How does Aero Commerce measure up to other platforms?

(Magento, Shopify and WooCommerce)

With the eCommerce boom that we have seen this year thanks to lockdown, lots of businesses have now made their products available to purchase online that did not previously. Many individuals have set up new side businesses and therefore new websites for people to purchase their products.

This has meant there has been a large surge in businesses launching online - an estimated 85,000 between March-June 2020, to be precise - many of which are first-time users of eCommerce platforms. So, with so many to choose from, which do you pick?

In this blog we will take a look at the most important features to consider when picking the platform to use, including price, speed, flexibility and ease of use for beginners. In particular, we will be focusing on Aero Commerce, Magento, Shopify and WooCommerce. Read on to find out how they measure up!

What is Aero Commerce? 

We’ve mentioned some of the bigger players in the eCommerce field, but Aero Commerce is still relatively new to the market, although the founders behind the platform have a long and successful track record in this sector having previously built and sold a large eCommerce platform. 

Aero Commerce is a performance-based platform designed with the evolving needs of retailers in mind. The platform is feature-rich, lightning-fast, fully extendable, and scalable. Retailers can expect the delivery of truly bespoke, personalised eCommerce stores optimised for the highest possible conversion rates and lowest possible server infrastructure costs.

We're proud to be an Aero Commerce agency partner, helping to generate sales through your eCommerce store.

Which eCommerce platform is the fastest?

On average, the site loading speeds for different eCommerce platforms are as follows:

  • Magento: 4 seconds
  • Aero Commerce: 1.6 seconds
  • WooCommerce: 3.3 seconds
  • Shopify: 2.2 seconds

Speed is key when it comes to eCommerce. Slow loading times put users off and are becoming an increasingly important factor for SEO too, particularly with the upcoming Core Web Vitals update. Quicker speed results in more conversions, so for this one Aero Commerce takes the top spot.

Which eCommerce platform is the cheapest?

When it comes to infrastructure and transaction costs, there are different factors to consider - licence fees, support and maintenance, transaction fees, hosting costs, cost of apps and more.

The table below breaks down all of these and compares Aero to Magento Commerce and Shopify Plus - these are typical costs estimated for a business turning over £5m with an average order value of £100. The transaction fees are based on Shopify payments charging 1.6% plus 20p per transaction. Aero and Magento merchant fees are based on utilising a merchant solution charging 0.75% plus 10p per transaction.

Header
Aero Commerce Logo
Magento Logo
Shpoify Logo

License fees per annum

£6,000

£40,000

£20,000

Support and maintenance per annum

£12,000

£24,000

£24,000

Transaction fees per annum

£42,000*

£42,000*

£90,000**

Cost of apps per annum

£2,000

£5,000

£5,000

Hosting costs per annum

£6,000

£24,000

Inclusive

Total yearly cost

£68,500

£135,500

£139,000

*based on 0.75% plus 10p per transaction

**based on shopify payments charging 1.6% plus 20p per transaction

As depicted in the table above, Aero Commerce is by far the most cost-effective platform, making it a great platform for small businesses or individual sellers with little budget. This is great for SMEs who are looking to increase their eCommerce capacity and can budget for a much more cost effective solution.

In terms of cost of ownership, again Aero Commerce takes the lead. 

The table below breaks  down over four years, a comparison of Aero, Magento CE and Shopify Plus, based on a £5m turnover retailer with an average order of £100 again. The transaction fees are based on a market provider charging 0.75% plus 10p per transaction, with Shopify payments charging 1.6% and 20p per transaction.

Header
Aero Commerce Logo
Magento Logo
Shopify Log

Initial build cost

£30,000

£80,000

£40,000

Hosting cost per annum

£4,200

£24,000

N/A

Support and maintenance per annum

£12,000

£24,000

£24,000

License fees per annum

£6,000

N/A

£22,000

Transaction fees per annum

£42,500*

£42,500*

£90,000**

Cost of apps per annum

£2,000

£5,000

£5,000

TCO 1st year

£96,700

£175,500

£181,000

TCO 3 years

£200,100

£286,500

£423,000

*based on a market provider charging 0.75% plus 10p per transaction

**based on shopify payments charging 1.6% plus 20p per transaction

Which eCommerce platform can you customise the most?

When it comes to true customisation, only platforms whereby a third party developer can access the full code base will be able to offer retailers full extensibility. As Shopify is a cloud based (closed source) solution, customisation is fundamentally limited to what Shopify will allow. The Shopify marketplace offers a wide range of apps that offer extended functionality however, even relatively basic upgrades will often come at a monthly cost and the more apps you pile onto a store, the more it can impact the performance.

Aero works on an open code basis, meaning that its partnered agencies and developers have access to the full source code and therefore the ability to customise and craft stores to suit the retailers needs. The Aero platform is based on the popular Laravel framework and  built with developers in mind so that it’s fun to develop on and extend. 

WooCommerce and Shopify have grown large marketplaces offering apps although you sometimes have to be careful of the quality and integrity of some WooCommerce apps and also be aware that Shopify apps can quickly dent your finances and potentially your store’s performance. 

Whilst Aero Commerce is a relatively new platform there are a growing number of  integrations with stock control, ERP, warehouse management, merchant solutions and accounting systems, which are all achieved through the extendibility of Aero. As Aero only supports agencies you would need to find a suitable agency partner (of which we are one!) to help you develop and customise your Aero store. 

Which eCommerce platforms are open source?

The definition of open source is software where the original source code is made freely available and can be edited. The core elements are free, and you would need to pay extra for plugins and addons. If you are a developer, however, you can create those yourself for free, so open source platforms are very attractive for agencies with such in-house talent.

Here are breakdowns of which platforms are open source:

  • Shopify: NOT open source

  • WooCommerce: Is completely open source and free online. Has a very active community platform that can help you with any problems you may be facing

  • Magento: the community edition allows you to access the open source, however there is no tech support available for this edition therefore you do need a relatively deep understanding of it to master it

  • Aero Commerce: works under an open code principal and gives agencies access to the full source code therefore allowing you to extend the platform to suit any environment and retailer request. Agencies also receive full technical support from Aero thereby giving the retailer peace of mind

Which eCommerce platform is the easiest to use?

In terms of being the easiest to set up for beginners, our recommendation would be Shopify as you simply need to sign up for an account and add a theme to get started. 

For maintenance and customisation, however, we would say Aero Commerce is our favourite as it has the majority of Shopify’s functionality already built in and more, allowing you to manage products, sales, promotions, merchandising and dispatching with ease.

Which eCommerce platform is best for SEO?

As much as we like Shopify, we would not recommend them as the best platform for SEO as they restrict access to a lot of features that you need to edit for search engine purposes. For example, you cannot change the robots.txt file, therefore collection pages are no-indexed, meaning they’re not likely to rank.

We would recommend WooCommerce for SEO, however Aero Commerce is coming up rapidly behind them now as Aero allows you to do what is required from an SEO perspective and they are the fastest eCommerce platform, which, as mentioned, is becoming increasingly more important. This means Aero Commerce is soon to be a much better choice for the majority of platforms.

In conclusion...

When it comes to deciding which eCommerce platform is the best for you, consider the following:

  • How experienced are you? Are you a coding wizard or complete beginner?

  • How much are you looking to customise your site?

  • What is your budget?

  • How much time do you have to build?

With all of these in mind, you can decide which platform is the better option for you. If you’ve read this piece and still aren’t sure which to go for, the table below should sum everything up!

Header
Aero Commerce Logo
Magento Logo
Shopify logo
WooCommerce Logo

Type

Open Code

(to agencies)

Open Source

Hosted

Open Source

Ease of use

Speed

Out of box functionality

Infrastructure costs

N/A*

Transaction costs

Extensibility

Search engine friendly

Support

Build time

*Shopify infrastructure is included in overall subscription

  • Absolutely! Additionally, the lack of patience among internet users is evidenced by their reluctance to wait for a slow website page to load. Consider this: if your website takes longer than three seconds to load, 53% of consumers will abandon it. Worse, 80% will never come back.

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