BigCommerce has a strong e-commerce product. However, as the company appears to become more enterprise focused, the people who are just looking to run a simple, easy-to-use, online store by themselves, might feel somewhat left out. And obviously in addition to that there might also be other reasons to start wondering if BigCommerce is the right choice for you.
No matter what your reason for looking for BigCommerce alternatives is, it is good to note that BigCommerce indeed has some strong competitors. In this article we introduce some of these and list their most important strengths, especially in comparison to BigCommerce.
Shopify – The biggest competitor of Bigcommerce
Shopify is the leading e-commerce platform. That both in terms of market valuation and in terms of my personal experiences of testing a lot of different ecommerce platforms over the years.
In practice there are a few things that make Shopify an especially good choice for those running an online store: it is relatively easy to use, they have extremely good customer service, the platform is safe, stores built with Shopify tend to look like serious online businesses and it has solid pricing.
The pricing at Shopify works so that the cheapest (full) e-commerce plan is $29/month when paid monthly. That $29/month is already at itself bit cheaper than the cheapest plan of ‘BigCommerce Essentials’, but what makes it even better, is that it is actually possible to get a 10% or 20% discount on it if you pay for a year or two years in advance. BigCommerce on the other hand seems to limit its discounts so that the 10% discount for an annual subscription is not available for the cheapest plan (called at BigCommerce ‘Standard’).
Bottom line: I would say that Shopify is not only the biggest competitor of BigCommerce but also the best alternative to it. That is as Shopify has pretty much the same features as BigCommerce and like BigCommerce is a big and trustworthy company but also has at least three advantages over BigCommerce.
In my opinion, the benefits of choosing Shopify instead of BigCommerce are the following: 1) Shopify is a bit easier to use, 2) there is a lot more useful material about using Shopify than there is about using BigCommerce and 3) Shopify is a bit cheaper than BigCommerce. Try Shopify for free.
Looking for more information about Shopify? See our Shopify review.
Shift4Shop – a free BigCommerce alternative for US-merchants
Shift4Shop can be an especially attractive BigCommerce alternative for US-based store owners. That is because Shift4Shop has a completely free plan that is available only for people from the USA. Despite of being free, the plan, called End-to-End ecommerce, seems quite advanced and in fact it is valued at $229/month. Go to Shift 4 Shop.
See our Shift4Shop review for more information about it.
Zyro – Cheap, good and simple
If you are completely new to ecommerce, using BigCommerce or Shopify can feel a bit intimidating. That is because both of their store builders can especially initially look and feel like they were designed for those who are already familiar with the technology behind building and running an online store. Luckily though, there are also e-commerce solutions that seem to have been designed to be as easy to approach and use as possible. Out of those, Zyro might currently be the best one.
Zyro might also be an attractive choice for those who are looking for a considerably cheaper alternative to BigCommerce. That is BigCommerce is not even close to the world’s cheapest ecommerce platform. That can be an issue especially if you are, for example, just looking to do ecommerce as a side business.
With Zyro the prices for their ecommerce solution start from less than $10/month. Although, it is good to note that getting that good of a deal requires buying a long-term subscription. See current Zyro offers.
Looking to read more about Zyro? See our Zyro ecommerce review.
Wix – Another very easy to use alternative to BigCommerce
With Wix pretty much anyone can build an online store in less than 30 minutes after signing up for the service. And best of all, the ease of use doesn’t mean that Wix stores would look amateurish, quite the opposite really: stores built with Wix can look really good. With their cheapest e-commerce plan starting at $23/month, Wix is also slightly cheaper than BigCommerce. Try Wix now and see if it is the right fit for you.
Square – BigCommerce competitor with a free plan
If you are looking for a free BigCommerce alternative, but don’t want to use Shift4Shop (mentioned higher on this page), it might be a good idea to try Square. That is because Square has a free ecommerce plan that is available for merchants from the US, UK, Australia, Canada and Japan. Go to Square.
PinnacleCart – traditional ecommerce builder
If you are looking for a BigCommerce alternative because BigCommerce is just a bit too much with all of its features, it might be a great idea to try PinnacleCart. That is because PinnacleCart’s store builder is easy to use and doesn’t contain many features that some users might find unnecessary. PinnacleCart’s prices start from $79.95/month and it gives new users a 14-day free trial.
Squarespace – Great for building beautiful stores, but limited in terms of the customization
Squarespace can be recommended especially strongly to those who are looking to have a beautiful store with a limited number of products. Specifically, one could imagine, that when Squarespace is compared to BigCommerce, Squarespace might be a better platform, for example, for those looking to sell expensive fashion items. However, while Squarespace makes it easy to build nice looking stores, it has some drawbacks.
The biggest of the drawbacks being that the platform is quite limited in how much you can modify your store. So, if you are someone who likes to tinker and can get annoyed by small things, Shopify might be the better choice for you: in addition to being also otherwise a great e-commerce platform, it also makes it very easy to do customizations.
When considering Squarespace, it is also good to be aware of the fact that it is a bit more expensive than both BigCommerce and Shopify: the cheapest e-commerce plan at Squarespace (called ‘Basic’) starts at $30/month, when paid on a monthly basis and if you pay for a full year in advance, the monthly price starts at $26/month.
Summary of recommended BigCommerce alternatives and 3 additional options
|Name||Main reason(s) for choosing this platform over BigCommerce||Possible drawback(s) when compared to BigCommerce|
|Shopify||Good combination of quality, affordable pricing and ease of use||Doesn’t allow one to do as much customization|
|Shift4Shop||Can be free||The store builder is not as modern|
|Zyro||Extremely easy to use and cheap||Lacks some advanced features|
|Wix||Easy to use and cheaper than BigCommerce||Not as advanced & bit limited in terms of apps|
|Square||Has a free plan||E.g. transaction fees|
|PinnacleCart||Simpler than BigCommerce||For most users more expensive|
|Squarespace||Makes it easy to create beautiful stores||Not possible to do a lot of customization|
|WooCommerce||Cheap or free & allows one to do a lot of customization||Steeper learning curve|
|Magento||Focused almost exclusive on serving large clients||Likely to be more expensive|
|Volusion||Store builder is very pleasant to use||Product limits on their cheaper plans|
BigCommerce competitor analysis – which companies are the biggest threat to BigCommerce?
I would say that there are currently at least 3 ecommerce platforms that can threaten BigCommerce’s business. Those are Shopify, Shift4Shop (owned by Shift4 Payments) and Square. What all those platforms have in common, is that they are owned by a large company that has a lot of resources.
And in terms of the specific platforms, Shopify has a clear advantage over BigCommerce in how well known its brand is and its platform is also more beginner friendly. While Shift4Shop and Square are a threat to BigCommerce mainly because they have chosen a different, but possibly smart, business model: they give users a chance to use the platform for no monthly fee and instead aim to make money by taking a small cut of each sale their customers make.
It is good to note regarding Shift4Shop and Square that they also have paid plans, so it is conceivable that they might at some point change their business model closer to BigCommerce’s. And obviously it is also possible that BigCommerce might change its business model.
What is the best alternative to BigCommerce Enterprise?
As you likely know, BigCommerce’s platform has in a way two sides: “BigCommerce Enterprise” and “BigCommerce Essentials”. The above list of the recommended BigCommerce alternatives has been written mainly with the Essentials-users in mind – that is simply because there are not many ecommerce platforms that are great alternatives to “BigCommerce Enterprise”. However, there is one possibly very good alternative to BigCommerce Enterprise. That is Shopify Plus.
Shopify Plus costs roughly the same as BigCommerce Enterprise and is used by a good number of large companies including, for example, Staples and Heinz. According to Shopify Plus users, some of the pros of the platform are that it is safe and easy to use. Go to Shopify plus.
Note: if you might be particularly interested in Shopify Plus because of its safety, you might also be interested in this article about how safe and legit Shopify is overall.