestaShop offers over 180 modules to help your business stand out and appear at the top of search results. However, many of these modules come at a high cost, so it's important to make informed decisions about which ones to use. One of the most noteworthy modules in PrestaShop is its SEO Audit, named Best SEO Practice in 2020, which helps you create content that's perfect for both search engines and your users. It also lets you track and analyze any SEO issues on your pages.
BigCommerce, on the other hand, excels in its solid SEO features, including a unique content delivery network for faster page loading, improving the customer experience. With its built-in blog function, you can easily upload and customize blog posts that are SEO-friendly. It also offers other tools such as meta title and description editing, image alt text, keyword compatibility, and 301 redirects. With its AMP-compatible themes, BigCommerce offers lightning-fast product and category pages for mobile devices, essential for good SEO performance.
Marketing is crucial for boosting sales and attracting customers. Both PrestaShop and BigCommerce offer a set of marketing tools to help you achieve that, such as email marketing or social media integration.
PrestaShop's marketing toolset includes PrestaShop Ads, which allows businesses to advertise their products on multiple platforms such as Google Ads, Amazon Ads, Facebook, Instagram and others. The platform also offers solid analytics functions to help merchants improve the quality of their data feed, analyze competition, and compare product prices and quality for better marketing planning.
BigCommerce offers a variety of marketing tools, both free and paid, which includes banners, discounts, email marketing, abandoned cart recovery and social media tools. The platform integrates with powerful marketing automation tools such as MailChimp, HubSpot, iContact and Constant Contact, allowing you to create a complete customer list and automatically send targeted emails, messages and newsletters.
Additionally, its abandoned cart recovery feature reminds customers who left items in their cart, which can result in increased sales. Lastly, BigCommerce lets you connect your store with the most popular social media platforms and easily direct traffic from Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest to your BigCommerce store.
Payment gateways act as the intermediary between customers and merchants, securely processing transactions and facilitating payment. Both BigCommerce and PrestaShop offer payment gateway options for businesses, providing merchants with the ability to accept payments from customers.
PrestaShop offers a wide range of payment options, including 250 options from third-party processors or through a merchant account with PrestaShop Checkout Gateways. The platform also offers integration with Paypal, offering checkout options such as American Express, Mastercard, and Visa.
BigCommerce, on the other hand, presents two payment gateway options: Paypal powered by Braintree and third-party payment processors. The default Paypal option is a popular choice for businesses for its convenient one-page checkout and competitive credit card transaction fees.
Third Party tools and Integrations
The success of your online business largely depends on your ability to integrate with the necessary tools and services to manage your site effectively. From shipping and tax calculators to product reviews, there are many tools to customize your store and improve customer experience. Both PrestaShop and BigCommerce offer integrations with third-party tools, but their capabilities vary.
PrestaShop integrates with a wide range of popular business services and applications, including Google Analytics and eBay, as well as payment portals such as PayPal, Authorize.Net, and Mastercard Simplify. With thousands of independent developers and agencies using Prestashop, it represents a reliable solution. As it is an open-source platform, it is possible to access the platform code and create custom modules to integrate with third-party tools. This makes Prestashop highly customizable, but also requires technical knowledge to set up and manage these integrations. Additionally, not all third-party tools are free, and there may be licensing fees to access them.
In turn, BigCommerce offers a wide range of third-party integrations and apps designed to help improve your online store. With free and paid options, BigCommerce's App Marketplace features a collection of tools organized into key categories: essentials, design, payments, shipping essentials, and marketing, with applications covering areas such as product sourcing, analysis, accounting, CRM, and customer service. Some of these integrations include, Mailchimp, QuickBooks Online, ShipStation, and Justuno. It is also possible to integrate third-party systems with BigCommerce through custom apps, but it requires hiring the services of a BigCommerce Partner (like for example, us).
Customer service and technical support
These are critical elements in eCommerce, and very closely related ones too. They are vital to ensure that businesses can offer an enjoyable shopping experience to their customers, resolve any issues quickly and efficiently, and run their online stores smoothly. Let’s take a closer look at what these powerful solutions offer in terms of customer support and technical assistance.
As an open-source platform, support for PrestaShop can be complex. Different programmers build modules and templates, making it challenging to understand all the detailed information of each PrestaShop store. However, PrestaShop has a large user community that works together to solve issues through forums and services.
The help and support service provided by BigCommerce varies based on your subscription plan. The Standard plan offers 24/7 phone and live chat support, which means you can make a phone call or open a live chat anytime you need assistance. Additionally, upon signing up for a free trial, you receive an email and a 10-minute call to discuss your business and how BigCommerce can help you grow.
BigCommerce also offers video tutorials and a Help Center for your convenience. Businesses investing in an Enterprise subscription plan get priority support, which includes an onboarding consultant and prioritized phone calls. However, all plans include permanent support, with quick response (less than two minutes) and high efficiency (85% of issues solved with the first call).
With an increasing number of online transactions and confidential information being shared, choosing a platform that offers strong security measures to protect both your customers and your business is essential to prevent security breaches, avoid costly fines and legal consequences, and maintain customer trust.
PrestaShop offers several free security modules to enhance security, such as protection against spam and identity theft. The downloadable version is compliant with industry-standard payment card security (PCI). This means your PrestaShop store is not automatically PCI-compliant, and you will need to acquire an SSL certificate to secure transactions. SSL certificates guarantee the security and encryption of information. PrestaShop offers a free SSL certificate for PrestaShop Ready accounts hosted on Google Cloud. To fix vulnerabilities and improve platform protection, the store must be updated with security patches released by PrestaShop.
On the other hand, BigCommerce has level 1 PCI DSS certification. All plans come with a dedicated SSL certificate, which conveys professionalism and trust to customers. It's free for Standard and Plus plans, and requires additional payments for Pro and Enterprise plans.
BigCommerce's software is hosted on the Google Cloud platform, providing unlimited bandwidth and 99.99%+ uptime, and giving customers firewall protection, file integrity scanning, intrusion detection tools, and DDoS protection. It also has ISO/IEC 27001:2013 and PCI DSS 3.2 level 1 certifications, which guarantee the secure handling of customer information and payment data.
As we've seen, both PrestaShop and BigCommerce are powerful solutions that offer different features and functionalities to meet eCommerce needs.
PrestaShop is ideal for entrepreneurs, small businesses and startups seeking a customizable solution that allows full control over design and functionality. It's particularly good for companies with an advanced technical team and a limited budget.
In turn, BigCommerce is ideal for medium-sized and large companies seeking a solution to expand their online presence without worrying about technical challenges. Its ease of use, scalability, and superior security features, the combination of basic functionality and the flexibility for extensions make BigCommerce an excellent choice for growing companies that need a scalable platform.