Shopify vs Bigcommerce – Platform Comparison

E-commerce used to be a space which required expensive web developers to build a website for you to showcase and sell your products. However, with the advent of easy-to-use tools such as Shopify and BigCommerce, that era is long gone. Over the last few years throughout my own drop shipping businesses I’ve used both of these platforms.

Here is a quick overview on which platform you should use, Shopify vs Bigcommerce comparison.

1.     Themes

Themes are an important aspect of not just E-commerce, but any website that wants to stand out from the crowd.

Shopify:

Boasting a collection of 200+ themes (free and premium), you will be spoilt for choice with Shopify. You are guaranteed to find a theme that expresses your niche perfectly, and with a few tweaks, the theme is completely unique and ready to deploy to your E-commerce website. You’ll find a wealth of additional premium themes available on popular sites such as Themeforest and Templatemonster too with prices ranging from $50 – $140.

BigCommerce:

Even though its 80+ theme collection is not as large as Shopify, BigCommerce manages to add themes for every variety of E-commerce websites in its marketplace. You can find premium themes in marketplaces such as Themevale for $140 – $180.

Verdict:

Shopify wins this one with a huge array of themes that surpasses all other competitors including BigCommerce.

2.     Pricing

Cost is an important factor in deciding what service to sign up to as they are subscription based and you will be stuck with recurring payments for a while. Moreover, once you have set up your platform exactly the way you like it, it is inconvenient and time-consuming to switch.

Shopify:

It has 3 plans listed, starting at $29/month for the basic plan, to the unlimited plan priced at $179/month. An enterprise plan is also offered, but these prices vary depending on a number of factors. You’ll also be required to pay 2% on all sales through the platform using Paypal payments for example on the $29 plan and 1% on the $79 plan. Shopify payments (available to USA, UK and Canada only) is no transaction fee.

You’ll save $3 a month on the $29 plan and $8 a month on the $79 if you pay for 1 year in advance. Shopify features that aren’t included in the monthly plan can be added through the extensive Shopify app store with apps ranging from free to $200 a month.

BigCommerce:

Its pricing plans are similar to Shopify, ranging from $29.99/month to $199.99/month. Although, it is slightly pricier than Shopify, the out-of-the-box features (features that Shopify requires apps to be purchased to implement) that it provides with each plan do make it worth more than the Shopify plans.

Verdict:

BigCommerce offers slightly more value for money considering advanced functionality such as shipping quotes, coupons and gift cards for shoppers.

3.     Support

A competent and ever-available support is essential to ensure that you and your store aren’t hung out to dry if and when you run into some issues.

Shopify:

Although some customers claim to have had issues with Shopify support being unhelpful, Shopify guarantees 24×7 customer service with support agents who are fully trained and equipped to assist you with all web related queries and issues. In my own personal experience I’ve only had good experiences with their support team.

BigCommerce:

Whenever someone mentions the pros of BigCommerce, its support is lauded for almost instantaneous replies to queries, and meaningful resolutions to each problem and the happy absence of mechanized/automated replies that some support executives tend to use. Again I’ve only got good things to say about the support provided by Bigcommerce too.

Verdict:

BigCommerce holds a slight edge over Shopify with respect to this aspect because of the professional support and the level of customer satisfaction they provide.

4.     Credibility and Reliability

Platforms that are popular with the masses, usually have very good reasons for being so. Hence, assessing the number of total installs as well as the number of active websites that use these platforms is the best indicator of credibility.

Shopify:

Both Google Search Trends and the number of installs point to the fact that Shopify is the more popular option compared to BigCommerce. In fact, it brags a whopping 300,000+ websites that use Shopify at this moment. In addition to this incredible number, when you consider that Shopify have processed over 20 billion USD in transactions, it seems like the competition has a lot of ground to cover up.

BigCommerce:

Although BigCommerce is no small fish in the pond that is the E-commerce platform market, compared to Shopify it falls short by a huge margin. 150,000+ websites currently use the services of BigCommerce while the transactions carried out in total are an impressive 9 billion USD.

Verdict:

Shopify is the clear winner when considering this factor since it has almost the double number of users as well as double the total transactions carried out, compared to BigCommerce.

5.     Apps

Apps allow you to extend and expand the functionality of your online store depending on the changes you wish to implement. They also enable the webmaster to scale their business, according to the traffic and volume that their E-commerce website encounters. Assessing the variety and complexity of apps offered will provide an indication of the better platform.

Shopify:

Housing 1100+ apps in their store, Shopify has you covered for every requirement an E-commerce website owner might have. All the apps add value and functionality to your website, creating a pristine and easy shopping experience for your customer.

BigCommerce:

Offering 250+ apps, BigCommerce also provides a wide array of functionality that can be used to extend your website. Although the number of apps is lower than Shopify, they do offer a lot of functionality such as gift cards etc. right out of the box, while Shopify requires apps for these functions too.

Verdict:

Even though BigCommerce offers a wider range of functions right from the get-go, Shopify edges it out by the sheer volume of options it provides in its app store.

6.    Verified Experts

Experts are an important part of E-commerce website building as some website owners might want a highly customized product which requires a certain level of technical prowess. Hence, experts in fields such as designing, payments, marketing etc. are essential and the number of developers and professionals offered provides website owners with several options to select from, depending on their preferences and requirements.

Shopify:

Providing the services of hundreds of certified experts in various fields, there is no dearth of choice in the Shopify experts section. You can find experts who can handle basic to advanced tasks at a variety of prices.

BigCommerce:

Compared to Shopify, BigCommerce offers a far lower number of professionals to choose in their expert’s section. All experts are highly qualified with a wealth of experience; you will be able to find one that suits your requirements.

Verdict:

The astounding number of professionals that Shopify provides, which are just a simple click away, is too much of an advantage to overlook. Hence, Shopify holds the advantage when it comes to experts that can perform customized and advanced tasks for E-commerce website owners.

Selecting the correct platform for your online store is paramount, and the features that you value more than others will help you make this decision. Some owners will value one factor higher than the other, hence the choice of platform will depend on webmasters and their specific requirements.

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