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Big Cartel vs Shopify: Which is the Best Platform for Your Ecommerce Business?

Big Cartel vs Shopify: Which is the Best Platform for Your Ecommerce Business?

Big Cartel and Shopify are two of the most popular e-commerce platforms on the market. Both platforms offer a variety of features and benefits, but they also have some key differences.

So, which platform is right for you? If you are a small business or an artist looking for a simple and affordable way to sell online, then Big Cartel is a good option. If you need a more robust platform with a wider range of features, then Shopify is a better choice.

In this blog post, we will compare Big Cartel and Shopify in detail. We will discuss their features, pricing, and pros and cons. We will also help you decide which platform is right for your e-commerce business.

What is Shopify?

what is shopify

Shopify is a popular e-commerce platform that allows individuals and businesses to create their own online stores and sell products or services. It provides a user-friendly interface and a range of customizable templates, making it easy for users to set up and manage their online shops without extensive technical knowledge. Shopify offers a wide array of features, including secure payment processing, inventory management, order tracking, and integrated marketing tools. Users can also add various apps and extensions to enhance their store's functionality. With its scalability and flexibility, Shopify is suitable for businesses of all sizes, from small startups to large enterprises, seeking an online presence for selling products and expanding their reach to a global audience.

What is Big Cartel?

what is bigcartel

Big Cartel is an e-commerce platform designed for independent artists, makers, and creative entrepreneurs to easily create and manage their online stores. It provides a user-friendly interface and a range of customizable templates that allow users to showcase and sell their art, crafts, clothing, and other creative products. Big Cartel focuses on simplicity and affordability, making it an attractive option for small businesses and individuals who want to sell their unique creations without the complexity of larger e-commerce platforms.

Big Cartel Vs. Shopify: Features

Big Cartel and Shopify are both e-commerce platforms, but they offer different sets of features tailored to different types of users. Here's a comparison of their features:

Big Cartel Features:

  1. Ease of Use: Big Cartel is known for its simplicity, making it easy for artists and small businesses to set up and manage their online stores without technical expertise.
  2. Templates: Big Cartel provides a selection of customizable templates designed with creative entrepreneurs in mind. While the template options are somewhat limited compared to Shopify, they focus on showcasing artistic products effectively.
  3. Pricing: Big Cartel offers a free plan for users with a small number of products, making it an affordable option for artists and beginners. Paid plans are available for those with larger inventories and additional features.
  4. Inventory Management: Users can add and manage products, set prices, and track stock levels. However, the inventory management features are basic compared to Shopify.
  5. Payment Processing: Big Cartel integrates with popular payment gateways like PayPal and Stripe, allowing users to accept payments securely.
  6. Product Customization: Artists can list physical or digital products and provide customizable options for customers to choose from, such as size or color.

Shopify Features:

  1. Versatility: Shopify is highly versatile and suitable for a wide range of businesses, from small startups to large enterprises.
  2. Templates: Shopify offers a vast selection of professionally designed templates and themes that cater to various industries, providing extensive customization options.
  3. App Store: Shopify has a robust app store with thousands of apps and integrations that enhance functionality, such as marketing, analytics, and inventory management.
  4. Payment Gateways: Shopify supports multiple payment gateways and offers its payment processing solution, Shopify Payments.
  5. Inventory Management: Shopify provides advanced inventory management features, including SKU tracking, product variants, and inventory syncing across multiple sales channels.
  6. Marketing Tools: Shopify includes built-in SEO features, email marketing, and social media integration to help businesses promote their products and reach a broader audience.
  7. Scalability: Shopify scales with businesses as they grow, offering more advanced features and capabilities for larger operations.

Big Cartel Vs. Shopify: Pricing

Big Cartel and Shopify have different pricing structures to cater to various user needs. Here's a comparison of their pricing plans:

Big Cartel Pricing

Big Cartel Pricing
  1. Free Plan: Big Cartel offers a free plan designed for users with a limited number of products. It's an excellent option for artists, makers, or small businesses just starting.
  2. Platinum: The Platinum plan costs a monthly fee and allows users to list more products, up to 50. It also includes features like custom domains and Google Analytics integration.
  3. Diamond: The Diamond plan is also priced monthly and offers more advanced features, such as inventory tracking and the ability to list up to 500 products.
  4. Titanium: The Titanium plan is the most feature-rich and allows for up to 300 products. It includes all the features of lower-tier plans, as well as priority support.

Shopify Pricing

shopify pricing
  1. Basic Shopify: Shopify's entry-level plan includes all the essentials for starting an online store, with features like unlimited products, 24/7 support, and multiple sales channels. It's suitable for small businesses and costs a monthly fee.
  2. Shopify: This mid-tier plan builds on Basic Shopify with additional features like gift cards and professional reports. It's ideal for growing businesses.
  3. Advanced Shopify: The Advanced plan is designed for businesses with advanced needs, offering features like advanced report building and third-party calculated shipping rates.
  4. Shopify Plus: Shopify Plus is a custom-priced enterprise solution for high-growth businesses and large enterprises. It offers personalized support, advanced customization, and scalability.
  5. Shopify Lite: While not a full online store plan, Shopify Lite allows users to sell products on social media and add a "Buy" button to existing websites.

Big Cartel Vs. Shopify: Alternatives

Both Big Cartel and Shopify are popular e-commerce platforms, but users may explore alternative platforms based on their specific needs and preferences. Here are some alternatives to consider:

Alternatives to Big Cartel:

  1. Etsy: Etsy is an online marketplace specializing in handmade and unique products. It's an excellent platform for artists and crafters to showcase their creations.
  2. Squarespace: Squarespace offers website building and e-commerce capabilities. It provides visually appealing templates and integrated e-commerce tools.
  3. WooCommerce: A plugin for WordPress, WooCommerce allows users to turn their WordPress websites into fully functional online stores. It's highly customizable and offers a wide range of extensions.
  4. Wix: Wix is a website builder that includes e-commerce functionality. It's user-friendly and provides customizable templates.

Alternatives to Shopify:

  1. BigCommerce: BigCommerce is a robust e-commerce platform known for its scalability and advanced features. It's suitable for businesses of all sizes and industries.
  2. Magento: Magento is an open-source e-commerce platform that offers extensive customization and flexibility. It's ideal for larger enterprises with complex requirements.
  3. WooCommerce: As mentioned earlier, WooCommerce is a powerful e-commerce plugin for WordPress, offering flexibility and customization options.
  4. Volusion: Volusion is an e-commerce platform known for its ease of use and features like inventory management and marketing tools.
  5. 3dcart: 3dcart is a feature-rich e-commerce solution that caters to businesses of all sizes. It offers customizable templates and various built-in features.
  6. PrestaShop: PrestaShop is an open-source e-commerce platform that provides a wide range of customization options and integrations.
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Big Cartel Vs. Shopify: Integrations

Both Big Cartel and Shopify offer integrations to enhance the functionality of your online store. Here's a comparison of their integration capabilities:

Big Cartel Integrations:

  1. Custom Domains: Big Cartel allows you to use your custom domain name, providing a professional and branded online presence.
  2. Google Analytics: You can integrate Google Analytics to track website traffic, visitor behavior, and gain insights into your store's performance.
  3. Print-on-Demand Services: Big Cartel has partnerships with print-on-demand apps like Printful or Printify, and AOP+ to help you create and fulfill custom products.
  4. Payment Gateways: It supports various payment gateways, including PayPal and Stripe, to facilitate secure online transactions.
  5. Shipping Integrations: You can connect with shipping services like USPS, UPS, and FedEx to manage shipping and delivery efficiently.

Shopify Integrations:

  1. Shopify App Store: Shopify offers a vast App Store with thousands of apps and integrations for marketing, inventory management, customer support, and more.
  2. Payment Gateways: Like Big Cartel, Shopify supports multiple payment gateways, and it also has its payment processing solution, Shopify Payments.
  3. Shipping Integrations: Shopify integrates with major shipping carriers and services, simplifying shipping and order fulfillment.
  4. Marketing and SEO Tools: You can access a wide range of marketing tools, including email marketing, SEO optimization, social media integration, and affiliate marketing, through the App Store.
  5. Inventory Management: Shopify offers advanced inventory management capabilities, including product variants, stock level tracking, and third-party integrations.
  6. Customer Support Tools: You can find customer support and live chat integrations to enhance customer service.
  7. Analytics and Reporting: Shopify provides robust reporting and analytics tools to help you track sales, monitor customer behavior, and optimize your store's performance.

Big Cartel reviews

Big Cartel is a popular e-commerce platform that is designed for artists and creative businesses. It offers a variety of features and benefits, including:

  • Affordable pricing: Big Cartel's plans start at $9.99 per month, which is more affordable than some other e-commerce platforms.
  • Simple and stylish design: Big Cartel's templates are designed to be simple and stylish, so you can create a professional-looking online store without any coding knowledge.
  • Flexible customization: Big Cartel gives you a lot of control over the design of your store, so you can customize it to fit your brand.
  • Built-in payment processing: Big Cartel integrates with a variety of payment processors, so you can accept payments from your customers quickly and easily.
  • No transaction fees: Big Cartel does not charge any transaction fees, so you can keep more of the money you make from your sales.

However, Big Cartel also has some limitations, such as:

  • Limited features: Big Cartel does not offer as many features as some other e-commerce platforms, such as abandoned cart recovery and marketing automation.
  • No inventory management: Big Cartel does not have built-in inventory management, so you will need to use a third-party app if you need to track your inventory levels.
  • No dropshipping: Big Cartel does not support dropshipping, so you will need to purchase and ship your products yourself.

Overall, Big Cartel is a good option for artists and small businesses that are looking for an affordable and easy-to-use e-commerce platform. However, if you need a platform with more features or the ability to dropship, then you may want to consider another option.

Here are some of the pros and cons of Big Cartel:

Pros:

  • Affordable pricing
  • Simple and stylish design
  • Flexible customization
  • Built-in payment processing
  • No transaction fees

Cons:

  • Limited features
  • No inventory management
  • No dropshipping

Here are some of the reviews of Big Cartel from users:

"I love how easy it is to use Big Cartel. I'm not a tech person, but I was able to create a beautiful and professional-looking online store in no time." - Jane Doe, Artist
"Big Cartel's customer support is amazing. I had a question about my store, and they responded to my email within minutes. They were so helpful and patient." - John Smith, Small Business Owner
"I've been using Big Cartel for a few years now, and I'm really happy with it. It's a great platform for small businesses, and it's very affordable." - Susan Jones, Creative Entrepreneur

Overall, Big Cartel is a good option for artists and small businesses that are looking for an affordable and easy-to-use e-commerce platform. However, if you need a platform with more features or the ability to dropship, then you may want to consider another option.

Shopify reviews

Shopify is a popular e-commerce platform that is used by over 1 million businesses worldwide. It offers a wide range of features and benefits, including:

  • Affordable pricing: Shopify's plans start at $29 per month, which is more expensive than Big Cartel but still affordable for most businesses.
  • Powerful features: Shopify offers a wide range of features that can help businesses of all sizes grow their online sales. These features include inventory management, shipping integration, marketing tools, and more.
  • Flexible customization: Shopify gives businesses a lot of control over the design and functionality of their online stores. Businesses can use Shopify's templates or hire a developer to create a custom store.
  • Global reach: Shopify is available in over 175 countries, so businesses can sell their products to customers all over the world.

However, Shopify also has some limitations, such as:

  • Learning curve: Shopify can be a bit complex to learn, especially for beginners. There are a lot of features and options to choose from, which can be overwhelming.
  • High fees: Shopify charges transaction fees for every sale made through its platform. These fees can add up, especially for businesses that make a lot of sales.
  • No free plan: Shopify does not offer a free plan, so businesses will need to pay at least $29 per month to use the platform.

Some reviews by customers:

"Shopify is the easiest platform to use for creating an online store. I was able to set up my store in just a few hours, and it looks great." - John Doe, Small Business Owner
"Shopify has a wide range of features that make it a great platform for growing my business. I can use it to sell products, track inventory, and run marketing campaigns." - Jane Doe, Creative Entrepreneur
"Shopify's customer support is top-notch. I had a question about my store, and they responded to my email within minutes. They were so helpful and patient." - Susan Jones, Artist

Overall, Shopify is a good option for businesses of all sizes that are looking for a powerful and feature-rich e-commerce platform. However, it is important to weigh the pros and cons carefully before deciding if Shopify is the right platform for your business.

Big Cartel Vs. Shopify Vs. Etsy

Big Cartel, Shopify, and Etsy are three distinct e-commerce platforms, each catering to different types of users and business needs. Here's a comparison of these platforms:

Big Cartel:

  1. Target Audience: Big Cartel primarily targets independent artists, makers, and small businesses looking for a straightforward and budget-friendly platform to sell unique and handmade products.
  2. Ease of Use: It's known for its simplicity and user-friendly interface, making it ideal for those who may not have technical expertise.
  3. Customization: Big Cartel offers basic customization options, allowing users to create a simple and branded online store. However, it may lack the advanced features and flexibility of other platforms.
  4. Pricing: Big Cartel offers a free plan for users with a limited number of products and paid plans for additional features.

Shopify:

  1. Target Audience: Shopify is a versatile platform suitable for businesses of all sizes and industries. It's ideal for entrepreneurs, small businesses, and enterprises.
  2. Ease of Use: While it offers a wide range of features, Shopify maintains a user-friendly interface. It's known for its scalability and adaptability.
  3. Customization: Shopify provides extensive customization options, including themes, apps, and coding capabilities, allowing for highly personalized online stores.
  4. Pricing: Shopify offers multiple pricing plans, starting from an entry-level option to advanced plans for businesses with specific requirements.

Etsy:

  1. Target Audience: Etsy is an online marketplace primarily focused on handmade, vintage, and unique products. It's an ideal platform for artisans and crafters.
  2. Ease of Use: Etsy offers a straightforward and user-friendly platform for both buyers and sellers. Listing products is relatively easy.
  3. Customization: While Etsy provides some customization options for shop profiles, it's more limited compared to Shopify or Big Cartel. Shops within Etsy follow a consistent layout.
  4. Pricing: Etsy charges listing fees, transaction fees, and payment processing fees. It's essential to consider these costs when selling on Etsy.

Summary:

  • Choose Big Cartel if you're an independent artist or small business owner looking for a simple and budget-friendly platform to sell unique products.
  • Choose Shopify if you need a highly customizable, scalable, and versatile e-commerce platform suitable for businesses of all sizes and industries.
  • Choose Etsy if you specialize in handmade, vintage, or craft products and prefer the exposure of a well-established online marketplace.

What is better Shopify or Big Cartel?

Shopify is a more powerful platform that offers a wider range of features, including inventory management, shipping integration, marketing tools, and more. It is also more expensive than Big Cartel, with plans starting at $29 per month.

Big Cartel is a simpler platform that is designed for artists and creative businesses. It is more affordable than Shopify, with plans starting at $9.99 per month. However, it does not offer as many features as Shopify.

Here is a table comparing the two platforms:

Ultimately, the best platform for you will depend on your specific needs and budget. If you are a small business or an artist looking for an affordable and easy-to-use platform, then Big Cartel is a good option. If you need a more powerful platform with more features, then Shopify is a better choice.