The titans of enterprise eCommerce
As your business expands, upgrading to a more powerful enterprise eCommerce platform like BigCommerce or Shopify Plus may be necessary to support its growth.
Businesses experiencing high sales volumes or managing complex needs require advanced eCommerce features and functionalities. Enterprise eCommerce solutions help businesses to ensure a seamless user experience, foster continuous innovation, and maintain a competitive edge.
The enterprise eCommerce platform you choose can make or break your business, so it’s critical to do your research before deciding which one is best for your store.
Two of the biggest names in enterprise eCommerce are Shopify Plus and BigCommerce. Both platforms offer a wealth of innovative features and functionality that can help you scale and grow your business. But which is best?
In this article, we’ll compare Shopify Plus and BigCommerce’s features, functionality, and pricing. We’ll also weigh up the pros and cons of each platform so that you can choose the best one for your business.
What are Shopify Plus and BigCommerce?
Ok, let’s begin with some introductions.
Shopify Plus is the premium version of the world’s favourite all-in-one eCommerce website builder, Shopify. The main draw of Shopify is its user-friendly interface, which is still present on Shopify Plus. Shopify Plus retains all the core benefits of Shopify but with the addition of more advanced features and functionalities designed specifically for high-volume and enterprise-level brands.
BigCommerce positions itself as the ‘most trusted commerce solution provider’. It is a powerful eCommerce solution packed with features and functionalities that cater to businesses experiencing rapid growth. BigCommerce offers a range of pricing plans suitable for businesses at all stages of their journey, from startups to large enterprises.
Data from BuiltWith reveals that over 47,000 live websites are built with BigCommerce and nearly 33,000 with Shopify Plus. It’s important to note that these figures encompass all BigCommerce plans, from basic to enterprise. If we also considered Shopify’s standard plans, the number of Shopify-built websites would exceed 4 million.
While Shopify may have a much larger user base than BigCommerce, it doesn’t automatically make it the superior choice for your business. Each platform’s unique advantages and disadvantages make it better suited to specific business needs.
Shopify Plus vs BigCommerce – The Pros and Cons
Before diving into a comprehensive platform comparison of these two eCommerce powerhouses, let’s learn more about what each platform has to offer.
Shopify Plus pros
- All-in-one solution
- High scalability
- Automation (with Shopify Flow)
- Customisable checkout
- Nine free expansion stores
- Unlimited staff accounts
- Multi-channel selling for up to 20 channels
- Built-in tools
- 24/7 support
- Unlimited bandwidth
- High level of security
- Professional reporting
- Polished themes
- Free SSL certificate
- Headless capabilities
Shopify Plus cons
- Charges transaction fees
- Limited customisation
- Reliance on third-party apps for global selling
- Content management limitations
- Not simple to migrate from
- Payment gateways
- Can be expensive
- Some SEO limitations
- No transaction fees
- Unlimited staff accounts
- Highly scalable
- Highly customisable
- Excellent SEO capabilities
- Built-in features
- Multi-channel selling
- Robust API
- Professional reporting
- Excellent customer support
- Drag-and-drop builder
- Allows up to 600 variations per product
- Free SSL certificate
- Headless capabilities
- Low-cost plans available
- Steep learning curve
- Can be expensive
- Not much variation between the free themes
- No built-in multilingual feature
- Annual sales thresholds
- Fewer apps available
- No functionality for offering shipping discounts
- Theme editor can be clunky
What advantages does Shopify Plus have over BigCommerce?
Shopify has earned its title as the world’s most popular eCommerce platform through consistent innovation, user-friendly design, and a robust selection of features. If you’re contemplating building an online store or upgrading to Shopify Plus, this platform provides plenty of benefits. Shopify Plus is continually evolving and enhancing its service with new features (like those featured in the Shopify Winter ’23 release) to help businesses grow and thrive using its platform.
In this section, we’ll discover some advantages of choosing Shopify Plus over BigCommerce.
Shopify Plus has the edge when it comes to usability. It sports a user-friendly interface that simplifies navigation and eases the learning curve for new users. BigCommerce tends to be more complex, requiring some coding experience to navigate the platform fully.
Automation is a crucial feature for any growing business. It saves time, helps create efficiencies, and enables businesses to meet increasing demands. Shopify Flow is a stand-out feature on Shopify Plus; it allows users to automate a wide range of tasks. These include customer/product tagging, fraud management, product management, order management, and notifications, to name a few. This feature is not just a time-saver but integrative, bolstering the platform’s overall efficiency.
A major advantage of Shopify Plus over BigCommerce is its extensive ecosystem of apps and integrations. With over 8,000 apps available, Shopify Plus empowers businesses to add more functionality and features to their store, encouraging innovation. In contrast, BigCommerce only offers around 1,280 apps, limiting the potential for enhancing store performance and user experience.
At first glance, Shopify Plus and BigCommerce offer a similar range of themes, with both platforms providing around 12 free options. However, when it comes to premium themes, BigCommerce boasts a larger selection of approximately 185 compared to Shopify Plus’s 120. Despite this, Shopify Plus has an edge in terms of theme variety. Many of BigCommerce’s free and paid themes appear similar, with limited style variation. In contrast, Shopify Plus offers a collection of professional, polished themes that are distinctly different from one another, providing businesses with more choice.
Unlike BigCommerce, which relies on third-party POS solutions, Shopify Plus benefits from a robust, native POS system. This fully-integrated system allows businesses to connect online and offline sales seamlessly. It’s compatible with any iOS or Android device and Shopify’s own hardware, such as card readers and cash drawers. The system supports multiple payment methods, provides flexible checkout options, and maintains a user-friendly interface synonymous with Shopify.
24/7 customer support
Customer support is critical to any service-based business. Shopify Plus and BigCommerce offer 24/7 phone and live chat support, along with dedicated account managers. However, Shopify Plus also provides a comprehensive online help centre and a vibrant online community of users, developers, and partners. This forum offers peer-to-peer advice, further enhancing the support system.
What advantages does BigCommerce have over Shopify Plus?
While Shopify Plus may be more well-known, BigCommerce has earned a reputation as a powerful and adaptable eCommerce platform. With its extensive built-in features and excellent customisation capabilities, BigCommerce enables businesses to use its platform to build their online store to reach their full potential. In this section, we’ll discover some advantages that make BigCommerce an appealing alternative to Shopify Plus for many businesses.
No transaction fees
A noteworthy advantage of BigCommerce over Shopify Plus is its absence of transaction fees. Unlike Shopify Plus, which charges fees for transactions made using a third-party gateway, BigCommerce does not charge any transaction fees, irrespective of the gateway used. This can potentially result in significant cost savings for businesses that process a high volume of transactions.
Excellent SEO customisation
BigCommerce takes the lead in SEO customisation. While both eCommerce platforms offer robust basic SEO tools, BigCommerce provides a superior level of customisation. It allows users to edit the URL format and change categories, significantly improving a website’s visibility in search results, bolstering brand awareness, and increasing conversion rates.
Faster API speeds
When it comes to API speeds, BigCommerce also comes out ahead. API speeds are the rates at which the platform can process requests from third-party apps and can greatly impact website performance and user experience. While both platforms perform well in this area, BigCommerce doesn’t operate a rigid API call per second limit like Shopify Plus. This offers businesses more flexibility and freedom with the number of apps and integrations that can be used.
Product variation and management
Product variation and management is another area where BigCommerce outperforms Shopify Plus. While Shopify’s user-friendly interface makes listing and editing products simple, it may not provide enough flexibility for businesses with complex products that have numerous variations. BigCommerce makes it easier for businesses with complex products to manage their inventory easily and allows for up to 600 variations per product compared to Shopify’s limit of 100.
Built-in sales and marketing features
BigCommerce also excels when it comes to built-in features. Shopify Plus offers limited built-in sales and marketing features, often requiring businesses to rely on third-party apps for these functionalities. In contrast, BigCommerce has a broad range of built-in sales and marketing features, that can save businesses money and reduce the complexity of managing multiple apps.
Takeaway differences between Shopify Plus and BigCommerce
The choice between Shopify Plus and BigCommerce ultimately hinges on your business’s specific needs. Each platform has unique strengths that help it cater to different business types and requirements.
BigCommerce is a great choice for businesses that operate purely online. Its built-in features negate the need for lots of third-party apps, saving on expenses and the hassle of managing them. It also offers more design functionality and customisation options, making it well-suited to stores with complex needs, including those with an extensive range of product variations. BigCommerce supports up to 600 variations per product, allowing businesses to depict their offerings accurately.
On the other hand, Shopify Plus is ideal for larger businesses with more complex inventories, particularly those operating online and offline. Its robust, native POS system seamlessly integrates online and offline sales, offering a unified solution for multi-channel retailers. Shopify Plus also boasts a broader selection of third-party apps, allowing businesses to add functionality and features as needed. The platform’s user-friendly interface gives businesses more control and autonomy over their online store, making it a great choice for businesses wanting to manage their online presence easily.
Comparing costs: Shopify Plus vs BigCommerce?
Now we’ve explored what each platform can do, you’re probably curious about what it will cost.
Before choosing the right eCommerce platform for your business, you need a thorough understanding of all the associated costs to ensure it aligns with your budget. The pricing structures and fees for both Shopify Plus and BigCommerce can vary.
In this section, we will learn more about these costs, providing you with the information you need to make an informed choice.
BigCommerce pricing and fees
BigCommerce offers four distinct levels of service:
- Standard ($39/month)
- Plus ($105/month)
- Pro ($399/month)
- Enterprise – (Custom pricing plans tailored to your business needs and goals.)
Each plan comes with a unique set of features and functionalities and imposes different annual sales limits. There are no transaction fees on any plan, regardless of the payment gateway used. However, BigCommerce does set annual sales limits for each plan. You’ll automatically be upgraded to the next plan or charged an additional fee per order if exceeded.
Shopify Plus pricing and fees
Shopify Plus operates on a custom pricing model, with a base rate of $2,000/month.
However, this doesn’t account for additional costs like transaction fees, which range from 0.5% to 2%, depending on your Shopify Plus plan. These fees do not apply to payments made through Shopify Payments, Shopify’s own payment solution. Shopify Plus also imposes variable fees based on your monthly sales volume. These fees range from 0.15% to 0.25% and only apply if your sales exceed a certain threshold determined by your plan.
With both eCommerce platforms, it’s also important to factor in potential additional costs. These might include charges for using third-party apps and integrations or buying premium themes for your online store.
As you can see, there’s no definitive answer to which platform is more expensive. It depends on your specific situation and preferences. To get a more accurate estimate of your costs, you should contact BigCommerce or Shopify’s sales team and request a quote based on your business needs and goals.
Partner with Create8 for eCommerce success
Navigating the world of eCommerce platforms can be complex, but you don’t have to do it alone!
At Create8, we are dedicated to empowering businesses to make informed decisions about their online presence. Whether you’re considering Shopify Plus or BigCommerce, our team of experienced professionals can support you in choosing the platform that best aligns with your business needs.
Once you’ve chosen, our web design experts are ready to design and build you a stunning, user-friendly eCommerce store that reflects your brand and resonates with your target audience. Or, if you already have an online store, we can perform a seamless platform migration.