Setting up an effective eCommerce website is a challenging task, especially when it comes to choosing the right platform. With hundreds of eCommerce solutions available in the market, it becomes overly confusing to select the right one for your business. If you search for the best eCommerce platform, you’re bound to come across Shopify and BigCommerce.
Both Shopify and BigCommerce are globally recognized as top-tier eCommerce platforms. However, for a beginner or a new business, choosing between the two platforms can appear rather daunting. In this article, we are going to cover a comprehensive Shopify vs BigCommerce comparison on different matrices, including pricing, ease of use, customization, etc. So, without further ado, let’s check out what each platform offers to help you choose the best one according to your needs!
What Is Shopify?
Shopify is a popular name in the eCommerce sphere that allows businesses to create and run online and offline stores. With its state-of-the-art features, it empowers business owners to improve their revenue and expand their audience while catering to pain points in store development. Using Shopify, you can easily build an online store where you can sell, ship, and manage your inventory using an online ordering system.
Moreover, it offers a number of tools to assist you in running your online store and also helps you analyze your performance with detailed reports and analytics. Most importantly, it allows you to create a personalized user experience for your customers to maximize the Return on Investment (ROI) on your marketing budget.
Features of Shopify:
Checkout and Payments: The Shopify online shopping cart offers a wide choice of payment options to process payments from your customers. You can do this either with Shopify Payments or by connecting to over 100 third-party payment gateways.
Mobile: Get the Shopify mobile app for free to manage your business, orders, inventories, and customers on the move.
Hosting: Shopify works on the SaaS model and gives you multiple monthly plans, with their cheapest plan starting at $29/month. You don’t need to purchase a separate hosting with Shopify as it’s already included in your monthly plan. You can use your own domain name or purchase one from them as well.
Products and Orders: On your Shopify shop, you can list and sell an infinite number of products, manage your inventory, and fulfill orders with a few clicks.
What Is BigCommerce?
BigCommerce is a NASDAQ-listed eCommerce platform that also works on the SaaS (software as service) model. It offers several vital features, including online shop development, search engine optimization, storage, marketing, and protection for small to large enterprises. The best thing about BigCommerce is that it allows you to connect your store to several additional sales channels such as eBay, Amazon, Facebook, Instagram, Google Shopping, etc.
BigCommerce was founded in 2009, and today, the platform is being used by thousands of eCommerce businesses worldwide. Despite having fewer users than Shopify, BigCommerce is among the most popular eCommerce platforms within the industry. Their clients vary from startups launching new online storefronts to well-known corporations such as Toyota, Bliss, DressUp, and others. If that’s not impressive enough, let’s check out some of their top-class features:
Features of BigCommerce:
Options for Integration: You can integrate your BigCommerce shop with numerous third-party applications, such as marketing and conversion apps, delivery apps, CRM systems, taxes and offers programs, and much more.
Website Builder: BigCommerce offers a wide range of free and paid themes that you can use to easily build and customize your eCommerce website. You can make changes to your store by using the WYSIWYG editor or custom code. All BigCommerce sites are compatible with mobile devices, along with the checkout process.
Omnichannel Selling: You can connect your BigCommerce store to additional sales channels such as eBay, Amazon, Facebook, Instagram, Google Shopping, and others to boost your sales.
Shipping and Orders: BigCommerce enables you to fulfill orders on top of allowing you to give coupons, discounts, and gift cards. Most importantly, it offers a great one-page checkout and also gives real-time shipping rates for your customers.
Shopify vs BigCommerce: Head-To-Head Comparison
Shopify and BigCommerce are two of the most feature-rich eCommerce website builders. You can develop and manage online stores on these platforms without any coding knowledge or technical skills. Now that you have some basic information about both platforms, let’s take a look at the Shopify vs BigCommerce head-to-head comparison to see which platform comes on top.
Difference # 1: Shopify vs BigCommerce Pricing
BigCommerce has four price plans:
BigCommerce Standard: costs $29.95 month.
BigCommerce Plus: Costs $79.95/month.
BigCommerce Pro: Costs $299.95/month.
BigCommerce Enterprise: Differs according to requirements.
Shopify offers three primary pricing plans ranging from $29 to $299 per month.
Basic Shopify: This plan costs $29/month, and it’s suitable for merchants who want to build a simple store or are just getting started.
Shopify: This plan costs $79/month and contains all of the Basic plan's features along with professional income reports, international selling support, and much more.
Advanced Shopify: Advanced Shopify costs $299/month, and it is suitable for businesses that are experiencing rapid growth and want to scale their business successfully.
Difference # 2: Ease of Use
BigCommerce is not exactly suited for newcomers as it uses a number of technical terms. You need to spend a little time understanding their comprehensive terminologies, which ultimately adds to the platform’s learning curve. Moreover, BigCommerce is a heavier platform to work with because of its robust in-built features. At the same time, these features allow users to have a finer degree of customization options.
Shopify is well-known for its intuitive and easy-to-use user interface. They have spent a lot of time and effort in perfecting their user experience. As Shopify is a complex platform, it offers second-level navigation in multiple areas. However, according to user feedback, customers find it frustrating to develop sub-menus making the process more complicated than necessary. Users are also critical of how quickly Shopify updates its UI, rendering online guides useless.
Difference # 3: Design
BigCommerce offers a total of 12 free themes and 150 premium themes that would cost you a one-time fee of $150 – $300. You can explore the themes by sector, catalog size, design, and other criteria. Each design and theme is available in a variety of color palettes and is fully customizable to reflect your business. Shopify offers nearly 70 premium themes, with prices ranging from $100 to $180. Shopify provides themes for every kind of business industry, ranging from food service to home and garden. Just like BigCommerce, Shopify themes are also customizable.
Difference # 4: Marketing Features
BigCommerce integrates your store data with top email marketing systems such as MailChimp and G-Suite. It also includes marketing campaigns that are designed in line with the best SEO practices. This means that all BigCommerce sites come with industry-standard SEO, which is a pretty remarkable feature. All this helps websites built on BigCommerce to have a higher chance of ranking in Google search results.
When it comes to marketing, Shopify offers financial summaries and analytics for product performance to help you see how individual products have sold over time. Moreover, it allows you to create discount coupons and gift cards. Most importantly, Shopify automatically generates sitemaps along with customizable URLs and headers.
Difference # 5: Security
BigCommerce offers multiple levels of security and solid protection for all the sites hosted by them. To defend against credit card data breaches, all servers are PCI DSS level 1 certified. Their extra security features include perimeter and server-specific firewalls, file integrity scanners, intrusion detection software, 24/7 human monitoring, and fraudulent transaction protection. On the other hand, Shopify issues SSL certificates for your store after you connect your domain to secure your online store. SSL certificates protect your store's content and securely broadcast it using HTTPS rather than HTTP.
Difference # 6: Customer Support
Once users sign up for a free trial on BigCommerce, their platform representatives reach out to them as a part of the onboarding process and also schedule a 10-minute phone conversation to help them understand the basics. This allows BigCommerce to get a greater understanding of your company and provide better advice. Businesses that subscribe to their enterprise package receive first priority support on top of getting a highly qualified BigCommerce personnel as onboarding advisor.
Shopify offers an in-depth guide regarding its features and overall platform in general. Unlike BigCommerce, Shopify’s customer service provides assistance via social media, live chat, and phone support 24/7. You can also use Shopify's community forums, video tutorials, and assistance pages to find the answers yourself. Whenever you seek help in the Shopify editor, the platform directs you to a suitable section within the Shopify knowledge center. These features automatically place Shopify ahead of BigCommerce in terms of customer support.
Shopify vs BigCommerce: Which Platform Should You Choose?
The BigCommerce vs Shopify battle has a completely different outcome depending on the spectators. This means each platform can outperform the other depending on your use case. We hope this article provided you with enough knowledge to assist you in selecting the right platform that can best serve your business. If you are still struggling to make the decision between Shopify and BigCommerce, consider the following table:
When To Use Shopify?
When To Use BigCommerce?
If you want to have more flexibility over the functionality of your website.
If you want built-in features without having to download or pay for them individually.
Use Shopify if you operate a large company with a complicated inventory.
Use BigCommerce if you want greater design customization for your store's branding.
If you want as many options as possible when it comes to third-party apps.
If you run a totally online eCommerce business and aim to expand it across multiple sale channels.
How can we help?
By the end of the day, if you still cannot make a choice between Shopify and BigCommerce, it’s time to consult a professional. IIInigence is a world-leading eCommerce development agency that offers technological solutions to businesses all over the world. Our team of experts has hands-on experience in developing the best eCommerce stores on world-recognized platforms, such as Shopify, Bigcommerce, WooCommerce, Magento, and more. Schedule a meeting today with one of our eCommerce experts to see how we can help you and your business in developing and establishing an eCommerce website that sells like crazy!