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Shopify Plus vs BigCommerce Enterprise

Shopify Plus and BigCommerce Enterprise are two of the leading contenders when it comes to cloud-based e-commerce platforms in the eCommerce market. For enterprise level brands, both platforms, Shopify Plus and BigCommerce Enterprise, are top contenders offering sound design, mobile-friendly features, and around the clock 24/7 customer support services.

Whether you’re new to the game or looking at upgrading your current platform, you’re probably wondering which is better for your needs and your big business. BigCommerce vs Shopify? Which will support your requirements as your business grows?

Shopify Plus or BigCommerce Enterprise? Below, we’ll take an in-depth look comparing these two leading cloud-based e-commerce platforms. We’ll go through the specific advantages and disadvantages of each platform so that you’re able to make a better, well-informed decision.

What Is An eCommerce Platform And Why Is It Important To Have One?

eCommerce platforms are fundamentally the backbone of any online retail enterprise. We often underestimate the complexities of these business operations but an eCommerce platform can provide a suite of functionalities to help enhance your business functions. CRM capabilities, tailored web design and warehouse inventory management are just some of the features that an eCommerce platform can provide.

With the rise in focus on a seamless mobile responsive site, an integrated M-commerce (mobile commerce) functionality of an eCommerce platform is just what we’re after when looking at why a powerful eCommerce platform is just so important for any online retail operation.  

What Is Shopify, What is BigCommerce Enterprise? And Why Compare Them?

Shopify Plus and BigCommerce Enterprise are two of the main contending platforms for businesses with a revenue of over $1 million per annum. Both are unlike on-premises eCommerce solutions (such as Magento) and are hosted as software-as-a-service (SaaS) which requires significantly less support and development.

Who Came First And Which Is Bigger?

Shopify was first to market with its Shopify Plus Enterprise-level product being launched in February 2014. BigCommerce soon followed suit with the launch of its BigCommerce Enterprise being launched in May 2015.

BigCommerce merchants sell to 150 countries around the world and generate roughly $9 billion in sales. On the other hand, Shopify Plus merchants sell into 175 counties and generate about $60 billion through the platform.  

Merchant Annual Growth

Today, a few years down the track, both platforms have considerable experience under their belts. So, let’s allow the numbers to do the talking. On its homepage, BigCommerce boasts a healthy average of 28% growth for merchants, which is about twice the industry average. As for Shopify Plus, their homepage cites an 126% growth year over year, a substantial difference, benefiting their merchants – and ultimately the bottom line!

Scalability

The ability for your e-commerce platform to grow as the business grows is an important factor to consider. How a platform can help your brand to grow can be a measure of its scalability. If you’re looking at scaling your brand, you will likely be exposed to increased traffic and markets. With that, comes its own set of complexities. Both platforms boast industry-leading uptime, especially important when encountering the unexpected, such as an increase surge in sales orders.

Both platforms have autoscaling and can handle any traffic you send at them. Shopify Plus though delivers page speeds three times faster than BigCommerce.

Customisation

For many merchants, the ability to customise their storefront to suit their brand’s unique design is a number one consideration. Many platforms have limitations which can lead to frustrations and one of the main reasons why many re-platform their eCommerce site.

Shopify Plus offers “Shopify Scripts” which allows for your brand to be more flexible, giving your developers the ability to customise scripts, including shopping carts and checkouts. Similar to Shopify Plus, BigCommerce Enterprise allows for customisation with HTML and CSS codes.

Themes

Choosing a theme is a major part of customising your storefront. The Shopify Plus platform offers a sophisticated library of themes allowing for complete customisation and virtually taking out the need for manual page manipulation. BigCommerce Enterprise also offers an array of customisable themes with an “advanced customisation framework” which allow for appealing storefronts to be created without the need to write any code.

For us, what sets these apart is the design library of Shopify Plus and the many choices that come with it. Understandably, they’ve been around for longer and with that, more time to perfect its library and a bigger overall design team.

Pricing

With Shopify Plus, pricing per month is roughly based on the turnover of your shopfront but is largely merchant dependant. Pricing starts from $2000 per month but can increase based on your GMV (gross merchant volume). To put the cherry on top of it all, ongoing costs are at a minimum: no additional 3rd party hosting costs or hosting managed service fees.

BigCommerce Enterprise have pricing plans starting from $1000 per month, which again can vary depending on your storefront and sales. We have however seen some top merchants quoted up to $15,000 per month. The pricing with all inclusions scales quickly.

The Comparison

Below, we’ve put together a summary to compare the similarities and differences of Shopify Plus vs BigCommerce Enterprise

Shopify Plus vs BigCommerce Enterprise

Which is the best Enterprise eCommerce platform?

Shopify Plus BigCommerce Enterprise Winner
24/7 priority support Yes Yes Tie
Merchant success manager Yes (free) Additional cost Shopify Plus
Sales via platform $60 billion $9 billion Shopify Plus
Page load 3 Times Faster Fast Shopify Plus
Merchant annual growth 126% 28% Shopify Plus
Apps 2000 400 Shopify Plus
Theme Options & Customization Huge Selection / Quality Fewer options Shopify Plus
Uptime 99.98% 99.99% Tie
Total merchants 600,000 60,000 Shopify Plus
Enterprise merchants 5,000 500 Shopify Plus
Monthly cost (from) US$2000 US$1000 BigCommerce Enterprise
Customisation Via Shopify Scripts and Apps More flexible (handlebars with javascript) BigCommerce Enterprise
API calls p/h 10-15 Calls / Second Per Key – Soft Limit 100s of API Calls Per Second BigCommerce Enterprise
Checkout customisation Cart Scripts Possible Tie
One-page checkout* No (Possible With App) Yes BigCommerce Enterprise
Features/innovation Market Leader One Step Behind Shopify Plus
Product Options and Attributes 3 Options Per Product With 100 variants 600 Variant SKUs And 250 Option Values BigCommerce Enterprise
Product Search & Filters Limited (Requires Apps) Robust Product Filters And Search Options Built Into Their Platform BigCommerce Enterprise
Security Level 1 PCI DSS Compliant Level 1 PCI DSS compliant Tie
Wholesale Limited Via Wholesale Channel Better BigCommerce Enterprise
Admin User Experience Intuitive Not As Intuitive Shopify Plus
Multilingual & Multi-Currency Limited (Clone Stores) Not As Limited BigCommerce Enterprise
Discounts & promotions Script Editor and Launchpad 70+ Different Tie
Replatform SEO Traffic Control App Manual Shopify Plus
Discounts Good Better BigCommerce Enterprise
Marketplace channels 20+ Channels Less channels Shopify Plus

Total Winner: Shopify Plus

Conclusion

To conclude our big debate: Shopify Plus vs BigCommerce Enterprise. Which one has come out on top? Both platforms are major contenders on the market today as sophisticated eCommerce platforms, bringing with them both a host of powerful tools. Although they are similar in many respects, there were some standout points making Shopify Plus the winner today.

Still unsure which eCommerce platform is best for business needs? Contact acidgreen for a no-obligation consultation. Our expert staff will walk you through the best solution for your brand, so contact us today for a free quote.


acidgreen is an award-winning e-commerce agency specialising in Shopify Plus, Magento and digital marketing.  With over 18 years of industry experience, we know how to read big business and understand what features your eCommerce store will benefit from. Our qualified team of developers and digital marketers are here to create websites that generate the highest conversion rates and outstanding ROIs. Give us a call today to learn more about our services.