Shopify vs. BigCommerce: Which Platform Is Better to Use?

Shopify and BigCommerce are two of the most powerful e-commerce platform on the market. They make it easy for anyone to create, market, grow and maintain a highly profitable business all from one website. The two e-commerce rivals host tens of thousands of online retailers generating billions of dollars’ worth of business. The two platforms are both beginner-friendly, offer a variety of easy to use features and provide responsive, mobile friendly templates but each has its own strengths and weaknesses depending on your goals. 

Shopify vs. BigCommerce: At a Glance

Shopify and BigCommerce are both subscription-based e-commerce platforms that help businesses of all sizes, from solopreneurs to large international companies. Both platforms offer unlimited products, file storage and bandwidth on all their plans along with online storefronts, POS, online sales channels, customer support and gift cards. 

Both offer essential e-commerce features, such as basic shipping tools, a secure sockets layer (SSL) certificate that protects online payments and the ability to sell products over multiple social media channels. Both platforms are similarly priced, however, BigCommerce offers more built-in features while Shopify offers more than 8,000 paid and free third-party apps in its app store. 

Because BigCommerce is more future-rich, those features are scalable, requiring a steeper learning curve, Meanwhile, Shopify offers an easier base platform with the ability to scale by integrating some of the thousands of apps available in the Shopify app store. 

How Shopify vs. BigCommerce Stack Up

Shopify

BigCommerce

Pricing

INR 1,994 to INR 30,164 per month

INR 3,231.68 ($39) to INR 33062.54 ($399 ) to per month

Unlimited Products, Bandwidth and File Storage

All plans

All plans

Additional Staff Users

Basic Shopify: Two; Shopify: Five; Advanced Shopify: 15

Unlimited staff members on all plans

Security

Free SSL certificates on all plans, Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard compliant

Free SSL certificates on all plans, Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard compliant

Transaction Fee

Zero percent on all plans only if using Shopify Payments. If using an external payment gateway, transaction fees are 2% for Shopify Lite and Basic Shopify; 1% for Shopify and 0.5% for Advanced Shopify.

No transaction fees on any plan no matter what system is used to process card transactions

Mobile-Friendly

Yes

Yes

Customer Support

Shopify Lite offers 24/7 live chat and email. All other plans offer 24/7 live chat, email and phone support

All plans offer 24/7 live chat, email and phone support

 

For INR 1,994 per month (paid monthly), Basic Shopify includes a buy button, an online store with  two staff accounts, an online credit card processing fee of 2.9% plus  30 cents and up to four inventory locations. For INR 3,232.68 ($39) a month (paid monthly), BigCommerce Standard plan provides similar features with the exception of unlimited staff accounts. While Shopify charges a 2% transaction fee when users do not use Shopify Payments, BigCommerce does not have a transaction fee. 

For INR 6,546.22 ($79) (Paid monthly) BigCommerce’s Plus plan also includes extra tools to help increase customer conversions such as a stored credit card feature, abandoned cart saver and the ability to reward frequent customers with loyalty programs. Shopify’s Basic plan already includes abandoned cart recovery and discount code features, but its midtier plan at INR 6546.22 $79 pdf month (Paid monthly) includes five staff accounts, up to five inventory locations, discounted credit card rates and discounted transaction fees. 

Advanced Shopify at INR 30, 164 per month (paid monthly) includes advanced reporting, 15 staff accounts, up to eight inventory locations, duties and import collections for international sales, custom pricing by market and further discounts on credit card and transaction fees. BigCommerce’s Pro plan at INR 33,062.54 ($399) per month (paid monthly) unlocks Google customer reviews, custom product filtering and special credit card rates. 

Unlike Shopify, BigCommerce forces customers to upgrade plans depending on their online store’s annual sales. BigCommerce Standard is for shops that sell up to INR $50,000 per year, Plus plan is for stores with annual revenue of up to $180,000 and Pro is for annual revenue of up to $400,000. 

In addition to the similar three paid plans, Shopify does offer a Shopify Lite plan for those who want to sell products without maintaining an online store. The INR 745.77 ($9) per month plan allows users to embed a Buy Button on their personal website or sell items in person using the Shopify Point of Sale app and a card reader. 

BigCommerce vs Shopify: Pros and Cons

Pros

Cons

Shopify

• Unique theme options mean less design work for you

• Poor for international scalability – relies on third party apps for multi-currency support

• Quality app store with thousands of tools to choose from

• Transaction fees apply unless using Shopify Payments

• Website management is simple with Shopify’s easy-to-navigate dashboard

• Switching templates means reformatting your site

BigCommerce

• Has an incredible amount of built-in sales features, with no need for installation

• Small learning curve required for advanced features

• No transaction fees on any plan

• Not a lot of variation between different store themes

• Can accommodate up to 600 variations per product

• Features options aren’t as customizable as Shopify’s 

• Not a lot of variation between different store themes

 

Themes

Shopify and BigCommerce both have responsive themes. Shopify has eight free themes and BigCommerce has 12 free themes. Each can be customized to fit various industries. Shopify sells more than 70 themes ranging in cost from INR 12,429.52 ($150) to INR 29,002.23 ($350). BigOmmerce has 150 themes that range in price from $150 to $300. While both platforms offer mobile-friendly, responsive themes, Shopify has a reputation of always being a few steps ahead of the competition as far as theme design and usability. 

Shopping Cart

Online shoppers are easily distracted. If the checkout process is not quick and easy, store owners can lose potential customers easily, which is why a store’s shopping cart feature must be seamless. Shopify relies on third-party apps for a wide range of discount functionality including cart-level discounts, quality breaks or tiered pricing and automatic discounts for specific customer groups. BigCommerce allows users to create cart-level discounts and coupon codes as well as automatic discounts for customers tied to customer groups without the need for a third-party app.

Shopify offers more than 100 payment providers to support customers’ preferred payment methods while BigCommerce offers 65 pre-integrated online payment options.

SEO

Search engine optimization (SEO) is important for higher search rankings. BigCommerce offers several SEO features right out of the box, such as optimized URLs, unique URLs, embedded microdata into product is renamed. Shopify allows users to add keywords, modify meta titles and descriptions and edit URLs for blog posts. 

BigCommerce also offers professional reporting tools in each of its plans, while Shopify only offers standard reporting with its mid-tier plan and advanced reporting tools with its most expensive plan. Both BigCommerce and Shopify users can integrate Google Analytics for more in-depth reports on website user behavior. BigCommerce does a better job with out-of-the-box SEO features, however, Shopify has a better selection of available third-party apps to incorporate for SEO purposes.  

Conclusion

Both platforms allow beginners to build a beautiful online store. For true website building novices, Shopify is easier to use, making it a go-to-chance for beginners. One of the reasons BigCommerce is such a powerful e-commerce builder is that it offers built-in tools that require a learning curve. Shopify, on the other hand, is fairly reliant on its app store, making its basic platform more user-friendly for beginners. Still can’t decide? Both platforms offer free trials, so experiment with each platform to determine what works best for your company.