Big Cartel Vs Shopify: Why Is Shopify A Better Choice For Ecommerce?


When you plan to create a full-fledged ecommerce store, Big Cartel and Shopify are the two prominent choices for creating it. But which ecommerce platform is better in the battle of Big Cartel vs Shopify?

In general, both platforms have great usability and are two of the most user-friendly Ecommerce website builders.

The primary difference between Big Cartel and Shopify is that Big Cartel is a risk-free option for those who want to kick start a small Ecommerce business while Shopify can handle everything from small to largescale Ecommerce stores.

In simpler words, Shopify is for everyone while Big Cartel is suited more for niche markets.

Having years of experience in Ecommerce Website Development Services, we believe that Shopify is always a superior option when it comes to Big Cartel vs Shopify.

Here’s a conclusive breakdown on Big Cartel vs Shopify in each category to help you get a better understanding.

Related: Shopify Website Prices: How Much Does It Cost To Build A Shopify Website?

Big Cartel Vs Shopify: A Conclusive Breakdown

1. Big Cartel Vs Shopify: Basic Overview

Technically, Big cartel is a cloud-hosted ecommerce platform that is mainly targeted at a niche market. It is a great choice for those who plan to startup with an Ecommerce store with minimal costs.

While Big Cartel has only 75,000 live ecommerce sites over the web, it has loyal users that account for the 13th most popular Ecommerce platform for hosted solutions.

Coming to Shopify, it is counted in among the top Ecommerce platforms in the Hosted solutions category, having over 1,590,000 live stores over the web. As for the category of CMS in general, Shopify is ranked as the third most popular platform.

The reason for this popularity is quite simple. Shopify offers its great marketing features at a very competitive price starting from $29 per month.

Learn how much does it cost to build a Shopify website here.

Related: Magento Vs WooCommerce -What Platform To Choose In 2022?

2. Big Cartel Vs Shopify Pricing

Price comparison of Big Cartel vs Shopify is a concern for most as it is one of the deciding factors between both platforms.

When it comes to Big Cartel, it offers 3 straightforward and competitive pricing offers – starting from a free package going up to a maximum of $ $19.99 per month.

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Here’s the catch. Even the most premium package on Big Cartel won’t allow you to list more products than 500.

As for Shopify, it starts with a basic monthly package of $29, which goes up to $299 per month for the advanced package.

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Even though Shopify doesn’t offer a 100% free plan, but each package would allow you to list as many products as you want. Moreover, you can avail of the 14 day free trial if you want to test the usability.

Compared to Big Cartel, Shopify may seem a bit costly, but when you compare its additional features with Big Cartel, the price provides more value.

Learn how much does it cost to build a Shopify website here.

3. Big Cartel Vs Shopify: Which One Is Easier to Use?

When it comes to the usability of Big Cartel vs Shopify, surprisingly both platforms are quite easy to use.

However, building an Ecommerce store from scratch is much easier on Big Cartel than Shopify. All you need to do is to upload product images, set prices, and select a theme for your theme. Moreover, there’s a built-in setup wizard that’ll guide you through the process while you set up your store.

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shopify vs bigcartel

Compared to Big Cartel, Shopify stores are a bit more complicated to set up. But that’s understandable due to its feature-rich nature. Even with minimal tech knowledge, you can set up and manage your Shopify store with great ease.


4. Big Cartel Vs Shopify: Themes and Flexibility

Between Big Carte vs Shopify in terms of the themes and flexibility, Shopify clearly has the lead. Here’s why.

With Big Cartel, you can get access to 18 different themes that you can use to create your own ecommerce store. Now, this number of themes is significantly lower than what you get with other Ecommerce Platforms like Shopify, Joomla, or Drupal.

Another downgrade here is the fact that if you’re using a free account on Big Cartel, you can’t customize these available themes at all. You need to get a premium account in order to make any modifications in the theme.

In our opinion, in terms of the themes, Big Cartel is a good option for artists like photographers who require a simple interface and design.

In contrast to Big Cartel, Shopify comes in with up to 73 professional and attractive-looking theme templates. No matter which niche you belong to, you’ll find a great theme matching your taste.

Moreover, these themes unlike Big Cartel, are highly diverse with lots of room for customization. If you know Shopify’s template language ‘Liquid’, then you can even create a theme of your own.

Here’s the catch, out of all the Shopify theme templates that you get, only 9 are free. If you want to choose any other theme, you’ll have to pay a certain amount ranging from $100 to $180 for Shopify themes.

Even though this may sound a bit costly, but looking at the extensive customizable room, and that without knowledge of code, the price is worth it.

5. Big Cartel Vs Shopify Apps And Extensions

Again, third-party integration for apps and extensions is the area where Shopify takes a clear lead between Big Cartel vs Shopify.

This is because Big Cartel allows you to integrate only 25 software tools including Mailchimp, Instagram, and Facebook, etc. If you want to add more extensions, you need to get a paid Zapier plugin which would allow you to integrate up to 250 more plugins.

Check out the image below.


Coming to Shopify, one of the reasons for its popularity is its App Store which allows you to integrate around 3000 well functional and business-oriented apps. Using these apps, you can significantly improve and enhance your store’s functionality and features.

Related: Shopify API Order: How To Get All Orders From Shopify

Check out this image for a better look at Shopify’s app store.


6. Big Cartel Vs Shopify Payment Gateways

Payment Gateways are yet another significant factor that you need to consider when comparing Big Cartel vs Shopify.

Big Cartel allows integration with some quite popular Payment gateways including Apple Pay, PayPal, Strip,e, and Venmo. Even though the numbers here are significantly lower than what Shopify offers, the only charges that you need to pay are the processing fees for these Payment gateways.

This gives you a competitive advantage over the competition as you do not have to increase the prices on your products to minimize cover up the costs.

The downgrade here is significant as well. Big Cartel is not compliant with the PCI (Payment Card Industry).


As for Shopify, it is a definite frontrunner because it offers you over 100 different options in terms of payment gateways. These include PayPal, Stripe, Apple Pay, Amazon Pay, and also the in-house Shopify Payments.

Big Cartel Vs Shopify: Pros And Cons

Refer to these tables below to have a better understanding of the Pros and Cons of both Ecommerce platforms.

Big Cartel
Pros Cons
Offers a free plan Allows a maximum of 500 products for listing
Highly affordable prices No modifications in themes for free plan
No charges for transaction fees Little room for customization
Themes are completely free No live chat
Easy for even beginners for use No compliance with PCI (Payment Card Industry)


Pros Cons
Easy to use Requires transaction fees
Offers a 14-day free trial Themes are paid
No limitations for product listings Third-party integrations add up the costs
Comes with great Ecommerce and marketing features
Customer support is Top-notch
Allows you to customize extensively

Wrapping It Up

There you go. This was the conclusive breakdown on Big Cartel vs Shopify. As per our verdict, Even though both platforms are good enough for Ecommerce but if you’re planning for a big full-fledged Ecommerce store or planning to expand it later, Shopify is your way to go.

This is because Shopify is for everyone whether you’re a small store holder or a big Ecommerce businessman. In contrast, if you want to target a niche market, then go for Big Cartel as it is best suited for you.

If you’ve found this read helpful, then check out our other posts related to Shopify like ‘Shopify Website Prices: How Much Does It Cost To Build A Shopify Website?’ and ‘How To Pause/ Close Your Shopify Seller Account’ to raise your knowledge on Shopify.’