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Shopify vs BigCommerce
Merchants will be able to identify which e-commerce platform is the best option for their business.
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Written by Madeleine
Shopify vs BigCommerce 🦾
If there was ever a competition between Shopify and BigCommerce, have you ever wondered who would come out on top? We’ve given this some thought and we figured it would be interesting to share our findings with you all.
Therefore, for today’s article, we are going to analyse the core characteristics of two leading online store creators and as a result, merchants will be able to identify which e-commerce platform is the best option for their business.
So, without further ado, let the battle of Shopify vs BigCommerce commence!
Introducing Shopify & BigCommerce 🤝
As we’ve established throughout many of our entries here within Karmoon’s journal, Shopify is extremely popular among beginners, as merchants can access an intuitive management dashboard that contains; a vast array of attractive tools, an easy to use editor and a system that supports both rapid and cost-effective store creation.
With that being said, Shopify isn’t just a platform for startups. Sure, the solution has its appeal to those who are just getting started with their e-commerce journey, however, Shopify also plays host to some of the biggest brands on the market.
We’re talking; Kylie Cosmetics, Deliveroo, Redbull, Gymshark, David Beckham and Finisterre - and that’s just to name a few.
BigCommerce on the other hand tends to lean towards targeting the larger companies and established entrepreneurs. As a result, this e-commerce platform offers advanced custom solutions to enterprise-level clients and is known widely for its excellent scalability.
However, it is important to note that beginners may find the sheer number of features that BigCommerce offers slightly overwhelming.
Nonetheless, we are going to dive deep into the components of; performance, support and price for both platforms, starting with their key features:
Shopify vs BigCommerce: Key Features
As we mentioned above, Shopify and BigCommerce are two of the most advanced e-commerce platform solutions on the market, as both companies offer a huge range of features for merchants to choose from.
Equally, the two industry-leading giants cater to stores of various sizes, therefore we’re going to take a closer look at how these competitors stack up against each other in this category:
Shopify’s platform offers merchants a plethora of 81 templates to choose from via the Shopify Theme Store and from the collection, 10 of the templates offered here are free to implement.
As you’d imagine, the price range for a premium theme is between $150 - $350, but should retailers have their eye on a custom theme, merchants on Shopify can upload these designs directly to the e-commerce platform.
Note: Custom Shopify themes can be developed from scratch or purchased via a third-party marketplace.
Now, it’s important to note that the BigCommerce Theme Marketplace is surprisingly similar to the Shopify Theme Store, as it boasts a selection of 189 themes, but only 12 of them are free to install.
Furthermore, the price range of a premium theme will range from $150 - $300, making these designs very similarly priced to that of Shopify’s themes and just like Shopify, BigCommerce enables retailers to upload custom themes from third-party sources.
Moving on to the app marketplaces, both Shopify and BigCommerce offer their customers a place where they can find an array of extensions to personalise and strategise their business(es).
Such extension functionalities include everything from; drop shipping integrations, product review plugins and marketing tools.
If you think that’s impressive, don’t fall off of your seat when we tell you that the Shopify App Store is currently home to over 4,200 applications.
hat’s right, there’s a magnitude of free and premium options to browse through, with many applications providing free trials or tiered billing. So, with Shopify, it’s fair to say that all price points are covered.
Similarly, the BigCommerce Apps Marketplace is considerably smaller, with just over 800 extensions provided.
However, between the two platforms, there’s still plenty of value to be found, as many merchants have come to rely on such integrations to customise and manage their business with ease.
Like the majority of most leading e-commerce platforms on the web, Shopify and BigCommerce enable their customers to sell via multiple sales channels.
This means that an online store will likely become one of the main streams of revenue for merchants, but other marketing channels are still very useful when utilised correctly.
With Shopify, merchants can also connect to a Point of Sale (POS) system to link their e-commerce and brick-and-mortar stores together.
Users can also add a buy button to an existing website or blog, which is a super handy way to get started with e-commerce on a budget.
Furthermore, Shopify’s platform provides various social media integrations, such as; Instagram, Facebook and Pinterest, allowing merchants to sell directly to their followers.
It’s also possible to link large marketplaces such as eBay and Amazon to a Shopify store, so the sky's the limit with this e-commerce platform.
BigCommerce is similar in the sense that it offers POS connections via Clover POS, alongside a similar third-party marketplace and generic social media integrations.
However, the BigCommerce platform does not offer a buy button to add to a separate website. So, for the businesses that sell products via multiple websites, it would seem as though Shopify has come out on top.
Analytics and Reporting Tools
Both Shopify and BigCommerce offer advanced reporting and analytics tools to allow merchants to understand their store’s performance.
BigCommerce presents data in a clear and easy-to-understand manner, as information can be filtered by; sales channel and date.
Therefore, merchants on BigCommerce will be able to uncover core information in regards to their brand’s; marketing efforts, orders, customers, purchase funnels, in-store searches and more.
Yet, the Shopify analytics dashboard is just as good as its competitor. How? Well, the main reason is that this e-commerce platform presents similar information to merchants, enabling store owners to generate objective custom reports for their business.
However, one thing that stands out to us where Shopify is concerned are the marketing campaign analytics on offer. This data allows merchants to track the results of specific campaigns, whereas BigCommerce doesn’t offer anything comparable. So, once again, let's all bow down to the master.
Shopify vs BigCommerce: Performance 🎭
Getting started with Shopify couldn’t be easier, as all retailers will need to do is hit the ‘Start free trial’ button, then enter an; email address, password and the name of their store to create an account.
After the information above has been entered, merchants will then be asked a series of questions that will allow the team to have an understanding of their experience level with e-commerce.
This is an important step so that Shopify can provide its users with relevant educational material. Store owners will then be taken directly to the management dashboard and that’s it - job done.
BigCommerce’s sign-up process is pretty similar to Shopify, as once an account has been created, retailers should be able to access their dashboard within minutes.
However, here’s where Shopify and BigCommerce begin to differ:
The BigCommerce management dashboard is very well designed, but it’s packed out full of advanced tools, which can make it difficult to know where to start. Whereas Shopify provides a clear checklist of steps that retailers will need to take to get their store up and running.
The very first thing that users will see is a link to a video outlining how to get started, which we're sure you'll find very helpful.
Additionally, Shopify also makes ongoing customer and inventory management very straightforward to handle, so there's something else to consider.
Note: On the left of the main dashboard, merchants will find links to various management portals. Applications can be added here for extra functionality.
Whereas with BigCommerce, users will also have access to advanced product and customer management tools. However, some inexperienced merchants may find it difficult to get the hang of them. Plus if ‘tech experience’ isn’t on your side, there may be trouble ahead.
Moving on to the phase of designing a store, Shopify guides its users through the layout of the selected template, as the store builder enables merchants to add and remove sections on each page of their site.
The Shopify editor is speedy to load and the editing options are very easy to navigate. Additionally, global design settings are accessible via the Theme Settings menu, which we are sure that many retailers will appreciate.
We’d say that BigCommerce's editor is just as easy to use. As with Shopify, the website created will reflect the layout of the template chosen.
Furthermore, BigCommerce presents its users with widgets that can be dragged and dropped into position. Equally, custom HTML blocks can be added if required.
Shopify vs BigCommerce: Support
Customer support is crucial for e-commerce beginners, but no matter what your experience may be, if there's a problem, you’ll want the ability to resolve it rapidly before it causes significant issues.
Shopify’s customer support team offers excellent customer service, operating via; 24/7 email, live chat and phone.
Similarly, BigCommerce also offers assistance in the form of; 24/7 live chat, email and phone support, so the competition is pretty much identical where customer service is concerned.
Did you know that both platforms offer a suite of self-help resources? BigCommerce presents a decent support centre with many useful resources, that includes; video guides, user docs, and step-by-step tutorials.
With that being said, Shopify steams ahead due to the sheer number and quality of resources available. For instance, merchants can access in-depth tutorials and guides via the Shopify Help Center which outlines matters in a clear and beginner-friendly manner.
Furthermore, Shopify’s popularity means that the internet is packed full of even more information to help online businesses out wherever possible so, come on BigCommerce, pass over the crown.
Shopify vs BigCommerce: Pricing and Plans 💸
Last but not least in the battle of Shopify vs BigCommerce is the pricing and plans for these services.
We may sound like a bit of a broken record at this point, but Shopify and BigCommerce have very similar pricing structures to one another.
Shopify has a 14-day free trial that store owners can utilise to test the platform, while BigCommerce offers its users a 15-day free trial.
Note: Payment information is not required for the Shopify or BigCommerce free trial.
With Shopify, merchants will be able to access; three main payment plans, a custom-priced enterprise-level plan and a Shopify Lite plugin, but for those of you who are looking to take the cost-effective route, the Shopify Lite plugin is a fantastic option to execute.
Costing just $9 per month, the Shopify Lite plugin enables users to add a buy button to an existing website, whereas BigCommerce has no comparable product.
However, BigCommerce does draw a tie with Shopify when it comes to the rest of its pricing plans, as; three main plans and a custom-priced enterprise-level plan are also available.
So, now it’s time to take a look at how each pricing tier differs between these competitors:
The Basic Shopify Plan: $29 Per Month
This budget-friendly plan enables retailers to create their store with up to two staff members and four inventory locations. Access will be granted for all basic selling tools, however, the advanced reports feature will be disabled with this option.
The BigCommerce Standard Plan: $29.95 Per Month
BigCommerce’s standard plan is directly comparable to Shopify with just under $1 between these two price points.
As you may already know, BigCommerce supports up to $50,000 in sales a year, however, advanced tools such as; customer segmentation, product filter and the abandoned cart saver are absent here.
The Remaining Tiers: Shopify and BigCommerce
Moving onto the next tier, the Shopify plan comes in at $79 per month, whereas BigCommerce’s Plus plan comes in at $79.95 per month. So, again as you can see, these two packages are very similar in price.
Additionally, the same can be said for the Advanced Shopify plan which costs $299 per month and the BigCommerce Pro plan which costs $299.95 per month.
It’s important to note that both platforms also offer advanced, custom-price enterprise solutions for high-end online stores. This does make it difficult to separate the two companies in terms of pricing, but that can’t be said for every section within today’s guide.
In the end, store owners will need to make their decision based on the features that their business requires, but for us, there is a clear winner.
Shopify vs BigCommerce: The Winner
It’s easy to see why Shopify and BigCommerce are two of the world’s top-rated e-commerce platforms, as they both bring a lot to the table for online merchants.
However, if we had to pick a winner, Shopify would walk away with the trophy, as the solution is startup-friendly, offering a wide variety of customisable integrations and in-depth analytics.
Plus, Shopify is also an excellent option for the larger and more established businesses that plan on scaling quickly.
So, that concludes our breakdown of Shopify vs BigCommerce. Have you found today’s guide useful? Reach out and let us know.
If you’re actively looking to work with a Shopify agency designer or developer to assist you with your business, we’d love to hear from you. Get in touch to get started!
Get Started with Shopify
Looking to get started with Shopify? Take advantage of Shopify's 14-day free trial, no credit card is required.
If you're actively looking to work with a Shopify agency designer or developer to assist you with your business, we'd love to hear from you. Get in touch to get started!