Elastic Path vs Magento:
Which eCommerce solution is the best for your business?
Choosing between Magento and Elastic Path is similar to making the decision between taking public transportation to work, versus driving your car. If you choose to take public transportation, you may get the benefit of working while you travel; eliminating parking troubles; and avoiding possible traffic jams; but you may encounter crowded spaces during rush hour and less flexibility for timing. On the other hand, if you decide to drive, you have more flexibility and convenience to go and come as you please, but you could lower your productivity by sitting in traffic and searching for parking. No journey is necessarily better than the other, but depending on the experience you desire and what you’d like to achieve, one will be the better choice for you.
The same goes for choosing your eCommerce solution. Depending on the vision you had in mind for your eCommerce experience; specific business requirements you need your solution to be aligned with; and the level of flexibility and control you desire for your system; one will be the better fit for your business.
Whether you choose either solution, at the end of the day, you will be delivered with a commerce experience to represent your product or service online. However, each vendor has entirely different commerce offerings, and therefore, the end result and the process taken to get there, will vary widely. In order to help you better understand the difference we will start by highlight the biggest difference: Magento offers an eCommerce platform while Elastic Path offers Composable Commerce-as-a-Service.
Magento: The Platform
Elastic Path: Composable Enterprise
•Website customer experiences are sufficient for your eCommerce needs and you don’t desire the deployment of new experiences like chatbots, AR, VR, and voice commerce
•You have standard business requirements and don’t require complex custom backend functionality.
•You have a standard product and don't need to make quick changes to your commerce experiences.
•You have a unique brand vision you want to bring to life through creating UX experiences and omnichannel touchpoints to satisfy customer expectations
•You want the control and flexibility to customize the functionality of your store to cater to complex B2B/ B2C needs
•You want to be able to try new things and rapidly respond to market changes and changing business requirements
"We have a complex and dynamic business, so embracing Composable Commerce will be key to our ability to achieve our digital commerce vision in a way that enables us to move fast, support our unique business requirements, and delight our customers and partners.” Rebecca Hicks, Senior Manager Digital Experience, Pella Corporation.
Is Magento a Headless Platform?
Magento states that they offer headless commerce, however what kind of headless commerce do they provide? Headless solutions were designed to solve the problem of highly coupled rigid platforms but not all headless solutions are designed the same. There are 2 main headless options that your business can adopt: Traditional Retrofitted Headless and Headless Microservices.
Magento falls under the “Traditional Retrofitted Headless” commerce solutions. This means they have modified their platform to allow for more design freedom on the frontend to create more unique UI experiences. However, because the backend is essentially still a platform, its couple nature prevents teams from making changes easily.
Elastic Path falls under “Headless Microservices” commerce solutions. This means the frontend and the backend are decoupled and separated by an API layer to provide more flexibility on both ends. It creates freedom to design unique frontend experiences but also facilitates seamless changes of the business processes in the backend to implement the specific functionality to need.