BigCommerce Pricing and Plans Review

With no products or bandwidth limits, BigCommerce is a great solution to start selling online

Bigcommerce pricing

BigCommerce bills itself as the best eCommerce platform for businesses of any size, with competitively priced plans and a comprehensive feature set. Of course, a smart entrepreneur takes the time to understand their options and to look for any hidden limitations in any platform they're considering for their business. Making a careful decision early on will have a strong influence on your success later.

Even a platform that's affordable at the beginning can soon grow to overwhelm a business and stifle its growth, and a closer look at BigCommerce's pricing shows a trend toward this exact issue. Restrictive revenue tiers, features requiring upgrades, and the need for custom development can all unexpectedly cut into your profits, and even if you're fully aware of how BigCommerce's pricing works, you'll still find yourself paying more than you should. Let's break down BigCommerce's plans to see what you get at each price point:

BigCommerce Pricing Plans

BigCommerce Standard
BigCommerce Plus
BigCommerce Pro

BigCommerce Features and Value

eCommerce Essentials: Accessibility to Features

BigCommerce does have a fairly impressive list of features, however many of them are unnecessarily locked behind a higher-tier plan. This cuts newer businesses off from important functionality that could help them grow. For example, Google Customer Reviews are a fantastic tool for building your brand's image and increasing customer trust, but on BigCommerce, your store won't have access to them until you upgrade to BigCommerce Pro at $299.95/month. Compare this to Shift4Shop, which enables Google Customer Reviews for every one of our merchants.

Another example is the Persistent Cart, which saves a customer's shopping cart across browser sessions and allows them to complete their purchase later or recover their cart in the case of a browser crash. BigCommerce doesn't allow this feature until BigCommerce Plus ($79.95/month), but Shift4Shop includes persistent carts for all stores — as well as Saved Carts, with which the customer can save multiple shopping carts even across different devices.

Bigcommerce Features

eCommerce Essentials: Customer Segmentation

Segmenting your customer base allows you to more precisely target different demographics with customized marketing, pricing, and more. BigCommerce requires an upgrade to their $79.95/month plan to enable the ability to segment your customer base via Customer Groups. However, you can't provide different pricing levels per Customer Group without upgrading to BigCommerce Enterprise to unlock their Price Lists feature. This means you can't provide VIP pricing, wholesale discounts for B2B customers, or other Customer Group-based pricing unless you upgrade to a quote-based plan that can cost anywhere from $400/month to $15,000/month!

On Shift4Shop, Customer Groups are available much more easily (for example, in our free End-to-End eCommerce plan) and include all the functionality you need, including custom pricing, newsletter segmentation, and much more right out of the box. Your business can sell wholesale, build B2B relationships, offer membership-based VIP pricing, and much more, at a much lower price.

Customer Segmentation

Store Branding

Domain Name

Every website needs a domain name; your unique URL that serves as your website's online address. This is important for your store's professionalism and building your brand recognition. With BigCommerce, you can use an existing domain name (if you have one) or purchase one directly through them — which is a nice convenience. However, Shift4Shop takes it a step further: if needed, we'll register your domain name for you free for one year, for an even bigger convenience and savings.

Domain Name
Theme Design

Theme Design

Your eCommerce website's design is crucial for establishing your brand and giving customers a shopping experience that will bring them back again and again. An important part of building your website is selecting a theme that functions well, properly represents your brand and industry, and is cost-effective. The latter point means many businesses may want to start with a free theme, so we'll focus on those first.

BigCommerce offers 12 free themes. Some are presented as having multiple styles, which mostly consist of minor changes to the colors (and occasionally proportions) of certain elements. At a glance, all the available styles add up to a total of 36 different choices for a free BigCommerce theme — until you realize that each style itself is displayed within the Free Themes category as its own theme. Make no mistake: BigCommerce offers 12 free themes and displays them in such a way as to create the illusion of more choice than you actually have. This means you have little choice unless you decide to pay for a premium theme. In contrast, Shift4Shop provides a growing selection of dozens of free themes with a wide assortment of layouts, color schemes, and built-in features.

As for premium themes, you'll find a bit more variety, but at a price. BigCommerce premium themes are expensive, with over half of them costing over $200. Shift4Shop simply includes premium-style features in many of its free themes. For those interested in development of a custom theme, BigCommerce's documentation of its Stencil theming framework is lacking, but Shift4Shop's Core Template Engine makes theme creation much easier and more flexible with its modular design based on Bootstrap.

Shift4Shop themes also have the advantage of better functionality, with optimized code and lightning-fast loading speeds. BigCommerce store owners report frequent bugs and load times exceeding 20 seconds, with their online stores slowed down by poorly implemented JavaScript and other issues. Fixing these problems requires expensive custom development.

As a final point of comparison, while BigCommerce and Shift4Shop both exclusively offer mobile-responsive themes, BigCommerce's themes don't all use Google AMP to improve the mobile shopping experience — you'll have to specifically choose an AMP-enabled theme, which further reduces your choices. However, Shift4Shop includes Google AMP for several types of pages on your website.

BigCommerce Plan Pricing

BigCommerce offers fairly average pricing for an SaaS eCommerce platform, with a series of 3 plans followed by an enterprise solution for large businesses. Their starting plan costs $29.95/month, so that's an immediate expense if you decide to build your business on BigCommerce. Important features are also locked behind higher-tier plans, as we covered earlier.

Shift4Shop, on the other hand, offers a completely unlimited End-to-End eCommerce plan that includes all our features, absolutely free. All you need to do is use Shift4 Payments as your credit card processor, and you'll have everything you need, right at the start — and at no cost.

But let's say you're still considering BigCommerce for your online store platform. Maybe you don't mind a monthly fee, but in this case you should know about the revenue tiers. Each BigCommerce plan is made for a certain range of business sizes, so they're limited by online sales per year. Surpassing this limit will require you to upgrade to the next plan. Unfortunately, these revenue tiers are restrictive, so some businesses find that this upgrade occurs before their budget can handle it. These revenue tiers are shown in the table below.

    • Online Sales per Year
    • Standard ($29.95/month)
      Up to $50k
    • Plus ($79.95/month)
      Up to $180k
    • Pro ($299.95/month)
      Up to $400k
bigcommerce enterprise

Once a business using BigCommerce exceeds $400k in trailing 12-month sales volume, its monthly fee will go up to accommodate additional growth. When annual online revenue exceeds $1 million, BigCommerce requires the business to switch to its Enterprise plan (although BigCommerce will start pushing the business to upgrade to Enterprise well before it reaches that $1M milestone). While BigCommerce's Enterprise plan is priced solely by quote, you can get an idea of its cost by using BigCommerce's Cost of Ownership Calculator — which for a store making $1M per year, estimates prices of $37,992 annually. That works out to $3,166/month just for the eCommerce software.

Shift4Shop is much more cost-effective, and can bring enterprise eCommerce functionality to your business at a fraction of the cost, without the need for a custom quote. Or, better yet, at no cost whatsoever. That's right: businesses using our free End-to-End eCommerce plan can scale up to enterprise-grade service seamlessly, without changing their plan.

Shift4Shop is Your eCommerce Solution for Growth

Our BigCommerce pricing analysis proves that Shift4Shop is the far superior platform when it comes to functionality and cost. By migrating from BigCommerce to Shift4Shop, you're accessing more features at lower price points, and paying less throughout your business's entire growth cycle. Our pricing ensures higher profits for you, allowing you to put more back into your business and speed up your growth. Whether you're just starting out, or your business is already big, Shift4Shop is the best choice.

Shift4Shop Features

More Value for Your Money than BigCommerce:
Shift4Shop is the Cost-Effective Solution for Growing Businesses