Shopify and BigCommerce are the renowned leaders in the eCommerce niche. These popular website builders are quite expensive, but they provide the utmost range of options to clients aiming at effective business development and customer attraction. People willing to create large-scale websites frequently have to choose between these services, because they are considered the best in the market (even though, both of them have their nuances).
A Quick Snapshot:
Shopify – is the world’s most well-known and credible eCommerce software. Its powerful feature set, professional industry-specific templates and abundance of options have made it popular with users around the world. The service was launched in 2004 and has gained stunning recognition since that time. As of today, the number of merchants trading in the system has exceeded 610,000 people, while the amount of active users has reached 1,000,000.
BigCommerce is a decent representative of the eCommerce web building niche, which is known for its extensive template collection and powerful external integration options for better web store performance.
Both platfroms are direct competitors and this is what makes their comparison so interesting, useful and, maybe, even unpredictable. It’s impossible to define the leader in BigCommerce vs Shopify test right from the start. So, let’s see what each of these services has to offer and which of them will prove to be the winner.
1. Ease of Use
Shopify. Despite the amazing functionality, the eCommerce software is easy to use for newbies and web design pros. The dashboard of the system is so understandable and convenient that it is impossible to get lost or spoil something here. Well-chosen dashboard fonts, minimalistic design and almost ideal hierarchy of sections make it possible to call this website builder convenient and pleasant to use.
All the elements, sections and categories are on their places, while the detailed guide helps users explore the system with minimum effort and time investment. The tutorial will be of great help to users, who have never had any web design experience before yet face the need to get a decent eCommerce website. It will guide them through the major sections of the web development process, focusing the attention on the most important points.
Users will be able to set up all the required web store parameters here, including marketing, web store settings, SEO characteristics etc. To simplify the process of website development, you’ll get access to Shopify Storefront Editor right after you sign up for the system.
Entrepreneurs, who are constantly busy managing their businesses, will certainly appreciate an opportunity to upload and use iOS and Android applications, which are absolutely free. What’s important, all the edits you make in the mobile version of your website are automatically synchronized with the online store and Shopify POS.
BigCommerce. Being mainly focused on eCommerce website design, the system offers a dashboard that has lots of industry-specific menu points, sections and categories. It’s not difficult to browse the system and explore its major sections, even though, it may take some time to find out all the nuances.
The website builder has a search filter option, which is available in the dashboard and helps find the required tools and information needed to start and manage a decent website.
Shopify vs BigCommerce. Website builders have similar feature sets for online store settings, but Shopify looks more appropriate here. The system developers have taken care of users’ convenience, making its interface and dashboard logical, intuitive and understandable.
2. Feature Set and Flexibility
Shopify. Functionality and flexibility is what Shopify excels at. The eCommerce software abounds in features and options that make it possible to launch and then manage online stores of diverse specialization, size and type. You can equally design a small or mid-sized online store with Shopify as well as a hypermarket offering thousands of products for sale.
By using the advanced Point-of-Sale or POS tool, you will be able to sell the products not only online, but also offline, accepting orders in both modes, sharing web store management rights, using internal and external card terminals and integrating with other Shopify applications. This notably boosts the performance of your online store, helps build customer base and maximize the revenue.
Shopify also deserves user attention due to its extensive synchronization and integration options. There are multiple external services to synchronize your Shopify account with. Amazon Marketplace, Xero and Quickbooks are some of the best samples. Integration with these platforms will eventually boost your target audience, increase the amount of sales and web store performance in general.
Shopify makes it possible to design and manage appealing show windows, create the unlimited products lists with quality images and detailed reviews, add customer testimonials etc.
The advanced Augmented Reality tool helps present the detailed visualization of products. Whatever product you are interested in, you will be able to view its characteristics and parameters from different sides to get the understanding of all the specific features.
Shopify marketing options make it possible to to track web store statistics, compare the results and undertake special measures to maximize your web store efficacy. The recently implemented Live View mode feature lets you control the performance and profitability of your eCommerce website in the real time regime.
The system also grants access to customer profiles to let you manage and sort them out by various parameters (location, order statuses, shopping activity, account info etc.). Detailed analysis of these data helps select the right promotion strategy and set up successful marketing campaigns.
Shopify developers have undertaken special security measures to protect their clients’ safety and confidentiality of personal and payment information. To prevent the attacks of scammers, you can use the recently implemented Fraud Protection tool, SSL Certification feature, Tag and Chip Reader that can be synchronized with Shopify POS and other security measures the system offers.
BigCommerce. The website builder offers an extensive selection of eCommerce features and tools needed to launch and manage full-featured small-to-large online stores.
The system pays much attention to details: product return management, gift packaging, discount system settings, product and client search filter options, notifications as well as special features associated with the detailed server settings (SSL, DNS, logs etc.).
It is also known for powerful marketing and integration options. With BigCommerce, you can sell products via social media systems and numerous platforms, such as PriceGrabber, Beso, eBay, Shopzilla, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Amazon, Pinterest etc.
Web store owners can create and update product lists as often as they need, manage inventory tools, initiate discounts and sell gift vouchers, assign special parameters to products offered for sale, set up and adjust marketing and SEO optimization features.
It is possible to fill out the major SEO fields like keywords, descriptions, meta tags etc. To find out website statistics, you can make use of Google Analytics to be able to define problems and fix them on time. To make web store performance even more powerful, you can also track your product statuses, check out the database of the system to find out the orders, clients or items you are interested in, view active and abandoned orders, create new product categories and set up their parameters.
As far as BigCommerce makes it possible to create and sell the unlimited number of products, using the CSV file import/export feature proves to be a useful option. It will help save your effort and time. The system also has a convenient return/exchange policy most users appreciate.
Mind that the service doesn’t allow website code editing, scripts adding etc. Extra applications will compensate the lack of even the most exotic functionality. There are many of them here. All in all, functionality is almost flawless. There is everything you could see in other services here and even more.
Shopify vs BigCommerce. Deeper analysis, however, shows that Shopify offers more out-of-the-box services, which make it a definite leader of the comparison in this respect. The software is chock-full of marketing and web store promotion features, design customization options, security measures and customer engagement solutions.
|Number of Themes:||59||94|
|Free Themes||✔ YES||✔ YES|
|Paid Themes Cost:||$140-$180||$145-$235|
|Responsive Design||✔ YES||✔ YES|
|Sort by Industry:||✔ YES||✔ YES|
|CSS Code Editing:||✔ YES||✔ YES|
Shopify. The system template collection attracts user attention from the very first sight – so professional, quality and versatile it is.
As of today, there are 10 free and 51 paid designs users may choose from, each of which features excellent quality and rich customization options. Paid themes are more versatile and visually-appealing.
Each template may be customized in details by changing the blocks, fonts, color schemes, editing footer, header, slideshow design etc. It’s also possible to edit the template code directly in the dashboard or apply the advanced Liquid tool to create outstanding and unique designs.
When using the tool, you can get access to multiple technical tips, how-to guides, Liquid language resources and other helpful means of boosting template quality.
BigCommerce. The website builder offers 94 paid responsive templates (their cost ranges from $145 and up to $235) and 7 free themes. The quality of both template types is high. You can work with a template code by downloading it to your computer (dashboard code editing option is not available here).
To simplify the template choice, all the themes are organized into thematic categories. There is also a convenient search filter option you can make use of to find the required template based on its main parameters. Template downloading option is enabled here as well. Each theme comes with a preview option to let you see it in details prior to making the final choice.
Apart from designs offered in the online store, you can buy the theme from one of the multiple service partners. The choice is really impressive. If you are not satisfied with the available template selection for some reason, BigCommerce allows using the integrated Stencil Theme Editor – the advanced point-and-click interface, which lets you modify storefront design without any line of coding.
Shopify vs BigCommerce. Shopify excels at template quality and versatility. It offers more free designs, while paid ones are a bit more affordable than those provided by BigCommerce. The software also stands out from the crowd due to its advanced Liquid tool that ensures deep, flexible and unique web store customization.
4. Customer Support
Shopify. Customer support options offered by Shopify are on the top notch level. Subscribers can choose between multiple ways of getting in touch with the support team, depending upon the complexity of the problem they face.
The system grants access to the extensive community forum with hundreds of categories and branches for user discussions.
A notable advantage is the Help Center YouTube channel, where Shopify users can view video tutorials providing visual presentation of system-related materials. All in all, the tech support of the service works pretty well. It quickly reacts to user questions and answers them correspondingly.
BigCommerce. The website builder also uses live chat, e-mail support, forum and has an impressive quantity of text and video materials. Phone and email support are provided here as well.
Free webinars are regularly held in terms of the system and there is also BigCommerce University that offers a collection of video tutorials on all the aspects of working with the service. These features may be found in the “Help” section, where you can use the filter option to narrow down the search.
BigCommerce vs Shopify. The services have user support resources that are almost identical in power. Generally, we have noticed that Shopify tech support reacts to user inquiries quicker. The system also offers powerful Knowledge Base with lots of how-to guides, tutorials, FAQs and user tips. YouTube channel, Live Chat and email support contribute to user awareness and cover a wide spectrum of web design inquiries.
5. Pricing Policy
Shopify. The software has a 14-day free trial, which is enough to explore the major system features and parameters. As soon as you are ready to upgrade to the paid plan, you should view the subscriptions the system offers.
The cost of the plan starts with $9/mo and reaches $299/mo. The more expensive and versatile the feature set is, the higher the cost of the plan becomes. The system additionally takes 0.5% – 2% fee of the general cost of your online store sales. The higher the plan is, the lower the percentage proves to be. The software offers the 14-day money back guarantee.
BigCommerce. Just like Shopify, BigCommerce also lets users to test its features for free during the 14-day trial. At the end of it, you’ll have to select the plan that comes up to your eCommerce web design needs most of all.
The system currently offers three plans, the cost of which ranges between $29.95/mo and $249.95/mo. By getting the annual subscription, you can save up to 10% of the general cost of the plan.
Mind that BigCommerce has the artificial yearly profit limit, which constitutes $50,000, $150,000 and $400,000 based on the age of the plans. The maximum yearly profit limit implied by the system constitutes $1 million. Each $200,000 of profit will additionally cost you $250/mo. This is available only in terms of the ”Pro” plan. What’s more, BigCommerce has an exclusive Enterprise Plan, the cost of which is variable and should be discussed with the system managers individually.
|Pricing Plans:||✔ Lite ($9/mo);|
✔ Basic Shopify ($29/mo);
✔ Shopify ($79/mo);
✔ Advanced Shopify ($299/mo).
|✔ Standard ($29.95/mo);|
✔ Plus ($79.95/mo);
|Features:||✔ Shipping label discount; |
✔ Free SSL-certificate;
✔ Fraud analysis;
✔ Abandoned cart recovery;
✔ Discount codes & Gift Cards;
✔ Real-time carrier shipping.
|✔ Automatic Tax Rates; |
✔ Faceted search;
✔ Real time shipping quotes;
✔ Sales channels;
✔ No additional transaction fees;
✔ Blog Functionality.
Shopify vs BigCommerce. Shopify works better for those users, who care about the maximum profit. If you are sure that your profit will exceed $1 million, then BigCommerce is hardly a good choice for you. What’s more, the average cost of the paid apps is much lower in Shopify, which makes it a more cost-effective solution for ordinary users.
Shopify and BigCommerce are very close in features and their presentation. They have almost identical quality level, but there are still many aspects that differ one system from another.
While BigCommerce is mostly oriented on experienced users, who are familiar with the web design nuances, Shopify works great for all user categories, offering a tremendous eCommerce feature set. This is what makes the platform a better solution for regular users.
BigCommerce is a website builder with a strong eCommerce focus. The system lets you build all types of online stores, which differ in complexity, size, features and services offered. However, it is desirable to be aware of coding basics to learn the intricacies of using the system.
Shopify is the world-popular eCommerce software, which covers a broad spectrum of web store building needs. The platform was created with the needs and skills of inexperienced users in mind, but it also works great for proficient web designers, unveiling extensive eCommerce web building opportunities.
The essence of selecting between these two platforms comes down to your actual needs. You should initially decide, whether you wish to get the unlimited sales turnover or avoid the commission sales fees. The first factor seems more crucial to us, making Shopify a more preferable system from all the points of view.
Overview Comparison Chart
|Ease of Use:|