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Based on weighted criteria below
Low Pricing icon

Low Pricing (weighted 11%)

Shopify

9 USD/ month + 2.9% + 30¢ credit card fees
Unlimited products, no online store, Shopify Buy button, manual order creation, discount codes.

29 USD/ month + 2.9% + 30¢ credit card fees
Unlimited products, online store, website and blog, Pinterest Buyable Pins, discount codes.

79 USD/ month + 2.6% + 30¢ credit card fees
Unlimited products, online store, Facebook, Pinterest, website and blog, gift cards, professional reports, abandoned cart recovery.

299 USD/ month + 2.4% + 30¢ credit card fees
Unlimited products, online store, Facebook, Pinterest, website and blog, gift cards, professional reports, abandoned cart recovery, advanced report builder, real-time carrier shipping.

No transaction fees for all plans, 14 day free trial, unlimited storage for all plans, point of sale and retail package included, along with 24/7 support, fraud analysis and manual order creation and discount codes.

BigCommerce

29.95 USD/ month + 1.5% transaction fee
Unlimited products, bandwidth and storage, reporting tools, accepts PayPal and credit cards, social media integration, coupon codes, timed promotions, discounting rules, checkout not hosted on your domain.

79.95 USD/ month
Unlimited products, no transaction fees, real-time carrier shipping, best in class payment providers, abandoned cart saver, omni-channel sales tools, advanced customer segmentation, checkout hosted on your domain, pricing rules and groups, eBay listings, shopping comparison sites and everything included in the previous plan.

199.95 USD/ month
You get everything from the previous plan, high volume security and analytics, fraud monitoring and product filtering.

Custom Pricing for Enterprise Plan
Unlimited products, no transaction fees, Google trusted stores integration, sitewide HTTPS for improved SEO, product filtering, priority support, dedicated account manager, uptime SLA, API support and everything included in the previous plans.

Mobile friendly, 24/7 support, web-based theme editor, trackable coupon codes, time-limited promotions, discounting rules, 15 day free trial, unlimited products, storage and bandwidth for all plans, powerful reporting tools, accept credit cards and PayPal. Save 10% when you pay annually.

Design icon

Design (weighted 11%)

Shopify

With 21 free themes and about 116 to buy, Shopify offers a few more themes than Bigcommerce. There once was a time when their templates overshadowed those of Bigcommerce, but both companies are now leading the way with beautiful templates. There are a lot of options to adapt the themes without changing the HTML/CSS. It's also possible to edit the HTML/CSS files directly in the browser. An FTP account is not provided, but accessing and modifying the HTML and CSS is rather easy in both programs.

BigCommerce

Bigcommerce has about 16 free and 42 paid theme designs. The themes quality is just as good, if not better than Shopify, and it's easier to search and locate a viable option. Similar its counterpart, you can modify HTML and CSS files directly from the browser. In addition, it provides an FTP connection, whereas Shopify does not.

Frontend Features icon

Frontend Features (weighted 11%)

Shopify

To start, you get mobile responsive layouts. It also provides an elegant checkout system and minimalist shops for customers to move through the process quickly. Depending on your plan you receive direct Facebook and Pinterest integration, a Shopify Buy button and a simple point of sale, which would be considered a frontend feature if you run a brick and mortar shop.

A website and blog are included, as long as you don't go with the cheapest plan. Along with gift cards, real-time carrier shipping and discount codes, the frontend is reliable, but not too cluttered. Note: Shopify does not provide a true customer profile like Bigcommerce does. The display of an order status requires an additional app (3 to 9 USD per month). Returns require an additional app.

BigCommerce

The frontend is more sophisticated, but it's also not as clean as most would consider Shopify's frontend. Features like image zoom, similar products and reviews are all included, while it also has mobile designs, social media integration, a built-in blog for every plan, gifting options and an area for people to punch in coupon codes. Depending on the plan you choose, you get powerful ways to guide customers through the store, such as live chat, product search, product filtering and wishlists.

Bigcommerce is more about including built-in features for frontend functionality, while Shopify lets you pick and choose the apps you need. Both have tons of payment processor options, so you can help your customers out with the easiest solutions. Keep in mind, translation features are severely lacking in both, but each offers workarounds that may require technical knowledge.

Backend Features icon

Backend Features (weighted 11%)

Shopify

The backend is extremely easy to manage, since the interface is quite clear and the company keeps the options to a minimum, while also hiding some more advanced features for those developers who want to get in there and customize code. The Shopify dashboard looks similar to the WordPress backend, making it useful for those who have worked with WordPress.

Looking at the dashboard, you can see tabs for general settings, payments, checkout, shipping, taxes, notifications, gift cards and more. Site files are also accessible and somewhat easy to modify. You'll also find direct links to theme and app stores, and custom support modules. The setup process is outlined in a step-by-step outline once you land on the page, making it nearly impossible to screw up.

When adding a product you can see a few tabs for uploading a product, managing inventory, creating collections and generating gift cards. Along with that, the product page offers fields for product types, vendors, collections, tags and pricing. SEO tools, inventory, shipping and imagery are also packed into the product page.

BigCommerce

Upon landing on the backend of the Bigcommerce dashboard you'll be prompted to take a comprehensive tour, which is nice for those who are new to the system. In addition, the dashboard actually looks rather similar to that of Shopify (and WordPress,) making it quick and easy to navigate around.

The tabs are all to the left and some of them include options for orders, products, customers, content, marketing and analytics. The best part is that the system has a list of key tasks that you should complete to get your store running. For example, you would choose a theme, start accepting credit cards and uploading products. The area to upload products has more features in Bigcommerce than it does in Shopify, and it's fairly clear where to go since the product pages have tabs for things like details, images, videos, inventory, custom fields and bulk pricing.

Although you can generally complete the same product upload tasks with Shopify, many of the features you would generally have to use apps for are built in to the system. So, it has more backend features, but if your store is only featuring a few products, with minimal details, you may find it a bit overwhelming, or unnecessary.

 

Marketing icon

Marketing (weighted 11%)

Shopify

SEO

SEO is pretty cut and dry, with editable title tags, meta descriptions and URLs for every page. Alt tags and editable image files are also available, and the system automatically generates robots.txt and sitemap.xml files, which are great for pinging search engines. Canonical URL tags are automatically generated, which helps with stopping duplicate content. Although SEO is not as robust, the basics are there and you can expand with apps.

Social Media

Several free apps are available for you to implement social media sharing and linking buttons on your store. Not as much is built in like it is with Bigcommerce, but this gives you the freedom to choose your own app, customize it and select where you want the buttons to show up. Sell products on Facebook and with the Pinterest Buy button without having to go through a completely different app.

Newsletter

Although it's not that intuitive, you do have the ability to setup a newsletter signup form. This works similar to how you would create a general page, and it integrates quite well with some of the bigger solutions like MailChimp. If you can't find what you're looking for, the app store provides plenty of newsletter solutions.

Built-in promotion options

Shopify used to only offer an integrated discount system, but it has improved by providing solutions for discount codes and gift cards. Once again, with the app store, your options are endless, but in terms of built-in promotional technology, Bigcommerce has more.

Support of other selling channels

The platform allows merchants a chance to also sell through Google Products, but it's not exactly the easiest implementation process. Various other apps helps you expand to other markets like Amazon and eBay, but the built-in opportunities for selling on other channels are not as good as Bigcommerce.

BigCommerce

SEO

The Bigcommerce SEO options are as powerful as you can find, with sitemap and robots.txt generation, product specific SEO keywords and image descriptions. Similar to Shopify, you can include and modify title and header tags, meta descriptions, and even make search engine friendly links. All themes are built for the search engines, and you get some advanced functionality like microdata, reviews, Google Shopping integration, 301 redirects, files hosted on fast CDNs and more.

Social Media

Bigcommerce has a built-in Facebook Like button that you can publish on the product pages. It supports Facebook OpenGraph. Additionally you can sell products directly on Facebook. The Facebook selling goes through a program called SocialShop, which is simple to setup and understand. The only unfortunate part is that the selling integration options seem to end there. If you'd like to sell with Twitter, Pinterest or other platforms, Shopify is the winner.

Newsletter

Bigcommerce doesn't have a built-in newsletter but it integrates with MailChimp and iContact. You can export the customers that subscribed for your newsletter as a CSV and import it to other newsletter systems. This is similar to in both platforms, but it's not that bad considering the primary newsletter services are supported. You can even choose things like double opt-ins, welcome emails and a newsletter popup and check box.

Built-in promotion options

Bigcommerce has gifting options for things like certificates and wrapping, along with time-limited promotions, which cut down on the work you have to do. A discounting rules engine is more powerful than that of Shopify, and the pricing rules help tie into the comparison features for people to feel like they're getting good deals.

Support of other selling channels

Selling through other channels is highly supported, with the option to sell through Google Products with a few clicks of the button. Depending on your plan you can also get a Google Trusted Stores integration. Amazon integrations are supported, and you also receive access to eBay listings. A few other markets are offered through the app store, but the main ones are included with Bigcommerce.

Statistics icon

Statistics (weighted 11%)

Shopify

Built-in statistics are a strong point, since you receive various reports with analytics and stats for managing the health of your online store. View gross sales by product title, product variant SKU and traffic referrer source. Order sales are broken down by hour, billing address, channel and more. Payment stats are shown by method and channel, and you can even run a complete website cart analysis. Traffic is measured by referrer, device, location, landing page and UTM campaign.

BigCommerce

Statistics are pretty solid, offering a store overview, order report and abandoned cart analytics. View how each product is performing and where the traffic is coming from for those products, and even run reports based on the customers that visit your store. Bigcommerce and Shopify are simply different in the metrics they put more weight on, but they both provide the essentials.

Hosting & Security icon

Hosting & Security (weighted 11%)

Shopify

Shopify offers hosting that comes included with your ecommerce plan. This also provides a domain name, Level 1 PCI Compliance and a powerful content delivery network for speeding up your site. Automatic backups and ServerCentral hosting (enterprise level) is included.

 

BigCommerce

The platform comes in strong with hosting and security, since it has enterprise level security through its included hosting platform. The hosting provides a domain name, CMS, shopping cart, product catalog and CRM. Your hosting runs on SAS 70 Type II certified servers, and the Level 1 PCI compliance protects you from hackers.

Extensibility icon

Extensibility (weighted 11%)

Shopify

Shopify has an app store with hundreds of add-ons (http://apps.shopify.com) to extend your shop. The store is the huge benefit you receive, since it's the biggest one on the market. From apps for marketing to apps for accounting, they are easy to install and take just a few minutes to get up and running. Some of them you have to pay for, but many are free.

BigCommerce

Bigcommerce also offers a large app store (http://apps.bigcommerce.com), but it still hasn't, and probably never will, catch up to that of Shopify. The apps take a few minutes to setup, and lots of documentation is available for you to run them.

Support icon

Support (weighted 11%)

Shopify

Shopify provides 24/7, similar to Bigcommerce, but the blog and Ecommerce University are some of the best support documents you can find online for ecommerce stores. Along with robust forums, a knowledge base, a constantly updated blog and live chat, the options are endless for contacting support.

BigCommerce

Receive 24/7 support, with options for live chatting, emailing, calling in and chatting on the forum. The blog is rather helpful and you can also create or view a case in the knowledge base.