bigcommerce vs shopify

If you are an online store owner the choice of a proper shopping cart is a vital issue for you and your business. But here's a tough one: how to make the right decision between two such similar platforms like BigCommerce and Shopify?

When it comes to BigCommerce vs Shopify, there are some things to consider: the type of website that you are going to create, your level of expertise and the amount of time that you may devote to get comfortable with the platform.

BigCommerce vs Shopify. Side-by-Side Comparison

Shopify and BigCommerce are two of the best-known eCommerce solutions that boast impressive ease of use, competitive prices, beautiful web design, and reliable customer service. They’re both packed with all the required functionality to create amazing DIY stores quickly. They both also offer native ecommerce hosting, making it exceptionally easy to build and run your site all in one place. You can manage your entire store from inside a single dashboard. Despite the fact that many people consider BigCommerce vs Shopify to be almost identical, there are some common peculiarities between them.

BigCommerce vs Shopify. Popularity

Being one of the biggest names on the eCommerce market, Shopify and BigCommerce have earned the love and loyalty of entrepreneurs all over the globe. The statistics by BuiltWith cover one million websites that accurately tell us about Shopify vs BigCommerce market share:

shopify vs bigcommerce

As we can see, Shopify is a clear winner powering about 21% of the market share, while BigCommerce - only 3%. Does that mean that one platform is better than the other? Not exactly. Keep reding to know why.

BigCommerce vs Shopify. Usability

Both are considered to be simple in terms of establishing and running an Internet shop. Moreover, all the Shopify reviews and expert opinions state that it is currently the most user-friendly platform. It is also said that if there is any shopping cart that can compete with Shopify in usability, it is definitely Bigcommerce. Both platforms can boast about their intuitive administrative panels and very simple systems of product and inventory management. No specialized knowledge in HTML or advanced design skills will be required to create and run a profitable, beautiful and unique looking online retailer.

BigCommerce vs Shopify. Design

When it comes to design, it should be mentioned that Shopify and BigCommerce are eCommerce platforms first of all. Therefore, they are not design-orientated like Squarespace or Wix, but rather sales driven.

Undoubtedly, professionally designed Shopify themes (73 of them) and all the interface tools can help you create a unique, alluring website, even if you are not very good at it. Bigcommerce templates (a bit more modest though) are also quite good in this context, but you will have to apply a little bit more efforts to handle design customization of your web store.

Bigcommerce vs Shopify

BigCommerce vs Shopify. Marketing and SEO

BigCommerce has a full range of promotional functions, including SEO friendly URLs, coupons and gift certificates, promotional banners and wish lists, etc. Unfortunately, Shopify's out-of-the-box set of SEO and marketing features is quite small. However, most of them are available in an online apps store for quite reasonable prices. And when you get your store packed with plugins, Shopify will definitely impress you, especially in terms of SEO-friendliness.

BigCommerce vs Shopify. Shipping Options

Bigcommerce leaves no chances to its opponents in this case. Products can be successfully delivered all over the world by means of such well-known companies as FedEx, UPS, and eWay. Shopify's shipping support is quite limited outside North America, even though the company is actively working on improving this bitter drawback for users elsewhere.

BigCommerce vs Shopify. Reports

One of the most important pros of BigCommerce is the back end reporting. Shopify provides store owners with some basic reports and they will probably suit most of the customers. However, it is not comparable with 25 built-in business reports that BigCommerce can offer you.

Bigcommerce vs Shopify

BigCommerce vs Shopify. Pricing

Both shopping carts are not free of charge. But you will get an opportunity to use free trials and decide on your own if you are ready to pay for it:

BigCommerce pricing plans:

  • Standard: $29.95 per month
  • Plus: $79 per month
  • Enterprise: pricing varies depending on requirements

And Shopify offers 5 plans:

  • Lite: $9 / month
  • Basic: $29 / month
  • Pro: $79 / month
  • Unlimited: $179 / month
  • Shopify Plus: pricing varies depending on requirements

BigCommerce vs Shopify. Extensions

Though Bigcommerce offers you more e-commerce tools out of the box than Shopify does, the latter one has much more developer ecosystem. At the moment, Bigcommerce has about 250 apps available (paid and free), whereas Shopify offers you over 2,400 apps in total.

Irrespectively of the size of your store, you'll definitely want to make use of several of them. In addition to providing you with more marketing/promotion tools (which would be useful for Shopify), the extensions can also help you manage and automate lost of routine day-to-day administrative tasks.

Note, however, that some of the add-ons will add to your monthly bill since several of them are paid.

BigCommerce vs Shopify. Fees

When it comes to transaction fees, there's nowhere you can hide if using Shopify. Depending on what plan you are, you'll have to pay from 2% for the Lite plan to 0.5% for Unlimited from every transaction performed in your store. You may, however, avoid that if you use their Stripe powered 'Shopify Payments' option, but it's currently available in the US, UK, and Canada only.

On the other hand, Bigcommerce doesn't impose any additional fees at all expect of credit card processing fees (typical for EVERY shopping cart).

BigCommerce vs Shopify. What's the Difference?

Shopify perfectly suits for building online stores of all shapes and sizes and is generally more comfortable to work with. BigCommerce, alternatively, is more difficult to operate, but allows to build enterprise-level and fast growing businesses.

Generally speaking, there are three really significant differences that set apart these two platforms.

  • Transactional Fees. Shopify does charge transactional fees, while BigCommerce doesn’t.

  • Flexibility. Shopify provides more stuff than BigCommerce. There are many more themes, and substantially more apps (2,400 compared to BigCommerce’s several hundred).

  • Pricing factor. Although BigCommerce places a sales limit, Shopify charges transaction fees instead. BigCommerce does have a slight edge in the value on offer at its prices. Shopify pricing is friendlier is you take advantage of Shopify Payments processing rates. Both online store platforms include your SSL certificate.

  • Customer service. Since BigCommerce has changed its pricing policy multiple times over the recent years, it's customer service has experienced negative reviews. Shopify, on the other hand, has been very consistent with pricing over the years and continues to offer great customers and technical support to its clients.

With all that being said, let's now cover the main ins and outs of each platform for you to make the right decision between them:

BigCommerce

Pros

  • Most features are available without paying for plugins
  • Better SEO capabilities than Shopify

Cons

  • Can be more complex to use than Shopify
  • Finding BigCommerce developers is harder

Shopify

Pros

  • Strong developer community
  • Fantastic social media integration

Cons

  • Need to pay for plugins to unlock advanced features
  • High transaction fees if you don’t use Shopify Payments

Final decision

To consider all the advantages and disadvantages of these eCommerce solutions and make the right-your-size decision - take advantage of the free trial that the platforms provide users with. If you are already running an online store and have decided to migrate BigCommerce to Shopify or visa verse Shopify to BigCommerce remember that this process can be really easy with Cart2Cart.