Big Cartel vs Shopify: 5 Crucial Features to Note Before You Commit

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A feature-rich eCommerce website platform is essential to launch your company, and Big Cartel and Shopify are two of the most well-known options in this category. When deciding between Big Cartel vs Shopify, it’s critical to look at the different features to determine the greatest fit for your business. 

As we go through this article, we’ll look at a complete comparison between Big Cartel and Shopify. Then, to determine the most appropriate platform on which to establish your online store, we are going to narrow in on ease of use, store management, customer service, apps, extensions, and integrations, and pricing.

However, we can’t forget about website platform giant WordPress and its eCommerce partner WooCommerce, but that’s all covered in another blog post that you can read here: Shopify vs WordPress

Big Cartel vs Shopify – Major Key Difference

In short, Big Cartel is an excellent resource for small businesses, artists, and innovators. On the other hand, Shopify is designed more for a wider range of enterprises, regardless of their size or nature.

Ease of Use

Let’s be honest, we can’t all be a master of EVERYTHING, including website building. So we know new online store owners are looking for a platform that is easy to get started on without significant coding experience.

Big Cartel’s shop creation and onboarding process is straightforward and uncomplicated. 

Just submit your product photographs, establish your pricing, and choose a theme for your shop to complete the process! And that’s all there is to it when it comes to getting started selling on Big Cartel!

Don’t be concerned if you don’t possess any technological expertise. A setup wizard will walk you through every stage of the process step by step. You may also find additional information at the designated Help Center at any point in time.

Due to the extensive feature set of the Shopify platform, it may be a little more challenging in this area. Unlike Big Cartel, Shopify has a more complex interface that requires users to use both the front and backend for edits. 

However, the Shopify dashboard is very organized, so the platform is pretty user-friendly once you get the hang of it.

Big Cartel vs Shopify Ease of Use Winner: 

Big Cartel – The onboarding process couldn’t be simpler, which is excellent for beginners.

Man building a website with Shopify

Store Management

What’s the most crucial aspect of a successful online store platform? The store management features. How will you get your products out and displayed to the world?

Due to Big Cartel’s primary goal being to be as simple as possible, the productivity features are a bit lacking. Consequently, Big Cartel does not have the option to mass import and update your items compared to other marketplaces (Yes, Shopify falls into that “other” category). 

As we mentioned above, even at the highest plan, they limit you to 500 products in the store’s inventory, which for a large store, isn’t a lot.

Furthermore, the most significant drawback of Big Cartel is the absence of an abandoned cart recovery feature. We agree that this is a critical element that any eCommerce website should have to be successful. 

The operational and management processes, on the other hand, are a piece of cake. Big Cartel offers a backend interface that is clean, clear, and intuitive, allowing users to move quickly between edits. 

One notable characteristic of Shopify is that there are no restrictions on the number of products sold. 

Another benefit is that you have the option of either manually adding every product to your Shopify site or you can bulk update your products using a CSV file to save time and effort. 

If you’re looking for an equally easy and effective guide to product research, be sure to take a look at our complete product research guide.

In addition to freely altering many product information such as price, description, title, barcode, and unique photos, you’ll also be able to adjust the delivery choices in addition to SEO features, which is a huge plus.

Above all, Shopify includes an abandoned cart recovery tool with every plan, which is a nice touch. This will allow you to send out emails to clients to remind them about such things and conduct a thorough analysis of the cases of abandonment.

Big Cartel vs Shopify Store Management Winner: 

Shopify – The unlimited number of products and mass upload abilities will make your life less stressful and more productive in the long run.

Customer Support

Customer support options can be a make a break for many smart business owners who know they don’t have all the answers.

Big Cartel solely offers help via three primary channels: email, the Help Center, and social media platforms. However, you should always consult Big Cartel’s knowledge base first if you are experiencing a problem with your account. Here they do offer a large number of articles that are well-categorized and provide easy instruction to answer quick questions.  

Big Cartel Help Center

It’s also important to note that its customer care is not available 24/7. They will only respond to you between the hours of 9 a.m. and 6 p.m. EST, Monday through Friday. This can be a bit troublesome for those not in similar time zones.

On the other hand, along the lines of customer service, Shopify has utterly dominated the competition. They provide assistance on almost any channel you can think of, including email, live chat, phone, a support center, blog, forum, and social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter.

Shopify Help Center

However, the most notable feature is that the support crew that is accessible at all hours of the day. 

As a result, you should be able to contact them at any time of day or night. In addition, Shopify Plus members will also get access to specialized support agents, further enhancing their experience on the site.

Shopify vs Big Cartel Customer Support Winner: 

Shopify – When your site goes down, you need help asap before you lose too many sales. With Shopify, support is only a short click away!

Apps and Extensions

With Zapier, Big Cartel’s third-party app vendor, you can connect to over 1,500 applications to extend your store. In itself, Big Cartel offers less than 50 apps & integrations in marketing and management.

Big Cartel does integrate with payment processors such as Stripe, PayPal,  and Venmo.

Shopify’s App Store is a big part of the company’s success. In this store, they include over 3,500 apps and extensions that cover almost every web-based business function.

With an extensive list of Shopify apps, you can improve your store’s reporting and productivity, as well as administration, security, customer service, SEO, design, selling channels, and much more. On top of that, the theme options will certainly blow your mind.

The only drawback is the expense. There is an additional monthly subscription for most of these integrations. If you don’t plan ahead, you could be surprised at how quickly that bill can climb.

Shopify vs Big Cartel Integrations Winner: 

Shopify – Whatever you could possibly dream of doing with your store, we’re sure they have an app for it in the Shopify store.


Every new business owner’s first dreaded question, “How much is this going to cost?”

Big Cartel vs Shopify Pricing

Big Cartel has a straightforward price structure. It is divided into four categories depending on the number of products you list. 

However, even the most expensive plan will only enable you to upload a total of 500 products at a time. As a result, if you operate a larger-scale business, the inventory allocation provided by Big Cartel will most likely not be enough.

Nonetheless, this platform does provide you with all of the fundamental functions that you may want to manage your online business.

Shopify vs Big Cartel Pricing

Unfortunately, Shopify does not provide a free level, but it does offer a 14-day free trial for new users. While Shopify Lite’s option looks enticing for only $9/month, this option is only for brick-and-mortar shops and not for those who want to build an online store.

Furthermore, the most significant distinction between Big Cartel and Shopify is that on Shopify, you will be able to list an infinite number of items regardless of whatever plan you choose to subscribe to.

Big Cartel vs Shopify Pricing Winner: 

Shopify – While Big Cartel does offer more affordable pricing, what Shopify offers for their pricing levels just can’t be beaten. 

Shopify vs Big Cartel – How Do You Choose?

With all of these features considered, it can still be a difficult choice for new business owners.

While Big Cartel seems to be the more affordable option, Shopify’s features just can’t be beaten. Shopify is a larger and more established platform which means from their customer service to their integration options, they know what works and how to support their users. 

It can be hard to invest in yourself, especially when you are 

just getting started, but we can guarantee that the more effort and investment that you begin with, the stronger your business will be in the long run.

However, do you know what’s almost as (if not more) important than selecting a perfect eCommerce website platform? Choosing winning products.

Justin Woll, Founder of BeyondSixFigures

We’ve heard that dogs can be great additions to the product research team!

How to Find Winning Products

Don’t fall down the traps of saturated markets or bad products…

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The BeyondSixFigures Product Research Accelerator Course is the best option on the market for eCommerce beginners and professionals alike to develop a tried and true strategy for effective and powerful eCommerce product research. In this course, you’ll discover how to discover (and avoid!) bad products, how to identify a profitable niche and products, and understand proper fund allocation. PLUS, in this course, Justin Woll (eCommerce expert and multi Two Comma Club award recipient) shares his secret Winning Product Index Criteria, so you never have to “guess” a winning product ever again! Even better, currently, they are offering this course (originally $97) for FREE, but not for long!

Remember, profitable products are the backbone of a successful eCommerce store. So, what are you waiting for?

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Frequently Asked Questions

What percentage does Big Cartel take?

Big Cartel itself does not impose any transaction fees on its customers. However, you will have to pay for the payment processors fees. For example, Stripe online payment fees start at 2.9% + 30 cents per transaction and increase from there. On the other hand, PayPal charges a flat rate of 3.49% plus 49 cents per transaction.

Does Big Cartel charge transaction fees?

No, Big Cartel does not charge any transaction fees.

What is the best alternative to Shopify?

BigCommerce and WooCommerce are Shopify’s significant competitors in the eCommerce software market today.

Are Big Cartel websites legit?

Unfortunately, scams are widespread on the site since the platform is tiny and does not protect dealers or customers.

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