Shopify vs. Bigcommerce

The shopping cart software you choose for your online store is arguably one of the biggest foundational business decisions you can make. But you already know that, which is why you’re doing your due diligence, scouring the web for the information you need to make an informed decision.

If you’ve narrowed down your search to a handful of potential eCommerce software platforms, you might be comparing Shopify vs. Bigcommerce. Both are established ecommerce companies. But which one is better for your store? And are these two platforms your best options or are there other companies that have your best interests at heart?

Payment gateways make for happier customers

payment gateways

People have shopped online for around two decades now, leading online shoppers to grow comfortable with preferred ways to pay. One of the most crucial things you can do for your online store is give them the flexibility to use their payment gateway of choice, from PayPal to Visa Checkout.

Shopify and Bigcommerce both offer a mixed bag in terms of payment gateways. Though you’ll get more third-party options through Shopify, you’ll also have to pay penalty fees between 0.5% and 2% per transaction if you don’t use Shopify’s built-in payment processor.

On the flip side, Bigcommerce doesn’t charge you for transactions made using third-party payment gateways. That said, you’ll have fewer options to choose from in terms of processors that are compatible with the software.

Speaking of fees...


Shopify might charge you transaction fees for payment processing, but the company’s other paid add-ons are relatively transparent. Bigcommerce, on the other hand, charges steep monthly fees. If you go over certain limits that come with your package, you’ll also incur tough penalties.

In general, Shopify will run you $29/mo. for the basic package, while Bigcommerce starts at $29.95. Both are priced pretty low on the basic end. The problem here for both solutions is you’ll have to pay extra to get access to functionality most stores find essential, like abandoned cart tools and other simple out of the box features.

If you do decide to eventually upgrade, Shopify’s advanced package is pretty expensive at $299/mo. You can go “pro” with Bigcommerce for a lower monthly fee ($199), while the “enterprise” package is a custom price. Overall, you’d have to pay a decent amount of money just to get solid basic functionality.

What about looks?


It’s not shallow to want a good-looking online store that stands out from the competition. It’s not unreasonable to get it done affordably, either. Especially if you’re just getting started, the best place to look for a sharp, affordable website design is in your ecommerce software’s theme library.

Both Shopify and Bigcommerce have a variety of website design themes to choose from. You won’t find much in terms of free options though, with the majority of themes running you hundreds of dollars.

How does Shift4Shop compare?

If you’re looking for an affordable, scalable, and customizable shopping
cart platform, Shift4Shop outranks both Shopify and Bigcommerce.

  • No transaction fees even if you're using one of the many alternative payment processors available through Shift4Shop.
  • Basic functionality like abandoned cart tools included with even the most basic Shift4Shop package.
  • A 100+ online store theme library at your fingertips, including plenty of responsive and free themes to choose from.

Shift4Shop was built over more than two decades with input from thousands of happy customers.
Consider us over Shopify or BigCommerce and start your online store for free.