Shopify or BigCommerce – Which is Better for eCommerce in 2021?

It’s 2021, and now more than ever, the world exists online. More and more small businesses are looking to create an online presence for themselves to reach a global audience. If you are in the market for an eCommerce store builder, you might have heard the names of many competing websites that can offer you their services. Feeling overwhelmed? Don’t worry. In this article, we will be comparing Shopify and BigCommerce, two leading names in the eCommerce industry. 

But before we can dive into the differences between Shopify and BigCommerce and decide which one is better, Shopify or BigCommerce, let’s talk about what these websites do. As website builders, these sites let you sell your physical or digital products online. They are web-browser friendly, which means that you don’t have to download software to use them, unlike other eCommerce store builders like WooCommerce. When it comes to market share, both BigCommerce and Shopify are major players. However, as of 2020, Shopify had a market share of 1.9%, while BigCommerce’s market share remained at 0.2%. 

Here’s our detailed comparison between Shopify and BigCommerce to help you figure out which store builder is right for you. 

Simplicity and ease of use 

Although both sites don’t require any coding by web developers, there are some notable differences between Shopify and BigCommerce when it comes to their ease of use. 

Shopify is extremely beginner-friendly, as has been testified by users across the world. Not only does it have an organized dashboard, but it also comes with uncomplicated features. You can easily add products by filling out straightforward forms, without worrying about much else.

BigCommerce, on the other hand, may require some time to learn and get used to, especially if you’re a first-timer. You will have to add more details to your products and categorize them further, which is more time-consuming and can prove to be cumbersome. However, it may pay off later. 

Verdict – Shopify vs BigCommerce: Simplicity and ease of use

There’s no debating the fact that Shopify is easier to use than BigCommerce. 

Design and customization

Is BigCommerce better than Shopify when it comes to design and customizing features? Let’s find out. 

Shopify offers you a grand total of over 100 templates and themes, but unfortunately, only 10 out of those are free. The paid themes start from $99. The great thing about them is that they are all super unique, and easily adaptable to different screen sizes. However, the customization offered by the platform is quite surface level. 

Like Shopify, BigCommerce also only offers about 12 free themes. The rest, about 140 in number, will cost you a one-time payment of $150 – $300, depending on which one you like. Although BigCommerce offers more themes, each one is not necessarily ‘unique’. BigCommerce’s strength lies in its customization capabilities – it allows you a lot of freedom in that department, provided you’re able to figure it out yourself. 

Verdict – Shopify vs BigCommerce: Design and customization

When comparing Shopify and BigCommerce in this field, we have to note that while the former has a better design, the latter offers more scope for customization. So, we declare a tie. 

Ecommerce features and tools

Let’s move on to finding out which platform has better eCommerce features, Shopify or BigCommerce. 

First, let’s look at Shopify’s sales features. As a seller, you can list unlimited products on your store (including your dropshipping store). It equips you with a built-in inventory – which is backed by a phenomenal inventory management system – as well as analytical, marketing, and shipping tools. Other features worth highlighting are abandoned cart recovery, multi-channel integration, and the presence of over 70 payment gateways. 

BigCommerce offers you many of the same eCommerce features that Shopify brings to the table, like shipping tools, multi-channel sales, unlimited products, inventory management, etc. Apart from these, it has many other built-in features that give it an edge over Shopify, like reviews and ratings and unlimited staff accounts. This platform also lets you offer up to 600 variants per product, which is way above Shopify’s scope of 100 variants. 

Verdict – Shopify vs BigCommerce: eCommerce features and tools

Is BigCommerce better than Shopify in this category? Research and analysis show that BigCommerce comes out on top due to its advanced eCommerce features – but Shopify is not far behind. 

Customer support 

Whether this is your first time launching an online store or you’re an experienced player, customer support is an important factor in deciding which is better, Shopify or BigCommerce. 

But it turns out that the differences between Shopify and BigCommerce are not very stark in this department. They both offer 24*7 live support to their customers via various channels and have video tutorials, community forums, and help centers with FAQs for added guidance. Moreover, the battle between the highest-paid versions of both the platforms – Shopify plus vs BigCommerce Enterprise – also comes down to a tie in customer support. While Shopify Plus gives you access to a merchant success manager, BigCommerce Enterprise assigns you an onboarding consultant. 

Verdict – Shopify vs BigCommerce: Customer Support

After studying and comparing Shopify and BigCommerce in this category, we have come to the conclusion that there’s no winner. It’s a solid tie. 

SEO and marketing features

A platform’s marketing features are extremely important for an eCommerce store. Let’s study what roles the SEO tools play in this Shopify vs BigCommerce comparison. 

Shopify comes equipped with built-in SEO tools. Here, you have access to a variety of features like customizing your titles, URLs, metatags, and H1s, which will help your store reflect higher on search engines. Other marketing features of note are gift and discount coupons, analytics for product performances. 

BigCommerce also has some great SEO tools in its armor. Like Shopify, you’ll be able to customize your URLs and metadata in order to get a high SEO score. You can also avail of marketing features like discount codes, one-click Google shopping integration, and more. 

Verdict – Shopify vs BigCommerce: SEO and marketing features

To conclude, there are very few notable differences between Shopify and BigCommerce in this category. As a result, we have another tie. 

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Pricing

Okay, let’s talk about pricing. Here are our two cents on Shopify vs BigCommerce – pricing edition. To begin with, both Shopify and BigCommerce are what are called ‘software as a service platform, which implies that you need to pay to use them. 

However, Shopify does offer you a free two-week trial. It has three main monthly plans ranging from $29-$299 – Basic Shopify, Shopify, and Advanced Shopify. You can also choose Spotify Lite for $9, although an online store is not included in this. Another plan you can go for ir Shopify Plus, which we will talk about at length in the next section. If you opt for annual plans, you can avail of a discount up to 20%. Additionally, you have to pay a transaction fee of 0.5 to 2 percent, depending on your plan. 

BigCommerce also comes with a free trial of 15 days and has three monthly plans ranging from $29.95-$299.95 – i.e. each one is more or less priced the same as Spotify’s plans. However, the major difference between the costs of Shopify and BigCommerce depends on the zero transaction fee that you can avail of on BigCommerce. On top of that, because of the presence of more in-built features, you can save on a few extra bucks here, instead of paying for additional plugins at Spotify. 

Verdict – Shopify vs BigCommerce: Pricing

So who wins the fight of pricing in  Shopify vs BigCommerce? Well, it’s safe to say that BigCommerce is more value for money than Shopify, and hence, wins this round fair and square. 

Shopify Plus vs BigCommerce Enterprise

Before we conclude this comparison between Shopify and BigCommerce, let’s explore one more important segment – Shopify Plus vs BigCommerce Enterprise. 

Shopify Plus and BigCommerce are both great options for bigger businesses, as they offer you the ability to customize your plan based on advanced tools suited to your particular needs. The cost for both of these varies depending on your tailored plan, but it starts from around a monthly sum of $2000 on Shopify and ranges between $500-$15000 on BigCommerce. With Shopify Plus, you can unlock features like stronger security, custom automation strategies, zero transaction fees, accelerated checkout, etc. 

It’s worth noting that many of these features are present in BigCommerce Enterprise through built-in apps for growth. You also have access to better security with DDoS protection, payment processors, and a faster API than Shopify. 

Verdict – Shopify Plus vs BigCommerce Enterprise

BigCommerce Enterprise wins this round over Shopify Plus due to its built-in apps, which offer large businesses the ability to save on yearly costs. 

Which is better for eCommerce – Shopify or BigCommerce?

Still confused? We have simplified this comparison between BigCommerce and Shopify in the table below.

Shopify

BigCommerce

Beginner-friendly throughout. More detailed and time-consuming setup.
Free and paid unique themes available, but with limited customization. Less unique paid and free themes, but lots of customization freedom.
Built-in eCommerce tools for maximum needs. Built-in eCommerce tools for all your needs.
Customizable SEO settings and impressive marketing tools. SEO customization and additional marketing tools available.
24*7 live support and other guidance available. 24*7 live support and other guidance available.
Free 14 day trial and plans priced at $29 to $299 monthly. Free 15 day trial, plans priced at $29.95 to $299.95 monthly.
Plan starts at $2000 per month and offers advanced, custom features. The plan starts at $500 and has built-in apps for growth.

This comparison detailing the many differences between Shopify and BigCommerce shows that the latter may be a better option in some cases, though both platforms are fully equipped to support your eCommerce store. Feel free to bookmark this page so you can come back to it when you’re launching your online store.

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