» Comparisons » Big Cartel vs Shopify: Which Is Better for Ecommerce?

Big Cartel vs Shopify: Which Is Better for Ecommerce?

Big Cartel and Shopify are two full-featured eCommerce systems, which help complete the same goal – web store creation. This is their only sphere of specialization and, thus, they have much to offer to users willing to set up small and large-scale online shops.

There is one significant feature, though, which distinguishes the platforms from each other and proves to be a crucial factor, when it comes to the choice of the website builder.

Big Cartel is a professional eCommerce website builder, which is designed for photographers, artists, painters, creatives and business owners, who have an intention to create a quality web store to sell their works of art and exclusive products.

Shopify, in its turn, is the world-known eCommerce software, which is a great choice for the development of all types of online stores, ranging from standard eCommerce projects and up to large hypermarkets.

Both platforms provide a broad range of features and tools out-of-the-box needed to start and manage quality online stores.

Which of them, however, has more to offer in terms of eCommerce? Which system prevails over its competitor, being the top destination for users willing to run a quality full-featured web store?

Read on to find out a detailed Big Cartel vs Shopify comparison.

General Overview

 General Overview

Big Cartel positions itself as a simple yet feature-rich system for the development of web stores for creatives (photographers, artists, painters etc.). At the same time, it can be used by entrepreneurs willing to offer their unique products and works of art for sale.

Big Cartel Main

Thus, the software provides a range of intuitive integrated tools for creating and managing eCommerce websites.

One of the unspeakable advantages of Big Cartel is its focus on supporting independent artists and small businesses. It lets subscribers set up a web store and customize its design to match their brands.

Along with extensive design customization options, the platform grants access to essential eCommerce features like inventory management tools, product listings, order processing and payment integration.

Being introduced to the market in 2005, the website builder soon developed into one of the most well-known eCommerce platforms. Statistics tells about more than 152,466 registered system users and over 68,721 live web stores available in the modern market. This number keeps growing with every passing month, which is another proof of the system’s credibility.

Shopify has distinguished itself as the best eCommerce software that can be found in the modern web design market. The system delivers an impressive set of high end features and tools geared towards advanced eCommerce website development.

Shopify Main

When using it, you can start and efficiently manage professional feature-laden online stores, which range from standard projects and up to large-scale hypermarkets.

With Shopify, you can easily set up an online store without the need for extensive technical knowledge or coding skills. Keep in mind, however, that the platform is mostly used for large-scale web stores that belong to various niches. It is too complicated for smaller projects.

The software was founded in 2004 and it has grown into the undeniable leader of the modern eCommerce niche. The platform lets you sell physical and digital products, making use of its high end integrated functionality.

According to recent stats, there are more than 6,661,468 Shopify customers in the world and over 4,124,801 web stores the system currently powers. This is a striking result that undoubtedly speaks for itself.

Scalability is what Shopify really excels at. Whether you are just starting out or running a large enterprise-level business, Shopify can accommodate your needs.

The software provides a robust set of eCommerce features and tools to easily add and organize products, set pricing and shipping options, manage inventory levels etc.

Apart from its core features, Shopify offers a wide range of extensions and apps from its marketplace, letting you enhance your store’s functionality. Adding features like email marketing, customer reviews, social media integration etc. for better online business accommodation won’t be difficult here.

Big Cartel and Shopify both deliver quality eCommerce functionality, making it possible to start feature-laden web stores. The systems, however, target diverse audience types, with Shopify being a more multifaceted platform. This is the main reason why the system enjoys more popularity and has more web stores built on its platform.

Which One Is Easier to Use?

Which One Is Easier to Use?

Big Cartel comes with a convenient dashboard and intuitive control panel. This is what matters a lot for creatives, who frequently don’t have rich web design expertise yet get the desire to present their unique works of art and special products for sale in the most favorable light and with minimum effort required.

Big Cartel Dashboard

Starting a web store with this easy-to-use website builder does not require any coding skills – just complete a simple registration procedure to get access to the admin panel where you will be able to set up your eCommerce project.

As a simple website builder, Big Cartel grants access to a limited number of themes. This is an advantage for users who need small web stores and prefer a more streamlined design process.

Users who expect deeper functionality and design diversity though, may have to look for another platform offering a more extensive design choice.

The system will offer you a bunch of integrated tools and features to manage products, customize selected design, adjust payment and website promotion parameters.

To track your project completion, mind the percentage sign that helps you figure out the time left until project publication.

In terms of customer support, Big Cartel grants access to its extensive Knowledge Base. This is where you will come across informative posts and a blog section with lots of articles that tackle the process of web store creation.

Additionally, there is an opportunity to get in touch with the support experts via email. This is possible during working hours on weekdays.

Shopify offers a more extensive set of eCommerce features, tools and customization options. Thus, it cannot be called a simple system, especially for beginners. Working with it is convenient, although, time-taking.

Shopify Dashboard

Users have to get used to the structure of the platform’s dashboard and its control panel, which provides all the required directions and tools needed to start a full-featured project with the system.

The platform provides a wider range of templates and themes, allowing for greater design flexibility. While this can be an advantage for users who want more control over the appearance of their online stores, it may require a bit more time and effort to navigate and customize compared to Big Cartel.

However, Shopify’s interface is still designed to be user-friendly, and it provides helpful resources and tutorials to assist users in getting started and managing their stores.

To start working on your web store development, you initially have to sign up for the system and stick to the guidelines it generates by default. This will help you complete all the stages of the web store creation process with minimum time/effort investment.

No advanced programming knowledge is required here yet basic coding awareness would still be preferable.

Shopify Storefront Editor is divided into two areas for the enhanced user convenience. The first part is where you can make the edits, while the second one is where all the changes are displayed. This is a great advantage, when it comes to controlling the process of website development.

Just like Big Cartel, Shopify comes with a powerful customer support team. This is where you can browse an informative Help Section with multiple tips, recommendations, articles and tutorials that can help you master the system.

What’s more, Shopify grants access to its YouTube channel, email and Live Chat. This expands the customer support options the system offers.

When it comes to the ease of use, both systems provide extensive system exploration options. However, if you value simplicity and a more streamlined design process, Big Cartel may be the easier option for you. Need more advanced features and customization options? Ready to invest more time in learning the platform? Then Shopify can provide a more comprehensive eCommerce solution.

Design and Flexibility

Design and Flexibility

Featuring strong eCommerce focus, Big Cartel and Shopify have multiple niche features and tools available in stock. The systems are geared towards web store development and, thus, they have much to offer to the audience they target.

To figure out the platform, which has more features to boast, it makes sense to compare their major parameters. Let’s do that right away.

eCommerce

As two popular eCommerce systems, Big Cartel and Shopify both have much to offer to their subscribers in terms of web store creation, customization and further promotion.

Thus, it makes sense to initially compare the platforms from the point of view of product/order management, web store design customization, payment processing solutions, blogging, integrations etc.

What you should know before comparing the software functionality is that Big Cartel works better for small online stores managed by creatives. You won’t be able to sell more than 50-100 products here.

BigCartel Add Product

Shopify on the contrary, comes with powerful integrated functionality that is sufficient to set up small and large-scale eCommerce projects. The software allows managing web stores with over 1000 products available for sale.

Shopify Add Products

This difference affects the range of tools and features the systems have in stock. Let’s review the features in detail now.

Product Management Tools

Big Cartel doesn’t let you upload and manage more than 50-100 products yet it grants access to the variety of tools to track the inventory and assortment available in stock. If certain goods are going to be out of stock soon, the system will send you a reminder.

To notify users about the planned product arrivals, it is possible to mark them as “coming soon” or “sold out”. This should simplify the shopping process for buyers.

BigCartel Product Management Tools

You don’t have to be a web design pro to add new products to the catalog. This is simple and quite fast here. Just upload the image of the good you plan to offer for sale, add its name, status, pricing, parameters, shipping terms etc. Repeat the steps for each item you wish to add to the catalog.

Shopify works great for all types of eCommerce projects up to large scale supermarkets offering thousands of products for sale. The platform grants access to multiple tools and features like easy and handy product/order management, CSV product export/import, AR tool etc. that ensure hassle-free and convenient web store creation process.

Shopify Product Management Tools

The available Shopify tools make it possible to track stock levels, update product listings, monitor orders and complete plenty of other functions. The platform also allows setting automatic stock level tracking to mark the products that are not in stock as “sold out”.

If you have an intention to sell various goods, Shopify lets you offer multiple product variations like colors, materials, sizes, special parameters, shapes, prices etc.

Shopify allows adding customizable options to your products, such as dropdown menus, checkboxes, or text fields. This enables customers to select different product variations or add personalization details. You can also customize the appearance of your product pages to match your brand.

There is also an opportunity to organize your goods into collections and categories to improve navigation and simplify the search of the required products for customers. Collections can be based on product types, sale items or any other custom criteria you define.

When it comes to product management, Shopify offers greater flexibility and more comprehensive features. It actually works great for businesses of all sizes – from small to large enterprises. As opposed to it, Big Cartel is more focused on creatives and small businesses with a limited number of products. Thus, its product management features will be insufficient for a large online shop.

Digital Goods

Big Cartel allows integrating with Pulley to help you list all digital products in a convenient and handy way. The software also grants an opportunity to export/import products from CSV files to reduce the time required to create and manage product galleries. However, it still has certain limitations like maximum file size limit, for example.

Shopify also supports the sale of digital products, such as e-books, music files, or software downloads. You can securely deliver these products to customers upon purchase and set download limits if needed.

Just don’t forget to uncheck the shipping checkbox when uploading a digital product or service to bring certain differences between the types of goods available for sale in your store. This is done by integrating the Shopify Digital Downloads app or any other free app used for this purpose.

Both systems allow selling physical and digital products yet Big Cartel has a number of restrictions that do not let you add too many products. Shopify has more extensive features in this respect, thus, letting its subscribers sell thousands of goods.

Order Management and Discounts

Big Cartel has separate sections for order management and discounts. To view and manage your orders, you should reach a centralized dashboard to see order details, customer information and order status.

The system also sends email notifications to both you and the customer when an order is placed. These notifications include order details, shipping information and payment confirmation.

Once an order is completed, you can mark it as fulfilled within your Big Cartel admin dashboard. This helps you keep track of orders that have already been shipped.

By the way, the system keeps a record of all orders and their details, letting you easily access past orders, view order statuses and refer back to customer information.

The discount section, in its turn, lets premium plan subscribers create discount offers to get the attention of customers and to encourage them to deal with you on a regular basis. You can set the discount value (percentage or fixed amount) and specify conditions such as minimum order value or product eligibility.

Big Cartel Discounts

In addition to discount codes, Big Cartel lets you set sale prices for individual products. This is how you can offer temporary price reductions without the need for discount codes.

Finally, the software supports limited edition releases and pre-order sales. You can set a specific quantity for limited edition products and define the pre-order period for upcoming items.

Shopify allows managing orders in its dashboard. This is actually the place to view, process and fulfill them. If needed, you can quickly search and filter the selected orders based on various criteria like status, customer information or completion status, for example.

The software also has automated notification mailouts when new orders are placed and old ones are completed. These notifications include order details, shipping and payment info.

The platform additionally offers a streamlined order fulfillment process. You can update order status, track shipments, print packing slips and shipping labels as well as integrate with third-party fulfillment services for automated order processing. Editing orders and viewing their history is possible here as well.

When it comes to discounts, Shopify lets you create and distribute discount codes for your buyers.

Shopify Discount

Opportunity to set up automatic discounts based on predefined rules is also available here. For example, you can create a discount that applies when a customer purchases multiple quantities of a specific product or spends a certain amount.

If you plan to introduce sale prices for certain groups of products, Shopify lets you do that with ease. It is up to you to set sale prices for individual products or collections.

Taking care of their customer loyalty, Shopify provides built-in gift card functionality. This lets you sell and redeem gift cards in your store. Shoppers can buy gift cards for themselves or send them as gifts to others.

If you are looking for more advanced order management and discount functionalities, Shopify may be a better pick with its versatile features. These include a more extensive dashboard, advanced fulfillment options along with the ability of order editing. The software also provides more options for creating and managing discounts, including automatic discounts and free shipping promotions. However, if simplicity and a baseline feature set are sufficient for your business needs, Big Cartel can still provide a suitable solution.

Payment Processing Solutions

Big Cartel won’t offer you multiple payment options. To be precise, the list of payment tools currently goes down to three options only. These include Stripe, PayPal, and Square.

You can watch and control all the transactions and order details in the Order section found in the admin panel. What’s important, Big Cartel doesn’t charge any extra fees for payments made with the system.

Shopify supports over 100 payment gateways, including its brand Shopify Payments feature. The latter works best for selling goods in multiple currencies.

Additionally, the software allows choosing from other payment solutions like Apple Pay, Stripe, Amazon Pay etc. Mind that you will eventually encounter transaction fees unless you use Shopify Payments.

In terms of payment processing, Shopify obviously prevails over Big Cartel. However, this is quite understandable, considering the range and powerful functionality of the system. Big Cartel offers less payment solutions, but these are also enough when you run a small web store.

Shipping Options

Big Cartel allows setting up flat rates based on factors like order value, weight or destination. You can define a fixed shipping fee that applies to all orders regardless of their specific details.

Big Cartel Shipping

The software also integrates with shipping carriers such as USPS, FedEx, and UPS to offer calculated shipping rates. This option lets customers see real-time shipping costs based on their location and the weight/dimensions of products added to the cart.

You can provide free shipping as a promotional option, setting up the feature for specific products, order totals or as a general offer for all orders.

Local pickup is possible here as well. Customers who prefer to collect their orders directly from your physical location can adjust the corresponding feature in the settings.

With Big Cartel, you can also ship products worldwide. Just make sure to set up shipping rates for international destinations or use calculated shipping options for accurate pricing.

Shopify integrates with major shipping carriers such as USPS, FedEx, UPS, DHL, and Canada Post to provide real-time carrier-calculated shipping rates. This lets customers figure out accurate shipping costs based on several factors like destination, product parameters, location etc.

Shopify Shipping

The software is going to expand its shipping functionality with Shop Promise by the end of the year. This allows providing subscribers with a two-day delivery option along with the opportunity of easy returns at no cost. The feature will most likely become available at the end of the year.

Shopify allows you to set up flat and weight-based shipping rates, where the shipping cost is calculated based on the weight of the items in the customer’s cart.

You can also create shipping rates based on the total order value. This option is useful for offering tiered shipping rates or applying shipping discounts for higher-value orders.

Just like Big Cartel, the system also allows for local product pickup and it makes it possible to choose multi-origin shipping. This means that it’s up to you to set up shipping rules based on the inventory location closest to the customer, if your products are stored in multiple locations. This is how you can optimize shipping costs and delivery times.

Shopify also supports dropshipping, but it can be activated via integrating a third-party app. The most recommended solutions are DSers, Printful and Spocket.

Summing it up, Big Cartel shipping options are not that extensive as those offered by Shopify. However, the available solutions are generally sufficient to meet the needs of small businesses and creatives looking for effective product shipping solutions. Shopify provides a comprehensive set of features and integrations to help you securely manage your shipping processes.

Missing Features

Big Cartel does not provide the Abandoned Shopping Cart Recovery feature. Meanwhile, this is an essential factor for contemporary users. In fact, it can even be considered one of the main customer generation tools that have a direct impact on sales growth.

What’s more, the system lacks a blogging engine and a customer login option. Instead, it offers a guest checkout option for new customers. In other words, users who wish to buy something from you do not have to set up an account to start shopping. Many users find this feature quite convenient and time-saving, by the way.

Shopify offers an opportunity of creating product variations yet they are limited to three major attributes only (color, size and material). However, additional customization or third-party apps may be required for businesses with goods requiring more complex customization like configurable options or conditional logic, for example.

Another demerit is that Shopify offers basic reporting and analytics features. Some users, however, are looking for more in-depth or customizable reporting solutions. To introduce them, integration of third-party apps may be required.

Both Big Cartel and Shopify are not ideal systems as each of them has a number of demerits. They may affect users’ choice of the best platform in the long run yet they are not quite serious for devoted software subscribers.

Web Store Analytics and Stats Tracking

Big Cartel provides an analytics dashboard within your admin interface. It offers insights into your web store performance, including valuable info about visitors, orders and revenue. You can track metrics like total sales, conversion rates and average order value.

Integration of Google Analytics helps gain more detailed insights into your website traffic, customer behavior and conversion rates. This eventually helps track specific metrics and create custom reports to analyze your web store performance.

Shopify comes with the integrated analytics dashboard, which also helps you track the major performance factors of your web store. These include sales and conversion rates, total number of visitors, traffic sources, average order value etc.

Based on these data, the analytics system generates detailed sales reports that provide insights into your web store revenue, sales by product or variant, sales by channel, and sales over time.

You can analyze trends, identify top-selling products, and track the effectiveness of marketing campaigns.

Shopify also grants access to customer reports that provide information about customer behavior, demographics and lifetime value. As a result, this helps identify opportunities for further customer retention and growth.

The software analytics enable you to track the source of your website traffic and measure the effectiveness of various marketing channels. You can identify which marketing campaigns or channels are driving the most traffic, conversions, and revenue.

By connecting your Shopify store to Google Analytics, you can access advanced reporting, custom tracking and segmentation capabilities. This is needed to gain deeper insights into your web store traffic, conversion rates and customer behavior.

While Big Cartel provides basic promotion and analytics features, they may be more limited compared to those offered by Shopify. Big Cartel focuses on simplicity, while Shopify has more extensive features that let you effectively track, analyze and optimize your eCommerce business.

Blogging

Big Cartel lacks a blogging platform. This makes it impossible to create or connect a blog to your web store. Meanwhile, blog availability is highly preferable, when it comes to boosting customer engagement rate and enhancing its popularity.

A blog is a proven tool of quality website promotion and the one that helps attract the attention of users (potential customers). Thus, absence of the blogging feature can be regarded as one of the downsides of Big Cartel.

Shopify has a powerful integrated blogging platform instead. It lets you connect a blog to your web store, uploading and managing posts with regard to your liking. A blog makes it possible to publish articles that tackle your web store niche specialization, business aspects and latest industry trends.

Shopify Blog Post

Apart from adding and updating posts, you can also schedule them as you need, create lookbooks, integrate media files to boost their design and performance.

There are also multiple blogging templates you can choose from to further customize them as you like.

As to the blogging aspect, Shopify is the only platform in this comparison that comes with a blogging engine. Big Cartel doesn’t have the one and, thus, there is nothing to compare here at all.

Integration Options

Big Cartel grants access to powerful integrations that can notably enhance your business/web store performance and credibility level.

The website builder provides deep social integration options that let you sell products via popular social media platforms, namely Instagram and Facebook.

If you are going to sell digital products, the platform makes it possible to integrate with Pulley to present them in a well-structured and handy way.

Big Cartel merketing

Additionally, the system offers integration with popular extensions, which will definitely enhance your web store functionality.

Some of them include Zapier, LiveChat, Google Domains, MailChimp, Lucky Orange, Art of Where, ShipRush, ShipStation, Socialphotos and more.

API availability makes integration with third-party software more convenient and easy for everyone.

Shopify is also great at integrations. The software provides easy access to lots of widgets, extensions and add-ons available in its App Market. All of them are geared towards boosting your web store performance and you can choose from free and paid options here.

Shopify app store

These extensions can be used for a variety of eCommerce purposes, including web store management, promotion, statistics tracking, marketing and more. The available sections include Orders & Shipping, Selling Products, Store Design, Marketing & Conversion, Finding Products, and Store Management.

Shopify also suggests selling on world-popular marketplaces like eBay and Amazon as well as on Instagram and Facebook social media platforms.

Another highlight of the software is the POS software, which is also available as an app. It helps combine the management of online and offline stores. Shopify syncs the app and the online store, making sure your orders and the whole inventory stays up-to-date.

When it tackles the integrations issue, Shopify has a more extensive selection of extensions and add-ons available in its App Market. They fit various niches and they are available in free and paid variants. This notably extends your web store functionality and reputability.

Template Editing

Big Cartel doesn’t have much to offer in terms of design customization. The website builder comes with the integrated WYSIWYG editor, which lets you control the process of web store creation in the real-time mode. This is an advantage for users with no technical and web design background.

BigCartel Editor

Currently, Big Cartel has a pretty limited template collection, which encompasses 16 themes only. All of them, however, have a professional look and allow for CSS code editing.

The templates are fully-responsive and free yet they are not sorted out by industry because of their small number. Each of them offers a preview option that lets you explore it in detail.

Likewise, it is possible to switch between the templates here in case you are not satisfied with the selected design for some reason.

BigCartel Themes

When it comes to design customization, Big Cartel offers quite an extensive set of tools and features. What you can do here to give your project a high end look is editing and setting up the background, header image and slideshows.

It is also possible to edit website content based on your needs. This is where you can change links, text, social media elements, fonts, announcement text, links to social network accounts.

Additionally, it is possible to set the number of products (general and featured) in a row, price display options and other product-related parameters here.

Unlike Shopify, Big Cartel doesn’t have an integrated image editor. This means that you will have to manually edit the code to change your photo design. If you lack coding skills, this might pose a problem.

Likewise, the system doesn’t include stock images and clipart. To integrate the required photos, you’ll have to choose and upload them from third-party resources.

Shopify boasts a more extensive collection of templates. It currently includes free and paid themes, the number of which constitutes 11 and 109 designs correspondingly. The quality of each design is above average, which eventually gives your web store a professional look.

The cost of templates starts from $180 and goes up to $350 per theme depending upon their characteristics. As opposed to Big Cartel, Shopify divides its templates into categories based on the niches they belong to. This contributes to user convenience and time economy.

Shopify templates

Along with the basic design customization options, Shopify allows for easy template editing via the use of Liquid markup language. This provides a truly unsurpassed web design experience and grants access to multiple tech-related tips as well as how-to guides and Liquid language resources. HTML template editing is allowed here as well.

Both website builders are great in terms of design customization. Big Cartel, however, offers a limited template collection, while the list of its features and tools is less than that offered by Shopify. The latter platform, in its turn, offers an advanced Liquid tool that contributes to high end result.

General Pricing Comparison

General Pricing Comparison

Big Cartel is moderately-priced. The website builder has a free Gold plan, which lets you thoroughly test drive the integrated functionality offered by the system. The plan, however, is limited in its integrated functionality.

The free Gold plan lets you upload not more than 5 products. It also includes free customizable designs, real-time stats tracking, one image per product, opportunity to sell inline and in person, shipment tracking, sales tax autopilot etc.

Pro plan features are not available on a free plan. As to the number of paid subscriptions, there are two of them here. These include Platinum and Diamond. Have a look at the terms each of the plans offers:

  • Platinum ($9.99/mo) – 50 products, 5 images per product, theme code editing, Google Analytics, inventory tracking tools, bulk editing etc.;
  • Diamond ($19.99/mo) – 500 products, product option groups etc.

BigCartel Pricing

The cost of each subscription depends upon the list of services, tools, product number, template selection opportunities and integrated functionality.

Shopify charges affordable fees for its plans. Even though the system doesn’t have a free plan, there is a free trial that lasts for 14 days. This period is enough to test the bulk of features the software offers by default in its paid subscriptions.

All in all, there are three premium plans here, namely Basic, Advanced and Plus. Here is the list of features they include:

  • Basic ($29/mo billed yearly) – for small businesses, includes basic reports, up to 1000 inventory locations, up to 77% shipping discount, 2 staff accounts etc.;
  • Advanced ($299/mo billed yearly) – for medium and large businesses, includes advanced report builder, flow – eCommerce automations, up to 88% shipping discount, 15 staff accounts etc.;
  • Plus (starts at $2000/mo billed yearly) – for high-volume businesses, includes lowest transaction fees, fully customizable checkout, built-in B2B/wholesale channel, unlimited staff accounts, additional exclusive features etc.

Shopify Pricing

Shopify comes with the 14-day money back policy, which lets you get your money back, if you are not satisfied with the terms of the plan you have purchased or there are any other reasons to cancel the subscription.

Shopify charges commission fees for all the credit card transactions made with the system. The percentage ranges between 2.4% and 2.9%. The more expensive the plan is, the less percentage the system charges.

To sum it up, Big Cartel and Shopify are both moderately-priced. It’s impossible to call the systems cheap yet their cost comes up to the integrated functionality offered. Shopify encompasses more extensive features included into each premium subscription and there is also the money-back guarantee here.

Which One Is the Best for SEO?

Which One Is the Best for SEO?

Big Cartel web stores are built with good search engine optimization in mind. This means that your eCommerce project has all the chances to rank high in the search engines.

Recently, the system has improved its SEO parameters to let them come up to recent Google recommendations. The website builder now automatically generates unique meta descriptions for all website pages as well as meta keywords for major web store categories.

The sitemap is also automatically generated by the system, which eliminates the need to do that on your own. Some of the SEO settings may be adjusted independently by a user in a separate section of the web store dashboard.

Shopify is a SEO-friendly platform, which makes it possible to set up standard parameters for worthy search engine optimization of your project. They are available in the corresponding section of the dashboard.

Thus, you can fill out meta tags for your web store pages as well as for the website in general. There is also an opportunity to add ALT tags for all the images integrated into your website.

Shopify SEO Preferences

What’s important, the software grants access to statistics tracking tools that let you analyze website performance and make the required changes on time to prevent potential problems. Automated sitemap generation is available here as well.

As to the SEO aspect, both website builders can be considered SEO-friendly as they make it possible to start web stores that rank high in the search engines. Shopify grants access to a more extensive pack of SEO settings that can be adjusted manually yet the system also provides basic SEO settings by default.

Which One is The Best for eCommerce?

Which One is The Best for eCommerce?

Big Cartel is initially positioned as a specialized eCommerce website builder, which is geared towards the needs of creatives. The system makes it possible to run web stores for photographers, artists and other representatives of creative professions willing to present their masterpieces and to offer them for sale.

The website builder allows choosing between over a dozen of free responsive niche templates with a preview option, which are completely customizable and allow for code editing. This lets you achieve high end result in the long run.

Big Cartel provides extensive product uploading and order management features, statistics and inventory tracking tools, customer checkout options, discount creation and shipping parameters.

When starting a web store with the system, you can sell physical and digital products. The latter option implies Pulley integration for convenient product listing. Additionally, there is an opportunity to export/import files from CSV files to save your time and effort.

Other integrations are also quite versatile and include an opportunity to cooperate with popular third-party platforms. These include Google Analytics tools, social media platforms, Zapier, Art of Where, ShipRobot, Google Domains, ShipStation, Big Cartel for iOS, LiveChat, Lucky Orange, MailChimp, Printful, ShipRush, Socialphotos, Stripe, PayPal, Square and more.

What’s important, the system offers API access for more effective integration with external software. One of the downsides of the website builder is absence of the Abandoned Shopping Cart Recovery feature. It does not let users get back to the shopping process on a certain stage of its completion.

Shopify is the world-popular eCommerce software, which lets you start, manage, update and promote all types of web stores (take a look at these Shopify examples).

The system offers an impressive set of features required to reach the goals you set. It works well for all types of eCommerce projects, including large-scale hypermarkets. Shopify comes with integrated powerful POS software that lets you trade in local storefronts as well as online.

The software comes with multiple advantages that contribute to your web store design and functionality. The most popular of them include the Augmented Reality tool, extensive product management options, multiple professional eCommerce templates as well as quality design customization settings.

Shopify is also known for its impressive integration options. The system lets you integrate your web store with popular third-party marketplaces like Amazon as well as with other platforms, including Xero, Quickbooks, MailChimp and many more.

Finally, the platform allows for SSL Certificate connection, anti-fraud protection and other eCommerce-related advantages.

When discussing the eCommerce issue, Shopify definitely prevails over Big Cartel. It’s not only about the major system implication, but mostly about the set of features and design customization options the software comes with.

Key Differences Between Big Cartel and Shopify

Big CartelShopify
Ease of Use:Big Cartel is a specialized eCommerce website builder, which targets creatives willing to start web stores with the intention to sell their unique products and works of art for sale.Shopify is a powerful and easy-to-use eCommerce software. Its sphere of application goes down to the creation/promotion of feature-laden web stores. This is where the software doesn’t have any competitors at all.
Functionality:The website builder comes with multiple eCommerce-specific features and tools provided out of the box. It ensures a smooth web store creation process. The system works great for beginners and web design pros.The platform offers access to myriads of eCommerce-specific options. They are required for effective product, order and web store management, sales tracking and efficient design customization.
Design:Big Cartel template collection is quite limited, encompassing 16 designs only. They are free, responsive and quality. The designs are not divided into thematic categories yet they allow for code editing to provide personalized website design.Shopify template gallery is not rich, but all the themes are of high quality. There are over 11 free and 109 paid designs here, all of which are customizable and responsive.
eCommerce:The system delivers quality eCommerce tools and features. It offers multiple product management and integration options along with powerful web store promotion settings.As the eCommerce software, Shopify excels at niche features and tools. They help start, manage, update and promote even large-scale hypermarkets.
Blogging:Big Cartel doesn’t have an integrated blogging platform. It is impossible to run a blog with it.The system comes with quite a powerful blogging engine, which lets you connect and manage a feature-laden blog. It helps boost user engagement rate, keeping customers notified of your industry news and updates.
Small Business:The system allows starting a small business website with distinct eCommerce specialization.Shopify can be a worthy solution for small business websites, which are geared towards eCommerce application.
Pricing:Big Cartel has a free Gold plan and two premium subscriptions. Their cost starts from $9.99/mo.The software has a 14-day free trial and three paid subscriptions. Their cost starts from $29/mo.
SEO:Web stores powered by Big Cartel rank high in the search engines. The system provides multiple SEO settings by default, making it possible to fill the rest of them manually.Shopify is a SEO-friendly software, which makes it possible to optimize web stores created with it for the search engines. This can be done via filling out special parameters, using analytic and statistics tracking tools.
Customer Support:Extensive Knowledge Base, Email Ticketing System, Blog.Shopify Help Center, Rich Forum, eCommerce University, email, LiveChat.

Which Is Better for Online Store?

The choice of the best eCommerce platform becomes a priority for each and every user who has an intention to set up a web store, be it a small online shop or a huge hypermarket.

When browsing the platforms, you need to consider the parameters of your project, its implication, budget, skills and special requirements.

Big Cartel and Shopify are two eCommerce platforms, which let you complete the task with maximum attention to details and high quality.

Big Cartel mostly targets creatives, letting them run projects to offer their works of art for sale. The software allows selling around 50-100 products, thus, being a nice pick for small web stores only.

Shopify is the all-in-one eCommerce software meant for the development of all types of online stores with no exception at all. It has the potential to power even large-scale web stores with over 1000 goods available in stock. Obviously, choosing it for a small shop may be a waste of time and money.

Having reviewed and compared both platforms, it becomes clear that Shopify is the undeniable leader and the top notch solution for everyone who intends to run a professional online store. Need a small eCommerce project for personal use? Then choosing Big Cartel also makes sense.