1. Storefront Design
Shopify Themes – 138 premium themes and 24 free themes
Shopify wins hands down thanks to its professional, inviting and eye-catching user interface. There is a team of professional designers to build these thems independently so the designs always look fresh and modern. However, the biggest drawback is its high costs. For a premium theme, the cost will range from 100$ to 180$. It seems to be costly at first but remember that the price is corresponding to the value of the theme bringing to your store and this is a 1-time investment (no recurring monthly payments). With Shopify, your stores will possess the elegant beauty, which can draw customers’ interest and keep them stay longer to browse around, meaning there is a higher chance of making a boom in sales.
BigCommerce Themes – 76 premium themes and 7 free theme
The good news is that BigCommerce owns over decent looking themes. However, to be honest, the storefront of BigCommerce is quite old-fashion and not special enough to amaze customers’ attention at once compared to Shopify. Only since 23rd March 2016, BigCommerce has been updated the old themes and released 67 new ones with the price range from 145$ to 235$. The design of new themes is improved to become more modern and bring users smoother experience. We can see that BigCommerce is trying very hard to shrink the big difference in theme design with Shopify.
In summary, we still recommend you to put your trust in Shopify design since it has long firm reputation and owns much more stunning themes which can easily satisfy a wide range of tastes. But does it means that BigCommerce shouldn’t be given the chance to have a look? No! BigCommerce is in its right way to get better approach and promise that it will be a prospective competitor in terms of shopping cart software provider in the future.
2. E-Commerce tools
It is no doubt that powerful sell tools, like manage inventory, showcase products, set prices, taxes or payment gateways are always one of first-hand concerns for many merchants. Luckily, either Shopify or BigCommerce is integrated fundamental e-commerce tools to run business. But if you want to boost your business to sell more, you need to equip your store with additional apps, which comes to slight difference between these two platforms.
Shopify Apps Store – +1200 apps
Shopify offers you an ocean of really awesome advanced tools in terms of Marketing, Sales, Social Media, Shipping, Inventory, Accounting, Customer Service, Reporting, Tools and Sales Channels. As applying these Shopify apps, you will see an impressive traffic to your store, meaning the sales could dramatically increase. They have a free trial period for 30 days to test them in advance and if you want to use these apps further, you do have to buy them and pay fixed monthly fee for each one separately because they are not included in basic packages. However, some shopping cart platform builders now offer you huge benefits. To be more detailed, Shopify themes are already built with some powerful Shopify apps, which are free to use in 1 YEAR and of course, you sill have to stick to monthly payment after that.
BigCommerce Apps store – around 300 apps
BigCommerce is also a generous platform when providing you a complete set of tools. They also provide advanced features, which you can find in some famous websites like Ebay, allowing you to set up your store amazingly but there is still monthly fee. There are some apps for free trial in several days. By this criterion, BigCommerce just scores one point.
Overall, BigCommerce is doing better job in providing a bit more advanced tools in their monthly packages but Shopify definitely can support you in building a fully functional store.
3. Supported team
When starting an online shop, you can’t avoid encountering technical problems with the template. The point is you need to be given good technical supports quickly and fully in order not to interrupt the launch of your shop so it’s very critical to have a back-end supported team that is available at all times. By this criterion, both Shopify and BigCommerce provide intuitive tuitorial materials in their website, which have clear instruction and visual screenshots to follow.
Don’t worry. Both Shopify and BigCommerce have a team of experts and ready 24/7 to support you through phone call, Live Chart or Email. All responses will be sent back to you quickly and fully.
Hundreds of qualified and skillful Shopify experts are available, which are much more than BigCommerce. Also, they list out experts, which are geographically closet to you so in case you want to have face-to-face meeting, you can request so. Also, the price of set-up starts at 500$, which allows you to focus on the quality of the service and not to have to concern about negotiating for the price.
There are fewer experts in BigCommerce compared to Shopify. Moreover, if you use basic service, these experts are free to quote the price, which can make you feel confused.
- Shopify and BigCommerce: Pricing per month
Shopify also offer “Lite Plan” of 9$/month, but you can’t buy this package to start building the first store. Actually, the “Lite” plan is suitable for those, who have already have website (for example WordPress, Wix, Weebly, Squarespace, Blogger, Tumblr, Drupal and Joomla) but just need e-commerce add-on to easily convert their website into an online store by adding Shopify Buy Button. If you need to build a new e-commerce store, you will have to start with one of 3 packages: Basic Shopify, Shopify or Advanced Shopify.
With Enterprise Plan, BigCommerce team will help you custom the theme and the price is based on how the template is configured. Of course, you will be given priority to get support.
The price of BigCommerce Standard Plan is just little higher than Basic Shopify (29.95$/month and 29$/month in order) and there is also slightly differcence in the features in which BigCommerce provides these 3 things but Shopify doesn’t: Gift-card, A built-in ratings and review system and Real-time carrier quotes
- Transaction fees
Shopify charges different levels of transaction fees (Lite 2%, Basic Shopify 2%, Shopify 1%, Advanced Shopify 0.5%). However, NO transaction fee is applied if you use Shopify payment gateway, which is easier for you to control your cashflow.
As for BigCommerce, NO transaction fee is charged by BigCommerce, allowing merchants to keep more profits.
- Credit Card fees
Credit Card fee is applied to all shopping cart software providers since credit card fee is charged by the third-party credit card companies.
Shopify (per transaction)
|Shopify Lite: 2.2% + 0.3$||Shopify Lite: 2.7%|
|Basic Shopify: 2.9% + 0.3$||Basic Shopify: 2.7%|
|Shopify: 2.6% + 0.3$||Shopify: 2.4%|
|Advanced Shopify: 2.4% + 0.3$||Advanced Shopify: 2.2%|
BigCommerce (per transaction)
- Standard: 2.9% + 0.3$
- Plus: 2.5% + 0.3$
- Pro: 2.2% + 0.3$
- Enterprise: 2.2% + 0.3$
There is slight difference in transaction fee between Shopify and BigCommerce so merchants, who sell low volumes, don’t have to worry too much but those, who have big sales volumes should care.
- Sale limits
For Shopify, there is no limit applied to Shopify sales – A HUGE advantage!!!
For BigCommerce, Enterprise plan is not limited, but the answer is yes for the rest. There are 2 kinds of limit, Sales Dollars Threshold and Sales Orders Threshold
Sales Dollars Threshold
If you are using the Standard plan, once you reach over $50,000 in sales over the previous 12 months, you will need to upgrade to the Plus plan. If you exceed 125,000$ in sales over the previous 12 months, you will need to upgrade to Pro plan.
Sales Orders Threshold
For the Pro plan, if you exceed 3000 sales transaction over the previous 12 months, the next 1000 orders will cost you an additional 80$/month. For example, if you get an additional 3000 sales, you will need to pay 240$ (80$x3)/month.
In summary, if you run a large-scale online shop, 3000 orders over 1 year is totally possible to reach (just equivalent to 8.2 transactions per day). In case you run a business, which has a big volume of sales but the price is low, the monthly fee can be a big problem to your profit. Transparently, Shopify gain hands-downs favorite compared to BigCommerce.
- Annual discount
10% discount is offered to both BigCommerce and Shopify if you pay upfront for 1 year. Shopify additionally give you 20% discount if you pay 2 years in advance.