5 min read

Shopify vs BigCommerce: How To Choose the Right One for You

By Kristopher Crockett

Contents

Two major players in the world of hosted eCommerce software are BigCommerce and Shopify. Both offer simple to use shopping platforms for online businesses and provide out-of-the-box functionality to get you up and running quickly.

While both are targeted at people starting a business without the budget for a web developer, they do offer big business platforms for established eCommerce businesses. With billions of dollars in total sales, it’s easy to see why both platforms are popular with small and large eCommerce shops alike.

If you’re looking to start your eCommerce journey or scale your already existing eCommerce store, you may be looking at Shopify or BigCommerce to build your store. Both have their strong suits and downfalls.

Because they are both hosted and can be managed from anywhere with an internet connection, it can be a daunting task to decide which one is best for you. With all the bells and whistles they both boast, you need to know which one is best for your business. Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of both to help you decide which one is best suited for you.

Comparing Features

Both Shopify and BigCommerce provide easy-to-use on-demand platforms. They can sell on multiple channels, manage payments, orders, inventory, and shipping. Because they are both so similar on a high level, you need to dig a little deeper into their features to find out which one is better for your business. Let’s take a look at the similarities and differences.

Shopify

Shopify offers a robust set of features. These features make it one of the top-selling eCommerce platforms available today. Shopify offers:

  • Themes for your storefront – Shopify offers over 70 free and paid themes to build and customize your store. There are options that fit almost every design need. All themes are responsive, have a mobile shopping cart, and offer customization with HTML and CSS.

  • Web hosting – As an all-in-one solution, Shopify provides web hosting and a custom domain.

  • SSL certificates and PCI compliance – Keep your customer data safe and secure, Shopify automatically installs an SSL certificate and is PCI compliant.

  • Payments & Checkout – Shopify’s online shopping cart allows you to accept multiple payment methods. Use Shopify Payments or connect to over 100 third-party payment processors like PayPal, Square, and Stripe.

  • Orders – Handle orders efficiently with connections to fulfillment centers and drop-shippers. You also get access to customer profiles, accounts, and groups to streamline checkout and maintain order management.

  • Products – Shopify lets you list and sell an unlimited number of products, manage your inventory, and fulfill orders in just one click.

  • Marketing & Analytics – SEO tools help you increase your visibility in Search Engine Results Pages. You can offer discounts, gift cards and customize email templates. Enable product reviews, integrate social media profiles, sell on Facebook and get reports on the performance and reach of your ad campaigns.

  • Mobile App – The Shopify mobile app lets you manage your store, orders, inventory, and customers anywhere, syncing automatically to your reporting dashboard.

  • Add-on Tools – Shopify has an app store with additional ways to customize site design, create marketing campaigns, manage sales, inventory, reporting, and more.

  • Support – Shopify customer support team is available 24/7 by email, phone, and live chat. They also have an extensive help center, community forums, and an eCommerce university on their website.

As you can see, Shopify is a powerful platform that provides everything you need to build, manage, and update your eCommerce store. With add-ons and integrations, you can keep track of performance and see what is hot and what is not.

BigCommerce

BigCommerce also boasts an all-in-one solution. It has a large number of capabilities when it comes to starting and managing an online store. Let’s take a look at the features BigCommerce provides:

  • Site Building – BigCommerce has numerous paid and free themes. You can use their drag-and-drop website builder or use custom HTML and CSS for customization beyond a template. All BigCommerce sites are responsive for mobile devices and have a mobile-optimized checkout.

  • Hosting – Your hosting package comes with an SSL certificate, PCI compliance, and you can buy or use an existing domain name.

  • Payment Options – Accept payments by connecting to top payment gateways or taking advantage of special processing rates from Braintree.

  • Orders and Shipment – Order fulfillment, coupons, discounts, and gift cards are available on the BigCommerce platform. You can also offer a one-page checkout for customers and provide real-time shipping quotes.

  • Omnichannel selling – BigCommerce allows you to automatically connect to other sales channels like eBay, Amazon, Facebook, Instagram, Google Shopping, and more.

  • Promo Tools – BigCommerce has a wide range of promotion tools. From abandoned cart savers to analytics, these tools are designed to help promote your store.

  • Apps and Integrations – You get access to hundreds of apps and third-party tools. Integrate marketing and conversion apps, shipping apps, a CRM, tax, and account software, and more.

  • Customer Support – BigCommerce boasts 24/7 chat, email, and phone support. They also provide resources on their website for help.

These are the most notable features that BigCommerce offers, but access to them depends on the subscription plan you purchase. We’ll get to that next.

Pricing

Both Shopify and BigCommerce provide subscription tiers depending on what you’re looking for and how big you want to go with your eCommerce site. Both platforms price themselves on a monthly subscription basis.

The features you have access to are based on the subscription plan you purchase. However, there are some differences in the subscription details. Let’s take a look.

Shopify

Shopify has three core plans plus two additional Enterprise platforms. All core plans come with your online store, blog, unlimited products, 24/7 support and the point of sale application. Shopify subscriptions are based on the number of employees you have in your company.

  • Basic Shopify – For $29 a month, you are allowed two staff accounts, a 64% shipping discount, 2.9% plus 30 cent payment processing rate, a 2.7% in-person processing rate, and 2% transaction fees for using a third-party payment provider.

  • Shopify – For $79 a month, you are allowed up to five staff accounts and get a 72% shipping discount. In addition, online payment processing is 2.6% plus 30 cents, and in-person processing is 2.5%, with a 1% transaction fee when using a third-party payment provider.

  • Basic Shopify – For $299 a month, you get 15 staff accounts and up to a 74% shipping discount. The online payment processing rate is 2.4% plus 30 cents, and in-person is 2.4%. If you use a third-party payment provider, the transaction fee is 0.5%.

You can opt for Shopify Lite at $9 a month, but it is extremely limited and only allows you to sell on Facebook, and you can’t create an eCommerce website. Shopify’s Plus plan is their Enterprise solution priced on a quote-basis with Shopify’s sales team.

BigCommerce

BigCommerce offers three core plans. The plans are Standard, Plus, and Pro. However, every plan has 0% transaction fees, unlimited products, file storage, bandwidth, and staff accounts. They also have an Enterprise option. The features you have access to are dependent on your plan.

  • Standard – If you have up to $50,000 sales per year, the Standard plan is $29.95 a year. There is a 2.9% plus 30 cent transaction fee with Braintree payments. The average discount for shipping is 64%.

  • Plus – For $79.95 per month (10% discount for an annual subscription) and up to $150,000 sales per year, you get 2.5% plus 30 cent transaction fees using Braintree payments and an average 66% discount for shipping. There are additional features for customer groups, abandoned carts, and stored credit cards.

  • Pro – If you have up to $400,000 in sales per year, the plan is $249.95 per month (10% discount for an annual subscription). It includes a 2.2% plus 30 cent transaction fee with Braintree and an average of 68% discount for shipping. The Pro plan offers features like Google customer reviews, product filtering, and a custom SSL certificate.

Just like Shopify, BigCommerce’s Enterprise solution has custom pricing through their sales team. You also get additional discounts on payments and shipping.

However, if you don’t use Braintree for payment processing, the credit card processing fees are specific to your provider. Still, BigCommerce doesn’t charge an additional transaction fee on top of the credit card processing provider’s fees.

Conclusion

As you can see, both Shopify and BigCommerce have their benefits and shortcomings. Deciding between them can be a big decision that affects your bottom line. If you’re still unsure, Selworthy can help you make the decision and help you set up your eCommerce site, get it up and running, and provide the marketing and customization you need.

We are a HubSpot Gold Certified Agency Partner, which means we have all the tools and tricks to help you build a strong brand, craft effective marketing strategies, and drive revenue to your business.


It’s our goal to help create your success story. Schedule a call today and let one of our team members show you how we do what we do.

Tags: Grow Your Ecommerce Business