Shopify and BigCommerce are the leaders in the eCommerce niche. These popular website builders are quite expensive, but they provide the utmost range of options to clients aiming at business development.
Their comparison is genuinely interesting, because these platforms are the competitors. People willing to create large-scale websites frequently have to choose between these services, because they are considered the best in the niche (even though, both of them have their nuances).
Marketing plays notable role in the popularity of the systems. Yes, today we are going to compare Lamborghini and Ferrari from the eCommerce web building niche. Both names are renowned and feature corresponding content.
Anyway, both website builders are not that ideal. Each of them has at least one notable disadvantage. Which exactly? Let’s review the systems from the very beginning.
Ease of Use
Shopify comes with a visually appealing and user-friendly interface. There is nothing unuseful or lacking 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.
It encourages people to use it. This is almost an ideal sample of ergonomics that perfectly combines with deep and powerful functionality. The system works great both for newbies and professionals. Any user can master it, but this may take different amount of time, ranging from half an hour and up to a couple of days.
BigCommerce has interface that is similar to specialized CMS in terms of structure and design. The system comes with quality educative materials – BigCommerce University will help any user master the system from scratch. The complexity of the dashboard is above the average. Everything is logic and intuitive, even though, the number of settings is quite rich here.
The interface is concise, although, it’s hard to call it appealing. It is just standard. Common style is tracked in everything. It is neat, but the domination of the dark color scheme gives the dashboard serious and not that user-friendly look. The system can be used by newbies, who are ready to learn its basics and get used to the dashboard power.
Shopify vs BigCommerce. Website builders have similar feature sets for online store settings, but Shopify looks more appropriate here. The systems use almost similar web development principles: if you have ever worked with one of these platforms, you will easily switch to another one without any loss of time.
However, it makes sense to start your business with Shopify just because it is more convenient. Someone may not, probably, see the notable difference in the systems. For newbies, this will be a challenge, though.
Feature Set and Flexibility
Shopify offers a rich choice of high quality templates (which are basically paid) and extra applications that come at different cost (you can find free ones here as well). The functionality of the system will make it possible to create a powerful online store even without using the apps.
Taxes, shipping, extra product fields, various payment options, marketing, sales via external services (Facebook, Amazon), statistics collection based on various parameters, flexible SEO settings, import/export of products from CSV – all these features are available in stock here.
Applications can contribute to the list of benefits by their quality CRM – system, advanced statistics and e-mail marketing, stock apps and other options. If you have the firsthand knowledge of the online store creation process, you can be 100% sure that you will find any required functionality in Shopify.
BigCommerce pays much attention to the nuances: 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.). The system has a rich store of free and paid templates to meet any taste.
The only nuance is 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, BigCommerce functionality is almost flawless. There is everything you could see in other services here and even more.
Shopify or BigCommerce. Both website builders come with powerful and extensive functionality. Thus, it doesn’t make any sense to mention standard features like product adding, template customization options or flexible discount and shipping settings. These features as well as lots of others are realized in the technically faultless way in both systems. App stores can also be compared in terms of versatility and quality of the assortment.
Shopify offers a bit more out-of-the-box services in the «Sales channels» settings, while BigCommerce has better general settings specifications. Template quality is approximately on the same level – they are really decent. The nuance is that Shopify has more free samples (10 as opposed to 6 in BigCommerce).
That is, the systems are almost similar in terms of feature set. There are no serious functional differences between them. Thus, the result you gain will look similar as well – a modern online store with correct structure and show window, which ensures convenient and pleasant shopping experience.
|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 has 49 paid responsive templates (the cost ranges from $100 and up to $180) and 10 free themes. Quality difference between them exists, but it is not serious and reveals itself in versatile design approach in paid samples.
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. Template downloading is not allowed.
BigCommerce may offer 94 paid responsive templates (their cost ranges from $145 and up to $235) and 7 free themes. The quality of both template types is on the high level. You can work with a template code by downloading it to your computer (dashboard code editing option is not available here).
Apart from designs offered in the online store, you can buy the theme from one of the multiple service partners. The choice is really extensive. Each template has many individual design customization settings. They are very flexible and you can edit almost everything, except for the structure (sequence and positioning of blocks).
Shopify and BigCommerce. The services offer templates, the quality of which is almost similar. The difference is only in the quantity and cost. It’s worth mentioning that the amount of templates keeps growing in both systems. BigCommerce offers a bit more paid designs and has higher cost and no dashboard code editing option.
Shopify has more free designs, while paid ones are a bit more affordable. You can also edit the code from the dashboard here. Customization options provided in the settings are almost identical as well. They are properly offered and managed.
All in all, Shopify template designs are a bit more versatile, although, their quantity is less than that offered by BigCommerce. A user generally needs one template only, so, versatility and quality level matter more than quantity. This feature as well as more affordable cost make Shopify a more preferable option in this respect.
Shopify uses live chat, e-mail support and numerous FAQ for user support. Forum also matters a lot here. It is very powerful and contains thousands of themes on any questions. This is where you can find out more about Shopify due to the positive and negative experience of other users.
The system also has its YouTube channel, which is regularly updated with a rich choice of educative videos. All in all, the tech support of the service works pretty well. It quickly reacts to user questions and answers them correspondingly.
BigCommerce also uses live chat, e-mail support, forum and has an impressive quantity of text and video materials. 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.
Shopify versus BigCommerce. The services have user support resources that are similar in power. They are almost identical in this respect. Generally, we have noticed that Shopify tech support reacts to user inquiries quicker. Forums are almost similar in the amount of topics and user activity. There is not big difference in the quality of educative materials as well – it is on the decent level in both systems.
Both services offer 14-day free trials. To continue working after the end of the trial, you’ll need to upgrade to any paid plan offered by the systems. The cost of the plans in Shopify and BigCommerce is almost identical. The notable difference is in the features provided by the plans. This is the major distinction between the systems, which will become a decisive factor for many users, when choosing the platform.
Shopify and BigCommerce Pricing Comparison Chart
|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.
As you see, the systems have almost identical features. It’s not that simple, however. The thing is that BigCommerce has 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.
Shopify is devoid of this limit. Instead, the system 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. Apart from that, both systems contain special credit card rates, which will trigger extra percentage of client sales, who use credit cards when shopping for the products. This percentage is a bit lower (by 0.1%) in BigCommerce.
Shopify vs BigCommerce. Thus, the major distinction between the systems is in the approach to the cost-formation factor of separate services. 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. On the other hand, a website builder without the transaction fees will be more beneficial to use for small companies.
That’s not it, however. We have noticed that the average cost of the paid apps is much lower in Shopify. The same is about templates. So, if you wish to get extra functionality like apps for your website, then you are likely to pay more in BigCommerce. Much, however, depends upon the choice and quality of apps, but the major essence remains as it is.
BigCommerce also offers Enterprise plan that implies negotiable platform rent terms. It, probably, makes it possible to notably increase your online store profit limit and adds new features. The cost aspect still remains open. It is likely to exceed the cost of the “Pro” plan several times, although, we can’t state that for sure.
Considering all the nuances, Shopify still seems to be more a more cost-effective website builder than BigCommerce.
Shopify and BigCommerce are very close in features and their presentation. They have identical quality level. Yes, one of the systems has more templates, while the other offers more affordable and versatile fees. Dashboards look a bit different as well. Tech support reaction speed also differs. However, all these characteristics don’t matter a lot and are not decisive for the majority of users, when it comes to the choice of the best platform.
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. In other words, Shopify looks a more preferable system.
By the way, the cost of templates and apps is also lower here. The rest of distinctions are not that meaningful. Both systems are decent and it’s up to you to decide on option that will work for you better.