BigCommerce vs WooCommerce: Everything You Need to Know

Last year global eCommerce sales amounted to nearly 3.5 trillion dollars! With statistics like this, it’s no surprise that people are turning to the online world to expand their businesses and sell their products. In fact, Bizain found that traditional brick and mortar retail stores’ footfall is declining by 15% year-on-year.

If you’re hoping to take your business online in 2020 there are lots of different eCommerce solutions to choose from. To help you decide which platform is the best fit for your business we’re going to be sharing a series of blog posts comparing 4 popular solutions: Big Commerce, WooCommerce, Magento and Shopify. First up we’ve got Big Commerce and WooCommerce.

What is WooCommerce?

WooCommerce is an open-source WordPress plugin that provides existing websites with selling capabilities. It’s owned by Automattic, the web development company that founded WordPress. WooCommerce is often described as the most popular and customisable eCommerce platform on the web, which explains why it powers almost 50% of all eCommerce stores.

What is Big Commerce?

Big Commerce is a SaaS eCommerce store builder. It is highly flexible, which means it can be used either as a headless eCommerce platform or to create websites from the ground-up. Big Commerce has been around since 2009 and currently hosts around 67k live websites.

Ease of Use

W: The WooCommerce plugin is readily available through both WordPress’ plugin directory and the WooCommerce website. It’s free to download and pretty self-explanatory to install – simply click “activate” and you’ll be taken through a basic setup wizard. After this, the WooCommerce tab will be added to the left sidebar of your WordPress CMS. By clicking on this tab, you can alter your theme, add products and access orders.

B: According to Code in WP, BigCommerce has the complexity of Magento, but showcases it in a more friendly way. Like WooCommerce, the sign-up process involves a basic setup wizard, including a tour of the main dashboard. The platform requires very little coding knowledge, which means it’s very user friendly.

Flexibility

W: WooCommerce boasts a collection of 14 official storefront themes, each costing $39. The storefront powerpack allows users to make changes to the look of their store without dipping into any code, which makes it highly customisable. As WooCommerce is tied to WordPress, you’ll also have access to WordPress’s full directory of plugins.

B: Big Commerce offers 7 free themes and approximately 50 paid themes, which cost between £145 and £245. These themes are easy to customise using BigCommerce’s newly launched front-end development framework, Stencil, which requires no coding. As a headless eCommerce solution, BigCommerce can also be used to give eCommerce functionality to bespoke front end developments.


“WooCommerce and BigCommerce are both great platforms, I would not say that one is superior to the other, they represent different ways of approaching eCommerce. WooCommerce offers the huge flexibility of being able to have completely custom templates and designs but it isn’t quite as client friendly. BigCommerce, whereas, offers a very user-friendly software with 24/7 support, but has limitations in what can be achieved design wise”

David Bell, Developer at Digitl

Scalability

W: Although it’s built with small to medium-sized businesses in mind, WooCommerce stores can handle up to 100k products and thousands of transactions per minute. With WooCommerce, scalability depends on your hosting, the amount of traffic your website gets, the quality of coding and other WordPress plugins you have installed.

B: The open architect structure of BigCommerce allows it to evolve seamlessly to meet your customers changing demands. It is suitable for smaller businesses, as well as large enterprises that manage thousands of products. BigCommerce allows unlimited products, unlimited storage space and unlimited bandwidth. There’s also plenty of integrations that are designed to help your business grow.

Build Time

W: The build-time of a WooCommerce store depends on whether you already have a WordPress website or not. If you do, enabling WooCommerce will be pretty speedy. The exact build time will depend on your requirements.

B: BigCommerce is pretty much a one-stop-shop, so you can get your store up and running in no time at all. Like WooCommerce, the precise time will depend on the complexity of your brief.

Help and Support

W: With WooCommerce, there is very limited support and users are expected to try and fix issues themselves. To assist with this, WooCommerce created a collection of free resources, WooCommerce Docs. You can also open a support ticket or hire WooCommerce experts.

B: Whether you’d prefer a live chat webinar, guide, email or phone call – you name it and BigCommerce provides it. Customers are empowered with lots of different ways to get help, and most BigCommerce support is available 24/7. On top of this, the team is able to log into your site and offer feasible solutions, which helps to ensure their support is comprehensive.  

Pricing

W: The WooCommerce plugin is free to download.

B: BigCommerce has a three-tier pricing structure. The ‘Standard’ plan costs $29.95 per month, the ‘Plus’ version costs $79.95 per month and the ‘Pro’ plan costs $249.95 per month. An enterprise version of BigCommerce is also available, but you’ll need to contact the team for a quote. Each tier comes with different functionalities and the tier you select will depend on your yearly sales threshold.

Features

W: WooCommerce is essentially the child of WordPress, which means there is a directory of 26,000+ plugins that can be used to add different features to your store. The WooCommerce plugin itself, however, offers:

  • One-click refunds
  • Geo-location shipping
  • Localisation
  • Automatic tax calculation
  • Tons of payment gateways – e.g. Stripe, PayPal, credit cards, direct bank transfer, cheque, cash on delivery

B: The main features of BigCommerce are:

  • Abandoned cart recovery emails
  • Over 230 app integrations including Amazon, Facebook,
  • SSL security
  • SEO
  • Headless eCommerce
  • Tons of payment gateways – e.g. Stripe, PayPal, credit card, direct bank transfer, cheque, cash on delivery

Final Thoughts

You may have seen this coming but, between BigCommerce and WooCommerce, we don’t have a favourite! The platform you choose is dependent on a lot of intervening factors, such as the industry you work in and the size of your business.

With a reputation for being transparent and honest, we work with clients to tailor a solution that is specific to their business – whether that’s on WooCommerce, BigCommerce, Magento, Shopify, Laravel or something else. If you’re interested in starting an eCommerce project with us, drop us a message!

Rachel Blackburn