Shopify Vs. BigCommerce: All the Major Differences to Help You Make an Informed Choice

If you own a brick-and-mortar store and want to diversify your business by tapping the online market or you are a beginner starting a small online venture, you will need a robust e-commerce platform to host your store. You have come across the showdown among the two major players in the industry, which is Shopify vs. BigCommerce. Below is a comprehensive list of factors and differences to help you decide:

Pricing Tiers

Your budget is a significant determiner of the platform that you will choose, and you need to pay for what you need. Both Shopify and BigCommerce offer 14-day free trials for you to test their services before committing any funds; otherwise, they both have tiered pricing plans. For Shopify, there is Shopify Lite ($9), Shopify Basic ($29), Shopify ($79) and Shopify Plus ($299), all of which are monthly fees. You may also want to consider their transaction fee of 0.5-2% for all payment made outside their payment gateway, Shopify Payments. Lite will work great for you if you already have a WordPress, SquareSpace or Joomla website, and you want to sell your products on your site.

BigCommerce has the following plans: Standard ($29.95), Plus (79.95), and Pro ($199.95) per month. The priciest plan, BigCommerce Enterprise is priced via custom quote. With BigCommerce, you do not have to worry about extra transaction charges, which is their primary advantage. Otherwise, their pricing plans are relatively similar.

Ease of use

Both beginners and long-time users of e-commerce platforms require a simple, easy to understand user interface. It saves you time, enables you to set up quickly and without incurring software programmers’ costs. Most users rate Shopify highly for its straightforward interface, editor and features. With Shopify, you can efficiently manage your online products, inventory, orders and add new products with their specifications without a struggle in any part of the world, whether it is the UK or Australia . BigCommerce, on the other hand, may require you to have some technical know-how to be able to navigate its site. However, this may be because it hosts some of the best in-house features and split screen that enables you to edit your storefront and watch the implemented changes without going back and forth.

Better design features

To be able to appeal to your customers before they start scrolling through your products, you need to have a beautiful, unique store. A crammed store that is creeping with features or pop-ups will put them off quickly. This is where the idea of modern, creative themes comes in. Both Shopify and BigCommerce recognize the importance of your store and boast hundreds of mobile-responsive and easy to modify themes across all categories. However, Shopify has ten free and over fifty premium themes, going for around $150-$180 each. You can readily search for your kind of theme using filters like industry, size of store and layout. Shopify’s themes have been praised for their ease in customization, their professional look, and the ‘product zoom’ feature.

BigCommerce offers seven free and over fifty buyable ones, which you can also sort via layout and industry. The ‘product zoom’ is only available for themes in the ‘clothing’ industry. The only catch with BigCommerce’s free themes is that they look rather bland, and if you want something unique for your business, you will have to move to a premium theme, at around $145-$240. Their ‘Store Design’ feature makes it convenient to personalize your store by watching the effect of every change on a split screen.

Customer support

To be able to run an online store effectively, you need a reliable customer service panel to guide you through down times and any issues you or a customer may encounter. Both Shopify and BigCommerce have support groups, advanced tech support and 24/7 phone, email and live chat support. However, Shopify has gone a step further and instituted a social media page and a relevant redirection feature to relevant support pages on the Shopify Knowledge Center. With both Shopify Plus and BigCommerce Enterprise, you get high priority on customer service calls and a dedicated agent.

Sales features

These are embedded features that increase your store’s functionality. They enable you to manage your inventory, online payments, shipping and other essential functions needed to run your store. Both Shopify and BigCommerce offer the most crucial features including a free SSL certificate for your store and online payments security, multi-channel selling features for social media selling and inventory management tools.

However, on Shopify, you will need apps for more advanced features excluded from the in-built features. They have a vast app-store for your browsing with advanced, high-functioning apps to take your store to the next level. You also get the point of Sale app to help you manage your payment regardless of your position, on the spot. Shopify payments, their payment gateway, enables you to manage your funds conveniently on your seller dashboard. The only catch is that all these apps are paid for, and not included in your monthly plan. These can make your monthly bill escalate to $2,000 so use them carefully.

For BigCommerce, their app store is not as vast. This is because most of the features you need; from inventory management to professional report generation are already built into your store. This advantage gives you access to advanced functions without escalating your monthly bill with third-party apps costs. The demerit of having all these features is how complex they make your store management. Moreover, unlike Shopify, they do not have a POS app, which limits your ability to run your store on the go.

Scalability

This is your chosen platform’s ability to keep up with the demands of a growing business. Your online store should be able to handle sudden high spikes in traffic without hanging, having glitches or shutting down. A slow site will keep potential customers at bay. Shopify wins in this category, opening in only 45 milliseconds compared to BigCommerce’s 175 milliseconds.

Conclusion

In the final analysis, it is exceedingly difficult to crown a winner. Choose your e-commerce platform based on your priorities and information from their dedicated customer service desks.

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