Big Cartel vs Shopify 2022 Comparison: Which Is Best for You?

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4.6

out of 5

3.1

out of 5

Shopify wins, but Big Cartel still has its perks. Both Shopify and Big Cartel allow users to create an online retail store with features, including marketing, shipping, billing, and CRM tools. You want the best for your online store, and so do we.

Shopify is one of the top ecommerce builders on the market! It beat Big Cartel by a few miles, scoring higher in every category we tested apart from ease of use. But that doesn’t mean Shopify is the perfect builder for everyone. Let’s get into it!

Best for larger online stores

4.6

out of 5
Top Choice
Ease Of Use

3.5 out of 5 stars

Design Flexibility

3.9 out of 5 stars

Customer Score

4.7 out of 5 stars

Help and Support

3.8 out of 5 stars

Value For Money

3 out of 5 stars

Website Features

4.2 out of 5 stars

Sales Features

4.5 out of 5 stars

Best for independent artists

3.1

out of 5
Ease Of Use

3.7 out of 5 stars

Design Flexibility

2.2 out of 5 stars

Customer Score

3.7 out of 5 stars

Help and Support

1.1 out of 5 stars

Value For Money

2.4 out of 5 stars

Website Features

1 out of 5 stars

Sales Features

2.3 out of 5 stars

Do you wish someone would just tell you whether Big Cartel or Shopify is better for you? Our experts have created this quick and easy quiz, so you can find out which platform is your best fit! Click below to start:

Are You Ready For Your Personalized Recommendation?

Yes! Start the Quiz Now

Shopify vs Big Cartel: Quick Comparison

Are you busy today? Take a look at this quick comparison table, so you can get the details on these builders quickly!

Shopify Big Cartel
Ease of Use
Winner: Big Cartel
Fairly simple to use, but takes a while to learn how to navigate the different interfaces Offers super useful prompts and is fairly easy to use. But you'll need to know HTML coding to edit themes
Sales Features
Winner: Shopify
Some of the most robust feature sets across all of the different builders we've tested Fair, but basic features covering shipping, products, and payments
Design Functionality
Winner: Shopify
Nine free themes and 88 paid themes offer something for everyone 18 clean, mobile-optimized themes with limited features
Apps & Integrations
Winner: Shopify
Over 6,000 apps Over 1,500 apps
SEO
Winner: Shopify
Great SEO practices, including clean URLs, headers, and alt text, as well as robots.txt files. Shopify even gives you helpful hints as you upload your products to make sure you're checking all of the right SEO boxes. Has great SEO tools, including simple navigation and clean headers, alt text, and anchors
Customer Support
Winner: Shopify
24/7 phone and live chat support, as well as social media, forum and email Email support available M-F 9am-6pm EST, and it got the lowest help and support score of any builder we tested
Pricing & Value for Money
Winner: Shopify
Three paid plans range from $29 to $299 per month, with unlimited products and no transaction fees if you use Shopify Payments One free plan and three paid plans range from $9.99 to $29.99 per month, with a 300 product limit
Are You Ready? Try Shopify Try Big Cartel
shopify logo small website builder

Already Decided To Build With Shopify?

Shopify is our overall standout ecommerce builder out of these two. If you’ve already made your choice, then click below to start building!

Further Information

  • How to Build an Online Store: Just starting out? Read our article for helpful beginner tips.
  • Shopify Review: Read our review for more detail on this leading ecommerce platform.
  • Big Cartel Review : Want to sell online for free? Read our review to find out if Big Cartel is the right choice for you.
  • Best Ecommerce Platforms : Want to compare Shopify, Big Cartel, and other ecommerce platforms? Check out our article to compare them all.

Which is the Easiest to Use?

The Winner

Big Cartel is slightly easier to use

Big Cartel wins ease of use – but only just! Its onboarding process is excellent, and gives you all of the hints and tips you could need for finding your way around its interface. Shopify, on the other hand, can get a bit overwhelming. Particularly if you’re a beginner!

Big Cartel is easier to use, but only just. It has a score of 3.7 out of 5, while Shopify scores 3.5 out of 5 in our research. A close race! The reason Big Cartel comes out victorious is that it offers users helpful prompts and plenty of reassurance in the building process.

We’re all familiar with the feeling of frustration. The dreaded moment you’re putting the trash out and you sense the bin bag thinning, or finding your wired headphones in a tangle! Everyone has faced infuriating tasks. Creating and running your online store shouldn’t be one of them!

That’s why ease of use is so important, and why we test it so thoroughly. Don’t let your business become a chore – it shouldn’t just bring you money, but enjoyment too!

big cartel coding
Editing Big Cartel themes requires HTML coding knowledge.

Here’s how one of our users felt about Big Cartel:

“The prompts were a great additional help feature. Every time I left a page, they provided a prompt to save, or a red error box if I’d forgotten to add in a shipping location. I thought this was really nice it felt as though I had someone holding my hand every step of the way, willing me to succeed.”

It’s worth noting, though, that if you want to do anything too advanced with your Big Cartel website, you’re going to need to have a bit of coding know-how. If you’re happy to build a fairly simple and clean website, however, things couldn’t be easier.

Shopify, on the other hand, can be slightly overwhelming in comparison.

Although Shopify’s interface looks clear and simple, it can be hard to get your head around the need to use both the front and the backend editor to tweak different parts of your site. This isn’t particularly difficult to do, but it’s quite laborious and involves a lot of to and fro.

Shopify theme settings
Shopify’s theme settings: no coding required.

However, Shopify does offer more powerful ecommerce abilities than Big Cartel (which we’ll get into later). It’s therefore understandable that Shopify’s dashboard would be slightly more complex. After all, building an online store involves a lot of factors, and Shopify does a good job of laying everything out for you. Here’s what our users thought about Shopify:

Advice from the Users

It doesn’t pretend that building an online store is simple. For ecommerce, you have to be professional and know lots about inventories, prices, and variants. I like that with Shopify it’s just all out there, ready to fill in and start running a real business.

Want An Easier Build With Big Cartel?

If you find building an ecommerce website a little overwhelming, then Big Cartel makes it a little easier with helpful prompts.

Further Information

Which has the Best Sales Features?

shopify logo small website builder
The Winner

Shopify Definitely Wins Best Sales Features

Shopify is a much more powerful and scalable builder than Big Cartel, which scores a poor 2.3 out of 5 in our testing of sales features, compared to Shopify’s impressive 4.5 out of 5. Shopify does more for you, which gives you time back to actually run your business. 

Once you’ve got to grips with your chosen builder, it’s time to get down to business. And, in the ecommerce business, what’s more important than sales features? Your store should be making you money – it’s no use if it can’t even accept online payments.

Shopify came second overall on the scoreboard for its sales features, scoring 4.5 out of 5. Not only can it accept online payments, it gives you over 100 payment gateways to choose from! It also has an impressive app store, meaning you can add whatever you want, wherever you want, on your ecommerce site!

shopify features
Shopify has extremely scalable features to benefit all users, from small businesses up to big brand names.

Big Cartel struggles to match Shopify in this department. Its features are more suited to small businesses selling individual products. This lies in stark contrast with Shopify’s scalable platform, which caters to everything from small stores all the way up to big brands, such as Penguin.

Here are the core ecommerce features available from Shopify:

  • Unlimited products
  • Unlimited bandwidth
  • Discount codes
  • Staff accounts
  • Finance reports
  • Customer support
  • Abandoned cart recovery
  • Mobile POS

And here are the top ecommerce features Big Cartel offers:

  • Up to 5, 50, 250, or 500 products, depending on plan
  • Unlimited bandwidth
  • Discount codes
  • Free themes
  • Bulk editing
  • Inventory tracking
  • Shipment tracking
  • Google Analytics

Payment Options

Shopify offers over 100 different payment gateways to choose from, including PayPal, Stripe, Amazon, and Apple Pay.

There’s also Shopify’s own payment gateway, called Shopify Payments. This is the only payment option where extra transaction fees are not applied on top of the usual credit card fees.

In contrast, Big Cartel has the fewest number of payment gateways on offer. You can choose from PayPal or Stripe – and that’s it. While these are all popular payment options, the whole process is more limited than Shopify.

The upside of Big Cartel’s payment gateways is no transaction fee will be imposed on any of them – unlike Shopify. The payment gateway itself will charge only the usual credit card processing fee.

An important thing to be aware of is that Big Cartel isn’t PCI (Payment Card Industry) compliant. This means you’re responsible for following the right guidelines when accepting and processing card payments through your site.

Shopify, however, is fully PCI compliant, meaning you don’t have to worry – all cardholder information is protected and secured, without you having to lift a finger.

Abandoned Cart Recovery

Abandoned Cart Recovery can save you a lot of money. But how does it work?

When a customer enters their details and then “abandons” products in their shopping cart at checkout, you can send an automatic email to re-engage them.

These abandoned cart emails can increase sales by around 20% – so you can see why having abandoned cart recovery is super important for your online store.

Shopify has this feature built-in, meaning you can easily contact customers and win back those lost sales. You can even review abandoned checkouts to analyze why certain products are being left, or why customers aren’t completing the checkout process.

Big Cartel doesn’t have abandoned cart recovery, which is a massive drawback to this builder – and something to really consider when making your choice.

Product Uploads

Big Cartel is ideal for small businesses selling individual pieces. You can sell up to five products on the free plan, while the most you can sell on the more expensive plan is 500 products for $29.99.

big cartel product tools
Big Cartel is best for uploading individual products rather than managing large inventories. It's easy to add products, but larger business will find it limiting.

You can’t bulk upload products, meaning you must enter each one separately. These two factors combined make Big Cartel unsuitable for large or growing businesses.

On the other hand, Shopify has a really impressive inventory. You can add single products or upload in bulk, and there’s no limit to the number of products you can add to your site. This makes it a lot more scalable than Big Cartel.

Product Types

Shopify and Big Cartel both give users the ability to split their products up into different store categories, though the exact names and functions of the features differ.

Using the “product types” feature, Shopify store owners can split their wares into categories like “shirts,” “pants,” and “socks,” allowing potential customers to easily locate the type of product they’re interested in with a few clicks.

Shopify also includes product tags as another way to differentiate each product, as well as a “product vendor” feature, which isn’t visible to customers but can help store owners keep track of their manufacturers or wholesalers.

For its part, Big Cartel offers a “product category” feature that’s similar to Shopify’s product types. Once a Big Cartel store owner adds an active product to a category, the category link will materialize with that store’s Products page. Big Cartel also offers product tags, too.

Since Shopify sorts by vendors as well as types and tags, it has a little more flexibility, but the small store owner should be pretty happy with Big Cartel’s product navigation.

Shipping Options

When it comes to shipping features, Shopify blows Big Cartel away. Shopify offers the Shopify Shipping suite, which helps users easily manage rates and bulk-print labels, and even includes discounts on rates when shipping through USPS, UPS, or DHL Express.

And, if you’re paying for the Advanced plan, Shopify includes automatic carrier-calculated shipping rates.

While it doesn’t handle shipping itself, Big Cartel doesn’t drop the ball either. It offers app integrations that help users incorporate third-party shipping services, such as ShipStation.

Still, it’s no match for the shipping support and abilities baked into Shopify’s service.

For more info about the shipping arrangements that Shopify offers, check out our separate, dedicated article to just that – Shopify Shipping: A Beginner’s Guide. And, for a detailed look into Shopify’s Shipping Rates, well… there’s an article for that too!

Social Media Integration

Shopify offers a range of over 438 different app integrations for various social media platforms, including Pinterest, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and WhatsApp. It should offer something for anyone who needs to connect with their customers on social platforms or through a website.

Big Cartel’s app integrations are a little more limited, but take care of the major needs: you’ll be able to set up a Big Cartel-integrated Facebook Store, as well as Instagram shopping posts.

Additional apps from the web automation service Zapier can also connect Big Cartel users to Twitter, MailChimp, and WordPress, among others.

shopify logo small website builder

Want Some of The Best Sales Features On The Market?

Shopify comes in second place out of all the builders we’ve tested for its depth and breadth of sales features.

Further Information

Which has the Better Design?

shopify logo small website builder
The Winner

Shopify Wins With Its Dazzling Design Functionality

Shopify wins the design round! We gave it a 3.9 out of 5 for design functionality, compared with Big Cartel’s underwhelming score of 2.2 out of 5. Shopify has more themes to choose from, greater features, and is much easier to customize. Big Cartel requires coding just to add and edit images, whereas Shopify gives you much more creative freedom.

Looks aren’t everything. But when you’re selling your carefully chosen, lovingly uploaded, and perfectly priced products, looks can’t hurt. Think of your website as your shop window — the more dressed up it is, the more you’ll attract customers. So which is better for making your products shine? Shopify or Big Cartel?

The answer is undeniably Shopify.

While it doesn’t have quite the same focus on design as website builders such as Squarespace and Wix, Shopify does a stellar job at making your store stand out (in a good way). With nine free themes and over 80 paid themes, ranging from $200 to $350, Shopify has something for everyone.

shopify themes
Shopify has over 89 themes to choose from, and you can use search filters to find the perfect design for your store.

All of Shopify’s themes are fully mobile optimized, meaning your store will look great on any screen. You can edit the mobile version of your site as well as the desktop version, so you have full control over how your site looks no matter which mode it’s viewed in.

Choosing a theme is a little like choosing a house to live in. You can pick your furniture and the color you want the walls to be, but the structure and layout of the building stays pretty much the same. Sure, you can knock walls through and turn the kitchen into a bathroom if you want, but the more you change, the more effort it’s going to be.

Shopify’s themes all look modern and professional, and offer a great level of customization. So you can really personalize your theme to reflect your own brand and stand out from the crowd. But it’s still a good idea to pick a theme which has features that work with, rather than against, your business.

shopify logo small website builder

Curious About Shopify's Themes?

Got no time to waste? Quickly click here to see Shopify’s super versatile themes!

Big Cartel is less sophisticated in its designs than Shopify. All of its themes are clean and good-looking – it’s what you can do with them that’s more limited. There’s furniture you can’t fit through the front door, and walls you just can’t knock down.

Big Cartel offers 18 themes to choose from. Like Shopify, they’re all fully mobile optimized, but you can’t edit your mobile version. It still automatically reformats, but you don’t have any control over the mobile layout.

big cartel themes
Big Cartel has 18 themes on offer, covering a range of industries. You can preview each before selecting it to see if it's the right one for you.

Big Cartel certainly has a smaller range of choice than Shopify and its other competitors. It supports the least amount of industries, but focuses mostly on artists and photographers. You can preview your theme before choosing it, so you can see if it’s the right style for your business.

One big drawback of Big Cartel’s designs is the lack of features included in the themes. For example, none of them offer product image zoom, product videos, or customer logins. These are features that make the customer experience better, and encourage repeat purchases.

It’s also much harder to personalize your Big Cartel theme. If you want to add and edit your own images, you’ll need to use code. Editing images is a basic way of making your chosen theme unique to your own brand, so if you’re uncomfortable coding, you’ll be pretty limited in how much you can change your storefront.

shopify logo small website builder

Craft A Website That Sells with Shopify

People do judge a website by its design, and first impressions are important! So breathe easy knowing yours looks sharp and fresh with Shopify.

More Information

Which has More Apps and Integrations?

shopify logo small website builder
The Winner

Shopify Wins With Better Apps & Integrations

Shopify’s higher number of quality apps helps the service stand out above Big Cartel in this category. What really matters is whether you can find the best apps to help you build a successful business. Fortunately, Shopify has everything from social media to email marketing to CRM management.

Shopify is the winner once more. It simply offers more apps than Big Cartel, no matter how you compare them.

Shopify offers over 6,000 apps in its app store. Of these, around half are free, with prices ranging from around $2.99 per month to as much as $299 per month. Many of these paid apps include free trial periods as well.

Popular Shopify app categories include topics as varied as Marketing, Store Design, and Finances.

This range of apps definitely offers something for everyone, although the prices will add up quickly enough. When stocking up on apps, users will likely choose to err on the side of caution.

Of course, quantity isn’t the same as quality: apps in Shopify’s app store are rated by customers on a five-star scale, so check to make sure that the app you’re considering has a good score before committing to it.

Big Cartel can be integrated with over 1,500 apps to automate various ecommerce-related chores, through the third-party app vendor Zapier.

Zapier big cartel apps
A few Zapier apps that integrate with Big Cartel.

Third parties aside, Big Cartel offers fewer than 50 apps and integrations itself. The app categories available on its site include Marketing & Promotion apps, and Store Management apps, with only a small handful around six to eight available in each category.

Big Cartel also offers integrations for payment processors including Stripe, PayPal, and Venmo, as well as a wide range of domain providers.

shopify logo small website builder

Want A Builder With Plenty of Apps?

Shopify is the builder that awaits you, with over 6000 apps for you to integrate and work with.

Which has the Better Customer Support?

shopify logo small website builder
The Winner

Shopify Wins Customer Support

Shopify is the clear winner here, taking first prize for customer support. Big Cartel has a decent help center, but its support options are so limited – it came in last place out of all the platforms we tested. While Shopify is one of the best choices with 24/7 live chat and phone support, video tutorials, and more.

Customer support isn’t always the first thing you think of when picking a builder – ideally, you’ll never even need to use it. But, just like seat belts in a car, it’s better to be safe than sorry.

Big Cartel is the worst builder for customer support, with a score of 1.1 out of 5 in our testing.

The only help channel is through email, available from Monday to Friday between 9am and 6pm EST. You might see what looks like a live chat feature, but don’t get too excited – it simply directs you to Big Cartel’s email support.

When comparing the help and support of competitors, Big Cartel is definitely lack luster. So, if you’re ever stuck in the process of putting your business together, you might have to rely on yourself and your own determination to get you through.

If you don’t need direct help, you can head to Big Cartel’s Help Center. This is simple and easy to navigate, so you can find relevant help articles quickly.

big cartel help center
Big Cartel's Help Center is laid out simply and clearly, making it easy to find what you're looking for.

Shopify comes joint-third with Wix for its help and support, scoring 3.8 out of 5 – making it one of the best ecommerce builders out there for lending a helping hand. Here are the different help options available:

  • 24/7 phone support
  • Social media support
  • 24/7 live chat
  • Forum
  • Email
  • Video tutorials
  • Advanced specialist support

This gives you tons of choice and means you can pick the support which suits you best. With Shopify’s Plus plan, you’re even given a dedicated support agent to assist you. There’s no doubt that Shopify has done all it can to encourage and help you in your journey.

shopify help center
Shopify's Help Center has many different categories to browse through. You can search for answers using the search feature, or follow the links for helpful articles.

Like Big Cartel, Shopify also has a help center, and this is where it really shines. It’s clearly laid out, and you won’t have to waste time trawling the internet for answers thanks to its helpful search feature. Even better, when you ask for help in your store editor, you’re directed straight to a relevant help article.

shopify logo small website builder

Need Extra Website Support?

If you feel that you want the backup of your website builder to guide you through the process, it doesn’t get better than Shopify for help and support.

Which is Better Value for Money?

shopify logo small website builder
The Winner

Shopify Wins Value For Money

Shopify scores 3 out of 5 for value for money, and offers a much wider set of features for the monthly subscription price. Plus, its plans are better set up for scalability. Big Cartel’s plans, on the other hand, are much more limited and come with unavoidable fees. They don’t allow for growth. It’s no surprise that Big Cartel only scored 2.4 out of 5 in this category.

Whether you’re setting up a business on the side or using your store as your main source of income, your ecommerce site should be there to make you money. This starts with not blowing your budget on your builder.

So just what have Big Cartel and Shopify got to offer?

Big Cartel has three plans, including its free version and two paid options. The paid plans range from $9.99 to $19.99 per month, with a 500 product limit. Shopify has three paid plans ranging from $29 to $299 per month. All Shopify plans offer unlimited products and a 14-day free trial.

This is Big Cartel’s key selling point! It’s one of the only ecommerce builders to let you sell online for free. You read that right – you don’t have to spend a single cent to set up and make money through your Big Cartel store.

However, if you want to sell more than five products, you will need to upgrade to one of Big Cartel’s paid plans. While these still offer cheap prices, starting at just $9.99 per month, you get less value for money as you upgrade.

Big Cartel Pricing
Big Cartel has a free plan and three paid plans ranging from $9.99 to $19.99 per month. As you upgrade you unlock more products to sell, up to 500 maximum.

The cheapest Platinum plan lets you sell up to 50 products, as well as having five images per product. You can also use a custom domain, unlock full coding, access Google Analytics and inventory tracking, and create discount codes. These are useful, but fairly basic features.

If you want to sell a higher volume of items, the Diamond plan increases your product limit to 500 products for $19.99 per month.

However, Big Cartel’s pricing plans aren’t very scalable. You only upgrade the number of products you can sell, rather than unlocking more advanced features to support your business.

Shopify, on the other hand, has more expensive prices, but powerful features. Its cheapest Shopify Basic plan starts at $29 per month, and immediately offers more than Big Cartel’s most expensive plan. Features include:

  • Unlimited products
  • Abandoned cart recovery
  • Discount codes
  • Multichannel integration
  • Two staff accounts
  • 24/7 support
  • Shopify POS app

This plan is designed for setting up your store, and includes these features as the foundation to build your business on. You can upgrade as you scale up your business.

shopify pricing plans
Shopify offers three pricing plans ranging from $29 to $299 per month, providing plenty of room for your business to grow as you unlock more advanced features.

The $79 per month Shopify plan offers best value for money, and it’s ideal for growing businesses. It includes everything from the Shopify Basic plan, but it also unlocks extra features such as professional reports, and a host of add-ons for expanding the POS (Point of Sale) system.

Save up to 50% on your Shopify plan

If you sign up to a one-year contract with Shopify, instead of a monthly rolling contract, you’ll save 50% on the cost of your plan. On the Shopify plan, for example, instead of paying $79 per month, the expense will drop to $39.44 per month!

shopify logo small website builder

Get High Value For Money with Shopify

When Shopify’s cheapest plan has better features than Big Cartel’s most expensive, you can rest easy knowing you’ve got good value for your money.

Transaction Fees

One important aspect of running an online store? The fees you’ll need to pay for every transaction. They’ll eat into your profits, and if you’re not ready for them, you’ll inevitably wind up earning far less than you’ll expect. And, even more importantly, different services will charge different rates.

Here’s how Shopify’s transaction rates compare to Big Cartel’s rates.

Shopify offers three different transaction rates for its three different price plans. Under the Basic Shopify plan, each transaction costs 2.9%, plus an additional $0.30. The main Shopify plan is 2.6% and $0.30 per transaction, while the Advanced Shopify plan charges 2.4% and $0.30 per transaction. However, you can avoid transaction fees completely if you use Shopify’s own payment gateway, Shopify Payments.

Due to Big Cartel’s smaller focus, it doesn’t handle transactions itself. Instead, you’ll need to use a third-party service. Big Cartel partners with just two such services for online orders: Stripe and PayPal.

Stripe’s transaction fee is 2.9% of the total transaction cost plus $0.30, while Paypal’s transaction fee is the exact same: 2.9% plus $0.30.

Since these rates are the same as Shopify’s highest transaction rates and there’s no option to avoid fees all together, you can expect Big Cartel to cost just as much as Shopify for the smallest of stores.

Further Information

Big Cartel vs Shopify: Final Thoughts

Shopify and Big Cartel have some pretty major differences, but they’re aiming at very different target audiences.

Big Cartel is designed for artists and small businesses who only need basic features and only have a small number of products to sell.

Big Cartel is a basic builder which is good for starting out, but doesn’t offer much flexibility. It isn’t ideal for stores looking for scalability or for beginners who want to avoid coding.

Shopify appeals to a much wider range of business types. Our research showed Shopify to be the best all-around ecommerce platform for larger businesses, offering quality features and a great level of customization in its designs.

However, Shopify really has something for everyone, so even if you run a smaller store, it’s perfect if you’ve got plans to grow and expand.

Shopify Big Cartel
Ease of Use
Winner: Big Cartel
Fairly simple to use, but takes a while to learn how to navigate the different interfaces Offers super useful prompts and is fairly easy to use. But you'll need to know HTML coding to edit themes
Sales Features
Winner: Shopify
Some of the most robust feature sets across all of the different builders we've tested Fair, but basic features covering shipping, products, and payments
Design Functionality
Winner: Shopify
Nine free themes and 88 paid themes offer something for everyone 18 clean, mobile-optimized themes with limited features
Apps & Integrations
Winner: Shopify
Over 6,000 apps Over 1,500 apps
SEO
Winner: Shopify
Great SEO practices, including clean URLs, headers, and alt text, as well as robots.txt files. Shopify even gives you helpful hints as you upload your products to make sure you're checking all of the right SEO boxes. Has great SEO tools, including simple navigation and clean headers, alt text, and anchors
Customer Support
Winner: Shopify
24/7 phone and live chat support, as well as social media, forum and email Email support available M-F 9am-6pm EST, and it got the lowest help and support score of any builder we tested
Pricing & Value for Money
Winner: Shopify
Three paid plans range from $29 to $299 per month, with unlimited products and no transaction fees if you use Shopify Payments One free plan and three paid plans range from $9.99 to $29.99 per month, with a 300 product limit
Are You Ready? Try Shopify Try Big Cartel

Overall, Shopify is the winner. This is reflected in its features, quality of designs, customer support, and price plans – all of which explain why Shopify scores 4.6 out of 5 in our research overall, compared to Big Cartel’s score of 3.1 out of 5. If you’re after long-term success, choose Shopify!

shopify logo small website builder

Build With Our Overall Winner: Shopify

It beat Big Cartel in nearly every single category of testing, so you can’t go wrong shaping your store with Shopify.
Shopify is better for expanding and scaling your business. It comes with a more complex inventory management system and more advanced selling tools. Not only that, but each of its plans improves on the one before, unlocking new features that are ideal for larger stores.

Big Cartel’s tools, on the other hand, are much better suited to independent or smaller sellers.

According to our research, Big Cartel is the easier to use out of the two. This is because it has a straightforward onboarding process, and it offers helpful hints and tips as you find your way around its basic editor.

Shopify, on the other hand, is more complex. This is understandable, given that it’s designed for stores of all shapes and sizes, but it does mean that you’ll need to get your head around a steeper learning curve.

Shopify is the better choice for serious sellers who want to grow and expand their online store. It comes with advanced selling and marketing tools that are specifically designed to make running an ecommerce business a success.

Big Cartel, on the other hand, is geared towards smaller sellers, particularly artists. It’s ideal for showcasing a small number of original prints or products, and its cheap plans mean you won’t have to break the bank to get started.

Found our Big Cartel vs Shopify review helpful?

Did this guide help you decide whether to use Shopify or Big Cartel, then help to get you started building your online store? If so (or if not!) leave a comment below.

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