BigCommerce vs. Shopify: Which Is Best For Your Online Store?

Selling online can be a daunting process. Here's a useful comparison of two popular online store options – BigCommerce and Shopify.

Do you have a successful business that you’re trying to grow or maybe you’re looking to start an e-commerce site for your business? There are plenty of options and if you’re new to selling online it can be a daunting process to find which shopping platform is best for your online store. In an attempt to ease your pain, we’ve compared two popular online store options – BigCommerce and Shopify.

While you’ve probably heard a lot about Shopify, it’s best to do your homework. BigCommerce is no stranger to the e-commerce world. Since 2009, they have been supporting thousands of B2B and B2C companies around the world and revolutionizing the way people shop, work and live.

 

BigCommerce for your small business

Here’s a look at why small business owners choose BigCommerce to host their online stores:

 

App subscription costs

Business owners save roughly $6,000 – $20,000 per year in app subscription costs with BigCommerce.

BigCommerce offers a Standard plan that costs $29.95 a month, their Plus plan is $79.95 monthly and their Pro plan is $249.95 a month. There are also different sales thresholds (ex. $50k in yearly sales), which, once reached, automatically bump you up into the next tier.

In comparison, Shopify Basic offers a $29 monthly fee (and 2.9% + 30¢ per transaction). The Shopify plan costs $79 monthly (plus 2.6% + 30¢). The Advanced Shopify tier is $299 monthly (and 2.4% + 30¢). The Plus plan starts at $2000 a month. There’s also an add-on to sell on Facebook, Shopify Lite ($9 monthly).

 

Payment processing

BigCommerce merchants have the option to use special rates through PayPal Powered by Braintree, but if a merchant wants to use a different gateway, there are no additional transaction fees.

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Meanwhile, Shopify’s credit card processing rates depends on use of their native payment gateway (Shopify Payments). You will also incur additional transaction fees if you choose to use a different provider. Transaction fee ranges from 2% (on Shopify Basic) to 0.5% (on Shopify Advanced).

 

SEO and CDN features

Best-in-class SEO features include customizable URL links to improve search ranks and the ability to set the default URL structure for products and categories on the store level and still modify individual products and categories.

Shopify and BigCommerce both have response themes and include a content delivery network (CDN) to help deliver photos and other files based on the location of the visitor. However, BigCommerce merchants also have Akamai Image Manager automatically enabled on all Stencil themes. This feature automatically resizes images to the best combination of size, quality and file format suited for each image and device.

 

Product options and variants

BigCommerce offers powerful support for product options and variants. BigCommerce merchants don’t have to worry about paying for another app or creating multiple products to deal with product limitations.

With support for up to 600 variants (i.e. an option or combination of options tied to a SKU), BigCommerce merchants have a wide range of ways to showcase products, including support for drop down menus, radio buttons, checkbox options, swatch options, text/number fields, date fields, file uploads, and product pick lists (for upselling another product). Shopify supports up to three drop-down menu options with a hard cap of 100 possible combinations/variants.

BigCommerce supports over 70 types of discounts out of the box. These coupon and cart-level discounts native to BigCommerce empower merchants to test and create promotions that drive revenue. Shopify still lacks cart level discounts and merchants have to rely on third-party apps or upgrade to Shopify Plus for a wide range of discount functionalities native to BigCommerce.

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