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eCommerce platforms allow more customers to shop from anywhere in the world. Today, you can launch and scale your online business with website builders like Big Cartel and Shopify. These two are among the most recognizable and user-friendly platforms businesses can use.
To further understand how they can help you in the world of eCommerce, let’s take a look at how they stand out when it comes to their features, themes, integrations, customer support, and pricing plans.
How do you determine which one is better suited for your needs? Find out as we compare Big Cartel vs. Shopify.
With Big Cartel, you can set up your online store and sell products for free. It’s a trusted cloud-based shopping cart solution catering to the needs of 70,000 online stores. Since 2005 it was launched in 2005, Big Cartel made it vital to focus on providing services catered to artists, creatives, musicians, and designers.
Meanwhile, Shopify is a powerful platform suitable for all sorts of businesses. It offers impeccable eCommerce tools as you venture into the online marketplace. Using this web builder, you can build, launch, and operate your business website with the utmost convenience.
When differentiating Big Cartel vs. Shopify, the first thing that most businesses will look into is the option for pricing plans. Big Cartel has cheaper pricing options in contrast to Shopify’s plans. However, the expensive Shopify packages are justified by their advanced features which are necessary for mid-sized and large enterprises.
|Big Cartel Gold: The Free PlanOnly up to 5 products No credit card needed||Free TrialFree for 14 daysNo credit card required|
|Big Cartel Platinum:50 product listings$9.99/month||Basic:For occasional in-person sales$29.00/month|
|Big Cartel Diamond:500 product listings available$19.99/month||Shopify:For growing businesses$79.00/month|
Big Cartel offers a fairly straightforward approach to website-building. The overall user interface has a minimalistic feel, and learning how to navigate is not complex. Shopify also thrives on being user-friendly, boasting a very responsive editor to help users make changes with ease. Setting up your online store would usually require four key steps in this platform.
Both Big Cartel and Shopify offer simple and straightforward solutions for beginners, startups, and small businesses. Overall, it is notable that Shopify has a slight edge with more functionalities and better responsiveness.
|Only takes a few minutes to set up your eCommerce store||May be unsuitable for large eCommerce stores requiring advanced features and capabilities|
|Simple and intuitive to use||Improvement in search functionality|
|Simple control panel and a manageable dashboard||Limited features|
|Maximize creativity with Shopify’s drag-and-drop interface||Building takes time and effort|
|Seamless dashboard and control panel that includes all the necessary tools||Not too straightforward compared to Big Cartel|
|Does not require programming experience||Unconventional categories add to the learning curve|
When it comes to design, both Big Cartel and Shopify offer free, mobile-optimized themes— 18 for Big Cartel and 11 for Shopify. However, with free themes, there are often limitations. If you want to take it to the next level, you may opt for Shopify, as they have about 60 more themes ranging from $140 to $200.
The themes on Big Cartel are best-suited for photographers, artists, fashion brands, as well as jewelry stores. On the other hand, Shopify’s themes extend to all types of businesses. Whatever niche industry you’re in, Shopify has a theme to match your needs if you want to start an eCommerce store,
|18 free neatly designed, mobile-responsive, and elegant themes||Upgrade to a higher plan is required to modify coding|
|Design features don’t require any coding experience||Little room for customization since themes are focused on the needs of creatives, designers, and artists|
|Full control of the font, logo, colors, and style||No advanced image editor|
|70 elegant and creative templates to ensure Your web store looks professional||Coding knowledge in Liquid is highly recommended for the best outputs|
|Ready for template editing using the built-in language||Only ten templates are free and paid themes can be expensive|
|Templates are categorized based on industries or niches||Some learning curve when it comes to the built-in language|
When it comes to inventory management, Shopify shines. With a Shopify site, you can introduce as many items as you wish. There’s no need to worry about limits. You even have the option to do bulk imports, edit product attributes, add images, improve SEO features, and prepare shipping options.
On the other hand, Big Cartel is limited when it comes to uploading products. Since it is designed for small businesses with small items, the free plan only offers five product uploads. On their costliest plan, you can go for a maximum of 300 items.
Shopify is more suitable for:
Big Cartel is more ideal for:
|Upload up to five items for free, with the option to upgrade to a maximum of 300 items||Lack of an abandoned cart recovery function|
|Variety of payment processing options, including PayPal credit, ePay, Venmo, or Stripe||Configuration and additional costs for digital products|
|Straightforward back-end interface that makes the shopping experience more convenient||No way to specify product weight for shipping or pick-up|
|Abandoned cart recovery function to notify clients who haven’t completed orders||No specific and strict guidelines on what products you can sell|
|Easy and quick payment processors, including credit cards, Amazon, Apple Pay, and PayPal, plus Point-of-Sale functionality and hardware||Room for improving handling product variants and options|
|Upload as many items as you want||Quite a high price for Shopify POS Pro add-on|
Big Cartel offers decent app integrations, covering various business needs. You can also opt for Big Cartel’s mobile POS integration, which means you can even sell in a brick-and-mortar store.
Here are some apps you can integrate into your BigCartel store:
Shopify beats Big Cartel again with a whopping 1,500 app integration options. You can get apps for reporting, finance management, customer support, shipping, sales channels, security, productivity, among others. However, it is notable that these apps come with an added cost.
Here are some apps you can integrate into your Shopify store:
|Integration with over 500 third-party apps, from shipping to marketing||Fewer add-ons and integrations compared to Shopify|
|Mobile integration of POS to manage your business using your IOS or Android devices||Additional costs may be associated with some add-ons|
|Seamless and fast integration, even without coding skills||Lack of business management systems|
|More than 4,000 third-party apps available||Additional monthly fee for app integrations|
|Quick and easy app installation||Lack of great apps that are free|
|Permits integration with CRM, landing pages, and forms are necessary to boost sales||Constraints on custom app development|
Between Big Cartel vs Shopify, the latter is more advanced. Shopify earns the winning point in terms of 24/7 accessibility, responsiveness, and the number of channels where a client can raise concerns.
Big Cartel offers numerous options, including a knowledge base and an email support team available during work hours, but it is still lacking in some areas. Getting in touch with a company representative via live chat or phone is difficult.
On the other hand, Shopify’s customer support is the stuff of legends. Shopify provides technical help through all of the channels available— Facebook, email, live chat, phone, Twitter, and a dedicated support center.
|Email ticketing system||Customer support is accessible only from Monday to Friday|
|Accessible Big Cartel Help Center||No telephone or chat support|
|Entertains concerns on social media channels, including Facebook and Twitter||Responses on social media may take time|
|Plenty of support channels, including email, live chat, phone, blog, forum, support center, social media, and Shopify community||Delayed responses|
|Customer support operates 24/7||Though merchants experience exemplary support, some merchants’ customers struggle with reaching customer support.|
|Shopify Plus subscribers have access to dedicated support agents||Not a 24/7 service|
At this point, if you still have questions about these two remarkable web builders, you may refer to a few frequently asked questions below.
No. There are no transaction fees on Big Cartel but you may incur fees on processor charges.
No. Big Cartel is one of the few that does not take a cut on your sales.
When using its own processing payment, Shopify does not charge any transaction fees. However, there will be about 0.5% to 2% fees when a third-party payment gateway is used.
In the competition between Big Cartel vs. Shopify, each of them offers outstanding features that can greatly contribute to every eCommerce store. Although they are often compared to each other, they hugely differ in many aspects you would have to weigh depending on your business needs.
Big Cartel is a highly recommended platform to showcase your artwork pieces, prints, music, pottery, and more. Meanwhile, Shopify is best for mid-sized and large enterprises that are looking for advanced eCommerce tools.
Learn more about the best website builders at Page Kits.