Shopify vs Bigcommerce – a tough choice to make. The fringe between those two is so thin that it is rather a matter of personal sympathy or even luck when you are choosing between them. Therefore it is pretty hard to define a clear cut winner or loser here. As both platforms are going nose to nose in the matters of functionality, features, support and design.
Currently, Shopify is leading in the number of active stores on it, which is 400K. Respectively it has a much bigger – 34 billion worth of sales volume. While Bigcommerce has 9 billion worth of sales volume but doesn’t provide exact info about the number of active stores on it.
Nevertheless, you’ve come here to make a decision. Because often the success of your entire business depends on this decision. And you don’t want to find yourself in the situation when you have spent lots of time and money on the one of those and it doesn’t meet your expectations, do you? As launching and maintaining a shop consumes lots of resources. Here is the great example of how much does Shopify store cost.
Hence we will do our best to make a thorough comparison of Shopify vs Bigcommerce, so your decision could be less stressful.
Shopify vs Bigcommerce in a few words
For the fans of TL;DR here we’ve made a short summary. But make sure to read the whole article!
The most crucial point for the 63.3% of respondents in the Internet Retailer survey conducted in 2016. However, it is also the most controversial point. Thus if you’re going to take the cheapest solution you may lose sufficiently in the quality. Value for the price is the cornerstone here.
Both Shopify and Bigcommerce allow you to have a free, “no credit card required” test period (14 and 15 days respectively) to lure you. After it ends you’ll see such price tags:
The good part is that both provide the discount of 10% when you pay annually (20% for Shopify’ biennial plans). Both give you an unlimited bandwidth for each plan (but Shopify limits the number of staff accounts to 2, 5, 15 respectively). However, both charge you with payment processing fees, which depend on your payment processing provider and are common for all the retail industry (2.9% + 30¢, 2.6% + 30¢, 2.4% + 30¢ for each plan respectively).
The main positive difference of Bigcommerce is that it doesn’t charge any transaction fees. It also gives you the access to nearly all its features on every plan. On the other hand, Bigcommerce has bonded its plans to the volume of your sales per year. Which means if you reach bigger revenue than $50K/year you have to upgrade from “Standard” plan to “Plus” plan.
Shopify has its “Shopify payments” powered by Stripe and it cuts both ways. From the one side, you pay no fees using Shopify Payments, which is much better than lots of other opponents. On the other side if you don’t – you have to pay 2.0%, 1.0%, 0.5% transaction fee on each plan respectively. The main problem with Shopify Payments option – it is present only in certain countries (United States, Puerto Rico, Canada, the United Kingdom, Ireland, and Australia). But, in contrast to Bigcommerce, it has no limits in revenue.
So, after doing some calculations we assumed that Bigcommerce proposes a better value for the price. As it gives you all the main features even in its Standard plan and doesn’t charge you transaction fees for that. While Shopify nearly forces you to use its “Shopify payments”. But it doesn’t force you to upgrade your pricing plan. So, in the short run Bigcommerce looks better, but on the long run (especially if you use Shopify Payments) – Shopify might be a wiser decision.
Shopify vs Bigcommerce in terms of pricing, winner (arguably) – Bigcommerce
Features out of the box
Second most essential category when people are choosing an e-commerce platform. And the second biggest, after pricing, battlefield in our Shopify vs Bigcommerce fight. Describing all of those would require a whole new article, so we will limit ourselves only to the main ones.
Bigcommerce comes chock-full of various features. You can manage shipping and payments or list your products on Amazon, eBay, and Facebook via your Bigcommerce site! Set any permissions for your stuff, including Amazon, eBay, and Facebook. Numerous product options, comprehensive and automated abandoned cart recovery tool where you can schedule the emails which will be sent, the wholesale partnership of Bigcommerce and Alibaba.
The best part is that all these and many, many more features are present OOTB (out of the box) in Bigcommerce. So those are already included in the monthly fee.
Shopify comes with a great variety of features OOTD as well. But it literally can’t compete with THAT amount of features which Bigcommerce provides. A few points where Shopify has a slight edge over Bigcommerce are VAT MOOS (VAT mini one stop shop) and POS terminals. In the first case, Shopify has automatic tax rate solution for every country, while in Bigcommerce you have to do that manually. POS terminals in Shopify are completely native and in Bigcommerce you have to install third party apps.
So both platforms deliver a great variety of necessary “basic” features, but Bigcommerce has much more pleasant extras OOTB. Which means there is no need for you to look for or buy those.
Shopify vs Bigcommerce features out of the box: winner – Bigcommerce
Convenience of usage
Most controversial category, as everyone has its own preferences. As for us, both platforms provide one of the best UX amongst all e-commerce platforms. However, as usual, there are minor nuances, which are decisive.
In each admin panel, everything is pretty intuitive and understandable. That’s all thanks to what-you-see-is-what-you-do figuration. It nearly impossible to get lost with what you do or make something disastrously wrong.
One point where Shopify slightly has upper hand over Bigcommerce is the cleanliness of the design. But that is very arguable because as mentioned before, Bigcommerce has more functionality OOTB and it’s all there, in the admin panel.
So it is very hard to point out a clear winner here. We like UX of both platforms and a lot, so we will declare a draw in this round.
Shopify vs BIgcommerce, the convenience of usage: draw.
Design and customizability
If we will go with only rough numbers, we’ll get this result:
- Shopify – 149 premium themes ($100 – $180) / 24 free themes
- BigCommerce – 76 premium themes ($145 – $235) / 7 free themes
But bigger not always means better, right? Well, in the case of Shopify quantity is strongly backed by quality. Looks like Shopify company, somewhere very deep in the basement keeps an army of genial designers. And they constantly create really beautiful themes for them. Jokes aside, Shopify actually supports independent designers who contribute them some of those themes. Really smart move.
The best part is, that those themes are easily customizable. Use their’ live theme editor, and you’ll see how easy it is to customize them. In addition, Shopify released its “Section” themes, where you can use drag-and-drop to build your completely custom website.
It doesn’t mean at all that Bigcommerce themes are worse or what. Those are beautiful as well, but not Shopify-beautiful. They have live theme editor, also. But to edit large parts of design you’ll still have to use HTML/CSS editors.
This round is clearly with Shopify. Its bigger variety of themes, comprehensive customization tools and smart strategy towards acquiring new themes secured them this victory.
Shopify vs Bigcommerce, design and customizability: winner – Shopify
Apps and tools
Just like with themes, Shopify has a sufficiently bigger number of apps and tools available. Something near 2 thousand, currently. However, unlike with the themes, those aren’t always as brilliant. Of course, it doesn’t mean that Shopify app store is filled with garbage apps. Shopify team constantly curates its App store, so the apps over there might not be much of utility, but they are certainly 100% well crafted.
While in the case of Bigcommerce we have to remember that it comes with a great functionality OOTB. Which means that apps you might have to download in Shopify may be already present in Bigcommerce. On top of that, Bigcommerce app store also provides a great variety of apps. But Bigcommerce’ 500+ apps is no match to Shopify, anyway.
While Shopify presents an extensive variety of apps, Bigcommerce comes with bigger functionality OOTB. But, anyway, Bigcommerce loses because of the rough numbers. Hence bigger quantity provides more options to chose. And wider assortment is always better.
Shopify vs Bigcommerce, apps and tools: winner – Shopify
On each platform, you’ll get pretty much the same variety of credit card payment processors. Both provide the same basic functionality, so you won’t feel limited at all.
Shopify supports 70+ payment gateways which and amongst them there are some specific for different countries, like MOLpay for Malaysia or Klarna Ratenkauf for Austria. So stay calm – you will definitely be able to work on your local market.
Also, the big advantage of Shopify is its Shopify Payments powered by Stripe. Just like with Bigcommerce there are no fees for transactions at all. And, it is directly integrated into Shopify, so you are able to track all your transactions, payment schedules, and balance right in your Shopify store. Although, as we mentioned before, Shopify Payments is too far from the presence all over the globe. So if you’re not lucky enough to be the resident of United States, Puerto Rico, Canada, the United Kingdom, Ireland, or Australia you’ll have to pay regular Shopify fees.
Bigcommerce, on the other hand, supports only 40 processors. However, Bigcommerce has agreed with PayPal (Powered by Braintree) to lower its transaction fees, which is: 2.9%, 2.5%, 2.2% compared to Shopify’ 2.9%, 2.6%, 2.4%. Although, you’ll have to apply for these fees, and Bigcommerce does not guarantee the success of the appliance.
Despite all the pros and cons, rough numbers are the key in this round. Yes, with Bigcommerce you’ll probably pay less, especially if you live in a country where Shopify Payments is not present. But, once again, Shopify delivers a bigger variety of options.
Shopify vs Bigcommerce, payment options: winner – Shopify
Each platform has a great support. They both provide it 24/7 phone, live chat, email support, have active blogs and forums, are broadly present in social medias. And what’s best – each of them provides free training courses and webinars.
If we will look at the feedback from users of each platform it will be hard to find a lot of negative responses. Both support services are doing their best to provide the best service. While Shopify might have a bigger number of negative responses, it all can be explained by the way bigger number of clients they have to deal with.
It is hard to point out the clear winner here, so we will proclaim a draw in this round.
Shopify vs Bigcommerce, support: draw
It was a tough fight. Shopify had on its side one great advantage – more years of experience. It has been established in 2006, while Bigcommerce in 2009. And in the world of e-commerce 3 years is almost like infinity. Therefore Shopify has a bigger audience, and its brand is much more recognized.
But it doesn’t mean at all that Bigcommerce is immature. On the contrary, it is a tremendous platform which has already established its name and acquired its devoted community with the big clients like: Toyota, Gibson, Martha Stewart and many more. Consequently, it slowly but steadily gains more and more clients, fans and authority in the world of e-commerce.
Bigcommerce, as of our article, has a lot to propose for your store. It has Great pricing plan, bigger amount of features in pair with great UX and design. Which is more than enough for you to start a store on it.
But, as for now, the winner in this contest is Shopify. It has great pricing plans, especially with its Shopify Payments feature mixed with magnificent design and more than excellent customization possibilities. Besides you will be more than satisfied with the variety and quality of the apps it Shopify app store.
To conclude, both platforms are a brilliant choice for your store. All we have done here was just summarizing some dry facts. Yet, Shopify is slightly better, but it doesn’t mean at all that Bigcommerce is not or will not be better for you. It, probably, might be a matter of your own intuition whom to trust your business, because the difference between them is really tiny.
Shopify vs Bigcommerce: winner – Shopify