10 Reasons Why BigCommerce is the Better Choice
BigCommerce and Shopify are often dismissed as being “the same” for their shared features, like being SaaS platforms and having user friendly admin panels. However, their main differentiator is out of the box offerings.
BigCommerce Enterprise easily wins in that category, offering a number of valuable features and functionality built for enterprise businesses. Shopify Plus, on the other hand, requires a third-party service or heavy custom development for things that should be standard on an enterprise level eCommerce site.
We’ve done our homework on what these platforms have to offer and what follows are the top 10 features we feel set BigCommerce Enterprise apart from Shopify Plus –– and make it the better choice for growing mid-market businesses.
BigCommerce has robust, open APIs to utilize for building new features, integrations and customizations as needed. Additional third party applications may be required for more extensive development.
Shopify also offers an API, but it is not as granular or robust as that which BigCommerce offers. It also has a limited number of API calls/hour, while the BigCommerce Enterprise API does not.
Shopify’s public API limits merchants to 2 requests/second and max of 10 requests/second on Shopify Plus. BigCommerce Enterprise, on the other hand, allows for 400 requests/second.
Translation: Updating a 25,000 product catalog on BigCommerce takes 60 seconds vs. updating that same catalog on Shopify Plus would take 2 hours.
Shopify’s focus for customization is on third-party applications, which often incur an additional monthly fee. BigCommerce focuses instead on built-in functionality, bringing down your total cost of ownership.
BigCommerce offers options for a streamlined one-page checkout. Full customization of the checkout pages should be available in subsequent updates of the Stencil platform –– and is already available on certain themes. BigCommerce gives merchants the ability to completely brand their checkout, therefore creating a more cohesive shopping and checkout experience for the user.
Shopify offers a multi-step checkout with opportunities to update some items, including:
- The logo for branding.
Full customization of the checkout pages is simply not available.
BigCommerce’s checkout gives enterprise brands more control over their checkout experience, enabling brands to better manage their desired UX throughout their buyer journey as compared to those using Shopify Plus.
3. Product Options and Attributes
BigCommerce offers the ability to create custom options merchants can put into option sets for easy assignment. Out of the box, BigCommerce Enterprise offers unlimited custom attributes for each product to be used in filtering.\
BigCommerce options appearing on the front-end:
Shopify is very limited in both the options and attributes it allows for products on its site. Products can have basic options like size, color, etc., and can be assigned “tags.” These tags, however, cannot be read or segmented in any robust way for use in filtering or product comparison.
Shopify options on the back-end:
Brands with large catalogs and higher SKU counts will be better served by BigCommerce’s product options and attributes detail.
BigCommerce offers product filtering on section pages out of the box, which allows customers to filter by popular methods (price, color, most reviewed, etc.) as well as custom fields.
This feature is ideal for complex products that customers need to drill down for, such as clothing and accessories.
Shopify offers basic sorting, based on common options like price, color, collection, etc. True filtering will require a third-party app, which may incur additional monthly costs.
BigCommerce is the better choice due to their out-of-the-box capabilities that serve basic and custom filtering needs without additional research or cost to the merchant.
5. Multi-Tier Pricing
Volume pricing discounts can be leveraged through BigCommerce out of the box. Bulk discounting can occur at the product level, the category level or the customer group level.
On Shopify, a third-party module must be leveraged for volume-based pricing, which may incur an additional monthly cost.
BigCommerce is the better choice due to their out-of-the-box volume pricing discounts, which again, saves the merchant valuable research time and money.
6. Wish Lists
On BigCommerce, wishlists are out of the box.
On Shopify Plus, wishlists must be implemented using a third-party app.
BigCommerce is the better choice due to their out-of-the-box wishlist offering.
7. Related Products
On BigCommerce, related products can be hand-selected by the merchant or can be automatically generated by similar products.
Better cross-sells mean more items in the cart and higher average order values.
On Shopify Plus, related products must be implemented using a third-party application.
As you can see, our conclusions have a common theme. BigCommerce is the better choice due to their out-of-the-box related products offering.
8. SEO-Friendly URLs
BigCommerce will auto-generate URLs based on search engine friendly recommendations, but also allows for all URLs to be completely customized by the merchant.
This put the power in the hands of the merchant and their SEO partner to do what’s best for their business.
On Shopify Plus, the URL naming convention is governed by Shopify. Completely customized URLs are not available.
Search engine strength is a necessity for enterprise brands; it lowers the cost of PPC advertising and drives new traffic on a regular basis. The flexibility that BigCommerce offers as it relates to URL structure is certainly preferable for brands concerned want more control in the areas of SEO and PPC.
9. Categorization/Grouping of Products
On BigCommerce, you have the ability to create lots of nesting categories. This makes for much easier site categorization and organization.
On Shopify, these are considered separate “collections” versus categories subcategories and tertiary categories.
This isn’t a huge issue on Shopify is you have a smaller product catalog. As your product catalog grows however, the collections structure on Shopify’s backend can cause disorganization and user error for your team.
10. Cart Level Discounts
On BigCommerce, there are lots of discounts that are available right out of the box, which merchants love for the ease of use.
On Shopify, many of these discounts must be coded, in Shopify’s native Ruby language, meaning additional development time and costs for the merchant.
If cart level discounts are important to your brand, we recommend BigCommerce for their out-of-the-box functionality.
The Final Tally
Despite preconceived notions in the industry, BigCommerce Enterprise and Shopify Plus are not comparable solutions.
Shopify relies heavily on third-party applications to build out its eCommerce enterprise needs.
BigCommerce, on the other hand, has those same solutions already built-in, with access to additional apps if needed, as well as sets of APIs that merchants can use for advanced customization.
Simply stated, BigCommerce Enterprise offers more bang for your buck than Shopify Plus.
To learn more about what BigCommerce & EYStudios can do for your business, call us at 888-429-4803 or email us at BigCommerce@eystudios.com. To see our shared portfolio, click here.