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Image via: Former SVP Engineering at BigCommerce on his last day

Fast Page Speed and Overall Performance

Bigger isn't always better, especially when it comes to site speed performance. There's no question that where bottom lines are concerned, merchants need their pages to load quickly -- especially on mobile. With live performance metrics posted for both Shopify and BigCommerce, betting on the right horse has never been easier.

Let's look at storefront response times: clocking in at more than 4x the speed of BigCommerce, Shopify takes a clear lead, leaving their sluggish competitor (panting) in the dust. Even Shopify's worst day in October still outperformed BigCommerce's best, hands down.

How critical is page speed, anyway? Most merchant sites already have a ways to go towards site speed optimization, without even factoring in the base speed at which their e-commerce platform operates. In 2009, Amazon found that every 100ms of latency on their website resulted in a 1% loss in sales. This means that a brand generating $100,000/mo on BigCommerce will lose over $2,000/mo if their site is just 200ms behind, but most are many more. Look up your site speed performance here, or request a free site audit.

Sustainability. Long Term Growth. Customer Value.

BigCommerce has been hemorrhaging money for quite some time, requiring continual fundraising to keep the dream alive. They recently raised $30M USD in their series E round, carving out the path to go public. The issue here is that BigCommerce looks primed to burn through it all before that can come to fruition, inevitably leading to another seed round, or potential pressure to sell.

On the flip side, Shopify is a publicly traded company listed on both the TSE and NYSE, with a market cap exceeding $3.5 billion. They utilize a tried, tested and proven model, and have the bandwidth to support merchant demographics without limitation.

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Automated Tax Returns

A very common yet overlooked feature when comparing e-commerce platforms is automated tax filing. Avalara is one of the most popular apps for both BigCommerce and Shopify merchants looking to file their state tax returns as easily as possible. As we all know, the tax system can be mind-numbingly complex. Rules change all the time and frequently are dependent not only on where your business operates, but where your orders ship to - which can be a nightmare for internet retailers. Luckily Avalara streamlines and automates this hellish process, allowing merchants to focus on what matters - growing their business.

Sounds like a great solution, right? It is, unless you partner with BigCommerce, where merchants who sell more than 900 orders/mo have to shell out an extra $1,000/yr for this service. At Shopify Plus, on the other hand, Avalara comes free, with no restrictions.

Unlimited Potential (and SKUs)

BigCommerce isn't so big when it comes to supporting SKUs or even performance, for that matter. Unlike BigCommerce, limiting merchants to 16,000 SKUs is not Shopify Plus' style.

A Dedicated Team To Maximize Growth

Shopify Plus gives all their merchants the support they need to get their websites off the ground by providing each account with a Launch Manager, as well as a Solutions Engineer to tackle any obstacles encountered while migrating from one e-commerce platform to another -- making the process of going from 0 to 100 seamless. Each merchant also gets their very own Customer Success Manager, to help grow their brand every day post-launch. It's not unlike having a part-time staff member with your best interest in mind, as well as the knowledge and experience to put wheels in motion, even in the stickiest of circumstances. You even get a dedicated phone number - a direct line, so you can skip the muzak, and endless telephone menus. Ecommerce is so much easier when you work with people who already know your business, its triumphs and challenges, and whose goals align with yours.

At the other end of the spectrum, BigCommerce provides account management support, but for a very small subset of their highest paying merchants -- no Launch Managers, no Solutions Engineers, no Customer Success Managers, no peace of mind, no bridge to success. It's a stark outlook. Join Shopify Plus and sleep easy knowing they’ve got you covered every step of the way.

Apps and Functionality

Businesses grow and change in ways that can't always be predicted. It's impossible to know and plan for every potential iteration that your business could take on further down the line. That's why it's important to keep your options open, and be sure that when the time comes, you have enough options available to do what makes sense in growing your business. This is where apps and experts come in. Shopify has an abundant pool of talented Shopify Experts that can help you realize your dreams, and an app store with well over 1500 potential solutions (and counting). So many possibilities, there’s bound to be one that fits.

Meanwhile BigCommerce boasts just under 300 apps, mostly focused on basic functionality. This leaves a gap in the market, one large enough for your business to fall through.

Breaking Down Language Barriers

China and Japan account for over 20% of the world's population. What would happen if your revenue was cut by 20%?

BigCommerce doesn't support multi-byte character sets. This means no Chinese, Japanese, Hebrew, Arabic, etc. You can’t tap a market if you can’t speak its language. Shopify is a thorough polyglot by comparison, making communicating on the world stage super simple.

Playing Nice With Others

BigCommerce has a reasonable out-of-the-box integration for Amazon Marketplace. They're even working on a few others, but their current implementation does not make selling across digital marketplaces easy.

Shopify, on the other hand, empowers merchants to sell their products on Facebook, Pinterest, Houzz and Wanelo with just a few clicks -- direct from their very own admin interface. Shopify even has a Buy Button that allows merchants to add ecommerce capabilities to any website using just a small piece of code.

They even play nice in the sandbox. This quick tutorial can show you how to power your BigCommerce storefront with a Shopify Buy Button. It truly is that simple.

Building For The Future of Commerce

Shopify recently acquired an incredibly talented team of engineers and designers at Boltmade, and takes pride in investing heavily in the future of commerce. Building out some truly amazing capabilities, Shopify is always on the path of continuous improvement, growing and advancing every step of the way.

Let's Wave Goodbye To The Team @BigCommerce

... And Say Hello To 6 Months Free On Shopify Plus


It feels good to be on a fast performing ecommerce platform that is constantly innovating. Migrate to Shopify Plus and get 6 months free.