Seems that 2012 year is a good time to move to Magento platform, and here are some reason why you should migrate from Xcart to Magento.
First of all, eCommerce is a such a field where success depends not only on your business skills, it's also depends on technical things, such as what eCommerce platform you will choose for your business.
Choosing of the right eCommerce platform is important not only for current business you have. It will also help you to avoid a lot of problems and pitfalls in the future.
Choose Magento if you are looking for modern & robust eCommerce platform with 100% clear future.
We extensively used both Magento and Xcart systems for several years, most of our stuff worked in Xcart company and that is why we know what we are talking about. In 2012 Turnkeye.com will not take any new Xcart projects (except migration projects from Xcart to Magento), from now we are completely focused on Magento platform.
Future of Xcart and Magento
Xcart is not OOP product, it is based on PHP functions, just like outdated osCommerce.
Current Xcart branch is the last in history of the Xcart, so if you will purchase Xcart today, it means that in several month/years (the date is unknown) you will stay with completely outdated, "zombie" product and it will be needed to migrate to "LiteCommerce/Xcart 5/Xcart Next" platform.
You can get all this information in official Xcart 5 FAQ here.
Here is some most important statements from this FAQ:
Will you release new X-Cart 4 versions?
Although we will release new X-Cart 4 versions, the releases will include bug-fixes only, no new features. The reason is that we are working on a brand new e-commerce platform (also known as "X-Cart 5") and it doesn't make sense to develop a feature for two platforms at the same time.
When will you release "X-Cart 5"?
If you are referring to the future X-Cart solution based on the new platform, there is no release date yet.
Will X-Cart 4 themes and modifications work for "X-Cart 5"?
No, the new platform has a completely different architecture and is not compatible with themes and custom modifications made for X-Cart 4.
Will I be able to upgrade my X-Cart 4 store to X-Cart 5 later?
Since the platforms have a completely different architecture, there will be no automatic upgrade scripts. However, a data migration tool importing your product data from XC4 may be released later.
Does "X-Cart 5" have less features than X-Cart 4?
Technically - yes, the new platform itself has less features than X-Cart 4.
Will there be a Pro version of "X-Cart 5"?
Unfortunately, in the near future we don't plan to release a "Pro" version of the new platform. Perhaps, it will be released as a module later either by us or by a third-party developer.
So as you see, in any case you will need to migrate all your customizations, designs, customers, orders history, products reviews, email templates and URLs structure (important for SEO) in the nearest future to the new platform with limited features.
Magento is supported not only by PayPal & eBay, Magento have giant ecosystem of developers, designers and modules vendors. There are more than 4500 modules for Magento in MagentoConnect marketplace, and 30% of all these Magento modules are free. The future of Magento is bright and clear for everyone. More and more online marketers choose Magento as the platform for their eCommerce businesses.
Magento VS Xcart Comparison
Magento: Modern, modular architecture based on Zend Framework.
Xcart: Obsolete architecture, functions based and not modular.
Magento: Stable multi-store solution.
Xcart: Not supported by Xcart 4 and 5. Xcart 5 will not have Pro version, which means that it will have no milti-vendor capabilities as well.
Upgrades & migration to the new version
Magento: 100% upgradable architecture. It is easy to upgrade Magento and Magento theme design.
Xcart: Upgrade procedure is almost manual (.DIFF files application). It will be not possible to upgrade to Xcart 5 from Xcart 4.
Future of the product:
Magento: Clear roadmap and clear release dates. Investments from PayPal & eBay.
Xcart: Not clear strategy of product development. No release dates available at the moment. Development of current Xcart 4 product is frozen.
Today over 100,000 merchants worldwide use Magento, including such big brands like Skype, Olympus, Nokia, Samsung, Lenovo, Ford, Tool King, FOX, GoodYear, Ford and many others.
Choosing right eCommerce platform for your business today, you invest money in your company. Magento is right solution, you will avoid a lot of troubles and pitfalls in the future with Magento.
Here are some other "Magento VS Xcart" articles that compare eCommerce features and could be useful: