Big Cartel vs Shopify Pros, Cons, Add Ons, and Integrations

Big Cartel vs Shopify is a debate that seems to be here to stay for ecommerce merchants. BigCartel has its share of loyal customers who believe it is the best online selling platform. Shopify, however, boasts a large following.

No matter which side you are on, there is one thing certain: you want the best online store. Shopify is a well-known platform due to its powerful ecommerce features. This alone would have made it an easy contest, but Big Cartel isn’t a pushover. It is also an established ecommerce platform that can be used to sell creatives.

Let’s settle the Shopify vs Big Cartel debate now. To create a Big Cartel vs Shopify detailed report, we have thoroughly evaluated each ecommerce platform.



This article doesn’t need any introduction. Shopify is a well-known name in the ecommerce industry.

The ecommerce platform was launched in 2006, despite the fact that the company was founded in 2004. Shopify was founded in 2004 but it wasn’t until 2008 that the company began to make profits as a SaaS solution.

Shopify is a leader in digital selling. Shopify is a platform that offers web hosting and a variety of shopping cart functions, as well as many third-party integrations. This makes it ideal for almost all kinds of online businesses, even art.

Shopify is proud to have hosted more than 2,000,000 sites over the years. Nearly half of these sites are currently live.

Big Cartel

Big Cartel offers a reliable cloud-based shopping cart solution that comes with decent ecommerce features. Big Cartel is not like Shopify. Instead, it focuses on a different market. Since 2005, it has been focusing on artists and creatives.

It’s fair enough. It’s not a mistake to write it off. You can see that it is not a small-time operation from our Big Cartel Review. According to independent web usage statistics, the platform hosts more than 70,000 online shops. Most of these stores are run by creatives such as musicians, crafters, and designers.

Big Cartel’s emphasis on easy ecommerce tools is one of the first things that you will notice when you arrive at its website. It manages the entire process, from site creation and hosting to managing your online shop.


The ecommerce solutions are available for more than a decade. Big Cartel’s powerful web hosting, site-building, and online store management tools have helped Shopify to build a large following.

Big Cartel is a company that targets creatives but it’s widely regarded as one of the best Shopify alternatives. This is mainly due to the obvious overlap in user demographics between them.

The Shopify can be used by Big Cartel’s creatives to create a variety of business-friendly designs. They offer a variety of functionalities, however.

Let’s find out which one works best.

Shopify vs Big Cartel – Pros and Cons

Every website builder, ecommerce tool and similar solutions has its own pros and cons. While some products are simpler to use, others may not offer the highest level of security. Some products require more coding knowledge, while others allow you to create a more complex ecommerce website. These are the pros and cons of Big Cartel and Shopify.

Shopify Pros

  • You can sell across many channels, including social media.
  • Amazing selection of inventory options
  • Shopify Store has great eCommerce functionality
  • For beginners, it is very easy to use
  • There are many add-ons available in the app market
  • Intuitive editor for your website
  • Many community supports

Shopify Cons

  • Transaction fees
  • No single page checkout
  • Integrations can be costly

Big Cartel Pros

  • It’s easy to sell online, for no cost
  • Excellent onboarding process
  • It’s easy to get started for users new to the site
  • Ideal for unique and one-of-a kind products
  • Mobile-friendly websites
  • Free plan available
  • Many templates available for free

Conspiracy of Big Cartel

  • Website features lack depth
  • Poor theme designs
  • There are very few customization options

Main Features


Big Cartel

It’s easy to set up a store on Big Cartel. Once you have uploaded your product images, all that is left to do is determine the price and choose a store theme. This is all you need to sell your products.

The user interface is also very simple. The overall layout is minimalistic, even for startups and beginners. It’s easy to learn about Big Cartel’s functionality. If you have any questions, the Help section of Big Cartel’s website has your back. This section explains everything.


Shopify’s user-friendliness is one of its main strengths. The platform’s multi-faceted engine is complex, but it’s designed to be simple and systematic.

For example, you only need to add your products, modify your theme, create a domain and specify your tax and shipping details. A responsive theme editor is available to help you improve the overall look of your store before it goes live.

The Verdict (Winner: Shopify).

Big Cartel and Shopify were designed to be simple and easy to use for beginners, small businesses, and startups. However, I think Shopify’s interface is slightly better than Big Cartel’s because it’s more responsive and offers more functionality.

Shopify won the first round in the Big Cartel Vs Shopify contest.

Web Design

Big Cartel

Big Cartel isn’t letting its customers down when it comes designing websites. You get 16 mobile-optimized themes right away, all completely free.

You might think 16 is too low. You’re correct, but we could let Big Cartel have some fun since they won’t charge a penny for any of their products. They are also well-designed for art-based online shops.

Big Cartel also allows theme customization. The tweaking options available are limited, so don’t be too generous. It’s not possible to make changes to the mobile version of your website. However, this might not be necessary as the layout adjusts automatically on mobile devices.

The typical photographer or artist is the kind of person who would quickly fall in love Big Cartel’s website templates. You don’t have to be one of these people, as the site builder seems not to be interested in other industries.

Novice coders are another group that could have problems. While the majority of the theme elements can easily be modified without the need to code, it is quite difficult to create a completely personalized website. For dynamic tweaks such as adding or editing images, you will need to have coding skills.


Shopify may not be as powerful as Squarespace and Wix in terms of designing websites. It does provide all the tools you need to create an online store for any business category.

For starters, Big Cartel’s site templates are significantly outnumbered by the included template. Shopify professionals have created 71 attractive themes for you to choose from.

Only 11 of these templates are available for free. They support many edits but the most customizable options are more expensive. Unfortunately, they are not inexpensive. The least expensive is $140, while the most costly option is $20 below $200.

However, the pricing may make sense once you get to editing. Shopify themes offer more customization options than the standard to allow you to create a unique online store that stands out from the rest.

You know what? This is possible with very little effort. Many site elements can be customized without any programming experience.

Shopify does not exclude professional developers. They can use their coding skills and edit themes at a deeper level. You should therefore be able build an online store that is complex enough to serve a growing middle-sized business.

You can customize your website in many ways. Shopify themes are optimized for mobile devices by default. However, you can customize the mobile version of your site to suit your needs.

The Verdict (Winner: Shopify).

Big Cartel’s web design process for its website is simple, and it offers more free themes. Shopify, however, is a significant step ahead. Shopify offers 71 templates options and more customization options.

Shopify is the clear winner in this round.

Online Store Management

Big Cartel

Big Cartel was originally designed to help small businesses that only deal with one item. The free plan can support up to five products while the most expensive plan allows you to go 300.

You might be wondering if 300 is the right number. There are only 300 pieces. There are only 300 pieces.

It is impossible to upload multiple products at once. Each item must be added individually. If you are dealing with an ever-growing business, you may want to look at other platforms.

The next selling step is easy. Big Cartel offers SEO features that will help you attract customers, as well as discounts to increase your conversion rate. Order tracking can be used to track every purchase and follow up with fulfillment. Big Cartel’s Facebook integration might be a good option to expand your selling capabilities.

Nevertheless, the abandoned cart recovery function is missing. This is quite unfortunate considering that the abandonment rate of an online store is typically between 60-60%.

The leads that you convert successfully can be paid through Square, Stripe or PayPal. These are the most well-known payment processors. However, Big Cartel would appreciate more options.

However, you won’t have to pay Big Cartel any transaction fees. This platform has a zero transaction fees policy. It basically means that the transaction amount is deducted only from the card processing fees of the payment gateway.

Big Cartel is not PCI compliant, so it is important to note that cards are not covered by Big Cartel. When you process card payments, you may be subject to some industry guidelines.

All things being equal, here are a few highlights of Big Cartel’s online store management tools:

  • IOS App for Management on-the-Go
  • Selling digital products
  • Inventory tracking 24/7
  • Automated order confirmation emails
  • Tracking your order
  • Export of bulk order history
  • SEO features
  • Product discount codes
  • Integration with Facebook
  • Mobile POS for brick and mortar stores
  • Google Analytics support
  • Checkout as a guest


The Shopify inventory management function is simply amazing. There is no limit to how many items you can add. You can upload the items individually or in bulk.

At this point, you can edit many product attributes such as price, description and title. You also have the option to change their unique SKUs. You can also add custom images to the product page and modify the shipping options as well as SEO features.

Shopify’s customer segmentation allows you to target specific leads and group them into groups. Dropshipping integrations, guest checkout support and automatic shipping rate calculators and tax calculators can all be used. Inventory tracking, product discounts and social media integrations are also available.

Shopify excels in multi-channel sales. To expand beyond your website, you can set up secondary selling points via Facebook, third-party sites, external online marketplaces such as Amazon, or offline brick-and mortar stores. The inventory can be linked and coordinated in real time to allow you to track all sales simultaneously.

Shopify also offers abandoned cart recovery in the event that a customer is lost during checkout. This service not only offers recovery emails but also provides a detailed analysis of abandonment cases. It is very useful if you are trying to find out the possible reasons for abandonment and the affected products.

Shopify is a dynamic and powerful online store management platform. After facilitating everything, Shopify surprises you at the last transaction stage. Shopify deducts transaction fees from every payment you make, even though you have paid a monthly subscription fee.

There are many payment processors available. Shopify Payments can be avoided entirely and you can leverage other worldwide accessible gateways. Unfortunately, this won’t save your from Shopify’s transaction charges. Shopify also takes deductions for payments processed through third-party gateways.

These are Shopify’s store management tools:

  • Unlimited store products
  • Unlimitless product categories
  • Variations in product
  • Import and export of bulk inventory
  • Multi-lingual management interface
  • Management apps for mobile devices
  • Customer segmentation
  • Dropshipping apps
  • 50 languages for checkout
  • Support for guest checkout
  • Shipping rates automatically calculated by carriers
  • Recovery of abandoned carts
  • Calculator for automatic tax
  • Check out your domain
  • SEO features
  • Product discounts
  • Integration of social media
  • Multiple sales channels
  • Analytics built-in

The Verdict (Winner: Shopify).

You’ve probably figured it out already. Big Cartel’s sales capabilities are not comparable to Shopify’s. Shopify offers many store management functions, as well as a variety of payment gateway options. There is also an extensive app store. Third-party apps can be used to expand your ecommerce capabilities.

Big Cartel is a great choice for startups and small businesses that are more inclined to individual items. It cannot be scaled dynamically as your company grows.

Shopify is, therefore, a better online store management platform.

Integrations and Add-Ons

Big Cartel

Big Cartel allows for a few decent app integrations. The most popular is Facebook. It connects your inventory to Facebook and allows you to sell directly through the social network.

Big Cartel’s mobile POS integration allows you to link your secondary brick-and-mortar shop with its online counterpart. You can also accept card payments via iPad and iPhone with the iOS app.

Big Cartel also supports app integrations with payment processors, domain providers, store management, store management, purchase processing, store management, manufacturing and shipping, order fulfillment plus marketing, promotion, and other services.

You should know this: Zapier allows you to integrate additional services with your Zapier account. However, this is still nothing when compared to the Shopify offerings.


The Shopify App Store has a remarkable reputation. You can integrate more than 1500 apps to use almost all ecommerce functions.

You have many options to improve your store’s reporting and productivity, finance management and security, customer service, inventory management and orders and shipping, conversions, sales and marketing, design, selling channels and many other things.

Third-party integrations can be costly. The cost of managing and maintaining your online store can continue to rise as premium options become more expensive.

The Verdict (Winner: Shopify).

Shopify is clearly ahead of Big Cartel in integrations, it’s clear.

Big Cartel’s limited integrations wouldn’t be enough for an average art business with a few needs. Online and offline sales should be possible. You can also enhance the functionality of your online store to better serve customers. If you are looking to improve your store’s functionality, Shopify App Store is your best choice. It has over 1500 integrations.

Customer Support

Big Cartel

If you have any questions, I recommend that you first consult Big Cartel’s knowledgebase. These articles are organized in a way that makes it easy to navigate. You should be able sort through the articles in seconds and find what you are looking for.

But, if that doesn’t pan out, you can email Big Cartel directly using Unfortunately, the support team cannot be reached 24/7. They will only respond between 9 and 6 EST on Monday through Friday.

You could also use Twitter. Big Cartel’s support team responds to users via their @ bigcartelhandle.

That’s it. Big Cartel does not offer live chat or phone support.


Shopify is a customer support platform that seems to be the stuff of legends. It offers technical support through all channels: email, live chat and phone.

Guess what? You can reach the support team 24/7. You should be able contact them even at night.

These options are sufficient for most online shops, but there’s more. The platform also provides dedicated support agents for Shopify Plususers. This is a very nice addition, don’t ya think?


Shopify is a serious customer support provider, while Big Cartel has limited options. The company’s agents can be reached via phone, email, and live chat 24 hours a day. Compare this to Big Cartel’s team that is only available via email during standard EST hours.

We can therefore agree that Shopify is a better option than Big Cartel.

Shopify vs Big Cartel Prices

When building an online shop, pricing is a key consideration. It’s important to choose something that will deliver great benefits for your brand without consuming your budget. Big Cartel and Shopify have very clear pricing policies.

Big Cartel Pricing

Big Cartel plans include the possibility to sell 5 products free of charge. Although you don’t need a credit card, you will need to provide some information in order to manage your website. The “Gold” package includes support for one product image, custom themes and real-time stats. You can also use your own domain.

The free service includes discounts, promotions, and shipment tracking. This is quite impressive. Online and offline sales are possible. You can upgrade to a premium plan by choosing:

  • Big Cartel Platinum:$9.99 a month for up 50 products, five images per item, free custom themes and the option to sell online and in person. Real-time stats and custom domain support are available. Theme code editing, inventory tracking and google analytics is also available. Discounts and promotions can be made, bulk editing can be done, tracking can be tracked, product options and sales tax autopilot.
  • Big Cartel Diamond $19.99 per Month for all the Platinum features plus bulk editing, sales-tax auto pilot and up to 250 products
  • Big Cartel Titanium – $29.99 per Month for all features of Diamond and support for up 500 products

Big Cartel offers packages that eliminate listing fees, so you can make as much money as possible. All options are available for monthly payment. You cannot choose to pay annually to receive a discount.

Shopify Pricing

Shopify has a simple pricing structure. A 14-day free trial is available to test the functionality. No credit card needed. The Lite plan of Shopify starts at $9 per month. Although the Lite package does not allow you to use Shopify’s advanced features, it allows you to add a Buy button to an existing website or blog.

Additional packages include:

  • Basic Shopify:$29 a month for unlimited products and 2 staff accounts. You can also create manual orders, SSL certificates, discount codes and abandoned cart recovery. Gift cards, POS Lite and support for up 5 languages and 133 foreign currencies. Transaction fees start at 2.2% for online credit cards and 20cs for in-person credit card cards. There are 2% additional fees.
  • Shopify: $79 a month for all features of Basic, plus 5 staff accounts, 5 locations, professional reports and manual foreign exchange rates. Transaction fees start at 1.9% plus 20c for online credit cards and 1.6% for in person cards. There are also 1% additional fees.
  • Advanced Shopify – $299 per month to access all features of Shopify, 15 staff accounts, up 8 locations, advanced report builders, and third-party calculated shipping prices. Transaction fees start at 1.6% for online cards and 20c for in-person cards. There are 0.5% additional fees.

Shopify Plus is also available as an enterprise solution. It starts at $2,000 per month and includes a wide range of additional features such as access to AR/3D media for product pages, custom checkouts, 99.99% uptime guarantee, and many more.

Shopify pricing assumes that you will be paying annually. If you pay per-month, you might have a slightly different fee. Shopify Payments is the only way to avoid transaction charges. Shopify Payments, Shopify’s unique transactional system, allows you to take online payments. Although the solution has a lot to offer, not every store owner will find it appealing.

Payment Processing

Big Cartel accounts allow you to accept orders via an iOS app, in person, and even through a Point of Sale. Venmo, Stripe, PayPal and Stripe are all options for business owners. This is not as many options as Shopify, but it is still a good number.

Shopify’s paid plans offer more flexibility than other top tools such as WordPress and BigCommerce. Shopify plugins can be used with more than 100 third party payment gateways. You can use Shopify Payments, which is the Shopify-integrated payment solution.

Shopify offers a wide range of add-ons that make it easy to update your storefront and offer payment options for everything, from Etsy to in person selling. Even tutorials can be accessed on how to use Mailchimp to create transactional email messages. There are additional charges for these extra features.

Big Cartel offers you some flexibility in payment options and allows you to modify your site with CSS or HTML. You don’t even have to pay extra fees.