If you have no advanced technical skills but plan to launch an e-commerce store, you must be having a headache considering among various options of hosted shopping carts.
Shopify and BigCommerce should be among them. These are two of the biggest names on the e-commerce market today. Both of them have their own highlights and some of their characteristics are better suited for specific uses and types of business items.
To make your selection process easier, we’ve conducted a comparison between BigCommerce vs Shopify based on our 8-year experience in web development and shopping cart migration. Let’s find out what makes Shopify different from BigCommerce.
Ease Of Use
Ease of use is important not only with beginners but even with experienced e-commerce entrepreneurs. A platform with user-friendly interface saves you more time and effort. Therefore, this is the first point we would like to talk about.
Overall, Shopify scores higher in terms of ease of use than BigCommerce. Shopify is praised by most users for its on-boarding process and user-friendly editor. You can access every option you need from the left-hand main menu and there is a nice wizard instructing you to set up your store step by step.
For BigCommerce, it is less ideal for beginners due to its use of various tech terms. You may need help from Google a lot to understand all the terminologies every time performing basic tasks such as adding a product. The technical load makes BigCommerce a heavier platform to deal with, however, this is because of its powerful in-built features, which brings you a finer level of customization.
Another drawback of BigCommerce to Shopify is its lack of a mobile app, which means you can’t manage your store on the go.
Both Shopify and BigCommerce have every standard e-commerce features built-in that you would expect to set up an e-store as follows:
- Unlimited products, file storage, and bandwidth.
- 24/7 support
- Point of sale
- Store optimized for mobile
- Credit card processing + multiple online gateway systems
- Shipping integrations
- Tax calculation automation
- Customer accounts
- Search engine optimizations right out the gate
- Level 1 PCI-compliance
- Free SSL integration
- Multichannel selling
- Inventory management
There are a numerous number of features that both come with. Beside essential ones, there are some made exclusively for certain store owners. Shopify and BigCommerce make sure that users can add feature extensions to their store as needed. However, the two approach this in different ways.
For Shopify, it has a large App Store which has well-known extensions and plenty of apps for every use. Besides, Shopify has a template editing language called Liquid which helps developers to add features directly to a store if necessary.
For BigCommerce, it has an App Marketplace for extensions as well. However, it tries to build lots of features directly into their backend so that users do not need to add an extension. And like Shopify, some of the additional features are free but some are not, you have to pay to use them.
Both Shopify and BigCommerce offer a large number of free and premium themes which are categorized into industries and styles. All of the themes are responsive and fully customizable. Besides, you also can customize your store to suit your needs with a little coding from either platform. Nevertheless, when we have a closer look into BigCommerce vs Shopify designs, Shopify has an edge over BigCommerce for some reasons.
While BigCommerce offers 7 free themes and over 50 purchasable ones, Shopify has over 50 paid themes too but with 10 free ones. And when Shopify’s theme prices vary from $140 to $180, that of BigCommerce fluctuates from $145 to $235.
Moreover, Shopify’s templates are more of unique designs. Whether they are free or paid, all of them are up to date and professional. BigCommerce’s themes, however, look more like variants of each other.
When it comes to mobile UX, Shopify continues to prevail as it scores on Google 2-point higher than the average. On the contrary, BigCommerce could not get to the average score.
Technical support is of great importance when you set up an e-commerce site. With the team assistance, not only can you get the job done faster and more easily but you can also make an optimal use of the site’s functionalities when you are a first-time user. Therefore, it’s necessary to take into account the service suppliers’ customer support policies.
Following are support options that both Shopify and BigCommerce offer:
- 24/7 phone
- 24/7 live chat
- Help center
- Support forum
- Advanced specialist support
- Video tutorials
In addition to the above-mentioned, Shopify also offers support via social media, unlike BigCommerce. Moreover, it also has a great help feature which will lead you directly to a relevant page within the Shopify knowledge center when you request help from Shopify editor. This is the factor that puts Shopify ahead of BigCommerce.
Both BigCommerce and Shopify offer free trials. They also have the price plans ranging from ~29$ to ~79$ and up. The pricing plans help your online store scale up as your business grows, then you can unlock extra features to meet the growing needs.
The difference is in the number and type of features each one offers in certain price. For instance, BigCommerce only offers Abandoned cart recovery from the Plus plan while Shopify offers it from the Basic plan; Shopify offers Gift cards from the Shopify plan but BigCommerce offers them from the Standard plan.
BigCommerce vs Shopify Conclusion
In the BigCommerce vs Shopify battle, the result will differ depending on who is judging. However, let’s have a quick review based on all the factors we have been through.
Shopify has a slightly more user-friendly interface, especially for those who have just started out with a little technical skills and knowledge. It also has a vast store for apps and features where there is always something for everyone. Moreover, Shopify has a large community of designers, developers, and freelancers who are knowledgeable about website and always willing to help.
BigCommerce, on the other hand, gives you some built-in advanced features without a third-party app or an upgrade. This helps it to become one of the most scalable e-commerce platforms on the market.
That’s our comparison between BigCommerce vs Shopify. If you have time, we’d actually recommend doing a free trial with both platforms. Or if you already have one and are considering to switch to another, it would save you lots of time and effort when doing a Trial Migration of LitExtension, you will not have to set up a cart in advance but still see how your products and other information are displayed and managed on the target platform. Check it out!
In case you’re specifically interested in a migration from BigCommerce to Shopify, here is our A to Z guideline on this.