Shopify vs BigCommerce: Which one is a better option?

Shopify vs BigCommerce: Which One Is A Better Option?

Among multiple great ecommerce platforms, business owners should carefully consider which system is most suitable for their brand. Today’s topic will compare two of the most popular ecommerce platforms, Shopify vs BigCommerce, from different perspectives to give you more insight into their features as well as provide you with an overview of their strengths and weaknesses. 

Shopify vs BigCommerce: Overall Description

Shopify was founded by three programmers in Ottawa, Canada in 2004. As of June 2019, Shopify had 1,000,000 businesses in 175 countries worldwide using its platform with a revenue of 1.58 billion USD. The platform is famous for online stores, retail point-of-sale systems. It also offers payment gateway, marketing, shipping and customer engagement tools for online retailers. 

BigCommerce was founded in 2009 in Austin, Texas. The company provides a SaaS (Software as a Service) ecommerce platform with 600+ employees. BigCommerce’s features include customer group and segmentation, search engine optimization, and web hosting. 

Shopify vs BigCommerce: On The Front End

Shopify vs BigCommerce: Ease Of Use

Users don’t need to be a professional in coding to use Shopify or BigCommerce. Both of them are designed very straightforwardly. Their features are simple, user friendly CMS (content management system), along with a modern dashboard and website editor. 

Shopify Platform
Shopify Platform
BigCommerce Platform
BigCommerce Platform

However, BigCommerce’s attributes are more scalable, which makes it less suitable for beginners. Although Shopify is a less powerful platform, it is something that anyone, even people with the least technical knowledge can use. A typical example here is adding products in Shopify, which is as simple as filling out a short form for each item with plenty of pointers to guide users along the way. 

Adding Product On Shopify
Adding Product On Shopify

BigCommerce, on the other hand, offers more functions that require learning curves. The good thing is that there is no coding or programming included. Users who are willing to put in the effort to learn, will eventually appreciate the categorizations BigCommerce offers. Fortunately, BigCommerce recently added the drag-and-drop builder into its system which significantly improves its ease of use. 

Adding Product On BigCommerce
Adding Product On BigCommerce

Shopify is a better choice when it comes to the ease of use. This platform is more suitable for beginners. Even though BigCommerce is more powerful, it is a harder platform to master, requiring some learning curve and experience in the field. 

Help & Support

Shopify aims towards beginners and therefore, different types of helps and supports are available on this platform, such as:

With BigCommerce, users also have access to 24/7 support through phone, email and live chat. However, users are encouraged to fill a form and review potential solutions suggested by the BigCommerce website before directly contacting the support team via phone or live chat. 

Shopify vs BigCommerce: On The Back End

Shopify vs BigCommerce: Product Management

Shopify has dropshipping apps like Oberlo which acts as a significant help. With Oberlo, users no longer need to worry about packaging, shipping or even inventory and storage because the app will take care of all that. 

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Moreover, customers can upload an unlimited number of products on Shopify without breaking down the system or affecting the server performance and speed. The platform also offers multiple tools for a full range of product management, enabling businesses to monitor orders, update product listings, and track stock levels. Users can have different product variations, such as size, material, color, prices or weight by dividing into specific categories for shoppers to easily choose from. 

Product Management

There is not much of a difference between Shopify and BigCommerce in regards to product management, which is pretty understandable. BigCommerce also has dropshipping apps, unlimited products uploading, product categories, etc.  Both of the platforms pay close attention to what’s going on in the market and do whatever they can to integrate new features that are introduced by the competition. Nothing remains platform-exclusive for long between Shopify and BigCommerce. 

Shopify vs BigCommerce: Abandoned Cart Recovery

There are customers who put items in their cart but leave right before making payment. The abandoned cart recovery function will automatically send out an email with incentives to convince shoppers to complete their order. 

One of every three recipients of abandoned cart emails click on a link in those emails, with 28% of them finish purchasing. Therefore, abandoned cart campaign is an extremely important function to have. 

BigCommerce claims that their abandoned cart recovery helps revive 15% of lost sales which is considerably better than the Shopify equivalent. BigCommerce allows users to schedule up to three automated follow-up emails while Shopify only enables one. 

When sending multiple cart recovery emails in BigCommerce, users should be careful. Considering the fact that their shoppers may see these emails as spam or annoyed. 

Time intervals are included in Shopify’s abandoned cart saver, which entitle you to send automated email at one of the following times:

  • 1 hour later
  • 6 hours later
  • 10 hours later
  • 24 hours later

Among these times, 1 hour and 10 hours later intervals are highly recommended by Shopify themselves as their research shows that users who have abandoned carts are most likely to go back and complete their order upon receiving an email sent after those specific periods of time. 

Shopify is definitely more favorable in regards to the abandoned cart saver feature as they offer it on all plans, even the cheapest one which is $9/month. Meanwhile, BigCommerce only has this function available in more expensive plans ( starting at $79.95/month). This means using Shopify could save users at least $70/month. 

Shopify vs BigCommerce: Security

According to Sift, during the month of October and November 2020 alone, the average attempted fraudulent purchases surged to over 475% of the previous month average, which raises alarm for cybersecurity. 

During the pandemic, eCommerce has become the main method for shoppers to purchase goods. Between April and November 2020, every day is Black Friday-like for eCommerce merchants: average daily transactions increase 88% compared to the same period last year. Hence, security offered by eCommerce platforms is a decisive factor in choosing which platform to use. 

Security

Both BigCommerce and Shopify offer free SSL certificates on all of their plans. Users can upgrade to a more advanced SSL version (equipped with site seals and warranties) with BigCommerce if they can afford it. 

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PCI DSS compliant is built-in for these two platforms, which means they meet the requirements of the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard to protect against credit card information leaked. 

It’s a tie. Shopify and BigCommerce all offer basic security to protect shopper’s sensitive information such as phone numbers, addresses, or credit card numbers. In order to have more if they can afford it. advanced security measures, users can choose to install their extension or apps and pay more 

Shopify vs BigCommerce: Apps And Add-ons

Although both platforms are built-in with various great features, users can integrate extensions and apps to allow them to go even further. In this sense, Shopify contains remarkably more apps than BigCommerce; whereas there are a few hundred BigCommerce apps offer, users can find up to 5000 apps on Shopify.

Users can basically install any imaginable feature within their fingertips on Shopify App Store, developed both in-house and by third-party developers. Many of the apps and extensions are free. As for the paid options, the price range fluctuates significantly, from $7 per month to $2000 per month. 

Shopify App Store
Shopify App Store

The overview of the BigCommerce App Store is very similar to Shopify’s in regards to categories, both have free and paid apps but it is slightly less rich. Nonetheless, from a functionality standpoint, it is hard-pressed to find an app on Shopify for which users couldn’t find an equivalent on BigCommerce. 

BigCommerce App Store
BigCommerce App Store

In regards to the apps and integrations, Shopify is preferred because of its richness in options. 

Shopify vs BigCommerce: Payment Processors and Transaction Fees

Users can truly earn profits after receiving payments. Hence, payment method integrations are a very important factor to consider when thinking about which eCommerce platform to use.

Shopify offers more than 100 different external payment processors for familiar platforms like PayPal or Amazon Pay, which can be set up and implemented quickly. 

Shopify Payment Integration Options
Shopify Payment Integration Options

The biggest disadvantage for Shopify is that only Shopify’s own payment service (Shopify Payments) doesn’t charge extra fees and transaction fees. All of the other options require users to pay up to 2.9% of extra fee and 30 cents transaction fee for every payment made. 

Shopify Payments gives you a lot of freedom as it doesn’t ask customers to sign up. However, it is still better to offer shoppers a variety of options for payment methods to improve your conversion rates. 

Although  BigCommerce only has around 30 payment integrations to choose from, these tools are designed to support over 100 countries and more than 250 local payment methods. BigCommerce also provides a one-click setup for its payment processors, which means users can constantly accept all the major credit cards and payment choices. 

BigCommerce Payment Integration Options
BigCommerce Payment Integration Options

Furthermore, all of the payment tools are mobile optimized on BigCommerce, to ensure mobile shoppers get the same level of service as any desktop users. Users are supported with multiple currencies on BigCommerce, which makes it easier to collect sales all around the world.

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BigCommerce is a better option in regards to external payment processors although it has very few options compared to that of Shopify. The greatest advantage of BigCommerce is that there are no extra or transaction fees included while for Shopify, extra fees are charged every single time a purchase is made. 

Shopify vs BigCommerce: Point-of-sale System (POS System)

Among the four biggest eCommerce platforms, Shopify is the only that has their own POS app, the ShopifyPOS. It is a cloud-based system that furnishes your store with POS features and customization. There are two versions, the Lite and the Pro ShopifyPOS, both offer a variety of attributes yet there are some major differences between the features offered. The Lite plan is free and the Pro version costs $89 per month. 

Both versions have basic functions that a POS system needs to have, including managing staff activities, showing order history, creating custom sales, or barcode scanning. The Pro plan has several advanced features such as the click-and-collect, smart inventory management, or support shipping. 

Point-of-sale

Other than ShopifyPOS, there are many other great POS options on Shopify App Store that are worth considering as well. 

For BigCommerce, their app store has outstanding third parties platforms for POS systems which all provide must-have POS features as well as offer advanced functions. Both platforms support mobile devices for your online store. Receipt printers, label printers or barcode scanners are all able to be implemented on mobile devices. 

ConnectPOS offers both BigCommerce POS and Shopify POS systems which have basic to advanced features such as tax rates synchronization, various payment methods or AI facial recognition. 

Shopify vs BigCommerce: Pricing

Shopify offers 5 plans:

  • Shopify Lite Plan – you cannot build an online store with this plan yet. You are only able to add eCommerce on a social media page or existing website  ($9/month).
  • Basic Shopify Plan – this is the cheapest plan on Shopify to build your own store. It provides all the basic features for a new store  ($29/month).
  • Shopify Plan – this plan is for growing businesses. It provides fancy features such as gift card creation  ($79/month).
  • Advanced Shopify Plan – this is an option for big businesses wanting to grow. It has advanced reports and third-party calculated shipping rates ($299/month)
Shopify Plans

BigCommerce has almost the same pricing options compared to Shopify: 

  • BigCommerce Standard – this is the cheapest option, offers enough features to build an online store ($29.95/month).
  • BigCommerce Plus – this is the most popular plan which has more premium options like abandoned cart saver, customer segmentation, etc ($79.95/month).
  • BigCommerce Pro – it provides even more scalable features ($299.95/month).
  • BigCommerce Enterprise – this is for big companies with custom price
BigCommerce Plan

Wrapping Up

Through this article, we hope to help you make a better decision on which eCommerce platform to use, Shopify vs BigCommerce. Please feel free to contact us if you have any further questions! 

About the Author

Quinn T.

Quinn T.

Quinn T. is an enthusiastic copywriter at ConnectPOS - a leading Point of Sale provider. Focusing on the retail industry, she has researched and followed closely to various technology solutions that support an omnichannel journey.

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