BigCommerce or Shopify: Which Is Better for Small Business?

BigCommerce and Shopify are among the most used platforms in the eCommerce industry. However, each platform has its pros and cons depending on the type of business. Even though both services offer useful features for the basic plans, Shopify does have a slight edge over BigCommerce for small businesses due to the usability and number of applications.

Pricing and value

Both platforms offer very similar pricing with $29 for the basic plan, $79 for the mid-tier, and $299 and more for the advanced plans. The Shopify and BigCommerce plans have some crucial differences in what you get for the standard plan for the small business. Shopify has transaction fees for every purchase outside the Shopify Payments system. Meanwhile, BigCommerce forces you to switch to the next-tier plan if your annual sales go over $50 000 annually. Nevertheless, Shopify has a unique plan called Shopify Lite, which provides the feature to add the buy button to your website and enable payment processing.

Features

Shopify and BigCommerce can provide all the essential features for the eCommerce operation. Comparing the basic features available for the customers, one may mention the cart abandonment tool available in the Basic Shopify plan. Moreover, the bigger selection of applications for Shopify and crucial integrations with the Facebook and Google Channels makes it more versatile. Another important advantage of Shopify is its own free Point of Sale application. Since Shopify has more out-of-box features, it is easier for small businesses to launch the store without extra expenses.  

Usability

Comparing the usability of Shopify and BigCommerce, one may mention that the interface of Shopify is more accessible and has a more straightforward design. Shopify would be easier to set up for the one who is just getting into eCommerce. Also, adding a product to a store in BigCommerce is a more complicated process.

The minimal interface of Shopify makes it preferable for shop owners with minimal experience with the technologies and other platforms.

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Themes

The variety of themes for BigCommerce and Shopify can fit the tone and purpose of every business. Besides the free themes, BigCommerce has a page builder that customizes the page layout without getting into code. Nevertheless, Shopify’s page builder became more detailed and customizable with the latest update. But if you do not want to design the store layout manually, the paid themes on both platforms provide a convenient user experience and designs that convert. Considering that the selection of themes is great across both platforms and both have page builders, one may say that they are equal in this category.

Final thoughts

Each platform offers features that are similar to each other in many categories. Meanwhile, the notion that BigCommerce limits annual sales makes it less preferable for small businesses that plan gradual scaling or just don’t need the additional features of the more expensive plan. Although paying extra transactional fees with Shopify might be a negative factor, it can be calculated into the item pricing. Additional fees should not be a problem for the countries that support Shopify Payments.

Luckily, BigCommerce and Shopify offer a trial period to try out all the features and decide which one fits your business needs.

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