Shopify vs. BigCommerce: A Comparison

A cartoon man who is standing and pointing his hands to one of the two options that he have

It’s the battle of the ecommerce Platforms: Shopify vs. BigCommerce. Which one will work best for your business? 

The platforms look similar in terms of plans and features. In this post, we’ll look at the advantages and disadvantages of each platform. Then we’ll provide examples of why a business would pick one over the other. 

About Shopify

In this corner, we have Shopify. The platform continues to grow and capture more of the ecommerce marketplace. Shopify’s easy-to-use interface makes setting up an online store easy even for non-technical people. 

Shopify plans and pricing as of October 2021:

  • Basic Shopify: $29 per month
  • Shopify: $79 per month
  • Advanced Shopify: $299 per month

Advantages of Shopify include:

  • Intuitive interface
  • Quality themes vetted by Shopify 
  • Wide selection of apps and extensions
  • Robust inventory and transaction management
  • Dedicated support team
  • Support for multi-channel commerce, including social media and marketplaces

Disadvantages of Shopify include:

  • Transaction fees if you use a payment gateway other than Shopify
  • Limited blogging features
  • Switching templates sometimes requires reformatting your site
  • International selling requires third-party apps
  • Limited number of staff accounts included with most plans

About BigCommerce

BigCommerce offers impressive features, but getting the full value from features often requires more technical skills. 

BigCommerce plans and pricing as of October 2021:

  • Standard: $29.95 per month
  • Plus: $79.95 per month
  • Pro: $299.95 per month

Advantages of BigCommerce include:

  • Support for multiple payment gateways with no transaction fees
  • Advanced SEO features
  • Multi-Channel support, including built-in Amazon integration
  • Support for multiple currencies and international transactions
  • Great selection of plugins and extensions

Disadvantages of BigCommerce include:

  • Steeper learning curve to use the editing interface
  • Annual sales limits, if you cross the threshold, you must upgrade to the next plan
  • Requires some coding skills to utilize the technology fully
A cartoon man wearing a business attire standing and seems analyzing and comparing the two data in front of him

Shopify vs. BigCommerce: How to Pick

When choosing an ecommerce platform, how do you know which one is best for your business? 

What to look for in an Ecommerce platform:

  • Ease of Use. Is the platform intuitive, or will you need to spend hours reading support articles and watching how-to videos to update your store? While Shopify and Bigcommerce are easy to use, Shopify often comes out on top in a head-to-head matchup on ease-of-use. 
  • Customization. How easily can you customize your store to your brand? Both Shopify and BigCommerce allow customization, but there are limits to what you can change without updating your store template code. If you want to make extensive customizations, you need to learn each platform’s templating language or hire an ecommerce developer. 
  • Cost. How much will the platform cost? If you just compare plan prices, Shopify and BigCommerce offer equally priced plans. The deciding factor on price could be Shopify’s transaction fees or BigCommerce’s sales thresholds. We’ll go into more detail on how those impact your decision between Shopify and BigCommerce in the next section. 
  • Feature and Integration Support. Shopify and BigCommerce tie when it comes to features and integrations. Even if the platform doesn’t offer a built-in feature, an app or integration exists to solve the problem.  
  • Payment Methods. BigCommerce wins on payment gateways. BigCommerce allows you to use a variety of different payment gateways. You’ll only pay the transaction fees from your payment provider. With Shopify, you have to use their built-in payment processor. If you use a different payment gateway, Shopify will charge you a percentage-based transaction fee on top of the processing fees from your payment processor. 
  • Scalability. Will the platform support your growth plan? Because BigCommerce limits your annual sales volume, businesses can more affordably scale their business with Shopify. 

When to Use BigCommerce

If you have a strong preference for a particular payment processing company, you’ll want to go with BigCommerce. If you don’t use Shopify’s payment process, Shopify will charge you a fee. 

Shopify Transaction Fees by plan as of October 2021:

  • Basic Shopify: 2%
  • Shopify: 1%
  • Advanced Shopify: 0.5%

Remember those transaction fees are in addition to the fees the credit card processing company charges. Shopify’s built-in payment processing includes fairly standard credit card processing fees. If your business does not mind using Shopify Payments, decide between the two platforms based on which interface you liked best. 

When to use Shopify

If your business does more than $180,000 in sales per year, you might want to consider Shopify over BigCommerce. Each BigCommerce plan has a cap on your annual sales. When you exceed that amount, you have to upgrade to the next plan. 

BigCommerce annual sales limits by plan as of October 2021:

  • Standard: $50,000
  • Plus: $180,0009
  • Pro: $400,000

Once your business exceeds $400,000 in sales, you’ll pay an additional $150 per month for each additional $200,000 in sales. 

A business with $200,000 in annual online sales could save more than $2,600 per year on Shopify’s middle-tier plan instead of being forced to upgrade to the Pro plan on BigCommerce. 

Getting Help Deciding Between Shopify vs. BigCommerce

The team of Mindsize ecommerce experts can help you decide on the best ecommerce platform for your business. We work with clients on most major ecommerce platforms, including Shopify, BigCommerce, and WooCommerce. After you decide on a platform, our team can help with the setup, customization, and optimization of your ecommerce store. Contact us today to learn more about our ecommerce development and consulting services.