Shopify, WooCommerce and BigCommerce are all great platforms but we’re here to break down each option so that you can make the best choice possible for your website and business in 2020.
Pros and Cons
Pros: Best all-inclusive eCommerce platform and the ability to sell across multiple channels.
Cons: Transaction fees for alternative payment gateways and the need to reconfigure when switching themes.
Pros: Most built-in features and great SEO features.
Cons: Learning curve for using the interface and no mobile app.
Pros: Unlimited customisations and great for search engine optimisation (SEO).
Cons: Poor customer support and advanced technical knowledge required.
Ease of Use
Standalone eCommerce platforms like Shopify and BigCommerce will always be far easier to use then self-hosting plugins like WooCommerce.
Shopify does stand above BigCommerce however in terms of ease of use due to its large use of visuals and limited features in their default interface.
BigCommerce offers the most features upfront however and this causes a larger learning curve and a slightly tricker interface to navigate.
WooCommerce is built for users with web development experience and allows for unlimited customisation but this does mean it hasn’t been built to hold your hand.
Overall, Shopify is definitely the easiest platform to pick up and use and this also means it is the quickest out of the three to get you online if speed is a priority.
Shopify and BigCommerce both offer around 10 free themes and over 50 paid options each which will cost upwards of $140 USD.
Design is where WooCommerce excels with its 14 themes all costing $39 USD each.
You can customise every detail to fit your brand perfectly with one of these themes and if none of those 14 work for you, theres so many more WordPress themes out there built by third-party developers.
Tools and Features
When it comes to sales tools both Shopify and BigCommerce offer everything you need to manage your online stock.
Their inventory management systems are great, letting you sell an unlimited number of different products on all their price plans while you can also print customisable shipping labels.
WooCommerce does have fewer features but they’re still very good, you can get one-click refunds, blogging tools and many more but in terms of inventory management the other two have it beat.
It’s hard to split Shopify and BigCommerce here.
Payment Options and Fees
Being able to accept more payment gateways means more people can buy your products, but who supports the most?
All three platforms support a wide range of payment gateways including PayPal, Stripe and Apple Pay.
However, the key differences between the three involve their other options and transaction fees involved.
Unlike the other two, Shopify imposes its own transaction fees on all gateways apart from its own, Shopify Payments.
In terms of choice, BigCommerce is quite limited whereas Shopify and WooCommerce offer over 100 more options.
WooCommerce takes the win easily by offering the most payment gateways without imposing any of its own transaction fees on top.
Search Engine Optimisation is process of configuring your website so that it ranks higher on search engines like Google.
All three offer strong SEO tools that allow you to edit meta titles and descriptions, update URLs and add alt tags to images.
BigCommerce is the only platform with built in social media features whereas the other two rely heavily on third party integrations.
Unfortunately, WooCommerce doesn’t support this at all whereas Shopify and BigCommerce allow you to sell across multiple channels like Facebook, Instagram and Amazon.
Overall, BigCommerce has the most built in marketing features allowing you to scale your business reliably with Shopify in a close second.
Help and Support
Shopify and BigCommerce both offer 24/7 live chat and phone support whereas WooCommerce leaves you on your own with only a small help centre / forum to consult.
Shopify does offer support through social media however which is something that BigCommerce doesn’t.
Pricing and Value
Shopify does offer a 14-day free trial as standard but are currently offering an extended 90-day trial to support new online businesses (May 2020).
To keep using the platform after your trial you’ll need to upgrade to one of their three paid plans ranging from $29 to $299 USD per month.
Each plan offers unlimited products and all the brilliant features we discussed earlier but make sure to check out their pricing page to compare each plan.
BigCommerce also offers a 15-day free trial and plans ranging from $29 to $299 USD per month.
You’ll get unlimited bandwidth on all paid plans and zero transaction fees as well, check out their pricing page to compare.
WooCommerce is by far the most affordable option as standard but can be a bit more difficult to calculate.
The plugin itself is free but you’ll want to spend $39 on one of their themes.
Then you’ll also need to setup your own website hosting and SSL certificate which can be as cheap as $5 per month from a provider like SiteGround.
Keep in mind you may also end up getting some paid WooCommerce addons at some stage to expand the functionality of your website, this vary widely in price.
Overall, Shopify is the best eCommerce platform for any online store looking to get off the ground.
BigCommerce is best for any businesses looking to scale while WooCommerce is great for creative control and limitless customisations.
Don’t forget that each platform offers a free trial so test one out today and see how you like it.
I hope you found this useful.
To your success,