The eCommerce sector has a projected market value of around 5.7 billion dollars and by 2024 it will reach almost 7 billion dollars. A suitable eCommerce platform will help you establish your own online shop that suits your needs.

You might already know that without developing or updating your eCommerce, you will not be able to keep up with the competition and your clients, who are more and more demanding nowadays. Your eCommerce is an engine that drives your business, so it has to be a system that efficiently carries out all purchasing processes, the heart of your eCommerce. Therefore, the proper design of an online store has a significant impact on both website traffic and sales. If it doesn’t work correctly, you may lose customers and, as a result, your income.

There are many different eCommerce systems, so the choice is not easy. As a commercial partner of Sylius and Shopware, we are often asked which one fits the business better. At first, both platforms seem similar, but the differences indicate which segment and cases each are a better choice. We will try to explain it below.


This article results from a collaborative effort between representatives of three leading eCommerce platforms: Sylius, Shopware, and OroCommerce. Each of these platforms has its own unique features and advantages to offer customers, and by working together, we were able to create a comprehensive and informative article that provides valuable insight into the world of eCommerce. The article provides readers with an overview of each platform, including the features, pricing, and support available, as well as a discussion of the pros and cons of each platform. Whether you are new to eCommerce or an experienced user, this article can help you decide which platform is best for your needs.


OroCommerce

Short introduction of a solution

OroCommerce is an open-source B2B eCommerce software developed from the ground up for the complex needs of manufacturers, distributors, and wholesalers in the mid-market and enterprise segments. 

Built by a team of experienced players with a passion for the industry, OroCommerce offers maximum flexibility, security, and a diverse solutions ecosystem. OroCommerce’s strong B2B focus and capabilities were recognized by analysts like IDC, Gartner, and Paradigm B2B.

When to consider OroCommerce?

OroCommerce serves distributors, manufacturers, wholesalers, and suppliers, as well as multi-channel brands (selling both B2B and B2C) across industries ranging from construction, transportation, and energy to healthcare, food & beverage, and appliances. 

Companies turn to Oro in the following cases: 

  • When they want to provide B2B buyers the purchasing experience that supports their processes and workflows.
  • When they want to automate manual work, like uploading and updating data or creating RFQs.
  • When they want to support multiple scenarios and sales channels such as B2B, B2C, B2B2C, etc.
  • When they want to support multiple business units or expand across borders while maintaining a degree of personalization.
  • When they want to future-proof their business, remove obstacles to growth, and remain competitive in their market.

Basic assumptions/Features of OroCommerce

OroCommerce offers the most extensive B2B feature set to meet the complexity of any B2B scenario. Key features include: 

  • Access Controls, Roles & Permissions
  • Corporate Account Management
  • Multiple Organizations, Websites & Stores
  • Content Management System
  • Personalized B2B Catalog Management
  • Multiple Price Lists
  • Multiple Shopping Lists
  • Segmentation & Custom Reports
  • Flexible Custom Workflows
  • Self-service Options

OroCommerce – Technology stack and architecture

Our products are open-source and based on Symfony, the most mature PHP framework. It provides the following benefits:

  • Runs on any operating system
  • Easily scales up and down to meet your company’s needs
  • Extendable via the packages from the Oro Extensions Store
  • Flexible and customizable at its core 

Oro also supports the following technologies:

  • PostgreSQL 13 / MySQL 8
  • ElasticSearch 8
  • NodeJS 16
  • Redis 6
  • MongoDB 4.4

Strengths and weaknesses of OroCommerce

Strengths

  • Expansive B2B capabilities out-of-the-box
  • Robust workflow management tools
  • Flexible deployment (OroCloud, private/public clouds)
  • An API-first approach critical for composability and headless deployments
  • Built-in CRM system

Weaknesses

  • Developed for mid-size and large enterprises, therefore not a good fit for small businesses 
  • An extensive feature set requires training and involves a learning curve 

Target customer and market segments

OroCommerce is best-suited for mid-market and large enterprises that operate in the manufacturing, wholesale, or distribution industries, including verticals such as:

  • Healthcare & Medical Supplies
  • Industrial Supplies
  • Agriculture, Mining, and Construction
  • Energy, Oil, and Gas
  • Food and Beverage
  • Fashion and apparel
  • Automotive parts and accessories
  • Appliances and electronics
  • Business and consumer services

What types of projects is OroCommerce suitable for?

OroCommerce accommodates B2B eCommerce scenarios of any complexity, including B2B2C, B2G, a B2B marketplace, and more.

What types of projects is OroCommerce NOT suitable for?

Since OroCommerce offers extensive B2B functionality, it might be a bit complex for small projects, e.g. small retail shops or projects with small product catalogs and simple buying processes that see little to no changes.

OroCommerce – Implementation risks

When adopting OroCommerce, implementation risks are minimized thanks to 

  • Experienced, Oro-trained implementation partners 
  • The minimum viable product (MVP) approach to development
  • A soft launch that validates the platform before full roll-out
  • 24/7 support and regular release updates 

OroCommerce – Licensing model

We offer a due-licensing model, where we have Community edition with a free license and Enterprise edition with a commercial open-source license. 

OroCommerce free Community edition offers all the essential features mid-market businesses need. On the other hand, Enterprise Edition provides additional features such as:

  • Multi-site and multi-org structures for multi-brand and international businesses
  • Advanced scalability and performance capabilities
  • Elastic search support
  • Hosting on OroCloud
  • 24/7/365 support

OroCommerce – Community

600,000+ strong ecosystem of developers and technology partners offer complete code transparency, product reliability, and tested security advantages both for the cloud and on-premise deployment.

The most impressive OroCommerce projects and metrics

Dunlop Protective Footwear 

By embracing OroCommerce, Dunlop Protective Footwear achieved phenomenal results: a 40% increase in conversion rates and a 10% increase in AOV. Dunlop’s site makes it easy to search for products, view stock availability, and place and track orders. 

On top of that, it provides localized products, content, and promotions on country-specific eCommerce sites. Combined, these features result in a frictionless buying experience encouraging customers to buy and spend more.

Braskem

Braskem, one of the largest petrochemical companies in the Americas, took an opportunity to set the company on an entirely new course by launching a customer portal with OroCommerce.

The company kicked off this project to improve how it attracts, engages, and services customers. Since its launch, the portal saw a 300% growth in customer adoption and a 274% increase in sales entries.

Gala Imports

Gala Imports, a leading glass and PET container supplier in the APAC region, replaced its Magento platform with OroCommerce right before the pandemic hit. So when COVID-19 caused a surge in demand for medical containers, Gala was prepared to handle the increased business.

Even after the initial surge, Gala sustained sales with an increase in the average order value of 25% to 30%. Their conversion rate increased by 50%, and Gala retained its leadership position through improved experiences for its customers.

Hosting recommendation for OroCommerce 

Oro products offer complete hosting flexibility. Oro applications can be deployed on-premise or in any private or public cloud. We also provide deployment in OroCloud. It means that you can run OroCommerce on a PaaS basis with the additional benefits of faster platform development and customization of features.

You can even move from one hosting model to another because Oro never locks you into a deployment method.

Sylius

Short introduction of a solution

Sylius is an open-source headless eCommerce framework for mid-market and enterprise brands that need custom solutions. With a modern approach to the professional development of projects, it allows the evolution of your digital stack at an ​​unparalleled pace and delivers the experience your customers deserve.

When to consider Sylius?

Sylius fits best in situations when you need multi-everything commerce (multi-channel, multi-currency, multi-country, multi-domain with multiple inventory sources on multiple endpoint devices). Another example would be a project that requires a custom functionality personalized for your business.

Sylius is the master in terms of customization and scalability ease on the e-commerce scene, and with a team of Symfony developers the limit is literally your imagination. Here are some examples of how you can use Sylius.

Basic assumptions/Features of Sylius

Sylius fulfills 80% of the most common e-commerce needs. The remaining 20% is up to integrations, community plugins, or unique customizations.

Important features of the Standard version: Product Catalog, Promotions, Order Management, and Customer Service

Additional features available in Sylius Plus: Advanced multi-store, ACL & channel administration, Multisource inventory, Returns Management, and Loyalty System.

Sylius – Technology stack and architecture

Sylius is an extremely flexible eCommerce solution built on top of the Symfony framework. It’s a modular application supporting headless, API-first concepts. Sylius can be integrated with every aspect of your eCommerce environment. Every. Single. One. What’s more, thanks to the decoupled architecture, you only use the bundles that you need without accumulating obsolete code.

Sylius – Strengths and weaknesses

Strengths

  • Infinite scalability
  • Direct collaboration with the platform’s creators
  • Transparent roadmap and opportunity to impact it
  • Closest eCommerce solution to Symfony itself
  • Modularity, use only the modules you need and make the platform lighter
  • Multi-everything commerce
  • High-end coding standards minimizing technical debt and providing flexibility

Weaknesses

  • Rather framework than a platform – not all functionalities are ready out-of-the-box
  • Not for small projects
  • Mostly technical product

Sylius – Target customer and market segments

Medium businesses that are developing fast as well as enterprise companies with needs for custom and light solutions that can scale infinitely.

What types of projects is Sylius suitable for?

  • Enterprise or rapidly growing mid-market B2C projects where scalability is key;
  • Projects for which the functional answer cannot be found in standard eCommerce solutions (marketplaces, custom B2B projects, advanced configurators, etc);
  • Complex and complete “best-of-breed” ecosystems;

Sky’s the limit – over the years, we have enjoyed seeing that our community has brought to life many “out-of-the-box” uses for our platform. The uses of Sylius are limitless for those with a bit of imagination and expertise.

What types of projects is Sylius NOT suitable for?

Projects with small product catalogs or very basic processes for which a simpler platform would be sufficient.

Sylius – Implementation risks

It is always best to choose one of our partner agencies that guarantee Sylius-experienced development teams for your projects. It minimizes the risks related to implementation.

When it comes to the projects themselves, we will point out projects too small for Sylius, so the framework won’t be able to show its full potential. 

Sylius – Licensing model

Sylius Standard (MIT License – Open Source)

Sylius Plus – based on client’s GMV, business and project type as well as the modules they need. Plus version comes with 3 levels of SLA so you pick one that fits best with your project.

Sylius Community

When it comes to the Sylius community, the numbers speak for themselves: over 650 contributors and 7,005 stars on GitHub, 5,500 users on developers’ Slack, 350+ plugins, and 3,500+ merchants. That paints a picture of how big and strong the community is actively involved in Sylius’s development.

Sylius Partner Network gathers over 70 trusted technology partners, hosting providers, and eCommerce agencies that can help you upgrade your eCommerce game.

The most impressive Sylius projects and metrics

  • JobCloud the biggest Swiss job board – with Sylius under the hood since December 2019, collaboration (Project Success Assistance) started in January 2019, as you can read here. Migrating in-house all their brands to one unified eCommerce Hub.
  • Dr Oetker Nederland BVan omnichannel loyalty webshop based on Sylius Plus (accessories bought in retail give points to be spent online) went live in October 2020 thanks to our Dutch Partner Enrise and won 5th place in Dutch Interactive Awards 2020. The company sponsored the loyalty system development for the benefit of all users of our commercial software edition.
  • Brille24the leading German online optician, successfully finished the in-house migration of all their brands/countries from Magento to Sylius in May 2021. In 2020 they were acquired by Essilor, the biggest online eyewear company in the world;
  • HBX – a famous fashion brand from Hong Kong, part of the popular industry magazine Hypebeast, made in-house in 2014 on pre-alpha Sylius editions (one of the oldest websites out there), migrated all their websites to Sylius Plus in 2021;
  • Reissone of the biggest webshops powered by Sylius since 2016, also supporting POS (200+ physical stores all over the world), the in-house team trained by Sylius Founder himself in 2015, now maintained by Inviqa;
  • Tediber –  the first bed-in-box mattress provider in France, headless Sylius migrated in 2019 from WooCommerce + WordPress;
  • Lillydoocompeting with Pampers on the German market and already present in 7 other countries, shipping 35k+ orders to 100k+ loyal customers every week, growing by 30% year after year.

Hosting recommendation for Sylius

Sylius has preferred hosting partners that are recommended but it works great with any hosting that client prefers as long as it’s big enough.

Shopware

Short introduction of a solution

Shopware is an open-source eCommerce platform designed to help businesses succeed in the digital age. It provides a comprehensive set of features and tools that can be used to build robust, secure, and high-performing online stores. Shopware is a great choice for businesses looking to establish a foothold in the digital world and those looking to transition their existing stores to the digital space. Shopware is a highly customizable, feature-oriented platform that turns ambitious business ideas into inspiring success stories.

When to consider Shopware?

Shopware is a great option for mid-market and enterprise customers who are growth-oriented and need a platform that can provide them with top-quality performance and functionalities that meet their business expectations. It is suitable for various industries, including retail, hospitality, media, and more. It’s also ideal for businesses that want to build an online store from scratch or transition from an existing platform. Shopware is an excellent choice for businesses that need an intuitive, user-friendly platform with advanced requirements and whose business model requires advanced solutions.

Shopware – Basic assumptions/Features

Shopware 6 provides a full suite of features and tools designed to help businesses build, manage, and grow their eCommerce stores. It offers an easy-to-use drag-and-drop interface, which makes it simple to create and customize a store. It also includes a range of payment integrations, such as PayPal, Stripe, and more, as well as various marketing and personalization tools. Shopware also supports a range of third-party services, such as analytics and SEO, for further optimization.

  • Role Builder
  • Built-in drag’n’drop Page Builder
  • SEO-Friendly CMS – Shopping Experiences
  • The division into price groups, product groups (e.g. free shipping for certain products)

Shopware – Technology stack and architecture

The platform provides a powerful eCommerce engine that is built on top of the Symfony framework. This engine provides an extensive set of features for managing customer data, inventory, sales, and more. It utilizes a service-oriented architecture, which allows for better scalability and flexibility. 

Shopware also provides a range of APIs for integrating with external services such as payment gateways, shipping services, and more. It allows merchants to add features and functionality to their stores easily.

Finally, Shopware has a robust security architecture. This provides a secure environment for transactions and personal data, allowing merchants to have peace of mind that their customer’s data is safe.

Shopware – Strengths and weaknesses

One of Shopware’s main strengths is its intuitive drag-and-drop interface, which makes it easy to create and customize a store. It also offers a range of payment integrations and third-party services, as well as a range of marketing and personalization tools. On the other hand, it might be a bit overwhelming for those who are new to eCommerce, as it has a variety of features and tools.

Strengths

  • The admin panel is well thought out; a lot of things can be clickable, creating different Rules (e.g. if there is a certain payment gateway and more than X items, give a discount on the order)
  • Flow builder – reactions to different actions (if there is a condition, flow, then e.g. send SMS
  • On the development side – impact on performance and working with the database; working with applications in Symfony uses Doctrine, which allows you to map objects to relational models, while Shopware used a solution from scratch, is lightweight and uses fewer resources; you have to learn and get used to new concepts

 Weaknesses

  • Shopware does not have a built-in PIM system, but you can connect via connectors or plug-ins to large systems such as Akeneo, Pimcore & Ergonode.

Shopware – Target customer and market segments

Shopware is suitable for various businesses, from mid-sized to large enterprises, and for various industries, such as fashion, grocery, media, and more. The platform will perfectly meet the needs of customers who run their business on a B2B basis and on a B2C basis. It’s also a great choice for businesses looking to build an online store from scratch or transition from an existing platform.

What types of projects is Shopware suitable for?

The platform is so powerful and flexible that there are no restrictions on project development. On the other hand, fashion and automotive customers often opt for Shopware because of the reliable tools built natively into the platform, which allow the whole team working with the platform to find their way around. Shopware is ideal for businesses that are looking to create a modern and efficient online store, as it provides all the necessary tools and features for businesses to do so. It is also suitable for businesses that want to offer a personalized shopping experience to their customers, as Shopware offers a wide range of features that can be used to customize it.

What types of projects is Shopware NOT suitable for?

Shopware is not suitable for businesses that want to create a more complex eCommerce platform, such as those that involve multi-vendor platforms or marketplaces or projects that do not meet financial expectations and their business assumptions are not sophisticated and complex enough to try their hand with a platform like Shopware. In such cases, smaller eCommerce platforms are usually chosen that meet the financial and business requirements of the company in question.

Shopware – Implementation risks

Implementing Shopware (and any other platform) can present some risks, as it requires a certain level of technical knowledge to install and configure it correctly. Therefore, it is recommended that businesses hire a professional to ensure that the setup is done correctly.

Some of the implementation risks regarding (Shopware) development

  • Quality of Code: Poorly written code can easily lead to bugs, errors, and security vulnerabilities. It is important for developers to ensure that their code is of high quality and meets coding standards.
  • Performance and Scalability: Poor performance and scalability can lead to slow loading times, harming the user experience. It is important to ensure that your Shopware application is properly optimized for performance and scalability.
  • Security Vulnerabilities: Shopware developers should be aware of security risks and ensure that their applications are properly protected from attacks.
  • User Experience: Poor user experience can lead to decreased customer satisfaction. Developers should ensure that the Shopware application is intuitive and easy to use.

Shopware – Licensing model

Shopware 6 has several licensing options:

Community Edition

The Community Edition of Shopware 6 is free and open source, allowing anyone to download and use it for free.

Shopware Rise

Shopware Rise is the mid-level version of Shopware 6, and it includes additional features and support for businesses that need more advanced features than what is offered with the Community Edition.

Shopware Evolve

Shopware Evolve is the enterprise-level version of Shopware 6 and is designed for companies that need more advanced features and a higher level of support.

Shopware Beyond

Shopware Beyond is the highest-level version of Shopware 6, and it includes special features, tools and services tailored to companies that need the most comprehensive solutions.

Shopware Community

Shopware has an active and supportive community, with a wide variety of resources available to help users get the most out of the platform. There are also many third-party plugins and extensions that can be used to enhance the functionality of Shopware.

Everyone involved in the development side of the Shopware platform can count on huge community support in dedicated channels on Slack, GitHub, and many forums dedicated to the platform.

The most impressive Shopware projects and metrics

Some of the most impressive projects created with Shopware include the online stores of JagerMaister, Philips, Paulaner, or Haribo. Additionally, Shopware has been able to generate billions of euros in revenue for its customers, and its online stores have had millions of unique visitors.

Hosting recommendation for Shopware

The natural choice for Shopware would be to use the Shopware cloud. When on-premise, Shopware is very well suited to be deployed in containerized environments. For businesses looking to host their online store, it is recommended to use a managed hosting provider. Managed hosting providers can provide businesses with the necessary security and performance needed to run a successful online store. Furthermore, managed hosting providers can also help with the installation and setup of Shopware, making it easier for businesses to get up and running quickly.

Summary

When choosing an eCommerce platform for your business, there are a few key factors to consider: budget, scalability, features, customer service, and security. Your budget will dictate how much you can spend on the platform and how much you can invest in customizing it. Scalability is important to ensure the platform can grow alongside your business. Features like payment processing, inventory management or shipping should also be considered. Finally, security should be top of mind to protect customer data and transactions. With these factors in mind, you can choose the right platform for your business.

We are official partners for both Sylius and Shopware. We have a team of experienced developers who are well-versed in both platforms and can help you with any questions or issues you may have. Whether you need help with setting up, customizing, or troubleshooting, our team is here to help. Please don’t hesitate to contact us!