Bigcommerce or Shopify?

Just how important is a strong foundation? A superior platform is vital to the success of an ecommerce business.   When shopping around the market, you can feel easily overwhelmed by the many different ecommerce platforms that are available.  This article evaluates two of the most well-known ecommerce platforms; BigCommerce and Shopify. Some of the evaluation criteria are pricing, support, customization, tools and overall.


Pricing plans

























The table above gives a good insight on where our two platforms stand in terms of pricing.  After observing the table, you will notice that the platforms are competitive to one another, but with the exception of the advanced tier.  BigCommerce monthly price will save a consumer $50 dollars up front, which amounts to $600 dollars annually. But the savings do not stop there.   

BigCommerce does not charge any transaction fees, in comparison to Shopify charges of 2.4%-2.9%(+ 0.30/transaction).   BigCommerce also provides lower credit card fees, and while merchants with low volume of sales may not notice any major savings, businesses with high volume definitely will.  But keep in mind, BigCommerce does require you to subscribe to the advanced plan if your store exceeds a certain number in sales. While this plan is still cheaper than that of Shopify, the latter has no such requirement.


A helpful and diligent support team is very important to run and maintain an ecommerce business. When something goes unexpectedly wrong with the platform it is critical to fix the problem in a fast and responsible manner to minimize the loss of revenue.  It is part of operating a business to run into such unforeseeable situations. Both Shopify and BigCommerce offer great community forums and tutorial resources. Each platforms offer live phone support – 24 hours a day as well. Both BigCommerce and Shopify understand how frustrating it is for the consumer to have a website down and so their support is of the utmost concern.


In 2018, a visually striking website is paramount to your business’ success.  Most of the preloaded themes as well as the ones you can buy from store marketplace are responsive and modern.  A well designed and thought out website that is fast and seamless is crucial for higher sale conversions. It is a smart move to invest early in a website that gives you to ability to see those higher conversions.  

When it comes to customizing your website, both BigCommerce and Shopify allow you adjust their templates quite extensively.   Overall changes to layout are easy to do in BigCommerce.

One thing to keep in mind is that Shopify is based on a programming language called Liquid.  This language allows the use of CSS, HTML and programming variables and operators. However, this could potentially negatively affect user ability.  It adds additional overhead of learning a new language, so finding someone skilled in numerous languages could be tricky. Also, making changes to the website will also take longer.


After the initial setup of your website, its growth should be closely observed.  Some tools such as gift cards or flash sales (seasonal sales) will help store owners manage mundane tasks and gain more profit.  While Shopify has a large selection of such apps on their marketplace, BigCommerce provides you with more tools “out of the box”. An option to add more advanced tools as needed is a very beneficial feature to have.


From reading the above sections we can see these platforms measure on different criteria.  As a business owner it is important to contemplate the requirements and features your website will need, and then comparing different platforms to choose one suitable to your needs.  Other important criteria such as payment gateways, analytics and overall criteria will be evaluated in this section.

BigCommerce allows a business owner accept online payments with their choice of provider, allowing integration with over 65 different processors.  While you may choose your own processor with Shopify, you will be charged a 1% fee for doing so.

When we are able to take into account a list of pros and cons of each platform, it is true time and time again that BigCommerce will be a better investment for many businesses than Shopify.