Many small businesses find it difficult to choose which eCommerce platform to use. Since there are so many options, it’s hard to decide what to do when you start out.
BigCommerce and Shopify offer many of the same features such as selling products online, accepting payments, and managing inventory. They also offer customer support for managing your site if you have questions or need additional assistance.
However, there are some key differences you need to consider before making a choice. It is important to understand how they differ in order to make an informed decision about which one will best meet your needs. This comprehensive comparison of these two eCommerce platforms can help you understand what each platform offers and choose the best fit for your business.
Hosting & Security
A fully functional eCommerce store demands full security and the highest level of uptime. Avoiding catastrophic downtime that could result in a loss of sales and traffic should be a top concern. When you integrate eCommerce security into your site, you also gain the trust of your customers since they feel safe buying from you while also protecting their data.
The company claims to protect your data and eCommerce store using military-grade security and encryption. They also reported no down-time during Cyber Week for seven consecutive years. PCI DSS 3.0 Level 1 compliance is a requirement for all BigCommerce servers to help prevent credit card data breaches.
Also available are fraud protection, server-specific firewalls, intrusion detection software, and 24/7 security monitoring. BigCommerce requires an SSL certificate for every site to ensure that encrypted data between the user and the site is secure.
By default, Shopify shops are PCI DSS Level 1 compliant, with automatic backups. Users who notice suspicious activity can report it on Shopify’s HackerOne site. This means that your customer payment information and business data are safe.
Besides its 99.99% uptime, it uses a Content Delivery Network (CDN) to instantly provide content to users worldwide. Shopify will issue SSL certificates for your store after you create a custom domain.
Interface & Ease of Use
Shopify and BigCommerce both allow you to customize your store easily. However, the level of customization depends on how much product information you want to share with customers.
With BigCommerce, you have more customization options thanks to its robust inbuilt capabilities. A few basic actions are more challenging compared to Shopify, such as adding a product. You can also choose some more advanced settings, which are useful for people who want more control over the look and feel of their store.
In BigCommerce’s product information section, you need to fill out a lot of information regarding pricing, weight, and other details.
Shopify’s user-friendly editor and onboarding process make it easy for beginners to start their Shopify site. Its elegant, straightforward interface makes it simple to create an eCommerce site.
You can add items to Shopify simply by filling out a short form for each product. As you set up your goods and services on Shopify, you’ll encounter useful tips and information such as how to set the pricing for your product when it goes on sale.
Themes & Designs
While your business needs to work correctly, you must also make it look good enough on the front end for consumers to want to buy from you. Both platforms offer themes and customization to ensure your store appeals to your customers.
Shopify offers free and premium themes ranging from $100 to $180. There is a Shopify theme for every niche, from food to travel to home and garden. You can look for themes by layout style, navigation menu style, and other criteria. Changing the themes is simple with HTML and CSS access, or you can work with a Shopify web developer.
eCommerce payment transactions are likely to play a large role in your store, and if you are a seasoned seller, you probably already do. You can connect your store to various payment methods on both Shopify and BigCommerce, but the two platforms have some differences.
With BigCommerce, you can accept payments via PayPal, powered by Braintree. PayPal processing rates are favorable, and customers can pay without leaving your website.
BigCommerce does not charge a transaction fee for connecting to its 65 third-party processors. It allows you to choose the best payment gateway for your needs instead of providing its own payment processor. However, this may not be ideal if you aren’t tech-savvy enough to understand how to integrate and manage third-party payment gateways.
Shopify has over 100 third-party payment gateways, but there are transaction fees depending on your account type. Payment processing is built-in to Shopify Payments and Shop Pay, its one-click checkout solution. This means merchants can begin accepting payments immediately without opening a separate merchant account. Small and emerging businesses will find this the most convenient option due to Shopify’s transaction fees.
You can sell your products in person with Shopify POS, a point-of-sale app also available as a physical POS system. The app lets you view orders and inventory across all of your active sales channels, such as brick-and-mortar stores and pop-up shops. You can also manage order requests and view inventory through the app.
Inventory Management and Shipping
BigCommerce and Shopify allow you to sell using online marketplaces, including Facebook, Amazon, eBay, and Instagram, in addition to your online store. Additionally, they offer various shipping options, including free shipping and calculated shipping prices from third parties.
The platform provides an easy-to-use, intuitive, and sophisticated interface for managing stock levels and analyzing order patterns so you can order more or less of your products. BigCommerce also offers the feature of real-time third-party shipping prices in all its plans.
The BigCommerce platform also offers consumers several delivery options. You can calculate shipping prices for various postal carriers, including UPS, Canada Post, Australia Post, and many more.
Shopify provides an inventory section where you can manage your inventory, track your inventory, update your inventory counts, and view the history of inventory changes. For third-party real-time shipping prices, you need to be on Shopify’s Advanced plan.
If you live in the USA, Canada, or Australia and have Shopify Shipping available on your plan, you have access to discounted shipping labels. You can offer calculated shipping rates from USPS, Canada Post, and other carriers so you and your customers can plan for shipping costs. Additionally, if you use Shopify’s shipping service, they automatically calculate the shipping prices.
eCommerce store owners who dropship products need to get items from suppliers quickly, put them on their websites, and streamline the selling and shipping processes.
Dropshipping apps are available on both platforms, including well-known online markets like AliExpress Dropshipping and print-on-demand sites like Printful. However, compared to Shopify’s extensive app store, BigCommerce offers just a few great dropshipping apps.
Shopify’s integration with Oberlo is a major factor for merchants who build a business on the Shopify platform. Small business owners who are new to eCommerce and want to streamline their business operations benefit from its inventory management and fulfillment features.
The app also makes it easy for your suppliers and around the world to ship goods directly to you, which means a faster delivery time to your customers.
Marketing and Reporting
Both Shopify and BigCommerce understand the importance of marketing for online businesses and provide tools to help you get recognized online.
The platform offers the ability to create discounts for customers with every BigCommerce plan. You don’t need to worry about optimizing your site for SEO as your site auto-generates sitemaps and customizable URLs, title tags, and meta descriptions.
It allows you to promote your products on Google Shopping through integration with Google Merchant Center.
BigCommerce’s more advanced plan includes segmenting customer emails depending on where they were in their buying journey. You can send reminder emails to customers to complete the checkout process if they abandon their shopping cart.
As an online business owner, you can use their set of reporting tools to learn useful information on gaining new clients, improving revenue, and meeting business goals. The basic plan includes most of these features for free, so consumers won’t have to pay any additional fees.
The Shopify plan includes several features to help you with your eCommerce store, including customizing URLs and headers. Using third-party programs like Klaviyo, Campaign Monitor, and Constant Contact, you can conduct email marketing campaigns right from your Shopify store.
Shopify integrates marketing and reporting tools such as Google Analytics to track user activity and gain traffic. You can use Google AdWords to advertise your products directly on Google search results pages. With Shopify’s internal analytics, you can evaluate the revenue and performance of products and make informed decisions regarding your store. The Professional tier plans and higher include an integrated coupon maker to create discount codes and coupons to promote products.
BigCommerce and Shopify both have app stores where plugins, add-ons, and extras are available for installation. The company offers apps that can help you scale your business and keep your eCommerce store secure.
In the BigCommerce app store, you’ll find hundreds of plugins and apps designed to make the eCommerce experience as easy as possible for your customers and your business. You’ll find apps ranging from accounting to payment processing. However, there may not be enough apps for you to fully customize your store compared to Shopify.
There is a range of applications available in the Shopify app store that enhance your eCommerce sales experience. Among the top apps and plugins in the app store for your Shopify business are messenger bots and SEO apps. You can even create your QR Codes using Shopify’s ShopCodes.
Whether you are planning to start an eCommerce store or you already have one, Shopify’s Lite app can benefit you. You can use this solution to sell on social media, in person, or on an existing website without paying the Shopify plan costs.
There is always a possibility of something going wrong with your eCommerce site, which is why both eCommerce platforms offer 24/7 phone support, live chat, and emails. They also feature a help center, a customer service forum, video lessons, and advanced customer service support.
When you sign up for a free trial with BigCommerce, they will contact you to schedule a 10-minute conversation with a BigCommerce specialist. They will ask questions to understand your business and offer recommendations on how to set up your store.
You can find answers to all popular problems and topics using their extensive knowledge base and online video series. They offer local phone support 24/7 days a week for nine countries and international support for the rest.
Shopify also provides 24/7 support like BigCommerce. You can find a lot of information in the Shopify Help Center, and if you need more specific assistance, you can reach Shopify directly to chat with their live agent. A Shopify Plus plan includes specialized service and a dedicated support agent. However, even the basic pricing plan includes 24/7 customer service support.
Despite the many useful features that eCommerce website builders offer, recurring fees may be the most prevalent concern when starting your store. Both platforms offer three different pricing tiers ranging from $29.00 to $299.95. They both include a 10% discount on annual plans.
BigCommerce lets you have a free trial for 15 days before you begin. BigCommerce’s price is based on the number of sales you have made online every 12 months since the starting date of your plan. This means that the price of your plan will increase automatically as your business grows.
There are various Shopify options to choose from, so you can find the one that best meets your needs. There is no obligation or risk to sign up for a free 14-day trial with Shopify because no payment information is required.
Shopify offers three major plans: Basic Shopify, Shopify, and Advanced Shopify. They include the addition of unlimited products, discount code generation, and multichannel integration. You can also add a Shopify button to an existing blog or website as part of Shopify’s $9/month Lite plan.
Choosing the Right eCommerce Platform
As an eCommerce business owner, you’ll need to make several decisions regarding your online store. While BigCommerce provides a plethora of built-in features and reporting capabilities for their payment plans, Shopify may be the better option for you when launching your online business.
You can get an online store up and running quickly with Shopify’s Lite plan if you’re on a tight budget. Shopify provides functionality for safeguarding your store and validating payments online. Thanks to its huge app store, it offers more customization options than BigCommerce to help optimize your business.
Regardless of which platform you go with, make sure your store has strong optimization for SEO so customers can find you online. You can talk to our Marketing Success team today about how we can help optimize your website’s search engine rankings while using Shopify. We also offer internet marketing, web design, and reputation management services to help you succeed in all aspects of your branding.
To drive more business to your Shopify online store, call us at (248) 509-8305 for a consultation to learn how we can help you grow.