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BigCommerce vs Shopify:
Everything You Need to Know
(2023 Edition)

What’s Inside?

BigCommerce and Shopify are two major SaaS eCommerce platforms that enable businesses to launch and maintain online stores. These platforms, and their large feature sets, allow you to employ various tools while minimizing overhead and maintenance costs.

In this guide, we break down the features, benefits, drawbacks, and pricing of BigCommerce vs Shopify to help you identify the best eCommerce websites for your business needs.

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What’s Inside?

BigCommerce and Shopify are two major SaaS eCommerce platforms that enable businesses to launch and maintain online stores. These platforms, and their large feature sets, allow you to employ various tools while minimizing overhead and maintenance costs.

In this guide, we break down the features, benefits, drawbacks, and pricing of BigCommerce vs Shopify to help you identify the best eCommerce websites for your business needs.

About The Presenters

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Groove Commerce is a full-service agency that designs, builds and grows websites for leading eCommerce brands. Groove Commerce uses 5 Core eCommerce Metrics to build strategic and growth-driven partnerships. Groove Commerce is an Elite BigCommerce Partner, Platinum Klaviyo Partner and Diamond HubSpot Partner agency. 

Take A Look Inside "BigCommerce vs Shopify: Everything You Need To Know"

BigCommerce vs Shopify Features and Functionality

BigCommerce Features & Functionality

Founded in 2009, BigCommerce supports any size business. Small, mid-market, and enterprise brands are backed by a cloud-based infrastructure, advanced product management, and more.

BigCommerce Enterprise is built for mid-market and enterprise businesses, while BigCommerce Essentials is built for small businesses. Both accept various payment methods, integrate with applications, and systematize shipping. 

No matter the business size, small, mid-market, and enterprise brands are supported with BigCommerce. Request a demo here to learn how Groove’s certified BigCommerce design and development team can help turn your site into a conversion engine.

Customization & Themes

Brands without the need for custom design & development can get their online store live without expert intervention. For more mature brands, the ability to make your website unique by customizing your site’s content pages and checkout experience is there for the taking. The theme customization capabilities that BigCommerce offers are a great launching point for mid-market and Enterprise businesses. 

Brands can easily customize themes on BigCommerce using HTML, CSS, and Javascript to build off proven foundational themes, such as Cornerstone. On the other hand, smaller businesses can leverage free and premium fully responsive templates. BigCommerce’s intuitive Page Builder lets you change your site’s look with no coding required. 

Another key benefit of BigCommerce is that you can test your website locally before publishing it. Gone are the days of pushing changes live without being sure of how the result will render across devices.

Cloud-Based Hosting & Compliance

BigCommerce utilizes Cloudflare, so an external server is not required. Its cloud-based hosting offers high security, exceptional bandwidth, and incredibly fast speed. Its average connection time is under 10 milliseconds — which means faster page load times, improved conversion and better user experience.

With a 99.98% average uptime, BigCommerce is ISO/ IEC 27001:2013 & PCI DSS 3.2, Level 1 certified, which are some of the most stringent certifications available in the eCommerce industry. In layman’s terms, these certifications protect servers to keep your business advancing.

Full-Feature CMS

If you don’t have any coding experience, don’t fret. Included with BigCommerce is a full-feature CMS to keep your store up-to-date. Publish and see the changes you’ve made in real-time. The headless APIs facilitate integrations into your front-end CMS of choice, including custom-built solutions. Additionally, BigCommerce’s new Page Builder functionality helps brands build new pages faster and with more control.

Payment Management

When comparing BigCommerce vs Shopify, payment management is one area where they differ significantly. Major payment gateways such as PayPal, Google Pay, Apple Pay, and Amazon Pay are all accepted with BigCommerce. If your company accepts nonstandard payment methods such as Cryptocurrency, BigCommerce will not penalize you for it as Shopify does. 

As we mentioned above, merchants are additionally granted the ability to modify the one-page checkout experience that BigCommerce offers. As a simple modification, merchants could brand the experience with color palettes, iconography, and messaging to match the rest of their online store. On the more complex side, merchants could include a delivery date selection calendar to ensure customers are expecting the delivery of high-value or perishables goods. With BigCommerce’s fully customizable checkout, the possibilities are endless.

Mobile & SEO Optimization

From homepage to checkout, mobile responsiveness is natively supported through any BigCommerce Stencil template. Additionally, you can increase product reach by integrating BigCommerce with Google Merchant Console. Rank in organic search results with built-in SEO features, such as customizable and SEO-friendly URLs, out-of-the-box metadata, and robots.txt editing.

Omnichannel Selling with Feedonomics

Feed management is a large differentiator when comparing BigCommerce vs Shopify. Whether you want to sell on marketplaces, on social media, or in person, BigCommerce offers the ability to do so. BigCommerce is the only eCommerce platform with native integrations for Amazon, Meta (Facebook & Instagram), Walmart, eBay, Pinterest, TikTok, Snapchat, Microsoft, and Google Shopping.

Moreover, you can manage stock and customer orders from a single location with BigCommerce. Its complete inventory management system eliminates the need for third-party software and streamlines omnichannel sales. 

BigCommerce offers this added advantage to merchants with the help of Feedonomics, a cloud-based platform that helps online retailers optimize their product feeds for better visibility on multiple sales channels. By integrating with Feedonomics, BigCommerce users can improve the accuracy and consistency of their product data, leading to increased conversions and higher revenue.

In comparison, Shopify’s app store offers similar third-party integrations for multiple sales channels but lacks the native integrations that BigCommerce provides. Additionally, Shopify lacks the built-in inventory management system that BigCommerce offers, which can lead to additional costs for third-party software and less streamlined omnichannel sales.

Applications & Integrations

BigCommerce integrates with external applications and has an industry-leading selection of third-party apps and integrations. These apps can complement your store, but BigCommerce does not require external applications to function properly as Shopify does. Some of our favorite BigCommerce apps include:

Additionally, you can leverage customer and order data in HubSpot from your site with Groove Commerce’s BigCommerce & HubSpot Integration. With this integration, you can capture BigCommerce abandoned carts, target the right customers with personalized emails to follow-up post-purchase, tailor content, and provide offers to segmented leads while managing your data in bulk.

Robust APIs

The BigCommerce microservices architecture leverages high-performing RESTful APIs that support JSON media types while using UTF-8 character 14 encoding. The robust APIs built on top of this architecture allow for mid-market and Enterprise businesses to develop custom integrations and functionality. 

With the help of a web development partner, you can increase your output and deliver a better experience by creating the website you have been envisioning. Build custom apps, custom integrations, and partner integrations with the power of open-source software.

For example, Moore Brothers Wine migrated its eCommerce operations to BigCommerce. To back up the real-world use cases of the API features mentioned above, here is a quote from David Moore himself. 

“When we looked at Shopify, they had fairly good API documentation, but it’s nowhere near as rich and varied as the documentation from BigCommerce,” ... “When we were going through the discovery phase, it struck me that if we were going to migrate our store, and we want this to be the last time we do it, we had to go with BigCommerce.”

Shopify Vs BigCommerce Features and Functionality

Shopify Features & Functionality

Founded in 2004, Shopify provides a complete eCommerce solution that allows you to create an online store and sell your products quickly. It’s simple to-use control panel, easily-organized products and order management capabilities contribute to the platform’s ease of use. 

Shopify design and development benefits both marketers and developers; however, there are some limitations. Shopify’s product variant and customization limitations can create challenges for many mid-market and Enterprise-level businesses, so we typically recommend this platform for smaller businesses.

Templates & Themes

When comparing Shopify vs BigCommerce, themes are an area that many retailers feel this platform excels at. Shopify includes a similar number of free site themes as well as over 150 premium site themes ranging in price. Customize the themes and best represent your brand by manipulating these templates with HTML and CSS with a Shopify expert. 

All themes are optimized for mobile devices and support content marketing creations through blogging. Though Shopify offers more site themes in total than BigCommerce, the number of available site themes is not an integral component of choosing an eCommerce platform.

Cloud-Based Hosting

Shopify also uses the Google Cloud Platform, so no server is required. Its unlimited bandwidth means you’ll never be charged based on the number of visitors or traffic to your store. 

Like BigCommerce, Shopify is Level 1 PCI compliant, which means all Shopify eCommerce stores provide a legitimate and safe shopping experience and secure customer data.

CMS Product & Inventory Management

Shopify provides all the fundamental tools needed to run your online store, including product inventory management, sorting features, detailed product pages, price setting, shipping detail configuration and more. 

Shopify’s streamlined CMS interface makes it easy to add, list, edit and organize products within your store. The drag-and-drop ordering of product images makes it easy to build your product catalog. 

Track inventory with multiple variants for each product, and receive warning notifications when items are out of stock. The streamlined dashboard displays important information and real-time statistics. 

Use keyword tags to aid users in searching and browsing within your site, and leverage Shopify’s supported fulfillment services, such as Fulfillment by Amazon, to let a 3PL handle the shipping.

Mobile & SEO Optimization

Shopify’s responsive themes are optimized for any device and screen solution, so you don’t need to worry about redesigning your website for mobile. It supports customizable H1, title and meta tags and generates sitemaps.xml files so that new products and site changes show up on search engines rapidly.

Omnichannel Selling

Merchants are able to sell on a variety of sales channels as Shopify integrates with Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr. Easily keep track of products, orders and customers across all sales channels.

Application Integrations

Shopify requires external applications to function as well as BigCommerce. When comparing Shopify vs BigCommerce, many feel that more apps are needed to achieve the same functionality. Free and premium apps are available from the Shopify app store. Many apps are compatible with both BigCommerce and Shopify.

Robust API

Shopify’s robust API provides many options for building your own custom storefronts or integrating into other platforms. The Shopify Admin API has 50+ endpoints to give you the freedom to build what you want in minutes.

Metric Reports

Track sales and trends with detailed reports on metrics like average order value, conversion rate, repeat customer rate, total online store sessions, total orders, sales attributed to marketing and more. Advanced tools like customer wish lists, product reviews and recommendations require additional costs.

View key financial information with the finance reports feature. See an overview of your sales, payments and pending sales data. Shopify offers the option to view full finance reports to see more details about your business

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