Trying to decide on Shopify or Suitecommerce for our E-Commerce platform–any advice?
SuiteCommerce is pretty complex and expensive to work on compared to other platforms. Using a 3rd party means a big project to set up a backend data connector and ongoing costs to manage that 2 way sync, which is a big pain. Any 3rd party site is going to have delayed inventory and status, while SC will always have real time data for customers. Adding things like reviews or other features will be easier on shopify or WooCommerce, and there are way more developers to choose from. However, you’d then have to have (some) employees learn not just NS but also the e-comm platform and the backend connector.
Either approach can be made to work just fine or be a nightmare. I do these projects all the time, and the first step is always the same. Don’t think about which platform you want to go with, but start with a detailed requirements list. Wireframe each page type, describe any custom functionality, third-party integrations, on-site video or blog features, that sort of thing. Work with the major stakeholders in the company and representative employees from every relevant department to get their feedback. Everything you invest in the requirements document will pay off. Also organize things by importance… Which features are must-have versus nice to have?
Then you can talk to companies that implement these platforms and review the requirements with them and find out exactly how difficult it will be. Generally speaking, simpler sites work pretty well with third-party platforms because SuiteCommerce is expensive. More complex sites with lots of items or complex inventory (e.g. where several items share the same stock) will suffer more from the translation between NetSuite and the e-commerce database.
As an external consultant, my advise would be consider how complex the new website will be, vs how these requirements can be addressed _natively_ by SuiteCommerce. If you can avoid an integration, do that by all means. From hereon, you can probably expect a lot of opinions on which one is better/worse. I know several companies that are running happily on SCA, Shopify, WooCommerce, etc, and as with any software, none is perfect 🙂