What is the best enterprise eCommerce platform for your online business? Magento, Shopify Plus and Dokan Pro are almost unquestionably most mainstream mid-level enterprise eCommerce platforms in the world. This guide provides a detailed comparison across all important aspects.
This article will discuss the ongoing debate between the three best enterprise eCommerce platforms and clear market leaders; Magento Vs Shopify Plus Vs Dokan Pro.
Why enterprise eCommerce Platforms Are So Important
Most importantly, an enterprise eCommerce platform is a software which allows for the management of an eCommerce website. Literally, these are virtual storefronts where consumers can buy a product or service online. Through these software systems, online merchants have the ability to build and host their website, manage their products, prices, promotions and personalize their sales and services. When a business becomes larger and more profitable, where higher volumes need to be managed, thus a solid eCommerce platform is required.
“Enterprise eCommerce Platforms” are ideal and best solutions for big brands and large organizations.
A brief introduction to Magento, Shopify Plus and Dokan Pro
Magento is an open source enterprise eCommerce platform that was released in 2015. The initial version was released back in 2007.
Magento is available in two distinct platforms, Magento open source and Magento Commerce. In June 2018, Magento was officially acquired by Adobe for $1.68 billion. Adobe plans to integrate Magento into Adobe Experience Cloud also known as Adobe’s Enterprise CMS platform. This move adds an element of uncertainty to the future of Magento.
Shopify is a Software as a Service(SaaS) enterprise eCommerce platform that was founded in 2004. The founders of this software Tobias Lutke, Daniel Weinland and Scott Lake who created the platform soon after they tried to open their own online store selling snowboarding equipment. The existing eCommerce platforms that were initially available were not meeting their requirements, and that’s how later Shopify was developed.
Since then, the team of Shopify made their eCommerce platform available to the general public and have seen substantial growth. On 21st May, 2015 Shopify was listed on both the New York Stock Exchange and Toronto Stock Exchange.
Dokan is a multi-vendor marketplace that runs on WooCommerce. It is a very popular and well known open source enterprise eCommerce platform for the entrepreneur.
People use WooCommerce to build an online store for a single seller. But with Dokan you can create an eCommerce site with all features of multi-vendor functionality.
This famous multi-vendor plugin is developed by weDevs. The company is developing WordPress plugins and themes since 2008. The active users of Dokanis 10,000+ and has downloaded more than 173,000 times. Beside Dokan their popular and famous products are WP Project Manager, weForms, WP ERP, WP User Frontend Pro, WP SMS verification, WooCommerce Conversion Tracking, and Advanced Search Widget.
Dokan is compatible with over a hundred WooCommerce themes, making it easy for online vendors to set up their store without having to start from scratch.
Which companies are using these platforms?
While Magento may have the bigger market share, all three of these enterprise eCommerce solutions are using big name brands:
- Harvey Nichols
- The New York Times
- Rebecca Minkoff
A look at the code
Both Magento and Dokan are on a LAMP stack (A LAMP Stack is a set of open-source software that can be used to create websites and web applications). Dokan also leverages PHP, Apache, Nginx, and SQL databases. On the other hand, Shopify is built upon a Ruby on Rails framework. You can check out Shopify’s full technology stack here, which lists every technology being used by the company.
Magento and Dokan are open source, while Shopify is a proprietary software.
Enterprise eCommerce platform features compared
From now we come to the essential part of the comparison, the eCommerce features. For each of these three eCommerce platforms, we will be looking at:
- Inventory Management
- Multi-brand/Store Management
- Omni-Channel Delivery
- Marketing & SEO Features
- Scalability and Sustainability
eCommerce Platform Comparison
|Enterprise use case||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Code||LAMP||Ruby on Rails||LAMP|
|Web Content Management||No||No||Yes|
|Content Personalization||Not native||Not native||Yes|
|24/7 Technical Support||Additional Fees||Additional fees||Yes|
|Event Site Functionality||No||No||Yes|
|Portal Site Functionality||No||No||Yes|
|Landing Pages||Not native||Not native||Yes|
|Requires an internal Developer team||Yes||Yes||No|
|Requires an going in-house maintenance||Yes||Yes||No|
- Legacy platform
- Custom build everything
- Have to maintain the code with someone
- No new features can be added unless you pay for them
- Need to pay for hosting and support
- Use 3rd party plugins to make your store work
- Need to maintain 3rd party plugins and need to update them
- SaaS product
- Fully Template/Theme based
- Restricted ability to manage user interface
- Specially designed for small business and startups
- Unproven to customize for the enterprise sector
- Use 3rd party plugins to make your store work
- Open Source Platform
- UX can be customized to customer needs
- Open front end capabilities
- Specially designed for small and large companies
- Can handle complex integrations
- All features native to the platform; no extra plugins require
- Over 20,000+ active users
- Inclusive ecosystem, deliver everything from hosting/ security to the platform
1. Inventory management
When it comes to inventory management, you need something in place that will help you do more in less time. Each eCommerce platform comes with some standard features that you’d expect to find (like inventory importing, categorizing, filtering, and product and pricing variations).
Magento comes with less strong inventory management features out-of-the-box. For example, you can offer your consumers different product variations like product sizes and colors. See the screenshot below:
Additionally, Magento’s interface enables you to add a total range of features through their extensive range of custom extensions. But since Magento is open source platform, there is no guarantee that these extensions will be kept up-to-date all the time. And if they aren’t, then you will loose the potential security.
For the reason of Magento’s open source nature, anyone can develop and release a Magento plugin. That sounds great initially, but when bugs and security vulnerabilities are found, it’s up to the individual plugin creator to fix it, which may take weeks, months – or it may never happen at all and also the cost involve.
The drawbacks is that Shopify Plus heavily relies on its apps to get your store to do what you need. So, if you want to add any custom feature to your inventory, then it is not possible. But the bigger issue is that your company will have to keep track of always and maintain these plugins. Also, if there is an issue, it is difficult to find the root cause, as each plugin vendor is likely to blame the other. The main feature is that Shopify boasts a huge and rapidly growing range of third-party apps – most of them are of a high quality.
However, that high quality apps often translates into high cost. For example, a pre-order manager and out of stocks plugin costs $24.95/month – which is a hefty fee for a small scaled eCommerce website.
Dokan comes with an array of advanced inventory management features where you can manage your inventory in a single location and you also have access to over 100+ pre-built applications.
However, Dokan’s platform doesn’t limit you to those pre-built applications like Shopify Plus does. Instead, you can take advantage of Dokan’s API-centric architecture to integrate with any inventory management tool—or indeed, any third-party tool—on the market. You can also integrate your inventory with your current ERP system so you can share your inventory data with different departments including accounting, finance, purchasing and marketing.
2. Multi-brand and store management
For an online store that operates multiple brands, you need to have a platform where you can run and manage multiple online businesses stores on a single platform.
The multi-store feature in Magento is the key selling point of this platform. Magento’s multi-store feature allows you to share your product catalog across different sites. And you can also set up product attributes at both global or store levels.
Shopify Plus also allows you to manage multi-site. But Shopify does not have a proper multi-store architecture. And because of this, many popular brands have opted against Shopify Plus.
Shopify Plus’ multi-store feature only allows you to create separate online stores. The inventory can’t be shared between two or more stores, so you have to have a separate inventory for each of your store. Managing multi-stores through Shopify can get a bit complicated since each store has to be managed and updated individually.
The platform has a multisite feature which enables you to create an unlimited number of online stores and you can manage them all through a single Dashboard.
Similar to Shopify, eBay or Amazon – Dokan gives any vendor a customized storefront and chance to give support as extra.
Dokan also gives you the option of sharing your product catalog across all your sites or run a separate catalog with store-specific customization. Plus, Core dna comes with built-in geo-localization so you can easily attribute sales to stores with store level order management and order processing.
3. Payment gateways
Multiple payment options give your customers more flexibility. You want to have an eCommerce solution that has a variety of payment options, which benefit both your customer and your business.
Magento has a range of options when it comes to accepting payments, including their existing integration with PayPal and other popular payment gateways. But there is a significant issue, some payment gateways don’t have modules built into the system yet.
Magento does not charge any transaction fees other than what you pay the payment gateway provider (varies from gateway to gateway).
Shopify Plus supports a wide range of payment gateways like PayPal, Stripe, Braintree etc.
Main drawback is, Shopify Plus imposes transaction fees for every sale you make, Shopify takes a cut. If you take payment through third-party payment gateways like PayPal and Stripe, there is a 0.25% transaction fee. But if you go for Shopify Payments, which is not available in certain countries, that fee is reduced to 0.15%.
However, Shopify Plus has a minimum fee of $2,000/month, even if you don’t sell anything, as well as a maximum fee of $40,000/month.
Dokan is integrated with all the leading payment gateways. Additionally, Dokan customers can leverage the platform’s powerful, open API to integrate with any payment solution on the market.
Moreover, Dokan does not charge transaction fees, you’re only charged the monthly subscription fee that is based on the number of server requests you use.
Having good reporting tools enables you to get a better understanding of how your eCommerce store is running and will help you make better-informed decisions.
When it comes to reporting, Magento does the job, but lacks finesse.
Their reporting interface is quite complex, and if you use a third-party integration, you’re going to pay a fairly hefty fee. For example, a single Magento analytics module is now selling for $499.
Shopify plus out-of-the-box reporting feature is well-rounded.
The interface is very clean, and you can easily monitor site traffic, sales, and other core metrics with ease. The Shopify Marketplace also has a number of analytics plugins to use.
Dokan has its own reporting system built in. but if you want to go the extra mile, Dokan lets you integrate with the best reporting tools on the market, from Google Analytics to KISSmetrics. You can also integrate Dokan with your ERP as mentioned earlier in this article. This allows you to attain comprehensive analytic data which helps you determine if your objectives are being met.
Vendors can see store sales report in details and also get a bird’s eye view on the store’s performance.
In addition, Dokan allows you to capture information on individual customer behavior, giving your marketing team detailed information on how each customer interacts with your site.
5. Omnichannel delivery
All these three platforms can serve an omnichannel marketing and eCommerce strategy. For example, all three could integrate with Facebook Shop page, while Shopify and Dokan has its own Point-of-Sale(POS) hardware for brick and mortar stores.
However, while both Magento and Shopify offer their own APIs which enables developers to build custom applications, storefronts, and commerce experiences, neither of them are built to handle content at an enterprise level; unlike Dokan.
As a true headless eCommerce platform, Dokan can manage and deliver both eCommerce experiences and content to any device or touch-point.
For instance, neither Magento or Shopify have their built-in content management systems that are built to handle blogs, news stories, and additional resources. For adequate functionality, you’ll have to integrate eCommerce store with a CMS.
In this regard, Dokan has a significant advantage over Magento and Shopify, because it’s built as a decoupled platform with enterprise-grade content management features built in. That means retails get more control over their website content, blog content, press releases, and everything – all while having the freedom to deliver that content to any touch-point.
6. Marketing & SEO features
Website traffic is the blood of any eCommerce company. With the right marketing tools bundled into your eCommerce site, your marketing team should have the resources to attract relevant traffic through search engines, social media, email marketing, and so forth.
When it comes to marketing features, here’s how Magneto, Shopify Plus, and Dokan stack up against each other.
As for Magento, you actually have more SEO options. Additional features like no-follow links, redirect links and canonical tags make it easier for search engines to index your eCommerce site for higher ranking.
Shopify Plus comes with a basic set of SEO options where you can edit meta tags and optimize both inventory and your product pages. The biggest limitation to Shopify is that you’re not able to make any configurations at server side, while changing things like caching headers is also not possible.
Besides the fundamental SEO features found in Magento and Shopify Plus, you have to remember both these platforms only serve as an eCommerce website and that’s it.
Dokan was built with an web CMS that you can use to run an eCommerce site. With Dokan CMS platform, you can add a news page, a blog, individual web pages and an FAQ page very easily.
You’re also able to conduct a content marketing strategy under the same domain as your eCommerce site or via a separate domain thanks to WordPress multi-site feature.
Vendors can manage SEO for their store page. They can write custom SEO meta, store permalink and description from their frontend dashboard.
7. Branding & design
Magento has a range of free and premium responsive themes. The new drag-and-drop feature enables you to customize the layout of your website more efficiently.
The downside is that your custom theme runs a risk of being incompatible with update versions of Magento. When developers migrated their theme, they noticed their old Magento theme was incompatible with the newer version, so they had to start all over again.
Shopify Plus provides you with a wide range of free and premium themes. Most of the themes are responsive and can work on mobile platform. However, Shopify Plus interface doesn’t give you a lot of room to customize and change their themes.
Dokan comes with pre-built applications which are available out-of-the-box, allowing customers to quickly create and design an eCommerce site.
As a true enterprise open source platform, all Dokan solutions feature custom templates and the system places no restrictions whatsoever on UI design. This means a bit more effort upfront, since you don’t have pre-built generic templates.
A custom design will help your eCommerce website different from the crowd, instead of looking like thousands of other eCommerce sites using the same theme.
Additionally, since Dokan is supported by CMS, you can easily customize and personalize your design and content presentation to meet the needs of your customers across touch-points. Since Dokan is a true single-instance/multi-tenant open source solution, your template – or any other add-ons and customizations – will always remain compatible with the platform.
8. Scalability & sustainability
In terms of scalability, Magento is better than Shopify Plus. As mentioned earlier, Shopify Plus only allows you to create clone sites that you have to manage individually, which is a lot of work if you have many eCommerce stores. With Magento, it is built on a multi-store architecture so you can share your product catalog across different stores.
Dokan is built on a micro-service architecture which enables you to scale much faster. This is because the individual components like services that make up the architecture are not dependent on each other and they communicate with each other via a requests/calls. This gives developers a great freedom to scale and make any adjustments quickly. Furthermore, Dokan leverages CDNs (Content Delivery Networks) and load balancing to help deliver rapid, reliable digital experiences across the world.
As for sustainability, Magento actually fails from this point of view. If you’re using the open source edition, the responsibility is on you to update and maintain the entire system. And if you have multiples sites, that’s a huge workload for your developers.
If something were to go wrong, it is good to know you have support in place. All 3 eCommerce platforms provide support, but at different levels.
Magento only provides developer support. Moreover, Magento users do have the option to purchase the services of a Magento Technical Account Manager, but this comes at an added cost. Plus, Magento users can always tap into the support of the community of over 500,000 certified partners dotted around the world.
Shopify provides 24/7 support that you can get over the phone, email or live chat, but only at merchant level. The support you receive covers general platform-related queries, simple bug technical issues, and guidance on marketing techniques.
If you need support at development level to implement complex changes or fix any bugs, then you have to pay Shopify to cover for the development. It is best to have a development retainer in place to avoid real overhead costs.
As for Dokan, you get support at both merchant and developmental level.
Firstly, it’s worth noting that Dokan has just one code base which receives regular updates—which every Dokan customer has access to.
Dokan is open to extend your eCommerce platform in a variety of ways, so you’re almost guaranteed a fully customized platform that meets your criteria. The initial customization requests can be added to your developmental road-map. If you choose to make any additional requests later, this will be charged at an extra cost.
So, What To Choose?
So, if you don’t require a multi-store configuration, or multiple currency checkout, or B2B functionality or advanced integration then Dokan and Shopify Plus is most likely the best enterprise eCommerce platform for you.
If you do require a more complex, customized and integrated solution and have the budget for that then Dokan and Magento may be the best enterprise eCommerce platform for you as it provides a much richer core functionality than Shopify Plus. The choice you have to make is: do you require flexibility or simplicity for your business? Obviously, the more flexible and customizable a platform is, the more complex it is.