Magento Go and ProStores merchants were served up a surprise today when they logged into their stores. All Magento Go and ProStores accounts will be closed definitively as of 1 February 2015. eBay, Inc, the parent company of both platforms is recommending merchants either move their stores to Magento Community Edition or Big Commerce.
Not that I know anything, but, is eBay acquiring Big Commerce? Tim Shultz, one of the players in grooming Magento for acquisition by eBay, was recently poached by BCom as their Sr. Vice President of Product. Does eBay connections + acquisition experience = eBay buyout? Time will tell, but, it seems one could make a solid case for courting.
While the meaning of the message to their merchants is clear, the next question is, “What now?” Obviously, you have two choices: migrate your store or shut it down.
While I don’t believe there is an official statistic on this, Razoyo has more experience migrating merchants from ProStores to Magento (Go or Community Edition) than anyone out there. We started our business as merchants on ProStores and migrated our own stores to Magento before migrating to Magento was cool. 😉
Should I go to Magento Community Edition (CE) or Big Commerce?
The answer will depend on a lot of things. If flexibility and unique user experience as a competitive advantage are key strategy goals for you, Magento CE (even Enterprise if you have enough volume) is the way to go. BigCommerce, as wonderful as it is, still suffers from the limitations of SaaS (software-as-a-service). With Magento CE, you can customize just about every aspect of the user experience. BigCommerce is certainly a valid platform and offers quite a few ways to communicate with other services, but, you simply cannot customize core functionality. That is a SaaS limitation. Magento CE, on the other hand, is built to be extended.
What is the difference in cost?
In our experience, Magento CE can be inexpensive or very expensive. The more you customize it, the more expensive it is. Razoyo offers complete packages with support and hosting for about $400 per month. We do not charge transaction fees. BigCommerce packages start well below that and go up to $199/mo. They only charge transaction fees on their cheapest plan.
They also offer Enterprise packages for larger stores for merchants who use a lot of API calls and bandwidth, even though they advertise unlimited bandwidth for some of the lower-priced packages, which seems a little contradictory.
BigCommerce does advertise multi-store environments for Enterprise customers. With Magento CE, you can have multiple storefronts on our lowest support/hosting plan.
How much does migration to BigCommerce cost?
According to the announcements, BigCommerce will migrate your product and customer data for free. Honestly, that is the easy part. If you have a lot of static pages or design customizations, you will need to migrate your design. If you have hosted, downloadable content, you will need to move that, too.
How much will it cost to move to Magento CE?
If you are moving from Magento Go, the cost of moving your data will be small. The tables and import/export facilities are similar enough for most merchants to figure out with some effort. If you are moving grouped products and/or bundled products, you will need to set them up manually on Magento CE.
Moving from ProStores takes more effort, but, Razoyo has developed some tools that makes us more efficient. For catalogs over 1,000 items, count on $1,000 or more. More than that if you use custom options in ProStores.
A Magento Go to CE design move is also relatively inexpensive if you want to keep it close to what you have now. Moving a design from ProStores to Magento will probably have a similar cost to moving it to BigCommerce.
I would love to encourage discussion here, so, please post your comments as questions. We will do our best to answer them. If you would like to speak to a Razoyo representative to discuss your migration plans, please contact us and mention you are a Magento Go or ProStores merchant.