BigCommerce vs Shopify: [.blue]Which should I use for my online store?[.blue]
March 2, 2023
In this guide, we will be discussing which is better for your online store: BigCommerce or Shopify.
Both eCommerce platforms are great options to use for online stores, so we will go through the pros and cons of BigCommerce and Shopify to find out which platform works best for you, your customers and your business.
BigCommerce and Shopify are both eCommerce platforms that enable people to create, market, grow and maintain a business all from one website. They both cater to the requirements of online stores of all sizes. Both are reliable platforms that will support your needs as an online retailer.
2. BigCommerce vs Shopify: Pros and Cons
There are no transaction fees
Includes a lot of built-in sales features
High loading speed
Difficult to set up
Steep learning curve
Little variation between themes
Added fees for high volume store
Extremely user-friendly and comes with a shallow learning curve
Provides themes for different industries to choose from which will make your website look very professional, helping you to retain customers on your online store
Access to thousands of apps and third-party extensions that allow you to add additional features to your eStore
Extensive payment options
Only provides 10 free theme templates
Relies on apps and plugins a lot of the time
There are transaction fees unless you use Shopify payments
Both BigCommerce and Shopify incur monthly costs and some additional costs, but these prices can vary depending on your pricing plan. Let’s take a look at different pricing plans and additional costs for both BigCommerce and Shopify.
All plans that are offered on BigCommerce include sales channels, payment integrations, multicurrency, unlimited accounts and file storage, access to 24/7 support, no transaction fees, and an SSL certificate.
Basic at £25 per month. This plan is best for small online businesses, as it delivers everything that new or small businesses will need to sell online, market their website, create blogs, sell in person, and sell through other channels such as Amazon.
Shopify at £65 per month. This plan is best for growing eCommerce businesses, as it gives you all of the features that the basic plan provides with additional resources such as cart recovery, gift cards, and expanded reporting capabilities.
Advanced at £344 per month. This plan is best for high-volume sellers who will need additional features such as customisable reporting and real-time shipping rates.
On Shopify, you can save 25% off all plans if you pay yearly. Shopify also offers a 3-day free trial.
BigCommerce and Shopify both offer very similar pricing plans for businesses to choose from. However, there are differences when you factor in the additional costs. One additional cost is transaction fees; these fees are the percentage of revenue that the platform will take from each sale your business makes. BigCommerce has no transaction fees on any of their plans, whereas Shopify charges between 0.5% and 2% depending on your pricing plan. There is one way to avoid Shopify’s transaction fees and that is by using Shopify Payments instead of a third-party payment processor.
Another fee that you need to take into account will be credit card fees. Credit card fees are what you will pay to your third-party payment processor that you use when you make a sale. There are many payment processors that you are able to choose from - Shopify offers over 100 integrations and BigCommerce offers over 65. On some of the payment processors that Shopify and BigCommerce recommend, you are able to get special rates.
4. Ease of use
When it comes to how easy BigCommerce and Shopify are to use, they both pride themselves on being easy to set up for new users, but it is important to remember that there is a lot to learn and do before launching your online store.
BigCommerce and Shopify have similar interfaces which are both well-designed for users. They also provide you with a lot of guidance that will help you get started with using the platforms. BigCommerce may seem more daunting and more difficult to use over Shopify but this is partly due to the fact that it has more features, so you are offered more options for whichever task you are trying to complete. However, BigCommerce does provide you with a quick tour of the platform in order to help you get started.
Furthermore, BigCommerce has a dashboard that gives you an overview of the current situation of your online store, enabling you to quickly and easily check the status of your orders and monitor business trends. BigCommerce also provides a smart interface that enables you to manage all of your stock and orders. Additionally, there is a feature that enables you to filter your orders, which is beneficial for larger businesses that have a higher volume of orders to manage.
On the other hand, Shopify has a neat backend system that is intuitive and very easy to navigate. It is extremely easy to manage and edit all of the products that you sell on your online store as well as easily adding extra products. Shopify also provides functionality to manage your stock and orders.
5. Themes and template features
Themes and template features will dictate the design of your online store. This can be an important factor when deciding between BigCommerce and Shopify because it will give your customers the first impression of your business and you want to make a positive impact on your customers so that they make repeat purchases from your store. If your design is not appealing, then it could make users click off your page and buy from a competitor. BigCommerce and Shopify platforms both offer a certain amount of free design and template features to use for your online store.
BigCommerce offers a small variety of free design templates. However, it is not very modern and only offers two responsive designs for free. BigCommerce also has a specific design section that enables you to tweak basic design characteristics such as colours. However, if you do decide to go with BigCommerce, when you choose one of its design templates, it is extremely easy to use. Just by clicking ‘apply’, BigCommerce will apply the changes to your online store for you. There is also an option on BigCommerce to fully customise the HTML and CSS of your store so you can create a unique looking site. However, it is likely that you will need to be experienced with HTML and CSS in order to carry this out successfully.
Shopify also offers a small variety of 10 design templates that are free. There are many more options to choose from on Shopify but these will require an additional cost. There is also a feature on Shopify that enables you to develop your own theme for your online store. The design templates that Shopify offer are stylish and modern, and will make your online store look great, especially as they are fully responsive and, thus, user-friendly on any device.
6. Shipping and fulfilment options
Shipping can easily become difficult for online business owners but luckily, BigCommerce and Shopify both provide shipping options:
Free shipping rates
Real time rates from third-party carriers
You can also use fulfilment services that BigCommerce and Shopify both offer. Order fulfilment is the process of getting the stock from your business to your customers. If you do not want to do this yourself or believe it would be more beneficial to outsource this service, you can use a third-party provider (3PL). At Zendbox, we offer both BigCommerce and Shopify fulfilment services that can be easily integrated with your eCommerce site.
7. Which is best?
BigCommerce and Shopify both contain unique and useful features, with both being extremely good platforms to use to build your online store. In summary, BigCommerce tends to be better for SEO features, customisation options, and a lack of transaction fees, whereas Shopify tends to be better for their app market, ease-of-use, and broad range of payment processor options.
Having reviewed both BigCommerce and Shopify, it seems BigCommerce would be more suited to bigger online businesses, whilst Shopify would suit smaller online businesses better. This is due to the fact that BigCommerce has more features available to use that could be daunting for smaller businesses, whereas larger businesses are likely to have the experience to be able to use and reap maximum benefit from the extended features. BigCommerce also has stronger SEO optimisation so will be great for businesses who want to be ranking higher on search engines. Smaller businesses may be more suited to Shopify as there are less features to choose from at each stage, but there are still modern and stylish templates to choose from to create a great-looking website design and you can add extra apps to gain more features as your online store grows. However, remember that Shopify does charge transaction fees if you do not use Shopify payments, which could be an important factor for small businesses.
When choosing between BigCommerce and Shopify, they both have their advantages, and both are great platforms to use. However, it depends entirely on the specific requirements of your online store so be sure to weigh your options carefully before making a decision.
We hope this guide on BigCommerce vs Shopify has helped you decide which eCommerce platform will best suit your business. For further guidance – including advice on integrating your BigCommerce or Shopify store with a 3PL provider – get in touch today.
Resilient and forward-thinking, Gilson is responsible for leading the strategy, planning and execution of our customer experience (CX) goals, liaising with department heads to ensure every team at Zendbox works cohesively to provide our clients a positive and seamless experience across all touchpoints.