So you want to start an online business – but with so many website builders to choose from, how do you know which is the right one for you?
Picking the right ecommerce website builder for your online store is a big decision as each offers different features and benefits for you to take advantage of.
In order to save you a lot of time staring at a screen and getting a headache, we’ve compared two of our favorite ecommerce platforms against each other, putting them head to head to see which might suit your business better.
Should you opt for the small-business favoring versatility of Wix or go straight for the ecommerce specialist, BigCommerce?
Below we compare these two website builders on the ecommerce factors that matter – including templates, security and value for money.
Click on the following links to read the specific sections:
1.STORE SET-UP SPEED
When starting an ecommerce store it’s important to get online and start building a presence as soon as you can.
Time is valuable so using a website builder is a great way to get online quickly and easy. This means you want a platform that:
- Is easy to pick up and use
- Provides value for money
- Offers a wide choice of good-looking ecommerce templates you can work from
- Provides useful tools that improve your workflow
- Covers all your needs
So how do Wix and BigCommerce compare?
First things first, to run an ecommerce store on Wix you’ll need to subscribe to either the ‘eCommerce’ or ‘VIP’ plans, which connect you to ‘Wix Stores’ (their ecommerce and payment processing add-on).
Once that’s sorted, you’re ready to start building your site.
Wix offers an impressively large number of templates (over 500 at the last count), with many specially optimized for ecommerce stores. These templates have been designed with ecommerce best practices in mind, such as simple customer navigation options, meaning these templates are designed to sell.
This is a huge time-saver as you can simply choose a template and then edit it as you see fit.
In fact, there’s nothing stopping you from changing as much or as little as you want to! You could just update the imagery and headings then call it day – ecommerce store designed and published to the web – easy!
The Wix Editor
Wix’s editor is where you’re going to be spending most of your time when building your ecommerce website.
The editor is exceptionally easy to use in both ‘desktop’ and ‘mobile’ mode, which helps you to make an eye-catching store for users at home and on the go, so you never need to miss a sale.
Wix’s Editor is simple to use as it’s a ‘What You See Is What You Get’ editor, which means that you’re effectively editing your website in real time. Just drag and drop text, images and features where you want them and this will be exactly replicated in your live site.
This can massively cut down design time that you could be spending on other, more important areas of your business.
For a slightly more guided route to getting your ecommerce store online, you might want to consider Wix ADI.
Wix ADI is an quick-start web design tool, that uses Artificial Intelligence (or something similar to it) to pull together the first draft of a website for you. By answering a set of multi-choice questions, e.g. about products you plan to sell, Wix ADI is able to generate a page of content that you can use as a starting point in the Wix Editor.
It’s a neat, time-saving tool and can be a great asset for smaller, more personal websites. However for your ecommerce store, you’ll probably want something a little more substantial in order to stand out.
From the moment you open BigCommerce, you know you’re in the hands of an ecommerce specialist.
There’s no need to check your plan as BigCommerce is exclusively geared towards helping you sell. But how quickly does it help you get online?
As soon as you sign up for BigCommerce, you’re sent an introductory email containing your store’s web address (or URL, if you like using the technical term) as well as a link to a Store Launch Guide and Control Panel Tour to help your site launch without a hitch.
BigCommerce also provide you with a Support PIN and a phone call from the team a few days later. This is a really nice touch that makes you feel as if your custom is wanted.
Integrating products from elsewhere
A very useful and time-saving feature is the ability to import your product inventory – potentially your customer list too – from other platforms directly into your new BigCommerce store by using a CSV file (a ‘comma separated values’ file is a type of spreadsheet that can be read by a computer and turned into tables of data, e.g .product lists or customer details).
So if you want to get trading quickly, BigCommerce may be the fastest platform to get you up and running if you’re already a seasoned seller on eBay or Etsy.
BigCommerce Theme Editor
Setting up a store on BigCommerce is a little more laborious if you’re starting your business from scratch. Thankfully you’re provided numerous tools to help you organize your products, payment methods and even marketing before choosing a template (or ‘theme’, in BigCommerce-speak).
What’s more, nearly all BigCommerce themes come stocked with ecommerce features that you’d have to spend time adding to most Wix templates yourself (if you’ve opted for a non-ecommerce template, that is).
However, compared with the Wix Editor, BigCommerce’s Theme Editor just doesn’t feel as welcoming or as intuitive.
Tools are a little harder to find and while drag-and-drop is supported it’s not exactly intuitive. So while BigCommerce has an in-depth editor that can help you create a very impressive ecommerce store, you may want to consider just how long it will take you to build your site in the first place if you struggle to find the tools you need!
An attractive yet user-friendly design is the key to a great ecommerce website.
Not only does a well-designed site create a good first impression, but it also helps your customers navigate and encourages them to carry on shopping.
Wix has a gallery of well over 500 professionally-designed templates for you to work with, which includes dozens of specialized ecommerce store designs.
The best part about Wix’s templates is that even when editing them as much as you want, you don’t need to know how to code at all!
Starting from a template is a great way to save time and effort. You not only get an eye-catching ecommerce store design that is optimized for your customers, but the time you save can be channeled into other, more important, areas of your business.
The majority of Wix’s templates are free, but some are only available to Wix eCommerce or VIP plan subscribers. You may need to pay to access certain templates, but you can rest assured they are even more optimized than the free ones – perfect for the budding online entrepreneur who wants to start out on the right foot.
Wix ecommerce templates tend to come packaged with a set of core tools to help you add products, manage prices and shipping, and connect payment methods among other essential features.
Note: Once you’ve selected a template on Wix and entered the editor then you are locked into this template and cannot change it.
BigCommerce themes might lack the eye-catching pizzazz of Wix’s templates, but because it caters exclusively to users who want to build ecommerce websites – its themes reflect this.
While they may be less pretty than Wix’s (certainly the free ones), many BigCommerce themes come kitted out with online trading features that you’d either have to add to a Wix template by yourself or forgo entirely – so this can be a real-time saver if you’re keen to start selling, or don’t have the time to fully design and develop a store from a more basic template.
Templates to help you sell
BigCommerce offers nearly 100 themes, carefully chosen and specially designed for ecommerce sites.
This is extremely useful for ecommerce newcomers or independent traders – not only can you edit a store theme so it better reflects your business (e.g. change some colors and pictures), but you can also use them as an excellent source of inspiration if you’re struggling for design ideas.
We’re particularly impressed by the beautiful, new range of ‘Stencil’ themes that allow you to build dynamic storefronts without needing to code! The Stencil range will feel familiar to users of Wix as they have been designed to let you design your site in a WYSIWYG editor – perfect for fine-tuning the design of your site.
Using a WYSIWYG editor is a much faster and more efficient way of working that can free up a lot of valuable time – time that you could spend mastering email marketing or social media advertising to increase traffic to your website!
One of the frustrating things about Wix is that you cannot change templates after selecting one. However, BigCommerce lets you switch themes as you see fit, which is very useful for updating or re-branding your website.
Being able to switch themes also removes the pressure of having to pick the perfect one right away, so you can take your time and really make sure you’ve chosen the best theme for your business.
It’s worth noting that unlike Wix, most BigCommerce themes aren’t free. Prices can soar as high as $230+ (on top of your BigCommerce subscription!), so you’ll want to choose your theme very carefully.
We recommend starting out with a free template then upgrading later if you feel the need to.
HTML for themes
BigCommerce also gives you full reign to edit your site using HTML and CSS. To do this, you can download a theme to your computer, customize its code offline using Notepad or other software, then upload it again to the Theme Editor.
It’s important to note that it is by no means essential to know how to code in order to the most from a BigCommerce template!
Wix eCommerce and BigCommerce are both ecommerce platforms, but are tailored towards different types of user. We like to think of it like this:
- Wix eCommerce – a streamlined ecommerce platform for small and independent businesses
- BigCommerce – a feature-rich ecommerce platform for growing and larger businesses
With that in mind, let’s compare the pair’s ecommerce features.
Wix eCommerce may be a more stripped back ecommerce platform but this doesn’t mean it is lacking in plugins and apps to help you maximize your profit-making potential.
Hundreds of clever ecommerce add-ons
Wix bundles a number of useful ecommerce tools and apps with its ecommerce templates.
This “kick-starter kit” of essentials can help you to:
- Track orders
- Configure taxes
- Set shipping costs
- Connect payment methods
- Get your store found online (by editing site data to improve your website’s SEO)
It might sound a bit basic, but for the vast majority of small business owners these essential tools can be a huge helping hand towards managing your business and boosting your store’s presence online.
That’s not to say you can’t find more advanced ecommerce features on Wix – of course you can! These features may come as standard on many BigCommerce themes but you can find most of these third-party features by hunting through the Wix App Market.
Some of these apps are free, but most apps that grant additional ecommerce features are only available to paying subscribers.
The best apps for the job
It can be reassuring to know that Wix has additional features available if you need them, but what are the very best ecommerce apps available to newbie entrepreneurs like me and you?
|5 Top Wix Apps for Your Online Store|
|#1||Etsy Shop (free):|
Integrate your existing Etsy store with your Wix store. Selling across multiple sites is a great way to increase revenue and find customers from different backgrounds.
|#2||PayPal Button (free and premium versions):|
Add a one-click payment button to your store with support for more than 25 currencies. PayPal is highly regarded by consumers, so offering it as a payment method will definitely help build trust in your store.
|#3||LiveChat (free 30-day trial):|
Offering your customers live support in real time is a great way of building trust and quickly answering any queries or issues they may have. People are more likely to make a repeat purchase from websites where they have received good service.
|#4||Web-Stat (free and premium versions):|
Track and analyze your customers’ origins and movements using this powerful business tool. It’s a great way of finding out where your profits come from and can be useful in creating targeted marketing or sales campaigns.
|#5||McAfee Secure (free and premium versions):|
Get verified by security firm McAfee and give your customers peace of mind. Security is a huge concern for anyone online, so knowing your private details are safe is a huge plus point for anyone visiting your store.
As we saw earlier, BigCommerce populates the majority of its themes with useful apps and plugins that provide a range of ecommerce functions. Add to this an app marketplace as well as the ability to write custom HTML, and BigCommerce has got you well covered when it comes to ecommerce features.
Every selling tool you need, built in
BigCommerce templates might be lacking on the design front, but let’s not forget that besides grabbing the attention of potential customers, we also need to be selling to them too!
Thankfully, BigCommerce themes contain nearly all the sales and marketing features your site needs. This can be a huge time and money saver as you don’t need to spend ages trying to find extra features for your store in the app marketplace.
Among the “core features” you’ll find on a BigCommerce theme are:
- Integrations with platforms like Amazon, eBay, and Google Shopping – ideal for reaching a wider pool of potential customers
- Inventory tracking and warranty information
- Stock management – including product description editing
- Abandoned cart recovery settings and analytics – great for targeting customers who haven’t finished their purchase
- Coupon code creation – a great way of reaching out to old customers or reeling in new ones
You can find many additional “core features” in your Theme Editor toolbar.
Lack of choice can mean peace of mind
You’re unlikely to need more features, but BigCommerce offers them anyway, in its App Marketplace. Some Apps are free – for example SurveyMonkey – while others cost money after a trial period.
The choice may not be as wide as Wix’s, but the focus is much tighter, with each and every app geared towards helping you to refine your ecommerce store and boost profits. Free trials are a fantastic way of testing out different features and functions on your site before deciding whether they are worth spending hard-earned money on.
BigCommerce can feel less versatile than Wix (certainly unless you know how to code), but this has its advantages. The range of advanced ecommerce features are chosen carefully and a lot of the organizing is done for you – so there’s less danger of getting accidentally carried away and stuffing your store with a whole host of features you don’t really need!
4.SITE + STORE SECURITY
Online security is becoming more and more important for consumers, which means it should be a huge priority for you when launching an online store. Despite how safe you think your store is, our recent research showed everyone is at risk of cybercrime .
Your main security concerns when running an ecommerce store should be:
- How do I keep my customers safe
- How do I keep myself safe and secure
So, which of our two ecommerce platforms can give you peace of mind?
With so many customers worldwide, how does Wix keep everyone secure?
For customers: Free SSL and HTTPS encryption
In line with Google regulations, all Wix sites are now equipped with Transport Layer Security (TLS) and enabled for HTTPS (Secure HyperText Transfer Protocol), both of which encrypt all data sent and received by pages on your website.
In plain English, this means that any data sent to or from your website is scrambled and can’t be intercepted by hackers and other snoopers.
You can see whether you’re covered by HTTPS protection by looking in your website address bar (URL bar). If you see a green lock and a web address prefixed with a green “https” then you’re covered – simple!
Ensuring your ecommerce store is protected by HTTPS is one of the best ways of showing customers your website is secure, trustworthy and professional. This is essential if you want to make people feel comfortable about spending their money with you.
To apply HTTPS to your store, you will need to switch on an SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) certificate, but Wix typically does this for you automatically upon setting up your store .
Keeping you safe and secure
It’s not just customers that can be stung by cybercrime, you need to cover yourself too.
So it’s good news that a sizable portion of Wix’s Help Center is devoted to ensuring your own security. For example there are numerous sections on phishing protection (aka avoiding fake Wix emails trying to scam you out of credit card details), of which several have done the rounds in recent years.
Wix has also passed rigorous industry checks to ensure your own card details and personal data are safe.
The platform is ISO 27018 compliant and PCI DSS (Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards) Level 1-accredited. Both are certifications indicate that Wix is secure enough to store important and private details, such as credit card info.
The security of your online store is a big priority for BigCommerce – just as you’d hope from an ecommerce specialist.
For your Customers: Full-site encryption and automatic backup
For maximum peace of mind, the entire BigCommerce site is PCI DSS certified and automatically applies these standards to your online store.
Sorting this certification by yourself can be a costly hassle, so the fact that BigCommerce provides it for you, much like Wix, is very reassuring and a huge plus point in its favor.
BigCommerce subscribers can even download a free PCI DSS Compliance certificate to add their website, which lets customers know how protected they are (a great way of building trust!).
Like Wix, BigCommerce also provides a free dedicated SSL certificate to ensure you can encrypt your customers’ data using HTTPS across your entire store.
You can even apply additional security measures to protect your shoppers’ data that aren’t currently offered by Wix eCommerce.
You’re probably familiar with 3D Security (‘verified by’) and its password protected payment processing system from your own online shopping experiences. BigCommerce provides it for you and it’s a great way of protecting your customers even if it does add an extra step to checkout.
For you: Automatic backups and preventative measures
To keep your business secure, BigCommerce backs up your data automatically, so your store is safe if you suddenly go offline. That means that if your electricity dies in a bad storm, then you can rest easy knowing that all the changes you’d just spent hours making are safe and sound on a BigCommerce server somewhere.
Other security measures might feel a little over-the-top despite the protection they provide.
When building your site, you might notice that you keep getting logged out. This is because BigCommerce adheres to such tight PCI DSS standards (Requirement 8 of Version 3.2, to be precise) that it signs you out after 15 minutes of inactivity. You can extend the timeout window to two hours though if it really annoys you.
This auto-logout can cover you if leaving your computer unattended for some reason (not that we recommend doing that in a public place). The standards also require that you reset your password every 90 days, which is another handy security measure to keep you on your toes.
If you get stuck when designing your website or something isn’t working as it should be, then it’s important to know the kind of support available to help you out.
This is extra important when there’s potentially money, time and your livelihood on the line.
This makes customer support a huge factor when deciding the platform you start your ecommerce store on.
With more than 100 million users around the world, it’s not surprising to learn that Wix dedicates a lot of resource to ensuring its customers are well supported and know where to turn if they get into difficulties.
An editor full of tips and advice
Wix appreciates that everyone needs help at some point and that getting stuck when building your website can have a real impact on your ecommerce business.
So it’s extremely useful to have readily available tooltips throughout the editor. These are little explanatory speech bubbles that appear when you hover your mouse over any item.
There are also numerous help buttons that open pop-up help articles about specific items – perfect for keeping you on track when the going gets a little bit tough
Full-cover customer support
Wix’s editor is so full of tips you may not even need the searchable Wix Help Center, but it’s a great resource on a wide variety of topics.
You can also call Wix support by phone and request a callback (although this isn’t a 24/7 service), or submit a support ticket. If you’re a paying subscriber your ticket will be bumped to the front of the queue.
BigCommerce may only have a fraction of the customer-base that Wix has, but rest-assured it knows that customers will need support on its more complicated platform.
A guided tour and…
You can’t hide the fact that BigCommerce’s editor feels overwhelming compared to Wix.
Sure, you get a guided tour when you first sign up, but you might find yourself stumbling a bit more as there are no dynamic tooltips to guide you. There’s also a sole, lonely link to help pages at the bottom of the design side panel, which might be a little tricky to spot for some users.
It’s worth noting that while 24/7 phone support and live chat options are offered, the reviews and feedback from BigCommerce users has been very mixed – so be aware!
A community of support
Mercifully, the BigCommerce Support knowledge base is excellent. Search for articles, read the in-depth guides and watch the fun, informative BigCommerce University videos.
We also rate the BigCommerce Community forum, where users really know their stuff and are happy to answer questions and share ideas.
This is an excellent fall-back if you struggle to reach the actual BigCommerce support team….in fact, it might even be worth skipping customer support and heading straight to the forums!
6.VALUE FOR MONEY
Ok, we’re heading into the end game now and it’s time to cover one of the most important factors when it comes to picking an ecommerce website builder: value for money
Wix is well known for offering a range of different premium plans. However, as we’re only looking at eCommerce store builders in this discussion, we’ll only look at the price plans that allow you to sell online.
Advanced ecommerce tools for the price of a coffee
Wix lets you create as many sites as you want before paying a cent, which sounds great until you realize that to sell online through Wix you MUST be subscribed to either the ‘eCommerce’ or ‘VIP’ paid premium plan.
It’s good news that Wix’s premium plans all offer pretty outstanding value.
For the price of a cup of coffee and a muffin, you get a host of ecommerce tools, front-of-the-queue support, 10GB storage and 20GB bandwidth – which is enough storage for 3000+ hi-resolution product photos and enough bandwidth to handle around 2 million visitors per month!
Wix’s eCommerce subscriptions give you access to dozens of additional premium templates, more apps, and a range of vouchers to help boost your store’s presence, such as Google Adword vouchers.
|Wix Ecommerce Pricing Plans||1-Year|
|eCommerce Premium (small business)||$17|
|VIP (power user)||$25|
Does being a specialized ecommerce building platform mean BigCommerce is justified in charging its users more than Wix does?
Investing in an expert ecommerce platform
BigCommerce charges almost double what Wix does for its cheapest ecommerce plan, and its premium themes and apps aren’t part of the package.
At a glance, it seems like a no-brainer – use Wix instead, right?
Well, ‘yes’ if you’re only planning a small store, but if you want a no-nonsense approach to business and anticipate your store growing quite large (e.g. beyond 50 products) then BigCommerce might be the better long-term investment.
BigCommerce exists purely for online traders, and its most basic plan includes the sort of specialist ecommerce features you’d have to dig up in Wix’s App Store, which makes building your store very easy. You can check out our in-depth BigCommerce cost breakdown to see to get into the nitty-gritty of it.
Even expensive BigCommerce templates can prove good value for money. Two hundred bucks might sound expensive for an expertly-designed, mobile-ready, ecommerce template, but consider this in the grand scheme of things:
Not only will your $200 investment in a theme give your online store a HUGE head start, but compared to the kind of cash you’d have to spend on a professional website designer to achieve the same end product, you’re probably saving thousands!
Remember, you can trial BigCommerce for 15 days before paying up, so it’s worth taking it for test-drive before committing.
|BigCommerce Pricing Plans||1-Year|
|Standard (basic store)||$29.95|
|Plus (grow and market your business)||$79.95|
|Pro (scale your business)||$249.95|