Trying to find the best eCommerce platform for your business can be quite confusing. There are so many options to choose from. Shopify and BigCommerce are two of the largest and widely recognized platforms on the market. How do you know which to choose? Read this comparison to determine which would be the right fit for you.
Features Of Shopify & BigCommerce
The features that you will find within Shopify’s platform include the following:
Your storefront is where you set up your online shop. The storefront is where you can customize your store choosing from over 70 templates. Your customers can order products directly online on multiple devices. The Shopify storefront platform allows access to a mobile commerce shopping cart to purchase products on the go.
The shopping cart offers a variety of features to assist with the catering of your customers. Offer automatic taxing, flexible shipping rates, and take advantage of the abandoned shopping cart recovery feature.
Marketing and SEO
This feature is your sales tool for maintaining and attracting customers. You can offer discounts, gift cards as well as provide product giveaways. You can use SEO optimization and integrate with social media platforms to increase your customer sales.
Use the Shopify platform to maintain and manage your products. You can maintain product variations, which include individual prices and SKU. Organize all your products by categories with the platform offering ease of ordering for your customers.
The web hosting feature of Shopify offers the ability to have unlimited traffic to your store, without being charged. You also can buy a domain from Shopify or bring your domain name to Shopify.
Your Shopify dashboard offers reports that allow you to analyze your products, monitor and track your sales, orders, and export reports for financial mgmt.
Receive support around the clock through forums, as well as a dedicated support team that offers assistance through email, phone or chat. You also have additional resources such as the eCommerce University and the Shopify help center.
Through the mobile app, you have the convenience of doing everything right from your mobile device. The information that you have can be synced with the Shopify platform to manage inventory, maintain your customer profiles, and perform order fulfillment directly from the mobile app.
Manage your Shopify store by integrating Dropshipping apps, sending automated emails, and linking with various fulfillment centers to fulfill orders. The store management feature allows you to keep your customer profiles updated and maintained.
BigCommerce offers many features under the BigCommerce Essentials umbrella. The Essentials product and service line are designed for small businesses. The features include the following:
Build & Design A Store
Build, design and host your store securely on the BigCommerce platform. This platform will allow you to customize and design a fully functional website to attract more customers.
This feature allows customers to be able to complete orders with the click of a button using a credit card or Paypal.
Apple Pay, Google Pay, Amazon Pay
Bigcommerce allows you to integrate with these payment apps for a speedier checkout.
Coupons, Discounts, Gift Cards
Offer promotional giveaways along with coupons, discounts and gift cards to attract customers.
Integrate With Apps
Increase marketing and SEO optimization through the ability to interact with various platforms, such as Google shopping. Enhance your email marketing by syncing with email marketing platforms.
Many of the features offered by BigCommerce are designed to convert customers by merely providing a convenient checkout process.
Find answers to your questions with ease using the 24/7 support features available. Speak to a support specialist through live chat, phone, or email. You also have access to several online resources to find answers to any questions that you may have.
Ship and Fulfill Orders
With BigCommerce, you can offer a variety of shipping options to your customers. You can print labels, offer free shipping as well as connect with international markets for automated global order fulfillment. When you sync your store with 3PL, you can keep up with your business inventory management.
Through the use of the BigCommerce channel managing system, you can sell in the marketplace, in person, and through social media channels. This feature allows you to sync with these various channels to maintain your online inventory error-free.
Global expansion is simplified through the features offered by BigCommerce. You can process payments and allow your storefront and products to appear in various languages.
How Much Will It Cost?
Shopify offers three pricing plans
Basic, which is $29/mo, Shopify $79/mo and the Advanced Shopify which is $299/mo. All plans include the following features:
- An online store that includes eCommerce website and blog
- Unlimited products
- Staff accounts- Basic is up to 2, Shopify up to 5 and Advanced up to 15
- Sales channels
- 24/7 support
- Manual order creation
- Discount codes
- Free SSL certificate
- Abandoned cart recovery
When you move up to the Shopify plan, you receive these additional features:
- Gift cards
- Professional reports
The advanced Shopify provides the following other benefits:
- Advanced report builder
- Third-party calculated shipping rates
All plans with Shopify provided discount shipping rates of over 60% on average. The basic plan is the only plan that does not have USPS mail cubic pricing, register shifts, and unlimited staff pins.
BigCommerce Essentials offers four different shopping plans depending on your needs. The standard plan is $29.95/mo, plus is $79.95/mo, pro is $249.95/mo and the enterprise which is custom pricing ( meaning you need to call for quote).
Included in all plans are the following features:
- No transaction fees
- Unlimited bandwidth
- Unlimited staff accounts
- eBay and amazon
- Google shopping
- Point of sale
- Responsive website
- Single-page checkout
- Apple pay, Google pay, Amazon pay
- Real-time shipping quotes
- Bigcommerce shipping such as USPS, DHL discounts- over 60% on the average
- Professional reporting tools
- Blog, Product ratings, Product reviews
- HTTP and dedicated SSL
The most popular plan is the plus plan. This allows up to $150k for online sales. The additional features that are included:
- Ability to reward customers through a loyalty program
- Stored credit cards
- Saving shopping carts
- Automated emails for abandoned shopping carts
If you have up to $400k in online sales annually, you would need the pro plan. For every $200k in online sales per year, you will need to add $150/mo to the pricing plan. The additional features found with the pro plan include:
- Google customer reviews
- Custom SSL
- Product filtering searches
The top plan which is the Enterprise plan offers a few more additional features:
- Custom product filtering
- Unlimited API calls
- API support
- Express routing and account management
Comparison of BigCommerce vs. Shopify
To provide you with the best overall comparing of the two eCommerce platforms, it was necessary to list the features and prices first. This gives you an idea of what each platform has to offer.
Now let’s compare the two, to obtain an outcome. The comparison will be based on the following:
- Site Navigation
Shopify’s site was easier to understand and navigate. Bigcommerce required a little digging to find even the simplest of items- such as FAQ. Some of the features were difficult to work through on the BigCommerce site.
Both platforms offer many features to facilitate and grow your online store. However, Shopify provides the feature of having a mobile app to allow managing your store from a mobile device. On the other hand, BigCommerce has built-in features to eliminate the need for purchasing third-party apps to sell certain products.
The cost of the plans for the 1st and 2nd tier of Shopify and BigCommerce are neck and neck. However, when you move to the higher-tiered plans, Shopify is more expensive. Shopify has certain features in the basic plan that BigCommerce doesn’t include until you upgrade to the 2nd tier. At the same time, BigCommerce has features built into the site that allow you to avoid additional fees.
Shopify and BigCommerce have similar advantages to the ability to sell across multiple platforms.
Shopify has additional advantages of:
- Having abandoned cart recovery included with the basic plan
- No limits on annual online sales for pricing plans
- Offers more modern options for theme and design website building templates
BigCommerce advantages are:
- The built-in features when upgrading to the BigCommerce Pro Plan whereas this is additional costs in Shopify
- It is said that BigCommerce has more of these built-in features compared to other eCommerce platforms
- Works best with larger businesses
Shopify’s disadvantages are:
- More transaction fees
- Not the best platform for international integration
- Lack of built-in features
BigCommerce disadvantages include:
- Lack of a mobile app
- Online annual sales limits on pricing plans
- Navigating the site is slightly more difficult than other platforms
In the Shopify vs BigCommerce battle of the best eCommerce platform, the winner does depend on your needs. Both platforms offer plenty of features and affordable pricing to help get your business in the right direction for sales and traffic. Both platforms offer the ability to optimize SEO and enhance email marketing tactics.
If you have a new online store and need a platform that is easy to navigate yet provides you with the basics- Shopify is your answer. If your online store is more complex and you require a more integrated setup with built-in features, then you need to look into BigCommerce.
The best way to see which is a better overall solution for your eCommerce needs is to take advantage of the free trials that both platforms offer. Shopify has a 14-day free trial, whereas BigCommerce has a 15-day free trial. At the end of the free trial, make your decision.