This blog is a complete guide for choosing between Shopify, WooCommerce, and BigCommerce as the platform for your e-commerce business.
We’ll compare these platforms across five main factors.
Usability: which refers to how easy it is to set up a store design it and manage it.
Security: where we judge how safe you are from hackers at malware and how good the customer support is.
Functionality: where we’ll discuss core e-commerce features such as payments, refunds, shipping, and how good the plugins and Integrations are.
Customer experience: Simply put how fast can your store load and overall which platform helps convert more customers?
Price: where we’ll judge each platform’s cost and find out which one is suited for your business.
Let’s begin with discussing usability. Shopify is the easiest to set up but has few customization options. BigCommerce is the second easiest to set up and has some customizations while WooCommerce takes up extra time to set up. but gives you a base on which you can build any kind of story award.
for example, if you wanted to add a music player, you can go to any one of these free sites and find the code snippet which is lines of code, and then just copy-paste it to your site to get the desired effect. So for people who aren’t afraid of a small learning curve, WooCommerce has a lot of design and customization opportunities. but for people that are beginners and want something great I’d say Shopify is the better choice. because it may only have four themes. but they are quite beautiful and designed in a way that you can get the best bag for your buck without much effort.
One big difference between these two and Shopify is that, Shopify does it need you to perform regular updates. Updates can sometimes break sites if there are code conflicts between different plugins. So that’s one less headache with Shopify.
let’s talk about the next big factor which is security.
There are three main things you need to worry about when it comes to online security.
- SSL certificate: it comes free with Shopify and with BigCommerce it comes as an add-on with WooCommerce. It depends on the web host that you pick like cloudways. give it for free and in others, you’ll have to buy and install it yourself.
- malware attacks: BigCommerce’s security comes free with your subscription and if your site does get infected you can reach out to their customer support to get it removed WooCommerce and Shopify are potentially safer. because the security is in your control and you can install a good security plugin.
- customer support: All three platforms have 24×7 support. though there are some varying reports about how effective each of them is. I’ll throw up some common reviews and ratings on the screen so you can decide for yourself.
Next, let’s talk about the third big factor the features and functionalities of each platform. BigCommerce or WooCommerce don’t have built-in payment gateways you’ll have to use a plugin as that takes a transaction fee. Shopify on the other hand has a built-in payment gateway called Shopify payments. there are no transaction fees, but it does have your typical card payment processing fee. which varies depending on the Shopify plan that you choose in terms of refunds.
BigCommerce and Shopify let you initiate it within the dashboard but with WooCommerce you’ll have to use the payment plugins dashboard for this.
Another important feature is how each platform deals with customers that added items to a cart. but did check it out. BigCommerce has a built-in abandoned cart recovery tool that sends emails to customers about their abandoned cards which is a helpful feature to have.
Shopify takes us one step forward by not only adding an email but also sending a link so they don’t have to enter the details again WooCommerce doesn’t have this feature by default. so you’ll have to use a bail chip or send it blue which again has a slight learning curve. All three are saved when it comes to international shipping.
lastly, let’s discuss how good the plugins and Integrations are on each platform. WooCommerce has a big lead here. because it has 75,000 plugins and extensions. because it’s an open-source platform. everything is much more customizable than any other platform.
Shopify is at the end of the pack with only about 3200 apps to choose from. so if you have a dedicated website manager or you can take out some hours every week to manage the platform WooCommerce is the better option.
4. Customer Experience
Factor number four is customer experience. generally, BigCommerce can be much faster than WooCommerce. because WooCommerce sites can become heavy if you add a lot of themes and plugins to them.
I’d give WooCommerce a lead here because there’s just much more opportunity to fight the customer experience. Especially as your customer base grows for instance. If your customers respond well to a particular style of the checkout page, you can get that out of WooCommerce. While BigCommerce or Shopify may not have that plugin. so if you are even a little bit tech savvy the sky is the limit to what you can achieve with WooCommerce.
However, if you are a small store and what a quick site that is recommended shopping because it’s cheaper than BigCommerce and still gets the job done.
The last factor is comparing the prices of each platform. BigCommerce is the most expensive option here with the most popular plan being 864$ if you pay annually there are some good built-in features. but if your sales exceed a hundred and eighty thousand dollars per year you’ll automatically be upgraded to the next plan which is 3240$ per year that’s almost four times the double price and only a couple of new features are unlocked. which can be a turn-off for most entrepreneurs moving on the most basic Shopify plan is 168$ a year or 40$ a month and has a handful of features. There’s no automatic upgrading here based on sales.
WooCommerce is half the cost of Shopify to set up basic hosting from GoDaddy. can cost as little as 60$ a year and a simple.com domain which $can cost around 10$ a year which brings a total to 70$ now.
If you want better quality hosting such as from a cloud base or your domain is in high demand. the price can go up. so it’s a bit subjective.
So in terms of price, WooCommerce wins on the surface level but the deeper question to ask is which platform’s pricing is the best for a growing business. Overall I think the big advantage of WooCommerce is that it’s very cheap to set up the customization. potential is endless and the plug-in ecosystem is high in quality and quantity.
The main disadvantage is that it requires effort so this is best for a business that can spare the hours needed to get the most from the platform or a business. That’s going to grow very fast and will lead to extra functionality.
The main pros of Shopify are that it’s a great option for anyone who wants to hit the ground. Running the subscription cost is quite justified for what they offer, and the platform is very templatized. which makes it easy to get a decent store up quickly.
The only disadvantage is that this convenience comes at the cost of personalization and customization. The plug-in library is very limited and there’s quite less scope to modify the platform or quality of wishes.
So I’d say Shopify is best for a one-man operation or a fledgling business.
Lastly, the main advantage of BigCommerce is that it has some good built-in features and a decent plugin library to make a highly functional store. The platform is very intuitive to use and some big brands use it as well. The only code is that it’s an expensive platform and even more. So if your business is quickly growing, I’ll add a bunch of links in the description to help you with setting up a store for each platform.
Alby Abraham is an technology enthusiast, published blogger, and a content marketer who spends his time on building a career in the digital marketing industry. He also writes a blog on The Last Words for tech lovers.