What do BigCommerce and Shopify do
BigCommerce and Shopify are cloud-based solutions designed as online store builders that help businesses to sell items online and develop their stores. The platforms do not demand a large budget for store development. Both platforms provide a DIY, Do-It-Yourself, approach — pick a template, upload content, create product cards — you are all set!
Also, there is a trial period — you can use the platforms free for two weeks. Both platforms are 'Software as a Service' (SaaS) solutions, which means that you don’t have to install anything on your computer, as everything runs safely on the cloud. The only thing you need to operate your online store through these platforms is an internet connection.
The platforms allow you to kick off the launch of an online business from scratch in just a few days without any coding skills. In the beginning, setting up and running the site can be done by a non-technical person. Certainly, if you’re not an advanced user and need to add some special features to your stores, such as custom design, specific analytic reports or unique functionality — you need to hire a Shopify developer.
Let’s take a closer look at the platforms' functionality and differences, particularities of use, pricing models, range of plugins and SEO abilities, as well as marketing and selling features. Stay tuned and this article will help you to choose the right one for your e-commerce website.
Bigcommerce vs Shopify Main Features
Understanding the distinctive features will help you to define which, Shopify or BigCommerce, is better suited for your specific business needs and matches with the specific scenario and types of your users.
Shopify pricing plans
The platforms offer flexible pricing. The more advanced tariff plan you choose, the more extra tools you will be provided. The platforms maintain a system of discounts.
Shopify provides 5 pricing plans. Shopify’s prices, depending on the plan you choose, will be from $29 to $299 per month. Shopify has such payment options as Basic, Shopify for growing business, and Advanced. Also, Shopify provides a solution for high-volume merchants Shopify Plus. There is also Shopify Light (Shopify button), a tariff plan for quickly adding your products to any website or blog. The Shopify button can be added for $9 monthly. It will give direct-purchase excess to the item from any page. To help you decide on which tariff plan works best for you, Shopify offers a 14-day free trial period for its users.
BigCommerce pricing plans
The difference between Shopify and BigCommerce tariffs is less than 1$. You will pay from $29.95 to $299.95 monthly for BigCommerce’s usage. Four pricing options are available – Standard, Plus, Pro, and Enterprise. You can use a ‘Buy button‘ option at BigCommerce only after installation. 10% discounts will be available for you at Bigcommerce in case of choosing the annual base payments and paying upfront. You can check here to read about a 15-day free trial.
Here is an important note about scaling your business and sales with BigCommerce: for Standard and Plus Plans, e-store sales should less than $50,000 and $180,000 a year respectively. Then, if you sell more you’ll need to upgrade to the Pro Plan. The Pro Plan costs $299.95 if your store brings in no more than $450,000 a month. And, finally, you’ll pay at least $150 more per month for each additional $200,000 in sales.
Both solutions provide such a useful option as an ‘abandoned cart recovery’ feature. You can find it in Shopify’s Basic Plan and BigCommerce’s Plus Plan.
Comparing such additional options as theme prices, BigCommerce offers themes at a higher price than Shopify – the average price is $250-300, compared to the standard $180.
Both platforms do well with SEO. You can use the benefits of good SEO performance such as easy changing of page titles and meta descriptions, adding headings and alt text. You can also effortlessly manage redirects, which are important for search engines to identify your page after changing its URLs. Shopify even automatically prompts you to do that. Both platforms provide a free SSL certificate to get a high score in Google ranking systems. Comparing Bigc vs Shopify, BigCommerce is slightly ahead in SEO, as links can be made shorter and more readable.
By choosing either of the platforms, you can be sure you will get all the necessary tools for high-quality SEO optimization of your site. You can easily use as many keywords as you need, improve your titles and descriptions, optimize search engine bots and also prevent content duplication. However, it is important to note that getting good SEO results demands investing time or money in such parts of SEO strategy as link building, on-page SEO, and keyword research.
Both e-commerce solutions include an Application Programming Interface (API), which allows interacting with other software products. Both platforms provide a considerable scope for development and are equipped with a GraphQL API. This tool provides a more flexible way of configuring requests and helps to receive necessary data. Both of them can develop a third-party Storefront application using REST API and manage admin data, orders, products, and users.
In comparing Shopify and BigCommerce, the Shopify’s API has more benefits as it is described in detail and is easy to understand. It is not to mention that Shopify has a large community that helps to resolve issues quite fast. In our recent article, we have collected the technical and economical advantages of the headless Shopify approach that can help you to find more details on how to benefit from the Shopify platform.
Website loading speed
Speed is a highly important indicator that affects the development of your online business. This indicator is a key factor not only for a better user experience, but also for good search engine optimization. If each step takes more than a couple of seconds to load, you are at risk that your client will leave the website and never return.
Furthermore, Google too takes into account the website loading speed. Higher speed will help the store to appear higher in specific keyword search results and your store’s pages will be visible to every eye.
Shopify takes first place amongst the E-commerce platforms at this rate. Its average page load time is 1.3 seconds, while BigCommerce sites' average load time is 2.2 seconds.
You can find many E-commerce solutions that provide high-speed loadings only for additional payment. Shopify and BigCommerce provide good page loading speed even in basic plans.
Range of plugins
Both BigCommerce and Shopify propose a huge variety of plugins. Why do you need them? They will help you to:
Shopify has a slightly more mature third-party ecosystem. You can find nearly 4000 different plugins on Shopify, over 1500 of them are free. They will help to reduce the time on your daily tasks, add special features to your site, attract visitors and increase sales. However, their installation will make your speed lower, so choose only what you need.
BigCommerce is quite a young platform, so there are about 930 integrations only. Still, the main integrations of large companies such as Yotpo or TrustPilot exist for BigCommerce as well.
Merchants trust their business to Shopify and BigCommerce platforms. Speaking about well-developed communities, let’s also consider the market shares and domain of each platform.
When it comes to BigCommerce vs Shopify review, you can find broad community support at both platforms. They will help you to find answers on how to work with the platform, make customizations and improvements.
By choosing Shopify, you will be able to join a supportive community of designers, developers, and freelancers who are the experts on Shopify and ready to extend a helping hand. Now the community counts about one million users.
As for BigCommerce, this platform is rather young, but the community is already large enough to find answers quickly. The community is a useful option that helps to share experiences and discuss pain points with other users or developers. Shopkeepers can ask their questions, find answers to their issues, and participate in discussions.
In addition, the service of both platforms involves informing their customers about new products and the latest updates that have appeared or will appear in the near future. This will help you to keep your finger on the pulse and introduce new market-oriented solutions.
However, sometimes you can face challenging matters and need a consultation of an experienced developer. In our article “How to Create a Successful E-commerce Store?”, you will find many interesting facts about how to create a stable e-store that allows you to have competitive sales and stand out against the background of competitors.
Support is a useful tool that provides help and necessary information on all the features available on the platforms. You can find reliable online support on both platforms: 24/7 customer help, an online chat, and a customer support team by e-mail are available at BigCommerce and Shopify.
Platform employees are always ready to solve user problems. You will be able to contact BigCommerce or Shopify staff directly and receive advice on the questions you are interested in or learn about upcoming webinars that are held every month.
On a BigCommerce e-commerce website, everything is customer-friendly, and the “Help” button is easy to find. The only important thing you need to remember is your PIN because there is no chance to use it without registration. Without a PIN you can’t write, call, or chat to support. You can also browse video tutorials of BigCommerce Support Center for more information about the available tools. There is an extensive Enterprise plan for priority support. If you use this plan, you will benefit from an additional priority in counseling. You will get a personal counselor who will be available 24/7 to handle all the support and business development issues.
Shopify provides 24/7 support to its clients and can get a personal consultant if you choose the most expensive tariff plan. For each tariff plan, such options as mail, live chat, or phone are available. Shopify has a very active forum where you can find an answer to almost any question. The chat or phone options can be easily found.
Shopify has many advantages and if you are ready to continue to get acquainted with it, read our article “Benefits of Shopify for E-commerce Store Development”.
Is it easy to Use?
The Content Management System (CMS) of Shopify and BigCommerce is designed to meet customers' needs. First and foremost, both platforms use a straightforward content management system, modern website editor, and a clear dashboard. They are very similar in design and functionality. The dashboards have many tools and tips to simplify the usage.
Users find Shopify easier to use than Bigcommerce. With Shopify, adding products is as simple as filling out a quick form for each item. Plus, there are plenty of tips along the way, like this useful sales tip about comparing prices: