Shopify vs BigCommerce: What to Know in 2024

Shopify vs BigCommerce: What To Know in 2024?

a Shopify snowboarding store dashboard

Figuring out which platform is the best for ecommerce is one of the first (and most important!) questions a business needs to answer. With Shopify and BigCommerce offering an incredible set of features, finding the right platform can be challenging. We dove into key aspects like design, sales limits, apps, and more to help you discover the best ecommerce platform for your business. 

Is BigCommerce better than Shopify? Or is Shopify’s all-in-one platform the right choice for your brand? Find out with this Coalition guide.

Shopify vs. BigCommerce: Design

Your storefront’s design is a visitor’s first impression of your brand. Let’s compare Shopify vs. BigCommerce’s approach to design in 2024. 

Shopify boasts a user-friendly interface with a wide selection of pre-designed themes. These themes are easy to customize with their drag-and-drop editor, allowing even non-technical users to create a professional-looking store without coding knowledge.

The downside? 

While themes are customizable, extensive design changes might require coding or work from a Shopify expert

BigCommerce differentiates itself with a focus on customization, and that’s a theme you’re going to see a lot here. BigCommerce offers a wider range of themes and a more open architecture for design customization. This allows for deeper control over the look and feel of your store, including the ability to freely edit HTML and CSS code for a truly unique storefront.

Naturally, taking advantage of this flexibility will require the help of an expert BigCommerce web designer.

Comparing Shopify vs. BigCommerce design in 2024, who wins?

If you’re wondering which platform is best for ecommerce in terms of design, it’s an even tie here. Shopify and BigCommerce both offer free and paid themes in a similar price range, with features like store locators restricted to paid themes. The right choice here will depend on your niche and the kind of design it requires.

Shopify vs. BigCommerce: Pricing

Pricing is one of the biggest factors to consider when we compare ecommerce platforms.

Shopify offers straightforward plans (Basic, Shopify, Advanced, Plus) and three alternative solutions (Starter, Retail, and Enterprise). The variety means that there’s bound to be a suitable plan for your business, and the Enterprise offering allows you to get in touch with Shopify for a custom solution. 

a selection of Shopify plans

In 2024, the Shopify vs. BigCommerce debate is dominated by transaction fees. Shopify charges a transaction fee on every sale, which can add up quickly for large businesses. This doesn’t necessarily mean that BigCommerce is better than Shopify. BigCommerce doesn’t charge transaction fees, but they do impose sales limits.

BigCommerce offers four simple plans: Standard, Plus, Pro, and Enterprise. Aside from the lack of transaction fees, even the lowest pricing tier on BigCommerce offers useful features like product filtering and unlimited storage. Notably, many key features are limited to higher pricing tiers on Shopify.

a selection of BigCommerce plans

Shopify vs. BigCommerce in 2024: Who Has The Best Plan?

Determining which platform is best for ecommerce based on pricing will depend on your budget and business model. Businesses with a high sales volume will naturally be wary of Shopify’s transaction fees. On the other hand, Shopify’s lower pricing tiers allow brands to experiment and find the right fit for their budget.

Shopify vs. BigCommerce: Apps

Shopify’s massive app library is one of its biggest selling points, and for good reason. Shopify hosts over 8000 apps over six key categories:

  • Design (Translation, currency converters, etc.)
  • Finding products (Dropshipping, wholesale, print on demand, etc.)
  • Selling products (Sales channels, subscriptions, product options, etc.)
  • Orders and shipping (Inventory management, order tracking, invoices, etc.)
  • Store management (Customer help centers, chat, loyalty programs, etc.)
  • Marketing (SEO, upselling, bundles, etc.)

In 2024, Shopify vs. BigCommerce is a close race when it comes to apps. On both platforms, customers can pick from free and premium apps, with some free apps locking premium features behind a paywall. Shopify apps can completely change the way customers interact with your store. For example, automated apps like Yoast SEO make it one of the best ecommerce platforms for SEO if you want a simple solution. 

If you’re wondering which platform is best for ecommerce apps, Shopify might be the popular answer, but it’s not quite that simple.

What’s the catch? 

When it comes to tech, the price of ease is usually flexibility. The main differentiator for Shopify vs. BigCommerce in 2024 is restrictiveness. Both are SaaS platforms, meaning developers must use the platform’s own API to build custom apps. However, the Shopify API is much more restrictive than BigCommerce, which can make adding certain features incredibly difficult.

For many brands, BigCommerce is better than Shopify solely because it supports extensive customization. Even if you don’t plan on using custom apps right now, you might want to in the future. 

  • Third-party integrations: BigCommerce isn’t technically an open-source platform, but it does seek to promote more third-party integrations and open-source solutions. The B2B Buyer’s Edition launch is a great example of this, placing the platform in a very exclusive group of open-source B2B buyer portals. 
BigCommerce’s app recommendations

BigCommerce vs. Shopify in 2024: Which platform is best for ecommerce apps? 

If you’re looking for a great out-of-the-box experience, Shopify’s a great bet. Those looking to build a bespoke ecommerce experience with custom solutions will be happy with BigCommerce’s flexible architecture.

Shopify vs. BigCommerce: Tier Limits

Shopify takes a liberating approach to sales limits. No restrictions exist on the amount you can sell through your store, regardless of your Shopify plan. This aspect makes it a perfect choice for businesses of all sizes, from startups with no sales yet to established businesses with high sales volumes. You won’t have to worry about hitting a limit and needing to upgrade your plan mid-year due to unexpected growth.

Sales limits work very differently in BigCommerce vs. Shopify in 2024. 

  • Standard Plan ($29.95/month): This plan restricts your yearly sales to $50,000. While it can be suitable for small businesses just starting out, exceeding this limit requires upgrading to a higher plan.
  • Plus Plan ($79.95/month): This plan increases the sales limit to $180,000 annually. This allows for more growth, but businesses with ambitions to surpass this limit will need to consider the Pro Plan.
  • Pro Plan ($299/month): Increases the sales limit to $400k annually. Pro is ideal for businesses that are already experiencing steady growth.
  • Enterprise Plan (Custom pricing): This plan caters to high-volume sellers and adds negotiable limits, but businesses need to contact BigCommerce sales to determine pricing. 

Shopify vs. BigCommerce 2024: Which platform is better for ecommerce at pricing?

Shopify is significantly better here. Not worrying about paying for additional tiers can free you up to invest in other ways to improve your store. 

Shopify vs. BigCommerce: What’s The Best Ecommerce Platform for SEO?

Some users claim that BigCommerce is better than Shopify due to its flexibility, but the truth is a little more complicated than that. Let’s break down Shopify vs. BigCommerce’s 2024 SEO features with a simple table.

Shopify: AdvantagesShopify: Disadvantages
Offers apps that handle the SEO for you with automatically optimized metadata, keyword research tools, and more.Certain elements, like URL structures, can’t be edited unless you make changes in the store’s code.
Offers built-in support for structured data markup.Integrating numerous SEO apps can introduce compatibility issues and requires maintenance.
Shopify’s focus on mobile-responsive themes ensures your store looks great and functions flawlessly across all devices.Users with a deep understanding of SEO might find Shopify’s limited control over technical aspects like server response time optimization to be a drawback.
an SEO app for Shopify metadata

When it comes to SEO in 2024, Shopify vs. BigCommerce are evenly matched.

BigCommerce: AdvantagesBigCommerce: Advantages
BigCommerce offers a finer level of control over technical SEO elements, like editing robots.txt, sitemap files, and URL structures.SEO tools cater to users with a more technical understanding of SEO optimization.
BigCommerce’s headless commerce architecture offers exciting possibilities for SEO experts.Unlocking the full SEO potential of BigCommerce requires some technical knowledge or the help of a web developer. 
Includes a robust CMS for better control of different types of content like blogs, product descriptions, and landing pages. Compared to Shopify’s app store, BigCommerce offers a smaller selection of SEO-specific apps.

Shopify vs. BigCommerce in 2024: Which platform is better for ecommerce SEO?

The best ecommerce platform for you, in terms of SEO, will depend on your level of technical knowledge. Businesses working with an expert developer can make the most of BigCommerce’s flexibility to increase traffic and conversions with powerful SEO strategies. If you don’t have a developer on the team or can’t work with an expert agency, Shopify’s apps are great for getting started quickly.

Platform Uptime: An Important Note

Both Shopify and BigCommerce strive for industry-leading uptime, typically aiming for 99.9% or higher. However, if we compare BigCommerce vs. Shopify in 2024, BigCommerce faces more frequent outages than its competitors. This is worth considering since even a minor outage can damage your sales and ruin a first impression.

That said, both platforms offer Service Level Agreements (SLA) at their most premium packages for people who need higher availability.

Ecommerce Made Easy

Shopify and BigCommerce both offer powerful features designed to scale your business, but expert assistance can help you avoid costly mistakes and speed up your growth. Find out which platform is better for ecommerce and achieve the ecommerce success your brand deserves with a leading digital marketing agency

Contact Coalition Technologies today for a free strategy review, and discover how our experts can help you scale with personalized strategies and custom ecommerce solutions. To learn more about Shopify vs. BigCommerce and other 2024 ecommerce platforms, visit our blog

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