Setting up ecommerce online stores is a massive challenge. You need to buy hosting and a domain name, set up a management system, get ranked on search engines, and so much more.
It’s almost overwhelming, right?
However, managing online stores can be even tougher. And that’s why choosing the right ecommerce platform for your store is of the utmost importance.
With the right platform, you’ll be able to set up and manage your online business with ease. And make it easy for your customers to shop online with mobile apps.
But which one is the best for you?
Read this review of BigCommerce vs. Shopify to settle the debate.
But which one is the best?
In this post, I will review each of these and give a final verdict to end the BigCommerce vs. Shopify debate once and for all.Product Ratings
|Pricing Plan||Cost (Per Month)|
|Pricing Plan||Cost (Per Month)|
|Shopify Plus||Starts at $2,000|
|Shopify Lite (Doesn’t include Store)||$9|
BigCommerce is a powerful and comprehensive ecommerce platform that you can use to create and host your online store.
Shopify is another popular platform that you can use to host and manage your ecommerce shop for affordable prices.
Want to know which one among them is the best?
Read my full review of BigCommerce vs. Shopify to find out.Features Comparison
|Free HTTPS and SSL Certificate||YES||YES|
|Mobile App Store||YES||YES|
|Product Options & Variants||YES||YES|
|Real-Time Shipping Quotes||YES||YES|
|Discounts, Coupons, etc.||YES||YES|
|Single Page Checkout||YES||YES|
|Multiple Payment Gateways||YES||YES|
|Shopping Cart Saver||YES||YES|
|Abandoned Cart Saver||YES||YES|
|SEO Optimized Website||YES||YES|
|Social Media Selling||YES||YES|
|No Credit Card for the Trial||YES||YES|
Who Are They for?
Both the platforms offer competitive pricing plans, and in fact, have similar pricing too, which makes it all the more challenging to choose between BigCommerce vs. Shopify.
So, let’s take a quick look at whom these platforms are suited for:
|Small Businesses||Small Businesses|
|Medium-Sized Businesses||Medium-Sized Businesses|
|Try BigCommerce for Free!||Try Shopify for Free!|
Detailed Review: BigCommerce
Let’s take a quick look at some of the powerful features that this ecommerce platform has to offer.
1. Page Builder
BigCommerce makes it easy for you to set up your ecommerce website. You can add your custom domain to the platform with ease and get started. However, designing your website can be challenging.
That’s where the Page Builder comes to your rescue.
This feature offered by BigCommerce allows ecommerce shop owners to design stunning websites without any coding skills.
All you have to do is pick a template and modify it using the drag-and-drop builder. You can use it to add and edit various elements like text, images, banners, buttons, and more.
2. Product Management
After setting up your store, you need to be able to manage it well too. And that’s where product management comes into the picture.
Thankfully, BigCommerce has great features that can help you manage all your products with ease.
Using these features, you can keep track of the products using SKUs, check their inventory levels, and more.
You can navigate to this section by clicking on the “Products” section from the left sidebar.
(You can try BigCommerce free for 30 days now. Click here to claim your free trial.)
In the Products section, you’ll be able to see all of your products and their details such as images, pricing, and more.
It’s also possible to filter them based on various parameters such as inventory levels. This can help you figure out what steps need to be taken to ensure that your products are in stock.
It’s also possible to hide, unhide, or feature products using this section.
Finally, it’s also possible to add new products and remove old ones from your product catalog using this section of BigCommerce. All you have to do is enter all the product details and it’ll be ready.
After adding the products, you can add different variants to it to give options to your customers.
It’s also possible to import or export your products with the click of a button. You can import using a CSV file and export to CSV or XML files. This makes it easy to migrate to and from BigCommerce.
Apart from this, you can also add product filters to make it easy for your audience to find them if you use the Plus or Pro plan.
(Ready to try BigCommerce? Test it for yourself, here’s a 30-day free trial link.)
Finally, you can see all the product reviews here so that you can track and manage them with ease.
3. Storefront Management
One of the biggest aspects of managing an online store is that of storefront management.
There’s a lot that goes into it. You need to choose your theme, add your logo, add social media links, and so much more.
But guess what?
BigCommerce has got you covered. The Storefront Manager helps you accomplish all of these things with ease.
Here’s what you can manage using the Storefront Manager:
Using the Storefront Manager, you can manage your current themes and customize them. It’s also possible to download and save your theme using the “Advanced” tab in this section.
BigCommerce also lets you upload your own themes through this section.
(Do you want to try BigCommerce? Get started now!)
2. Theme Marketplace
Finding new themes for your website can be a long process. However, with the BigCommerce marketplace, you can find free themes and paid ones all right from the Store Manager.
And that’s not all…
You can also shop for third-party apps through the BigCommerce app store.
3. Logo Management
The logo is an essential part of any ecommerce website and BigCommerce has a dedicated section for it too.
You can set your logo by uploading a custom logo or entering the text that needs to appear as the logo.
You can also style the logo with different fonts. Finally, you can add a favicon that will appear on the browsers.
4. Home Page Carousels
This section deals with carousels that can appear on your homepage. You can customize your carousel by adding photos, headings, text, and more.
It’s also possible to set the swapping time between each image.
(Try BigCommerce for FREE now!)
5. Social Media Links
Social media is a critical element for promoting your store and products. It’s thus essential to add social media links to your website.
With BigCommerce, this task becomes easy. Through a dedicated section, you can add links to various social media profiles.
You can also select which ones need to appear and set their order too.
6. Script Manager
Script Manager lets you install custom scripts on your website. It also lets you manage your scripts.
7. Web Pages
You can set up and manage the web pages of your online store using this section. It also gives you an overview of all of the pages on your website.
(You can try BigCommerce for FREE now. Try it now.)
Using the Blog section on BigCommerce, you can set up and manage your blog. There, you’ll be able to edit, delete, and publish your blog posts with ease.
9. Image Manager
The Image Manager lets you upload and manage the images that you’ve added to your online store.
10. Email Templates
BigCommerce also lets you create and manage templates for email marketing campaigns such as abandoned cart emails. You can seamlessly edit and add different email templates.
11. Gift Certificate Templates
You can also create and manage various gift certificate templates through BigCommerce.
(Want to check out the gift certificate templates now? Here’s your 30-day free trial link.)
4. Customer Management
Customers are extremely important for ecommerce businesses, and that’s why BigCommerce has a single section that’s completely dedicated to them.
Using it, you can get an idea of the number of customers you have and also manage them better.
Apart from getting an overview of your customers, you can also manually add them.
And it gets better…
BigCommerce also offers attractive filters to help you dive deep into your customer data. Additionally, there’s the advanced search feature that lets you search for customers based on names, countries, and more.
This section also lets you import and export your customer lists with ease if you’re planning to move your ecommerce website.
Finally, BigCommerce also lets you create different customer segments called “Groups” to target them better.
5. Marketing Options
Once you’ve established your store online, you need to market it actively to get customers and drive sales.
While you can leverage various marketing tools for this, BigCommerce makes it easier by incorporating built-in marketing tools into the platform too.
Some of the marketing features offered by BigCommerce are:
Making new banners for your online store is easy when it comes to BigCommerce. The banner builder creates a stellar banner for you when you enter all the relevant details.
BigCommerce lets you set up promotions from the “Promotions” section. Using it, you can add coupon-based or automatic promotions.
3. Abandoned Cart Notifications
Cart abandonment notifications can help you with abandoned cart recovery and thus are crucial in generating more sales.
4. Google Customer Reviews
BigCommerce also lets you show the product ratings in search results through Google Customer Reviews. However, this is only available for Pro and Enterprise users.
5. Coupon Codes
Coupon codes can help get customers to your website to purchase your products. BigCommerce makes it easy for you to create and track coupon codes through this section.
6. Email Marketing
Apart from your email marketing templates, BigCommerce has a separate section dedicated to email marketing settings.
Using this section, you can get an overview of your newsletters and also decide whether you want newsletter subscriptions.
And the best part?
You can also export your email subscriber list to other email marketing platforms.
(Try BigCommerce for yourself for free and experience its power.)
7. Gift Certificates
You can also choose to give your customers the option to buy gift certificates for your store.
8. Sell on eBay
Cross-platform selling is essential to the success of any ecommerce shop and BigCommerce lets you seamlessly list and sell your products on eBay.
6. Store Analytics
BigCommerce also gives you access to detailed analytics from your store to help you understand where you need to improve.
1. Overview & Real-Time Analytics
You can see the overall metrics of your store and the real-time analytics as well. The metrics you can track are orders, conversion rate, average order value, and more.
BigCommerce also lets you see the analytics of your merchandising sales.
To dive deep into the effectiveness of your marketing, you can see the marketing report that shows you the sales metrics for each source.
Customer analytics is important to help you understand if you’re able to retain customers, and BigCommerce recognizes this.
It gives you customer analytics that can not only help you see your total customers but also shows you the types of customers — new and returning.
Now for the best part…
You also get to see customer information like names, email, and more.
5. Purchase Funnel
Your sales funnel can help you understand where you need to improve. BigCommerce lets you visualize your sales funnel and shows you the number of people in each stage.
6. Cart Abandonment
Cart abandonment can be a challenge for all ecommerce sites. BigCommerce has a section dedicated to it so that you can track and reduce it.
It also has another section that helps you figure out the effectiveness of your cart abandonment marketing strategy. This section gives cart abandonment recovery stats.
7. In-Store Search
BigCommerce also shows the statistics related to your in-store product search. This can help you find out how to improve it as you can see various keywords used by users to find products.
8. Sales Tax Report
To help you stay on top of your taxes, BigCommerce generates a sales tax report. This shows the total tax amount and number of orders.
7. Channel Manager
To enable you to sell on multiple channels, BigCommerce has come up with the Channel Manager. This feature lets you sell your products on Amazon, Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, and more.
(Set up your ecommerce store with BigCommerce now. Try it free for 30 days!)
8. Store Management
BigCommerce has a section that’s dedicated to setting up your store too. In this section, you can create your store’s profile with ease.
But that’s not all…
Here are the other options offered by it:
1. Currencies & Payments
You can set up different currencies for your store along with the payment options and providers for the same. This can help you accept payments from multiple methods and in different currencies.
You can also set up point of sale (POS) integrations on this platform.
(Want to give it a spin? Try BigCommerce for free now!)
2. Store Settings
The store settings section lets you manage things like the website URL structure, security, display, dimensions, and more.
3. Shipping Manager
To manage your shipping rules, zones, shipping origin, and more, you can use the shipping manager provided by BigCommerce.
Tax is an important part of ecommerce and with BigCommerce, you can set up tax labels, manual tax, and more using it.
BigCommerce lets you integrate your store with popular accounting solutions like QuickBooks. This makes it easy to track your accounting data and helps you handle your store better.
9. Advanced Options
One of the things I like the most about BigCommerce is the sheer number of advanced options that it offers such as enabling or disabling returns. They can help you amp up your ecommerce website extremely well.
Here’s what you can do with them:
1. Web Analytics
While BigCommerce gives you detailed analytics, you can also integrate other web analytics and social media analytics platforms with it to dive even deeper into your store’s performance. It’s also possible to track the analytics of your AMP pages.
BigCommerce also makes it easy to manage your checkout process. You can decide whether users need accounts to checkout, add reCAPTCHA, and more.
It’s also possible to manage inventory such as the actions to take when a product is out of stock. Using these settings well can help improve the shopping experience.
(Try BigCommerce for yourself now for 30 days. No charges. No credit card.)
4. Order Notifications
In this section, you’ll be able to modify and set all the settings related to order notifications sent to shoppers on the purchase of your products.
5. Gift Wrapping
Just like you can set up gift certificates, it’s also possible to enable gifting options and set the pricing for them as well.
6. Account Signup Form
The size of your registration form makes a huge difference. You can modify the fields related to it right from this section without any coding.
(You can try BigCommerce for FREE now.)
7. Storefront API Playground
BigCommerce also lets you use your store’s API to give better functionality to your store. However, this will require some technical expertise. It’s also possible to create multiple API accounts for your store.
8. Server Settings
BigCommerce is a fully-hosted ecommerce solution, but it also lets you manage your server. You can seamlessly add 301 redirects to your website, set up email addresses and DNS records, and also maintain store logs.
And that’s not all…
You can also access your website files and download them using WebDAV with BigCommerce.
In addition to all of these features, BigCommerce also offers unparalleled customer service. You can reach out to their customer support team by phone, 24/7 live chat, and even email.
There’s also a thriving community of BigCommerce users that you can access as a user to get the latest tips and strategies.
Detailed Review: Shopify
Shopify is a name that’s synonymous with ecommerce. In fact, it’s so popular that over 1.4 million websites run Shopify stores. This makes it a massive ecommerce platform.
Just like BigCommerce, Shopify has its own set of cool features.
So, without any delay, let’s quickly take a look at all the amazing features that Shopify has to offer.
1. Store Management
1. Shopify Themes
Shopify’s dashboard is easy to use and you can seamlessly navigate to your Store Builder in a few clicks.
Like BigCommerce, Shopify offers numerous paid and free Shopify themes that you can select and start customizing to set up your store online.
From text columns to images and testimonials, you can add all these Shopify themes to your website with the drag-and-drop page builder.
But here’s the cool part:
Shopify not only works as a website builder, but also helps you check your store’s loading speed. This can help improve the shopping experience of your customers.
When you set up an ecommerce store on Shopify, you’ll also be able to add a blog to it.
And the best part?
You can do blogging right from your Shopify backend control panel. All you have to do is navigate to the Blog Posts section and click on “Create Blog Post” to get started.
After that, you can write and publish your blog post with ease after proofreading it with content writing tools.
While the Shopify theme editor lets you style your website and pages according to your preferences, the pages section is where you can add, remove, and manage your website’s pages.
You can enter the page title, URL, meta description, and even the content.
It’s also possible to directly apply a theme to your page.
Shopify has also dedicated a section to the website’s menu. There, you can add or remove menus and also edit them.
This section can come in very handy when it comes to making your website navigation better.
(Try Shopify free for 14 days and experience it for yourself.)
When you create an account with Shopify, you’ll be able to get a subdomain of shopify.com that appears something like “domainname.shopify.com”.
However, it’s possible to add your custom domain name for your store too. This is possible through the domains section.
And the best part?
You can either connect existing domains, transfer domains, or buy domains, all from this page. It’s also possible to enable redirects from here.
6. Website Preferences
Finally, Shopify makes it easy for you to modify the main credentials of your website. These include your website title, meta description, and banner image preview for social media.
You can also use this section to add analytics tools like Google Analytics and Facebook Pixel tracking to your website.
2. Sales Channel
When you’re using Shopify, you can add multiple sales channels for your website with ease. These include Point of Sale, Messenger, Google Shopping, Buy Button, Amazon, and more.
Using these channels, you can further reach out to a wider audience and generate more sales for your ecommerce business.
3. Product Management
When it comes to listing and managing products in your store, Shopify does extremely well. After setting up your store, you’ll see the option to add products right on the dashboard.
Here are all the product managing features that Shopify has to offer:
1. Product Addition
All you have to do is click on “Add Product” on the dashboard to get started. The interface lets you add the product title, description, vendor name, media, pricing, collections, and so much more.
You can also define if the product is physical or not. It’s also possible to add the SKU, barcode, quantity available, and customs information.
Finally, you can add product variants and also work on the product’s SEO (search engine optimization).
2. Inventory Management
Once you’ve added products to your store, you also need to keep track of your inventory. This is critical because you need to ensure that you have a steady supply of your products.
This is where inventory management comes into the picture.
Using this section, you can figure out the current stock levels of your products and accordingly decide if you need more. It’s also possible to manually alter the inventory levels.
One of the best inventory management features offered by Shopify is that of transfers. The platform recognizes that you may receive your inventory from multiple suppliers.
This would mean that you’d have to track those transfers well. By adding the transfer information, you can achieve this with ease.
(Try Shopify free for 14 days now!)
Product collections can be a great way to bring similar products together in your Shopify store. You can choose to create manual and automatic collections using this feature on Shopify.
While the manual mode allows you to add the products yourself, the automated mode works on conditions you set.
5. Gift Cards
Just like BigCommerce, it’s also possible to add the option for gift cards to your Shopify store. You’re given two options when it comes to gift cards – sell and send. The former lets your customers buy gift cards from you, while the latter lets you send gift cards directly to your customers.
And the best part?
Gift cards can be sold on any channel.
4. Order Management
After your store is up and running, you need to be able to manage your orders well. Shopify has a powerful order management system in place for you to handle them as well.
Here are the features you can expect:
In this section, you’ll be able to see all the orders so that you can fulfill them with ease. You’ll be able to see the products, quantities, and more.
Shopify means it when they say that they support multi-channel selling. Even if people don’t go through online channels to purchase your products, you can manually input the orders that you take through offline channels. Orders can be created through the drafts section.
3. Abandoned Carts
Cart abandonment can be a major issue for ecommerce stores and Shopify helps you find out which customers added your products to their carts and didn’t purchase them. You can then use this list of customers and retarget them to get them to buy from you.
5. Customer Management
Like BigCommerce, you can manage your customers on Shopify too. When users register on your website, you’ll be able to see them here:
You can manually add customers to your Shopify store using this section too. All you have to do is fill in basic information about the customers such as their names, emails, and phone numbers.
Also, if you’re migrating from another platform to Shopify, you can import customer lists as CSV files.
(Experience the power of Shopify with a 14-day free trial now!)
6. Store Analytics
Analytics are important for understanding your store’s progress. You can use them to figure out the effectiveness of your marketing strategies and then accordingly optimize them to generate more sales.
Here are the various analytics that you can see using Shopify:
On the main analytics dashboard, you’ll be able to get an overview of your store’s performance for a specific period.
The metrics you’ll be able to track are the total number of sessions, sales, returning user rate, average order value (AOV), conversion rate, total orders, and more.
Using this data, you’ll be able to find your ROI with ease.
Shopify makes it easy for ecommerce store owners to create reports to understand and report store performance.
There are numerous reports that you can generate with a single click or you can choose to create a custom report based on the parameters you want to check.
3. Live View
Apart from your historical metrics, you can also see the live performance of your store in real-time.
Apart from the various metrics, Shopify has also made this report interactive by adding the world map. You can see where your customers are coming from in real-time on the map. Pretty cool, right?
7. Marketing Options
You can’t expect your store to perform well and generate sales without any marketing. You need to leverage SEO, social media marketing, email marketing, and other channels to get people to buy from you.
You also need to track your marketing performance.
All of these can be found under the marketing options. Let’s take a quick look at them…
This section helps you figure out how your ecommerce store is faring when it comes to marketing. You can see metrics such as the total visitors, orders, and sales from marketing campaigns, and the marketing cost.
You can also see the recent marketing campaigns that you’ve launched.
(Set up your ecommerce store with Shopify today!)
Shopify lets you create marketing campaigns without going anywhere else. You can build email campaigns, launch Facebook ads, or even advertise on Snapchat, among other things.
These features help you reach a wider audience right from within Shopify so that you can drive greater sales.
In addition to traditional marketing campaigns, Shopify also helps you do marketing automation to engage your customers and drive them further into your sales funnel.
What can you do?
You can send tailored SMS, messages, and even automated reminders to get your customers to buy from you. It’s also possible to launch a Google Smart Shopping campaign from here.
Discounts can be instrumental in driving sales for your ecommerce store. They can attract those who are looking to buy your products but are concerned about the pricing. When the pricing is slashed, they’ll likely buy from you.
Just like BigCommerce, Shopify allows you to create two types of discounts — discount codes and automatic discounts.
Discount codes can be applied manually by the customers while automatic discounts will be directly applied while checking out.
And the best part?
You can select the type of discount as well. There are numerous types available such as percentage, fixed amount, free shipping, and buy X get Y.
(Get these and more features with Shopify. Try it now.)
9. Shopify Apps
Finally, one of the best features offered by the Shopify platform is that of Shopify apps.
The Shopify App feature makes Shopify stand out from the rest of the competitors because you can add as much functionality to your store as you want using Shopify apps.
The Shopify App Store has hundreds of thousands of third-party apps from which you can choose the ones that are best suited for your brand.
And that’s not all…
You can choose between both free and paid apps based on your budget and Shopify App requirements.
When it comes to customer support, Shopify fares extremely well too. The Shopify customer support team is available 24/7 through email, phone, and live chat.
There’s also a great community and numerous help documents that you can refer to.
What Do Their Customers Say About Them?
Q1. Can I use my own domain name?
BigCommerce – Yes, it’s possible to use your domain name for your store.
Shopify – Yes, Shopify allows you to use your custom domain name for your store.
Q2. Is a credit card required when signing up for a free trial?
BigCommerce – Yes.
Shopify – Yes.
Q3. How long is the free trial period?
BigCommerce – 30 days with our link
Shopify – 14 days
Q4. Can I edit my subscription plan as per my requirements?
BigCommerce – Yes, it’s possible to change your subscription plan with ease. You will be charged on a prorated basis for the plan upgrade.
However, to downgrade, you would have to check your eligibility based on your GMV (Gross Merchandise Value).
Shopify – Yes, you can change your plan on Shopify too. The cost will be prorated based on the current plan and the one you’re choosing.
It’s also possible to downgrade your plan and you’ll receive subscription credit on a prorated basis.
Q5. Do I need to purchase my own SSL certificate?
BigCommerce – No, BigCommerce provides a free SSL certificate for your website.
Shopify – No, Shopify offers a free SSL certificate for your ecommerce store.
Q6. Do these platforms charge transaction fees?
A. BigCommerce – No, BigCommerce doesn’t charge any transaction fees on popular payment gateways. However, debit and credit card rates are 2.9%+$0.30 per transaction.
Shopify – Yes, Shopify does charge transaction fees based on your plan if you don’t use Shopify Payments.
- Basic Shopify plan: 2%
- Shopify plan: 1%
- Advanced Shopify plan: 0.5%
Q7. What is the refund policy and how do I get a refund?
A. BigCommerce – No, BigCommerce doesn’t offer any refunds. You can cancel anytime without a refund.
Shopify – Shopify doesn’t issue refunds. You can get the free trial, but beyond that, no refunds are offered.
Q8. Is there an option to get a customized plan?
A. BigCommerce – Yes, the Enterprise plan is a custom plan for which you can contact their team.
Shopify – Yes, Shopify does offer custom plans and it’s the Shopify Plus plan.
Q9. Is Shopify better than BigCommerce?
A. No, Shopify and BigCommerce are both very powerful ecommerce platforms that let you launch your store online.
They also offer similar pricing models and features, which makes them equal. The better one of the two depends on your requirements and preferences.
Q10. Which is the best ecommerce platform?
A. BigCommerce and Shopify are two of the biggest and most popular ecommerce platforms. Some of the other top platforms are WooCommerce, Magento, and Wix eCommerce.
BigCommerce Vs. Shopify: What's the Final Verdict?
As you can see, I’ve covered and compared all the major features on offer in this BigCommerce vs Shopify review.
These platforms have also been the favorites of ecommerce business owners and offer website builder features that are pretty much the same.
While Shopify does enjoy a significantly larger customer base, BigCommerce is a formidable competitor that has become popular too.
So, which one’s the best ecommerce platform?
Well, if you ask me, each platform has its own pros and cons, and really, you can establish your online business on either of them. Given that they have the same features and work smoothly, it’s impossible to declare a clear winner.
In the end, it’ll all come down to which platform you feel comfortable using, and for me it was BigCommerce. But to figure that out for yourself, I’d recommend opting for their free trials below and experiencing them first hand.