B2B eCommerce Platform Comparison: Four51 OrderCloud vs. BigCommerce

March 16, 2021

Category: B2B eCommerce

BigCommerce is a successful eCommerce platform that has been recognized as a Challenger in Gartner’s 2020 Magic Quadrant for eCommerce technology. We will be comparing BigCommerce’s platform to Four51’s OrderCloud. This guide will help you better understand your options whether your organization is replatforming or looking to venture into eCommerce for the first time.

B2B eCommerce Platform Comparison: Four51 OrderCloud vs. BigCommerce

1.Enterprise vs. Low Volume

BigCommerce offers four different plans, basically corresponding to small, medium, large, and enterprise-level customers. BigCommerce’s out-of-the-box solution offers many useful features for customers of all sizes, but enterprise customers, naturally, will need something more custom. This isn’t BigCommerce’s forte and their customer base is largely comprised of sub-enterprise-level vendors.

OrderCloud, on the other hand, was built for the enterprise-level customer. Almost all of our customers process large volumes of orders on our platform and require customization and integration with their complex network of back-end systems. 

So, if you’re an enterprise-level organization, Four51 OrderCloud is a much better long-term option for you.

2. B2C-first vs B2B-first

Does your organization primarily sell to consumers or to other businesses? It’s highly important for your eCommerce vendor to understand the needs of your type of business.

BigCommerce is a B2C-first eCommerce vendor, with the bulk of their customers selling to consumers. The B2C space is simpler than the B2B space, with transactions typically requiring one buyer type and one payment type. BigCommerce provides all of that functionality out-of-the-box. That’s why BigCommerce has found success in delivering solid and quick-to-deploy solutions in the B2C space better than other vendors. 

The B2B space is more complex and has multiple buyer types, payment methods, and other complexities. BigCommerce’s B2B capabilities are limited compared to OrderCloud, which was built to service the B2B industry first. OrderCloud’s data model is built on users, orders, and products, which allows for high levels of complexity at any of those levels. That’s why, while OrderCloud has many B2C solutions, most OrderCloud customers are B2B sellers.

Commerce began in the B2C space, and that’s why there are many vendors like BigCommerce and Shopify who specialize in B2C transactions. B2B eCommerce only became popular years after the emergence of B2C eCommerce. But, Four51 has over 22 years of experience dealing with the complexities of B2B eCommerce. If you’re a B2B seller, you need an eCommerce provider with experience in your world.

3. Out-of-the-box vs Custom

BigCommerce provides its customers with quick to deploy solutions that come with many features and functionalities out-of-the-box. It works well for companies that need to sell their products online in a relatively straightforward fashion. It also suits companies that have limited complexity at the level of users, products, and orders. 

For organizations that have complexities across the above three commerce tenets, a more custom solution is required. While BigCommerce allows for front-end customization, what you see is what you get for features and functionality. At the end of the day, the backend code is able to deliver certain features, and only those features.

Four51’s OrderCloud platform takes on a completely different approach, allowing customers to build solutions from the ground up with a very relaxed set of assumptions starting from the fundamentals of orders, users, and products. This allows OrderCloud customers to achieve virtually any features, functionalities, or workflows that their organization needs to sell their products online quickly and effectively.

So, can your organization fit within the confines of an out-of-the-box software? Then, BigCommerce might be a good choice for you. Or, are you the type of business that needs your technology to be flexible and adaptable to changes in your organization? In that case, Four51 OrderCloud is a better option.

4. Integrations and APIs

Integration with backend systems is essential to any enterprise eCommerce solution. Modern-day software has APIs, a type of interface that translates between two foreign systems, that facilitates such integration.

BigCommerce has an API layer that was built on top of their SaaS platform to enable these types of integrations. This is a common way for software providers to solve the issue of integration for their customers. 

In contrast, OrderCloud is what’s known as an API-first platform, which means it was built from the ground up to be consumed via API. No add-on API layer is required, and the connection between OrderCloud and other systems is easy and seamless. The exercise of integrating a traditional software, like BigCommerce, via an API layer is much more labor intensive than with an API-first software. This affects your time-to-market and ROI.

This problem is especially relevant for enterprise sellers with extensive backend office systems that they wish to keep and integrate. Since OrderCloud was built with these challenges in mind, it’s  the best option for enterprise customers. If you don’t have a lot of integration requirements, BigCommerce may be good for you.

Learn more about OrderCloud by looking at our feature guide. Make sure to check out our other platform comparison blog posts to stay on top of the complicated eCommerce landscape.

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