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Ecommerce Platforms Comparison: Part 2 of 4

With so many shopping cart options out there and saturation of the market that customers are quite often confused on what shopping cart is better for their company.  There many features that you can base your decision on, and each different platform allows you to focus your company in different directions.  This is a series of comparing competitor carts. Second up is BigCommerce and Shopify.  Part 2 out of 4.

BigCommerce vs Shopify

BigCommerce vs Shopify


Themes and Design

E-commerce website templates for design are one of the most important aspects to build a site that seems credible to shoppers.

Shopify: Shopify offers many modern and affordable ecommerce templates and themes. Shopify utilizes a design community design many of the different themes giving their users a substantial menu to choose from.  All of the themes are mobile responsive so your users are able to purchase using a mobile phone.  149 premium, and 24 free! Price: $1-$180

BigCommerce:  When visiting the BigCommerce Theme Store, customers may notice that there have been some major updates done in the last few years. They now have a free and paid section with pretty modern looking themes. Furthermore, they also fully mobile responsive themes and are organized by different industry categories.  76 premium, 7 free!  Price: $145-$235


Ecommerce Functions

Both platforms offer different product variations, image sizes, discount engines, management, shipping, tracking orders, and payment systems. However, there are slight differences.

Shopify:  The major ecommerce function that Shopify can be critiqued on is the transaction fee per purchase on your site. The transaction fee’s range from 2.4%-2.9% plus a credit card charge of $0.30 per transaction. Shopify charges you per transaction fee because they give you other benefits. They offer you an unlimited bandwidth to fuel the power for your website. Remember that load times can affect your bounce rates to be significantly higher.

BigCommerce:  BigCommerce does things a little differently than Shopify does in this department.  They offer some of the most comprehensive built-in toolboxes out there for ecommerce functions. However, the difference is that they have advanced tools that already come standard for every single user and they aren’t outsourcing to third party vendors. And the best part of BigCommerce is that they don’t charge you any transaction fees for each sale that you make.


Support

Entrepreneurs who are just starting out on their eCommerce business will potentially be working many late hours and need to have 24-hour customer support. Nothing is more annoying than being stuck on a problem that you can’t solve right on the spot.

Shopify:  Shopify offers strong customer support.  They have email, chat, and phone support 24/7. Furthermore, they have a forum where other Shopify users in a community could potentially help you solve your problems.

BigCommerce: BigCommerce offers strong customer support also.  They only recently have added email, chat, and phone support that is 24/7.  Having support channels open for customers is always crucial!


Applications

Apps are more advanced tools that can help you build your eCommerce business, and are developed to extend the functionality for your online store.  These are important to make your store unique. Apps can help you automate a lot of tasks that perform certain functions on your website like a marketing tool or accounting software.

Shopify: Shopify has a substantial number of apps to use, in fact they have 1,500 apps to choose from.  Although, not all of the applications are free because they are created by independent services. However, all of the applications are free to integrate into your store.

BigCommerce: BigCommerce offers a vastly smaller collection of applications, about 250. However, remember that they offer a lot more advanced tools that come standard with the platform. So you may not need as many applications as you would on Shopify.


Credibility

In terms of credibility, etailers want their website to have a server that is reliable for their customers to depend on.

Shopify: Shopify opened its doors in 2006, and is currently serving 500,000 plus customers. It is clear that the customers are paying to power their online store.  Shopify’s stores are also trending more on Google and have process over 9 billion dollars in sales.

BigCommerce: BigCommerce opened its door in 2009, and currently they are serving over 95,000 users and have processed over 8 billion in sales.  BigCommerce has not had such a significant growth like Shopify in terms of numbers, but they still have a significant number of excellent customers.


Pricing

Let’s be real. Pricing sometimes determines whether or not you want to get a particular ecommerce platform. Creating ecommerce websites can sometimes become a costly venture.

Shopify: Shopify pricing has a pretty affordable plan structure starting at $29, $79 and $299 for the advanced plan.   Remember that they still charge a transaction fee for each purchase that customer makes that is anywhere from 2.4% at the advanced plan and 2.9% at the lowest plan, plus $.30 for each credit card transaction.

BigCommerce:  BigCommerce has a pretty affordable pricing plan structure. Their standard store starts out at $29.95/ $79.95/ and $249.95 for their most advanced plan.  Furthermore, they do not charge a transaction fee for each purchase. So you get to keep all of your profits when you are working with BigCommerce.


Conclusions

Remember when you read this article it is just presenting a comparison of services offered by two eCommerce companies. It does not denote that any company is better than any another or most importantly that an eCommerce company is right for your business. Using a platform and getting familiar with certain preferences on interfaces or in terms of how business is conducted are important to choosing the best eCommerce platform provider for you.

Wiebke Reile

Wiebke Reile

Wiebke Reile has been social media strategist for the last eight years in the Internet Industry. She has also professionally worked in the film and television industry as a documentary film editor in New York City. Currently, she is a researcher for the University of Hawaii and pursuing her doctorate degree; focusing her research towards online political social movements.

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