Litium E-Commerce vs Magento Commerce

Litium E-Commerce vs Magento Commerce

Since we have seen some local competition between Magento Commerce and Litium in Sweden. We decided it was time to really have a look at how the 2 platforms compare. But to be fair, our knowledge is greater regarding Magento, and we have based the facts on Litiums own documentation and external sources like company credit reports, LinkedIn and such. Keep in mind its just personal opinions about 2 platforms, you will have to make up your own mind. Please drop us a comment if you have any feedb...

The companies

Litium is a local player strongly focusing in the market in the nordics. According to LinkedIn records they have only 31 employees. However, their strong marketing strategy in Sweden has got the attention of some well known merchants.

Magento is a global player with around 800 employees according to LinkedIn. The focus is strong locally in the nordics (around 5000 websites in total), but also globally (250000+ websites). Considered as the top platform worldwide.

In conclusion Litium has very little capacity for innovation and support. Compared Magento is huge and its feels almost unfair to compare them like this. On the local market in Sweden Litium has some cool cases they work with, but what we are here to find out is if they made the right choice.

Financials

Litium is a small but public traded company. However, it is not profitable and shows a relatively small turnover. The company is growing, but will have to rely heavily on it’s investors to be able to continue grow. They need to start being profitable in order for the market to respond.

Magento shows a very rapid growth, and has strong investors backing the company. The financials is considered very strong. In conclusion its a safer bet to go with Magento due to the stability of the company.

Access to developers

Magentos community is a lot larger in comparison. Magentos community has around 380K developers, it is more than litium could even dream of. There is no official numbers, but due to the local nature of the platform its not likely it will reach even 0,5% of Magentos network. According to LinkedIn there is 10x more people listed in Sweden that listed the skill Magento compared to Litium.

In conclusion, to get the right people on board in your company is essential, and Magento clearly covers that better than Litium.

Innovation

In general Magento has a great advantage due to its huge community of developers and employees. The only advantage may be Litiums small size and a local platform, making them flexible. However, Magento has shown to accelerate faster, using their local community of developers and agencies. Litium has probably no advantage in innovation at this point. Possibly some local integrations or similar may be a difference in some special cases. But since Magento also has local agencies exceeding the amount of people working  with litium, its usually just a question of time before someone develops what is needed.

In conclusion it is unlikely that Litium would beat Magento at innovation. Litium might have some local integrations that the Magento community has yet not developed.

From the documentation at Litium we found only 10 add-ons. At least 3 of them are included in Magento at no charge (out of the box).

https://docs.litium.com/add-ons. In Magento Marketplace we found over 3000 extensions (add-ons). Its a clear win for Magento at this point https://marketplace.magento.com/.

The platforms

Documentation

Both platforms has the documentation available online for us  to compare. Magento simply beats Litium and Litium seems poorly documented in comparison. The amount of documentation provided by Magento (and the community) promises more than you could hope for.

You can review the documentation yourself at https://docs.litium.com/documentation, http://docs.magento.com/m2/ee/user_guide/getting-started.html and http://devdocs.magento.com/

User interface

The user interface for end users (customers) is not clearly better at either of the platforms. It is simply a job for a designer to provide the best interface. 

For a administrator of the store we noticed some differences. With the launch of Magento 2, the entire admin panel is re-designed and it truly looks like a modern platform.

Reading from the Litium documentation it seems to have a old look to some parts of their admin and a modern in another part. So they need to make a upgrade at some views, or the documentation is not up to date (either way, something needs improvement). Since a lot of documentation is lacking from Litium, it is very difficult to compare.

So in conclusion Magento is better or possibly equal (if documentation isn’t up to date).

B2B capabilities

Both platforms has a strong focus on B2B. Litium heavily markets itself on the local market in this segment, by publishing reports case studies and such. Magento has been proven to be one of the most used B2B platforms in the world. With the launch of Magento Commerce 2.2, it has taken the role as the leading B2B platform. Both platforms has the basic functionality for B2B like companies, groups, contacts, advanced pricing and such.

However Magento seems to cover more functionality out of the box (based on both documentations), like quoting functionality and better self service B2B functionality. Which saves a lot of time for both purchases and administrators.

Both platforms probably covers the majority of the B2B requirements, but Magento has taken it a step further and is the leader of B2B at the moment.

CMS

Since Magento acquired a new CMS functionality (Bluefoot). The platform has found its missing piece. Magento now features drag and drop functionality and it simply looks great. You can of course create templates and the possibilities are endless. In the roadmap this feature will be even better integrated in the platform.

In Litium we found no real CMS with drag and drop editor in the documentation. We found something called ”Accelerators” where you seem to get some pre-defined elements based on what type of client you are (B2B or B2C). The CMS features seem to be like Magento without Bluefoot and features a ordinary WYSIWYG editor.

Products, catalog & PIM

Litium claims they included a PIM. We were excited to see how it worked. However from reading the documentation it seems to mainly be a standard catalog editing tool. Just like Magento or any other e-commerce platform. However, Litium has a ”workflow” with tasks to perform for different products. That is not a function which Magento currently has. So it doesn’t cover the other cool PIM features that we would like to see.

But Magento has more advanced tools to mass edit products, more product types (grouped, virtual, downloadable) and also proven capacity which clearly exceeds Litium.

So in conclusion, both has its advantages. But if you are going for a PIM you would probably use Inriver, Pimcore or Akeneo instead of Magento or Litium. Magento has pre-built integrations for all of those. Litium only lists their support for Inriver.

Campaigns

Magento shows advanced campaign and planning tools with preview. We didn’t find those tools included in Litium documentation. So if you want to do campaigns efficiently its probably better to go with Magento.

Upgrades

Both platforms seem to need upgrades from time to time. Neither of them is a SaaS, more like a PaaS platform (platform as a service). We must assume that they are equal at this point.

Integrations

As mentioned Limited has few integrations compared to Magento. Of course its possible that each Litium partner keeps their own for themselves. However, its possible for them to come close to what Magento has.

https://docs.litium.com/add-ons. In Magento Marketplace we found over 3000 extensions (add-ons). Its a clear win for Magento at this point https://marketplace.magento.com/.

APIs / webservice

Both platforms has support for modern web apis. However, we cant extensive documentation for Litium (we must assume it exist somewhere?). 

Magento uses the ”Swagger” and has all the documentation needed. Ask your developer to compare and we are pretty sure Magento will be their favorite.

https://docs.litium.com/documentation/developer-guides/api-documentation

http://devdocs.magento.com/guides/v2.2/rest/bk-rest.html

License

We don’t know too much about the licensing model of Litium.

Magento uses different tiers to adapt to company size. In conclusion this is something negotiated with the sales reps at Magento and Litium.

Of course there is the free Open Source (previously Community) version of Magento which has a lot of advantages compared to Litium too. But in this comparison we are looking at the paid version of Magento, which is called Magento Commerce (previously Enterprise).

Hosting

Both has CDN and cloud hosting. The hosting solutions is probably at the same standard, depending on budget you can choose what you want.

Speed & performance

Both platforms perform well in regards of speed and performance. However, Magento has been proven to work in a lot larger sites than Litium. Its not possible to make a good comparison out of the platforms without deeper knowledge about Litium.

Summary 

Of course a e-commerce platform is complex, and its not possible to compare all parts. However in this comparison we have reviewed the main parts of the platforms. As it seems Magento is a clear winner. But it is up to each merchant to decide for themselves, what their opinion is.

Writer: Jonas Wärngård