E-commerce has revolutionized the way we shop. Brick and mortar retailers have been looking to haul their shops online, and there are many options for businesses that would like to do so. Some of these options include using WordPress or an all-in-one hosted solution. Particularly, there is WooCommerce (a shopping cart plugin from WooThemes), and BigCommerce (an all-in-one solution). We’re going to discuss these two options, the pros and cons of each, and which one we believe wins out.
BigCommerce, like Shopify, is a turnkey e-commerce solution. It comes with tools and options that are already preset and are ready to use. This is the main talking point about BigCommerce—it’s basically ready to be set up from the moment you start using it. It comes with a variety of design templates that can be customized, and is generally a good option for people with little-to-no knowledge of HTML or CSS.
BigCommerce is a paid-for solution that currently has three pricing plans. These are:
- Silver- $29.95/month
- Gold- $79.95/month
- Platinum- $199.95/month
BigCommerce has a clean, sleek design, with an easy-to-use interface. It comes with many marketing features already built-in—Like the Google Shopping and Ebay store functionalities. With BigCommerce, everything is integrated; like Shopify, it’s sort of a one-stop shop. Some may find this appealing.
WooCommerce is a wildly popular WordPress shopping cart plugin. Where BigCommerce will give you tools out of the box, your WooCommerce store will have to be built using various extensions and plugins to maximize its functionality. This may seem unwelcoming to some business owners, but it really depends on what you want to accomplish with the platform.
BigCommerce is good if you want something that is simple and easy to use. It’s not optimal if you’re trying to expand or get the most out of your business. There are several reasons for this:
Pricing: You will be paying a monthly fee with BigCommerce; WooCommerce doesn’t cost a penny. The “Silver” plan also charges a transaction fee of 1.5%. These fees can add up, which will ultimately chew on your budget.
Flexibility: BigCommerce is known for its turnkey, out-of-the-box readiness. In some ways, it’s a positive attribute, while in other ways it’s not. Most e-commerce stores are different, and they require a certain level of customization to fit specific needs. With BigCommerce, you’re limited by its features; while WooCommerce’s extensions and plugins give a wealth of different options to choose from.
There are plugins and extensions for the front-end and the back-end. Whether you’re a small retailer, or you’re a rapidly expanding store, there are different tools and plugins to comfortably fit your needs.
Different retailers are often entrenched in different stages. Some may be in the rudimentary stage; others may be selling millions worth of products yearly. BigCommerce is fine if you’re in the foundational stage, but if you are aiming for a highly functioning store that sells a high volume of products, then perhaps it isn’t the solution for you.
WooCommerce is an open-source plugin that is free to use and does come with many tools out of the box. To get the most out of it, you will need to invest in premium extensions—like more complex payment processing add-ons, marketing tools and pricing/discounting features. But these premium extensions are most one-time costs that will yield a profitable return if they are used properly. Since it runs on WordPress, it can be integrated with any WordPress theme, but it’s better if you use WooThemes for the design template, as it integrates smoothly. WordPress is the world’s best blogging platform as well, so if you value content creation, WooCommerce gives you the perfect platform to firmly establish your blog.
We believe WooCommerce is better suited for scalability. It works well for both small and large retailers. BigCommerce, though good, cannot offer the sheer flexibility that you will need once you are set to expand. If BigCommerce ever shut down their service, or if it changes drastically, you will need to migrate your store to another platform, since BigCommerce is a hosted solution. With WooCommerce, you won’t ever have to worry about that.
BigCommerce is appealing because it seems easy, and in some ways, it is. However, WooCommerce is stationed on the world’s favorite CMS, and it is still an easy platform to use. Once your store gets past a certain level, you may need the help of a developer (which may be the case for any e-commerce platform that you use).
We recommend WooCommerce for its scalability, ease of use and flexibility.