SaaS Based Ecommerce Systems Comparison: Shopify Vs BigCommerce Part 4 of 4

May 25, 2017 - 15:45

This is the last part of a 4 part series in-depth comparison between Shopify and BigCommerce

Continued from SaaS Based Ecommerce Systems Comparison: Shopify Vs BigCommerce Part 3 of 4

Drupal Integration

Drupal can be used as a content marketing platform while using SaaS-based e-commerce systems. In addition to e-commerce stores, products can also be displayed in Drupal website. ‘Buy Now’ buttons can be embedded from Shopify and BigCommerce can be added to the website. When someone tries to buy a product from an organization's website, he will be redirected to the e-commerce platform. This process also ensures that the product will be added to the cart at that time.

Shopify also provides Storefront API that helps merchants build customized purchasing experiences for customers. Using Storefront API, a merchant's website can also be converted to an online store where orders can be accepted. Store front API’s allow the fetching of products data from Shopify to be displayed on any website or device. They also provide the opportunity to deliver unique checkout experiences with full control over the shopping cart. Shopify has a Drupal module that facilitates display of products in Drupal website from Shopify store.

Reporting and Analytics

Report generation tools are available on these platforms to generate reports based on orders, customers, products etc. Both Platform provides integration with Google Analytics. In addition to this, they do deliver analytic reports from their platforms.

Customer Service

Both Shopify and BigCommerce offer you various channels to get a hold of their technical support, including email, live chat, and phone support. Both offer 24/7 services, which is fast approaching the bare minimum level of service for e-commerce online store builders! They also offer product discussion forums, knowledge centres from where customers can retrieve information regarding products. Market feelers reveal that Shopify customer service stays far ahead of BigCommerce customer service.

Pricing

BigCommerce offers 4 pricing plans7:

  • BigCommerce Standard: $29.95 per month
  • BigCommerce Plus: $79.95 per month
  • BigCommerce Pro: $249.95 per month
  • BigCommerce Enterprise: Varies depending on requirements

Shopify offers 5 pricing plans8:

  • Lite: $9 per month
  • Basic Shopify: $29 per month
  • Shopify: $79 per month
  • Advanced Shopify: $299 per month
  • Shopify Plus: Pricing varies depending on requirements

Even the pricing plans look similar for both of these providers. Shopify provides bare minimum features at the basic plan. They follow an 80:20 model. Features needed for 80% of customers will be available as prebuilt. Remaining 20% of customers can enhance features using apps available in their store. BigCommerce comes with a long list of features for the same price. So a beginner may feel like features are more than enough. Features become almost similar for higher value plans. However in most of the plans, BigCommerce score on the feature set. Shopify and BigCommerce offer discounts on annual payments. In addition to this, Shopify also provides discounts for a second store owned on their platform.

While coming to transaction charges, Shopify charges 1-4% as transaction charges. This may vary depends on the plan chosen and the payment mode. But for BigCommerce all the transactions are completely free.

Limitations

None of these platforms offer the multi-store feature that helps to maintain different stores for different countries and maintaining it from a single code base.

Verdict

Even though BigCommerce scores over Shopify with the long list of features, Shopify is a better system with the set of features it has. Shopify helps to meet the basic necessities of a merchant who is starting an e-commerce business. When his business scales to the next phase, Shopify provides a handful of additional options to scale it to a higher level.

SaaS platforms like Shopify and BigCommerce are built in an orderly fashion that caters to the needs of majority of the users. They define a generalized structure for their system. One way it is good, we can have a stable and robust system. On the other hand, it imposes some limitations when it comes to customization. It's quite difficult to alter these systems according to the changing business needs and evolving strategies. Users may have to think about much more specialized systems in this case. E-commerce systems like Magento, Drupal Commerce, Zen Cart etc can be used when you need your systems to be altered according to your requirements. On a higher canvas, if you are looking for an enterprise grade e-commerce system, IBM WebSphere, Oracle ATG, and SAP Hybris can be used.

Reference :
7. Pricing, BigCommerce, accessed May 2017.
8. Pricing, Shopify, accessed May 2017.

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