If you are an artist who wants to sell your art online or a person who wants to start an artwork business, You always have two popular options Big Cartel vs Shopify. Big Cartel is dedicated to building online stores for artwork businesses, whereas Shopify is used to build websites for every type of business.
If you are trying to decide which online store builder is appropriate for your business, either Shopify or Big Cartel, this article is for you. In this article, I will explain the key differences between Big Cartel and Shopify, such as ease of use, pricing, features, payment gateways, and so on. Read the entire article to understand Shopify and Big Cartel thoroughly.
Key Differences between Big Cartel and Shopify
- Big Cartel is a suitable option for individuals and medium-sized businesses, while Shopify tends to cater to any business size, from small to industry-specific businesses.
- Big Cartel only supports designers, artisans, and handmade sellers, while Shopify supports every type of seller for physical or digital product selling.
- Big Cartel only offers two plans to their users, while Shopify offers multiple plans. The plans are tier-based and tailored according to specific business needs.
- When it comes to product limitations per month, Big Cartel only allows you to sell only 500 products per month, even with its expensive plan. Shopify, on the other hand, allows you to sell products without any limits.
- Big Cartel includes a free-forever plan with its services. Shopify doesn’t have a free plan, but you can get a 3-day free trial on your preferred plan.
Big Cartel Vs Shopify: In A Nutshell (2023)
Shopify and Big Cartel are cloud-hosted online store builders with easy setup processes. Shopify is one of the leading online store builders with all the built-in features you need to scale your business without compromising quality.
The idea behind Big Cartel is to empower artists, makers, musicians, illustrators, filmmakers, and artists to build online stores. It is best for beginners who want to sell artistic products online.
While both platforms have their benefits for certain types of businesses, let’s dive deep into each feature in the next section.
Big Cartel vs Shopify: At A Glance
Here’s a quick comparison of Bigcartel and Shopify features.
|Ease of Use||Easy||Easy|
|Pricing||Affordable||Affordable for the features they offer|
|App store||limited apps||Huge collection of apps|
|Dropshipping||Offers only Print on Demand products||Includes all the functionalities of dropshipping with a large number of dropshipping apps|
|Customer support||Email support||Email, Live Chat, Live Call|
|Payment gateway||100 payment gateways||Paypal and Stripe|
|Transaction fee||2.9% + $0.30||No|
Big Cartel vs Shopify: Ease of use and setup
Both Big Cartel and Shopify are easy to set up. They do not require any technical skills to use.
In Shopify and BigCartel, you can create an account and set up the store in just a few steps. It only requires you to fill out the basic information like your name, email address, store name, and URL to create the account.
You can easily customize the store looks with both platforms using the ready themes and templates available. It does not require coding skills to design the store. Using themes, you can change the font size, style, and color of different pages in the store.
The only downside of Big Cartel is that you cannot add videos to product pages. On both platforms, setting up the shipping and payment gateways is simple.
To summarize, both platforms are easy to set up and navigate for running an online business.
Big Cartel Vs Shopify: Pricing Plans
When choosing an online store builder, price is an important factor to consider, So choose a platform that fits your budget.
Shopify and Big cartel have competitive pricing plans. Big Cartel offers a free forever plan, whereas Shopify offers a 3-day free trial to their new users. You can have a look at these plans in the table below.
A total of five pricing plans are available with Shopify, while Big Cartel offers three.
Big Cartel pricing plans
|Big Cartel plans||Pricing|
|Gold features plan||0|
|Platinum features plan||$9.99/month|
|Diamond features plan||$19.99/month|
Shopify pricing plans
Big Cartel vs Shopify: Inbuilt Features
While building an online business, having inbuilt features can help in many ways. They can help you from spending on third-party apps and additional work. So let’s look at which platform is better at inbuilt features.
No of products
You need to look at this feature when you are looking to scale your business in the long run. Shopify allows you to add unlimited products in all of its plans. Whereas with Big Cartel, you have limitations for adding products to each plan. You can add five products in the free plan, 50 products in the second plan, and 500 products in the last plan.
POS(Point of Sale)
Shopify and Bigcartel offer a Point of sale feature, but Bigcartel does not offer as many options as Shopify. You can use all the features of POS with Shopify, such as payment processing, hardware devices, inventory tracking, and many more. So if you plan to use POS, Shopify has the best options.
Abandoned cart recovery
This feature is required for all eCommerce stores to recover sales from abandoned carts via email. Shopify includes an abandoned cart recovery feature. Big Cartel, on the other hand, does not provide abandoned cart functionality, which is the store’s biggest loss.
Most businesses, like artists, musicians, and course creators, prefer digital products in their stores. Shopify offers inbuilt options to sell digital products. With Big Cartel, you need to have a third-party app called Pulley to sell digital products. You might need to spend extra monthly to sell digital products with Big Cartel.
Both Shopify and Big Cartel offer inbuilt shipping functionality. It includes basic shipping methods like free shipping, flat-rate shipping, etc. If you want to get advanced features like shipping charges based on weight, real-time shipping rates, etc., you need to install a third-party shipping app.
Shipment tracking is available with both Big Cartel and Shopify. While comparing both platforms, Shopify offers more premium features than Big cartel.
Automatic tax collection
Even though both Shopify and Big Cartel offer automatic tax collection functionality, they are limited to certain countries. Big Cartel has a Sales Tax Autopilot that works with only store owners in the United States. The store owners outside the US should manually calculate and set the tax deduction. Shopify’s automatic tax display works with certain countries. You can use third-party apps if you are selling in other countries.
This is the most powerful option to increase sales while selling internationally. Shopify offers a multicurrency feature allowing customers to choose the currency according to their country. You have certain limits in this feature according to your chosen plan. Multicurrency functionality in Shopify works with only Shopify payments. You need to use third-party apps for the Multicurrency feature for another payment getaway.
In contrast, Big Cartel offers 25 different currency options. You can only use them one at a time.
Big Cartel vs Shopify: Apps and Integration
Big Cartel and Shopify apps and integration have their app store when you need additional features. Shopify app store has more than 6000+ apps related to marketing, store design, sales, etc. There are many free versions of the apps in the Shopify AppStore. To choose the better app, you can check the review from the customers already using the apps.
When it comes to Big Cartel, there are 1500+ apps integrated with the platform, which is limited compared to Shopify.
Shopify, in my opinion, is the best option if you want to add more features to your online store.
Big Cartel vs Shopify: SEO Features
SEO features are crucial for online store traffic that leads to sales. So let’s look at which platform offers effective SEO features.
Big Cartel provides a responsive website that adapts to all devices, HTML markup, neat URLs, Alt text, and canonical URLs. The drawback of the Big cartel is that product URLs can be edited but not redirected.
Whereas with Shopify, you have the option to change and redirect the product URLs, adding and editing meta descriptions. You also get the ideal website speed for your online store.
Thus Shopify is better than Big cartel for SEO features, but you can also achieve good SEO results with Big Cartel if you put in the extra effort.
Big Cartel vs Shopify: Analytics and Reporting
Examining your online store’s performance is critical for tracking ups and downs. However, if you have Analytics and reporting features, this can be a breeze.
Big Cartel provides basic analytics features such as online store visitors, sales totals, and others. If you want a more detailed overview of analytics, you can connect your store to Google Analytics.
In contrast, the Shopify analytics feature provides finance reports, product analytics, live view, acquisition reports, inventory reports, behavior reports, marketing reports, and many more. It covers almost all aspects of the analytics you require.
As a result, Shopify excels at providing Analytics and Reporting functionality.
Big Cartel vs Shopify: Dropshipping
When people do not take the risk of overall online business by themselves, they will depend on dropshipping suppliers to ship products directly to the customers. This is one of the trending business models these days. Let’s see which platform excels in dropshipping functionality:
Both Shopify and Big Cartel offer dropshipping functionalities. However, the downside of Big Cartel is that it is limited to print-on-demand business products. Big Cartel integrates with The Art of Where and Printful apps to provide dropshipping functionality.
When it comes to Shopify, you will be free to sell all the category products that dropshipper offers. You have multiple apps in the Shopify apps store for Dropshipping. Some of them are Spocket, Doba, Users, Alidropship, Printful, etc.
Thus Shopify is the best option if you are considering starting a dropshipping business.
Big Cartel vs Shopify: Customer service
Customer support is a lifesaver when you are stuck in a technical issue. So it is important to choose a store builder with fast and efficient customer support.
Shopify offers great customer support 24*7 through different channels, including email, live chat, communities, and live call-ins in different languages. They also have great resources online, like blogs, technical documentation, etc.
Big cartel provides only email support from 8 am to 6 pm EST for five days. The support is offered in only the English language. They also offer some support articles as online resources.
While comparing both the support, Big Cartel’s support is not upto the mark and cannot match Shopify’s. So if you are looking for the best customer support, it is good to choose Shopify.
Big Cartel vs Shopify: Payment gateways and transaction fees
Shopify and Big Cartel offer integration with external payment gateways like PayPal, stripe, etc. Shopify has its payment gateway and integrates with 100 other payment gateways to make it accessible. Shopify charges a transaction fee of 2.9% + $0.30 if you use other than Shopify payments. Shopify payments are not valid in all countries
Whereas, Big cartel is integrated with only two payment gateways: Stripe and Paypal. They do not charge any transaction fee.
To summarize, Shopify offers many payment gateways, whereas Big cartel only offers two payment gateways with no transaction fee.
Big Cartel vs Shopify: Pros & Cons
Here are the benefits & drawbacks of using BigCartel and Shopify.
Big Cartel Pros
- If you are planning to sell only a few products on your online store, then you can use Big Cartel for free as long as you want.
- The onboarding process of Big Cartel is very smooth, and it gives you helpful prompts to start the creation of your online store.
- Big Cartel is much more affordable compared to Shopify.
- All the templates & themes available on Big Cartel are free of cost, and you can get access to everything with the basic subscription plan.
- Create promotions & discounts for your customers on your online store using Big Cartel, even in the free plan.
Big Cartel Cons
- There is a limit to the number of products you can add to your store, even in the paid plans.
- Selling features are very limited on Big Cartel.
- You can sell as many products as you want on Shopify with every plan; unlike Big Cartel, there is no limitation on that.
- Shopify’s POS (Point Of Sale) feature is much better compared to Big Cartel’s.
- Shopify offers an in-built abandoned cart recovery feature which is not available on Big Cartel.
- There are plenty of payment gateways available on Shopify, and it also allows you to integrate any third-party payment gateway on your store.
- Shopify offers better SEO & marketing features than Big Cartel.
- You might need to buy themes, integration, or third-party apps.
- You will have to pay transaction fees on receiving payments from third-party payment gateways.
Final Takeaway: Big Cartel vs Shopify (2023)
Both Shopify and Big Cartel have perks and cater to different types of businesses.
If you are someone who wants to build a fully-fledged online store with all the inbuilt features, Shopify is a perfect fit for businesses. It offers more features than Big Cartel, such as unlimited products, abandoned cart recovery, payment gateways, blogging, dropshipping, and many more. It is suitable for businesses of all sizes to grow and scale.
If you are a small business just starting with products related to art, Big Cartel can be a perfect choice. You get the benefits like the free plan, lower pricing plans, free themes, user-friendliness, etc.
You should choose the platform that matches all your needs. I hope my detailed article on Big Cartel vs Shopify has helped you understand all the features.
Shopify is a great platform if you want to grow or expand your business to the next level. It comes with plenty of features that you can use on your store, and if your requirements grow, you can always switch to Shopify Plus. Big Cartel is great for small to mid-size businesses, and it can help them sell products with ease.
Shopify charges transaction fees when you use third-party payment integration, which also depends on your chosen plan. Big Cartel does not charge any transaction fees on any of the plans you choose.
Yes, you can use Big Cartel and Shopify for free. You can use Big Cartel’s gold plan for free and sell up to five products with your store. Shopify offers a free trial that lasts for three days, and there is a special offer available on Shopify which lasts for 90 days, and you can access it for $1/month.
Big Cartel is much more affordable compared to Shopify because its pricing plan starts at $9.99/month. Shopify’s basic plan starts at $29 per month.
You can easily switch from Shopify to Big Cartel or Big Cartel to Shopify. You can use any migration app, such as LitExtension, to import data, including customers, blogs, products, and everything else.