The Magento eCommerce platform, a leading technology platform in the eCommerce industry, has undergone significant changes over the years, leaving developers and companies with mixed sentiments about its current state.
Acquisitions by eBay and then by Adobe brought about shifts in the platform's direction. If you’re a small or mid-sized B2B distributor or manufacturer, this article will give you an overview of the key risks to consider, whether you’re staying with Magento/Adobe Commerce or implementing it for the first time.
Magento, used predominantly by retailers, is an open-source eCommerce platform that is highly customizable, flexible and scalable. This is especially useful for larger brands and companies with skilled IT teams who can build out the platform to fit their exact needs.
In 2018, Magento was acquired by Adobe and integrated into the Adobe Experience Cloud (Adobe’s Enterprise CMS platform). This opened up new functionality: for example, the ability to sync Magento stores with Amazon and integrate product catalogs with Google Merchant Center and Google advertising channels. Customers now had an end-to-end customer experience, from creation to commerce.
Today, Magento for enterprise businesses is renamed “Adobe Commerce” (though many people still refer to it as Magento). It serves B2C and B2B companies, but for the purposes of this article, we’ll focus on B2B capabilities.
To recap, these are the differences between Magento open source and the Adobe Commerce enterprise versions:
Magento open-source software is free, but hosting the software starts at $22,000 for store revenues of less than $1 million per year (cost varies depending on your eCommerce store’s annual revenue). From there, you will need to pay for integrations, extensions, coding, support, etc.
Adobe Commerce costs are heavily dependent on an organization’s exact needs. For a rough reference, you can assume a starter plan costs around $40,000/year, a Pro plan $80,000/year and an Enterprise plan $125,000 per year. This includes cloud hosting and backup (which isn’t included in the other Magento software).
Adobe has taken Magento farther into the enterprise end of the market, adding more customization and extensive features. This shift has benefited the largest and most complex Magento customers, but it has negatively impacted many small and mid-sized B2B businesses that don’t have the resources (or business need) for an expansive, more cumbersome enterprise eCommerce platform.
Here’s what B2B site owners and developers are saying about their experience with Magento:
If you’re a small or mid-sized business thinking about Magento, the two most significant resources you’ll need are money and a skilled Magento developer (or even a team, depending on your requirements).
Costs to consider:
Here are just a few of the skills your developer or development team needs to effectively manage Magento/Adobe Commerce:
Magento can be a great choice for large enterprises due to its robust features, customization capabilities. But for small and mid-sized B2B companies, it may present challenges due to cost and the deep technical skill needed to optimize its features and maintain the integrity of the platform.
If your company doesn’t have substantial resources for eCommerce set-up, troubleshooting and maintenance, Magento/Adobe Commerce may not be the best fit for you.
Similarly, if you are an SMB in distribution or manufacturing and are currently using Magento/Adobe Commerce, you may be finding it too resource-heavy, costly and burdensome year-over-year.
This eCommerce middleware solution is designed for manufacturers and distributors by Epicor. It integrates with Epicor ERPs, including Prophet 21 and Eclipse, and is built exclusively for the Magento platform. This middleware software serves as a bridge between Magento and the Epicor ERP system, streamlining communication and data transfers. Notably, this solution has replaced Epicor's B2B Seller eCommerce solution. While it effectively links the Epicor ERP system with the Magento platform, it maintains the same complexities associated with managing the Magento platform, as mentioned earlier. If your business has a team of skilled and technical Magento professionals capable of maintaining and updating these systems, including Magento, Linux, and MySql, you may find it manageable. However, for those without this expertise, handling these complexities independently may be too challenging and costly.
Read on to learn about possible Magento/Adobe Commerce alternatives.
Whether you are looking for your first eCommerce B2B platform or you want to move off Magento/Adobe Commerce, these alternatives may be better fits:
For small and mid-sized B2B distributors and manufacturers, the best eCommerce platform boils down to answering these questions: Does it meet my needs easily? Is it built to manage complex B2B rules, like taxation, shipping, and regulations? And can I manage it without hiring a dedicated IT person or team?
In our experience, the answer to most of these questions, unfortunately, is no. While Magento and/or Adobe Commerce is a terrific solution for large enterprise businesses with developers and IT teams, SMBs in B2B are simply not their sweet spot for efficient and effective B2B eCommerce.