Shopify Vs. BigCommerce: Which E-Commerce Platform Is Best Suited for Your Business?

The e-commerce arena is no stranger to the Shopify vs. BigCommerce showdown. Both platforms are highly regarded, with Shopify serving notable brands like Budweiser, Nestle, and Tesla, and BigCommerce being the choice for Rogue American Apparel and Chapul. The main decision an online store owner needs to make is that of the e-commerce platform to host their store. This major decision will determine your store’s success and ease of management. Below is a discussion of all the information you need to make the right decision: 

Price

Both e-commerce platforms charge certain fees for their hosting services. Both have tiered pricing plans, with Shopify having four to choose from: Shopify, there is Shopify Lite ($9/month), Shopify Basic ($29/month), Shopify ($79/month) and Shopify Plus ($299/month). BigCommerce brings you Standard ($29.95/month), Plus (79.95/month), and Pro ($199.95/month). At the top of the tier is BigCommerce enterprise, whose fees are by quote.

Shopify lite is a low-cost plan, that, however, does not give you a full-fledged online store. It works best if you have a WordPress or Joomla website or social media page which you would like to empower with e-commerce functionality. It gives you a ‘buy now’ button to sell your digital or physical products.

BigCommerce standard and Shopify Basic are the next least expensive plans, which enable you to sell an infinite number of products. BigCommerce Standard, though, edges out Shopify Basic with access to four essential features: ratings and review feature, real-time shipping quotes, gift cards, and professional report generators. Shopify offers a free review app. Shopify Basic makes up for these features by not having a sales limit of $50,000 like BigCommerce standard. Exceeding a sales margin of $50,000 will require you to upgrade to the next plan. Moreover, Shopify Basic has the abandoned cart recovery, which BigCommerce only offers to BigCommerce Plus, Pro and Enterprise users.

Transaction fees

BigCommerce wins in this category, as it charges no transaction fee at all on your sales. Shopify only charges 0% transaction fees for users of the Shopify Gateway plan; otherwise, when you use any other payment gateway, you are charged 2% on Shopify Basic and Lite, 1% on Shopify and 0.5% on Shopify Plus. These charges are only exempted from users in Australia, Canada, Hong Kong, Singapore, Spain, UK, Japan, New Zealand, Ireland, and Germany, as those are the only states in which Shopify Payments is available.

Site functionality

The crucial factor in the success of your online store will be its technical functionality; speed, uptime, SEO and other factors.

BigCommerce has a record uptime of 99.99% compared to Shopify’s 99.97%. However, the balances tip over when it comes to speed, as Shopify pages open in a record 45 milliseconds compared to BigCommerce’s 175 milliseconds.

Search Engine Optimization is crucial in increasing the chances of your site being clicked. To improve your rankings on search engines, you should have a simple site URL. Shopify enables you to have the best possible URL by allowing you to add keywords and optimize its length. However, it also adds stuff like /products/ and /collections/, which works to lower your ranking. BigCommerce edges Shopify here by giving you full control of your URL: no extra info, leading to better-optimized URLs.

Storefront functionality

Storefront functionality essentially refers to the features your store has that makes it convenient to run. Just like a physical store, your online store needs inventory management, reports, payments management, and shipping handling. Shopify offers you over 1,500 apps for extended functionality on its app store, while BigCommerce has a narrower selection, with 400 apps in its store. This may be because BigCommerce already has most of the features you need already integrated into your default store. However, if you are looking for better versatility, Shopify is the way to go. Moreover, Shopify offers you 100 payment gateways compared to BigCommerce’s 60, which increases you and your clients’ options. Shopify’s POS app enables you to manage your retail store’s payments and other store functions on the move, while BigCommerce does not have a mobile app.

Design

Looking to make your store have a personal feel, or make it exude your brand’s personality? This is where store design comes in. The right store design will impress your customers even before they inspect your products. Both Shopify and BigCommerce has an extensive collection of mobile-friendly, customizable themes that are cast across tens of industries. Shopify, however, offers you ten modern, intuitive themes if you are on a budget, with the rest going for $140-$180. BigCommerce’s seven free themes tend to be rather flat and to upgrade your design; you need to purchase a theme ranging from $145-$235.

Shopify allows you to edit your theme using the unique Shopify Liquid code, which may be on the technical side. BigCommerce has a simple drag-and-drop function and split-screen live editor that is easy to use and less hectic. Shopify’s themes, still, are more creativity-oriented and better responsive to Smartphone and tablet screens.

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User-friendly interface

Your store’s user interface should be easy to understand to enable you and your clients browse through your store without extra trouble. To start an online store, you will need to enter plenty of details; products’ images, specs, shipping costs, taxes, and others, and with a technical dashboard, you will hit a snag. Shopify has the friendliest dashboard compared with BigCommerce, with expert reviewers making Shopify 14% more comfortable to use that BigCommerce. With Shopify, you can add products and their specs with few clicks. However, BigCommerce offers beginners a quick tour and overviews to help you get started, which Shopify does not.

Conclusion:

With either Shopify or BigCommerce, you cannot go wrong. Both are well-established functions with the best tech support and ever increasing functionality to improve their clients’ experience. However, to make the best choice, try out their 14-day free trials and carefully gauge the specs before committing any hard-earned savings. What works for a reviewer’s store may not work for yours. Moreover, calling their dedicated customer service will give you accurate, fine-tuned answers to all your questions.