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Shopify vs Big Cartel

When you are setting up an online shop, you are looking at a number of options for ready-made storefronts. Shopify and Big Cartel are two of the main sites you are probably considering. While some sites are quite similar, Shopify and Big Cartel diverge quite a bit. Shopify aims its services at small to medium-size businesses, whereas Big Cartel is mainly targeting smaller vendors. Which one is best? Let’s take a look.

Pros of Big Cartel

  • Big Cartel really only has one major pro, and that is that it is affordable. It costs less than Shopify at just $10 a month. This allows you to list up to 25 products. If you only have five products or less, you can even list them for free.
  • It is simple and easy to use. Getting setup takes minutes, and there are not a lot of bells and whistles, so you will get the hang of things quickly.

Cons of Big Cartel

  • Big Cartel offers only the most basic features. It is ideal for running a small shop, but as it offers limited customization, it really is not that great if you are running a big, serious business online.
  • You have to handle all details of shop security yourself.
  • There are no analytics, so you have a hard time seeing what is going on in your shop. You cannot streamline your marketing efforts since you do not know what kind of traffic you are getting or where it is coming from.
  • There are only a handful of themes available. This really is next to nothing in the way of customization.
  • Support is quite limited. You have to go through email, and it is weekday-only support during standard business hours. That means you always have to wait to get an answer to a question, especially over weekends.

Pros of Shopify

  • Shopify offers plenty of advanced features, including thousands of apps you can use to upgrade your store, and hundreds of themes which are perfect for customizing it. These modern themes can be enhanced and personalized if you know how to code—and if you don’t, you can ask a Shopify Expert like us for help.
  • Shopify provides advanced security for your store.
  • You get ongoing analytics so you can fine-tune your strategies.
  • Support is available 24/7, and gets excellent reviews from customers.

Cons of Shopify

  • Compared to Big Cartel, Shopify really only has one significant drawback, and that is that it is substantially more expensive, starting at $29 per month.

While Shopify has some close competitors, Big Cartel really isn’t one of them. If you own a small shop and you just want to keep your costs down, Big Cartel may be a fit your needs. But if you are a serious store owner, then you need the tools, themes, features, security, and support offered by a serious site like Shopify. Need help personalizing themes or installing apps? We are Shopify Experts and can help!

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