Choosing the right e-commerce platform often means the difference between the success and failure of an online store, especially for small and start-up businesses with limited budgets and resources. Unfortunately, the task of deciding between the most popular e-commerce platforms is not an easy one. To ensure you make an informed decision, here’s a comparison between BigCommerce and Shopify.
On top of the fact that neither BigCommerce nor Shopify requires any setup fees, both offer a free trial period of 14 days. Neither platform has a bandwidth usage fee on any of the plans offered. BigCommerce charges zero transaction fees. Although Shopify doesn’t levy any additional transaction fees if users use Shopify’s own payment gateway, they charge a 0.5-2% transaction fee when any other payment method is used.
BigCommerce offers the following plans:
– Standard at $29.95
– Plus at $79.95
– Pro at $249.95 (increased from $249.95)
– Enterprise – Custom pricing
Shopify offers the following plans:
– Lite at $9
– Basic at $29
– Professional at $79
– Advanced at $299
In addition to being powerful, the basic store features offered by both e-commerce solutions are easy to install, use and maintain. Although it might be a matter of opinion, many users prefer the ease provided by BigCommerce.
When it comes to inventory management, BigCommerce allows users to add and sell an unlimited number of items. On the other hand, Shopify restricts lite plan users to a standalone buy button.
While BigCommerce allows users to create and calculate discount codes irrespective of their plan, Shopify’s starter plan does not offer this feature. Even so, both solutions have a broad range of payment gateways.
When it comes to selling goods through an online storefront, the ability to calculate shipping charges is an essential aspect, which is why both provide powerful and flexible shipping fee calculation options.
Themes and templates
Themes and templates allow users to give their online stores a look and feel of their choosing. Although both platforms feature a wide variety of themes and templates, BigCommerce offers more free themes than Shopify.
On the other hand, even though both solutions provide premium or paid for themes, Shopify’s premium themes cost a minimum of $80 while BigCommerce’s start at $120. Both platforms offer an array of responsive and modern themes. Since both platforms offer a range of responsive themes, they will work well on every popular device used to access the internet.
However, BigCommerce recently launched a new theme and front-end development framework known as Stencil. This feature offers an added advantage because the theming engine allows users to rapidly customize the look and feel of their themes and create beautiful, progressive, and powerful storefronts without coding.
Apps and add-ons
Apps and add-ons offer various ways to enhance your online store’s functionality. While each of the two platforms features more than 100 free and paid for apps and add-ons, BigCommerce has slightly more than Shopify.
None of these two solutions offers full multi-lingual capabilities, at least not directly. However, both BigCommerce and Shopify offer third-party or paid for apps that can create fully multi-lingual stores. Even so, Shopify features an inbuilt multi-lingual capability that’s primarily on the checkout pages. The new BigCommerce Stencil framework also comes with a localization file structure, allowing store owners to define multiple linguistic translations for each theme, based on a predefined schema. BigCommerce also offers multi-language checkout in their new optimized one-page checkout.
Ease of use
As mentioned before, although both BigCommerce and Shopify are easy to use e-commerce platforms, they are also fairly powerful. With a well thought-out and suitably designed user interface, both solutions make it easy for users to get their online stores up and running in minimum time. Even so, many of those who have tried both platforms found BigCommerce the easier system to use.
Though blogging might not be part of your marketing strategy, publishing fresh content on a regular basis could drive traffic to your website and increase sales. Both BigCommerce and Shopify feature an inbuilt blogging facility. While Shopify has featured this integrated blogging functionality for a lot longer, BigCommerce’s recently introduced Blogging service is a little bit more modern.
While it’s easy for users to customize basic features like color and font through a simple menu-driven interface with Shopify, total control over the look, feel and design of your store requires HTML/CSS code editing. On the other hand, BigCommerce allows users to achieve the same and even more via the recently launched Stencil feature. BigCommerce has also released the Page Builder in 2021, which is a frontend builder allowing for easier drag-and-drop updates with local and global regions. You can learn more about ways to edit your website in our separate article here.
Although BigCommerce’s silver plan carries a higher price tag than Shopify’s lite plan, BigCommerce matches Shopify on most of the features and exceeds at a few. While Shopify might be slightly cheaper if looked at in annual terms, BigCommerce’s recently launched Stencil framework, ease of use, customization capabilities, and theming possibilities make it well worth the price. Shopify also has additional transactions fees, which can be avoided only by using Shopify Payments, which is only available in the USA, UK and CANADA, while BigCommerce doesn’t have any transactions fees on any on their plans. In light of the aspects mentioned above, BigCommerce comes out the winner.
When it comes to choosing the right e-commerce platform for your business, there are a number of things to consider, from backend scalability, solid infrastructure, advanced integrations to best-in-class SEO, marketing and conversion features. If you are not sure which platform is the right fit for your business contact us today for free consultation.