The war between Shopify vs. BigCommerce has been raging on since the beginning of time.
Well, from some time ago.
And they are not really at war.
The point is that if you’re in a bit of a dilemma as to which platform to use for your next eCommerce venture, then you have come to the right place.
If you’re attempting to open a shop, using Shopify or BigCommerce could be a smart move. They both offer similar functions and features with some key differences.
When most people get started, they base their decision on which service offers the best features at the best price. Unfortunately, this can lead you to make the wrong choice and find out that your business needs far exceed what the platform can provide.
But which one should you choose?
This article will help you decide. If you need help, just jump straight to it below, and we will get you covered.
Shopify vs. BigCommerce: A Quick Overview
Simply put, Shopify and BigCommerce are two of the most popular solutions in the industry, and both can be powerful tools for a business looking to sell online.
So, which one is better?
The truth is that there’s no definitive answer here.
Let’s take a look at some quick stats and graphs:
You can quickly see how Shopify (blue line) has dominated the search trend through the years. Notice the big spike for both during August 2020-time at which eCommerce presented itself as a profitable alternative to a hurting economy brought about by the pandemic.
This graph shows greater detail on the equity of both companies through a three-year span. BigCommerce (green) briefly tripled its equity when it debuted in US trading in August 2020. Trends were then set back to normal once Shopify began to increase its value, especially during the second half of 2021.
When it comes to trends among people, there is no doubt that Shopify has positioned itself as the first choice for many merchants. Nevertheless, and as we have stated before, this should not be a tipping point to make the call of which way to go.
Shopify and BigCommerce are similar in many ways: they’re both hosted solutions with all their features built-in, they both have themes to choose from, they both offer multiple plans with different pricing levels and feature sets, and so on.
Both platforms have their pros and cons, and you must have a crystal-clear picture of what each has to offer before deciding on one. There’s no one-size-fits-all solution when it comes to eCommerce platforms.
That said, there are a few key differences between Shopify vs. BigCommerce that you should consider when deciding which platform to use for your eCommerce business. This post will look at these differences and some similarities between the two platforms.
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What are the basic differences between the two?
Shopify is the most well-known, but BigCommerce is also a compelling option for entrepreneurs who want to get up and running faster or want a more feature-packed solution.
For the most part, Shopify is similar to BigCommerce on the surface. Both are relatively intuitive, offer features that make it easy to set up and manage an online shop and allow users to design their stores, add products and edit them all from within the same interface.
The differences come with pricing models, security options, payment processing alternatives, and subscription packages.
Here’s a quick side-by-side overview of all the options offered:
|Shopify Lite||Shopify Basic||Shopify||Shopify Advanced||BigCommerce Standard||BigCommerce Plus||BigCommerce Pro|
|Customer Support||24/7 chat and phone||24/7 chat and phone||24/7 chat and phone||24/7 chat and phone||24/7 chat and phone||24/7 chat and phone||24/7 chat and phone|
|Credit card rates per transaction||2.9% + $0.30||2.9% + $0.30||2.6% + $0.30||2.4% + $0.30||2.9% + $0.30||2.5% + $0.30||2.2% + $0.30|
In general, as you can see, Shopify has more affordable options for basic features. Just keep in mind that the cheapest Shopify tier does not include a website but a purchase button that you can add to your current website. Check out our review of Shopify Lite if you want to learn more.
BigCommerce is a more robust platform with more features out-of-the-box. Shopify requires apps for many functions automatically built into BigCommerce, including real-time shipping quotes and abandoned cart tools. That said, Shopify offers a much broader app store than BigCommerce. So, if you want to add some of those advanced features to your store, you’ll likely find an app for it in the Shopify App Store.
Both platforms offer template-based website designs that users can customize via drag-and-drop editors. However, BigCommerce has fewer design options than Shopify, with only about 50 themes available compared to more than 100 in Shopify’s Theme Store. The pricing of the themes is not too different from each other: BigCommerce prices range from $150 to $300, and Shopify sells them within a $150 – $350 range.
Shopify vs. BigCommerce: Features
Your store is unique, and so are your needs. Wondering if Shopify or BigCommerce can meet you where you want to be?
There is no need to worry about that one.
Both of them have everything you might need. It’s almost like it is right there if you can think it.
If there is something you desperately need but cannot find, we can make it happen for you. Fabricating dreams, remember?
You noticed from the table above that all plans from both companies have the same conditions for some features. These are some you will also find in both:
- “Point of sale” for your brick-and-mortar store
- Mobile optimization
- Credit-card processing
- Automatic tax calculation
- Drag-and-drop to easily build your store
- Social media buttons and tools to sell there too
- Shipping integrations
- PCI compliance
- Inventory management
And there is a lot more to discover once you look under the hood of these platforms. So, while they are not engaged in a quarrel, both are in the loop of what’s happening in the market.
They will integrate any feature that gets integrated by competitors.
Pros and Cons
Not everything is perfect when it comes to these business options. There are some snags you might hit that you should take into account. We have summarized both platforms’ most essential pros and cons for you:
- It’s easy to use
- Seamless social media integration
- Reliable customer support
- Good documentation
- Secure payment solution
- Powerful inventory management
- Need to reformat your site if you change themes
- Transaction fees (unless you use their payment solution)
- Not so strong for international scalability
- Large amount of built-in features, so there is no need to install apps
- Solid option for scalability
- No transaction fees
- Multi-channel selling
- Easy to add product variants and opportunities
- Strong SEO capabilities
- Complex technology is not so easy for starters
- You will need to use some code to get the best out of the tech
- There are annual sales thresholds-if you cross them, you will pay more
Get help from the best collective
Nothing beats that feeling of having your business running smoothly without worrying about the gears and wheels. That’s what we’re here for.
Contra Collective offers a premium experience where all you have to worry about is selling. Get in touch today. There’s a friendly hand on the other side waiting to get you up and running in no time.