The 2024 Shopify vs Big Cartel Comparison: Choose Your Winner!

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Which is better, Big Cartel or Shopify? This is one of the heated debates that seems hard to settle soon. 

Shopify has a sizable fan base, but Big Cartel also has its fair share of supporters who believe it is the most well-rounded online selling platform. Each choice offers a distinct competitive edge over the others. How can you resolve this matter?

That’s why we bring up our Shopify vs Big Cartel comparison here. In this blog, we will walk you through the main features and costs of these well-known eCommerce platforms to help you choose which is best for you, your spending plan, and your business objectives.

1. Shopify vs Big Cartel: Overview & Key Differences

Big Cartel & Shopify are both platforms for creating hosted online stores. You can launch and manage your business from anywhere with access to a web browser and the internet.

Big Cartel promotes itself as the best ecommerce site for makers and artists. Thanks to its accessible and affordable pricing plans and the absence of any fees, the platform takes pride in being artist-friendly. Other different craft-based small businesses with a modest selection of products are Big Cartel’s user base.

There’s no need to introduce Shopify. Due to its popularity, Shopify’s users come from a very diverse spectrum of areas and industries, with some of the more well-known sectors.

Unlike Big Cartel, which focuses on individuals and small businesses, Shopify’s platform supports all online businesses, from micro-sellers to well-known brands. In terms of users and income generated, Shopify is also known as industry leader.

Let’s have a first glance at the comparison between Shopify vs Big Cartel:

 ShopifyBig CartelThe Verdict
FeeMonthly subscriptions start at $29 (if you pay yearly) + extra fees Monthly subscriptions start at $0 + extra fees 🏆Shopify
Templates and visualsShopify offers a greater selection of themes, exceptional functionality, and customization options.Less creative flexibility is available with Big Cartel since adding and editing pictures involves code.🏆Shopify
User-FriendlinessShopify is simple to use. Its features are all user-friendly.Big Cartel is easy to use and offers users helpful prompts and reassurance in the building process.🏆
Big Cartel
eCommerce featuresShopify has everything you need to operate your business smoothly.Its features are more suited to small companies selling individual products. 🏆Shopify
Search engine optimization (SEO)Shopify has comprehensive analytics capabilities, a blog addition feature, and strong SEO tools.You don’t have much control or flexibility over SEO factors🏆Shopify
Apps & integrationsThe vast app store on Shopify is ideal for expanding your website.Through the third-party app vendor Zapier, Big Cartel may be coupled with over 1,500 applications to automate a variety of eCommerce-related tasks.🏆Shopify
Customer SupportIt allows you to select the assistance that best fits your needs and offers you a number of options.The only method of assistance is by email, which is open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. EST, Monday through Friday.🏆Shopify

2. Shopify vs Big Cartel: A Deep Dive Comparison

In this section, we will go into details about cost, convenience, marketing features, and eCommerce tools. 

If you’re seeking additional options or aren’t sure which is the best fit, you can look through our articles on comparing top eCommerce website builders.

2.1. Big Cartel vs Shopify fees

2.1.1. Big Cartel Pricing

big-cartel-pricing

 

Big Cartel offers a free plan and premium options. You must provide some information to subscribe, but you won’t be required to input your credit card information.

The following lists the inclusions of each plan:

  • Gold ($0): You may sell up to 5 goods on Big Cartel, each with a single picture. Additionally, it enables you to link a custom domain, such as www.yourstore.com. You may utilize a Big Cartel subdomain, such as yourstore.BigCartel.com, for free if you don’t have a custom domain. In addition to running sales and promotions, you can create product alternatives and variations.
  • Platinum ($9.99/month): Under this plan, you may sell up to 50 goods with five images each. Inventory monitoring, Google Analytics connection, and theme tweaking via CSS are also unlocked.
  • Diamond ($19.99/month): In addition to the capabilities found in Platinum, Diamond allows you to sell 500 goods, five of which can be each item.

As you can see, the only difference between Big Cartel’s premium memberships and free ones is the number of products you may sell.

2.1.2. Shopify Pricing

shopify-pricing

 

Shopify offers 4 pricing plans. If you pay for your Shopify subscription yearly, you may get a 25% discount as follows:

  • Basic Shopify ($29/month): You have access to Shopify’s main features, which include creating an online shop and selling an infinite number of goods via almost every online sales channel.
  • Shopify ($79/month): This plan includes features like expert-level reporting, POS upgrades like register shifts, and limitless staff PINs for activity tracking.
  • Advanced Shopify ($299/month): You’ll access all of Shopify’s eCommerce tools when your company goes off like a rocket. You can find that in Advanced Shopify. This pricing tier offers discounted credit card payment rates on Shopify, a sophisticated report builder, and calculated third-party shipping rates in addition to everything previously discussed.
  • Plus: custom pricing, but starting at $2,300 per month.

Besides, the Shopify Starter plan provides a more affordable tier for $5 per month. This plan lets you create checkout links for social media networks and embed Buy Now buttons on your website pages. However, note that you cannot create a store with this plan.

Furthermore, Shopify offers a 3-day free trial so that you may give it a try.

💡 Learn more: Shopify Plus vs BigCommerce Enterprise: The Battle Between The Titans

2.2. Templates and visuals

big-cartel-templates-and-visuals

 

Big CartelShopify
• Big Cartel offers 18 different templates or themes
• Each template from Big Cartel is entirely free
• The themes from Big Cartel can be customized. However, this function is quite limited
• All the Big Cartel themes are responsive, meaning they will change themselves to look good on any device (mobile, tablet, desktop, etc.)
• Shopify provides both free themes and paid themes, with 2 or 3 variants
• All of Shopify’s themes are superbly designed and beautiful
• You would have no trouble finding a highly professional-looking theme for your niche, given the wide selection that is accessible.
The Winner

Shopify’s themes are more diversed

Both Big Cartel vs Shopifyl’s themes are fully responsive. However, Shopify prevails in terms of theme diversity and optimization overall. 

2.3. User-Friendliness

Big CartelShopify
• Setting up your store is uncomplicated
• The user interface is straightforward, with a simple layout
• You can effortlessly navigate the user interface to view orders, add products, access analytics, set up discounts, and modify account settings using this menu
• Setting up your store takes only a few steps then you can start selling quickly
• There is a responsive theme editor that works on the overall design
• Shopify offers a drag-and-drop editor for setting up your text, graphics, and goods in your content
The Winner

Big Cartel is easier to use

Big Cartel is better than Shopify in terms of ease of use. Its excellent onboarding procedure provides all the helpful indications and recommendations you need to use its layout. Conversely, Shopify has the potential to be quite overpowering. especially if you’re just starting!

2.4. eCommerce features

2.4.1. Point of Sale (POS) options 

For online company owners who wish to perform in-person transactions at fairs, festivals, marketplaces, and physical stores, point-of-sale systems are becoming increasingly essential. Shopify and Big Cartel both enable this

Big CartelShopify
• Big Cartel’s selection is limited in this area; you must use a Stripe card reader.• Shopify can meet your POS needs with various POS hardware.
• Shopify has specialized POS software for processing payments, managing inventory, and issuing customer receipts.
• The “Shopify POS Pro” add-on may cost you $89 per month, per location, if you want to get the most out of Shopify POS.
The Winner

Shopify provides comprehensive shipping option

Big Cartel’s shipping options are less comprehensive than Shopify’s. So, the winner is Shopify

2.4.2. Abandoned cart features

Big CartelShopify
• Big Cartel doesn’t have any functionality for abandoned carts.
• To access this functionality, link an email marketing tool like AWeber or Mailchimp to proceedings. However, this will require more setting.
• The abandoned cart recovery feature is included with all of Shopify’s plans.
• You can utilize this function to send one automated email to users who leave their cart unattended and persuade them to finish their purchases.
The Winner

Shopify provides comprehensive shipping option

Big Cartel’s shipping options are less comprehensive than Shopify’s. So, the winner is Shopify

2.4.3. Shipping

There are many different delivery options from Big Cartel and Shopify. Additionally, if the built-in shipping capabilities of either platform fall short of your company’s requirements, you can use a third-party service to get advanced functionality.

Big CartelShopify
• Big Cartel offers a variety of shipping choices, enabling you to provide your customers with free delivery, flat-rate shipping, and in-store pickup.
• Big Cartel does not allow you to determine shipping costs depending on weight.
• Using Shopify’s built-in real-time shipping quotations, you can give your customers a “live” shipping price for your products from a range of postal companies.
• The “Shopify Shipping” service offers you low prices from some regional postal services if you operate in the USA, Canada, France, Australia, Italy, Spain, or the UK. Depending on the plan, these reductions can reach 88%.
The Winner

Shopify provides comprehensive shipping option

Big Cartel’s shipping options are less comprehensive than Shopify’s. So, the winner is Shopify

2.4.5. Multi-currency selling

Enabling customers to change the currency to their own or display pricing in their currency increases sales. Consequently, being able to sell in local currencies is essential.

Big CartelShopify
• Although Big Cartel permits you to utilize 25 different currencies in your store, only one can be activated.• True multi-currency selling is made possible by the Shopify Markets function, which prompts users to select their preferred currency (through a nation picker) and lets them complete their purchases in that currency.
• However, Shopify’s multi-currency function has restrictions depending on your plan.
• Only when you utilize Shopify Payments do the built-in multi-currency features work.
The Winner

Shopify allows better multi-currency selling

In general, Shopify and Big Cartel provide different multi-currency support. Yet, Shopify’s is more extensive, so it won this battle.

2.4.6. Analytics and Reporting

As you comprehend how your clients interact with your store through their analytics and reporting tools, you can adjust your offering and brand strategy to boost sales more effectively.

Every platform offers various analytics and reporting choices that help you better grasp your client’s buying habits.

Big CartelShopify
• Big Cartel provides a simple perspective of your visits and sales with some basic reporting.
• However, to receive detailed analytics, you must link your store to Google Analytics, and this can only be done with a paid subscription.
• Shopify’s in-built analytics and reporting provide you with finance reports, sales reports, customer reports, acquisition reports, and behavior reports.
• You can go deeper into numerous views on each of the aforementioned categories thanks to the variety of report kinds accessible within them.
• You can also make custom reports with Shopify, but only if you are on the “Advanced Shopify” or “Shopify Plus” plans.
The Winner

Shopify provides better analytics and reports

Regarding analytics and reporting features, Shopify often performs better than Big Cartel, with more comprehensive and in-depth figures.

2.5. Search engine optimization (SEO)

Any online store’s performance depends largely on search engine optimization (SEO), as sales are impossible without traffic. So, how do Big Cartel and Shopify stack up in terms of SEO?

Big CartelShopify
• The themes from Big Cartel have clean navigation, valid HTML, and appropriate headers.
• However, you have little control or flexibility over changing your URLs, making proper redirects, or posting blog content.
• Big Cartel allows you to modify product URLs but not redirect them (old URLs automatically redirect to the home page, not your new product)
• The capability to modify meta descriptions is another significant feature that Big Cartel lacks.
• Shopify allows you total control over necessary SEO factors.
• The platform has integrations that might help you improve the SEO of your website.
• You can start a blog, which greatly increases site traffic and sales.
• In Shopify, altering the URLs of products or pages is simple, and redirects are easy to set up and can be done automatically. Moreover, you can add and edit meta descriptions effortlessly.
The Winner

Shopify’s stores have better SEO performance

Although you can achieve high search rankings for a Big Cartel store, choosing Shopify makes far more sense if you are serious about SEO or work in a highly competitive industry.

2.6. App & integrations

Big Cartel vs Shopify have many connections and add-ons, but how you integrate them into your website varies greatly. Big Cartel lags far behind Shopify in this regard.

shopify-app-store

 

The few integrations Big Cartel offers would only be helpful for a standard art business with a few unique needs. If you were to enhance your store significantly, your best option would be the Shopify App Store, which offers a ton of connectors.

Big CartelShopify
• Most of Big Cartel’s “add-ons” are integrations made possible by the automation platform Zapier.
• With Big Cartel’s mobile POS integration, you can connect your additional brick-and-mortar store to its online equivalent.
• Big Cartel also supports a variety of app connections for domain providers, payment processors, shop management, manufacturing, shipping, order fulfillment, marketing, and promotion.
• The Shopify App Store has an extraordinary library of app integrations with over 1500 options for almost all eCommerce functionalities.
• However, many advanced apps are expensive as they are associated with third-party integrations.
The Winner

Shopify’s app market is far superior

Shopify is superior to Big Cartel in this area because of the greater quantity of high-quality applications available. 

2.7. Customer Support

customer-support-from-shopify-vs-big-cartel

 

If you encounter any problems, you may check Big Cartel’s knowledge base. This page’s articles are conveniently categorized for effortless browsing.

If it doesn’t work, you may contact Big Cartel directly by emailing support@bigcartel.com. The support team isn’t always available, though. They will only reply between 9 a.m. and 6 p.m. EST, Monday through Friday.

Shopify offers unquestionably exceptional customer service. It provides technical help via email, live chat, phone, support center, knowledge base, forum, Twitter, and Facebook.

The customer service team is available 24/7. You ought to be able to get in touch with them at any time of day.

The Winner

Shopify’s support is superior

Shopify is the obvious winner since it offers phone assistance, video training, and live chat around the clock. Meanwhile, Big Cartel offers very few choices for support. 

3. Shopify vs Big Cartel: Is Shopify or Big Cartel better?

You can see that Shopify is the clear winner in this Big Cartel vs Shopify comparison. It can be an excellent choice for almost any type of business. Yet, there are some cases we may recommend you use Big Cartel.

For serious merchants who want to develop and grow their online shop, Shopify is a superior option. It includes sophisticated selling and marketing resources created especially to make managing an online store profitable.

Conversely, Big Cartel caters to independent retailers, especially artists. It’s perfect for showing a few unique prints or goods, and you won’t have to spend a fortune getting started thanks to its affordable options.

While Big Cartel is a great platform, there’s a whole world of eCommerce solutions waiting to be discovered. Delve into the best Shopify alternatives and unlock a treasure trove of features, pricing options, and functionalities that can perfectly align with your unique needs.

4. Conclusion

Overall, it’s evident that Shopify is the winner in a Shopify vs Big Cartel battle. The platform offers retailers vast sales features that Big Cartel doesn’t have. Yet, Big Cartel has an advantage over Shopify in terms of pricing. 

In our opinion, you should try both Big Cartel and Shopify. By doing so, you will be able to experience each option on your own and decide your winner which best suits your style of conducting online business.

Related article: How to Seamlessly Migrate from Big Cartel to Shopify?

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