September 17, 2015 by Ben Chafetz

Magento vs. SuiteCommerce: Why Magento Rocks (Part 3)

We at 121ecommerce have been saying for a while that we think Magento is the best eCommerce Solution for ecommerce websites. Continuing in our series of Why Magento Rocks (here’s part 1 and part 2), here’s why the Magento platform beats SuiteCommerce:

Magento vs. SuiteCommerce: Which eCommerce Solution is Right for Your Business

As the number of Internet-enabled businesses continues to grow, so too does the number of viable content management solutions. One of the most prominent names to enter the field recently is SuiteCommerce, an offering developed by NetSuite designed to integrate eCommerce, point-of-sale, and order management functions into a single application.

While NetSuite is quite well known in the industry, SuiteCommerce has not yet gained a comparable foothold in the CMS market. Is this due to the industry’s natural resistance to new solutions, or does it relate more to the features and makeup of the software itself? The pros and cons of SuiteCommerce are compared below with an established solution, Magento, in order to discern its true value as a content management application.

Ideal Applications

One of the first factors when choosing a platform for your business is scale: is the software designed to be used primarily by small businesses, by large companies, or somewhere in between? In the case of Magento, the answer is all three. Sole proprietors can benefit from this solution as readily as major enterprises due to its scalability and ease of use. Compare with SuiteCommerce:

• SuiteCommerce is designed as an all-in-one solution, and thus, it’s offered in the form of a single, bulky installation. While the software can be stripped down to remove unnecessary features after the fact, a more sensible approach is to offer a lean install which allows users to add extensions on as needed, as with Magento.
• Unnecessary features actually serve to impact functionality in a negative way. Each additional menu and option you must click through in order to execute a basic function is productivity lost. As in many facets of business, in this case, less is more.
• Load times can be the difference between a bounce and a converted customer. Internet users typically have many options to choose from and they’re not known for patience. Unwieldy software means longer loading times—longer loading times means fewer potential sales.

Open Source vs. Proprietary

Open source software (such as Magento) differs greatly from proprietary software (such as SuiteCommerce) in that the collective community is able to influence development. This not only aids in improving software functionality at the programming level, but also in adding new features and increasing availability of software support.

For example, proprietary software generally relies on documentation and assistance provided by the developer. For this reason, Magento users have access to much more robust resources when it comes to troubleshooting and customizing their software. This flexibility also influences other key factors, including development and community support.

Strength in Numbers

One of the most vital qualities of a successful platform is also one of the most basic, and it relates to market share. Magento boasts a majority share of eCommerce site installations; the same cannot be said for SuiteCommerce. This impacts each application in numerous ways:

• Fewer installations equates to fewer active users. The presence of fewer users results in lesser community support, which in turn makes it more difficult to troubleshoot or make changes without investing in specially-trained developers.
• In a supply-and-demand world, the cost of development will obviously be significantly lower when you’re working with a platform that is understood by a much larger number of developers.
• Finally, third-party developers tend to lend greater support to platforms which stand to offer the greatest profits. Similar to how Apple’s iPhone demands third-party support due to its massive popularity, developers will gravitate toward content management platforms which come with the highest number of ready-made customers.

Back to Front

Magento clearly enjoys several advantages thanks to streamlined installation and greater community support, but the back end is only half the battle. Magento’s user experience (UX) is also considered to be superior, likely due to the fact that it’s owned and overseen by one of the most successful eCommerce sites in history, eBay.

By contrast, SuiteCommerce was created by a company best known for its back end systems. While NetSuite certainly does produce quality software in its own right, there’s a sizeable difference between designing intuitive systems for users and administrators versus those to be used by the general public.

Already Using SuiteCommerce?

If you are using SuiteCommerce don’t despair, you can have a great Magento site without leaving Netsuite. Magento connects seamlessly with NetSuite to synch inventory, orders, promotions, rewards and customer information. We have synched these for numerous clients and they have all seen vast improvements. We work closely with our partners at Celigo, who make the best Magento-to-NetSuite connector around.

Conclusion

If you’re building a new eCommerce site or planning to change platforms, it’s plain to see the benefits Magento offers over SuiteCommerce. With a stronger community presence, more in-depth documentation, and greater developer support, you’re much less likely to find yourself stranded when problems arise. When every moment of downtime can equate to significant losses, making the right eCommerce software choice is vital to the success of your business.

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