Discover Why More People Prefer Shopify Over BigCommerce
Whenever you think of ecommerce, both Shopify and BigCommerce are probably among the first several big names that come to mind. No wonder, because they are two of the most popular and top-preferred ecommerce platforms in the world.
Shopify is the older of the two, founded in 2006 in Ontario, Canada, and has been showing a bigger surge in popularity and users than BigCommerce, which was founded in 2009 in Sydney, Australia.
So, if you are wondering why more entrepreneurs are choosing Shopify over BigCommerce, or if you are facing a dilemma of BigCommerce vs. Shopify for setting up your own online store, then you can read on to find out everything you need to know about Shopify and BigCommerce main features, their advantages and disadvantages, and most importantly – how they compare to one another, and which one is better.
Our head-to-head Shopify BigCommerce comparison is based on in-depth research and testing of each of these excellent ecommerce solutions. We have carefully tested and reviewed all of the essential features which make an ecommerce platform great, including – the ease of use, the fast setup, the available ecommerce tools and features, the design and customizability, the customer support, payment methods, and transaction fees, price and more.
Related: Shopify Reviews 2021 — Key Pros and Cons / Pricing / Features
Read on to find out which ecommerce solution fares better in this BigCommerce vs. Shopify battle.
- Shopify vs BigCommerce: Head-to-Head
- Shopify vs BigCommerce: Pros and Cons
- What’s the Difference Between Shopify and BigCommerce?
- Which Is Easiest to Use?
- Which Has the Best Sales Features?
- Which Has the Better Design?
- Which is Better for Big Businesses?
- Which Has Better Customer Support?
- Which Is Better Value for Money?
- Conclusion: Which Is Better, Shopify, or BigCommerce?
Shopify vs BigCommerce: Head-to-Head
You can try out Shopify for free for 14 days now.
Shopify vs BigCommerce: Pros and Cons
Shopify Pros and Cons
- One of the leading ecommerce platforms with the best sales features
- The host and basis of millions of online stores around the world
- Multiple built-in ecommerce tools and features and hundreds of apps
- Integrated multi-channel sales and inventory system
- Professionally designed themes and designs
- 100+ payment options and gateways
- 24/7 customer support
- It charges transaction fees for payments unless they are made via Shopify Payments
- Switching templates often requires that you reformat your website
- Not so suitable for international scalability, as it relies on apps for currency support
BigCommerce Pros and Cons
- One of the most generous ecommerce platforms when it comes to built-in sales features and tools
- High scalability, perfect for rapidly growing and high volume online businesses
- Integrated multi-channel sales
- Powerful SEO features
- It doesn’t charge transaction fees
- The interface and complicated terminology is not as easy to use as other ecommerce builders
- You will need to have some coding skills if you want to customize your online store in detail
- The plans have yearly thresholds, so you will be required to upgrade if you cross the maximum sales volumes
What’s the Difference Between Shopify and BigCommerce?
Shopify and BigCommerce are both leading ecommerce website building and running platforms that have been growing in popularity over the years.
While BigCommerce and Shopify are quite similar in their goals to provide the best conditions, sales tools, and features for online merchants to create and run their own online stores and businesses, the two platforms have their differences as well.
While BigCommerce relies on one of the widest arrays of integrated ecommerce tools and features, Shopify boasts some excellent built-in features too but relies more on the vast choice of ecommerce apps at the Shopify App Store.
Plus, BigCommerce is a more suitable choice for larger web stores with bigger volumes, while Shopify has the goal of promoting sales and boosting the growth of small to medium online stores.
The differences between BigCommerce and Shopify also include the transaction fees, which the user owes to Shopify for every payment made, excluding the in-house payment gateway, and the fact that BigCommerce will not charge its users transaction fees at all.
While Shopify is a more suitable option for dropshipping and for making landing pages and for blog posts, BigCommerce is a better choice for a user interested in adding product reviews and improving the SEO.
There are other differences and similarities between two of the leading ecommerce platforms, which you can read on to find out more about.
Which Is Easiest to Use?
The ease of use of an ecommerce website builder and platform is one of the first features which users look for when picking the best one for their needs. This is especially true for any user with no coding skills and with limited tech skills who wants to be able to set up and run their own online store without the need to hire expensive professional developers and designers.
In the ease of use round of the BigCommerce vs. Shopify challenge, it is easy to conclude that Shopify is the winner. Shopify is designed to be easy to understand and use, even by newbies.
The website editor has a user-friendly interface, and building an online shop with Shopify comes with useful guidance and assistance from the platform. This means that you will be able to build and run your online shop much faster, easier, and frustration-free as compared to other ecommerce solutions, BigCommerce included.
BigCommerce also has a website builder and editor interface designed for online merchants who want to be in complete control of building the storefronts and backends of their online shops. But BigCommerce has some terms which are more difficult to understand by non-tech-savvy users.
It is a bit more complicated to navigate while customizing the shop. This means that for people with no experience in website building and tech terminology, setting up and running an online retail business with BigCommerce can be a more difficult and time-consuming process.
The BigCommerce platform is a more suitable option for online merchants who already have experience using the website builder and for those who have more tech experience and knowledge.
The reason why beginners find BigCommerce more challenging is due to its specific split editor design and all of the built-in ecommerce tools and features. The split editor allows users to set up the backend of a store and the storefront separately, which is a huge plus for experienced ecommerce entrepreneurs, but not as easy to grasp by newbies.
Still, if you understand the logic of BigCommerce and want to take advantage of the huge array of ecommerce tools it offers, you may prefer using it and will be happy with the onboarding process, which makes building a web-based store more intuitive.
Another plus of the BigCommerce website builder is its Store Design visual tool, which allows for customizing and editing the storefront of your online shop in real-time and preview it on-screen. This prevents the need to skip back and forth from the split editor and to the preview.
There is ongoing guidance while using the BigCommerce online shop builder, and users have access to useful customer support throughout the process as well.
Overall, being a more powerful ecommerce platform, BigCommerce is the more challenging of the two, but it has its positive sides as well. These include the fact that most of the ecommerce tools and features are already made available to users during the website building process and that more customizations can be performed both to the storefront and its backend.
Shopify is a more user-friendly and simpler option, suitable for beginners.
Shopify vs BigCommerce – Ease of Use: The Verdict
As a whole, Shopify is the clear winner in the ease of use challenge between Shopify and BigCommerce. It is a better choice for newbies.
BigCommerce is a more complicated ecommerce platform that requires some learning and getting used to, while the easy-to-use Shopify will allow people with no tech skills to build an online store and get it up and working much faster and easier.
You can try Shopify for free using the 14-day free trial here.
Which Has the Best Sales Features?
The sales tools and features offered by an ecommerce platform are also a feature which any future online merchant should keep in mind before choosing the best ecommerce solution.
Sales features and tools include everything you need to actually sell the products listed on your web store, including the shipping rate calculations, the tax rates, the inventory management, the tracking, the labeling and packaging, customer support, returns, marketing tools, and more.
So, let’s see how BigCommerce and Shopify compare when it comes to sales features and tools.
While Shopify is the top-rated ecommerce platform when it comes to its sales features according to the user ratings and reviews, BigCommerce is the ecommerce solution that comes with the most built-in sales tools and features of all platforms on the market.
With both Shopify and BigCommerce, you can expect to receive essential sales features such as:
- Abandoned cart recovery
- Multiple sales channels
- A free SSL certificate
- Robust inventory management
- Unlimited product listing and sales
- Shopping cart and checkout features and store experience
- Discount codes
- Several staff accounts
- Access to 100+ payment gateways
- Access to an internet-based store builder and professional templates in different industry categories
- A choice of product display options
- Adjustable customer logins and checkout options
- Free shipping, real-time shipping quotes, and printing shipping labels
- Tax rate calculators
- SEO features and tools
- 24/7 customer support
- Access to additional apps
With these ecommerce tools and features, running your online store will be much easier, and will be legitimate, which can help establish yourself as a trusted online merchant, brand, and a preferred online shop among customers.
So, where are the differences between Shopify and BigCommerce when it comes to sales features?
Shopify Sales Features
Shopify comes with built-in sales tools and features that are sufficient for building and running an online store, but you will need to use and, in some cases, pay for apps for some more advanced features.
Thankfully, the Shopify App Store has more than 1,500 apps, some of which are free and others paid, and some of which are in-house and others developed by third parties, which you can choose from.
Then again, you need to be careful when selecting which apps to use for your website because the monthly and annual maintenance prices can grow rapidly if you use too many paid apps.
Here are some of the best Shopify sales tools and features to look forward to if you become a client of the platform:
- A tipping feature which can be customized for asking your customers at checkout for a tip or for donations to a preferred charity
- The Express theme is perfect for restaurants and allows for easy setup of an online store and other features like reservations
- The Shop App allows customers to favorite and follow their favorite Shopify stores and get recommendations about products they may be interested in
- Safe local delivery and curbside pickup which is a new contact-free delivery option perfect for the safety of customers during times of pandemic
- Shopify balance which will allow you to track your expenses, pay your bills and apply for funding via the Shopify admin profile
- The useful Shopify mobile app will allow you to edit, run and keep track of your online business on the go
Customers of the Shopify platform also gain access to the in-house Shopify POS Payments gateway, which will eliminate the transaction fees which are charged for sales made via your online shop. You can sign up for Shopify Payments and use it on your website instead of adding third-party gateways like Stripe or PayPal, which come with their own processing fees, and which are charged with fees by Shopify too.
BigCommerce Sales Features
BigCommerce comes with a much wider assortment of built-in sales features with each plan but offers fewer apps which you can add to your online store.
Still, BigCommerce is the ecommerce platform with the most integrated sales tools and features of all of the solutions on the market. In other words, with BigCommerce, you will have everything you need to start and run an online shop successfully, without the need for buying and installing other apps.
BigCommerce allows its users to sell all types of products – physical, digital, and services. All types are already built-in into the shop template, so you won’t need to use additional apps to add different product types.
BigCommerce also comes with built-in ecommerce features like:
- No transaction fees for the 100+ payment gateways
- Unlimited staff accounts, traffic, and products
- A mobile app to control your online store from your phone
- A blogging feature with SEO optimization
- Professional range reporting tools
- Multi-channel sales options for promoting and selling your products on Facebook, Instagram, Google Shopping, eBay, and Amazon
- Product ratings and reviews
- Support for multiple currencies
- A full set of search engines optimization features and tools
- Tax rate calculation
- Shipping rate calculator, printing labels, shipping options
- Customization of customer logins and checkout settings
- Complete control over the product display and presentations and variations
- 86 mobile responsive themes, 12 of which are free
- 24/7 customer help and support
But the fact that BigCommerce offers such a wide range of built-in features and tools for ecommerce can make the platform more difficult to navigate and handle, especially for beginners. Plus, all of these sales features can be overkill for small or newly started businesses.
But if you are experienced in ecommerce and want to get the best value for money without needing to pay for additional apps and extensions, BigCommerce is the better choice.
Shopify vs BigCommerce – Sales Features: The Verdict
Both Shopify and BigCommerce are among the best ecommerce platforms, especially when it comes to integrated and additional sales features and tools.
Shopify has a more extensive app store, which will allow you to customize the features but can cost you more in the long run. BigCommerce comes with the biggest selection of built-in ecommerce tools and features, which can be overwhelming for beginners but is excellent news for bigger stores and advanced users who want to make the most of their money.
So, the result in the sales features round of the BigCommerce vs. Shopify challenge is a tie. It depends on your personal preferences, skill levels, and the type of online store you will be running.
Which Has the Better Design?
The design of an online shop or of any website is the most important element for attracting and keeping visitors to your site, especially given the overwhelming competition online. If your website looks professional and well-designed, the likelihood of visitors staying on it and making a purchase is much bigger.
Keep in mind that internet users and online shoppers today are bombarded with options for online buying, so your online store should definitely be well designed, stand out from the rest, and be intuitive and easy to browse and use.
So how do the two ecommerce giants fare in the design flexibility challenge in this BigCommerce versus Shopify comparison?
Both BigCommerce or Shopify are dedicated ecommerce website builders and platforms, and as such, have themes and templates which are designed especially for online stores and for promoting online sales.
This makes them both sales-driven in comparison to other leading general website builders like Wix and Squarespace, which are more focused on the design and which have some of the most aesthetically pleasing and sleek themes and designs.
Still, Shopify is one of the top-ranked website builders when it comes to design, according to our research and to the user ratings and rankings. It is just behind the leaders – Squarespace and Wix, and ahead of BigCommerce.
Shopify offers its users access to 74 professionally designed ecommerce based themes, 10 of which are available for free. The paid themes cost from $140 to $180.
The Shopify themes are sleek and modern looking and are mobile responsive. You can find Shopify themes suitable for 10+ industry categories and themes which will match most ecommerce websites.
There are themes designed especially for industries and online stores for art and photography, electronics, clothing and fashion, home and garden, food and drinks, sports and recreation, furniture, jewelry and accessories, toys and games, and many more.
Plus, thanks to the user-friendly live editor, you can customize the themes and get an instant preview of what your online shop will look like on a computer, mobile phone, or on any screen size.
If you are familiar with HTML and CSS coding, you can customize the Shopify themes even further and in more detail.
The problem with the Shopify themes is that if at some point, you decide to switch to another theme, your website content will most likely need to be reformatted and re-edited to suit the new theme.
Overall, Shopify has one of the most professional and modern-looking themes on the market, and the nifty live editor, which you can use to customize them and preview them in real-time, is a huge plus for the ecommerce platform.
You can browse through all of the themes offered by Shopify here.
BigCommerce offers its users access to 86+ themes, of which 12 are free to use. The price of the premium themes on BigCommerce ranges from $150 to $300.
The BigCommerce themes have a more professional and traditional design, especially when compared to Shopify themes.
There are themes designed for different industries, such as animals and pets, arts and crafts, automotive and industrial, electronics, books and entertainment, jewelry and fashion, gifts and specialty, food and beverage, home and garden, health and beauty, toys and games and sports and recreation.
You can also search for the best theme on BigCommerce within the different theme collections, such as themes that are optimized for large catalogs, those optimized for small catalogs, themes with grid layouts, or those with a left-hand menu, themes that are AMP-enabled those which support large images and more.
Keep in mind that the BigCommerce themes are designed in accordance with specific industries or the products you want to sell, so if you are looking for features like picture zoom, you should opt for a suitable theme from the fashion and jewelry category.
The good news is that unlike with Shopify if you decide to switch from one theme to another on BigCommerce, the content of your online store will be automatically reformatted for you.
Plus, all of the BigCommerce themes are mobile responsive, and thanks to the split editor, you can ensure that your website looks good on any display size and on any device. If you are familiar with coding, you can further customize your BigCommerce theme to your liking.
The problem which some users have, according to the design reviews of BigCommerce, is that the themes offered for free do not look as modern as those offered by website builders like Squarespace, Wix, and vs. Shopify.
The free themes can look somewhat outdated, so you may have to spend $150 to $300 to update to a paid one for a more modern and sleek look of your online store.
Thanks to the Store Design ecommerce tool offered by BigCommerce, you can get real-time previews of how the storefront looks at all times during the editing process without switching from one screen to another.
This will make the setup of your ecommerce store and its customization to meet your preferences much easier and quicker.
You can check out the BigCommerce themes here.
Shopify or BigCommerce – Design: The Verdict
In the design round of the BigCommerce vs. Shopify comparison, the winner is Shopify. Shopify offers more modern and sleek-looking themes, and the paid themes are more affordable than those offered by BigCommerce.
On the other hand, BigCommerce offers a wider choice of themes in more industries, and switching themes in BigCommerce does not reformat your website, while with Shopify, this could pose a serious problem and require a lot of work.
You can choose the best Shopify theme for your needs here.
Which is Better for Big Businesses?
While both Shopify and BigCommerce have pricing plans suitable for small and new online stores and businesses, both ecommerce platforms also offer advanced plans for big businesses and enterprises.
Apart from its Basic, Shopify, and Advanced plans costing from $29 per month to $299 per month, Shopify has a Shopify Plus plan, which is designed for large enterprises, and its price starts from $2,000 monthly. It is the plan which caters to more than 7,000 huge brands and stores like Heinz, Rebecca Minkoff, Rothy’s, and others.
Related content: Shopify Pricing Plans 2021: Which Plan Should I Pick?
The Shopify Plus plan is advertised by the ecommerce solution as the one allowing for the fastest transformation from a traditional store into an enterprise premium platform, and which takes only 3-4 months as compared to others, which take 12 to 18 months.
As for BigCommerce, it has Standard, Plus, and Pro plans, which cost from $29.95 per month up to $299 per month. The platform offers an Enterprise plan, which has a custom price.
So, how do these large business pricing plans differ, and how do they compare when it comes to the BigCommerce vs. Shopify comparison?
The prices of the Shopify Plus and the BigCommerce Enterprise plans are dependent on the annual revenues of the companies.
Shopify Plus starts at a minimum of $2,000 monthly, while the price offered by BigCommerce can vary from $500 up to $15,000 monthly.
But keep in mind that BigCommerce comes with a much wider assortment of ecommerce tools and features included in its Enterprise plan, as compared to those included in the Shopify Plus plan, so you should be prepared to spend a lot more money on additional apps if you opt for the Shopify Plus plan for your big business.
In fact, calculations show that you may need to spend an additional $30,000 and more on third-party apps per year if you choose Shopify.
But of course, this all depends on the ecommerce features you will be needing and using and your business type.
You can expect to receive the following features included in the Shopify Plus plan:
- 60% faster checkout and up to 18% higher conversion
- 3D, AR, video media
- Multiple languages and localized store experiences
- Advanced shipping rates and discounts
- 99.99% uptime
- Exceptional inventory management from the Shopify admin of all your stores, warehouses, staff, and workflow
- Automatic discounts, campaigns, and others
- Avalara tax automation
- Easy and quick migration of your previous store and customer and products data
- Support by a Shopify Plus expert assigned to you individually
And here are the main features included in the BigCommerce Enterprise plan:
- Multiple currencies
- No added transaction fees
- Price lists
- Unlimited accounts for your staff
- Multiple sales channels, including Amazon, eBay, and POS
- Discounts, coupons, gift cards, and more
- Customizable checkout
- Abandoned cart recovery saver
- Google Customer Reviews
- Custom facets and product filtering
- Enterprise services
- Unlimited API calls
- 24/7 live chat customer and technical support
While the customer support for the Shopify Plus users can be more useful than that provided to BigCommerce Enterprise customers, BigCommerce can handle 400 API calls, in comparison to the 10 handles by Shopify, which is a huge advantage.
Shopify vs BigCommerce – Enterprise Business: The Verdict
The result of the best for the big business round in the BigCommerce and Shopify head-to-head comparison is a tie. Both ecommerce platforms offer superb solutions for the largest enterprises. While BigCommerce pricing plans have more built-in tools that can save you thousands of dollars for paying for third-party apps, Shopify Plus is capable of handling more transactions per minute than BigCommerce Enterprise.
Which Has Better Customer Support?
Customer support is crucial if you want a properly functioning and smooth running online business that is available at all times and is capable of serving the needs of your customers day or night.
So, here is the BigCommerce and Shopify customer support comparison.
Both e-commerce platforms offer high quality and timely customer support, including:
- 24/7 live chat support
- 24/7 phone support
- Email customer support
- Extensive help centers
- Community support forums
- Video guides and tutorials
- Advanced expert support
The BigCommerce Help Center is comprehensive and useful, including a Knowledge Base, a Community, Ideas and News and Updates which you can refer to when you need guidance, troubleshooting, and assistance. You can browse through the help center or search it for specific issues you are having.
The Shopify Help Center is easier to navigate. It is searchable and browsable through different useful categories.
Shopify also provides social media support team while BigCommerce does not.
Another plus for Shopify is that if you have an issue during the setup and editing of your online shop, you will immediately be guided to the suitable help topic or source at the Shopify Knowledge Center, which is incredibly useful and will save time for having to open new tabs and perform searches.
With each of the two ecommerce platforms, you will gain access to priority support if you sign up for the highest plans. With the Shopify Plus plan, you will receive access to an individually assigned dedicated support expert and agent. With the BigCommerce Enterprise plan, business owners will receive top priority treatment if they request phone support.
Shopify vs BigCommerce – Customer Support: The Verdict
Shopify offers better customer help and support of the two leading ecommerce platforms. It takes the lead in this challenge thanks to its nifty automatic redirection to a relevant help topic in the editor, its social media support, and the dedicated agent support for the Shopify Plus plan customers.
Nevertheless, each of these ecommerce solutions offers a wide range of useful help and support, including live chat support, so you won’t be left alone and wondering if you have an issue with your online business, no matter which one of the two platforms you choose – BigCommerce or Shopify.
Which Is Better Value for Money?
No matter what type of store and business you are running, choosing the e-commerce platform, which offers the best value for money is important for any entrepreneur.
After all, the idea of setting up an online store is to make money rather than lose it.
Both Shopify and BigCommerce have free trials, with the Shopify free trial being 14 days and that offered by BigCommerce 15 days.
The pricing of the plans offered by Shopify ranges from $29 up to $299 per month and starts from $2,000 a month for the Plus plan. There is also a cheap Lite plan, which costs only $9 monthly and allows users to add a buy button to any website.
BigCommerce has 3 main pricing plans, which cost from $29.95 per month up to $299.95 monthly, as well as the Enterprise plan, which comes with a custom-tailored price.
With Shopify, if you decide to upgrade from the Basic to the Shopify plan, which costs $79 per month, you will gain access to a lot of new features and tools not included in the less expensive plan. Some of these include 5 staff accounts, 5 store locations, professional reports, up to 72% shipping discounts, lower transaction fees and credit card rates, multiple currencies, 2 languages, international domains, and more.
With the highest price Advanced Shopify plan, which costs $299 per month, you will get further extra features, including an advanced report builder, 15 staff accounts, 8 locations, third party shipping calculator, 74% shipping discounts, sales in 5 languages, and even lower transaction and credit card fees.
You can test each of the Shopify plans for 14 days completely free.
And you can save 10 to 20% from the monthly fees if you sign up for a 1-year or 2-year payment plan.
Keep in mind that the more in-house or third-party apps you add to your online shop, the steeper your monthly costs can become with Shopify.
Save up to 20% on your Shopify plan
You can save up to 20% of the monthly plan fees by paying biannually and get a 10% discount if you pay annually for any of the Shopify plans.
As for BigCommerce, by upgrading from the lowest Standard plan to the most popular Plus plan, which costs $79.95 per month, you will unlock additional features such as customer group segmenting, abandoned cart saver, persistent cart, credit card storage option, lower PayPal credit card rated, and annual sales of up to $180k.
The Pro price plan, which costs $299.95 monthly, provides access to even more features, such as faceted product filtering search, Google customer reviews, custom SSL, and support of annual sales of up to $400k.
The most significant advantage of the BigCommerce pricing is that you will receive exactly what you are paying for, without the need of adding paid third-party apps to your store in order to sell your products.
You can get a 10% discount from the pricing of the Plus and Pro plans if you pay annually instead of monthly.
And you can try out any BigCommerce price plan for free for 15 days before deciding whether to commit to the platform or not.
Shopify vs BigCommerce – Pricing Plans: The Verdict
The result of this final round in our BigCommerce vs. Shopify comparison is that BigCommerce offers a better value for money when compared to Shopify.
While both platforms have reasonably priced plans, the features you will get with any of the BigCommerce plans are more than those provided by Shopify.
With Shopify, you will most likely find yourself spending more money on app subscriptions over time, which can make the venture quite costly.
You can browse through the BigCommerce plans here.
Conclusion: Which Is Better, Shopify, or BigCommerce?
So, who is the overall winner in the BigCommerce vs. Shopify battle?
The answer to this question is that it depends on your specific needs, your business, your skill levels, and your preferences.
Overall, when we compare Shopify and BigCommerce, Shopify is the easier ecommerce platform to use, and it is also the top-rated best overall ecommerce solution on the market.
BigCommerce offers the broadest range of built-in ecommerce tools and features but can be more complicated to work with, especially for beginners who want to sell online. It is a better choice for larger and for faster-growing businesses.
Shopify is a suitable option for online stores of all types and sizes and offers modern designs and a wide choice of business apps for every need.
BigCommerce has all the essential ecommerce features integrated within the platform, so you won’t need to rely on additional apps in most cases. It is the most scalable ecommerce solution on the market.
If we count the results of each of our comparison “rounds,” the end result shows that Shopify is the overall winner in the BigCommerce vs. Shopify challenge.
It is the best ecommerce website builder and platform on the market, suitable for the tiniest to the biggest online stores.
Still, when you compare BigCommerce and Shopify, which of the two ecommerce leading platforms is the best option for you is a matter of personal preferences and needs, so good luck with your choice, and we hope that we have been helpful for you to make an informed decision.