The Great Debate: Shopify vs Big Cartel for Your Store

Embarking on your e-commerce journey?

Fret not, as we’ve got you covered! In this blog, we’ll unravel the battle between Shopify and Big Cartel, dissecting their features, performance, and usability. The importance of making the right choice for your online store cannot be understated.

Unraveling the Distinction

Fasten your seatbelts, and let’s find the ultimate e-commerce solution together!


  • Offers a wide range of customizable templates and themes for creating visually appealing online stores.
  • Includes robust features like inventory management, order tracking, and shipping options.
  • Supports a large number of payment gateways for easy transaction processing.
  • Offers a vast app ecosystem, allowing users to add various functionalities to their stores.
Pros: Cons:
  • Powerful and scalable platform with extensive features.
  • Excellent customer support and resources for sellers.
  • Wide range of themes and customization options.
  • Strong SEO capabilities to boost online visibility.
  • Monthly subscription costs and transaction fees can add up.
  • Advanced customization may require coding knowledge.
  • Some popular features may require additional paid apps.

Big Cartel:

  • Designed for creative entrepreneurs and artists looking for a simple e-commerce solution.
  • Easy to set up and use, making it ideal for small businesses and artists with limited technical skills.
  • Offers a selection of pre-designed templates for a quick and straightforward store setup.
  • Allows users to sell both physical and digital products.
  • Provides basic inventory and order management features.
  • Suited for small-scale operations or those with a limited product range.
Pros: Cons:
  • Budget-friendly for small businesses and artists.
  • Easy-to-use interface with minimal learning curve.
  • Supports selling both physical and digital products.
  • Ideal for creative entrepreneurs and artists.
  • Limited features compared to larger e-commerce platforms.
  • Customization options may be limited for some users.
  • It may lack advanced marketing and SEO capabilities.
  • Not as scalable for larger businesses with significant growth aspirations.

Comparison Table

Factor Shopify Big Cartel
Customization High level of customization and flexibility Limited customization options
Scalability Ideal for businesses of all sizes Best suited for small-scale operations
Target Audience Broad range of businesses and industries Creative entrepreneurs and artists
Branding and Control Extensive control over branding and design Limited control over branding elements
Fees and Pricing Subscription-based with transaction fees Affordable pricing for small businesses
Marketing and Discoverability Strong marketing tools and SEO capabilities Basic marketing features
Support and Community Robust support and active community Decent support, but smaller community
Integration with 3rd-party apps Vast app ecosystem for additional features Limited integration options
Payment Gateway Options Supports numerous payment gateways Limited selection of payment options
Inventory Management Comprehensive inventory management tools Basic inventory features
Mobile Commerce Mobile-responsive design for mobile sales Limited mobile optimization
Shipping and Fulfillment Various shipping options and integrations Basic shipping and fulfillment features
Analytics and Reporting Detailed analytics and reporting capabilities Limited analytics and reporting
Multi-Channel Selling Supports multi-channel selling integration Primarily focused on own online store
Security and Data Protection High level of security and data protection Standard security measures
Accessibility and Ease of Use User-friendly interface for easy navigation Simple and easy-to-use platform

Comparing Key Aspects: Shopify vs Big Cartel

Ease of Use:

Shopify: Known for its user-friendly interface and easy setup process, making it suitable for beginners and experienced users alike.
Big Cartel: Also user-friendly, especially geared towards artists and small business owners, with a simple and straightforward setup process.


Shopify: Highly reliable platform with a robust infrastructure and 24/7 customer support, ensuring minimal downtime for online stores.
Big Cartel: Generally reliable, but some users have reported occasional server issues due to its smaller scale.

Design Flexibility:

Shopify: Offers a wide range of customizable themes and extensive design options, providing more flexibility for store appearance.
Big Cartel: Provides a selection of themes, but design options are relatively limited compared to Shopify.

Subscription Fees:


  • Basic plan: $29 per month
  • Shopify plan: $79 per month
  • Advanced plan: $299 per month
  • Shopify Lite: $9 per month (to add a ‘buy’ button on an existing website)

Big Cartel:

  • Gold Plan: Free
  • Platinum Plan: $9.99 per month
  • Diamond Plan: $19.99 per month
  • Titanium Plan: $29.99 per month

Store Customization:

Shopify: Allows advanced customization through coding, giving merchants the freedom to create unique store layouts.
Big Cartel: Offers basic customization options, but not as extensive as Shopify in terms of design personalization.

Number of Users:

Shopify: Has a large user base, including businesses of all sizes, from startups to enterprise-level companies.
Big Cartel: Smaller user base, with a focus on creative entrepreneurs and artists.

E-commerce Tools Availability:

Shopify: Provides an extensive app store with a wide range of third-party integrations and add-ons to enhance store functionality.
Big Cartel: Offers a more limited selection of apps and integrations compared to Shopify.

Payment Gateway Integration:

Shopify: Supports numerous payment gateways, offering flexibility for customers to pay using various methods.
Big Cartel: Integrates with popular payment gateways, but the options are more limited compared to Shopify.

Help and Support System:

Shopify: Offers excellent customer support through various channels, including live chat, email, and phone, along with a comprehensive knowledge base.
Big Cartel: Provides customer support through email only, which may not be as comprehensive as Shopify’s options.


The choice between Shopify and Big Cartel ultimately boils down to your specific business goals and requirements.

Whichever platform you choose, remember that success in the e-commerce world hinges on your dedication, marketing efforts, and understanding of your target audience. So, take the time to explore, experiment, and make an informed decision that empowers your online venture to thrive.


Which platform is better for beginners: Shopify or Big Cartel?

Both platforms offer user-friendly interfaces, but Shopify may be more suitable for beginners due to its extensive resources, customer support, and straightforward setup process.

Can I customize the appearance of my online store on both platforms?

Yes, both Shopify and Big Cartel allow customization of your store’s appearance, but Shopify offers more design flexibility with a wider range of themes and customization options.

Are there any hidden fees or transaction costs on Shopify and Big Cartel?

Shopify does charge monthly subscription fees and transaction costs for certain payment gateways, while Big Cartel offers free and paid plans, making it more budget-friendly for smaller businesses.

Which platform is more suitable for creative entrepreneurs and artists?

Big Cartel is specifically geared towards creative entrepreneurs and artists, providing a simpler platform with basic customization options, making it easier for showcasing and selling creative products.

Can I integrate third-party apps and tools with both platforms?

Yes, both Shopify and Big Cartel offer integrations with third-party apps, but Shopify’s extensive app ecosystem provides more options for enhancing your store’s functionality.

Which platform offers better marketing and SEO capabilities?

Shopify is known for its strong marketing tools and SEO capabilities, helping improve the discoverability and visibility of your online store compared to Big Cartel.

Is there a limit to the number of products I can sell on both platforms?

Both platforms offer different plans with varying limits on the number of products you can sell. Shopify has higher limits for products across its plans.

Which platform provides better customer support options?

Shopify offers robust customer support with multiple channels, including live chat, email, and phone, while Big Cartel primarily provides support through email communication.

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Rahul Vij

Co-founded WebSpero solutions about a decade ago. Having worked in web development- I realized the dream of transforming ideas sketched out on paper into fully functioning websites. Seeing how that affected the customers’ generation of leads and conversions, I wanted to delve deeper into the sphere of digital marketing. At Webspero Solutions, handling operations and heading the entire Digital Marketing Field – SEO, PPC, and Content are my core domains. And although we as a team have faced many challenges, we have come far learning along and excelling in this field and making a remarkable online reputation for our work. Having worked in building websites and understanding that sites are bare structures without quality content, the main focus was to branch into optimizing each website for search engines. Investing in original, quality content creation is essential to SEO success in the current search climate. Succeeding in this arena ensures the benefits of producing visitor-friendly content. Directing all our teams to zoom in on these factors has been a role that I have thoroughly enjoyed playing throughout these years. linkedin

Categorized as Shopify