Big Cartel Vs Shopify 2024: Which One Is Better

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Big Cartel versus Shopify is one of the most popular and ongoing comparisons in the e-commerce market nowadays. While the overall revenue of Shopify most likely crossed $812 billion by the end of 2023, Big Cartel did not stay behind. It is known as the finest alternative to the most unbeatable e-commerce giant in the industry.

Entrepreneurs looking to establish their e-commerce ventures often fall victim to this comparison. In most cases, Shopify leads the race yet Big Cartel has its own perks. Those who are looking to establish their stores on a slightly different platform may prefer this choice over Shopify.

To help you make the right choice, here is a detailed comparison between both the store builders. But before we dive deeper into the comparison, let us go through a brief introduction of Big Cartel and Shopify.

Big Cartel vs Shopify: Overview

Introduction to Shopify

Shopify is one of the finest SaaS e-commerce platforms preferred for drop shipping. It makes a great choice for starters as they get the chance to develop a complete website easily. This website-building tool has plenty of features and outstanding themes to help business owners establish their ventures quickly.

This website-building tool is composed of a variety of plugins and integrations that help to build a store easily. Also, it offers a web hosting feature as a plus point for retailers. What’s more to the platform is its outstanding App Store which contains almost 8000 apps of different kinds.

These help to enhance the overall functionality of one’s website. Currently, Shopify owns almost 4.9 million e-commerce stores throughout the globe. It has extended its network in more than 175 countries like a pro.

Introduction to Big Cartel

Big Cartel has been serving as Shopify‘s strongest rival in the industry for the past few years. Similar to its competitor, it is a cloud-based platform that enables entrepreneurs to build their e-commerce stores quickly. Business owners can benefit from its variety of free themes and optimize the performance of their stores.

For better customization, you can use its API to create your e-commerce website. Big Cartel also offers a paid plan which may provide you with more features while allowing retailers to sell a higher number of goods. This SaaS solution also offers web hosting like Shopify.

Currently, Big Cartel owns more than 180 thousand stores across the market. However, its pleasing features continue to attract customers in the long run. The number of stores on this platform has increased by around 55% in the third quarter of 2023.

Big Cartel vs Shopify: Comparison

When comparing Shopify and Big Cartel, we can come across a series of differences. It may not be as popular as Shopify, yet it attracts customers with its budget-friendly packages. Unlike other platforms, this website-building tool offers a variety of promos, discounts, and real-time analytics. Besides its plenty of benefits, the tool sets different limits that make it difficult for business owners to operate freely.

Shopify on the other hand, is a beginner-friendly tool with countless features for entrepreneurs. Although it is expensive compared to Big Cartel, its marketing features lead the race easily. The platform owns plenty of SEO tools through which most starters can find it easy to rank their stores on popular search engines.

To help you understand better, let us find the benefits of using Shopify and Big Cartel.

Big Cartel vs Shopify: Benefits

The Benefits of Using Shopify

  • It Supports Worldwide Selling

Shopify is considered an international platform that supports more than 21 languages globally. It helps business owners to connect with their audiences regardless of their location and race. Retailers can use it to stock their inventory anywhere in the world and ship products without any limits.

  • It Offers Social Media Integration

One of the biggest perks of using Shopify is its integration with popular social media channels. This platform helps you to sell your products true leading channels like Instagram, Facebook, and TikTok. Retailers can set up their stores on these social networks and generate more leads.

  • It Provides Beginner-Friendly Features

Shopify is the perfect tool for starters as it does not require any kind of technical expertise to work. You can freely create your store without using any kind of coding language. With plenty of website themes and templates, Shopify enables customization. Beginners are fond of this tool for its drag-and-drop feature, which makes website building a breeze.

  • It Helps To Attract Audiences

Experts consider Shopify as the platform for branding. Unlike other tools, it offers built-in features that help you to strengthen your brand identity. You can easily create your invoices, business cards, and logos through Shopify. Doing so makes it easy to promote your store across the web.

  • It Includes Secure Payment Options

Paying online with Shopify is simpler than ever. The tool offers multiple payment gateways which include cash, checks, debit cards, credit cards, and online wallets. Also, it is easier to recover abandoned shopping carts through Shopify without paying any extra charges.

  • It Owns Built-in Marketing Tools

As discussed earlier, Shopify has built-in SEO tools that help you to rank your website easily. 

Store owners can use it to create SEO-friendly product descriptions. Also, business owners can create mobile-optimized advertisements for their products and services through Shopify.

The Benefits of Using Big Cartel

  • It Provides a Free Plan

Unlike Shopify, Big Cartel is free to use while accessing any type of plan. It has enough features to help entrepreneurs establish their brand without paying extra fees. The only investment it requires from you is in the form of taxes and fees demanded by payment gateways.

  • It Offers Social Media Integration

Being in the race with Shopify, Big Cartel also offers social media integration. It means the store owners can easily connect their accounts with multiple social media channels. The tool lets you sell your products and services on platforms like Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and more.

  • It Includes Mobile-friendly Themes

Using Big Cartel becomes easier with its mobile-friendly themes and templates. With around 20 different types of customizable themes, store owners can enhance the overall features of their websites. Moreover, having mobile-optimized themes makes it easier to rank your store on popular search engines.

  • It Provides Customizable Discounts

Big Cartel helps store owners by offering them budget-friendly packages for their customers. It also has fee-free plans through which retailers can entice their buyers with exciting discounts and promos. It helps to increase brand loyalty and strengthen your customer circle.

  • It Appreciates Art and Creativity

The point where Big Cartel quickly beats Shopify is its love for art. The tool is created by artists, which makes it a perfect platform to display your artwork. Retailers can feel free to share their creative ideas that will help to attract several customers on the go.

Big Cartel vs Shopify: Drawbacks

The Drawbacks of Using Shopify

  • It Does Not Support Content Marketing

Shopify, being a sale-oriented platform, does not provide enough space for web content. It does not let you track customers through content marketing strategies like blogging, videography, infographics, and more. Having less space for on-site content can be tedious for shop owners.

  • It is Not a Place for Digital Goods

The biggest drawback of using Shopify is its poor support for digital products. You cannot sell your services through this platform or promote any kind of non-shippable items. Business owners looking to establish a store for selling services may not find Shopify a friendly platform.

The Drawbacks of Using Big Cartel

  • It Lacks 24/7 Customer Support

Where Big Cartel is known for its beginner friendliness, it's like for customer support can be annoying. Unlike other platforms, it does not provide a 24/7 service to solve customers' problems. Store owners are bound to contact Big Cartel through e-mail or under its limited communication hours.

  • It Ignores Abandoned Carts

While Shopify is approved for recovering abandoned carts, Big Cartel falls short. It forgets an abandoned shopping cart that does not offer any kind of option for customer login which may sometimes annoy a returning customer.

  • It consists of Fewer Payment Gateways

Most people shopping online do not like the idea of Big Cartel using limited payment gateways. The platform is familiar to PayPal, Square, and Stripe only. This limit prevents international selling and connecting to customers around the globe.

  • It Demands Code for Customization

Unlike Shopify, the themes and templates at Big Cartel are simpler. They can help you build a basic website or store only. To come up with a more attractive venture, business owners must apply coding techniques to achieve favorable results.

  • It Limits Product Selling

While professionals may fall for Big Cartel's artwork, they may step behind its product limits. On a free plan, you are limited to selling 5 products only. Moreover, its most expensive business plan also sets a limit of 500 products, which may be a negative point for business owners who wish to extend at a wider rate.

Big Cartel vs Shopify: The Verdict

Undoubtedly, Shopify wins the race when compared with Big Cartel for business. However, it does not make Big Cartel any lesser than Shopify. While the winner is a perfect option for business owners to establish an extensive store and sell internationally, the other one supports starters too.

Entrepreneurs looking to establish a small store or promote art-oriented products may find Big Cartel the right choice. In case, you do not have any kind of budget issue, Shopify is the best platform to use.

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John Fernandes

John Fernandes

John Fernandes is content writer at YourDigiLab, An expert in producing engaging and informative research-based articles and blog posts. His passion to disseminate fruitful information fuels his passion for writing.