Shopify vs Bigcommerce

Ladies and Gentlemen, the gloves are off. Shopify and BigCommerce are both competing for the top spot as your next ecommerce platform, and they’re not scared of fighting dirty. Just look at these two pages!

Shopify Vs BigCommerce (according to Shopify)

BigCommerce Vs Shopify (according to BigCommerce)

Not exactly objective / helpful, are they? Luckily for you, we’ve spent the last few weeks testing their offers so YOU can make an informed decision. We’ve also created a quick overview table so you can quickly jump to each round.

Shopify BigCommerce
Round 1: Ease of Use  Very good  Good
Round 2: Themes and Flexibility   Very good Very good
Round 3: Product presentation and features  Good   Very good
Round 4: Payment Options Good   Very good
Round 5: Customer Logins and Checkout Options  Good  Good
Round 6: Shopping Cost Settings & Carrier Integration  Good  Good
Round 7: Tax Settings  Very good  Very good
Round 8: Multilingual Capabilities  Ok  Ok
Round 9: SSL Very good Very good
Round 10: SEO Capabilities  Ok   Very good
Round 11: Pagespeed Very good  Good
Round 12: Support  Ok Ok
Round 13: Market Place Very good  Good
Round 14: Prices  Good Good
In-depth review  Read detailed review  Read detailed review
Trial Period  Try Shopify free for 14 days  Try BigCommerce free for 14 days

If you are more of a video person you can also just lean back and watch our video reviews:

Shopify Review

BigCommerce Review

You can try Bigcommerce here: Read our detailed review about Bigcommerce here: ... Bigcommerce Review: Let's explore this online store builder 2015-09-29T11:17:53.000Z


Now brace yourselves, this is going to be a long fight. Ding-a-ding!


Shopify vs BigCommerce Smart Finder: Answer 5 questions to find your winner!


Still unsure what’s your best option? No problem – let’s read on our in-depth comparison.

Round 1: Ease of Use

Both Shopify and BigCommerce (BC) pride themselves on being extremely easy to set up for new users. This is partly true, but remember there is actually quite a lot of information to fill in for an online store. This includes adding each product and variants, shipping fees, tax information and more. Which is why both platforms offer a number of tools to help you get started.

Shopify BigCommerce
Quick tour to help you get started  No Yes
Support documentation Yes, (Tax Settings page for example) Yes (SSL Overview for example).
Adding products and variations Very easy A few more clicks to make
Integration with external apps. Yes – Quickbooks, Xero and Freshbooks are supported.  Same

: A tough call. The only notable difference is that BigCommerce offers a bit more flexibility which also makes it a bit harder to use for beginners. So the winner is Shopify. Only because it takes less clicks to add products and set things up.


Round 2: Themes and Flexibility

Themes (or the templates that will dictate the way your online store looks), are one of the most important points to consider when choosing your platform. As you can imagine, we can’t objectively decide which ones look the best, because this is purely based on your aesthetic preferences. But there are a few other things we can measure.


Shopify BigCommerce
Number of themes 74 86
Number of free themes 10 12
Industry categories 6 12
Premium themes price range $140 – $180 $170 – $235
Themes general style Modern / sleek Traditional / professional
Customizable themes Yes – you get a live editor to see what the changes with your actual content Yes – change pictures, logos, fonts and has a similar live editor to Shopify’s
Responsive themes Yes – look good on every device Yes – same
Customisable template files (HTML & CSS) Yes Yes

: Another tough call. But because it offers very modern designs and cheaper premium ones, we’ll have to say Shopify. We also really like their live editor.


Round 3: Product presentation and features

After choosing your storefront, you’ll have to fill it up with goods! As we mentioned earlier, BigCommerce offers more flexibility when it comes to tweaking your inventory, but is it enough to win this round?

Shopify BigCommerce
Product display options Limited – you can add a title and description and not much more. Complete control here – just tick the options in your dashboard to display product weight, price, brand, rating, category etc. You can also list items however you want (price, alphabetical, size…)
Product variation options 3 variants only – for example, you can choose Size, Color & Material, but no more. We stopped counting after enabling the 6th. Go crazy!
Product carousel A smooth carousel with cool zoom feature – no video support  Nice carousel with video support.
Store features Limited – you can add more features thanks to 3rd party apps – but for example enabling a Wishlist option costs $10 / month Several – wishlist, CAPTCHA, product comparison, search suggestions, bulk discount and more.
Enable product reviews No – needs an external app. Yes

: While some users may prefer the sleek way in which Shopify presents your products, the options are not really impressive. BigCommerce wins, by a long shot. Way more flexibility and options to maximize sales in your store.


Round 4: Payment Options

Now that you’ve got your store setup, it’s time to sell! In an ideal world, people could just throw money at you in anyway they want, but there are a few logistical points to consider with an online store. Are any of those points make or break for you?

Shopify BigCommerce
Paypal Yes Yes
Credit Card payments via gateway processors (, Stripe etc…) Yes – more than 80 gateways. Would be hard to find one missing. Yes – 19 gateways. Still covers most credit cards.
Offline payment  (bank deposit, cash on delivery) Yes Yes
Apple Pay Yes, with some gateways Yes
PoS (Point of Sell) You can use Shopify PoS to sell in person anywhere. You can integrate Square PoS
Sell via Facebook / Twitter / Pinterest / Amazon Yes Yes
Sell on eBay Yes but through a 3rd party app Yes
Transaction fees Yes – unless you use Shopify payments, which is not available everywhere No
Support multiple currencies You can, but you need to integrate them yourselves via code – doesn’t look super easy Yes – even offers automatic exchange rate

 We’ll have to say both solutions offer far more than enough ways to process payments online and offline. But Shopify loses points because of its transaction fees and a complicated multiple currency integration. So BigCommerce wins this one!


Round 5: Customer Logins and Checkout Options

Letting your customers log-in to buy your products can be a double-edged sword. On the one hand, it gives you access to more data, but on the other, it can turn some people off. This is where we see how the two platforms let you manage your customers.

Shopify BigCommerce
No customer account needed (disabled) Yes Yes
Must sign-in to buy (mandatory) Yes Yes
Can sign in to buy (optional) Yes Yes
Manual add customers Yes Yes
Import customer lists via CSV Yes Yes
Export customer lists via CSV Yes Yes
Offering customers store credit Yes (but requires a paid app) Yes

 Ooh that’s going to have to be a tie. Shopify is slightly easier to use, but BigCommerce has two cool extra options (offering store credit and exporting your customer lists).


Round 6: Shopping Cost Settings and Carrier Integration

Shipping is one of those areas that can quickly become a logistical nightmare for small online store owners. So you’d be happy to learn that both platforms are super helpful when it comes to letting you manage it, as you can see in the table below.

Shopify BigCommerce
Free shipping, flat rate, ship by weight Yes Yes
Real-time shipping quotes from FedEx, USPS and UPS Yes Yes
Create shipping rules per US state and world zone Yes Yes
Let users know their geographical zone is not supported Yes Yes
Print and buy shipping labels Yes – USPS and Canada Post – more via apps Yes – USPS is native. You can also use the ShipStation app to print for Canada Post, DHL, FedEx and UPS at a discount rate. (this is free for 50 labels a month, you have to pay for extra)
Dropshipping Shopify’s app Oberlo is excellent for dropshipping and connects with several providers. You can use external apps to connect with several dropshipping providers – some apps work better than others.

 If dropshipping is an integral part of your business, then Shopify has a smarter system. But this is a very close call!


Round 7: Tax Settings

Online store taxes can be a minefield. Especially if you are shipping to different areas around the world, and using different tax rates for your products. Luckily both platforms give you great flexibility when it comes to managing them, which will make accounting easier in the long term.

Shopify BigCommerce
Show or hide taxes on products Yes Yes
Show or hide taxes on shopping carts and invoices Yes – but you need to tweak the HTML to do it Yes
Create tax per regions Yes – you need to do it via your shipping settings Yes – easy to create tax rates and tax zones per country, state or world region
Create tax classes depending on your product (e.g. non-taxable, VAT or gift wrapping) No Yes
Advanced tax calculation Via 3rd party app Same – although if you already have a premium Avalara account, BC integrates it easily and for free.

 Here again, Shopify wins us over with its simple menus and options. But BigCommerce has more features and options.


Round 8: Multilingual Capabilities

Expanding your sales to global markets can make a huge difference to your business. Turns out, it’s not as easy to do as you would think, whether it is with Shopify or BigCommerce.

Shopify BigCommerce
Multilingual themes They exist. But they are premium rate No – you have to do manually translate your website and edit the code to display numerous languages. This will cost you a lot in developer fees, unless you can do it yourself.
Multilingual apps The cheapest app we could find costs $17.50 a month No
Add Google translation You can enable the Google translate widget, but it is a tricky task – might need to hire a developer to do it Yes – you can do it via your BigCommerce control panel

 Unfortunately, both platforms are not doing enough for multilingual shops, but if we had to pick a winner it would probably be Shopify. (Also remember that if multilingual stores are a must, you also have a 3rd option with WordPress and WooCommerce)


Round 9: SSL

A simple round to see if you can offer secure pages to your customers. Remember it is also a sign of trust!

Shopify BigCommerce
SSL for secure Pages Yes Yes, using the BigCommerce shared SSL certificate
SSL for whole website Yes and yes! Yes

 Both tools offer the same. You’ll get a complete SSL-ed store out of the box with both BigCommerce and Shopify.


Round 10: SEO Capabilities

Here is your chance to rank at the top of the search engines’ result pages and sell more more more! Each of the sections below are useful for SEO.


Shopify BigCommerce
Customize your page title Yes Yes – for all pages except blog posts where BigCommerce automatically uses the title of your main header and your store name
Customize description Yes Yes
Customize URLs Yes – but Shopify adds extra terms to the URL such as /products/ or /collections/. There is no way to remove them. Yes – fully customizable
Modify existing URL Yes – you have a tick box to enable an automatic URL redirect Yes – same as Shopify
Customize headings, alt text and 301 redirects Yes Yes
Modify the robots.txt No Yes – through a form in your dashboard
Modify search engine instructions Only through 3rd party apps ($1 to $4 a month) Yes
Integrate with Google Analytics Yes Yes
Integrate with Facebook Pixel ID Yes Yes
Sitemap Find it under Find it under the “Server section”

 The fact that Shopify automatically structures your pages’ URL and doesn’t let you tweak the robots.txt really lets it down in this round (Shopify SEO guide) – another point for BigCommerce! (BigCommerce guide)


Round 11: Pagespeed

Pagespeed could have gone under the SEO section because it is an important metric that search engines use for ranking. But it is also a crucial point for your customers when every second counts for that next sale! We created two test shops and below you will find the performance results we got when testing page speed and uptime.



GT Metrix Test Score

Loading time: 1 s

PageSpeed Insights: 85%

Yslow score: 91%

Loading time: 1.5 s

PageSpeed Insights: 82%

Yslow score: 84%

 Loading time: 1.6 s

Loading time: 2.3 s

Pingdom Test

 Loading time: 323 ms

Performance grade C (75)

Loading time: 989 ms

Performance grade B (82)

CDN Enabled on all accounts Same

 This boxing match has now turned into a race to the finish, and it looks like Shopify wins by a split hair! Please note that these tests are not always 100% accurate, so no reason to discard BigCommerce based on pagespeed alone.


Round 12: Support

Setting up a shopping cart can be daunting, especially if it is your first one. Luckily both Shopify and BigCommerce offer excellent customer support, whether you are in the process of building your website, tweaking it or trying to increase its reach through extra resources.

Shopify BigCommerce
24/7 Support Yes – phone, email and live chat Same
Written tutorials Yes – they are very good Same
Community forums Yes – Shopify has a big community so a lot of questions are already answered there Yes – it was given a complete overhaul last year so it’s not as full as Shopify’s yet
Extra resources Shopify’s marketing blog is an excellent source of ideas and techniques The community mentioned above offers advice about all kinds of topics including marketing. We’re also big fans of the support links they provide when you are editing your website.


Winner: This is going to have to be a tie. On paper, both platforms offer excellent support and claim you will rarely have to wait more than 5 mins to speak to a staff member. However, we found that their email response time varies from time to time so we should take these claims with a pinch of salt.


Round 13: Market Place

Both BigCommerce and Shopify pride themselves on their “app stores”, where you can purchase additional features to get the most from your online store. While you may be cynical and believe this is just another avenue for money-grabbing, we have to say that a lot of excellent apps are completely free. In any case, you should be able to find pretty much anything you want there.

Shopify BigCommerce
3rd party apps More than 1500 apps, 597 of them are free Around 360 – 104 free apps
Apps scope Everything you can think of: marketing, sales, social media, shipping etc… Same, you can even create loyalty programs, live chats and more…

 So here again it looks like both app stores have got you covered. However, Shopify stands out because of its bigger community of developers.


Round 14: Prices

And here we are: the last and final round. You may think it’s as straightforward as choosing a price plan, but remember that there are always extra fees, especially when you are in the business of making money online. Hopefully, this last table should give you all the info you need to pick the price plan that’s best suited to your needs.

Shopify BigCommerce
Lite version $9 / month – allows you to add products to your existing website or blog, accept card payments and sell on Facebook N/A
Entry price plan (paid yearly) $26 / month $29.95 / month
Medium price plan (paid yearly) $71 / month $71.95 / month
Pro price plan (paid yearly) $266 / month $269.96 / month
Transaction fees 2.7 – 2-9% + 20 cents per transaction. No fees if you use Shopify payments, only available in US, UK, Ireland, Puerto Rico, Canada and Australia None
Sales threshold (when exceeding it you need a higher plan) None $50K – $180K and up to $400k depending on price plan
Staff accounts 2, 5 or 15 depending on price plan Unlimited
Freebies (in every plan except Lite) Manual order creation, discount codes and free SSL certificate. Unlimited storage, bandwidth and products. Shipping label discounts, coupons, discounts and gift cards, real-time shipping quotes, professional reporting tools, product ratings and reviews, Apple Pay. Unlimited storage, bandwidth and products.
Pay extra for these features Real-time carrier shipping is only available in the $79 / month plan Abandoned cart-saver only available from $79.95 / month onwards
Free Trial – no credit card required 14 days 14 days

Their prices look really similar. Since we’re showing the discounted rate for yearly contracts you’ll notice that BigCommerce’s entry plan is a few dollars more expensive than Shopify’s Basic plan (if you pay ‘month by month’ it’s the same price).

What’s most important with BigCommerce is that you will never be charged additional transaction fees. Where they are special is with their sales thresholds: the more you sell, the higher they bump you up in their pricing tiers. That makes BigCommerce a bad choice for low-margin, high-volume products. All in all this round is a tie as we can see good (and not so good) use-cases for both products.

Our Side-by-Side Comparison

Now, let’s take a real deep look inside Shopify and BigCommerce. Check out the direct comparison:

Large & Medium Stores


Shopify Review


Large & Medium Stores

BigCommerce logo

BigCommerce Review

























Yes Chat

Yes Email

Yes Telephone


Yes Chat

Yes Email

Yes Telephone

Show prices

Show prices



BigCommerce vs Shopify: Our Conclusion

So here we are ladies and gentlemen! Not quite the knockout we expected, as Shopify takes a small lead by 11 points to 10. But hey, we know these points are just arbitrary and they shouldn’t be the reason you choose one over the other. Everyone’s online business needs are different, so whaddayasay we sum it up in one last table?

Shopify BigCommerce
Better for
  • Dropshipping
  • App market
  • Creating blog posts and landing pages
  • Ease of use
  • More payment gateways
  • SEO
  • Product reviews
  • Entry plan features
  • Customization options
  • No transaction fees
Not so good for  

  • Transaction fees
  • Product reviews

  • Multilingual sites
  • Sales thresholds


So there you have it! Hopefully this should be a good start on your journey to becoming an online store millionaire.

But remember that the best way to get a feel for the platform is to try them yourself. As we mentioned, both Shopify and BigCommerce offer a great 14 days no-credit-card-required trial, so knock yourself out!


Latest updates:
04 Nov 2020: Pricing updates
10 Apr 2019: New Shopify video review added.
20 Nov 2018: Information about dropshipping added.
26 Oct 2018: Side by side comparison added.

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