— October 16, 2017
In this article, we will address the burning question that aspiring eCommerce business owners have to ask themselves every single time they consider launching a new online shop.
And that question is: “Which eCommerce platform should I use, BigCommerce or Shopify?” When it comes to all-in-one e-commerce solutions, both BigCommerce and Shopify are the crème de la crème. They are the go-to platforms that both seasoned and budding e-commerce business owners use because of their exceptional reputation of being the best in the industry. It’s exactly because of this that people are having a hard time deciding which platform to go for.
Are you experiencing the same dilemma, right now? If you answered with a “yes,” then let’s proceed to dissect both platforms for you to get an idea of which one might be the best match for your business. There are a lot of aspects to cover when reviewing an eCommerce platform. For the purpose of this guide, I focused on the themes, functionality, pricing and the apps of these market leaders. Let’s hop right in.
1. Web Shop Design Themes
If you are launching a new eCommerce property, then you need to be keen on convincing your customers to that your business is legit. Therefore, your website needs to look the part.
With how paranoid the netizens are about getting scammed, they’ll never transact through a website that looks even the slightest bit suspicious. That’s why you need to choose an eCommerce platform that can give you professional-looking and visually pleasing themes that are distinctive, diverse, affordable and customizable.
I find BigCommerce’s website themes to be a lot cleaner and visually appealing than the competitors’ themes. They’re certainly more than capable of giving your brand that trustworthy, contemporary feel to it.
I gave some of the themes a closer look to ascertain whether or not they had more than enough features. I am pleased to say that they’re jam-packed with functionalities that can help online store owners scale their businesses. Here are some of the site’s most attractive free themes.
These are some of BigCommerce.com’s paid themes.
Just like BigCommerce, Shopify’s themes also look amazing. They have free and paid themes as well. Their themes look sleek, crisp, and carefully designed. Here are some of their free themes.
Here are some of Shopify’s paid themes.
While both platforms have amazing looking themes, it looks like BigCommerce is the winner in this category.
While Shopify’s themes might look equally amazing, they’re somewhat limited. They only have about 61 themes in total (10 free themes and 51 paid themes).
BigCommerce, on the other hand, has over 100 themes in total.
2. Core eCommerce Functionalities
If you want to get the biggest bang for your buck, then you need to find an eCommerce platform that is packed with features that you can use to run (and scale) your business.
The fact is, if your eCommerce platform is lacking in features, chances are good that you will have to spend more for third party tools just to get the features that you need.
When that happens, you’ll have to spend more time, money, and effort just to get both platforms to work together. And in some cases, that might not even be possible, as third-party integrations have been known to cause conflicts with one another.
Considering how loaded BigCommerce is with features, calling the platform an eCommerce Swiss Army Knife would be an understatement.
The platform allows you to manage your orders, products, customers, set up your store, your server’s settings, run marketing campaigns, and view reports, among other things.
Shopify has a decent set of eCommerce features, as well.
Just like BigCommerce, Shopify enables their users to set up their own stores, manage their orders, products, and customers. Not only that, but the platform also has reporting features and can set up discounts, among other features.
While Shopify has a decent number of features that are crucial for their users to grow their eCommerce business, their tools aren’t as exhaustive as BigCommerce. BigCommerce offers far more functionalities that give its users the capability to customize their online stores in a lot of ways – making it easier for them to run their online business in one place.
3. Pricing Structures and Fees
At first glance, it would seem like Shopify is the clear winner when it comes to pricing. After all, Shopify is cheaper that BigCommerce.
- Standard: $ 29.95 per month
- Plus: $ 79.95 per month
- Pro: $ 249.95 per month
Click here to access their pricing page and learn more about what the platform has to offer.
- Basic Shopify: $ 13 per month
- Shopify: $ 54 per month
- Advanced Shopify: $ 107 per month
While I’d like to say that Shopify is the winner when it comes to how much value you can get for your money, I have my reservations, because Shopify’s features aren’t as exhaustive. Some Shopify users would have to purchase or subscribe to third-party apps, which can be very costly, just to get the features they want. At that point, the amount their users would have to pay for Shopify and the third party apps can easily even out (even exceed) the amount that they’d have paid had they used BigCommerce, to begin with.
4. Add-ons, Plugins and Apps
The more third-party integrations an eCommerce platform has, the more control their users will have over their online stores. That’s why we need to look into how both platforms fare when it comes to the number of third-party apps that can be integrated into them.
These are just a few of Shopify’s app categories. Simply put, just like BigCommerce, the platform has bajillions of integration-ready apps to it.
Both BigCommerce and Shopify have countless apps that can be integrated into their platform.
The 3rd party apps also come in various categories, such as:
- Sales Channels
- Product Sourcing
Who’s Your Pick?
After giving both platforms a closer look, the choice of BigCommerce is the better platform. While both companies were equally great in a lot of aspects, there were areas where BigCommerce outperformed Shopify. Among other things, a stock BigCommerce setup has far more features than that of a stock Shopify setup. BigCommerce also has more website themes than Shopify.