A Canadian Lens on Ecommerce Platforms: Adobe Commerce vs Salesforce Commerce Cloud

Ecommerce platforms are the foundation on which online stores are built. For Canadian merchants looking to sell online, choosing the right platform is a decision that impacts everything from launch timelines to long-term scalability. Two of the most prominent enterprise-level options are Adobe Commerce and Salesforce Commerce Cloud. Focusing on aspects critical to Canadian businesses such as scalability, cost, and local market fit we’ll look at a comparison of these two platforms.

Scalability and Performance

Both platforms offer robust scalability to support enterprise-level transaction volumes. We’ll explore the nuances of their infrastructure and performance optimization features.

Total Cost of Ownership

Pricing models differ significantly between Adobe Commerce and Salesforce Commerce Cloud. We’ll break down the long-term costs Canadian merchants can expect.

Partner Ecosystem and Support

The availability of localized partner support and experts in the Canadian market is a practical consideration for merchants. We’ll compare ecosystems.

Built-in Functionality vs Extensions

The balance of built-in features and reliance on extensions impacts both usability and long-term cost. We’ll explore both platforms’ approaches.

Scalability That Can Keep Pace with
Business Growth

Scalability is imperative for any business planning for long-term growth. Both Adobe Commerce and Salesforce Commerce Cloud offer enterprise-grade architecture to support spikes in traffic and order volumes. However, there are nuances in their infrastructure and caching capabilities worth exploring.

Cloud-Native Infrastructure

Salesforce Commerce Cloud is built entirely on a cloud-native infrastructure. All customers are hosted on the same cloud platform with auto-scaling capabilities to handle variable traffic loads.

In contrast, Adobe Commerce offers a hybrid infrastructure. Merchants can host their stores on:

  • Adobe’s cloud infrastructure
  • Their own infrastructure
  • Third-party cloud infrastructure like AWS or Google Cloud

This flexibility allows additional control and custom infrastructure optimization. However, in-house hosting does require more hands-on administration and traffic planning.

Optimization for Performance

Both Adobe Commerce and Salesforce Commerce Cloud incorporate various forms of caching and performance optimization features:

Full Page Caching

  • Adobe Commerce – Built-in Varnish full page caching
  • Salesforce – Additional module required

Content Delivery Networks (CDN)

  • Adobe Commerce – CDN integration supported
  • Salesforce Commerce Cloud – CDN included

Image Optimization

  • Adobe Commerce – Automatic image compression
  • Salesforce – Additional module required

The takeaway is that while both platforms offer enterprise-grade scalability, Adobe Commerce may provide larger merchants more control and room for custom optimization. Smaller merchants may benefit more from Salesforce Commerce Cloud’s managed cloud infrastructure.

Total Cost of Ownership Comparison

Adobe Commerce Pricing

Open Source vs. Enterprise Edition: Adobe Commerce, formerly Magento, offers an open-source version which is free to download and use. However, there’s also an Enterprise Edition (Adobe Commerce) which comes with additional features and support but at a cost. The choice between these versions significantly impacts the TCO.

Customization and Scalability: Adobe Commerce’s open-source nature allows for extensive customization, which is a double-edged sword. While it offers flexibility, it can also lead to higher costs in development and maintenance, especially for complex implementations.

Performance Optimization Costs: For optimal performance, additional investments in caching technologies, search solutions like Elasticsearch, and performance tuning are often necessary.

Salesforce Commerce Cloud Pricing

Revenue-Based Pricing Model: Salesforce Commerce Cloud’s pricing model, which often involves a percentage of the revenue, can be more expensive for high-revenue businesses. This model, however, includes hosting, support, and seamless upgrades, which can be advantageous for businesses looking for an all-in-one solution.

Ecosystem and Integration Costs: While Salesforce offers a robust set of built-in features, integration with other Salesforce products (like Salesforce CRM, Marketing Cloud) can lead to additional costs.

Long-Term Contract Implications: Salesforce typically requires a multi-year contract, which can impact the TCO, especially if business needs change.

Comparative Analysis

Flexibility vs. Convenience: Adobe Commerce offers more flexibility but requires more hands-on management, while Salesforce Commerce Cloud offers a more managed but less customizable environment.

TCO for Different Business Sizes: For small to mid-sized businesses, the initial lower cost of Adobe Commerce might be more attractive. In contrast, larger businesses might find the scalable, all-inclusive pricing model of Salesforce Commerce Cloud more suitable.

Impact of Revenue on Pricing: Since Salesforce Commerce Cloud’s pricing is partly revenue-based, businesses with high sales volumes might find Adobe Commerce more cost-effective in the long run.

Localized Partner Support in Canada

Adobe Commerce: The presence of certified partners like MageMontreal in Canada can be a significant advantage for businesses seeking local support and customization.

Salesforce Commerce Cloud: Limited local presence in Canada might be a concern for businesses that prefer face-to-face interactions or have specific local requirements.

Built-in Functionality vs. Extensions

Adobe Commerce: The need for extensions can add to the complexity and TCO, but also offers the flexibility to choose only what is necessary.

Salesforce Commerce Cloud: The comprehensive nature of built-in features can simplify operations but may include unnecessary features that add to the cost.

Check with your platform representative for specific pricing.

The choice between Adobe Commerce and Salesforce Commerce Cloud depends on a variety of factors including business size, revenue, need for customization, and preference for local support. Both platforms have their strengths and weaknesses, and the decision should align with the long-term digital commerce strategy of the business.

For the most current and detailed pricing information, it is recommended to consult directly with Adobe and Salesforce, as well as with experienced implementation partners who can offer insights specific to your business needs.

Availability of Localized Partner Support

The availability of qualified partners and support capabilities tailored to the Canadian market is a key consideration for merchants.

Adobe Commerce Partner Ecosystem

As an open source platform, Adobe Commerce fosters a vast network of implementation partners. There are 20+ certified partners with offices in Canada that offer localized support spanning:

  • Launch strategy
  • Platform implementation
  • Developer resources
  • Managed enterprise hosting
  • Ongoing platform management

This decentralization provides options to find partners that best meet a merchant’s budget, team capabilities, and launch timelines.

Salesforce Commerce Cloud Partner Ecosystem

While Salesforce has an extensive network of global partners, there are fewer with Canadian offices specialized in Commerce Cloud. Most clients rely on US-based teams for implementations, though some partners have cross-border capabilities.

For mid-market Canadian merchants, the partner ecosystem may feel less robust currently. Large enterprises likely have more options.

Built-in Functionality vs Extensions

The balance of built-in functionality versus reliance on extensions impacts both usability and total cost.

Adobe Commerce Built-in Features

As an open source platform, Adobe Commerce offers robust core features but generally fewer integrated services. This allows the core product to remain lightweight, fast, and focused. Common extensions include:

  • CDN Integration
  • Progressive web application features
  • Subscription management and recurring billing engines
  • Drop shipping capabilities

The downside is increased complexity integrating new services into the frontend and backend.

Salesforce Commerce Cloud Integrations

As a SaaS product, more features across the entire commerce stack are bundled into Salesforce Commerce Cloud. This includes order management, customer service, order orchestration, and Einstein predictive capabilities.

The benefit is faster time-to-market with a more turnkey platform. The downside is reduced flexibility swapping out components or integrating external services. Required services also may increase cost of ownership long-term even if unused by a merchant.

Key Takeaways

For Canadian merchants evaluating Adobe Commerce and Salesforce Commerce Cloud, some key takeaways include:

Budget – Adobe Commerce can scale down better for mid-market budgets but has higher long-term costs with required extensions. Salesforce Commerce Cloud offers fixed pricing but platform alone can be cost prohibitive below $50M in revenue.

Timelines – Salesforce Commerce Cloud faster time-to-market with turnkey platform. Adobe Commerce offers more flexibility for phased launches but requires more technology investment.

Scalability – Both platforms handle enterprise order volumes. Adobe Commerce offers more control over infrastructure optimizations.

Support – Salesforce centralized support resources. Adobe Commerce richer Canadian partner ecosystem providing localized expertise.

By weighing factors like long-term cost structure, required launch timelines, partner network priorities and expected order volumes, Canadian merchants can determine the best fit. There is no universal “best” platform – rather the best solution for a merchant’s unique business goals and constraints.

Final Thoughts

Selecting an ecommerce platform is a complex decision with long term impacts for any merchant. For Canadian retailers aiming to sell online, identifying the platform that aligns best with both budget and business objectives is crucial. Comparing options like Adobe Commerce and Salesforce Commerce Cloud requires evaluating more than just features. Critical analysis of cost structures, scalability models, partner networks and out-of-the-box functionality versus reliance on extensions is needed. There is no one size fits all answer. We hope this Canadian-focused analysis provides helpful frameworks and considerations to enable local merchants to make informed decisions for their unique ecommerce goals. Contact Mage Montreal today to schedule a consultation to get the right fit for your business.

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