The practise of conducting business online is now commonplace. Someone looking to make significant money from an online store may be curious as to which e-commerce platform is the finest. Etsy, Weebly, etc. are just a few examples of the numerous available. However, Shopify and Big Cartel are the ones we’ll be discussing here. Why? In 2021, these will be the top two e-commerce sites.

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It is up to you to decide which of the two platforms is best for your online store, as they each have their advantages and disadvantages. Big Cartel and Shopify are two of the most popular e-commerce platforms, and this essay will compare and contrast them in great detail, covering every angle that could have an impact on how your stores are managed.

In this post, we’ll go over some of the criteria you should use to select the best e-commerce platform for your needs.

Differences Between Big Cartel and Shopify

Two excellent e-commerce platforms are Big Cartel and Shopify. These platforms enable its users to open an online store complete with marketing, shipping, payment, and checkout functions. First, let’s try to identify them:


Shopify, which has been around since 2004, is a major player in the e-commerce world. Shopify’s e-commerce tools are more robust and lucrative than those offered by Wix and Squarespace.

As a result of its many tutorials and other resources for new users, Shopify has become one of the most user-friendly systems available.

Moreover, it’s a platform that combines web hosting capabilities with plenty of shopping cart functionalities, and numerous third-party integrations. Thus it is suitable for all types of online businesses, including blogging, dropshipping and more.

Big Cartel

Big Cartel has its own benefits, despite Shopify’s prominence as a leading e-commerce platform. The finest site to sell particular items online, and the only platform that does so for free.

We may compare Big Cartel to a specialised market. With its user-friendly e-commerce tools, Big Cartel can help you boost your business’s bottom line in no time. Even those who have never done it before and don’t know anything about the mechanics will quickly grasp it.

If a store owner is just starting out and needs the bare minimum of overhead, this could be their first choice because it allows them to sell online for free. Briefly put, Big Cartel is a safe option for growing a company.

Big Cartel vs Shopify: Features

Since Big Cartel and Shopify are two separate platforms, it’s important to understand the differences between the two before deciding which one is best for your online store.


Currently, Big Cartel only provides access to 18 free, professionally designed themes. Shopify, for example, offers as many as seventy-three different, high-quality storefront layouts for a fraction of the price. Furthermore, the truth is that you cannot edit the themes at all with a Big Cartel free account. As a result, if you wish to make changes to the themes of your websites, you will need to subscribe to a paid plan. Shopify, on the other hand, allows you to set up a personalised online store regardless of your industry.

Even so, those who create visual art, such as photographers, should look into Big Cartel. Each of its templates was created with the specific goal of showcasing works of art. Shopify’s themes are far more adaptable than Big Cartel’s. These topics are also suitable for businesses that dropship apparel or jewellery. In addition, each of Shopify’s pre-made themes already has a mobile-friendly layout. However, its code is still editable, so you can give it an appearance that suits your needs.


Most shopkeepers worry most about making a profit, and that means pricing is of paramount importance. The plans at Big Cartel are far more transparent, with prices ranging from zero dollars per month to $29.99. Users can create a fully-functional store with the free plan. However, you can only upload one image per product and a maximum of five total.

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Shopify, on the other hand, offers a free 14-day trial so you can test out the service and see how well it fits your needs before committing to it. Joining doesn’t necessitate using a credit card. Shopify’s monthly cost begins at $9 and scales up to $299 for the most advanced package. Even if you’re only using the bare bones of features on the free plan, you can still run a successful online business. However, it still gives you with several functions necessary for conducting business online. Upgrades provide access to premium features.

Plan and cost breakdowns for Shopify
Users are charged on a monthly basis for Big Cartel plans. There is no savings by prepaying for a longer period of time. On the other hand, Shopify requires a yearly commitment. If you buy a year’s worth at once, you save money. Shopify also offers free unlimited bandwidth with all of its subscriptions.


Shopify may charge you a transaction fee of 0.5% to 2% of each sale. What you have to pay is determined by the pricing plan you select and the volume of product sold. Customers that use Shopify and meet the service’s requirements won’t be charged this surcharge.

Big Cartel, on the other hand, has no minimum purchase amount and no additional transaction costs. Shopify stores have higher monthly and transaction fees than Big Cartel stores, but the benefits outweigh the extra expense. You can, for instance, decide to grow your product catalogue and customer base as much as you like. It implies you can keep growing your company for as long as you choose. Every Big Cartel plan has a maximum product cap of 500.


When compared to other e-commerce platforms, Shopify’s extensive app store means it’s more likely to satisfy the needs of merchants interested in a wide variety of connectors and add-ons.

As a reminder, Shopify plugins like Dropship corporation and other dropshipping solutions are excellent investments for expanding your Shopify-based dropshipping operation.
Shopify’s robust app store provides you with all you need to know about e-commerce platforms, as well as more than 4,200 options for customising your store. In order to increase your sales, you can utilise these apps for various purposes, such as developing and distributing coupons, advertising your store, implementing affiliate marketing, and so on.

Big Cartel may have a smaller selection of apps, but it’s a fantastic idea for its target demographic of creative types looking for straightforward online stores. If you’re just starting out, the free plan may be all you need to do basic tasks like advertising, shipping, receiving orders, and managing inventory.

Support for Clients

In the e-commerce world, customer service is indispensable. There are many potential hazards while conducting business online. There will probably be more problems with the things selling online because of the customers. Potential clients’ trust in you and their overall satisfaction with your product or service could increase if you offer reliable and prompt customer service.

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As far as customer service goes, Shopify is without flaw. Live chat, an online help desk, email, videos, podcasts, manuals, and even a community forum are all ways to get in touch with the service’s helpful staff for assistance. The E-commerce University also has a set of online resources that are both distinctive and strong. Importantly, assistance is available at your fingertips by simply picking up the phone.

Big Cartel, too, provides excellent support with a help centre, tutorials, tips, and a frequently asked questions section. You can send an email to their 13-person support staff between 8 a.m. and 6 p.m. Anytime other than the weekend or a holiday, you may expect a response from them within 48-72 hours. There is currently no phone support available.

Handling of Financial Transactions

Big Cartel merchants have the option of accepting payments via Square Point of Sale, PayPal, Stripe, and even Venmo when they launch their online storefront. On the other hand, it lacks the flexibility offered by competitors like Shopify.

Shopify’s premium plan offers a great deal of flexibility, even when compared to other market leaders like WordPress and BigCommerce. More than a hundred different payment processors are compatible with a Shopify account. Shopify Payments is an in-app purchase option for customers who would rather not leave the platform to complete a transaction.

Shopify’s abundance of extensions makes it easy to adapt your online stall to accept various forms of payment, whether they originate from a website or from customers in person. MailChimp is one of the plugins that works with Shopify to help you learn how to make transactional emails.

Supervising an Electronic Market

Due to its focus on individual things, Big Cartel cannot import products in bulk or update listings. When compared to Shopify, its limited product cap is a drawback. Shopify is an e-commerce platform that allows you to sell an unlimited amount of items regardless of your plan’s price.

In addition, Shopify allows you to update your products in bulk using a CSV file, which is a time and labour saver. Then, you may modify the delivery options and on-page SEO components, as well as a plethora of other product details like price, description, title, custom photos, etc.

Additionally, a major element that every business owner stresses over is missing from Big Cartel: an abandoned cart recovery mechanism. Optinmonster reports that over 70% of potential customers who visit a standard online business ultimately leave without making a purchase. Therefore, business owners risk losing a substantial amount of money if they do not implement this essential function.

With an abandoned cart recovery function included in every Shopify subscription, it’s easy to see why this e-commerce platform stands apart from the competition. It can assist you in sending email notifications to customers to remind them to purchase said products.

Comparison of Big Cartel versus Shopify

It could be confusing, given the fundamental distinctions between the two systems. So, let’s compare the benefits and drawbacks of each to figure out which one is best.

Pros and Cons of Shopify: Let’s start with a detailed examination of Shopify’s benefits and drawbacks.


  • Shopify has many advantages over other e-commerce platforms because it allows you to sell on many platforms simultaneously.
  • Shopify’s stock management features are top-notch. As a result, the Shopify Inventory section is where you should go to quickly and easily set up stock tracking, inspect stock, and make adjustments to stock counts.
  • According to both experts and customers, Shopify is the best e-commerce platform builder currently available.
  • Shopify’s app store gives you access to numerous integrations, allowing you to set up and run your own online store with minimal fuss.


  • No matter which external payment gateways you choose, Shopify charges transaction fees.
  • Switching themes forces you to start from scratch when it comes to content formatting and site design.
  • Negative and Positive Aspects of Large Scale Monopolization
  • Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of Big Cartel as well.

Big Cartel is a free e-commerce platform that offers several advantages. For shop owners on a tight budget, this is a huge boon.


  • A new user’s experience with Big Cartel begins with a fantastic onboarding procedure.
  • It’s ideal for selling unique items like paintings that don’t come around very often.
  • Big Cartel’s downside is that its website features are shallow and low-quality. The emphasis is shifted to ease of usage.
  • Big Cartel only offers a limited number of premade templates for their customers to choose from.


  • Big Cartel requires extensive coding knowledge, which can be intimidating to potential customers.
  • Big Cartel is an online marketplace that caters to artists, independent merchants, and those with simple selling requirements. On the other hand, Shopify is designed to meet the evolving needs of merchants of all sizes. Shopify, in comparison, offers greater functionality and a wider range of customization options for online store owners.

Last words

In other words, Big Cartel just cannot compete with Shopify’s functionality. Moreover, it is not as user-friendly as Shopify, especially for newcomers. It’s a great way to make money without spending any money on advertising.

So, the question is, which platform is best for your internet business? In reality, it is dependent upon your requirements. Choosing one that perfectly fits your needs is of utmost importance. Don’t wait around for the perfect time to launch that business idea of yours.