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September 15, 2017

Magento Alternatives? Where Should We Be Looking?

Magento alternatives are fast gaining credibility and traction following the ongoing Magento 2 stability issues since launch, exacerbated by bugs that are taking too long to address and now further bolstered by the recent acquisition by Adobe, which has got the Community and SME merchants thinking, “What are the Magento alternatives?”

Magento Logo

If your ecommerce business is being managed using Magento Open Source, latterly called Magento Community, it might be prudent to start looking at Magento alternatives. Particularly if you are running Magento Community 1.9 or below, as its unlikely that this will be fully supported with security patching for much longer. Magento 3 looks like it will be on its way now that the might of Adobe is in play, but there is uncertainty as to how the Community Edition will fare under their ownership.

As a digital agency of 12 years standing, we have seen a number of acquisitions by large players in the market. Most notably the IBM purchase of Silverpop and its eventual demise as it became a small cog in the enterprise wheel that is IBM Watson. Smaller clients were effectively priced out of using the tool, and it led to big wins for DotMailer, MailChimp and recently SendGrid who were well placed to pick up the SME clients. The natural move towards agile cost effective platforms is something that SME’s will always do. Adobe’s real play is likely to be in the larger enterprise market where clients can use the might of their cloud marketing platform (remember Omniture?) combined with the Magento ecommerce platform. Big billing up at the top right of Gartner’s magic Quadrant is where Adobe is headed…

Magento Enterprise has now been forked into several different incarnations, including Magento Commerce, Order Management, and is moving towards a fully managed cloud hosting system. Something Adobe will be looking to leverage. Mid size merchants might need to consider cross grading back into M2 Community if the license costs are hiked, or looking at Magento alternatives.

At Star Digital we’ve seen a marked decline in RFI requests for new Magento business in the past two years. Clients have been nervous about launching or upgrading to Magento 2, and the fees for enterprise have been lumpy, and heavily negotiated client to client. The Magento partner channel have pretty much locked any non-partners out of that ecosystem, making it harder for agencies to work in that space.

We love Magento, and we’ve done some outstanding, award winning work on the platform since 2008, but we think anyone looking to build a new store should be looking at the Magento alternatives as part of their RFI process.

We are not saying don’t choose Magento, it is still the most extensible platform in the market today – just look at your options, the landscape is changing…

Magento Alternatives – Shopify / Shopify Plus


Following the plethora of issues caused by the Magento 2 launch, in 2017 we signed a partner agreement with Shopify, as we believe it is a fantastic ecommerce platform for B2C clients that need the ability to launch fast, experiment, integrate with social shopping and scale without worrying about their server capacity. For B2C clients this platform is a very credible alternative that can be delivered with a lower time overhead and cost than a traditional Magento build. It comes ready installed on the Shopify cloud, and there is a vast plugin marketplace of pre-approved apps to deliver extended functionality to the platform.

With fully responsive templates and ‘Liquid’ the Shopify theming language it is easy to load dynamic content and modify the look and feel of the web site. Furthermore there are excellent plugins to create mobile apps of your Shopify store for a small monthly fee, and Shopify POS is an out of the box solution to provide a true omnichannel solution for retailers.

Shopify comes in two versions, the standard platform which is designed for businesses with a turnover of less than a million, and Shopify Plus for larger merchants. Shopify Plus comes with additional features including a wholesale channels for B2B orders. We love working with Shopify, its clean, easy to build on, and our clients love using it!

Call us on 01604 696385 to have a chat about Shopify and its growing ecosystem and advantages as a Magento B2C alternative platform. Discover more about Shopify here.

Magento Alternatives – Woo Commerce


WordPress is the most utilised platform for the delivery of web content in the world, and the Woo Commerce extension is a full ecommerce platform that has improved massively in the past 18 months, representing an incredibly effective solution for SME merchants looking to leverage online sales. With a heap of ready made templates and extensions this plugin is easy to configure and create a great looking fully mobile responsive ecommerce.

Woo Commerce gives B2C merchants a credible alternative to magenta and is definitely making inroads in the Magento Community or Magento Open Source space. The system is easy to use and can create great looking ecommerce experiences that are easy to edit and modify. The options to customise and extend are extensive using the storefront extensions, and combined with WordPress and Visual Composer or WP Bakery its really easy for businesses to manage and edit content.

Once again the platform comes in two versions with an enterprise version available for larger merchants. If you’d like to know more about how Woo Commerce can help your business please give us a call on 01604 696385.

Magento Alternatives – OroCommerce B2B

Oro Commerce

OroCommerce is a B2B Commerce platform with a host of B2B commerce focussed features directly out of the box such as;

Corporate Account Management

Access Controls, Roles and Permissions

Multiple Organisations, Websites and Stores

Content Management System (CMS)

Personalised B2B Catalogue Management

Developed by members of the original Magento team and headed up by Maganto co-founder and CTO Yoav Kutner the platform has been developed to be a very credible Magento alternative.

Furthermore the Oro technology stack includes a full blown CRM called OroCRM with direct integration to OroCommerce and when combined with OroPlatform, a rapid application development platform that is purely open source developers can build out complete customisations to deliver on ERP, WMS and PIM systems.

The three elements combined mean that developers like us can create web applications to solve specific industry issues, and businesses get a quality application platform to solve unique business problems, deliver USP and value add for their clients and integrate to any 3rd party platform faster and more cost effectively.

The OroCommerce platform is available in both Community and Enterprise editions with enterprise pricing similar to that seen with entry level Magento Commerce solutions.

At Star Digital we think OroCommerce combined with its stablemates will be one to watch and we have begun working on the codebase in readiness for enquiries from our larger B2B Magento clients. This is a truly credible Magento alternative for B2B commerce, firmly rooted in the open source community and being built to enable developers and merchants to build groundbreaking and unique digital commerce solutions.

If you’d like to discuss requirements around Magento alternatives please drop us a line, call or email. The landscape is definitely changing in ecommerce….

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