BigCommerce is a popular and widely well-regarded eCommerce platform, but it's not the perfect solution for every business. You may be looking for BigCommerce alternatives for a few reasons. If your business is brand new, you might be researching eCommerce software before you commit to a specific option. If your business is already established on BigCommerce, you may be starting to feel like you're paying too much for what you get, especially if BigCommerce's revenue tiers caused you to get boosted to a more expensive plan before you were ready. No matter your reasoning, you're in search of the right BigCommerce alternative for your business, so we've collected the best to help you decide.
WooCommerce is a free plugin for installing eCommerce functionality onto a WordPress website. It's not available on WordPress.com's free hosting plans, but can be installed onto a paid WordPress Business plan or onto a self-hosted website using the downloadable WordPress.org software. Installation itself is easy, as you'll only need to select WooCommerce from WordPress's built-in plugin catalog.
WordPress is one of the most popular website builders today, and it's easy to see why — it's easy to use and extremely flexible design-wise. WooCommerce comes with that same flexibility, being able to use a wide range of WordPress themes and have its features expanded by plugins. With both plugins and themes, however, compatibility can be an issue, so ensure any you use are compatible not just with WooCommerce but with one another. Some plugins and themes do have a price, which can be a one-time charge or a monthly fee, making the total cost of setting up a WooCommerce store less predictable.
WooCommerce has tons of plugins, allowing for more customization than is possible on BigCommerce.
BigCommerce's theme store pales in comparison to the thousands of themes available for WooCommerce.
Since WooCommerce doesn't have a paid plan structure, as it's not SaaS, you won't find your business moved up to the next plan once your sales exceed a target amount. (Note that as your store grows, you will need to ensure your web hosting can handle increasing levels of traffic and sales. This is the reason behind revenue-based plan upgrades, but with WooCommerce, it's up to you when you upgrade your own hosting.)
While you'll need to pay for web hosting, WordPress and WooCommerce themselves are free.
Volusion is quite similar to BigCommerce in the sense that they're both SaaS platforms, meaning that unlike WooCommerce, you don't have to handle web hosting or software updates. These and other technical details are handled by the platform provider so you can keep attention on your business. You can start using Volusion the same way you start with BigCommerce and other SaaS providers: just create an account and start building your store.
Volusion is one of the most user-friendly eCommerce platforms, but some users actually find it too simplistic in some respects, and it has fewer features than some other platforms, BigCommerce included. That being said, however, Volusion can still be a good choice if it fits the needs of your business.
Volusion is considered easier to use than BigCommerce, although you may find the platform a bit limited.
While Volusion prices its plans similarly to BigCommerce, they're a little cheaper.
Volusion has 4 plans as opposed to BigCommerce's 3 plans, meaning you can scale your business a little more comfortably.
Shopify is well-known in the eCommerce world as a leading platform supporting tons of retailers, small and large alike. It operates on the SaaS model just like BigCommerce, so there's nothing to install or update. It's also considered to be extremely user-friendly and welcoming to those without any technical knowledge. With Shopify, it's possible to get an online store up and running very quickly, but there are some downsides you should also be aware of.
Shopify's overall feature count is lower than the other SaaS solutions we've listed, with the exception of Volusion (although Volusion still has some features Shopify doesn't). Much of the missing functionality can be filled in using apps from Shopify's extensive app store, but nearly all of them have fees of their own, and many businesses find themselves needing to use so many apps that their monthly fees quickly become unmanageable. It's common to pay over 3 times your Shopify plan's fee in app charges alone.
Shopify also charges transaction fees on every sale (plus the payment processor's normal fee) unless you use their proprietary payment provider, Shopify Payments. This may seem like a quick solution, but Shopify Payments simply isn't feasible for some businesses. It's based on Stripe, which does not support any industry designated as "high-risk," which can be due to regulations, higher fraud rates, or other reasons. Shopify Payments has also gained a reputation for suspending service without warning due to perceived risk (regardless of what the store sells), freezing all collected payments and essentially closing the store.
Shopify themes are more varied and modern than BigCommerce themes.
While opinions vary, many users do consider Shopify to be easier to use than BigCommerce.
Shopify does not upgrade your plan based on trailing 12-month sales volume the way some other platforms do. However, stores not using Shopify Payments will find themselves needing to upgrade as they grow anyway, because once certain sales volumes are reached, the transaction fees add up so much that it actually becomes more cost-effective to upgrade to a higher plan (which will have a lower transaction fee). Just remember the lack of revenue tiers does not mean you can stay on one Shopify plan forever.
Magento is known as a great platform for large eCommerce retailers, and is available in a free, open-source model similar to WooCommerce. It comes with tons of built-in features and receives constant development originating with its large open-source community. To use it, you'll need to install it onto a compatible web server, which admittedly will need to be relatively powerful to support bigger websites with more traffic.
Magento's biggest problem is the slowdown it suffers as more products and customers make their way to the website. This can be partially mitigated with good server hardware, but much of the issue lies with Magento itself. Still, the open source nature of the software means these problems can be addressed by a competent developer. If you're knowledgeable about code, or your business can hire a developer, you can do well on Magento — but if not, it will be better for you to go with another solution.
Since Magento is open-source, new addons are constantly being created by a wide variety of developers. Some of these addons have a price (and quality is also variable), but many are free.
You'll have full access to Magento's code, meaning you're free to develop it on your own with any customizations you desire.
Much like with custom development, having access to all of Magento's code means web designers can create online stores that look however they imagine.
Shift4Shop is a feature-rich SaaS eCommerce platform with none of the disadvantages of other BigCommerce alternatives. With more features than other SaaS solutions and greater reliability than open-source software, Shift4Shop brings more features to your business at a lower cost in money, time, and effort. Since it operates on the SaaS model, all the technical aspects are handled for you so you can focus on your business, knowing your online store's crucial software is being maintained behind the scenes — and if you need it, you can get live support 24/7 any day of the year.
With Shift4Shop, you'll have a well-rounded suite of eCommerce tools at your fingertips, including inventory management, numerous marketing and promotional tools, and the best SEO in the industry. You'll also get better value for your money than with other platforms, since Shift4Shop includes more features than the competition. Even our free End-to-End eCommerce plan has more features than BigCommerce Pro, which costs $299.95 per month!
Shift4Shop has more SEO tools, and better built-in SEO features on each page of your site, than BigCommerce.
Shift4Shop offers a wider variety of free eCommerce templates for your website than BigCommerce.
Shift4Shop's modular Core Template Engine offers web designers unlimited freedom to build a website how they envision, and with built-in advantages like code optimization, Google AMP, and more.
Shift4Shop comes with Shift4 Payments ready to go, so you can start selling much faster than on other platforms.
Shift4Shop has more features than BigCommerce, and all are included in our free plan, so you can have everything our software has to offer without paying a dime.
Our free End-to-End eCommerce plan, powered by Shift4, has no limits on products, orders, bandwidth, sales, or anything else, and it grows along with you as your business grows.