BigCommerce and WooCommerce are two of the better-known eCommerce platforms. Like any other E-commerce platform, they enable E-commerce merchants to build their online storefront. They are both excellent platforms with a full suite of options to run a successful online store. However, they are both very different, and different businesses will certainly do better with one or the other.
WooCommerce is clearly the more popular platform of the two as it makes up over 26% of all E-commerce stores online Compared to BigCommerce’s 3%. Does this mean That you Should choose WooCommerce because it’s more popular? Well, hold on just a second as just because it’s more popular does not innately make WooCommerce the superior platform.
The biggest difference when it comes to the platforms themselves is that Bigcommerce is a hosted platform whereas WooCommerce is a WordPress plugin – Where WordPress is a content management system that you install for free on a server that you lease from a hosting company.
A third thing to keep in mind is that BigCommerce is available as a WordPress plugin too. In this case, BigCommerce operates the exact same as WooCommerce but it syncs all data with an E-commerce dashboard at BigCommerce.
BigCommerce is available as part of a monthly subscription offered in 3 stages: standard, plus, and pro, which are priced at $29.95, $79.95, and $299.95 respectively. The differences between the three plans are minimal
As a free plugin for WordPress WooCommerce has no costs in and of itself, however, most WooCommerce stores require the implementation of extensions – which can quickly add up to $30-$250 one-off spends. In addition to this costs for hosting and domain names work out at an average of around $150 annually for most stores.
Even so, BigCommerce typically works out as the more expensive option in regards to upfront costs.
Ease of use
Having weighed up both these platforms, it appears that despite BigCommerce’s initial learning curve, it’s easier to use than WooCommerce, namely, because it provides excellent onboarding, a plethora of built-in features, and high-quality customer support along the way (more on that in a sec). Whereas, WooCommerce is a better choice for a more technical user or someone already familiar with WordPress’s interface.
BigCommerce prides itself on being one of the more flexible software as a service platforms. When compared to its main competitors such as Shopify this is immediately apparent. BigCommerce excels both from a design and functionality perspective and if you want to do something slightly out of the box, you usually are able to do that. However, it is never going to offer the same level of Flexibility as an open-source platform such as WooCommerce. WooCommerce has been a stalwart of open-source E-commerce platforms since its release, and it continues to be one of the better options within this space. While its main open-source competitor – Magento boasts being more scalable or more tailored for E-commerce in general, it is simply far too complicated for most people to use effectively. WooCommerce, although still complex, is a more accessible open-source platform.
Pros & Cons
- Acquisition of Feedomonics – Feedomonics is a product feed platform that allows you to syndicate and list your products on 100s of different marketing and advertising channels such as Google Shopping, Amazon, and Facebook. Feedonomics supports many E-commerce platforms but as of July 2021, is likely to give preferential treatment to BigCommerce.
- No hassle speed and security – Speed is one of if not the most important things for an E-commerce store. The all-in-one capability of BigCommerce allows you to offload the technical challenges (without having to dedicate a significant budget to development) & meet your customers’ expectations for an easy shopping experience.
- Intuitive built-in features – Many of the third-party plugins you would implement as a part of a Shopify or Volusion store are already built into the core BigCommerce application. Be it reviews, 301 redirects, or abandoned cart saver – BigCommerce likely has it already.
- Pricing – Although available in multiple tiered prices the upfront subscription costs of BigCommerce are only the first in a number of fees you will likely have to pay as a part of having a BigCommerce store. With many add-on features costing you extra and BigCommerce having an additional fee for every transaction.
- Limited functionality – Limited is of course relative as you will likely be able to implement almost anything with a BigCommerce site. But that is the key word – Almost.
- Limited app store – Compared to similar self-hosted platforms such as Shopify and Volusion, BigCommerce’s app store is nowhere near as extensive. Many features are built directly into the site but still, the availability of features will likely never match its competitors.
- Lock-in – If a situation arose wherein you did want to switch from Bigcommerce to a self-hosted platform such as WooCommerce; It’s not quite a 2 click process and in fact, it will usually cost you quite a lot of time and money to do so.
- History of rebrands – For whatever reason BigCommerce can never quite settle on what kind of businesses it is trying to cater to. In the past 5 years, they have had 5+ redesigns and their logo has changed several times. This might not sound like a big deal but it means that the company is less focused on fixing customer service issues that have been complaints for several years.
- Great flexibility – If you can think it, Woocommerce likely allows you to do it. Products can be categorized, given sale prices, independent attributes, and more.
- Payment gateway support – As an E-commerce business you won’t get very far without the support of digital payments. Square, Stripe, PayPal – you name it. With so many options available on WooCommerce you can take time choosing the right partnership for you.
- Inventory locations – Allocate inventory to warehouses, retail stores, or other locations where you offer your products.
- Unlimited bandwidth and online storage – Merchants will not be charged based on the number of visitors in their store or their storage space. You can also sell unlimited products.
- Ease of use – Out of the Box, WooCommerce can appear a tough mountain to climb. unless you have some coding knowledge, you’ll struggle to truly build the online store you want on WooCommerce.
- Growth and scalability – As a WordPress product WooCommerce’s functionality is not built specifically with E-commerce in mind but instead versatility. The way WooCommerce works means it starts to break down when you get above a certain threshold of “queries”. This is something that can be worked around however it is a huge undertaking for most stores.
- Hosting – This could be considered a benefit but compared to Shopify it is a Con. WooCommerce does not offer its own hosting and as a new store, it is an extra thing you have to think about. Some people prefer to have control of their own hosting however in this case it is a con.
BigCommerce is looking to grow its base to compete amongst its other, more popular ‘software as a service’ competitors. Compared to WooCommerce it is a much easier platform to use. WooCommerce on the other hand allows you to do much more with your site due to its flexibility. The choice will likely be decided by the cost, whether it’s time or money that most concerns you as with Bigcommerce there are more upfront and solid costs, whereas WooCommerce will cost you much more of your time.
If you’d like to hear more about how Jask can help your business, feel free to contact us.