Shopify vs. BigCommerce

Which is better, BigCommerce or Shopify? Learn about the major features and differences of these e-commerce platforms to find out which one suits your business.
Shopify vs. BigCommerce comparison: pricing, design, store customizations and features, payment options, analytics, and other aspects. 

BigCommerce was launched in 2009, aimed to make it easier for small businesses to sell online. Since then, it has evolved to become one of the leading solutions for mid-market and enterprise businesses as well. This platform is known for providing an extensive set of features out of the box and a strong focus on in-built SEO. With a steady increase year after year, there are currently around 50,000 live stores powered by BigCommerce

Although it’s possible to run a BigCommerce store from anywhere in the world, the platform is mainly used in the US and other English-speaking countries (66.5% of its merchants are from the US, and around 17% more are from UK, Australia, and Canada combined).

With over 4 million stores, Shopify possesses a much bigger market share. For instance, in the US, Shopify accounts for almost 20% of e-commerce sites, while BigCommerce has only 0.3%. This is not to underestimate the latter, as it’s still a strong competitor, and some merchants are migrating from Shopify to BigCommerce (as well as the other way around). 

Shopify is currently the biggest e-commerce platform there is. It offers an extensive suite of features, as well as thousands of apps for additional integrations and customizations. Compared to BigCommerce, Shopify has a much wider global reach, having hundreds of thousands of stores in Europe and Latin America. The platform is targeted at stores of different sizes, offering an easy way to launch a store for new businesses and a separate service, Shopify Plus, for established enterprise-level merchants. 

According to the latest statistics,

The Shopify's GMV reached more than $197B in 2022

The basics offered by Shopify and BigCommerce

BigCommerce and Shopify provide you with everything needed to set up an online store: hosting for your site, page builder, and various e-commerce functionality. While they differ in the latter and some nuances in store design, the technical basics are pretty much the same: you’ll get a fast and mobile-optimized site maintained by the platform.

Both BigCommerce and Shopify guarantee security and fast loading. The platforms use CDNs with globally distributed nodes to ensure great site speed for both customers and search engines. They also automatically provide stores with free SSL certificates, whether you buy a custom domain through the platform or transfer it from elsewhere. The difference with security certificates is that BigCommerce allows merchants (on Pro and Enterprise plans) to use this-party SSL certificates (for instance, when they need a wildcard SSL from an external issuer), while it’s not possible on Shopify. 

BigCommerce vs. Shopify: store design

In terms of design capabilities, BigCommerce and Shopify are on par. They both have a library of themes that includes a dozen of free ones and plenty more paid ones. You can also search for external themes on marketplaces like Envato: there’s a selection of BigCommerce themes there, as well as templates for Shopify. With any of these platforms, you’ll have plenty of options for choosing the best theme for your store.  

In the BigCommerce editor, you can open any page and adjust it using drag-and-drop blocks of content. These blocks include typical sections like popular products or reviews, as well as customizable layouts where you can include various widgets.

Layouts in the BigCommerce’s page editor
Layouts in the BigCommerce’s page editor

Shopify’s editor works in a similar fashion. You’ll have numerous content blocks to use, and each can be further customized regarding size, color, and additional settings.

Editing a product grid on Shopify’s collection page
Product grid in the Shopify’s page editor

Both BigCommerce and Shopify allow you to create as many pages as you want, including custom non-product pages. You’ll also be able to customize the checkout by adding your logo and background image or changing colors and fonts. Additionally, BigCommerce allows for heavier checkout customization—you can upload a JS file with custom checkout. Shopify only permits such customizations to Plus merchants and is generally less flexible when it comes to changing the logic of a predefined checkout experience. 

Speaking of checkout, it has actually been one of the biggest attractions for stores choosing BigCommerce over Shopify—for instance, some claimed to reduce the number of checkout steps from seven to three, which led to increased conversions. However, Shopify has recently introduced one-page checkout, so both platforms enable a fast checkout experience.  

Finally, while both e-commerce platforms allow adding custom code files, BigCommerce features the Script Manager that makes it easy to control all scripts used on a store (including not only custom scripts but also those created by apps and plugins). This tool is available to all merchants using the latest themes and is a great way to customize the store’s appearance. By contrast, Shopify only lets Plus merchants customize their store’s backend. They can do so with Shopify Functions, a powerful tool for customizing fulfillment strategies, creating complex discounts, or adding cart validators. 

Shopify vs. BigCommerce: SEO features

In terms of search optimization, BigCommerce is a bit ahead of Shopify. Both platforms take good care of technical SEO such as speed, image optimization, automated sitemap update, etc. However, BigCommerce is more flexible: it automatically puts relevant structured data (you’ll need an SEO app for that on Shopify) and allows changing the URL structure (Shopify doesn’t).

URL settings on BigCommerce
URL settings on BigCommerce

Payment options on Shopify and BigCommerce

Overall, Shopify is more powerful in its payment ecosystem. It supports over 100 payment providers, with transaction fees depending on the pricing plan. The platform also has its own gateway, Shopify Payments, that doesn’t charge fees and provides merchants with a unified view of payments and orders. It also allows for accelerated checkout, and there’s an option to display the Shop Promise badge that guarantees a certain delivery timeframe. 

In turn, BigCommerce supports 65+ payment gateway integrations that work for 100+ countries and support 250+ payment methods. The list includes popular digital wallets, installment payments, and bank transfers. Each payment method comes with a fee that starts at 2.59% + $0.49 per transaction.

Unlike Shopify, BigCommerce doesn’t have its own POS but it supports plenty of POS systems like Square and Clover. Shopify offers its POS system for free on all pricing plans and the Pro version for an extra charge (with in-store analytics and more staff permissions). Shopify POS also has a mobile POS terminal for even easier in-person sales (currently available only in the US). 

Shopify POS Go terminal
Shopify POS Go terminal

BigCommerce versus Shopify: store analytics

Both BigCommerce and Shopify provide merchants with detailed reports on various aspects of running a store. The analytics suite on BigCommerce includes 11 sections that include merchandising, marketing, purchasing funnel, customer behavior, and sales tax. The platform also features E-Commerce Insights that put together information about products (most promising, most abandoned, etc.) and customers (which are automatically grouped into segments by AOV, repeat purchase rate, and other factors). This customer segmentation functionality can be really helpful for identifying the most loyal shoppers or those you’re at risk of losing. On Shopify, granular customer groups can only be created with the help of segmentation apps

BigCommerce analytics
BigCommerce analytics

For the most part, Shopify has similar analytical reports, although some of them are quite limited in the cheaper plans. For example, with the Shopify Basic subscription, you won’t have any reports on orders, sales, and customers. Only merchants who use Advanced or Shopify Plus have access to all reports, including the option to create custom ones. By contrast, BigCommerce keeps all its reporting capabilities accessible on any plan. What BigCommerce doesn’t feature compared to Shopify is inventory reports: the latter offers data on inventory sold per day, ABC analysis per product, etc. 

Analytical dashboard in Shopify
Shopify analytics

Shopify vs. BigCommerce: scalability and international sales

BigCommerce has more scalable merchandising capabilities, allowing for a greater number of variants per product (600 compared to 100 on Shopify) and a much greater number of variant options (250 compared to 3 on Shopify). This detail might be crucial for enterprises in Shopify Plus vs BigCommerce comparison. Although, when it comes to product filtering, it’s not available to all merchants on BigCommerce but only to those on Pro or Enterprise plans. Plus, BigCommerce prides itself on having more generous API call limits and was recognized as the leading platform for B2B stores by Forrester and Paradigm.

In turn, Shopify wins in localization capabilities, which might also be a major consideration for enterprise businesses. In each plan, you can sell your products in 20 languages from a single store (customers will be automatically shown the URL in their language). 

By contrast, you can only have one language on the BigCommerce storefront. The platform supports translations (although not fully, having some uneditable strings in 10 languages only), but you won’t be able to display multiple languages without creating separate stores for each region. Shopify also has its limitations (for instance, you can’t localize URLs or translate tags) but in general, it offers more for selling internationally.

It’s also easier to work with multiple currencies on Shopify. While BigCommerce supports multi-currency stores, some of its features don’t (price ranges in store search and filtering, gift wrapping, and store credit payments). On top of that, Shopify has the Shopify Markets tool which allows you to create custom pricing and product rules for each location-based segment you’re targeting. 

Another thing that might interest stores that are looking to scale and expand is marketplace sales. Both BigCommerce and Shopify allow for omnichannel sales, but with the former, most marketplace integrations (Walmart or Etsy, for example) go out of the box, while with the latter, you’ll need to use dedicated apps. 

Shopify and BigCommerce comparison: pricing plans

BigCommerce’s pricing starts at $39 per month for the Standard plan (25% off if paid annually). You’ll get access to all the basic features but not advanced ones like customer segmentation or persistent carts. However, it’s not the feature set that defines your plan but the volume of your yearly sales. If it surpasses $50k, you’ll be automatically moved to a higher-tier subscription.

The Plus and Pro plans cost $105 and $399 per month (or 25% less if paid for a year) and are accessible to stores with up to $180k and $400k in yearly sales, respectively. They allow for more inventory locations (up to 5 and 8) and more storefronts to manage from a single account (up to 5 and 8, respectively). Also, they have additional features like automated abandoned cart email sequences and product filtering (the latter is only available in Pro). 

Lastly, the Enterprise plan is designed for large stores. All the limits in this plan are discussed on a case-by-case basis, and so is the pricing. Also, this subscription comes with the lowest transaction fees, priority support, API access, and B2B features. 

BigCommerce pricing plans
BigCommerce pricing

Shopify has very similar pricing, with Basic, Shopify, and Advanced plans charging $32, $92, and $299 per month, or at a 25% discount when paid annually. The major differences between these plans lie in reporting tools: Basic provides limited access to analytics, and only under Advanced, merchants have all the reports including custom ones. Besides that, cheaper plans don’t support some advanced functionalities like e-commerce automations or third-party calculated shipping rates. 

For enterprise-level businesses, Shopify offers Shopify Plus with custom pricing (starting from $2,000 per month) and individually discussed customizations. The platform also has modular pricing called Commerce Components where you pay for the features and limits you use. Finally, there’s the Starter plan for those looking to start selling on social media without creating an online store yet.

Shopify pricing plans
Shopify pricing

At the first glance, BigCommerce and Shopify have almost identical pricing strategies, but if we go through the features, it’s clear that Shopify is way more flexible. BigCommerce automatically upgrades the plan if you’re surpassing the limit of yearly sales, so you can’t choose the plan based on the features you need. Plus, some of the features that aren’t available in all plans are pretty basic—for instance, abandoned cart reminders are helpful to businesses of any size. 

The advantages of BigCommerce are unlimited staff accounts in any plan (compared to 2-15 on Shopify), all reporting capabilities in any plan, and the possibility to run multiple storefronts under a single account (although, this might be needed for several localized versions, which on Shopify you can create without additional storefronts). In turn, Shopify offers a lot more inventory locations (up to 1,000 in any plan, compared to 4-8 on BigCommerce) and generally more features.

Comparison table

basic overview

Starting price (per month)

$32 (varies depending on the region; costs 25% less if paid for a year ahead)

$39 (costs 25% less if paid for a year ahead)

Free trial

Duration varies

15 days

Transaction fee

0.5-2% depending on the plan (no fees on Shopify Payments)

from 2.59% + $0.49

Unlimited products

Embedded payment gateway

24/7 free support

Number of apps



Migration from other platforms

Can be done manually or with the help of apps (both free and paid)

With the help of data migration apps or BigCommerce’s migration services

Mobile app to manage stores



Built-in SEO

Global CDN


SSL certificate

Subscription sales

(with the help of apps)

(with the help of apps)

Digital products

Social selling

Number of staff accounts

2-15 depending on the plan



Supports third-party POS providers

Inventory locations


4+ depending on the plan

Manual orders

Automatically calculated shipping rates

Automated sales tax

Only for the US

With paid apps

Own fulfillment network


Drag-and-drop editor

Theme customizations

Number of themes

100+ (11 free themes)

200+ (11 free themes)

Unlimited pages

Possibility to add custom code

Smart search with autocomplete and error tolerance

With paid apps

Site backup

global reach

Multi-language stores

Multi-currency stores

Multiple inventory locations

Automated translations

Local payments

Automated domain redirection based on geolocation

Market-specific product selection

Analytics & reporting

Live view

Marketing reports

Finances reports

Inventory reports

Product analytics

Visitor behavior

Google Analytics integration


Number of supported gateways



PCI DSS compliance 

Credit cards

(supported by Stripe)

Google Pay

Apple Pay

Amazon Pay



Installment payments




Wire transfer

Cash on delivery

Accelerated checkout

(including its own solution Shop Pay)








Global reach



Analytics & reporting







Even though BigCommerce accounts for a small market share compared to Shopify, it remains a valid competitor. Both e-commerce platforms cover all the basic needs for online stores of different sizes and are relatively easy to use. BigCommerce is a lot more scalable in the limits of product variants and options, which makes it a great choice for stores with large, diverse catalogs. It also offers more for SEO and you won’t be needing external tools for the majority of optimization activities. 

Other than that, Shopify seems like a more powerful option: it has strong localization functionality, more features related to inventory management, and a wider selection of payment methods, including their own Shopify Payments with accelerated checkout and no transaction fees. Besides, it might be easier to launch a new store with Shopify, as you’ll have more features from the start with the cheapest plan compared to BigCommerce.

Our verdict

BigCommerce seems like a valid option for large stores with lots of product variants and B2B stores looking for wholesale features. In turn, Shopify might suit you better if you want to launch a new business or if you plan to sell internationally.

Frequently Asked Questions

What makes Shopify unique compared to other e-commerce platforms?
How much does it cost to run Shopify store per month?
What countries and languages is Shopify available in?
What currencies and payment methods are available on Shopify?
Do I need any technical knowledge to manage a Shopify store?
Is Shopify suitable for larger stores with thousands of products?
How can I migrate to Shopify from another e-commerce platform?
Can I use my existing store domain and connect it to Shopify?

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