Shawn - February 7th, 2011
Before we begin, please let me say that iTistic Inc. does not specialize in Magento. Although we specialize in ProductCart we do feel that Magento has it's place in the e-commerce software world. We just want to make sure you're making the best decision for your organization.
Out of all the prospects and clients who we've dealt with and who have thought about Magento, the two biggest reasons are the following two features:
- Manage multiple online storefronts from one Magento installation
- Easily customize the look and feel of your storefront without altering the core software
Magento has many other features, but these are the ones we hear about the most. These are two very nice features, ones we wish ProductCart added to their software if we're being honest. There is no current way to manage multiple storefronts using one ProductCart installation. This is certainly a customization that we could develop for you, but it's not something there's software out there for already. As for customizing the look and feel of your storefront: we do this for most of our ProductCart clients. We always integrate a custom designed template with ProductCart and customize the CSS, buttons, and images so your site presents well. If you'd like us to customize other aspects of the software (category pages, product detail pages, the checkout process, etc.) we can do this for you as well. The only difference with ProductCart is that these customizations will likely be overwritten by future updates and will need to be re-implemented afterwards.
Now that we have the Magento features out of the way, lets talk about some ProductCart features. Please take a moment to review the Magento feature comparison. What you'll find is are two things:
- A lot of the features are only made available in the Professional and Enterprise editions (both whose pricing is exponentially higher than ProductCart)
- ProductCart provides a lot of the listed features at a much cheaper cost.
A lot of these feature may not be important to you, but here's some features that ProductCart does provide that the Magento Community edition does not:
- Private (Club) Sales including Events, Invitations and Site access permissions (this will be released with the next version of ProductCart)
- Gift Registries
- Automated Email Marketing Reminders (can be easily accomplished using a few add-ons)
- Assisted Shopping, Manage Customer carts and more via the admin panel
- Advanced Administrator Roles and Permissions
- Category View and Purchase permissions per customer group (limited catalog access)
- PCI Data Security Standard (PA-DSS) Compliant
- Reward Points System
- Gift Certificates/Cards (Physical and Virtual)
- Customer Store Credits
For more information, please be sure to review ProductCart's Complete Feature List. One other thing to consider is that ProductCart works with 36+ payment gateways out of the box without any additional add-ons or modules. Magento only works with a handful of payment gateways out of the box. You may need to purchase a third-party extension to get Magento to work properly with your payment gateway/
A lot of organizations and website design & development companies choose Magento due to the relatively low-cost of entry (there is a free community version of the software available). This means it's easier for companies to sell it to you, and it could be cheaper for you to get up and running. In the long run, however, we don't feel most small and medium-sized e-commerce stores are served well by Magento. You will most likely end up outgrowing the Community edition and there will be a significant investment required to upgrade to the Professional or Enterprise versions. Even most large-sized e-commerce stores are better served by ProductCart, in our opinion.
Summary: Magento's Professional and Enterprise editions require an investment of $2,995 and $12,990 per year, respectively. ProductCart requires a one-time investment of $695 to $1,495 depending on the version you choose along with a minimal $95 per year upgrades plan.
ProductCart will perform efficiently in shared-hosting environments with many providers. For small and some medium-sized e-commerce stores this is more than sufficient. For large-sized stores we recommend hosting in a dedicated environment. It is suggested by many Magento professionals that you host your Magento installation in dedicated environments only. This is especially true when you're utilizing the Professional or Enterprise editions of their software.
ProductCart provides a lot more bang for your buck! If you can live without the few advanced features in Magento we feel you'll be much better served by ProductCart in the long run. There are some instances where Magento should be chosen over ProductCart. Rest assured that we're an honest company and will always be straight-forward with you if this is the case.
Take some time to review the articles below if you'd like to know more about how ProductCart compares to Magento:
Some ProductCart Sites We've Designed/Integrated
If you'd like to review some ProductCart sites we've designed and/or integrated please review the sites below: