E-Commerce Platforms: Shopify vs. BigCommerce

When it comes to building your e-commerce store, an early significant decision is which platform to build with. This pivotal question could significantly affect just about everything about your store, from how quickly it can be developed to how much you pay in processing fees.

Two of the biggest names in e-commerce platforms are Shopify and BigCommerce. Both platforms are quite mature, having been established roughly a decade ago, and both offer a solid choice on which to build your store. So if this is such an important decision, how do you choose between these two options? Like anything, they each have pros and cons depending on your specific situation, so let's break down their differences.

Before we get started, though, it's important to acknowledge that there are many other options for hosting your store. Starter platforms such as SquareSpace and Wix are fine when your business is just you and your garage; they look great and are easy to set up, but they don't scale well and eventually you'll grow out of them. Woocommerce is another popular option for smaller companies, and it plugs directly into WordPress. From a functionality and usability point of view that, that can be both a pro and a con since WordPress isn't always the easiest platform to work on. On the other end of the spectrum, systems like Demandware offer lots of flexibility, but they have a price tag to match, both in terms of the actual licensing cost, as well as the additional time you'll need to pay a developer to code for it.

Our sweet spot for today is right in the middle...sites that have expanded past hobby stage, but are certainly not enterprise. It's in this large middle section that Shopify and BigCommerce excel. We'll consider the most middle of these plans, the $79 plan from each provider.

Transaction Fees2.9-4.9% + 30 cents$0
99 variants per product
600 variants per product
Staff Accounts5Unlimited
Manual OrdersYesYes
Promo/Discount CodesYesYes
Recover Abandoned CartsYesYes
Apple Pay/Google Pay/Amazon PayYesYes
Real-Time Shipping QuotesNoYes
Shipping Courier DiscountsUp to 72%Up to 66%
Professional ReportsYesYes
Ratings and ReviewsWith appYes
Gift CardsYesYes
Fraud ToolsYesNo

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Empower Ideas, LLC
Empower Ideas is a digital marketing agency focused on building custom websites and e-commerce stores. We also offer branding development, logo design, growth marketing services, and more.

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