Losing sleep trying to decide between Magento or custom development for an online grocery : ecommerce


Hello, I am running an online grocery and we have grown a lot quicker than expected. We have started off as a Shopify store – now on Shopify Plus and as you know it’s not really built for complex operations like this. Sadly, I am not a technical person and we do not have a strong in-house development team. We are operating somewhere local talent is hard to come by. All development for this project will be done remotely/outsourced.

We have around 25,000 items in our store and that are fulfilled by 5 different teams in the same building. For example, all the fresh, chilled and frozen items are fulfilled separately and the whole order only comes together when it is ready for dispatch. We are operating a multi-location business where fulfillment/inventory/range will change based on the customer’s location. Also customers will be able to edit their order after placing it and change timeslots.

Off the store, we have/are also developed/developing multiple internal apps for operations:

  • A picking app capable of consolidating orders with route management.

  • A dispatch app to plan routes and assign orders to drivers based on customer’s location and timeslot selected

  • A driver’s app so they can see their route, customer information and order information

Other channels we are also working on are:

  • Wholesale/B2B

  • Click + Collect

Some of these requirements will definitely be filled by 3rd party apps whether we go through with either option. The biggest benefits I see from Magento are: stability, lots of customizable apps that we can plug and play which means we can move a lot faster in the immediate terms and a good community for troubleshooting/support. However, my biggest concern is that our complex operations requires a lot of customization and will become even more complicated as we move forward. I am afraid at some point we will hit a wall with Magento that could get in the way of our scalability and we have to start from 0 again just like what we are doing now. “It’s just about there but not quite what we need” situation.

I am very much on the fence (+ definitely need to make a decision in the next week!!!) and have received mixed pieces of advice from friends in the industry and mentors. Would sincerely appreciate anyone’s thoughts!


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