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BigCommerce vs WooCommerce: An In-Depth Comparison (2022)

By James LePage
 on March 11, 2022

BigCommerce vs WooCommerce: An In-Depth Comparison (2022)

By James LePage
 on March 11, 2022

The ecommerce market has grown tremendously in the last few years.

In fact, as per research, the global ecommerce software market size was worth $6.2 billion in 2019. And this market is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of around 16% YOY until 2027. Naturally, this kind of growth has attracted a host of ecommerce players to compete in this space.

For end-users like you and me, this means that we have a variety of options to choose from when creating an ecommerce store. However, this can also lead to, what I call, analysis paralysis, or in simple words, “confusion.”

If you have been trying to find the right ecommerce platform for your business, you would agree that it is not easy to decide which solution to embrace, and which to reject. After all, most ecommerce platforms offer similar features. 

This is where this article will come to your rescue. In this post, we will compare two ecommerce giants- BigCommerce vs WooCommerce for creating an ecommerce store.

woocommerce-vs-bigcommerce, which is best?
Which is best, WooCommerce or BigCommerce?

My goal is to highlight important aspects such as key features, pricing, ease of use, and others for BigCommerce vs WooCommerce so that by the end of this article you can make an informed decision as to which is the right ecommerce platform for you for building an ecommerce store. 

Key Difference: BigCommerce vs WooCommerce

Before I dig deep into the BigCommerce vs WooCommerce comparison, let us throw light on what differentiates these two ecommerce platforms. As per 2022 data, BigCommerce has roughly 52,198 live websites.

WooCommerce vs BigCommerce

It may seem like this, but BigCommerce and WooCommerce may be a tough choice for many ecommerce shops.

BigCommerce is, in the simplest terms, a fully-hosted ecommerce website builder. And to dumb it down, it is software that allows you to build and run your online store. This ecommerce solution boasts advanced built-in ecommerce features to help you design, run, manage, and scale your online store.

Talking of WooCommerce, you are looking at an open-source WordPress plugin. The term open-source means that it is available to everyone for free. It is also important to note that WooCommerce is available only for WordPress. In fact, WordPress and WooCommerce have the same parent company- Automatic.

Hence, WooCommerce has a high level of loyalty in the WordPress circle.

As per data, the official WooCommerce plugin has registered a whopping 161 million downloads, with over 5 million websites using the ecommerce plugin. This will give you some idea of BigCommerce vs WooCommerce overview.

BigCommerce vs WooCommerce: Key Features

BigCommerce Features

With BigCommerce, you will never be short of advanced marketing and security features. 

Security

For example, it offers an SSL security certificate. In simple words, this is a certificate showing your visitors that your website is “safe” to use their credit/debit cards. This might sound simple, but in today’s world of malicious attacks online, this can make or break an online store.

Analytics & Reporting

An online store is difficult to run without getting the numbers. Yes, I am talking about analytics and reporting capabilities. As a store owner, you must monitor your site’s performance.

Ecommerce Analytics & Insights | BigCommerce Tutorials - YouTube

Keeping an eye on metrics such as website sessions, sales, bounce rate, and abandoned carts is important to scale your business. With BigCommerce you get a bird’s eye view of these aspects of digital marketing. 

Integrations

BigCommerce allows you to integrate your store with a wide range of websites and marketplaces. For example, you can easily connect your online shop on BigCommece with marketplaces such as Amazon and eBay.

And if you are a social media enthusiast (which you should be in this age and time), BigCommerce offers easy integrations with social media platforms such as Facebook and Instagram.

Conversion Optimization

One of the biggest frustrations of online stores is abandoned cart recovery. Imagine users coming to your website, adding products to their cart, and then exiting your site without checking out. It can be incredibly frustrating to deal with this issue. With BigCommerce, you will have less frustration, thanks to its wide array of abandoned cart recovery tools.

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For example, this ecommerce solution allows you to send an automatic email reminding your customers if they abandon their shopping carts. A small nudge can go a long way to generating extra revenue for your online store. In some cases, this can be the difference between sales worth $100,000 and $500,000. 

Digital Marketing

If you run an online store, you already know the importance of running promotional campaigns. We all love discounts and promotional codes. In fact, there are websites built around the premise of finding the best promo codes over the Internet.

And those sites generate millions of views each month. Therefore, you should use an ecommerce platform that allows you to use these marketing strategies for generating more engagement and revenue. 

BigCommerce offers a dozen free templates, using which you can add unlimited products- both physical and digital goods. The drag-and-drop web page builder and editor in BigCommerce allow you to perform a diverse set of website building functionality with ease. Integration with Paypal is easy with BigCommerce. There is no cap on registering staff accounts on this ecommerce platform.

You can easily connect your BigCommerce store with email marketing solutions such as MailChimp, HubSpot, Constant Contact, Klaviyo, and Omnisend. 

Content Management System

CMS is an important aspect of ecommerce. And in this regard, BigCommerce does not disappoint. 

What about search engine optimization? As you know, it is almost impossible to achieve success today in the world of digital selling without a sound SEO strategy. BigCommerce offers advanced SEO features (some of these are rare with tools such as Wix or Shopify).

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For example, with BigCommerce, you do not have to worry about manually optimizing product images. Thanks to the Akamai Image Manager, all your product images are optimized automatically on BigCommerce.

For all you coders, BigCommerce allows you to edit CSS and HTML as well. 

WooCommerce Features

In all honesty, WooCommerce does not come close to BigCommerce if you just talk about features. However, I would still throw light on some of the features of WooCommerce that make it one of the most popular WordPress plugins.

Built-In Blog

Let’s start with their in-built blog. Unlike BigCommerce, chances are your WordPress website (which WooCommerce is running on), already has a blog. This will save you a lot of time to implement a new blog. I have heard people complain about issues customizing their WooCommerce store.

image-50-6

A WooCommerce store offers a high degree of customization, given you have the development skills to use those features. Both BigCommerce and WooCommerce, in this regard, appeal more to people with some degree of knowledge of coding/development.

Shortcodes

And if you are not a coder, then WooCommerce has an awesome feature called “shortcodes”.

Using these snippets, you can display information on your online store in creative ways. WooCommerce comes with built-in shortcodes. And if you want to add more, you can use additional plugins.

For example, using a WooCommerce shortcode, you can display a list of the top-rated products on your website. You can also highlight related products when a customer expresses interest in one of your products. There are shortcodes to help you showcase featured products on sidebars and other areas (widgets).

Refunds

With ecommerce, refunds can get complicated.  WooCommerce has addressed this area in the right fashion.

You can use WooCommerce to help your customers request refunds directly from their ‘My Account’ page. Available for $79/year, WooCommerce Smart Refunder makes the refund process easy and quick for both customers and store owners.

When you get onboard WooCommerce, you automatically get access to the wide range of features of a WordPress website. In my view, it is pain to upload and manage videos with most ecommerce platforms. With the WordPress website and WooCommerce, this is not the case.

As you know, today’s customers love watching videos (more than reading lengthy articles). And if you want to save bandwidth, you might want to embed videos rather than hosting the video on your server (or on your hosting provider). Several store owners use YouTube or Vimeo for this functionality.

Assuming you have WooCommerce, you can easily embed a YouTube video on a product page on your website. And all it takes for this is to add the URL to the product description.

WooCommerce Add-Ons

WooCommerce has a massive library of add-ons- both free and premium. And if you're a developer/coder, you can even write your own plugin, thanks to the open-source nature of WordPress.

WooCommerce Shipping, Jetpack, WooCommerce Bookings, WooCommerce Payments, WooCommerce Subscriptions, and Automate Woo are some of the popular extensions available with WooCommerce.

Community Support

We feel safe and confident when we know there are millions of people backing a product. This is the case with WordPress. As a non-coder (or beginner), you can rely on the strong community behind WordPress and WooCommerce to seek help. Oftentimes, you can resolve minor issues by merely asking a question in the forums, thus saving yourself hundreds of dollars.

If we talk about features for BigCommerce vs WooCommerce, BigCommerce has the upper hand. That does not mean that you cannot run a successful WooCommerce store. It is just that BigCommerce has many more features to play with. In other words, a BigCommerce store will have more features than a WooCommerce store.

Ease of Use: BigCommerce vs WooCommerce

When I was a beginner in the ecommerce domain, I paid a big emphasis on user-friendliness. And I still do. I believe an ecommerce platform should be easy to use, so one does not have to go through the steep learning curve of a complicated environment.

In my experience, a website builder is relatively easier to use than a plugin. Let’s see if this applies to this BigCommerce vs WooCommerce comparison.

BigCommerce

How do you get started with BigCommerce? They offer a free trial. Add your email, add your store’s name,  input a little information about your store, and your BigCommerce store is all set. At this point, you should be able to view your BigCommerce dashboard. Here, you can preview your online store, upload product images, and tweak the look and feel of your shop.

Another thing I love about BigCommerce is its community. Have an issue with an incomplete order notification? Is the product not publishing? You can simply post these questions in the BigCommerce Questions & Answers Community, and you are likely to get a response within a few minutes.

One of the cool things about BigCommerce is that you do not need to look elsewhere for a domain name, a domain host, or a security certificate (SSL). With BigCommerce, you get all these and more when you get onboard.  These things save you a lot of time, so you can focus on building your online store, and not spending hours on admin stuff.

As I said in the beginning, I wanted to have a transparent and unbiased take on BigCommerce vs WooCommerce comparison. I must admit that BigCommerce is not the easiest of the platforms. If you are new to this field, you might struggle a little with understanding the terminology when using BigCommerce.

WooCommerce

The same goes for WooCommerce. In fact, WooCommerce is a bit more complicated than BigCommerce. Again, this is subjective, and just my opinion. In my view, WooCommerce requires a more technical background to customize and make full use of its features.

A downside of WooCommerce is that you would have to get a domain name and web hosting to be able to use this platform. But if you already have a WordPress site, then you can skip this step.

Please note that WooCommerce is not a website builder, but a WordPress plugin. It is important to reiterate this for a fair BigCommerce vs WooCommerce comparison.

I have come across premium (and free) WordPress themes that are customized for WooCommerce. These themes work seamlessly with WooCommerce and allow you to take full advantage of WooCommerce extensions and plugins.

WooCommerce Storefront

WooCommerce comes with a free WordPress theme called Storefront. This theme integrates seamlessly with the WooCommerce plugin and helps you optimize your website speed and performance. It also helps reduce/eliminate theme or plugin conflicts.

You can use WooCommerce Storefront right out of the box with its default settings. And if you want to tweak the look and feel of your online store, you can always use a child theme for your Storefront.

WooCommerce Themes

WordPress has thousands of ecommerce themes for creating an online store. These themes fall into the free and paid categories.

Themes

I am a big advocate of SEO for ecommerce. You want your users to find your online store when they type a keyword into the Google search box. And with voice commands becoming more popular, SEO has taken a new direction and is more important than ever before.

When choosing a WooCommerce theme, focus on its responsiveness (mobile and desktop), and time to load (speed). When you buy a theme from the official WordPress site, you will have access to tech support.

Summarizing BigCommerce vs WooCommerce features, I believe that there is a steep learning curve for WooCommerce. BigCommerce is relatively easier to learn (although not as simple as some of the other players). WordPress users might find it easier to work with WooCommerce than with BigCommerce.

BigCommerce vs WooCommerce: Pricing

A comparison of BigCommerce vs WooCommerce will be incomplete if we do not talk about the costs associated with each ecommerce platform. Let’s dissect the BigCommerce vs WooCommerce pricing in detail, starting with BigCommerce.

BigCommerce Pricing

image-51-6

You can try BigCommerce for 15 days before picking a plan as well. They offer four pricing plans- Standard, Plus, Pro, and Enterprise. All these plans offer unlimited file storage, unlimited bandwidth, and products. None of these plans charge you a transaction fee either. And all these plans come preloaded with a web domain, web hosting, and SSL security certificate.

BigCommerce Standard

BigCommerce Standard costs $29.95/month and supports online sales up to $50k per year. This plan also offers gift card features, professional reporting tools, auto image optimization, mobile responsive web pages, and user reviews.

The downside of the BigCommerce Standard plan is that it does not offer abandoned cart saving functionality.

BigCommerce Plus

The BigCommerce Plus plan costs $79.95/month. With this tier, you get all the features of the BigCommerce Standard plan plus an abandoned cart saver conversion tool. You also get a Persistent Cart tool that saves a customer’s shopping cart to their accounts, so when they switch devices, the shopping cart is still there.

This plan also allows users to save their credit card details with your store. Finally, this plan comes with marketing features such as customer groups and segmentation. The BigCommerce Plus plan is capped at online sales of $180k/year.

BigCommerce Pro

The BigCommerce Pro plan costs $299.95/month and supports online sales of up to $400k/year. What I like about this plan is that it has a Google Reviews feature, so your customers can leave a review of your store on Google. This is great for both branding and SEO. The BigCommerce Pro plan comes with custom product filtering.

Bigcommerce Enterprise

The BigCommerce Enterprise plan is for large businesses that expect sales of over $1 million a year. This plan offers advanced product filtering, unlimited API calls,  Bigcommerce consulting, account management, priority support (including API), express routing, priority support, and customer success management.

The Bigcommerce Enterprise is also negotiable.

WooCommerce Pricing

Being a WordPress plugin, WooCommerce is free to add to your WordPress site. However, there are some costs associated with it. You will have to spend $40-$50 on the theme, $10 on SSL certificate (each year), and web hosting.

BigCommerce vs WooCommerce: Customer Support

It is important to understand the level of support when talking about BigCommerce vs WooCommerce, All plans for BigCommerce come with 24/7 tech support (phone, chat, & ticket).

The BigCommerce Enterprise plan even comes with an account manager and an onboarding consultant. In comparison, WooCommerce does not impress in this context as it's open source, meaning there's no official paid support. Their customer support is not that great; you can check WooCommerce Docs to get help with your questions.

Conclusion: BigCommerce vs WooCommerce

If you are a larger, fast-growing ecommerce business, you will enjoy the features and support of BigCommerce. If you run a small, online store on WordPress, you would be better off with WooCommerce. I hope this BigCommerce vs WooCommerce will help you decide which is the right platform for your business.

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James LePage
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James LePage is the founder of Isotropic Design, a digital agency that builds WordPress websites. I read, write and design constantly!
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