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Shopify Vs. BigCommerce (2024 Comparison)

Both Shopify and BigCommerce provide the tools and resources businesses need to create their online stores. Although they serve the same purpose, you should compare them before choosing either one.

Home / Blogs / Shopify Vs. BigCommerce (2024 Comparison)
Raghav Tayal

Head Of Operations - Digital Web Solutions

June 29, 2024

Overview of the E-Commerce Technology Niche

Since the COVID-19 pandemic, online marketplaces have experienced a massive boom. Most people assumed that the excitement would die down as things returned to normal. However, the popularity of e-commerce businesses only grew with time. According to Statista, e-commerce businesses worldwide are expected to grow at a CAGR of 10.06% between 2023 and 2028. This is not at all surprising, as a lot of exciting developments are happening in the e-commerce technology space.

If you are planning to start your e-commerce business in 2024, you can choose from a wide range of e-commerce building platforms in the market. Shopify and BigCommerce stand out as two of the most popular names on the list. While they are mostly the same in terms of services, one suits your needs better than the other. So, choosing between them is not going to be easy, but this guide should be handy.

Deciding Factors: Shopify vs BigCommerce

Both Shopify and BigCommerce serve the same purpose—helping businesses create a digital touchpoint for customers. While you can use any of them to build your online e-commerce store, it is crucial that you pick the one that fulfills your specific requirements. Before we dive any deeper into the comparison, let us review the basics of these two platforms.

What is Shopify?

Shopify is a subscription-based e-commerce platform that helps users build a website, develop an online store, sell products directly from their website, generate shipping labels, and publish relevant social media posts. Considered one of the most user-friendly platforms in the business, it is ideal for small business owners without any coding experience.

What is BigCommerce?

BigCommerce is a SaaS e-commerce platform that is used to build and host online stores. This platform uses a straightforward content management system with a robust dashboard that makes it easy for store-owners to navigate through the backend of the online store. It has exciting, scalable sales features that make this platform ideal for companies with big growth plans.

Pricing and Plans

Both Shopify and BigCommerce offer a range of pricing plans to cater to different business needs. While it is wiser to choose a plan that fits your budget, you must check out what each of these e-commerce building platforms has to offer before selecting a plan.

Shopify Pricing

Shopify pricing ranges between $39 and $399 per month. If you take advantage of the introductory offer, you can get the first month for just $1. You also get a three-day free trial for the platform, which may seem a bit short to get familiar with its vast array of features on offer. Let’s take a look at all the Shopify plans available to the general public.

  • Shopify Basic: Priced at $39 per month, this plan lets you use unlimited products. There is a card fee of 2.9% + 30¢ with Shopify Payments and an extra 2% gateway fee without Shopify Payments. This plan offers features like abandoned cart recovery, POS integration, automated sales tax, digital products, and 2 staff accounts.
  • Shopify Standard: This plan costs $105 per month and includes all the features available in the basic plan. Additionally, you enjoy lower card fees (2.6% + 30¢), professional reports, the option of gift cards, and 5 staff accounts.
  • Advanced Shopify: Priced at $399 per month, this plan comes with lower card fees of 2.49% + 30¢. In addition to all the features available in the standard and basic plan, this plan offers an advanced report builder, real-time carrier shipping, and up to 15 staff accounts.

If you choose the annual plan, the monthly rates are $29, $79, and $299, respectively.

Bigcommerce Pricing

In terms of pricing, BigCommerce is almost on par with Shopify. Like Shopify, BigCommerce also has three major monthly plans- from $39 to $399. Fortunately, you get a longer trial period of 15 days with BigCommerce, which is adequate for testing all the features. Also, you do not need to submit your card details when signing up for the free trial. Let’s take a look at all the different plans offered by BigCommerce.

  • Standard: Priced at $39 per month, this plan lets you use unlimited products, file storage, and bandwidth. It is suitable for small businesses. However, it is limited to $50K in online sales per year and allows you to have up to 4 inventory locations.
  • Plus: This plan requires a monthly fee of $105. In addition to the standard features, it offers additional features like customer segmentation and abandoned cart recovery. This plan is limited to $180K in online sales per year and allows you to have up to 5 inventory locations.
  • Pro: This plan costs $399 per month. In addition to all the plus and standard features, you get useful add-ons like Google customer reviews and advanced search filters. This plan is limited to $400K in online sales per year. You need to pay an additional fee of $150/month for every additional $200K in online sales. The plan allows you to have up to 8 inventory locations.

One of the best things about BigCommerce plans is that they do not impose transaction fees. However, as mentioned above, they do limit the sales allowed under each plan. Like the Shopify annual plans, you can enjoy the BigCommerce plans at discounted annual rates of $29, $79, and $299 per month.

Verdict: In terms of pricing, Shopify and BigCommerce are almost the same. If you compare them with other e-commerce building platforms, both Shopify and BigCommerce prices are higher. However, if you want a longer free trial and zero transaction fees, BigCommerce is more suited than Shopify.

Ease of Use

Both Shopify and BigCommerce offer intuitive interfaces. So, even if you have zero coding experience, you can navigate through the platform with ease.

Shopify Ease of Use

Shopify’s user-centric interface and intuitive design make it a great choice for beginners. This platform makes it easy to set up and manage your e-commerce store using its straightforward configuration, customizable templates, and extensive app ecosystem.

If you are starting a new business, the platform will ask you to select where you want to sell, such as an online store or social media. It will also ask you what you plan to sell, such as products or services.

If you have an established business, Shopify will ask you an additional question to better understand where you are currently selling, such as on eBay or other website builders. The signup process on Shopify is also simple and takes only a few seconds.

BigCommerce Ease of Use

BigCommerce offers great features and scalability. While you can enjoy more advanced tools for customization and growth, it usually has a steeper learning curve than Shopify. People choose this for its full suite of tools and features, which smoothen your path to online success. However, it is not as straightforward as Shopify.

The signup process at BigCommerce is tedious. You must enter more than just an email address and password to sign up. It asks for crucial information such as your name, phone number, and essential details about your business, like its name and size. Here, the process is much more detailed than that of other e-commerce website builders in the market.

Both Shopify and BigCommerce keep website design simple. Instead of a drag-and-drop editor, they rely on a section-based editor that lets you stack design elements, such as image carousels and contact forms, on top of one another.

Verdict: Shopify is much easier to use. It keeps things simple with a quick onboarding process that identifies your specific business needs. Also, it is easier to manage your inventory on Shopify because of its robust product backend.

Themes and Design

When comparing Shopify and BigCommerce, it is visible that they both permit a variety of theme modifications. They both let you customize the theme’s storefront, from the HTML/CSS code to the colors and fonts. However, there are some major differences that you need to consider.

Shopify Themes and Design

Shopify offers nearly 150 modern responsive themes for creating a virtual storefront. These themes ensure that your online store looks good on both desktop and mobile devices. While some themes are available free of cost, others can cost between $170 to $380.

You can choose from various themes based on your industry and niche. You can search for themes according to the design of the navigation menu, the number of goods, the layout style, and other factors. Most themes offer two to three different design and color options.

Additionally, you are not limited to pre-made designs. You can easily customize the Shopify themes and swap between them whenever you want. You also get access to more typefaces for every theme. Additionally, each product in your store can have up to 100 versions in terms of themes.

BigCommerce Themes and Design

BigCommerce also offers a wide variety of e-commerce templates that cater to different industries. These templates offer advanced functionalities like product suggestions, quick view, and complex search filters. However, you do need performance optimization to maintain website speed. Here, you get a wide range of selections, from free to premium. So you can find a suitable design that aligns with your brand and product offerings.

At BigCommerce, you can browse themes by industry. Each of these themes offers several style pallets. While most of the themes on BigCommerce are paid, most premium themes look very similar. In comparison, the premium themes Shopify offers differ greatly from one another. BigCommerce offers around 12 free templates, and the premium offerings range between $100 and $400.

Moreover, BigCommerce has fewer fonts provided with the themes. Thus, you need to manually add fonts to enhance the appearance and feel of your template or make it more consistent with the branding. You can change your theme at any time. Also, each product in your store can have up to 600 versions. One of the major areas where BigCommerce themes excel is in the SEO of the online store.

Verdict: While both Shopify and BigCommerce offer similar template libraries and pricing, Shopify provides a more diverse range of templates for different industries. Its templates are modern, stylish, and customizable for various business needs.

AI-Powered Features

Artificial intelligence (AI) advancements have revolutionized the world of technology as we know it, especially in the past few years. Quite naturally, e-commerce building platforms like BigCommerce and Shopify have also jumped onto the AI bandwagon to deliver a smoother experience to their clients.

Shopify AI-Powered Features

Shopify has an AI Builder feature that offers helpful functionalities, such as a theme selection builder, SEO optimization, content generation, and email marketing tools. This tool simplifies the entire process of building an SEO-optimized e-commerce solution for your brand. Shopify also offers AI-driven e-commerce features like dynamic search, personalized recommendations, automated marketing, and more.

You also get data analysis tools for customer segmentation, sales forecasting, and dynamic price optimization. Suppose you are struggling to find ideas for content. In that case, Shopify’s AI content assistant can help you brainstorm ideas, overcome writer’s block, and generate impressive outlines for social media captions, blog posts, product descriptions, and more.

Additionally, Shopify offers useful AI features like automated replenishment, demand forecasting, smart fraud detection, AI-powered chatbots, chargeback management, sentiment analysis, route optimization, and warehouse optimization. Moreover, the Shopify Magic feature boosts the accuracy of product recommendations within your online store. This AI tool analyzes customer data to personalize shopping experiences for your customers, increasing sales conversions.

BigCommerce AI-Powered Features

Unfortunately, BigCommerce does not offer any dedicated AI tools. Unlike Shopify, there is no AI-powered website builder in BigCommerce. However, the integrated apps help you access some useful AI-powered features on this e-commerce platform, including AI on-site search, personalized product recommendations, and AI-powered chatbots.

You also get AI-powered writing tools for creating product descriptions. The ChatGPT AI content Master by Amasty is an application specially designed to streamline the content creation process, including creating SEO metadata and product content. Through Google Cloud Vertex AI, BigCommerce allows its retailers to simplify the writing and creative process for product catalogs.

Additionally, BigCommerce integrates AI technology to improve e-commerce operations for your brand, offering a number of AI-powered features for personalized storefronts through product recommendations, product descriptions, and AI-driven data analytics for more crucial business insights. There is also the AI chatbot, Maisie, that helps with sales, marketing list growth, and customer service.

Verdict: Clearly, Shopify has superior AI capabilities compared to BigCommerce. Shopify primarily uses AI to enhance the e-commerce experience. Its AI features focus on improving personalized shopping experiences, customer behavior analysis, sales predictions, and inventory management. On the other hand, BigCommerce’s AI features are mostly content-focused.

Marketing and SEO

Marketing and promotions play a crucial role in the success of an e-commerce business. Customers won’t come to buy your products/services if they have no clue about your brand’s existence. Both Shopify and BigCommerce offer valuable features and built-in tools to simplify marketing and SEO efforts for your business. Let’s take a look at how these platforms boost your SEO and marketing strategies in the long run.

Shopify Marketing and SEO

Shopify has impressive marketing and sales tools that give your e-commerce businesses a competitive advantage. You can create custom email campaigns using pre-designed templates. You can also optimize your store’s SEO through title tags and meta descriptions directly from Shopify’s Marketing section. The social media integration in Shopify is also effective in connecting with your target audience on platforms like Instagram, Facebook, TikTok, and Snapchat.

Moreover, the built-in abandoned cart recovery features allow e-commerce businesses to recapture lost sales opportunities and boost conversion rates further. You also get built-in blogging tools that help create content that drives traffic to your store. They also target keywords for better SEO efforts. Shopify is a better choice for rapidly expanding businesses as it offers several useful apps, integrated marketing tools, and more flexible sales reporting.

Shopify also lets you download the Marketplace Connect app to sell across major marketplaces like Etsy and Amazon. Thanks to this feature, you can easily sync your products across different marketing channels. In 2023, Shopify created the E-commerce Booster app in partnership with SEO analysis platform Semrush. This app has the ability to help businesses build a detailed SEO plan to help optimize their websites using actionable recommendations.

BigCommerce Marketing and SEO

BigCommerce lets you create promotional banners, review your site’s newsletter settings, and set up automated emails (for purchases and abandoned carts). As long as you download the relevant app, the platform allows you to connect with social media platforms and create personalized email marketing campaigns. You also get standard SEO features from BigCommerce.

BigCommerce has a built-in blogging platform as one of its core features, allowing businesses to seamlessly integrate content marketing with their e-commerce strategy. With BigCommerce, you get robust and integrated blogging capabilities, reducing dependency on additional third-party apps. This platform also features comprehensive analytics to track website performance.

The latest website builder update in April 2024 has enabled new localization features for international selling through BigCommerce. This feature includes adapting the checkout page, pricing, and content to cater to local customers. BigCommerce also has a built-in multi-channel (such as eBay and Amazon) selling feature and social media integration for selling.

Verdict: Although both Shopify and BigCommerce have all the major marketing and SEO features, Shopify is slightly ahead with its more advanced e-commerce-focused marketing tools. The analytics and ad campaign management features make Shopify more useful to e-commerce businesses who want to promote their businesses to a larger audience. Also, it is easier for businesses to connect to other selling channels, such as TikTok, Facebook, etc.

Customer Support and Resources

Whether you are setting up your first e-commerce business or have several years of experience in this field, you will need proper support and resources from the website builder at every turn. In fact, you should always check the contact options before you sign up with any of these two e-commerce building platforms. Let’s take a look at how reliable these platforms are when you need support from them.

Shopify Customer Support

Shopify offers 24/7 support through various channels, including live chat, email, and phone, allowing users to get the necessary assistance whenever needed. In fact, the platform offers a comprehensive support system with an extensive community forum, clear tutorials, and a valuable marketing blog. If you run an enterprise-level business, you can get dedicated account managers from Shopify, along with priority support and additional resources through the Shopify Plus platform.

You can easily get in touch with the Shopify customer support team using social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter (X), Instagram, TikTok, YouTube, LinkedIn, and Pinterest. Moreover, Shopify offers a better user experience with its embedded help prompts. These prompts appear directly within the Shopify dashboard, reducing the need to go through endless menus and search bars.

BigCommerce Customer Support

BigCommerce also offers comprehensive 24/7 support with dedicated support lines for different regions and a support pin for personalized assistance. Furthermore, you can take advantage of its extensive knowledge base and active community forums to improve the support experience. 

If you run an enterprise business, you can get access to various customer benefits such as priority support, express routing, and customer success management. These features ensure that you get a smooth and efficient resolution of your inquiries. Additionally, you can benefit from an onboarding consultant who helps you get started with the platform, along with faster issue resolution and priority phone support.

Similar to Shopify, BigCommerce offers live chat, phone assistance, and email support options. While both systems function well, BigCommerce is much quicker. Its Plus plan also includes extra tools to help increase customer conversions. However, it lacks the in-platform prompts that Shopify offers.

Verdict: When it comes to customer support and resources, BigCommerce has an edge over Shopify. Overall, both platforms offer excellent support. However, BigCommerce scores higher because of quicker issue resolution and additional enterprise support features. Due to a larger customer base, Shopify takes longer to address and resolve your issues.

Summary: Which E-commerce Platform Should You Choose?

The comparison clearly shows that Shopify is a better choice for building an e-commerce website. Shopify is a clear winner when it comes to themes and design, marketing and SEO, AI-powered features, and ease of use. However, BigCommerce is not far behind. In fact, it has the same pricing plan as Shopify and offers superior customer support when compared to Shopify. It is also on par with Shopify in most of the categories. So, before you make your decision, it is important that you have clarity about what you want from an e-commerce store-building platform and use the free trials to decide which one suits your requirements the best.

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