SuiteCommerce Advanced vs. BigCommerce

by Corynn Anderson in , September 9th, 2020

Which solution will benefit your company most in the long run?

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SuiteCommerce Advanced and BigCommerce are both popular e-commerce solutions that share many similar features. But, when choosing an e-commerce solution, it's important to keep the long term success of your business in mind. For that reason, I will be focusing on features that go beyond the basics and relate to the growth of a company. Even if these differences don't seem to matter right now, it's good to look 5-10 years into the future of your company and consider how an e-commerce decision might shape that future.

1. Scalability

I would say that scalability is the biggest difference between SuiteCommerce Advanced and BigCommerce. While both promote themselves as being scalable, they have different methods of achieving this.

SuiteCommerce Advanced

One of the biggest strengths of SuiteCommerce Advanced is that it can be customized to fit your business better than any other platform. Thanks to the customizations possible within the program combined with the seamlessly integrated NetSuite modules and a variety of custom NetSuite app solutions, you can tailor your SuiteCommerce Advanced experience to fit your business needs exactly.

  • Pro: The cost of implementing this solution is as personalized as the final result, which means you don't pay for a mountain of features that your company won't utilize.
  • Con: Really none. SuiteCommerce Advanced is one of the most scalable solutions currently available, if not the most scalable solution currently available.

This great ability to customize is part of the reason that prices for SuiteCommerce Advanced generally aren't listed. The overall cost of implementing the solution can vary significantly.

BigCommerce

Scalability is definitely present in BigCommerce as well. But, rather than a customizable platform that is scalable to meet your business needs, BigCommerce uses a tiered format, with different features & pricing available at each level. An issue with a tiered model is that a customer who needs only one or two features in the next tier up ends up paying for all of the features included within that tier, even if they will never use them. Another issue with scalability and the tiered pricing of BigCommerce is that the pricing plans depend on sales revenue as well as features.

  • Pro: The tiered format simplifies the scaling process by adding bundles of features at each level.
  • Con: Tiered pricing can lead to paying for many unused features, and BigCommerce starts taking a percentage of your revenue once your online sales become significant.

For example, their most popular plan (Pro) currently costs $79.95/mo, but if a company's annual online sales revenue passes a certain amount, they have to start paying more for the same collection of features simply because they are using the platform more effectively.

Scalability Summary

The scalability of SuiteCommerce Advanced may be its greatest strength, while for BigCommerce, scalability is one of the biggest pain points for customers, especially as it relates to pricing. Now, don't get me wrong, SuiteCommerce Advanced is not a cheap solution. But if scalability and efficient spending are important to your company, SuiteCommerce Advanced is the better of these two options.

2. Languages

While SuiteCommerce Advanced and BigCommerce both have multi-language capabilities, the scope of these capabilities is different for each.

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SuiteCommerce Advanced

If you are (or are soon to become) an international or global business, SuiteCommerce Advanced is a great choice for e-commerce. With the goal of enabling you to reach a greater number of customers worldwide, SuiteCommerce Advanced provides you with many language options. Also, the language capabilities don't stop there! Since SuiteCommerce Advanced provides developers with access to the source code, the opportunities for customizations related to translation are nearly endless through custom NetSuite apps!

  • Pro: Greater language capabilities (among many other global business tools) enable your company to reach markets all over the globe.
  • Con: If you only need English to reach your current target market, and are not planning to expand into global business in the next 5 years, these language capabilities may be unnecessary.

When it comes to determining the value of a more global friendly ecommerce solution, it's important to know your business goals and capabilities. Many of us would love it if our company became a global success, but not every product or service has this potential. If global business isn't certain in the near future, BigCommerce may be your better option.

BigCommerce

Within the base version of the product, English is the only language readily available. However, you can localize your front-end experience through third-party API or app-driven translation. If you foresee only needing a few languages on your website over the next 5-10 years, BigCommerce will meet your needs.

  • Pro: The platform can be successful for companies looking to operate within English speaking countries, or who plan to add only a few other languages.
  • Con: All additional languages must be added using a combination of JSON translation files, Stencil CLI, and the BigCommerce control panel.

If your company is more localized to English speaking countries and requires fewer global options, BigCommerce has the features you need. However, if scaling globally is a big part of your business plan, BigCommerce just won't have the language capabilities you need.

Languages Summary

Depending on the scope of your business, languages may matter a lot to you. Global businesses need to be able to reach customers from a wide variety of places/cultures/backgrounds, and language options play a big part in properly serving all of these customers. However, if your business is located primarily in the United States, or another country where the primary language is English, language options may not matter as much for your e-commerce platform.

4. ERP Software

Purchasing a new e-commerce solution has a big impact on a company over time. One of the reasons for this is that e-commerce solutions need to be integrated with your business management software.

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SuiteCommerce Advanced

SuiteCommerce Advanced requires NetSuite management software and integrates with it seamlessly. If your company already uses NetSuite, you are in a great position to start using SuiteCommerce Advanced and you can skip to the next section of this post! However, if your business uses different management software, purchasing SuiteCommerce Advanced is suddenly a bigger deal. Again, step away from the current position of your business and think about the long term:

  1. Is your business satisfied with its current management software?
  2. If so, will your software still meet your needs in 5-10 years?
  3. If not, would NetSuite management products be able to meet those longer-term needs?

Depending on your company's needs in the future, switching to NetSuite ERP may or may not be the right decision for your business. If you think you will need NetSuite soon, go ahead and make the switch now so that you can benefit from SuiteCommerce Advanced. But, if it appears that your current management software is all your company will need, and if another e-commerce solution has the features you want, switching your entire business management system would probably not be the most prudent decision. When making this decision, it would be beneficial to speak with a NetSuite Consultant, who will be able to help you determine whether SuiteCommerce Advanced is the right fit for you.

BigCommerce

Unlike SuiteCommerce Advanced, BigCommerce does not require a particular business management software in order to function. However, this means that BigCommerce does not have the seamless integrations SuiteCommerce Advanced has: Flexibility does not come without a price. Viewing this from a bigger-picture perspective, how much does seamless integration matter to your business:
  1. Could a lack of seamless integrations cause problems with regard to data analytics and reporting?
  2. Will managers have a difficult time understanding the feedback they are getting related to e-commerce if the data does not flow seamlessly from one area of the business to another?

For larger and more complex company processes, SuiteCommerce Advanced may be quite helpful. On the other hand, smaller or simpler business operations should not spend great amounts of money on a seamless solution if the benefit to operations will be minimal.

ERP Software Summary

Some companies are able to work around third-party integrations with few problems. If you believe that this is and will continue to be the case for your business, your company will probably excel in using BigCommerce. But if a lack of seamless integrations is a concern down the road, it may be worthwhile to ask a NetSuite Partner what switching over to NetSuite would entail.

Conclusion

SuiteCommerce Advanced and BigCommerce are both high-quality e-commerce solutions, and depending on your business needs, either one could be the best fit for you. But remember, the best option for your company as it is now might not be the best solution for your company 5-10 years down the road.

SuiteCommerce Advanced has more personalized scalability, while BigCommerce uses a tiered platform. For a company looking to grow and change quickly, SuiteCommerce Advanced is a good option since features can be added at any time and you only pay for what you need. However, for a company that is stable, focusing on building customer loyalty, and not looking to expand much in the next 5-10 years, the tiered plans of BigCommerce may work quite well. With regard to languages, SuiteCommerce has the objective upper hand with more built-in language options. On the other hand, if your company caters to a primarily English-speaking population, BigCommerce has what you need. If you already use NetSuite management software, SuiteCommerce Advanced will integrate seamlessly and set you up for success. But, if you don’t currently use NetSuite products, and don’t foresee needing NetSuite in the next 5-10 years, integrating BigCommerce with your current business management software may be the way to go, even if it won’t be seamless.

Next Steps

You should reach out to either a NetSuite SuiteCommerce partner or a BigCommerce partner to help guide you through more of your questions. They will be able to answer cost and technical questions related to the eCommerce solution.


Hopefully, this post gives you something to work with while trying to understand NetSuite and what it can do for your business. If you have any questions and want some free consulting advice, feel free to contact our team at Anchor Group.

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