Shopify vs. BigCommerce: Best Ecommerce Platform Comparison

If you’re looking for a website builder to help you create your ecommerce business website, you might find yourself trying to choose between Shopify and BigCommerce. Our side-by-side comparison of these two online store platforms will help you see how they measure up against one another in terms of features, pros and cons, and usability.

Read on to learn which one is our top choice and find the right fit for your own online store and business.

On the search for the right fit for your small business website? Check out our Best Website Builder review to learn more.


Shopify vs. BigCommerce

As a small business owner, chances are you’re looking for an easy-to-use platform that won’t take too much time to learn or be a hassle to work with. Time is money, and being able to build a website quickly can let you focus on the day-to-day operations of your business.

Shopify

Ease of Use

Shopify is the gold standard when it comes to creating a digital storefront for your business. The platform’s website builder makes it easy to add and remove products, elements, and content so that it suits your branding and presents your offerings in a polished and professional manner.

The website editor is quite easy to navigate and enables you to build a high-performance ecommerce website in just a few hours. However, it is important to note that there is no autosave feature, so clicking the save button often is imperative if you want to avoid the frustration of losing hours of hard work.

Pricing

Shopify offers three pricing tiers: Basic Shopify, Shopify, and Advanced Shopify. Most small business owners will find the Basic plan includes everything they need to build a high-performance store, including the ability to add unlimited products, 24/7 customer support, abandoned cart saving, and more. Shopify easily scales with your business model, and the Advanced Shopify tier even offers a range of extra features for global selling, such as international pricing and domains.

Shopify vs BigCommerce review.

For more information, be sure to check out our Shopify Pricing and Plans article.

Pros

  • Simple, drag-and-drop functionality 
  • Attractive templates
  • Premier ecommerce features at every tier
  • 24/7 customer support
  • Over 1,000 apps to choose from

Cons

  • Customization can feel limited
  • Top-tier plans are cost-prohibitive for most small businesses

Ecommerce

Shopify practically wrote the book on ecommerce. It is widely considered the premier ecommerce platform on the market today. It offers users the ability to add unlimited products, customize product listings, and includes functions such as search tags and product filtering to help customers find exactly what they need. Shopify also allows your inventory to be sorted by categories and collections.

Shopify takes essentially every payment method you can imagine, including credit or debit card, bank account, and third-party payment gateways like PayPal and Apple Pay. There is also a tipping feature available, which is ideal for service-based professionals. Shopify allows your customers to create accounts, increasing repeat business. It also has abandoned cart saving so customers can easily resume a transaction if they get disconnected from your website.

Shopify also offers a wide variety of shipping and local delivery options upon checkout.

Templates and Themes

Shopify includes 70 templates in its Theme Library. While most of these are free, a few are available at an additional cost. While every new user will automatically start off with its Debut theme, this can easily be changed to one that is more consistent with your business’s needs.

Shopify vs BigCommerce review.

Shopify offers simple customization. Content can be arranged however you wish, and your site’s colors, fonts, images, and text can all be modified to help convey your brand’s message and personality. Shopify also offers intuitive methods of adding product listings, descriptions, and search tags to optimize the user experience.

While unwanted changes can easily be undone with the “undo” button, it is equally important to click the “save” button as often as possible to avoid losing your work.

Apps and Plugins

Shopify offers over 1,000 apps for users to add to their websites. Many of these are available for free, but others come at an additional cost. Some of Shopify’s apps include scheduling services, wholesale discount integrations, social media and marketing tools,  calendars, and more. With a wide variety of options to choose from, you’re sure to find the app you’re looking for to help add functionality to your website, as well as increase your sales conversions.

Ready to check out Shopify? Get started with a 14-day Shopify free trial.

BigCommerce

Ease of Use

BigCommerce ranks highly in terms of ease of use. Customers can choose from a select number of templates, each with a handful of themes, and then customize these themes to meet their business needs with a simple, drag-and-drop editing tool that makes adding and removing elements and content a breeze.

Setting up your online store is also easily done from the platform’s main control panel. Here, you’ll have access to every feature available in your ecommerce toolkit, including the ability to add and remove products and change currency, payment, shipping, tax, and account settings. You can also access your website’s analytics from your control panel.

Pricing

BigCommerce offers a single pricing strategy with a wide range between lower and top tier price points. BigCommerce does offer a free 15-day trial, but this essentially only permits customers to sample the site’s features— you cannot publish your website until you purchase a premium plan. BigCommerce also offers an Enterprise plan with pricing available upon consultation. 

Unlike Shopify, BigCommerce’s Standard plan is missing some key features, like abandoned cart saving and stored credit cards. This can mean you have to purchase a higher tier to take advantage of these features, and the price escalation is steep.

Shopify vs BigCommerce review.

Find which plan works best for you by reading our BigCommerce Pricing and Plans article.

Pros

  • Simple, drag-and-drop functionality
  • Expansive, scalable ecommerce tools 
  • Advanced analytics, search engine optimization (SEO), and marketing tools
  • Hundreds of apps available to add functionality

Cons

  • Lower-tier plans are missing key features
  • Templates are a bit bland

Ecommerce

As the name suggests, BigCommerce does ecommerce beautifully. BigCommerce offers a wide range of ecommerce tools. Regardless of which tier you purchase, these include integrations with leading point of sale (POS) systems like Square and Clover and payment gateways like PayPal and Braintree, zero transaction fees, real-time shipping quotes, coupons and discounts, product ratings and reviews, and more.

Not only that, ecommerce options are expandable as you move up the platform’s pricing tiers, meaning BigCommerce can easily scale with your business model. Some of the features available with higher tiers include an abandoned cart saver, persistent cart, strategic account management, and the ability to sell up to $400,000 annually.

Templates and Themes

Users will only have a few basic templates to choose from with this platform by default. When you start your website, you will automatically be matched with a template that can be modified with the Theme Style section of your website’s editor. There are very few free templates to choose from, each with a handful of styles, and all of them lack variety.

Shopify vs BigCommerce review.

BigCommerce does offer quite a few more templates at an additional cost. That being said, not only do these cost hundreds of dollars, they offer little variety over the templates already included for free. Additionally, every template BigCommerce offers is fairly basic and all of them look a bit outdated.

Apps and Plugins

BigCommerce has hundreds of apps available through its app marketplace. These are sorted by category, which includes Accounting & Tax, Analytics & Reporting, Catalog & Order Management, Finance, Marketing, Merchandising, and more. While BigCommerce offers a fair selection of apps, and a few are available free of charge, the majority of apps on the site require users to pay some additional cost— whether it’s a one-time fee or a subscription for a service.

See what BigCommerce can do for your online business. Try a BigCommerce free trial to get started.

Our Pick: Shopify

Shopify vs BigCommerce review.

There is a reason Shopify ranks No. 1 in ecommerce in our website builder rankings. This platform really packs a punch. Over the years, Shopify has become synonymous with quality when building a digital storefront.

BigCommerce offers a range of powerful features, but its templates leave a lot to be desired and many key features are only available if you pay for its top-tier plans. Overall, Shopify is the better choice for small business owners.

To learn more about Shopify, read our in-depth Shopify Website Builder Review. You may also be interested in our BigCommerce Website Builder Review if you’re still on the fence.

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