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Magento vs. Demandware - which one is better for a rapidly growing eCommerce site?


Obviously our number one concern is scalability. What do we need to consider regarding scalability for these two solutions?

ITCS user
66 Answers

author avatar

These are very different solutions built for differing business and technology strategies. Demandware is regarded (and priced) at the high end of the SAAS based eCommerce solution alternatives, and has a very robust enterprise class solution. Magento is not SAAS, gives you even more development flexibility and extensibility, but runs the risk of a higher total cost of ownership if you are extending their framework very far outside of their core feature-set. Magento also has a reputation for poor usability; it is is very powerful, but for many business users, it's just too complicated (which renders all that capability ineffective; usability truly matters).

With regards to scalability, in my experience this is less of the point of differentiation than it used to be unless we are talking about massive scale.

A may be useful to consider these directional thoughts:

1) Is your business strategy to create a highly unique and differentiated eCommerce customer experience? If so, Magento Enterprise (open source) or Oracle Commerce (ATG; licensed) would be worth considering. Both will have a heavy development effort and maintenance cost burden relative to SAAS options.

2) If you are putting an eCommerce capability in place to sell online using best practices and methods as, say, an e-retailer might, then I would suggest you look exclusively at SAAS solutions. Lower up front cost, pre-build and pre-defined best practices and methods, with development and maintenance expense spread across 100's or 1,000's of customers. Demandware slots into this category, however they are, as others have noted, quite expensive and potentially overkill for a company under ~$100,000,000 in revenue, loosely speaking. Numerous other viable solutions in the SAAS space, at varying price points, UX, and capability.

Hope this helps! Best of luck,


author avatar

It really depends on what size you're at and what your reasonable growth curve looks like.

Magento is a great platform, super flexible and customizable, and you get managed hosting or self-host pretty easily. However it tends to fall down when you have more then ~20,000 SKUs, or are driving a lot of traffic.

Demandware can handle more traffic and larger catalogs, but is more limited around customizations, and of course the fee structure is different. As Emil points out DW is responsible for the infrastructure, so scaling is their problem - however they certainly don't have a perfect track record at that.

If I were to make some broad generalizations I might say something like this:

X < $20 million/year in online revenue - Magento
$20 < X < $80 million/year - Demandware
$80 million/year < X - Oracle Commerce (ATG) or Hybris

There's a lot of other factors at play there, but without knowing more about your business it's hard to say....

author avatar

While I would also recommend Demandware over Magento because of its scalability, robustness and features. There is one more platform, that I would like to recommend here. It is Marketlive.
It has similar features which Demandware has. It is also highly scalable and robust. It also a SAAS based eCommerce solution.

It now supports responsive designs which would give seamless user experience.

Time to market is also less in this platform.

author avatar
Real User

All valid points here. I've been partial to Demandware because of what comes out of the box, thereby scaling down the actual development effort. Also, because of it's nature, it's easier to make changes without necessarily involving IT. It all comes down to your vision for the site. Not just for now, but for the foreseeable future.

author avatar

Do you know any more about the site? It's quite difficult to answer without
knowing more about what they're looking to achieve.

I'm a massive fan of Magento Enterprise because it's a very extendable
platform, that, as long as you have the right partner - can be scaled as
much as you need it to. I also like the way that you're not paying through
the roof immediately and you can pay to add in functionality as you need
it. Lots of big retailers are moving onto the Magento platform at the
moment as well.

Demandware is very enterprise-level, so it's definitely scalable - but it's
also very expensive.

They both have their advantages - DW has a number of features built-in, but
Mage Enterprise has a much bigger developer following and has a lot more
enterprise-suitable modules too.

Happy to go into more detail on this if you need me too.


author avatar
Real User

I would recommend using demandware as out of the box you get a scalable solution. However the custom changes you make may broke the scalability, but there are built in tools, so you are able to make assessment on the performance and work towards to improve it. DW are responsible for the scalability of the infrastructure and you do not have to worry about that.

The good points are that site internationalization are offered in several ways, and the most important thing is what the business needs and what are the requirements, after that is easy development job. As well there a re a lot of ready cartridges, which can be easily implement for different 3rd parties.

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