BigCommerce vs. Shopify: Choosing the Right eCommerce Store for You

Which eCommerce platform is right for you? There is no correct answer, it all depends on your unique, individual needs. But before you commit to an eCommerce platform, you want to make sure you are choosing the best option.

BigCommerce and Shopify are the two leading eCommerce platforms in the industry. Both platforms offer complete eCommerce solutions, customization of your store and management services. However, both platforms do have their differences, which is why you should take into consideration the features of each platform before choosing one to start your eCommerce store.

We’ve put together a comparison of the two platforms, their features and more:

Shopify puts the focus on the design of your eCommerce store, offering a great user experience and a diverse amount of themes to choose from within their library. Shopify’s user experience is very similar to WordPress, good for users who have used web-based tools in the past.

Users can also build stores around custom themes by piecing together Shopify’s themes or using a free theme within the platform. There are also premium themes available for purchase. Many of Shopify’s themes are created by third-party designers, giving the platform a strong ecosystem of designers and developers.

Shopify comes with the essential tools for managing an eCommerce store, including the ability to manage inventory, set pricing and taxes, customize shipping settings and showcase specific products. There are also additional features that will deepen marketing functions, SEO, and analytics tools. All of these features are available through the Shopify App Store, home to more than 500 apps to help add additional functions to any store.

BigCommerce, however, also puts an emphasis on store design with their platform. BigCommerce is a slightly newer platform – launched in 2009 as compared to Shopify which launched in 2006 – and has taken a more unique approach to the user experience within their platform. While Shopify is based on many of the web tools that users are typically familiar with, BigCommerce expands on this by adding more customization to basic tasks. For example, a user may have to go through a more detailed process to add a product to their store, but this process will include additional advanced options for users who want more detail and customization. One example of this more detailed customization is adding multiple, different images that change when customers select specific options.

Like Shopify, BigCommerce has an extensive theme library with free and premium options. While BigCommerce does not have as many themes as Shopify, the quality of the themes stands out and include the capabilities of responsive design and mobile browsing.

BigCommerce’s customization features stand out over Shopify’s more standard theme setup. Additional features with BigCommerce themes include built-in shipping quotes, gift certificates, product reviews and basic email marketing tools. Like Shopify, BigCommerce also has additional capabilities that can be added through an App Store; however, Shopify’s App Store is larger and provides more options.

So which platform is the better choice? Again, there is no correct answer. Both platforms have similar features and customization options to fit merchants’ needs.

If you are looking for a platform that has a great support system built around designers and developers, Shopify is probably the choice for you. With a greater range of themes, apps and a team of designers and developers, Shopify also has a simpler user interface that makes it easy for merchants to add products and set up options.

If you are looking for more detailed customization and to be heavily involved in the fine details of your store, BigCommerce is probably the better option. BigCommerce is a newer platform with more advanced features and functionality that users can get without having to utilize an App Store. BigCommerce also has a support system of designers and developers, like Shopify, but the platform is not as mature as Shopify and puts a greater focus on coding rather than a basic user interface.

Whether you are looking for a simple user experience or more customization, both Shopify and BigCommerce are leading eCommerce platforms because of their many features, themes and support.

Looking for more information about BigCommerce, Shopify and other eCommerce platforms? Continue reading the Genius eCommerce blog for updates, trends and news.

5 eCommerce Trends in 2018 You Should Know

The online space is constantly evolving with technology trends on a daily, weekly, monthly and yearly basis. Every new year brings on new trends and things you can do to position yourself for more success in the online and digital space.

eCommerce continues to grow as more people shift to an online buying experience. Even consumers who are still making purchases in-store are using online resources to research products before completing the purchase, making an online presence that much more important.

Here are 5 eCommerce trends in 2018 that you should know:

Social Media Optimization – Social media holds great importance in marketing in 2018. For eCommerce, many people get introduced to new products through social media, particularly Instagram and Pinterest posts. To get the most out of social media profiles and have them reach a larger audience to generate more traffic, ensure they are optimized.

Voice Search – With the creation of digital products such as Amazon Echo and Google Assistant, voice recognition is a more widespread phenomenon. These devices allow people to search for almost anything by just saying it out loud. With this new revolution in technology, eCommerce stores are able to take advantage. Optimizing your store for voice search is a popular trend that will drive additional traffic.

Chatbots – There are 1.3 billion users of Facebook Messenger, which tells you that the reach of online chatbots is at an all-time high. It is the perfect opportunity to take advantage of these features for marketing and promotion. For some larger companies, chatbots have not only been a way to promote a business or communicate with customers, but it has also been an additional way to complete orders. In the future, this will also become a more popular use of chatbots, so getting started and familiarized with these features now is advisable.

Easy Checkout – In today’s world, people want things to be quick and easy. In eCommerce, one way to do this is to make payment a seamless process. Payment options have opened the door to short-form checkout, slowing replacing the lengthy checkout process. Moving to one-click checkout options will make the process quick and easy for users.

ROPO – ROPO stands for research online, purchase offline. What this tool does for business owners is help them get an understanding of how well their digital advertising is helping with offline sales and activity within a store. This growing trend of the eCommerce industry helps track information from social media, geolocation details, mobile payments, in-store inventory and more to show how well digital advertising is working so business owners can create more targeted campaigns.

For more information on eCommerce trends, continue reading the Genius eCommerce blog for more updates. Our goal is to keep you informed and up to date on the latest eCommerce news.

Square to Acquire Weebly

eCommerce flows through every market possible, and that only seems to be snowballing. Square Inc. is a company that performs an oddity within all markets: massive success primarily through brick-and-mortar businesses. That’s quite an impressive feat, but it makes sense! This new form of payment brings the digital world to business and personal transactions in a way that other similar platforms have simply failed to do.

Square announced last week that they had “entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Weebly,” paying “a mix of cash and stock of approximately $365 million.” Square is already an impressively lucrative business, and this is a big move that business owners should pay attention to. Weebly offers a website platform filled with pre-made templates that allow businesses to create a better-made website, and free and premium plans offered, it’s quite popular. In fact, Weebly touts itself as being the “highest rated website building mobile app in the App Store and Google Play.” That’s no joke of a purchase!

Competition in the Market for Cheap eCommerce Platforms

What does this mean for eCommerce? The intention is to allow merchants to create an omnichannel business in which the combined tactics of Square and Weebly will be utilized. Once again, brick and mortar and eCommerce matchup in a huge way; this promises to become a pivotal platform for business owners everywhere. With Square’s customer base expanding through Weebly’s efforts, and Square’s incredible software flowing into Weebly’s typical services, global expansion is on its way.

This isn’t the first time that Square has delved into other markets; the acquisition of Caviar and Zesty come to mind. Weebly has been honing its sights on small businesses and eCommerce while maintaining the intuitive platform for individual use. One of Weebly’s few competent competitors? Ironically, Squarespace. Luckily, Square offers the potential for Weebly that Squarespace may not be able to keep up with.

Is Weebly Right For You?

Although Weebly may come off as a savior for those who are on a low budget, it isn’t a place to remain. Weebly offers a simple interface and intuitive user experience to those who cannot build their own website or small businesses that do not have the funds to start up. Once these funds are acquired, however, it is imperative to a business’s success to move to a better platform.

If you’re thinking about making the switch from your Weebly site, it’s time to consider what BigCommerce, Shopify, Volusion, Magento, and plenty of other better eCommerce platforms could do for you. Need help finding one? Stay tuned to Genius eCommerce for a thorough explanation of the benefits and downsides of each eCommerce platform!