Shopify vs BigCommerce Comparison 2020: Which is Best?

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Ante Rados
Ante Rados

Choosing the right platform for creating and running your eCommerce business is never easy. This is especially true when comparing these two eCommerce giants. I will tell you right away that they are more or less equally good. The choice between these two is mostly based on personal taste and preferences.

Both companies have an easy-to-use dashboard and excellent customer support and uptime. Most important of all, they are peerless when it comes to eCommerce features. It doesn’t matter if you want to create a small online store or a huge eCommerce enterprise, they’ve got you covered. So, what sets them apart?

Shopify has beautiful templates that can be customized extensively. Templates aren’t the only thing that can be customized, however. Shopify has a huge app market with over 4,000 apps, so you will be able to customize the functionality of your eCommerce website as well.

BigCommerce has its own strengths and doesn’t lag far behind Shopify when it comes to templates. BigCommerce makes the process of website creation a breeze with their drag and drop builder. They also have better SEO options than Shopify. By the end of this review, you should be able to choose between the two easily, so sit tight and enjoy the ride.

BigCommerce vs Shopify comparison

Shopify vs BigCommerce

In this review, I rated Shopify and BigCommerce in 10 different categories. In the end, I summed up their scores in individual categories and gave each of them an overall rating. You can read the whole review or jump to the category you are especially interested in. Just don’t forget to use the switch that toggles between the two eCommerce platforms.

Shopify or BigCommerce ease of use

Shopify
4.5/5

BigCommerce
4.5/5

Even the best eCommerce platform would be useless if it was too complicated to use. Luckily, both Shopify and BigCommerce take ease of use seriously, but there are a few differences between the two.

Shopify has a separate editing interface and dashboard for managing sales. You will have to jump back and forth when you start your store. As your store grows, the need for editing your website will reduce, while time spent on managing sales will increase. This makes Shopify excellent in the long run.

Users that have experience with using WordPress will feel at home with Shopify because Shopify uses a similar interface to WordPress.

BigCommerce relies on built-in features, while Shopify relies on the app market for adding functionality to your store. This makes Shopify’s interface cleaner and easier to navigate for beginners. As your store grows, you can add apps that will improve the functionality of your store. Such scalability makes Shopify easy for managing both small stores and huge eCommerce enterprises.

Shopify advantages
Clean interface
BigCommerce advantages
Drag and drop editor

Shopify vs BigCommerce website builder

Shopify
4.5/5

BigCommerce
5/5

When choosing an eCommerce platform, you probably want to know how good and simple to use is their website builder. You will be glad to know that Shopify vs BigCommerce website builder duel is a tough one because both platforms have excellent website builders.

Shopify’s website builder has a clean interface that feels similar to WordPress. The builder is armed with powerful eCommerce tools and capable of creating complex stores. Since Shopify relies on apps from the app market to expand on the functionality of your website, you will get a clean interface that is easy to navigate.

Once you create the skeleton of your website, you can easily upgrade it by adding some apps from the app market.

Shopify advantages
Clean interface
Similar to WordPress
BigCommerce advantages
Drag and drop builder
Numerous built-in features

Shopify and BigCommerce templates, themes and customizability

Shopify
5/5

BigCommerce
4/5

Shopify has eight free themes and 72 premium themes. All premium themes cost between $140 and $180 each. Both free and premium themes come with industry-specific features included. This is important to know when choosing a theme. It is better to choose a theme based on industry and edit the looks than the other way around.

You can customize both templates and sections. When you customize a template, all the changes will appear on all relevant pages on your website. With sections, customization options will vary on the section you select.

The good thing about Shopify templates is that you get access to numerous fonts with both free and premium templates.

This BigCommerce vs Shopify battle goes in favor of Shopify. Shopify has a smaller number of themes, but there are more differences between them. Shopify’s themes also have a better design out of the box.

Shopify advantages
Better template design
More fonts
Cheaper premium templates
BigCommerce advantages
Easier to customize templates

Compare BigCommerce or Shopify eCommerce features

Shopify
5/5

BigCommerce
5/5

Ecommerce features are the most important features for an online store. So, who has better eCommerce features, Shopify or BigCommerce?

One of the first things you will want to know before creating your online store is what payment gateways you will have access to. It is hard to compete with Shopify in this category because they support over 100 payment gateways, including cryptocurrencies. You can check out the full list here.

Shopify shines in product management. One of the great features Shopify supports is the option to create smart product collections. With this feature, you can set criteria for products you want in that collection, and Shopify will automatically add all your products that fit the criteria to the collection.

Both companies have support for abandoned cart recovery, selling in multiple currencies, options to set shipping rates, and all other basic features you would expect from a good eCommerce platform.

Shopify advantages
More payment gateways
Smart collections
BigCommerce advantages
More product options
Integrated support for customer data entry

Shopify vs BigCommerce SEO

Shopify
4/5

BigCommerce
4.5/5

Basic SEO features are something you expect to get from any hosting or eCommerce company out there. You would be surprised at how many companies don’t let you add meta titles, URL slugs and similar basic features. Fortunately, you get access to those features with Shopify.

If you are a blogger trying to decide whether to choose BigCommerce or Shopify for a small store you want to start, the answer is: you should choose neither of the two.

Both companies are geared for supporting all businesses of all sizes, but they are both lacking in the blogging department. For example, you won’t have access to most basic blogging features like blog-specific search features and social bookmarking.

Shopify advantages
Basic SEO features
BigCommerce advantages
Better integrated SEO features
Fully editable URLs
Create blog categories

BigCommerce and Shopify app stores

Shopify
5/5

BigCommerce
4.5/5

Shopify has a huge app store with over 4,000 apps. Apps are divided into categories and subcategories, so it is easy to find the app you need even if you don’t know the name of the app.

You can also search for apps by collections. In collections, you will find apps sorted based on a variety of criteria; for example, some collections are created for different stages of businesses and others are created to contain all apps that work with a certain feature.

Based on the size and versatility of the app stores, Shopify is the winner in this category.

Shopify advantages
4,000+ apps
BigCommerce advantages
Doesn’t rely on app market as much as Shopify

BigCommerce vs Shopify domain costs

Shopify
4.5/5

BigCommerce
4.5/5

Shopify is an eCommerce platform and a domain registrar, so you can get all the necessary services for your online store in one place.

Average domain prices range between $10 and $20. You can get cheaper domain registration with a third party domain registrar, but it is good to know that you can register a domain, create your store and host it with Shopify.

BigCommerce and Shopify customer support

Shopify
5/5

BigCommerce
5/5

Shopify has a phone, live chat and email support that are all available 24/7. Their support team is helpful, professional and quick to answer.

Based on the customer reviews of their support service, it is unlikely that you won’t be satisfied.

Shopify vs BigCommerce speed, uptime and reliability

Shopify
5/5

BigCommerce
5/5

This is another category you won’t have to worry about, no matter which one of the two you choose.

Shopify has 99.99% uptime and uses CDN so you can rest assured that your eCommerce website will be quite fast.

Shopify advantages
CDN
BigCommerce advantages
0.3 second average response time

Shopify vs BigCommerce pricing

Shopify
4.5/5

BigCommerce
4.5/5

Shopify has three plans with a big price difference between each of them. Here is the full list of features for each plan:
Basic Shopify: $29/month

  • Free SSL certificate
  • 2 staff accounts
  • 2.9% + $0.30 online credit card rate
  • 2.7% in-person credit card rate
  • 2% additional fee if you are not using Shopify Payments
  • Up to 64% shipping discount
  • Multi-channel integration
  • Manual order creation
  • Discount codes
  • Abandoned cart recovery
  • Gift cards
  • Print shipping labels
  • Shopify POS

Shopify: $79/month

  • All from the Basic Shopify Plan
  • 5 staff accounts
  • 1-5 store locations
  • 2.6% + $0.30 online credit card rate
  • 2.5% in-person credit card rate
  • 1% additional fee if you are not using Shopify Payments
  • Up to 72% shipping discount
  • USPS Priority Mail Cubic pricing
  • Professional reports

Advanced Shopify: $299/month

  • All from the Shopify plan
  • 15 staff accounts
  • Up to 8 store locations
  • 2.4% + $0.30 online credit card rate
  • 2.4% in-person credit card rate
  • 0.5% additional if you are not using Shopify Payments
  • Up to 74% shipping discount
  • USPS Priority Mail Cubic Pricing
  • Advanced report builder
  • Third-party calculated shipping rates

Like most of the previous categories, Shopfiy vs BigCommerce pricing duel results in a tie. Shopify and BigCommerce plans have almost the same prices and offer similar value. You should pay attention to all of the features that come in their plans and choose based on the features you need more.

Shopify advantages
Abandoned shopping cart recovery in the cheapest plan
BigCommerce advantages
Unlimited staff accounts in all plans

Shopify vs BigCommerce conclusion

The winner is Shopify!

I choose Shopify as an overall winner here, but BigCommerce isn’t far behind Shopify. It is actually outperforming it in some categories. They are equally good in most of the important aspects, but small details like better-designed templates and a wider selection of apps earned Shopify victory in this battle.

Shopify versus BigCommerce final score

Host Final ranking Discounts?
Shopify
Overall Score: 47/50
BigCommerce
Overall Score: 46.5/50

Shopify and BigCommerce FAQs

Shopify and BigCommerce are platforms you can use to create an eCommerce website. They are quite similar in features and pricing, but there are some minor differences. Shopify has better-designed templates and a bigger app market, while BigCommerce has better SEO support and more inbuilt features.
Shopify and BigCommerce are both excellent choices for creating an eCommerce website. Shopify is better when it comes to design and template customization, while BigCommerce is better for SEO. All advantages one has over the other are minor, so you should check specific features they offer before choosing one of the platforms.
Shopify supports more payment gateways than BigCommerce. With Shopify, you also get a feature for creating smart collections. On the other hand, BigCommerce has integrated support for 250 different product options and makes data entry easier for your customers. While each of them has better eCommerce features for specific types of eCommerce websites, their eCommerce features are equally good overall.
BigCommerce has a bigger choice of templates than Shopify. However, there is a smaller difference between BigCommerce’s templates, so Shopify’s selection of templates is actually more versatile. Shopify’s premium templates are also cheaper and better designed, so to answer the questions, yes, Shopify has better templates than BigCommerce.
Up until recently, Shopify was easier to use than BigCommerce. This changed when BigCommerce introduced a drag and drop editor. With this change, creating your website became easier with BigCommerce. Once you create a website, managing your sales will be equally easy no matter which of the two eCommerce platforms you choose.

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