There are plenty of digital tools online designed to help today’s entrepreneurs sell online. However, many of these solutions focus on companies of a certain size that are keen to grow. For companies who need advanced features from day one, it’s important to find an ecommerce platform with the right backend scalability.
There are a handful of companies out there, from Magento, to Shopify that allow for a more enterprise-scale level of selling. Today, we’re going to be looking at some of the biggest contenders in this landscape: Shopify and BigCommerce.
Both Shopify and BigCommerce allow users to create stores in a range of sizes, with a wide selection of features. They’re also two of the most reliable shopping solutions for today’s business leaders.
For enterprise-level companies, Shopify and BigCommerce have specific solutions intended for high-volume selling. Shopify Plus serves some of the biggest companies in the world, from Death Wish Coffee to Leesa. BigCommerce Enterprise has clients like Toyota and Gibson to brag about.
The question is, which solution is better?
Shopify Plus vs BigCommerce Enterprise: The Basics
Shopify Plus is the leading solution from Shopify, intended to help companies scale. You can enjoy page speed up to 3 times faster than anything you get with BigCommerce, sell across 20 channels, including eBay and Instagram, and process as many as 10,978 checkouts per minute.
Shopify Plus supports up to 5,300 apps to help you adjust the functionality of your company, and there’s 24/7 global technical support too. Shopify also has Service and App partners to access if you need additional support.
Aside from a huge range of features, Shopify Plus offers 24/7 support for customers, one of the world’s largest collections of apps and partners, a set of native ecommerce automation tools, custom checkout discounts, and access to a password protected store too.
Shopify Plus customers grow at a rate of around 126% more year over year.
BigCommerce Enterprise promises the kind of meaningful experiences that companies need to build at an enterprise level. There’s absolutely no transaction fee, and you get a fully-featured store with multiple currencies, price lists, and 24/7 tech support.
BigCommerce customers can create unlimited staff accounts, and combine sales channels across Amazon, eBay, and beyond. There are discounts, coupons and gift cards to explore, real-time shipping quotes, and a fully customisable checkout environment. Extended functionality is also available through the app marketplace, and SSL support is available.
You can even create Google customer reviews, segment your customers, and design custom solutions with unlimited API support.
Shopify Plus vs BigCommerce Enterprise: Pricing
When it comes to choosing the perfect ecommerce site, monthly fees are always an important consideration. Both BigCommerce Enterprise and Shopify Plus offer a pricing plan that can scale according to the needs of its audience.
For this particularly review, we’re going to ignore the smaller plans available from BigCommerce and Shopify, but there are a range of choices available if you’re not quite at enterprise level yet.
Like most Enterprise solutions, the offerings from BigCommerce and Shopify don’t have a direct price attached to them. There’s no set dollar amount for BigCommerce Enterprise. Instead, the company encourages users to reach out and discuss their needs with a professional.
The amount you spend will depend on the kind of growth stage you’re in. However, it’s worth noting that it doesn’t cost anything to migrate to BigCommerce, and there are no additional transaction fees to worry about, which isn’t the case with Shopify.
The only way to avoid transaction fees with Shopify is to use the Shopify Payments solution, this is true when you’re accessing the Enterprise version of Shopify too. The Shopify Payments service is good, but it might not be ideal for every business owner.
Shopify Plus is a little more descriptive about its pricing structure than BigCommerce, advising customers that that their package will generally start at around $2000 per month. However, this is just a base cost. You’ll once again need to reach out to the team to discuss your pricing needs in depth, which means you could end up paying more.
Once again, with Shopify Plus, if you’re not using the Payments service, you’ll have the extra costs of transaction fees to think about, which can range up to 2%.
Shopify Plus vs BigCommerce Enterprise: Ease of Use
The first thing you need to know is that using an Enterprise solution for ecommerce will always mean that you have extra features to access. More features is great, but it also means that there’s a higher learning curve when you’re determining how you should be using the service.
BigCommerce and Shopify both offer mobile optimized websites as standard, with the freedom for users to browse on their smartphone or tablet. Shopify Plus has access to Shop Pay, which is a mobile optimized one-tap checkout, whereas BigCommerce can’t offer this functionality.
Shopify is a little easier to use than BigCommerce, because the solution is designed to be as user-friendly as possible. BigCommerce may be very scalable, but Shopify ensures that even if you’ve never built your own website before, you’ll feel comfortable getting started.
For Shopify, setting up a website can be as simple as filling out forms. You can go further and use things like the mobile SDK to add your own features and capabilities into a mobile app, but this isn’t a requirement.
BigCommerce is a little more advanced. There is a drag and drop feature with BigCommerce, and this solution is actually a little more flexible than Shopify’s, because you can choose exactly where you want each component to go.
BigCommerce does come with more out-of-the-box features available so you don’t have to add as many extras yourself, however. You can create things like sing-page checkouts, product reviews, custom URL structures and related products listings for free. There’s no excess bloatware, and you also get the benefits of a Google Cloud Platform with 99.98% uptime.
While both Shopify and BigCommerce are relatively easy to use, the Enterprise nature of both tools does mean that you might need a little help from a tech professional to fully unlock the benefits of all the features. It can take time to get used to a platform that’s so feature rich.
Shopify Plus vs BigCommerce Enterprise: Design
Design is always an important consideration when building a website. BigCommerce offers something called an “advanced customization framework”, for more engaging storefronts. The editor allows you to build and change the look of your solution online without writing any code.
As mentioned above, BigCommerce has a fantastic drag-and-drop editor which is extremely flexible and easy to customize. You can go above and beyond to make your website stand out without having to write any code. Of course, if you do know a bit about development, there’s also the option to access popular code libraries like CSS and HTML.
There are various paid theme options available with your BigCommerce Enterprise solution, but they’re almost twice the price of what you’d pay on Shopify. Each theme comes with a few different styles to choose from, too. If you don’t mind paying more, or you were thinking of getting a custom-made theme in the first place, this might not be a problem. Although they’re expensive, the themes are very attractive.
Shopify also makes it extremely simple to build a powerful store with your Enterprise solution. You can access the underlying code in Shopify to experiment with CSS and HTML. Shopify also has a vast library of themes which are often modern and professional.
There are various paid theme options with Shopify, if you want to go above and beyond what’s available in the free section. Additionally, with Shopify Scripts, developers have the freedom to customize checkouts and shopping carts without spending a fortune.
Shopify Plus allows developers to customize the platform even more extensively through an embedded app SDK and coding in their preferred language.
Shopify Plus vs BigCommerce Enterprise: Features
BigCommerce and Shopify both offer the option to sell on a range of channels, which is great for enterprise companies. BigCommerce has a channel manager involved within the admin technology which makes multi-channel commerce simple and effortless. You don’t need to jump between different environments to check your performance. Instead, you can track multi-channel sales in one environment.
BigCommerce Enterprise gives you a fully-featured solution to sell on channels that range from in-person POS solutions, to eBay and Amazon. With both B2B and B2C capabilities, there’s no limit on what you can accomplish, and companies can create shopping experiences anywhere through application devices, DXP, and CPS systems. BigCommerce is ready to support a range of API integrations.
It’s also worth noting that BigCommerce doesn’t add any costs onto your migration. Although you may have to pay something if your migration is complex, BigCommerce adjusts prices to suit each company.
Shopify Plus merchants can use Shopify Payments to sell in an advanced range of currencies and get paid in their own currency from each store. The storefront is extremely customer friendly, and checkout experiences ensure that merchants can deliver delightful outcomes for their customers.
With BigCommerce, you can only choose from displayed currencies, and customers can’t see invoices in their preferred currency, which can be a little bit of a problem.
The Shopify POS also means that companies can sell in various locations, and launch pop-up stores in the real world, without having to compromise on things like customer, order and inventory management. The sales channel SDK means that commerce can appear within any mobile app or marketplace, and you can connect users to millions of products on a host of platforms.
Another sales channel option for Shopify Plus is the ability for merchants to sell through a wholesale channel. This channel allows users to sync orders, products, and buyer accounts within an existing admin landscape. Merchants can easily launch password-protected storefronts for their customers, complete with unique collections.
Shopify Plus vs BigCommerce Enterprise: Sales Features
If you’re looking for an eCommerce solution like BigCommerce Enterprise or Shopify Plus, the chances are that you need something with solid (and reliable) sales features. The good news is that both of these tools have something to offer.
Shopify often ranks among the top products in the world for sales features, with BigCommerce just behind. Both of these tools offer things like:
- Shipping tools for your online store, including the option to set shipping locations, amend rates based on order value or weight, and shipping labels.
- SSL certification: You get an SSL certificate from both solutions, so you can give your customers some much-needed peace of mind.
- Multi-channel selling: Options to sell across multiple platforms, including Pinterest, Instagram, and Facebook.
- Various payment gateway options for your shopping ecosystem, so you can attract a wider range of customers.
- SEO and marketing functionality to bring your website to the right people online.
BigCommerce, for instance, is likely to be the best choice for you if you want to manage credit card payments, marketing, and more with built-in features. The functionality you need comes in BigCommerce as standard, so you’re ready to go as soon as you sign up.
Various eCommerce functions available out of the box from BigCommerce are only available from Shopify through add-ons and integrations, such as:
- Social proof tools: You can allow customers to deliver reviews and testimonials with BigCommerce without having to find separate apps.
- Real-time shipping quotes: Ensure that you give an accurate price for shipping for any product you need to deliver.
- Unlimited staff accounts: Collaborate with various members of staff on the perfect eCommerce experience for your audience.
BigCommerce also allows users to offer various examples of the same product, such as a shirt in various sizes and colors, whereas Shopify supports around 100 variants based on 3 options. Although 100 options may seem like a lot, it’s nothing compared to the 600 variants from BigCommerce.
While BigCommerce gives you a ton of great functionality out of the box, Shopify is the product of choice if you want to customize your site to suit specific customer groups. There are a huge range of third-party apps on the Shopify Plus app store which you can use to connect with your clients on a deeper level.
You can use the add-ons from Shopify to connect to your CRM, improve front-end functionality, create forms with custom fields and so much more. Shopify allows you to connect all the tools and systems that you use to run your business through APIs and Shopify Plus partners, or you can use a headless architecture for the creation of a custom store front.
Although the wide range of customization options might make Shopify seem more complicated at first, there are tons of automation features to make the experience more simple and streamlined. You can also create shopping experiences to suit virtually any business with Shopify. For Shopify Plus users, there are even tools for augmented reality and 3D product videos.
Shopify Plus also comes with access to Shop Pay, which makes it much easier for your customers to check out at speed. On top of that, you can personalize the checkout experience with a host of shipping rate management options, custom discounts, and product recommendations.
Shopify Plus vs BigCommerce Enterprise: Marketing
Marketing is an important part of running a successful business. BigCommerce Enterprise comes with more solutions built-in than Shopify, including a fully-featured online store, with unlimited staff accounts. You also get expert support from BigCommerce, and a range of SEO features.
BigCommerce default URLS follow a best-in-class format to ensure that you get the best possible experience when trying to reach your customers. There’s also a bunch of webhooks for connecting additional tools, automatic sitemaps, metadata, and one-click Google shopping integration.
You can segment your customers with BigCommerce, and ensure you’re delivering a personalized experience to everyone on your list. There’s also the option to send automated abandoned cart recovery messages to anyone who doesn’t proceed with their checkout.
Shopify Plus is all about making it easier to get massive sales. As mentioned above, you can easily sell in a range of ways with Shopify, including with augmented reality systems so you can allow your digital customers to experiment with products before they spend any money – that’s a feature that you just can’t get from most providers.
Shopify also comes with plenty of SEO support, including customizable URLs, headers, and automatic sitemaps. You can create discounts and gift cards to encourage sales, gain access to profit and sales receipts, and check your analytics for helpful insights.
There’s also the added benefit of the academy from Shopify to help you build the most advanced strategy for sales with the help of experts in your field. All that, and you can create customized automation strategies which include abandoned cart emails, proactive messaging and more.
Shopify Plus vs BigCommerce Enterprise: Support and Security
Whether you opt for BigCommerce or Shopify as your Enterprise solution, there’s a chance you’ll need to access some help at times. Though these SaaS tools are highly intuitive, having the right support on hand can give you significant peace of mind when you’re building your store.
Both BigCommerce and Shopify offer 24/7 phone support, live chat support, help center access, a community forum, video tutorials, and email support. It’s no surprise that the support strategy is so comprehensive, as many website building solutions do ramp things up for the customers that pay the most.
Ecommerce businesses on both Shopify and BigCommerce can access all the guidance they need to do things like integrate with other retailers, access PayPal payments, or set up ERP connections. One bonus of Shopify is that you can find prompts and links throughout the dashboard that link you to the relevant articles in the knowledgebase when you’re setting up your ecommerce store.
With so many solutions for guidance and help, you shouldn’t have an issue with either website builder. However, it’s worth noting that some actions available with BigCommerce and Shopify, like using API calls, may require professional assistance.
From a Security perspective, you also get plenty of custom support. Your Shopify and BigCommerce store will immediately feature their own SSL certificates, and you can even upgrade to a more advanced certificate with BigCommerce.
For retailers, BigCommerce and Shopify go beyond solutions like WordPress, to ensure you can access PCI compliant standards for handling transactions. Combine the wide range of feature, like social media integration, high bandwidth and faceted search, with the amazing support and security from Shopify and BigCommerce, and it’s hard to separate the two.
Shopify Plus vs BigCommerce Enterprise: Which is Best?
Choosing the right ecommerce store builder for your enterprise company is a complicated, but important process. The solution you choose can make a huge difference to your conversion rates, and your ability to connect with customers.
In any environment, it’s worth making a list of the things that matter most to you in a service. Do you want plenty of product options, and integrations with tools like PIM to ensure that you can organize your inventory? Are you looking for a marketplace like Shopify offers, so you can find Shopify app offerings to handle things like multi-currency conversions?
Aside from the monthly cost of paying for your website builder, you may also want to look into processing fees and extra expenses too. Both Shopify and BigCommerce’s enterprise products are going to be more expensive than a store for a small business. However, that doesn’t mean that store owners can’t get a good deal. For instance, while Shopify has a lot of API, SKUs, and integration options, BigCommerce can save you money because the features you need are already built in.
In general, you should consider BigCommerce if:
- You want access to all the features you need out of the box
- You have a lot of inventory with different product options
- You want simple workflows and drag-and-drop creativity
- You love excellent customer service and support
Alternatively, you might want to use Shopify if:
- You want more control over website features
- You need more choice between third-party apps
- You value pre-designed, unique theme options
- You’re a fan of a simple and efficient interface
It’s no wonder that business owners have such a hard time choosing the right website builder these days. There are so many options out there, and various different package options too. With a Shopify store you have everything from Shopify Lite to Shopify Plus. With BigCommerce, you can start small and work your way up to the perfect enterprise environment.
BigCommerce and Shopify are both excellent tools, though Shopify offers more support for integrations with tools like ShipperHQ, and BigCommerce gives you what you need built-in. Good luck finding the solution that works for you.