Are you considering opening up an online store, but you’re on the fence about which eCommerce solution to choose. If you’ve narrowed it down to just BigCommerce or Shopify, we’re going to make the decision a lot easier to handle. We’ve compared both eCommerce platforms and they both have their own positives and negatives. By reading our comparison results below, you should be able to make an educated decision on which platform to choose for your online store.
If you don’t want to read the whole way through and just want a quick overview of our results, BigCommerce is a better option for merchants concerned with SEO. On the other hand Shopify is much more general with excellent options to suit all sorts of merchants, making it the ideal solution for beginners or merchants searching for an excellent mix of tools and features.
BigCommerce is a simple to use website builder targeted towards online merchants seeking a way to quickly set up an online store. This platform has a number of excellent features including the ability to easily integrate your products for sale with social platforms and online marketplaces such as Facebook, eBay and Amazon. BigCommerce was built for growth, so scalability is one of their strong-suits. Whether you’re launching a small store with few products or even if you’re expanding towards an online platform with thousands of items for sale, BigCommerce makes it simple to achieve your goals.
Shopify is a simple and beautiful website builder that allows you to quickly create an online store. Whether you’ve never built a website in your life or even if you’ve done it many times before, this intuitive platform simplifies every task. From stunning storefront customizations to loads of built-in features for managing your inventory, Shopify is easily one of the greatest eCommerce solutions available. Not only is this platform incredibly simple to use, but they also offer outstanding support channels and a ton of third-party apps and themes so you can enjoy the best integrations for your online store.
Shopify is a general eCommerce solution that will adapt to most business types. BigCommerce also provides this type of generalized solution, but they have fewer apps and themes, making it slightly less versatile. However, BigCommerce was built with some more advanced features, making it the better solution for growth and scalability. Both have similar pricing and both offer simple to use dashboards, making it a tight call that will most likely come down to personal needs and preferences.
When looking at the technical side of things, both Shopify and BigCommerce have highly reliable platforms. BigCommerce takes the win when it comes to uptime guarantees, but only by a slight margin - BigCommerce guarantees an uptime of 99.99% whereas Shopify guarantees an uptime of 99.98%. This makes both platforms highly reliable. When looking at recent incident frequencies, both have a similar score and a similar amount of incidents. In fact, both platforms ran into a very small amount of incidents recently other than scheduled maintenance, so you can expect great reliability from both eCommerce solutions. Finally, website speed is an important technical aspect worth looking into. BigCommerce once again has the advantage, but again, just by a slight margin. Shopify and BigCommerce both offer fast sites, but in general, websites on BigCommerce required fewer optimizations, making it the better choice out-of-box.
Customer support is an important factor worth considering when you sign up for an eCommerce platform. You’ll want to be able to get the assistance you need as soon as possible. The last thing you want is to be dealing with pressing issues, only to find out that customer support is only available on certain days. With Shopify and BigCommerce you get 24/7 support on a variety of support channels. With phone, email, live chat and extensive knowledge-bases, you will be able to get all of the assistance you need at all times. Both platforms offer excellent speed of response, so you won’t have to wait around for very long before getting connected to an agent. Furthermore, both platforms have knowledgeable support agents that can provide great assistance for small and larger problems. Overall, when it comes to support, it’s pretty much a tie and both platforms will impress you.
When it comes to out-of-box features, BigCommerce has a larger selection than Shopify. However, Shopify has a lot more third-party apps to choose from, which balances out and allows you to get the integrations you need. One benefit of BigCommerce is that it can cost less by using integrated features without having to spend money on third-party integrations. Furthermore, adding too many third-party apps can cause your website to experience slower load times.
Both platforms have a similar set of features, but BigCommerce excels when it comes to search engine optimization (SEO) tools. If organic traffic from search engines is highly important to you (and it should be) you’re going to prefer the SEO optimization features made available to you by BigCommerce.
When it comes to ease of use, both eCommerce platforms have a similar dashboard that is simple to use for beginners and advanced users alike. If you’ve ever used WordPress, it looks quite similar to that backend. Getting started is a breeze due to their walkthrough wizards and “getting started” tutorials. Overall, it’s a tight call - both platform offers excellent features and simple to use backends. However, BigCommerce is slightly better for SEO purposes, so if you have a heavy focus on SEO, this is the better option.
Themes are incredibly important for all-in-one eCommerce solutions. Since you won’t be actually hard-coding any of the website, you won’t have much freedom for optimizing most of the designs. This means you’ll have to rely heavily on the designs of the themes that are offered to you. Fortunately, both Shopify and BigCommerce are great platforms that can provide you with powerful and great-looking themes.
Shopify has the upper hand when it comes to selection of themes though, as they have a much larger collection. This allows you to find themes for just about any type of online store. Whether you want to build a general electronics store or even a niche boutique online, Shopify will most likely have a theme that suits your business to perfection. BigCommerce has slightly fewer themes to choose from, however, they still do have a lot of beautiful themes in their marketplace.
Quality of themes is another important aspect worth considering. Once again, both platforms offer powerful themes that come with incredible quality. However, once again, Shopify has the upper hand by a slight margin. The free and paid themes are Shopify tend to be slightly higher quality than the free and paid themes available at BigCommerce. However, this does not mean that BigCommerce does not offer high quality themes.
Overall, both platforms offer great free and paid themes, but Shopify has a slightly bigger selection with slightly higher quality themes to choose from.
In terms of pricing, both Shopify and BigCommerce have a similar structure. Shopify’s pricing plans are a little more expensive when compared to BigCommerce’s pricing plans, but the difference is very little. One of the major differences is the lack of transaction fees at BigCommerce, whereas Shopify charges a transaction fee with every sale you make. However, BigCommerce does require you to upgrade to a higher pricing plan as you sell more, so their lack of transaction fees is made up with this upgrade requirement as you grow. In the end, you will still end up paying less for BigCommerce. Neither one of these eCommerce solutions has any type of hidden fees, but you should definitely set a budget aside for premium apps and themes. If you’re looking for the most cost-effective eCommerce solution between the two of them, BigCommerce is the smarter choice.
Shopify and BigCommerce both have a lot going for them - it’s no wonder they are among the two most popular eCommerce solutions on the internet. Shopify has a ton of third-party apps and integrations for you to choose from, but BigCommerce has more built-in features. This makes them both great platforms for enjoying just about any integration imaginable.
If you’re looking for solid SEO, BigCommerce has the upper hand and is without a doubt the better choice, but Shopify won’t let you down either - it remains good at SEO and can still allow you to enjoy excellent rankings in search engines.
Shopify slightly excels at product management and has better tools for dropshippers such as Oberlo, but BigCommerce can make all of these features possible as well - Shopify just does it better. When it comes to technical aspects such as website loading times and uptimes, BigCommerce is the winner, but not by much. Furthermore, both platforms experience high scores in this department, so you shouldn’t really notice much of a difference. The same can be said about customer support - both Shopify and BigCommerce have excellent support channels.
One of the main differences between the two eCommerce platforms lies in the pricing. BigCommerce has more affordable pricing plans and they don’t have any transaction fees - Shopify does charge transaction fees. If you want to save some money, BigCommerce is the better option.
Overall, these are two very powerful eCommerce platforms that won’t let you down. The differences are slim and it really comes down to personal preferences. For more SEO features and a cheaper monthly fee, BigCommerce is better - for more third-party apps, more themes and one of the easiest dashboards online, Shopify is the better option.