For all the retailers out there e-commerce is the future. E-commerce is the futuristic way to go. Having an online store for the future generation who are in the digital world is a futuristic approach. An online store will give a diversified business possibility. Research suggests that 51 percent of purchases are made online. Building a successful business is about creating an online store without any further delay.
With technological advancement, this process is significantly more accessible, especially if you are using a point of sale (POS) system with e-commerce integration. In that case, you are ready to launch your own online store. With so many options it gets difficult to choose the perfect e-commerce platform for your business.
We will take you to the two most popular e-commerce platforms- Shopify and BigCommerce, with the pros and cons of each one of them.
SaaS vs. Open Source-
Initially, you would want to consider the infrastructure and hardware that empowers your e-commerce platform. You will have two main options to set up a foundation: open source and software as a service (SaaS). If you opt for an open source solution, you will be responsible for managing the entire underlying technology with the help of a web developer. Hosting a PCI, compliance and site security is wholly your responsibility. Magento is a popular e-commerce platform using open source.
An open source solution is an excellent option for someone who wants to take total control over the online store and has technical skills to manage the technology all by yourself. Someone who has financial resources can hire a web developer to handle all the technology.
While SaaS is quite the opposite. In SaaS, the vendor will handle the complicated technology and security aspects for you. An open source platform is more flexible as compared to SaaS. But SaaS always works for a non-technical user. A hosted platform will save you hundreds of hours and thousands of dollars.
Shopify and BigCommerce are SaaS-based e-commerce platforms. Both are an excellent choice for store owners. For those who want to focus on growing their business than managing technology, SaaS is the apt choice.
The next important thing to consider is the actual e-commerce functionality that you can get from a shopping cart. E-commerce functionality means stuff like product catalog creation, management, tax rate set up, shipping settings and promotions or offer code rules. Such features are more robust in Shopify as BigCommerce seems to distance itself from such options.
One of the areas you should spend time on as an online retailer is creating and managing products. You will need tools that are intuitive and feature-rich. BigCommerce comes with this feature. With BigCommerce you can develop products with unlimited options. You can have different options for your core products. Suppose you want to sell designer kaftans, your product can have options like size, color, and style. Every combination of these options represents a different product.
With BigCommerce your product can have as many options as you like. While with Shopify products are limited to only three options. If you want to have more options, you need to pay some extra charge to unlock more options.
BigCommerce provides a few essential features at a base rate. Shopify charges extra for these features. A few of these features are:
• Wishlist- This allows potential customers to make a wishlist for a later date.
• Bulk Discounts- With this tool, you can create a large volume of discount codes at one time.
• Optimized checkout- This is the most highly valuable feature. It gives you a fast, frictionless checkout that is designed to improve the conversion rate.
Another important component of a website design is the theme. BigCommerce and Shopify both provide with different themes and motifs. You can apply to any of the compositions of your choice with a click of a button. These are prebuilt themes and designs.
You can get some of the basic designs customized like fonts, colors, and images with the built-in design of each platform. Both these platforms offer a selection of free themes and premium themes with some additional cost. There are many themes that a mobile friendly. Both the platforms provide a variety of free and premium themes that come with additional costs.
Marketing and Search Engine Optimization-
Once you have to build your digitally optimized website, the next thing you want to consider is to create potential customers. A shopping cart can get you the potential customers. BigCommerce gives you better control over key SEO settings like URL’s, metadata, sitemap and title tags than you will find with Shopify. Big Commerce codes their templates in an SEO friendly manner. Having this kind of greater level of control will allow you to customize your site and how it appears on Google. This will help you have a better ranking on Google compared to your competitors.
BigCommerce gives you additional SEO tools like a built-in blog. With the help of a blog, you can run your content marketing campaign that will help you build your brand goodwill and enhance your rankings in search engines.
Both the shopping carts treasure a number of integrations and apps that will help scale your marketing efforts. For a better remarketing campaign you can also advanced automation tools like HubSpot.
Abandonment and recovery of cart feature is a big area of marketing feature. There are many shoppers who add products to the cart but never visit the site again for making the purchase. By using an abandoned cart recovery tool, you can send emails to these potential shoppers that are created to bring the shopper back to make the purchase.
Shopify and BigCommerce both are capable of this feature. The only difference is BigCommerce is ready to put a stake and claim that its tool can bring back at least 15 percent of such clients from the abandoned cart.
Payment Processing and Transaction Fees-
This is a serious topic to consider while choosing your platform as payment processes may sometimes lead to losing that hard earned cash. The most important thing while choosing an E-commerce platform is you need to look at the credit card processing fees charged by the cart provider.
Every payment getaway between a buyer and seller will charge you some transaction fees on any platform. It is a per transaction charge. Every platform will cost you a transaction fee, the comparison here is the additional fees charged by the e-commerce platforms. Bigcommerce has won in this area too.
Shopify’s transaction fees range from two to half of percent. Example- You make a $5000 per month on selling products. Suppose you are charged 2 % of the transaction, you will lose around $1000 per month. You can use Shopify payments to avoid extra charges. Shopify payments may not offer the best rates.
BigCommerce does not charge any extra transaction fee apart from what is billed during the transaction getaway. You will not lose that extra hard earned money.
Apps and Integrations-
When it comes to apps, there are two important things to look out for platforms app and third-party integration. Apps usually cover two distinct functionality: additional features and third-party software. Apps that deliver extra features are like band-aids helping them cover up a platform’s missing functionality.
These additional features are available by third-party developers for some payable fees. The payment depends on the functionality.
Usually, e-commerce has integrations for marketing tools, accounting tools, and shipping management tools. Shopify has won the app volume battle. The number of these functionalities provided by Shopify is not out of the box functionalities. BigCommerce does need these apps as these functions are already a built-in part of BigCommerce. In fact, Shopify has 10 or more apps providing duplicate functionality.
As far as integration platforms are concerned, there aren’t any differences in any of the platforms. As far as app comparison goes identify the apps that useful for your business today and in the coming future. Make sure the apps you choose integrate well with the e-commerce platforms.
When it comes to e-commerce, it is likely things can get complicated and you may need a customer support. Both the Platforms provide with a 24/7 customer support. Both companies have a strong knowledge base. You will find written tutorials and forums that will help you solve any problem.
Point of Sale Integration-
POS integration relates to your overall growth strategy. Omnichannel is the buzzword for retailers. It is a trend you should follow for building a good foundation. Omnichannel means offering your services to all customers on all platforms. Providing services to store shoppers, online shoppers (mobile or website). The shopper should have a similar experience on all platforms.
One easiest way to do this is to use a POS that integrates with your online store. Shopify makes their own shopping POS system that incorporates with their shopping cart. But the features are not that unique as many other POS systems that are available in the market at a similar price. Shopify is not capable of integrating with other POS systems.
BigCommerce does not have their own POS system they offer integration with all the leading POS system including ShopKeep. You get access to a top-notch e-commerce platform and plus you can use a top-notch POS system that will make you an Omnichannel.
With the above comparison, it is clear that to go on a larger scale and to grow your business on Omnichannel platforms BigCommerce seem to be the optimum option. On the face of it, both Shopify and BigCommerce may not have a lot of difference. But as you must have read the details in the above article, you will agree with the fact that BigCommerce is a more apt choice for an E-commerce platform.
Let us know your views about both these E-commerce platforms. Which one is most suitable for you?