Both Shopify and BigCommerce are popular ecommerce platforms. They both help in setting up online stores where people can select products, add them to cart, pay for them and opt for shipping. Both of these software run on browsers. So you don’t need to install anything on your computer. They are identical in many respects. However, when it comes to choosing one over the other, you need to do a comparison of the two in terms of the parameters that matter to you the most. The most important parameters that influence selection of a online store builder are – price, features, apps, payment systems, transaction fees for credit cards etc. Let’s us make a comparison between the two and see which one wins the battle for use as the most prolific ecommerce platform in USA.
Bigcommerce Standard plan vs Shopify Basic plan
Both BigCommerce and Shopify have multiple plans depending on the store size, number of stores, business volume etc. To draw a comparison between the two, you need to do a like-for-like comparison. In that context, a comparison between Shopify Basic and Bigcommerce Standard seem to be fair since the cost of the latter is just 95 cents more than the former.
Imposing a sales limit by ecommerce platforms in a defined pricing plan can be uncomfortable for most sellers. You have to keep track of your sales volume so that you don’t get alerts for upgrading the plan. The Shopify Basic plan doesn’t have a sales limit on its ecommerce platform. You can rest assured that howsoever high the sales figure be, you don’t need to upgrade the plan. However, BigCommerce imposes a sales limit of $50,000 per year in its Standard plan.
Abandoned Cart Saver
Some ecommerce platforms have an Abandoned Cart Saver feature. Shopify offers this features in its Basic plan. This feature automatically alerts people by email about carts left mid-way through transactions. This is nice piece of utility since it has the potential to further increase your sales. BigCommerce does not offer this feature in its Standard plan. It offers the same feature only in its $79.95 plan and upwards.
Many ecommerce platforms take a cut from merchants’ sales revenue. For BigCommerce users there is a big relief in this aspect. It does not impose any transaction fee in its Standard as well as other plans. Shopify too does not charge any transaction fee if you use Shopify’s own payments system for processing payments. If you use third party payment systems, which Shopify lets users do, you need to pay a transaction fee.
Credit Card Fees
Ecommerce platforms also charge a fee for using credit cards in POS systems. This charge is usually levied by the company which provides the systems to process credit card payments. If you use Shopify’s own payment system you need to pay 2.9% + 30c on every credit card transaction for online sales and 2.7% on retail or in-person sales through credit card. By contrast, the BigCommerce Standard plan credit card processing fee is 2.9% + 30c irrespective of online or offline sales. So that gives a slight edge to Shopify when it comes to in person or retail sales.
Most ecommerce platforms offer annual discounts if you pay your annual fees upfront. BigCommerce offers a 10% discount if you pay a years’ fees at a time. Shopify also offers similar discounts. However, Shopify goes a step further and offers a 20% discount if you pay two years fees upfront. That makes sense in view of prevailing interest rates.
Ratings And Review System
BigCommerce has a built-in ratings and review system for customers to use. Shopify does not have this. However, Shopify does have a free ratings and review app which you can integrate with the ecommerce platforms so that customers can use them. Shopify’s app ecosystem definitely comes to the aid of this ecommerce platform, whatever the feature requirement may be.
Shopify offers 10 free themes for its templates whereas Bigcommerce offers 7. Moreover, the themes in Shopify differ from each other significantly compared to BigCommerce themes. So you have the facility to opt for a diverse range of templates for different business niches with Shopify.
With Bigcommerce this facility is limited. In fact, there are many similarities between the 7 different free themes offered by BigCommerce. This brings down the number of unique themes to just 2 or 3. This can be a real hindrance in designing niche ecommerce platforms.