BigCommerce VS WooCommerce

While choosing an eCommerce platform to open an online store, merchants are faced with many options and need help deciding which platform could be the best fit for their needs. Among the options, most merchants probably considered choosing the WooCommerce plugin for WordPress or one of the biggest SaaS eCommerce platforms — BigCommerce. In this regard, we will examine the pros and cons of each platform.

BigCommerce: Review

BigCommerce Storefront Design. BigCommerce

BigCommerce is one of the most recognized eCommerce platforms for merchants who want to manage their online stores from one place and do not worry about the technical aspects and hosting. SaaS solutions like BigCommerce are designed to allow merchants to create, manage, receive payments, and promote online stores with the help of the platform’s resources. The users have to pay only a monthly fee and pay for the plugins that provide additional features. In our article “What is BigCommerce?” We explore the platform in more detail and discuss what type of business would benefit the most from it. Nevertheless, compared to other platforms and open-source options like WooCommerce, it is important to point out the pros and cons for the comparison to understand BigCommerce better. 

Pros of BigCommerce

  • Easy to launch and manage. SaaS platforms imply that a merchant just needs to choose a theme, set up products, and enter payment information. By paying a monthly fee, BigCommerce provides the tools and hosting for convenient and smooth customizability. 
  • No transaction fees. BigCommerce does not charge any additional fees for the transactions, and it can be a significant benefit for stores with different volumes of sales. 
  • Suitable for large-scale business. As the name suggests, BigCommerce is the most compatible with “big” businesses, which have many products, categories, etc. 
  • Technical support. Since SaaS platforms are responsible for the smooth running of their services, a merchant can address any question to the support team.

Cons of BigCommerce

  •  Limit on the sales. Every subscription plan has its sales cap. For instance, the standard plan limits merchants to $50K per year. If merchants cross $50K in sales, they have to switch to the next-tier plan. This consideration might be very problematic for the high-performing stores that do not require many features from the premium plans because of the type of business.
  • Limited Customization. Unlike open-source platforms, there are limited opportunities to change the significant features or frontend of a store to fit very specific needs. Even the allowed degree of customization is complicated (because it is tied to the technical ecosystem of the platform) and does not guarantee that you can customize the desired elements.
  • Modest selection of plugins. Although BigCommerce offers additional tools to boost conversion, gather analytics, and improve a store’s performance, the selection is just not big enough to compete with platforms like Shopify or open-source platforms where developers can implement any solution.

WooCommerce: Review

Photo by Rubaitul Azad on Unsplash

Unlike BigCommerce, WooCommerce is a plugin which offers the functionalities of an online store for sites built on the open-source platform WordPress. That is why, to create a WooCommerce store, a merchant has to build a WordPress site (or hire a developer), install a WooCommerce plugin, and take care of the hosting. However, WooCommerce provides a significant amount of tools and extensions which would make the management of an eCommerce site more convenient and productive. Also, the site builders for WooCommerce and features can be compared to the big-name platforms in the eCommerce industry. The primary notion remains the fact that an online store on WooCommerce can be customized as a merchant wants due to the open-source nature of the platform. 

Pros of WooCommerce

  • It is a cheap solution. WooCommerce and WordPress are free as long as you do not require premium features. However, there are still a number of free plugins and themes that are free. Even though the free options might not be satisfying, the cost of making a WooCommerce site is usually lower than other eCommerce platforms.
  • Easy to use admin dashboard. WooCommerce plugin actually provides a convenient admin dashboard to manage the store or implement the customization that is available with the plugin. 
  • Customization opportunities. For advanced users or merchants who work with a team of developers that make an online store for them, it is possible to implement any feature or customize the frontend of a store as they wish. All this is possible due to the fact it is an open-source platform.
  • Community. Considering the huge number of people using WordPress and WooCommrece as a plugin for it, there are thousands of developers on forums that can help with solving any issue or finding the best solution for a store. Most of the problems that people face with WordPress have already been discussed and solved in the community. Also, this notion means that many WordPress developers who have experience with this platform are available for hire.

Free WooCommerce Extensions. WooCommerce Extensions Store

Cons of WooCommerce

  • Requires technical proficiency. It is almost impossible to set up and launch a WooCommerce store without the knowledge of how to deploy WordPress sites and buy hosting and domains. Also, the major customization requires coding experience and knowledge of how the platform works.
  • No dedicated technical support. Contrary to the SaaS platforms, WooCommerce does not have the support services to respond to the specific inquiries of the merchants. As a result, merchants need to find the solution by themselves or ask for the help of technical specialists.
  • Security concerns. Open-source platforms have always been vulnerable to cyber attacks. Criminals can interfere not only with the frontend of a site but also hack the database. Unfortunately, security breaches can lead to serious consequences for the merchants and even contribute to closing a store.

Bottom line

All in all, one may admit that both these platforms offer different approaches to launching online stores. BigCommerce is more about easy set up and integrated hosting. Meanwhile, the primary benefits of WooCommerce involve the endless customization capabilities and cost of making a website. Therefore, for merchants who want to launch their store without the help of developers and without getting into the technical aspects of an eCommerce store, BigCommerce could be the best solution. However, WooCommerce is the best option for merchants who expect specific features in the store and have a team of professionals who can set up a store and customize it.

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