Shopify vs WooCommerce vs BigCommerce | Comparing Top Ecommerce Platforms

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You need an e-commerce website builder to build and run an online store. The three names that dominate the world of e-commerce are Shopify, WooCommerce, and BigCommerce. Let’s look at a thorough comparison of these e-commerce solutions.

Online stores are a viable alternative to physical businesses in present-day, with much less risk and easier maintenance. But before setting up an online store, you have a very important decision to make. That is, which platform you want to use, to set up, customize, and run your e-store.

We have compared three of the top e-commerce platforms for new business owners on the web, keeping in mind important aspects like ease of use, pricing, features, target audience, and such.

Keep reading if you want to find out which e-commerce platform will help you THE MOST to establish a business online


Shopify

Known as an all-in-one online store solution, Shopify was designed to host eCommerce sites. This cloud-hosted platform is very straightforward and easy to set up. All you need to do is choose a theme and add products, and voila! In addition, there are security features, web hosting, and caching, that you can make use of.

Shopify provides all the features that your lucrative business might need, including social media integration, multiple payment options, etc.

Moreover, Shopify has its own third-party app store in case you want to add extra features. You can avail Shopify drop shipping which allows customers to directly connect with suppliers and track order.

However, Shopify doesn’t allow much room for creativity. With very limited template options site-building will be somewhat limited.

Having said that, Shopify is one of the most convenient e-commerce platforms offering simple solutions to your online store without any hassle.

Pros of Shopify

  • Offers free hosting
  • All around e-commerce platform
  • Sells across multiple channels
  • There’s no hassle with in-depth design technicalities. Anyone can design a site like a professional
  • Straightforward setup
  • Plenty of social media integration and SEO options

Cons of Shopify

  • Strict cookie-cutter templates. Limited customization option
  • Allows only three product attributes, namely size, color, and material for all the products in the store

Pricing

There is a variety of pricing options offered by Shopify. You can subscribe to any of the following plans:

  • Shopify Lite at $9/month
  • Shopify Basic: $29/month
  • Shopify: $79/month
  • Shopify Advanced: $299/month
  • Shopify Plus: $2000/month to $40,000/month

WooCommerce

Technically, WooCommerce is not a platform rather WordPress plugin. It allows you to add e-commerce functionalities to an already existing WordPress site.

WooCommerce offers 14 very attractive WooThemes, along with unlimited customization options, that would allow you to put your elaborate designing ideas into action.

Since WooCommerce is built using WordPress, it would allow your store to connect with the huge collection of WordPress extensions and add-on. On top of that WooCommerce has its very own app store with nearly 400 extensions, which by default are designed to e-commerce integration.

Getting started on WooCommerce will be relatively easy if you have previously worked with WordPress platforms. All you have to do is go to the plugins page on your WordPress platform and click on “Add New”. There you have to search for the add-on and click “Install”. WooCommerce will be launched as soon as you click on ‘Activate”. It is as simple as that.

Pros of WooCommerce

  • Massive customization options give you full control over designing your site
  • Great for SEO and content marketing

Cons of WooCommerce

  • Hands-on site-building; requires in-depth technical knowledge
  • You have to manage pretty much everything on your own, starting from hosting to security

Pricing

  • Free. However, you will have to pay for hosting and spend on paid features and templates that you might want to access

BigCommerce

Finally, let us look at our third eCommerce platform, BigCommerce. Convenient for both beginner-level and tech-savvy site builders, BigCommerce is cloud-hosted and offers a wide variety of templates and features.

BigCommerce brings easy designing tools to the table, accessible to all-level designers. The platform offers more room for customization than Shopify, as you can edit with JavaScript, CSS, or HTML.

However, their app store is not as extensive as the others on our list. But that doesn’t let you accomplish any less, as the system is originally stacked up with more built-in features than the others. BigCommerce is all about convenience.

Pros of BigCommerce

  • Casts a wider range of built-in features and options
  • Both amateur and expert designers can use this platform. Designing options include themes, templates, customizable HTML/CSS
  • Built-in reports and payment methods

Cons of BigCommerce

  • If you are only beginning your eCommerce journey, you will be paying for features that you won’t even use yet. BigCommerce does not offer a cheap entry-level plan, let alone a free plan

Pricing

  • BigCommerce Standard: $29.95/month
  • BigCommerce Plus: $79.95/month
  • BigCommerce Pro: $249.95/month

Conclusion

Ultimately, it all comes down to what your priorities are and what you are trying to accomplish with your online store. Shopify, WooCommerce, and BigCommerce, they all have their pros and cons, but it is up to you to decide which one aligns with your eCommerce needs.

If you are looking for convenience and easy setup for your online business, then Shopify should be the right platform for you.

On the other hand, if content marketing, branding, and customization are your top priority, you might consider signing up for WooCommerce.

However, if you are someone who has a large startup capital or if you want to get your already established online business to grow further, BigCommerce might be the best choice for you as this platform specializes in big eCommerce stores (as the name suggests)!

Have you any experience with any of the above online business platform? Please share with us your experience and why would you recommend one over the other.


New to e-commerce? Get more information on how to create a blog and how to start off or step up in affiliate marketing.


Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. For more information please see my disclosure here



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4 thoughts on “Shopify vs WooCommerce vs BigCommerce | Comparing Top Ecommerce Platforms”

  1. Hi,

    Thanks very much for the e-commerce article.

    You have explained very well, in a manner that helps someone who has a little bit of knowledge about the concept, and also for someone who does not know about it at all!

    I already have a WordPress site. So if I should consider setting up an online store (and it does cross my mind, new as I am to online entrepreneurship), I would have to consider whether to use a plug-in type of shop, or to use the easiest and most convenient platform.

    Please forgive my ignorance, but what is meant by, “Offers free hosting” when later on you have given the pricing options?

    Regards.

    Reply
    • Hi, your online store, just like a website requires hosting and that is included in any of the Shopify plan you choose. It is unlimited hosting and you won’t be charged separately for it. Thank you for writing. 

      Reply
  2. Hello there,  thank you for this very detailed and informative review,  I have laid out a plan already to start an online shop but I have been very indecisive on which platform I should use seeing that they all have advantages that i would like to harness but this post has really narrowed down the complexities I have been having and shopify will be just great for the kind of online shop I want. Thanks to sharing.

    Reply
    • Hi thank you for writing. Good decision. Shopify is best if you want to have a shop up and running in no time as it is easy to set up. Good luck! 

      Reply

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