From roughly $3.53 trillion (USD) in 2019, the online retail market is projected to reach $6.54 trillion in 2022. This means one thing — more and more businesses are popping up in the industry.
If you are thinking of launching your own eCommerce business, chances are that you will get to a point where you will need to make a decision about the perfect tool to use in powering your online store.
BigCommerce and Shopify are perhaps the biggest and most powerful eCommerce platforms for building and managing online stores.
So, which of these two platforms is best suited for your business?
In this BigCommerce vs Shopify ultimate comparison, we are comparing the two eCommerce giants head to head. We are reviewing and comparing their features, design options, size, integrations, pricing, user-friendliness, and pretty much everything you need to know to make an informed decision for your online store.
Ready to dive in? Let's start by getting to know more about our contenders.
What is BigCommerce?
BigCommerce is an all-in-one, highly-extensible eCommerce site builder, promoted as a versatile enterprise solution. It is a SaaS platform that helps businesses set up online stores, customize their look and feel, manage inventory, process orders, receive payments, among other functionalities.
But even more, the BigCommerce eCommerce tool packs advanced security.
In particular, the tool leverages the power of Google Cloud Platform to provide multiple layers of security, unlimited bandwidth, and great speed to its users.
Overview of BigCommerce Features and Capabilities
Here are some of the most outstanding features you'll find in BigCommerce:
- Single-location order management: BigCommerce comes equipped with a powerful control panel that lets you process and fulfill orders end to end from a single dashboard and manage inventory without any hassle.
- Professional eCommerce templates: BigCommerce has an array of high-converting, responsive online store themes and templates created especially for major eCommerce industries.
- Unlimited products, storage, and bandwidth: BigCommerce is generous with space. It allows you to upload as many products as you want without worrying about inconsistencies, distractions, or other disruptions in your web store.
- One-page checkout: Users don't have to worry about customers abandoning their carts because of a lengthy checkout process. BigCommerce's one-page checkout capability allows shoppers to buy using PayPal, Apple Pay and other mobile payment solutions.
- Social commerce integration: You can also sell on social media platforms like Facebook, Pinterest, and Instagram.
- Marketplace integration: BigCommerce allows you to sell on popular web-based marketplaces like Amazon and eBay.
- Built-in blogging feature: Alongside your online store, you can install and manage a fully-functional blog with BigCommerce. There's even a WordPress integration which makes content publishing easier.
- Mobile wallet: BigCommerce makes it possible for you to accept payments from your customers via mobile wallet channels like Apple Pay and Amazon Pay.
- Physical store integration: You may decide to take your business offline by selling on physical stores using BigCommerce's POS systems integrations. This is not a proprietary POS system but third-party apps like ShopKeep, Springboard Retail, and Hike POS.
- Conversion-ready: With built-in conversion features including one-page checkout, abandoned cart saver, faceted search, and many more, BigCommerce makes it easy to optimize your online store for high conversion.
- Dedicated account management: The enterprise version of BigCommerce comes equipped with dedicated account managers, giving you access to custom business advice and priority support.
- Multiple payment methods: You can accept payments from customers with multiple providers like PayPal, Stripe, and more.
- Enhanced marketing tools: From Google Shopping to integration with top email providers to SEO-friendliness, BigCommerce is packed with the best out of the box marketing capabilities.
- Store analytics and reports: From the cheapest plan to the most premium, BigCommerce allows its users access to enormous store data and analytics.
- 24/7 support: Support is available 24/7 on phone, email, and live chat.
- BigCommerce mobile app: You can carry out various store management functions like order processing, inventory management, report analysis, etc. using BigCommerce's mobile app.
- And more!
See this video by WinningWP to get a clearer understanding of what BigCommerce is and what you can do with it:
What is Shopify?
Shopify is an easy-to-use eCommerce tool that allows users to create and manage digital stores. Once you've created your store on Shopify, you can sell in multiple places such as the web, social media, mobile, online marketplaces, pop-up shops, and brick-and-mortar locations.
Shopify takes care of all the nuts and bolts involved in managing and selling on your store, including product management, inventory, payments, shipping, and so on. In fact, with Shopify you can also perform some initial store building activities like selecting a store name, registering a domain name, and getting your web store hosted.
If you're just starting out with eCommerce or have low technical skills, Shopify makes setting up a store on the Internet effortless. Given its user-friendly admin panel, the average Joe can add products, process orders, and access valuable store data without the need to be a tech whiz.
Overview of Shopify Features and Capabilities
Here are some of the most notable features you'll find in Shopify:
- 100+ modern templates: Shopify is loaded with amazing elegant-style themes created by world-renowned designers like Happy Cog, Clearleft, and Pixel Union specially for online stores.
- 100+ payment gateways: Using Shopify, you can rest assured that you will be able to accept payments with Bitcoin, PayPal, iDEAL, and over 100 other external payment gateways.
- Multiple languages: With Shopify, your online store checkout comes in 50+ languages, which makes it easy to serve a worldwide market. Your store's theme can easily be translated to any language of your choice.
- Abundance of apps: One thing Shopify is well known for is the vastness of its app store. 3795+ apps means you can add any functionality as far as running your web store goes.
- Excellent marketing and sales options: Shopify has all kinds of marketing and sales tools like discounts, gift cards for your customers, product reviews, social media integration, and so on.
- Abandoned cart recovery: Among other conversion features, you can track abandoned carts, email the customer who initiated it, and encourage them to complete the checkout process.
- Multi-channel selling: Sell on multiple places like social media, mobile, web, physical stores, etc.
- Search engine friendly: With built-in SEO functionalities like SEO product tags, Shopify boast of one of the most SEO-friendly eCommerce solutions on the web.
- Shopify POS System: Shopify's POS software and hardware give you the tools to unify in-store and online sales, accept payments, track inventory, and build customer loyalty from one point of sale.
- Full-fledged blogging platform: You can upload blog posts, answer comments, and do everything you would normally do on a blogging platform.
- Your own domain name: Most new business owners usually struggle with selecting a name for their business. Shopify takes care of that. You can use its business name generator to come up with a name and actually register a domain name with Shopify.
- Web hosting: Shopify hosting is built for online stores. It packs all the features you'll need to offer a great experience to your customers, including unlimited bandwidth, 99.98 uptime, and round-the-clock monitoring.
- Email forwarding: It lets you create and run professional email addresses like email@example.com.
- Topnotch security: Shopify uses a 256-bit SSL certificate, which is one of the most secure data/file encryption technology. Also, Shopify is level-1 PCI compliant, so you don't need to worry about the security of your customers' credit card data.
- Web-based website builder: With a full-featured content management system, store owners can build their entire online store on Shopify with absolutely no need for a third-party service.
- Edit HTML and CSS: Shopify allows full access to the HTML and CSS of your store, making customization a breeze.
- Mobile commerce ready: Your Shopify store has a built-in mobile commerce shopping cart, which makes it smooth for customers to browse and buy from your store using their smartphones or tablets.
- Available as a mobile app: Shopify's mobile app let you manage your business on the go. You can do things like manage inventory, process orders, email or call customers, access reports, etc.
- Store analytics and reports: Access to several store analytics and reports like your sales & orders reports, product reports, experts reports, referral/traffic reports, and Google Analytics reports.
- 24/7 support: Support is available through email, live chat, and phone.
- And a lot more!
Here's another explainer video that'll tell you what Shopify is and what you can do with it:
BigCommerce Vs. Shopify: Key Statistics
It is always important to know the numbers associated with each platform before making your final decision. This is important because when you choose an eCommerce solution, you are completely placing trust in the company’s hands to provide a satisfying experience to your customers.
With that in mind, how do Shopify and BigCommerce compare in terms of size, sales, and the other major numbers?
Note: Keep in mind that these numbers are subject to change, as both the e-retail industry and its players are growing year-on-year.
Shopify Vs BigCommerce — Pros and Cons
Here are the pros and cons of each of the two eCommerce tools, which you should consider carefully before making a decision.
BigCommerce Pros and Cons
Shopify Pros and Cons
BigCommerce Vs. Shopify: Plans & Pricing
When selecting one over the other, one of the key deciding factors is usually the pricing. Both BigCommerce and Shopify run multiple pricing plans.
Here's how they compare:
So, how much does BigCommerce cost? BigCommerce runs 4 pricing plans:
- Standard — $29.95 USD per month
- Plus — 79.95 USD per month (the most popular)
- Pro — 249.95 USD per month
- Enterprise — custom pricing
BigCommerce has a 15-day free trial with which you can test a majority of the features without entering your credit card. You can also save up to 10% when paying annually for the Plus and Pro plans.
Here's a look at what is included in each plan:
BigCommerce pricing plans
BigCommerce features per plan
BigCommerce support and payment per plan
Primarily, Shopify runs a 3-tier pricing plan including:
- Basic Shopify — $29 USD per month
- Shopify — $79 USD per month (the most popular)
- Advanced Shopify — $299 USD per month
There's a 14-day Shopify free trial with no credit card required after which you will need to choose a plan and pay for it. Also, Shopify offers a 10% discount on annual plans and a 20% discount on biennial plans, when they are paid upfront.
Here's a look at what is included in each plan:
Shopify's pricing plans
Additionally, Shopify has two secondary plans as follows:
- Shopify Lite: For only $9 per month, this plan allows you to sell on Facebook and chat with your customers on Messenger, add products to any website or blog, and accept credit card payments.
- Shopify Plus: Enterprise-grade solution starting at about $2,000 per month is for high-volume merchants and large businesses.
BigCommerce Vs. Shopify: Key Differences
In this section, we'll take a closer look at the major differences between BigCommerce and Shopify.
Which should you use — BigCommerce or Shopify?
Now that you know the differences between BigCommerce and Shopify, let's get to the decision part: which of these two platforms should you use?
First off, it depends on your needs. The question you need to ask yourself here is this: 'What should I look out for in an eCommerce platform based on my store needs?'
Based on your answer, you will know which platform suits your business needs better.
Here's our take:
Use BigCommerce if:
- You're a huge, rapidly-growing enterprise with big sales numbers.
- You want extensible product management features.
- You want to see more store reports and analytics even with the cheapest plan. In fact, BigCommerce offers advanced functionality and flexibility at no additional cost.
- You care about transaction fees and don't want to be charged extra every time you make new sales.
- You want more built-in features versus installing third-party apps.
Use Shopify if:
- You're a beginner who wants to build an online store that is easy to set up and would majorly be relying on online resources to build your business.
- You want a lot of different apps for adding different functionalities to your store.
- You care about more marketing options and opportunities including SEO, discount, abandoned cart recovery, and so on.
- You're on a budget but still want to sell on your existing website or blog with a professional 'Buy Button' (Shopify Lite - $9).
- You're a small or mid-size business that wants to sell online fast.
Generally, here's a quick list of what to look for in an eCommerce platform:
- Low pricing and minimal "hidden" charges
- Zero or low transaction fees
- Flexible and enough design options
- Ease of use and clean user interface
- All your preferred features checked
- Relevancy to your target market
- Great technicalities — first-rate security, at least 99.98 percent uptime
- Excellent customer service
- Integrations — the number of integrations and how seamless it is to integrate with third-party services
- Store data — important for reporting and making improvements
BigCommerce Vs. Shopify — Ideal User
And to give you a perspective of what's popular on both of these platforms, here's a quick list [in no particular order] of some of the most used apps on each front:
Shopify's Popular Apps
- Privy — pop-ups with exit intent, abandonment, wheels, and email marketing
- Oberlo — a dropshipping app
- Printful — print-on-demand app
- Kit — for running Facebook ads
- Buy Button channel — for selling your products on any website
- Digital Downloads — for selling digital products
- Facebook Shop channel — sell on Facebook
- Omnisend Email Marketing
- Google Shopping — shows products to interested customers across Google
- Sales Pop — popup notifications
- Product Reviews
- ReConvert Upsell and Cross Sell
BigCommerce's Popular Apps
- ShipperHQ — shipping rates service
- Google Shopping — sell across Google’s networks
- ShipStation — a shipping app
- Rewind Backups — for backing up your store
- Yotpo Reviews — for product reviews
- Shogun — edit themes and landing pages
- FireWall — for protecting your store
- Zapiet — store pickup and delivery
- Justuno — integrated marketing tools
- Privy — marketing and conversion tool
- Facebook Ads Extension
BigCommerce Vs Shopify: Which would get your website more exposure?
Frankly speaking, both BigCommerce and Shopify are popular and well talked about within the eCommerce landscape.
So technically, you can be successful with any one of them. In fact, both companies already power successful e-retail businesses of all shapes and sizes, including some very popular online stores.
For instance, BigCommerce is behind the online stores of renowned brands including:
- Toyota Australia
- Carolina Panthers
- PayPal Here
- Gillett On Demand
- Harvard Business Publishing
- And so on.
On the other hand, Shopify powers online stores for popular brands like:
- Red Bull
- Good American
- Kylie Cosmetics
- Oreo Cookies
- And more.
These platforms have recorded multi-billion dollar sales on Shopify. What's more, big names like Google and Tesla use Shopify's Shopify Plus because it’s way cheaper and better than building and maintaining their own in-house eCommerce platform.
Although Shopify appears to be more popular than BigCommerce, in the end, how much exposure you get and how much money you make comes down to how well you put your business out for the world to see - not necessarily on whether you are using BigCommerce or Shopify.
BigCommerce and Shopify have some helpful marketing tools and even store credits with which you can promote your business by gaining more exposure.
Final Verdict: BigCommerce or Shopify?
So, which is a better platform for your eCommerce business? BigCommerce or Shopify?
As you've seen, overall, both of these tools are pretty solid choices for stores of all shapes and sizes. And although there are some parallelism between them, there are also some very notable differentiating factors.
These differentiating factors could make a huge difference in the decision you make, so let's go over them again.
- On the one hand, BigCommerce comes with more complex features and terminologies, making it harder to use but perfect for large and fast-growing businesses. On the other hand, Shopify is easier to use, clean and intuitive, and as a result the more friendly all-round eCommerce platform.
- BigCommerce's features are mostly built-in, which means less reliance on third-party apps. Once you get the hang of using those features, the platform becomes more manageable no matter how much you grow. With Shopify's thousands of third-party apps, you can add as many of those as you want to enhance your web store. This is great for scalability and functionality.
- In terms of design, BigCommerce's themes are mostly professional and industry-focused while Shopify's themes are modern and sleek. Shopify also offers better all-round design and more choices in the templates.
Overall, we will give it to Shopify for its ease of use and a vast selection of features and apps — it is built to serve stores of all kinds, irrespective of the size and industry.
What’s a Rich Text element?
The rich text element allows you to create and format headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, images, and video all in one place instead of having to add and format them individually. Just double-click and easily create content.
Static and dynamic content editing
A rich text element can be used with static or dynamic content. For static content, just drop it into any page and begin editing. For dynamic content, add a rich text field to any collection and then connect a rich text element to that field in the settings panel. Voila!
How to customize formatting for each rich text
Headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, figures, images, and figure captions can all be styled after a class is added to the rich text element using the "When inside of" nested selector system.