Building an online ecommerce store in 2017 has never been easier with either Shopify or Bigcommerce.

(Amazon Webstore, while formerly a popular choice for eCommerce and drop shipping, shut down in 2016. You can read more about that here.)

Choosing between these two major platforms can be difficult, since they seem so similar. Which one is better?

To answer that question, we’ve compared nearly every aspect of both stores. Read on to find out!

Shopify Vs. BigCommerce: Pros and Cons

Use can use Shopify or BigCommerce to start wholesale dropshipping or a wholesale retail shop. To help you make your choice, we’ve compared Shopify and BigCommerce across several metrics, including:

  • Free themes and designs
  • Paid themes
  • Customization
  • Analytics
  • Abandoned cart features
  • Support
  • Apps
  • SEO friendliness
  • Pricing

Without further ado, let’s compare!

Free Themes & Designs

Design is extremely important. It’s the first thing people will see when they come to your storefront and it needs to be professional and meet the needs of your customers to build trust.

After all, without trust, you won’t be making sales any time soon.

Check out any major retailer and you will see their attention to detail in their layouts, product photos and overall theme. Building a beautiful storefront needs to be easy and accessible.

Thankfully, Shopify and Bigcommerce both provide free and premium themes so you can pick the perfect look for your store. Let’s take a look at each platform’s free themes to see how they differ.

Shopify provides 9 free themes while Bigcommerce only has 7.

Each of their themes have several different styles to choose from.

All of Shopify’s themes have been made by professional independent designers, so each has their own feel, easily making your store look professional and credible.

Shopify’s free themes suit any variety of business. Whether you are selling one product or 1000, there’s a free theme which will be able to meet your demands.

On the other hand, Bigcommerce’s themes are more similar to each other and don’t have the individual, distinct quality that Shopify’s have.

Ultimately, you can create a professional looking shop on either platform with the free themes. You will just have more options with Shopify.

Bear in mind, however, that a theme only provides structure for your store. You still have to populate it with high quality product photos and descriptions in order to draw attention.

Paid Themes

The Shopify Theme Store now has over 100+ themes ranging in price from $140 to $180.

Bigcommerce’s Theme Store has around 80, starting at $145 and topping out at $235.

As stated before, each Shopify theme is created by a different independent designer, giving each a different unique look. They are constantly releasing new designs so you can easily find a modern stylish look for your store.

Bigcommerce’s themes have names like Fortune Minimal, Fortune Contrast, Fortune Bright, etc., where the only changes are different colors and layouts. These differing variations on a theme do have their own look and feel, but there is overall just less choice.

Comparing the two, Shopify comes out on top in the paid theme category for its diverse collection.

Customization

Both Shopify and Bigcommerce allow you to edit their themes with either their content management system or by directly editing the HTML and CSS. This level of customization gives you the ability to design your shop exactly the way you want it.

Shopify uses a design language called Liquid. It directly ties into your store’s database and dynamically updates information based on product tags, descriptions or any other information kept in your database.

While this is great for those who aren’t coding their own site (the majority of online retailers), if you’re looking to custom code your site or hire an expert, it can be difficult and/or expensive.

BigCommerce, on the other hand, uses a stencil theme editor. You can custom-code their themes even if you just know HTML and CSS – they don’t use a custom language. You can also hire an expert to code your store, and it won’t be quite as expensive.

eCommerce Tools

The biggest differences between the two standard plans on both platforms are in the eCommerce tools provided.

Analytics

Both Shopify and Bigcommerce offer a wide variety of tools to analyze and create reports.

Each platform provides information on customer data and acquisition, new vs returning customers, search reports, accounting and financial data, and on what products are most popular and get the most views.

If you are using “Shopify Plus” or “Advanced Shopify” then you also get access to Shopify’s custom reports using any metric you want. You can get information about abandoned carts, inbound statistics, viewing habits, etc..

Bigcommerce offers all of the above as well, but offers it in their standard plan. It’s one of the biggest features of why you would want to choose BigCommerce over Shopify.

Additionally, both platforms allow for easy installation of Google Analytics.

Abandoned cart features

Another big feature on both platforms is their abandoned cart functionality, which allows you to set up an automated email to be sent to those people who got to checkout, but didn’t purchase.

According to Baymard Institute, a web research company in the UK, 67.45%…