As your platforms of choice, Magento and Salesforce Commerce Cloud (SFCC, formerly Demandware) are both heavy hitters in the e-commerce industry. Both ecommerce platforms have some features in common and allow you to create powerful online storefronts with large product catalogs. Beyond that, they’re very different creatures that provide their own distinct advantages. Your choice depends on the nature of your business and the website features you require to best support it.
SaaS (cloud) vs on-premise (non-cloud)
Perhaps the biggest difference between Magento and SFCC is how they’re hosted. Magento requires hardware on-premise. As a result, you’re responsible for setting up and managing your servers, including updates and technology maintenance. Before you jump to any conclusions about too many headaches, remember that self-hosting allows you the advantage of endless customization. In other words, if you can dream it, you can do it (provided your developers and designers have the working knowledge to make it happen). The good news is that Magento also has a newer, cloud-based version; however, it’s still evolving.
SFCC is housed on “the cloud” (hence its name). It’s subscription-based and centrally hosted, and as such, hosting and management of associated services is wholly handled by Salesforce. This means you have no responsibility for server maintenance, software upgrades, and security, plus you’re provided various service guarantees. This is good, but can also be not-so-good, based on your needs. SFCC is a SaaS platform and must appeal to the needs of a wide array of customers—so the downside is there’s a cap on the customizations available for your website. It all depends on what you need your e-commerce site to do.
Beyond this major difference, Magento and SFCC each offer their own advantages.
Advantages of Magento
If the following are right up your alley, Magento may be just what you need:
See Also: Magento Review
Strong merchandising features. Though SFCC also offers this, Magento differs in its native product types. These include simple, grouped, gift card, virtual and downloadable options. Native visual merchandising capabilities are also very robust.
Integrated content management. Magento’s advanced CMS, Page Builder, is more advanced than that of SFCC and allows for component-based management of content.
Exclusive shopping experiences. The Magento platform has homegrown features that allow you to offer loyalty programs, private and flash sales, and rewards points without integrating a separate platform.
Segmentation. If you need your site to adapt to the behavior of different segments of customers, Magento enables you to design your storefront accordingly.
Staging and preview capabilities. Want to view site edits before they go live? No problem. Magento provides a comprehensive staging environment.
Advantages of Salesforce Commerce Cloud (SFCC)
If you’re not sold on Magento as a solution, SFCC may be just what you’re looking for:
See Also: Salesforce Commerce Cloud Review
High-end merchandising and catalog management. If yours is a B2C business, SFCC is arguably the most popular platform for fashion and lifestyle brands. Many household B2C names are hosted on SFCC, as its features allow for advanced visual merchandising, advanced promotions, and the ability to schedule tasks.
Multi-channel support. Let’s say your business doesn’t just offer one shopping solution, for example, you have a storefront but also allow customers to shop with you online (and of course you need to support the needs of mobile shopping). SFCC excels at unifying all channels with its order management solution, so one platform allows shoppers to buy from you anywhere.
International adaptability. If you need to accept payments in multiple currencies and communicate with customers in multiple languages, SFCC lets you do it—though it does come with an additional cost.
Intelligent shopping. Named for the scientist, SFCC’s Einstein gathers data and insights related to shoppers’ behavior. This machine learning provides smart shopping experiences with product recommendations, and it’s integrated into the platform without the need for a third-party vendor.
Plenty of support. Innovation and creativity are key with Salesforce, and the platform is powered by a comprehensive user community. Also, Salesforce offers 24/7 support for all your questions and concerns.
The bottom line
In the end, your choice rests with the nature of your business and your desired level of involvement. Your need for freedom and customization are perhaps your biggest considerations when choosing between Magento and Salesforce Commerce Cloud. Pricing may also be a factor depending on your budget. Since Magento requires you to be more hands-on, it can be a smaller investment.
If you find yourself in need of staff to help you manage your e-commerce platform, it can help to bring qualified staff on board. And Jarvis Cole can help. We’re a niche staffing firm specializing in the e-commerce industry. We’re deeply rooted, with offices worldwide—and we’ll work with you to find and place just the staff you need to get the job done. To learn more, contact us today.