You’ve decided to start an online store, with your products ready and logistics sorted out. The next thing on your list is creating your website, which is one of the most important steps for an eCommerce business. Your online storefront is the face of your brand – it’s the projection of your business identity and the main form of contact with your customers. Therefore, your website’s appearance and functionality are extremely important for attracting your potential customers.
So how do you choose the best eCommerce platform to build your website with? The two most popular eCommerce platforms are Shopify and BigCommerce. Both platforms are recommended by thousands of users and they each have their own pros and cons. They offer slightly different things in terms of designs, eCommerce tools, service rates, and functionality. Picking the right platform really comes down to how you want your online store to look, what type of tools you need, and most importantly – your personal preference.
However, there are several things to keep in mind when deciding between Shopify benefits and BigCommerce benefits.
Designs and Themes
The top one would be the designs and themes available on each platform. Remember the overall website design is the image of your brand that’ll shape the perception of your customers. Do the platforms offer a variety of designs you like?
Shopify is great when it comes to a plethora of designs and themes. The platform has a group of professional designers who creates a variety of fresh and modern themes. Plus, you can browse all their themes before purchasing. While some of these themes are free, premium themes can cost from $100 to $180. Although that might sound a little expensive, purchasing a theme is a one-time payment and it’s totally worth spending a few extra dollars on the face of your business.
BigCommerce also offers a few good themes when it comes to website designs. However, BigCommerce’s free themes are slightly fewer than what Shopify offers (7 vs 9). BigCommerce’s premium themes range from $145 to $235.
The fundamental of having a good online store is having a solid set of eCommerce tools for your website. For example, you’ll want tools that can manage your inventory, display new products, set prices and taxes, configure shipping details, track orders, and set up payment gateways. Both BigCommerce and Shopify don’t disappoint in this category.
Shopify features provide you with all the basic tools you need to create and operate an online store. It even offers more advanced tools like product reviews, customer wish lists, and product recommendations. Another Shopify benefit is that it has its own payment gateway, which allows you to manage your money right from the dashboard and saves you time.
However, BigCommerce probably gives you the most comprehensive set of tools out of all the eCommerce building platforms. It helps to create a highly customizable and functional website.
Having a strong customer support for your eCommerce platform is crucial to running your website. Both Shopify and BigCommerce offer 24/7 customer support via email, live chat, and phone. It is, however, a bit easier to find the support details on Shopify.
You can find more subtle differences between Shopify and BigCommerce, but neither platform is significantly better than the other. Their advantages usually compensate for their limitations overall. Finally, when deciding which eCommerce platform to use for your online store, don’t forget your personal preference. Perhaps you just like one interface better than the other. Make sure to do your research and take advantage of the free trials offered by both platforms.