The Alternatives To Magento

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Have you ever found yourself pulling your hair out as you stare into Magento’s back end?

Spent hours trying to figure out why the creators of Magento focused on designing a platform for developers rather than online sellers?

Well, I had been a big fan of Magento in the past but even as an ecommerce professional I grew disheartened of Magento’s lack of direction and innovation. Luckily, one of my clients gave me the opportunity to find a solution.

The challenge was the following, I was asked to find their business a “better” alternative to Magento.

So I did some thorough research and tested out the following carts based on their needs:

The Carts That Didn’t Work Out

Open-Cart: Similar principle to Magento, you host it, it is Open Source and there are plenty of developers and plugins out there.

The only issue I found was that it wasn’t really better than Magento.

Sure it was easier to use and typically less expensive to get set up but for a client of this size, it lacked the feel of being an enterprise solution and really wasn’t an option.

Shopify: Shopify is a brilliant ecommerce platform where you don’t have to worry about hosting.

But the lack of customisation and features just wouldn’t work for this client.

They were too big and their needs too complex for Shopify, so we had to remove this one from the list. (Though if you are a smaller company with quite simple needs, I would recommend checking them out, here is a link)

BigCommerce: Again, very similar to Shopify where it is a solution hosted by Bigcommerce itself but generaly lacked the features that where specific for my client’s company.

The client wanted to migrate to a platform which would grow with them. (Again, smaller businesses, this may be for you so please check them out, here is the link)

It was hopeless, I was giving up hope, there were many other platforms I had trialled, including Prestashop, LemonStand, CS-Cart, 3dCart and a few others but none seemed to tick the boxes I need.

But just as I was going to close my laptop down for the evening, I came across something amazing!

At first, I thought the late hours and lack of coffee had started to bring on vivid hallucinations, was I seeing a mirage of the cart I was looking for? 

I gave myself a good pinch to make sure I was still awake, and to my joy, I had actually came across the platform I was after.

So I drank a few more coffees and went through several evenings testing this platform.

Shopware – The Solution

Shopware Demo Screen

Shopware had the open source flexibility that had held me so loyal to Magento for many years, but unlike Magento, the back end was clean, simple and had been designed for online business owners rather than developers. (Though there is a lot of stuff for developers too)

I was taken back by the great amount of focus on design and loved the concept of creating a shopping experience for the buyer, this whole ideology really stood out for me.

Also, Shopware had a vast amount of extensions, over 2000 plus a massive community of users, developers and agencies. They also offered a free community edition like Magento.

I was so amazed, that I decided to drive to Germany to see the team behind the platform. (I don’t really fly that well)

There we met a really nice bunch of warm and welcoming people who explained to me that they have been in business for 16 years and were 100% equity financed. Their passion for ecommerce and vision of changing the way people shop online really was refreshing.

Anyway, I could go on all day about the day I met Shopware but I am sure you would like to know why you should choose them over Magento.

So let me break it down to the points I put forward to my client:

  • Open Source
  • Built on PHP
  • Over 2000+ extensions
  • Vast Community
  • Easy to use but powerful administration back end
  • Very Expandable
  • Shopping Worlds (Dynamic landing pages that create an experience for the online shopper, very cool)
  • Multiple Product Views (Side views, Quick views, all to increase CRO)
  • Digital Publishing (Design your own dynamic banners, no need for coding or 3rd party plugins)
  • Tonnes of Marketing tools, high focus on SEO

The list goes on, but I believe if you are seriously looking for a platform that will help your business grow and grow with you, then Shopware is the way to go.

If you’re not sure, or would like to know more, then check out their website. Or better yet, let us create you a Demo Store so you can see for yourself.

Here are some useful links for you:

Shopware’s Home Page

Shopware’s Tour Page (Features & Benefits)

Shopware’s Customers

Interested in Shopware?

Why not let us create you a demo store so you can see the system in action for yourselves?

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Author of this Article


Charlie McBroom
Ecommerce & Growth Expert

Charlie is the former product manager of Linnworks and the co-founder of Fitted Commerce, a growth agency and consultancy firm focused around ecommerce.
With over 10 years involvement in the industry and digital marketing, Charlie has helped hundreds of business find the solutions to help them grow.

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