Bigcommerce vs Shopify : Which one is better?

Anyone who is interested in opening an online store has probably come across these two big names in the industry— BigCommerce vs Shopify. When starting out, picking between these two platforms can prove a bit of a challenge.

Each has its own set of pros and cons and often, there is really no clear winner.

We totally get it.

After all, you wouldn’t want to choose one only to later realize that it would have been better for you to go with the other. That’s why we’ve created this comprehensive guide on the features of both platforms to help you make a well-informed choice.

But when it’s all said and done…

It’s always a great idea to check out both websites. You will have a clearer view on the benefits and services offered which will help you in making the right choice between BigCommerce and Shopify.

Without further ado, let’s get straight into it!

What will be covered on this article?
  • Website design integrations
  • Tools offered for eCommerce
  • Access to experts to help
  • Accessing apps
  • How is Support?
  • Which is more credible?
  • etc

Website Design

We’ve all come across boring looking websites when browsing the world wide web. What was your first reaction? If you are like everybody else, you likely left the site and went on to the next pretty quickly.

A great looking website is important.

This is how you make a first impression to your potential clients. If they like the theme and look of your store, they will hang around for longer which increases your odds of making a sale.

Both BigCommerce and Shopify provide you with free and paid themes.

But is there any difference?

Take Shopify. The themes are modern, stylish and very much up to date. This is mainly thanks to Shopify’s way of allowing independent designers to create the themes. Many of them bring their unique and attractive ideas that certainly grab attention.

The main downside with Shopify themes is that the best will usually require you to pay between $100 and $180.

Pricey?

It would seem like it. But since you are only making a one-off payment, it is definitely worth it in the long run.

BigCommerce, on the other hand, requires you to sign up with an email address to access their free themes. For us, this process was not as straightforward as with Shopify especially considering that we wanted to compare the two.

Recently BigCommerce has started to include independently designed themes by professionals resulting in great looking sites. As with Shopify, the paid ones will range between $145-$245.

However, as much as BigCommerce is trying to stay up to date, Shopify is still the clear winner as far as website design is concerned.

Tools for ECommerce

To be able to effectively run your eCommerce store, you need some basic tools. These will help keep track of inventory, manage to ship, pay taxes, set prices, offer discounts, showcase your products and when a client makes an order, keep track of that order.

How do they perform?

While both BigCommerce and Shopify provide you with some excellent tools. There are a few differences.

Shopify provides access to tools that will help you better manage your store. However, if you want to make use of advanced features, you need to download the advanced tools from their app store at a fee.

BigCommerce, on the other hand, gives you access to advanced tools without you having to download from an app store. All the tools are included in the monthly fee.

Access to Experts—BigCommerce vs Shopify

At some point, you are going to need help with your eCommerce store. Whether it’s selecting the best theme or setting up your store from scratch. There are experts to help you do this in both Shopify and BigCommerce.

Shopify has the most experts, however. Well over 780 in total.

What’s more…

You can select one that is closest to you geographically in if you prefer to work with them physically.

BigCommerce does give you access to experts but they are not as many. However, considering their themes are not as up to date as Shopify themes, having access to designers is a useful feature.

Accessing Apps

Access to apps will help take your business to the next level and both BigCommerce and Shopify excel in this department.

But Why do you need more apps?

Well, more advanced apps can help you perform tasks that you were previously not able to. In fact, they can help free a lot of time by automating some daily mundane tasks such as inventory management and shipping.

Indeed, this might mean extra charges.

However, compared to the time saving and many other benefits, it is well worth it. You can access these apps from the Shopify or BigCommerce app store.

Shopify far outperforms BigCommerce in the number of apps available to its users. Over 1400 compared to around 250 with BigCommerce.

Support

Anyone who operates an online store has at some point ran into technical difficulties. This is why support is crucial. It helps you get over those minor setbacks and continue running your business effectively.

BigCommerce and Shopify offer excellent support. You have access to 24-hour phone service as well as forums and tutorials.

With Shopify, you can reach out to the support team through email, phone or online chat. The same is true with BigCommerce. While they previously did not offer 24-hour support, BigCommerce recently upgraded to allow for this.

Technical difficulties are one of the most frustrating things to eCommerce store owners. They can make you miss out on sales. This is why they need to be sorted immediately.

Which is more credible? 

When choosing an eCommerce store builder, you simply cannot overlook credibility. With both BigCommerce and Shopify, you will not have to worry about credibility as they are 2 of the biggest online store builders in the world.

Something to consider though.

BigCommerce is dwarfed by Shopify in the number of transactions that are processed each year.

Statistics alone paint a picture.

If you were to take the total number of sales each year divided by the number of customers using either BigCommerce or Shopify, those on Shopify sell significantly more. This shows that most people are more likely to buy on a Shopify store than on BigCommerce.

Pricing Strategy

Price is one thing that will definitely grab your attention. As humans, we naturally want to save as much as we can and will steer away from overspending.

However, as much as this is the case, decisions on picking the best eCommerce store builder cannot be based solely on price. Otherwise, you will go for the cheapest resulting substandard work.

What we want is great Value.

Even if an eCommerce builder charges more yet provides you with excellent value for your buck, you are better off in the long run. You will get a site that is eye-catching, simple for your clients to navigate, and easy for you to manage.

Shopify has 3 main plans; Basic Shopify at $29 per month, Shopify plan at $79 per month and Advanced Shopify at $299 per month.

There is also the Lite plan at only $9 per month. It lacks many of the features of the other plans and is basically for people with a WordPress site and want to convert it to a store mainly by adding a Shopify payment button.

Keep note of the transaction fees.

Shopify charges between 0.5% and 2% on all transactions. If you were to use the Shopify payments, however, these charges are waived.

There are also the credit card charges of either 2.4% +30 cents per transaction on the Basic Shopify plan and 2.9% +30cents on the advanced Shopify plan.

Transparency is the name of the game with Shopify.

BigCommerce on the other hand also features 3 main monthly plans. The Standard plan charges $29.95, the Plus Plan charges $79.95 and the Pro Plan charges $249.95.

Similarly, you also get a very transparent fee structure with BigCommerce. And the great this is, you will not pay any fee per transaction.

Once your BigCommerce store starts to gain traction and more revenue starts to stream in, you will be required to upgrade your monthly plans.

Comparison BigCommerce vs Shopify

Let’s recap, shall we?

We’ve seen that Shopify provides more updated themes compared to BigCommerce. However, BigCommerce did score top marks when it comes to accessing more advanced tools.

As far as experts go, you have greater variety with Shopify which allows you to choose one close to you geographically. Support is important and both BigCommerce and Shopify provide 24-hour customer support.

We’ve also found that since both Shopify and BigCommerce are two of the world’s leading eCommerce store builders, they are highly credible.

While Shopify does charge fees per transaction it does waiver some of the fees if you use their Shopify payments. This is not something that you will need to worry about with BigCommerce as there are no transaction fees.

What we are saying here is…

Shopify Pros
  • Professional, stylish and up to date themes.
  • 24-hour phone support.
  • Access to a large number of experts.
  • Access to a large number of apps via the Shopify store.
  • Highly credible eCommerce builder.
Shopify Cons
  • You can only access advanced tools via the Shopify apps store for a price.
  • There is a transaction fee.
BigCommerce Pros
  • You get access to advanced tools inclusive of the monthly charges.
  • 24-hour phone support.
  • Credible eCommerce builder
  • No transaction fees charged on sales.
BigCommerce Cons
  • The themes are not very updated and there is a long process to acquiring the available themes.
  • Fewer experts.

Final Thoughts

After having considered some really important factors, Shopify seems to be the better choice. However, recall what we said in the beginning. It is always a good idea to go through each builder’s website and gather more information. Only then will you be sure of making the best choice.

Bigcommerce vs Shopify : Which one is better?
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