If you haven't moved your business online, now is the time.
Over time, selling goods and services online has gotten simpler than ever. Entrepreneurs have countless eCommerce platforms to choose from. You need to make various decisions when you break into eCommerce, including your business model, what to sell, and how to market your business to the right audience.
One of the most important things to decide on is the eCommerce platform to build your online store. BigCommerce and WooCommerce are popular for hosting large numbers of online businesses. These website builders help you establish, design, and run online stores.
Many people on the internet are confused if BigCommerce and WooCommerce are the same services. You're in the right place if you seek clarity on the topic.
In this article, we’re going to cover the complete review of WooCommerce vs BigCommerce 2022. Let’s start!
Closed Source vs Open Source Ecommerce Platforms
Before comparing BigCommerce and WooCommerce, let’s learn the difference between an open source and a closed source eCommerce platform.
The eCommerce platform for online store development should meet your target audience’s needs. Your website builder choice will impact your website's quality, performance, and functionality. Cost shouldn’t be your focus because some cost-effective plans don’t offer full eCommerce features. Some are not bundled with hosting and might miss other features.
You will come across two options while picking an eCommerce platform for your website,e including a closed source and open source platform.
Let’s find out the difference between the two. Following are the main differences between an open and closed source platform.
Open Source Ecommerce Platforms
An open-source eCommerce platform is a software anyone can use, change, copy or distribute. There are various examples of open-source eCommerce platforms, including Mozilla Firefox., LibreOffice, Linux, and more. WooCommerce is a popular open-source eCommerce plugin developed for WordPress.
Open source eCommerce platforms allow software developers to edit the source code. Open access to the code makes it easier to make improvements to the online store. The shelf life of an open source platform is longer than a closed source software. It is because open-source software is constantly improved and maintained by a community of software developers.
As a result, the open source software functionalities evolve and improve with the advice and support of the community.
The open source eCommerce platform codes are truly owned by the creators. They have the complete freedom of doing anything they want to the code. It allows them to use the base code while simultaneously customizing it.
Closed Source Ecommerce Platforms
You need to pay to use a closed-source eCommerce platform. Such eCommerce website builders are proprietary pieces of software no one can edit. The features already built into the software are accessible to the developers. You get what you see when you work with a close source eCommerce platform.
To upgrade the software, you will have to pay for every feature you integrate into the platform. For small businesses, third-party integration is not easy to afford or maintain. The developers might need entirely new software to integrate eCommerce functionalities, including shipping, market, and more.
On the contrary, you can easily integrate these solutions into open-source eCommerce platforms such as WooCommerce with just a plugin.
Also, the closed source eCommerce platforms require developers to update the software. If the current software doesn’t offer the functionality you need, the developer will have to arrange another software that may or may be compatible with your platform.
The licensing cost is another major concern when choosing an eCommerce website builder. Closed source eCommerce platforms come with an annual licensing fee. Open source software is free to use. Also, various closed-source eCommerce software doesn’t offer hosting services.
Is BigCommerce the same as WooCommerce?
To put it simply, no. BigCommerce and WooCommerce are separate entities.
What is the difference between BigCommerce and WooCommerce?
BigCommerce and WooCommerce are competitors in the same market. WooCommerce operates as a plugin for the website building giant WordPress, while BigCommerce is a separately hosted eCommerce platform. Each has its own clients, its own unique features, pricing plans, and URLs.
This means using WooCommerce gives you many additional features when building your website on WordPress. The actual website is built on the WordPress platform.
WooCommerce vs BigCommerce: Which is better and why?
With BigCommerce, you get a suite of tools that are quick and easy to use, so you can get your store up and running in a really short time. As a trade-off, you don’t get many customization options, and all BigCommerce stores have certain genericity to them.
WooCommerce serves more extensive and unique needs of online businesses. Users get an enormous collection of add-ons and integrations with third-party apps. Also, unlike BigCommerce’s bundled-up payment plans, WooCommerce pricing is less consolidated. It makes you pay a little for every small feature you want. Your monthly total can be less than a BigCommerce equivalent but is likely higher.
The next few sections compare features of both WooCommerce and BigCommerce in more detail.
WooCommerce vs BigCommerce: Visuals and Design
WooCommerce templates and themes support far superior customization, but using these features requires you to have some knowledge of HTML or CSS and some basic coding. An alternative option to unlock the customization potential is to use WordPress page-building tools.
BigCommerce offers only 12 free themes, which are not very diverse and cannot be customized using CSS or other similar methods. Users willing to pay for themes can unlock more than a hundred additional ones. Still, it is a popular observation that BigCommerce themes are not very different. This means that the design options offered do not accommodate all kinds of businesses.
WooCommerce vs BigCommerce: Add-ons available
BigCommerce offers a collection of about 800 third-party apps to introduce new features to your eCommerce website as you grow. These are divided into categories like shipping managers, payment processors, and marketing tools.
WooCommerce gives you access to an even bigger marketplace of add-ons since any WordPress add-ons can also be applied to WooCommerce. WordPress has add-ons for just about any feature you can think of, and WooCommerce users are free to take advantage of this accessibility.
WooCommerce vs BigCommerce: Ease of Use
Ease of use is definitely a priority at BigCommerce. It’s extremely easy to create and refine your eCommerce store. The price you pay covers hosting services and a domain for your business. Hence, people unfamiliar with coding and software technicality can get started on the design immediately using just a web browser on their computer.
In contrast, WooCommerce users have to set up their own domain hosting, registration, and security certificates. This is already far too complex for the average businessperson to handle on their own. Most people would have to hire a professional or get a friend to help out at this stage.
WooCommerce vs BigCommerce: Budget-friendliness
BigCommerce offers a 15-day free trial period. Once this ends, you are required to subscribe to one of three pricing options. For $29.95 a month, you can purchase the Standard package. $79.95 a month gets you the BigCommerce Plus plan. For the most extensive plan, users have to pay $299.95 a month. The costliest plan has the most features, and the cheapest one is the most minimal.
WooCommerce as a plugin is technically free of cost. But the domain, hosting, and security certificate needed to run an online store using WooCommerce come with price tags. This makes WooCommerce the better option if your enterprise is not too large and your business plan does not include drastic upscaling anytime in the near future.
Note that this is different from a payment processing fee. Payment processing fees are the same per transaction, while transaction fees are calculated as a percentage per transaction. Neither of the two platforms charges transaction fees, meaning that they don’t take their cut out of your sales income.
WooCommerce vs BigCommerce: Customer Support
BigCommerce has customer support media that are up and running 24/7. These include live chat with BigCommerce technicians, email, and a forum where users can ask for help from BigCommerce staff or other users that make up the BigCommerce community.
For help in using WooCommerce, you can contact techs at the WooCommerce website or post in the WordPress forums for help from staff or fellow users. The respective developer teams are often helpful for the huge number of themes and add-ons you can use along with WooCommerce. For server issues, you can contact the hosting service provider.
WooCommerce vs BigCommerce: Build Time
Building an online store takes time. However, your choice of eCommerce platform also affects the time it takes to develop an eCommerce website for your business. Adding a WordPress plug-in like WooCommerce will be a breeze if your website is built on WordPress.
However, the most time-consuming part of the entire process is customizing the platform to your liking, especially if you don’t have a WordPress website. Your website building time will immensely increase if your website is not built on WordPress.
BigCommerce, on the other hand, offers you everything you need to set up your online store. It is a one-stop shop for eCommerce website developers because every functionality has already been built into the platform. You will find everything you need to get your online store up and running in one place.
With BigCommerce, you can build and set up your online store in a day or two. This platform provides instant results as you can start customizing as soon as you sign up and choose the theme for your online store. This closed-source eCommerce platform lets you build, personalize and manage your online store all at once and in one place.
This eCommerce website builder is ideal for businesses where complete control is required. However, the development process is more complex and time-consuming compared to websites developed with BigCommerce. To use WooCommerce, you need to develop a WordPress website where technical aspects such as web hosting need to be separately sorted.
With BigCommerce, everything is already there. You just need to sign in and start designing your store. BigCommerce is also easier to use the two, hence the shorter build time.
A close comparison shows that BigCommerce is the clear winner when it comes to development time unless you have a WordPress website and coding knowledge. If that’s not the case, it will take you a lot of time to set up your website on WooCommerce. If you are looking for a ready-to-use solution, BigCommerce is the way to go.
WooCommerce vs BigCommerce: Marketing Tools
Effective marketing is essential for the success of an online store. If you have the right marketing tools in your arsenal, you can easily get your eCommerce in front of your desired audience. These tools are also important to keep existing customers hooked while bringing in new ones.
BigCommerce has amazing marketing features for big and small online stores. These marketing features are a part of all of its plans. Some of these features include:
- Product ratings and reviews;
- Blogging tools;
- Amazon and eBay integrations;
- Facebook and Instagram integrations;
- Discounts, Coupons, and gift cards.
BigCommerce also offers you the abandoned cart recovery feature and the ability to integrate Google customer reviews. These marketing features are included in plans except for the cheapest ones.
If you want to grow your eCommerce store, you should take advantage of the marketing tools that come with BigCommerce. You can choose one of BigCommerce’s 213 marketing integrations to install for more marketing features. You can find these integrations on BigCommerce’s app marketplace. Fan favorites include Google Shopping, Mailchimp, and Facebook Ads.
BigCommerce app store has a variety of marketing apps. On the contrary, the WooCommerce marketplace has around 129 marketing extensions. However, unlike BigCommerce, the open-source eCommerce platform doesn’t have many built-in marketing tools to offer. On the contrary, the WooCommerce marketplace has around 129 marketing extensions. However, it gives you the freedom to customize your platform however you want, which also means extra work.
Unlike WooCommerce, BigCommerce plans include the abandoned cart recovery feature. However, WooCommerce will need an extra extension to add this feature to your website. Sending follow-up messages and emails will also require a separate extension.
WooCommerce social media extensions cost around $79. With WooCommerce, you will have to bear the high cost of adding marketing features to your website, including Instagram, Amazon, and Pinterest. WooCommerce offers free Facebook Integration. But eBay and Etsy integration will cost you around $199 per year each. The cost of integrating social media quickly rises if you choose WooCommerce for your online store development.
The number of marketing integration offered by WooCommerce is also less than what BigCommerce offers. However, it provides you with the coupon feature without having to install an extension. You can use this feature to introduce discounts and incentives such as free shipping for your customers.
BigCommerce is the winner when it comes to marketing tools. This closed-source platform makes marketing a breeze for businesses of all sizes. It is also a more affordable option than WooCommerce. Even though WooCommerce allows you to integrate a plethora of marketing plugins into your store, BigCommerce offers the key marketing tools in one place.
These built-in tools make it easier, time-effective, and affordable to develop an eCommerce store.
WooCommerce vs BigCommerce: Which one to choose?
Picking between eCommerce website builders is tough. However, knowing what you want for your online store makes your choice much easier. Your choice of an eCommerce website builder should be based on your knowledge and experience with design. It should also depend on the needs of your target audience. If you are looking for a website builder to develop your eCommerce store, you should go for BigCommerce. However, if you already have a website, you can install it with a WooCommerce plug-in to add eCommerce features.
Each of these platforms comes with a variety of storefronts and templates. However, both platforms vary in terms of their built-in features. BigCommerece is closed source, whereas, WooCommerce is an open-source platform. Both are good options for building or merchandising your basic functionalities.
You should also consider your familiarity with website development and the level of flexibility you want while choosing an eCommerce website development platform. Most customers find WooCommerce difficult to use as compared to BigCommerce.
However, none of these platforms is ranked the highest when it comes to ease of use.
After you’ve decided on the niche you want your business to operate in, choosing an eCommerce platform is probably the next most important decision. BigCommerce and WooCommerce both have extensive abilities when it comes to managing online stores. You will have to do some research if you struggle to choose between them.
BigCommerce is a good choice if your business is small-scale and you want to keep it simple and not too vibrantly expressive. WooCommerce is better for aggressive customization and particularly good for people familiar with WordPress. BigCommerce’s low-key feel and easy decisions make it better for new entrepreneurs starting up from the roots.