Showdown: Shopify Plus vs. BigCommerce Enterprise
This post is for businesses researching enterprise ecommerce options. Probably you’ve realized that you need an enterprise commerce solution, making at least 2 million per year in sales, and are making platform comparisons to figure out which option is right for you.
Now, we could list out all of the features of BigCommerce Enterprise and Shopify Plus, but the list will be incredibly similar. So instead, we’re going to give you a rundown on the pros and cons of each, focusing on features or benefits that one platform has and the other doesn’t.
Product Search & Filters
BigCommerce Enterprise has very robust product filters and search options built in to their platform. With Shopify Plus, if you want to get sophisticated with search or filters, you have to build in this functionality yourself or use a 3rd party solution.
This is perhaps BigCommerce Enterprise’s greatest advantage over Shopify Plus. Many enterprise level clients have a wholesale channel. In BigCommerce Enterprise, it is easy to tag customers as wholesale clients and give them access to a separate part of the store. In Shopify, you can do this, but it isn’t built in so it takes a little custom code and creativity to create this barrier between retail and wholesale online stores.
ShipperHQ, the leading shipping rate engine, is built in to BigCommerce Enterprise and provides live shipping rates. This allows you to include live shipping rates for customers in their cart, rather than surprising them at checkout, which greatly improves the shopping experience.
BigCommerce has always been playing catchup. They are not the industry leaders in terms of progress or innovation, so they are typically several months behind competitors following what they are doing. This can be as a positive as they have the chance to learn from other’s mistakes, but when it comes down to it, they are lagging behind trends, so you won’t have the most up to date features.
Weak App Community
Unlike Shopify Plus (which we’ll discuss later), BigCommerce Enterprise does not have a very developed app community, so there are far less plugins available. This may not sound like a bit deal, but these plugins make your life so much easier when it comes to marketing integrations and adding cool features. With BigCommerce Enterprise, if you want these integrations or features, you will likely have to code them yourself.
Admin User Experience
BigCommerce Enterprise’s admin interface is more difficult to use than its competitors, and less intuitive. This includes theme development. Not only do they have less themes to choose from, but if you want to custom develop your theme, it is much more difficult to do on top of the BigCommerce Enterprise platform.
Shopify was the leader in fully hosted ecommerce platforms for small and medium sized businesses, and now they are leading the way for fully hosted enterprise commerce platforms as well with Shopify Plus. Being the market leader is a huge advantage. They are typically the first to come out with new innovations and are copied by the rest.
Theme Options & Customization
Shopify has the widest array and the highest quality of theme options to buy if you want to get up and running quickly. And if you want to develop your own custom theme, they have a very simple and easy to use, but powerful framework, so that it is easy to create the theme that you want.
Shopify Plus has a feature called Cart Scripts which allows you to not only customize the look and feel of the checkout, but build in functionality as well. With Shopify, the checkout was locked down for security purposes. These cart scripts are an innovative way to allow Shopify Plus customers customization without compromising the security of the checkout process.
Shopify and Shopify Plus have a huge app marketplace and very vibrant app developer community. Their open platform for developers allows them to get creative so there are apps for almost anything you can imagine. This makes your job as a marketer a lot easier technically, helping you to grow and market your store.
Multilingual & Multi-Currency Limitations
In Shopify Plus, you can choose a currency and choose a language, but you cannot have multiple in the same store. Of course, there is a hack around this and you can easily have your store pages available in 2 languages with a simple toggle interface. However, once users transition to checkout, there is only 1, so you have to choose between languages.
As we mentioned above, this is BigCommerce Enterprises’s main win over Shopify Plus. With Shopify Plus, there is no easy way to separate a wholesale store from your retail store online. We have done it through hacks and workarounds, but it is difficult to create all of the capabilities that are available through BigCommerce Enterprises’s wholesale options.