Shopify Plus vs BigCommerce Enterprise: An In-Depth Comparison

When selecting an e-commerce platform for growing businesses, two of the heavyweights that often come to mind are Shopify Plus and BigCommerce Enterprise. These platforms offer a suite of features designed to accommodate the expanding needs of large-scale operations.

A bustling marketplace with two grand storefronts, one adorned with the Shopify Plus logo and the other with the BigCommerce Enterprise emblem, each vying for the attention of passing shoppers

Shopify Plus and BigCommerce Enterprise both tout a robust set of tools that cater to a high volume of sales, extensive product inventories, and complex operational requirements.

Each platform brings distinct advantages to the table, including ease of use, performance, and security features; however, they also have their own limitations and cost structures. This makes the evaluation process critical for businesses aiming to optimize their investment in an e-commerce platform.

Key Takeaways

  • Both platforms offer comprehensive solutions for large-scale e-commerce businesses.
  • Decision between the two should be based on specific business needs and growth plans.
  • Evaluating each platform’s features and support resources is essential for informed decision-making.

Overview of Shopify Plus and BigCommerce Enterprise

A bustling marketplace with Shopify Plus and BigCommerce Enterprise logos displayed prominently on storefronts, showcasing their features and benefits to potential customers

Shopify Plus and BigCommerce Enterprise are leading SaaS ecommerce platforms designed for high-volume merchants. They offer robust features and scalability to support the growth of large businesses.

Defining Shopify Plus and BigCommerce Enterprise

Shopify Plus is an enterprise-level offering from Shopify, a company that provides a comprehensive cloud-based commerce platform. It is designed to accommodate the complex needs of high-volume retailers and large-scale online merchants.

Shopify Plus aims to deliver an easy-to-use platform with an emphasis on brand control and customizable frontend and backend systems.

BigCommerce Enterprise, on the other hand, is BigCommerce’s advanced solution tailored for larger businesses that require extensive features and customizability.

It positions itself as a versatile platform with a strong focus on providing built-in sales tools and an open API for extensive customization.

Key Offerings of Each Platform

  • Shopify Plus includes:

    • Multi-channel selling capabilities with a reach to various platforms like eBay and Instagram.
    • High performance with the ability to handle up to 10,978 checkouts per minute.
    • Cutting-edge marketing tools, including custom promotions through Shopify Scripts.
    • A streamlined checkout process with features like Shop Pay which contributes to a faster checkout experience and higher conversion rates.
  • BigCommerce Enterprise offers:

    • A comprehensive set of built-in marketing solutions without the need for extensive app integrations.
    • SEO features that help in optimizing the online presence of businesses.
    • An open API for flexibility in customization and third-party app integration, although slightly smaller in scale than Shopify’s marketplace.
    • Expert support catered towards enterprise-level clientele and businesses.

Both platforms present their own advantages depending on the needs and goals of a business. Shopify Plus tends to provide an edge in user experience and theme design, whereas BigCommerce Enterprise capitalizes on built-in features and advanced SEO tools.

Ease of Use and User Interface

When assessing Shopify Plus and BigCommerce Enterprise, the ease of use and user interface stand out as significant factors for merchants who prioritize a straightforward setup and management experience.

Design Flexibility and Customization

Shopify Plus provides a user interface known for its clean design and intuitiveness.

They offer a variety of pre-made themes, which are generally less expensive, with prices not exceeding $180. These themes facilitate a swift launch of online stores, while still providing room for customization.

Additionally, Shopify Plus boasts an open API, allowing further personalization and integration capabilities.

In contrast, BigCommerce Enterprise prides itself on offering extensive out-of-the-box features, which enable a high degree of customization without the need for extensive coding.

It’s noted that while the BigCommerce platform’s user interface may be less intuitive for some users compared to Shopify, the breadth of design customization available allows merchants to create unique storefronts that stand out from the competition.

User-Friendly Platform Navigation

Both Shopify Plus and BigCommerce Enterprise have interfaces that facilitate user-friendly platform navigation.

Shopify Plus includes a robust app ecosystem, making it easy for users to enhance their store’s functionality.

Merchants can often find the right tools to manage their online store effectively within Shopify’s substantial app marketplace.

BigCommerce touts itself as a flexible and scalable ecommerce platform, hinting at an interface designed to grow with the merchant’s business.

BigCommerce’s approach to ease of use stems from a focus on empowering merchants to scale efficiently and grow without limits as described on their website.

However, BigCommerce may sometimes have a smaller app marketplace compared to Shopify, which could limit some merchants in terms of readily accessible plug-and-play solutions.

Features and Functionality

Choosing between Shopify Plus and BigCommerce Enterprise often revolves around the features and functionality that each platform offers. These can significantly affect a merchant’s daily operations and long-term growth.

Built-In Features and Extensions

Shopify Plus and BigCommerce Enterprise differ notably in their approach to built-in features and extensions.

BigCommerce Enterprise is often recognized for its robust out-of-the-box functionality, offering merchants a range of built-in features that may reduce the need for additional apps.

This includes an array of SEO tools, native product reviews, and a host of marketing and conversion features.

In contrast, while Shopify Plus provides a large app store to extend its capabilities, it can lead to increased costs due to app subscriptions.

Product Management and Options

When it comes to product management and customization of product options, both platforms offer powerful tools.

BigCommerce Enterprise has a slight edge with its options for complex product catalogues, owing to its flexible product options and rules which allow easy management of various SKU variants.

Shopify Plus, on the other hand, facilitates a user-friendly interface that simplifies product management for merchants, but may require additional apps for more advanced options.

Inventory and Sales Management

For inventory and sales management, both platforms are designed to support large-scale businesses, but they manage inventory through different mechanisms.

Shopify Plus leverages its app ecosystem, providing diverse apps to tailor the inventory management process.

BigCommerce Enterprise, meanwhile, has extensive inventory management features built into its core, which aims to streamline operations for B2B businesses and merchants with complex inventory needs. Sales reporting tools are robust on both platforms, providing insights that help guide business decisions.

Performance and Security

When assessing the ecommerce platforms Shopify Plus and BigCommerce Enterprise, one must consider the technical aspects that directly impact user experience and trust. These include site speed and uptime, as well as the security measures in place, such as SSL certificates.

Site Speed and Uptime

Shopify Plus boasts a robust infrastructure that leads to 60% faster checkout and a strong track record for uptime. This ensures that stores remain operational and responsive even during high traffic periods.

They achieve high performance through a globally distributed server network.

BigCommerce Enterprise also provides a reliable platform with a focus on high uptime and performance, supporting businesses as they scale.

Its platform is designed to handle high volume traffic and transactions efficiently, without compromising on speed.

Security Measures and SSL Certificates

Both platforms take security seriously and offer a variety of measures to protect online stores.

Shopify Plus and BigCommerce Enterprise ensure PCI DSS compliance as a baseline.

Shopify Plus enhances security with SSL certificates for all stores, providing a secure connection and helping to improve trust with customers. Furthermore, they conduct 24/7 monitoring to quickly address any security vulnerabilities.

BigCommerce Enterprise also offers free SSL certificates, but differentiates itself with advanced security options and features for increased customization.

Their platform facilitates the implementation of various security layers tailored to an enterprise’s specific needs.

Pricing and Transaction Fees

When comparing Shopify Plus and BigCommerce Enterprise, it’s important for businesses to evaluate their pricing structures and transaction fees thoroughly to determine the total cost of ownership.

Comparing Cost Structures

Shopify Plus offers a custom pricing model that tends to start at around $2000 per month.

The cost is partly dependent on the merchant’s volume of sales, and there is no one-size-fits-all price; businesses negotiate based on their specific needs and size.

In contrast, BigCommerce Enterprise also employs a custom pricing approach, but details about its base rate are less commonly disclosed publicly.

Occasionally, it’s suggested that BigCommerce’s rates commence at approximately a $1000 monthly base.

Additional Costs and Considerations

Beyond the base rate, enterprises must consider transaction fees, especially when not using the platforms’ internal payment solutions.

Shopify Plus has a remarkably low transaction fee of 0.15% for merchants, but this fee applies only when using Shopify Payments. If a third-party gateway is chosen, the fee could vary.

On the other hand, BigCommerce Enterprise boasts no transaction fees, which can be financially beneficial for businesses processing a high volume of transactions.

Credit card processing fees are another vital financial element. These are standard fees that apply to online transactions, which can vary based on the chosen payment processor.

Additionally, enterprises may face a development fee when customizing their platform. The incurred cost can depend greatly on the complexity of the modifications and integrations needed.

The total cost of owning and operating either platform extends to these development expenses, which should be factored into overall budgeting.

Scalability and Growth Potential

When evaluating Shopify Plus and BigCommerce Enterprise, it’s crucial to consider how each platform supports a business’s ability to scale up.

Key factors include handling an expanding product catalog and adapting to spikes in traffic and sales volume.

Support for Expanding Product Catalogs

Shopify Plus offers merchants a robust solution for growing their product catalog.

It supports an unlimited number of products and SKUs, which is essential for businesses that foresee a continuous expansion of their offerings.

Furthermore, its extensive app ecosystem enables retailers to add complex functionalities that assist with inventory management as the number of products increases.

BigCommerce Enterprise also shines in this aspect, perhaps even more so for wholesalers.

It is designed to manage a large product assortment with ease, boasting features that help automate bulk pricing changes and streamline category management.

Its open API fosters extensive customization, addressing specific needs that arise as product ranges broaden.

Adapting to Increased Traffic and Sales

Handling increased traffic and sales requires a robust infrastructure.

Shopify Plus is engineered to accommodate surges without performance hiccups, leveraging its cloud-based architecture to maintain fast load times and uptime even during high-volume periods.

This capability ensures that businesses can depend on the platform during critical sales events and promotions.

Similarly, BigCommerce Enterprise prioritizes scalability in terms of traffic.

It delivers a combination of native features and third-party applications that optimize site performance.

Businesses can trust that their storefront will remain resilient during traffic spikes, thanks to BigCommerce’s advanced SEO capabilities and server resources designed to scale with the merchant’s growth.

Integration and API Capabilities

In the competition between Shopify Plus and BigCommerce Enterprise, the integration and API capabilities are critical for merchants looking to scale and tailor their e-commerce platforms to unique business needs.

Third-Party Apps and Services

Shopify Plus boasts a considerable advantage with its extensive app marketplace, which provides users with a wealth of options to extend the functionality of their online store.

The apps available range from marketing tools to advanced analytics, allowing for seamless integration with a myriad of third-party services.

Shopify Plus’s market is known for its comprehensiveness, which can contribute to elevated workflow automation and efficiency.

BigCommerce Enterprise, on the other hand, also understands the importance of third-party apps and services in e-commerce operations.

While the BigCommerce app marketplace may offer fewer options than Shopify’s, it provides key integrations that are highly relevant for enterprise-level businesses.

BigCommerce focuses on delivering quality over quantity, ensuring that the available apps meet a high standard useful for B2B and B2C businesses.

API Access and Customization

When it comes to API Access and Customization, both platforms enable a high level of personalized user experiences and integration capabilities through their open APIs.

BigCommerce Enterprise offers an edge in terms of API calls, where merchants can enjoy more data transfer allowance.

This facilitates managing large catalogs and high-volume orders without running into API rate limits frequently.

Shopify Plus also provides comprehensive API access, allowing merchants to customize their storefronts and integrate with external systems effectively.

The platform’s focus on scalability is evident in its API’s capability to handle heavy customizations and specific business logic.

Both Shopify Plus and BigCommerce Enterprise APIs support the integration of custom fields, ensuring that businesses can tailor their platforms to align with intricate data management and reporting requirements.

This empowers users to create a fully customized e-commerce environment that serves unique business processes and workflows efficiently.

Marketing and SEO Tools

A bustling marketplace with colorful signs for "Shopify Plus" and "BigCommerce Enterprise" tools. Customers browse and compare features, while sales reps engage in lively discussions

When comparing Shopify Plus and BigCommerce Enterprise, one discovers distinct differences in their marketing and SEO tool offerings, each platform aimed at enhancing marketing strategies and search engine optimization for businesses.

SEO Features and Customization

BigCommerce Enterprise places a significant emphasis on SEO capabilities, providing businesses with customizable URLs and automatic sitemap generation.

These features assist in boosting a website’s visibility and ranking on search engines. Additionally, clients can exercise substantial control over SEO elements to fine-tune their online presence.

Shopify Plus, on the other hand, facilitates a 60% faster checkout experience, which indirectly affects SEO by improving user engagement and reducing bounce rates, a positive signal to search engine algorithms.

Shopify Plus also ensures that businesses have access to a suite of apps via its app marketplace to supplement their SEO strategies.

Promotions and Discount Tools

With Shopify Plus, merchants can create custom promotions through Shopify Scripts, which can lead to a 20% higher average order volume.

The platform’s integration with Shop Pay Installments also helps in driving higher conversion rates and average order values while reducing cart abandonment rates.

Conversely, BigCommerce Enterprise offers a robust set of features for managing promotions.

These include built-in discounts and couponing tools, which give businesses the flexibility to design various promotional strategies that can be pivotal in increasing conversion rates and scaling marketing efforts.

Payment and Checkout Experience

A customer completes a seamless checkout on Shopify Plus, while a clunky and frustrating process unfolds on BigCommerce Enterprise

In the realm of e-commerce platforms, the efficiency and versatility of payment processing and checkout experiences play significant roles.

Shopify Plus and BigCommerce Enterprise offer diverse payment solutions and advanced checkout features, aiming to enhance the buying process from start to finish.

Supported Payment Gateways and Options

Shopify Plus offers an integrated payment service known as Shopify Payments.

This service facilitates a smooth transaction process by supporting a wide range of payment methods, including major credit cards and local payment options.

Additionally, they offer multi-currency functionality, which allows customers to shop and check out in their local currency.

Shopify Payments’ credit card processing fees are considered competitive, with certain reductions for domestic transactions on major cards.

BigCommerce Enterprise also provides a robust selection of payment gateways, enabling businesses to connect with global payment solutions.

They support the integration of various gateways, which must be considered by businesses looking for compatibility with local payment options or aiming to offer an international shopping experience.

However, the specific rates and fees for using these gateways can vary based on the chosen provider.

Checkout Customization and Features

The checkout experience on Shopify Plus is notably customizable.

Merchants can leverage their customizable checkout to improve conversion rates by optimizing the checkout flow and tailoring it to their specific needs.

Features such as Shop Pay enhance the checkout process further by making it up to 60% faster, which can lead to higher conversion.

Shopify Plus users can also use Shopify flow and Shopify Scripts for custom promotions, aiming at a 20% higher average order volume.

BigCommerce Enterprise distinguishes itself with its native B2B capabilities and headless commerce functionality, which can result in a more tailored and potentially seamless checkout experience.

Its checkout features are designed to facilitate omnichannel selling, which offers a comprehensive, unified experience across various sales channels.

It also supports multi-currency checkout, allowing customers to complete purchases in various currencies. However, it’s noted that BigCommerce may feature some template restrictions that could affect the checkout customization process.

Customer Support and Resources

Both Shopify Plus and BigCommerce Enterprise prioritize strong customer support systems and a wealth of educational resources to empower their users.

They understand that support and resources are critical to merchant success and user satisfaction.

A bustling office with employees assisting clients, shelves stocked with resources, and logos of Shopify Plus and BigCommerce Enterprise displayed prominently

Availability of Support Channels

Shopify Plus offers 24/7 support through a variety of channels, including phone, email, and live chat.

This ensures that merchants can get assistance whenever they need it.

Meanwhile, BigCommerce Enterprise also provides round-the-clock support as well as specialized support from an account manager.

This can be a substantial benefit for businesses that prefer a more personalized touch.

Educational and Community Resources

In terms of resources, Shopify Plus boasts an abundance of tutorials, guides, and a community forum where merchants can exchange ideas and solutions.

These resources are designed to help users maximize their use of the platform, providing helpful insights into best practices for e-commerce businesses.

BigCommerce Enterprise, on the other hand, stands out with its extensive documentation and community support, giving users access to a trove of valuable information and peer assistance.

Enterprise Solutions and Advanced Features

When selecting an enterprise-level ecommerce platform, businesses must evaluate the B2B features, wholesale capabilities, automation, and advanced workflows available.

Both Shopify Plus and BigCommerce Enterprise offer a suite of powerful tools tailored for large-scale operations, but they differ in the specifics of their offerings.

B2B Features and Wholesale Capabilities

Shopify Plus provides businesses with a dedicated wholesale channel that makes it possible to create a separate, password-protected storefront.

This storefront is specifically designed for B2B transactions, allowing for custom pricing, bulk discounts, and tiered pricing based on customer accounts, which can be crucial for wholesale operations.

BigCommerce Enterprise, on the other hand, boasts native B2B features that are directly integrated into its platform.

These features facilitate segmented customer groups with custom pricing levels, bulk pricing rates, and purchase order management, enabling businesses to cater to the varied requirements of wholesale clients effectively.

Automation and Advanced Workflows

Shopify Plus comes with an advanced automation platform known as Shopify Flow which helps streamline tasks and processes.

With this tool, businesses can design and implement custom workflows that trigger actions based on specific events, such as tagging high-value customers for exclusive offers or auto-replenishing popular products when stock levels fall.

Contrastingly, BigCommerce Enterprise offers a similar functionality through its seamless integration capabilities with external automation software.

These capabilities allow for complex workflow customizations to enhance operational efficiency, from order processing to inventory management, and can integrate with various third-party apps to extend functionality without additional development.

Evaluation and Selection Criteria

Two platforms, Shopify Plus and BigCommerce Enterprise, compared side by side with a checklist and rating system

Selecting the right e-commerce platform requires an in-depth look at the specific requirements and financial boundaries of a business.

This evaluation must hinge on a thorough comparison to ensure the chosen solution scales seamlessly with business growth, whether for a small startup or a large corporation.

Assessing Business Needs and Goals

A business must define its primary e-commerce needs by evaluating factors like product management, the volume of transactions, and required customizations.

Small businesses may prioritize ease of use and affordability, while larger operations may need advanced features and robust integrations.

Shopify Plus, as mentioned, offers a base rate typically starting at around $2000 per month, which includes access to pre-made themes and a lower credit card processing fee.

On the other hand, BigCommerce Enterprise’s custom pricing is set depending on the scope and size of the business, with considerations for the platform’s slightly more affordable options at similar scales.

Making the Final Decision

When making the final decision, a company must align its budget with the potential return on investment from the platform.

They must consider the transaction fees, monthly costs, and any additional expenses for apps or custom development.

For instance, BigCommerce may offer a more intuitive user interface for some users, but Shopify Plus is noted for its extensive 24/7 support and merchant success services.

The decision should be data-driven, taking into account the long-term business trajectory and current financial constraints.


Two powerful e-commerce platforms face off in a dynamic showdown, each boasting their unique features and benefits. The competition is fierce as they battle for the top spot in the enterprise market

Selecting between Shopify Plus and BigCommerce Enterprise entails careful consideration of each platform’s offerings and how they align with a business’s specific needs.

Shopify Plus is frequently esteemed for its robust app ecosystem and advanced automation capabilities. Its pricing begins at approximately $2000 per month, with a variable structure grounded in a business’s sales volume.

On the other hand, BigCommerce Enterprise is recognized for its comprehensive set of out-of-the-box features and an emphasis on customizability. Its credit card processing fees tend to be higher than those of Shopify Plus. However, BigCommerce does not publicly disclose a starting rate for its enterprise solution.

Businesses might find Shopify Plus advantageous if they prioritize a faster checkout experience and desire a higher conversion rate with tools such as Shop Pay.

Conversely, BigCommerce may be preferable for merchants seeking a platform that can accommodate more complex product catalogs without the need for extensive third-party apps.

Frequently Asked Questions

A bustling marketplace with two rival storefronts, one labeled "Shopify Plus" and the other "BigCommerce Enterprise," each adorned with vibrant banners and eager customers seeking answers

Exploring the differences between Shopify Plus and BigCommerce Enterprise is essential for business owners making informed decisions about their ecommerce platform.

What are the primary differences in features between Shopify Plus and BigCommerce Enterprise?

Shopify Plus typically offers lower credit card processing fees and a wider variety of pre-made themes compared to BigCommerce Enterprise. BigCommerce, on the other hand, presents an open API which allows for extensive customization.

How do Shopify Plus and BigCommerce Enterprise compare in terms of pricing and value for money?

The pricing structure of Shopify Plus is generally more transparent, with packages starting around $2000 a month, whereas detailed pricing specifics for BigCommerce Enterprise might require direct inquiry.

Can you explain the scalability potential of Shopify Plus versus BigCommerce Enterprise for growing businesses?

Both platforms are designed to handle growth, with Shopify Plus and BigCommerce Enterprise offering scalable solutions for increasing traffic and sales without significant maintenance overhead.

Which platform offers better support and resources for large online stores, Shopify Plus or BigCommerce Enterprise?

Shopify Plus provides users with 24/7 support through a dedicated Merchant Success Manager, emphasizing strong technical support.

What are the advantages of choosing Shopify Plus over BigCommerce Enterprise for an enterprise-level operation?

A key advantage of Shopify Plus is its more competitive credit card processing fees and lower-cost themes, which can be important for businesses looking to minimize costs.

How do Shopify Plus and BigCommerce Enterprise differ in their approach to integrations and third-party apps?

While both platforms have extensive app marketplaces, BigCommerce’s app marketplace can be a bit smaller.

However, it provides an open API for deep customization, which could be more suitable for some enterprise needs.

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