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While BigCommerce powers several websites, there are a lot of concerns raised by its users.

Below are few reasons why you would wish to choose an alternate to BigCommerce.

  • BigCommerce is expensive around pricing options
  • It Limits online sales per year based on pricing plan
  • Third-party apps, plugins, and software are priced separately
  • Though it mentions no transaction fees, this is applicable only to few selected payment gateways
  • Propagates leading payment gateways. No standardized payment options for credit cards
  • Smaller app marketplace
  • High switching cost to alternate platform
  • Low on inventory management
  • Expensive themes with very few selection of free themes

Clearly, these are some of the concerns you have to ponder about in case you are a BigCommerce user.

Through this post, we will discuss, top 4 alternatives to BigCommerce to provide you a wider spectrum around the next set of options.

4 BigCommerce Alternatives:

BigCommerce alternatives comparison at glance

Details
Volusion
Shopify Lite
3dcart
LemonStand
Staff accounts Unlimited 1 Unlimited 2
Storage Unlimited Unlimited Unlimited Unlimited
Features A A+ A B
Price $15/mo. $9/mo. $29/mo. $19.00/mo.
Move now Move now Move now Move now

Now take a thorough look at the Top 4 BigCommerce Alternatives:

Alternative No 1: Volusion

volusion banner 2

Volusion is a fully cloud-based e-commerce platform which was started in 1999. It is headquartered in Austin, Texas. (Review)

They provide almost all necessary services to successfully run your store as well as have some features which are market differentiators.

To their credit, Volusion has more than 40000 online retailers. Over the years Volusion has constantly been watchful and making quick amendments to their services.

It is popular amongst store owners owing to its simple to use features which are integrated within the dashboard.

Volusion has helped several customers worldwide including well-known brands such as Motorola, Disney, Chicago Tribune and 3M.

Let us now understand how can Volusion be a good alternative to BigCommerce.

Reason 1 – Pricing:

Volusion has a low priced starting option. Pricing is something that Volusion does better than BigCommerce. Their starting plan is at $15 per month with a support for 100 products.

volusion-pricing

With BigCommerce you just can’t choose a less expensive plan.

Reason 2 – Rich Knowledge Base:

Volusion has a good collection of the knowledge base with starter videos and a large number of how to guides. Worth noting is their efforts to ease out development by providing content-rich resources almost about every feature.

Volusion_Resources

BigCommerce does not support such rich knowledge base. With BigCommerce a lot of times, you will end up searching for support outside of their official website.

Reason 3 – Transaction Fees:

Volusion does not have any terms attached to transaction fees. They do not charge a transaction fee. A point where they score above BigCommerce.

Reason 4 – Themes:

Volusion has more free themes as compared to BigCommerce.

volusion-theme

The themes are not only responsive but are also more creatively designed. Definitely, BigCommerce scores low on this with a mere 7 free themes.

Reason 5- Intuitive Dashboard:

Volusion has an easy to use and intuitive dashboard with most of the features embedded into the dashboard, making it easier to use. BigCommerce provides a dashboard, however not all the features are embedded in the dashboard.

This makes it slightly complex for beginners.

Reason 6 – Inbuilt recurring billing:

Recurring billing which is used to sell subscription-based products is part of Volusion’ s every plan. However, with BigCommerce you have to install a separate Paywhirl app for recurring billing.

Here’s a breakdown of the Volusion pricing for each plan:

Features
Mini
Plus
Pro
Premium
Transaction Fees 0% 0% 0% 0%
Storage Unlimited Unlimited Unlimited Unlimited
Bandwidth 1GB 3GB 10GB 35GB
Products 100 1000 10,000 Unlimited
Price $15/mo $35/mo $75/mo $135/mo

(No fees. No credit card. No risk.)

Alternative No 2: Shopify Lite

Shopify-banner

Shopify’s e-commerce solutions provide a unified platform to run your business with ease. It helps in building a fully customizable online store with its several innovative and inbuilt solutions.

Shopify is a Canadian based e-commerce solution provider based out of Ottawa, Ontario. There are several large-scale entrepreneurs depending on Shopify.

There are more than 600,000 businesses powered by Shopify, with more than 1,000,000 active users and over $55 billion sold on Shopify.

Next moving on to the benefits of using Shopify over BigCommerce.

Reason 1 – Themes:

Shopify has more improvised theme collections as compared to BigCommerce. It has a good collection of user rich experience themes and focuses more on the look and feel of the website.

shopify-templates

The free templates are equally appealing as the paid ones. With Shopify, you can access more than 100 templates and can also customize it.

Reason 2 – Pricing:

Both Shopify and BigCommerce have approximately similar pricing model. However, Shopify is more flexible on this with its Shopify Lite version which is $9 per month.

shopify-lite

This is a good option for smaller scale websites and businesses with a limited number of products. With Shopify, you would not have to spend a huge amount in case you wish to develop a small website.

The same with BigCommerce would cost you at least $29.95 per month

Reason 3 – Sales Limit:

One very big advantage of using Shopify is, it does not have too many sales limitations. In a way, it is more flexible as compared to BigCommerce.

BigCommerce limits the sales for each plan. So with BigCommerce, if you exceed sales then you need to switch over to a more expensive plan

Reason 4 – Third-party Apps:

Shopify supports more than 2000 apps as compared to BigCommerce which is a little low on third-party apps support.

Here is guide to install apps in your store:

The comprehensive list of apps on Shopify allows you to quickly integrate almost any added feature.

Reason 5 – Mobile apps:

Shopify offers quite a few distinct smartphone apps to its user base. The main ones are ‘Shopify’ and ‘Shopify POS’ for iOS and Android.

BigCommerce does not have any dedicated mobile app support.

Reason 6 – Expert Help:

Shopify has a larger base of expert help for design, analytics store setup, and marketing as compared to BigCommerce.

Here’s a breakdown of the Shopify pricing for each plan:

Features
Lite
Basic Shopify
Shopify
Adva. Shopify
Products Unlimited Unlimited Unlimited Unlimited
Storage Unlimited Unlimited Unlimited Unlimited
Bandwidth Unlimited Unlimited Unlimited Unlimited
Staff accounts 1 2 5 15
Price $9/mo. $29/mo. $79/mo. $299/mo.

Alternative No 3: Lemonstand

alternative-Lemonstand

Lemonstand offers a wide range of services for online retailers who look forward to growing their business.

Lemonstand is a Canadian based e-commerce provider based in Vancouver, British Columbia.

It helps web developers, online retailers, and fast-growing brands to create beautiful stores that stand out in the crowd and can effectively sell more.

Users can easily use front-end techniques with the flexibility to create brand images. Lemonstand along with its wide array of services is developer friendly and flexible for almost any business.

Below I would like to showcase some of the positives of using Lemonstand over BigCommerce.

Reason 1 – Pricing:

Lemonstand will not burn holes in your pocket and is definitely a cheaper option as compared to BigCommerce. Starts at $19 per month, as opposed to BigCommerce which starts at $29 per month.

lemonstand-price

The basic plan comes with a plethora of useful features.

Reason 2 – Transaction fee:

Again in terms of transaction fees Lemonstand makes a big difference. Lemonstand has absolutely no transaction fees. So you keep all that you gain.

With BigCommerce charging you a transaction fee for certain payment gateways, Lemonstand is a great respite.

Reason 3 – Customization:

Lemonstand goes one level up on customization, where developers can write custom code easily.

LemonStand customize

The look and feel are fully flexible and customizable. With BigCommerce customization of designs is very limited.

Reason 4 – Migration:

With Lemonstand having integration support to Shopify, BigCommerce, and Magento, migration to the alternate platform is much simpler and less tedious.

BigCommerce has heavy pricing for migration that practically ends up locking a user.

Reason 5 – Security:

Lemonstand has several integrated security features including SSL, PCI/DSS compliant infrastructure, Global CDN, and development sandbox stores to provide you top-notch support during development.

lemonstand security

With BigCommerce you only have SSL feature enabled.

Reason 6 – Designer Centric:

Lemonstand’s whole range of free, mobile responsive template use bootstrap, React, Angularjs and other latest front-end frameworks.

You can use free LemonSync tool for quicker local development. It has a powerful theming engine using popular Twig language. Such design-centric development is difficult with BigCommerce.

Here’s a breakdown of the LemonStand pricing for each plan:

Features
STARTER
GROWTH
PROFESSIONAL
Transaction Fees 0% 0% 0%
Storage Unlimited Unlimited Unlimited
Bandwidth Unlimited Unlimited Unlimited
Number of products Unlimited Unlimited Unlimited
Price $19/mo. $69/mo $199/mo

Alternative No 4: 3dcart

alternative-3dcart

3dcart provides e-commerce solutions for online businesses. It was founded in 1997 and is headquartered in Tamarac, Florida. It provides numerous features at competitive pricing.

Not only is it easy to use, but also is scalable. It has lined up several tools together to build visually appealing websites. As of 2014, it powers more than 17,500 global merchants.

Let us check why 3dcart is a better option over BigCommerce.

Reason 1 – Pricing:

3dcart is more flexible around pricing. The Start-up plan is at about $19 per month which supports 500 products with a sales limit of $10K per year.

3dcart-plan

This is pretty much sufficient for small-scale website development. With BigCommerce this is expensive since the minimum you need to choose is a $29.95 per month plan

Reason 2 – Transaction fee:

This is again a place where 3dcart serves better since it does not have transaction fee for any of the plans. Though BigCommerce claims to have no transaction fees.

When you get closer you realize, for only certain payment gateways there are no transaction fees.

Reason 3 – Payment Solutions:

3dcart supports more than 160 payment solutions as compared to BigCommerce which is restrictive over payment gateway options with a support of about 40 popular payment gateways.

Reason 4 – API access:

With 3dcart, there are no additional fees to access API. With all plans, you can access their complete set of APIs. With BigCommerce, you can access all API calls only for the most expensive plan.

Which means with BigCommerce, in any of the basic plans you will have to pay separately for the additional API.

Reason 5 – Customer Support:

The live chat options is almost instantaneous in 3dCart as compared to BigCommerce. BigCommerce does not have an upright customer support live chat.

Reason 6 – Internal Resource Guides:

3dcart provides an exhaustive resource guide along with expert consultations. The knowledge base is well segregated into different categories.

3dcart-resources

In BigCommerce you have a separate Resource section, but the knowledge base is very minimalistic with only a general overview of the topics.

Reason 7 – Templates:

It has more than 100 templates and designs to choose from. Something which they excel on is a well-created template collection.

3dcart's theme

BigCommerce is very limited over Template selection, with most of them being only paid templates and common looking interface.

Reason 8 – Inventory Control:

3dcart has a powerful inventory control and can monitor low stock items. This is something BigCommerce is poor on, with no much flexibility in inventory management.

Here’s a breakdown of the 3dcart pricing for each plan:

Features
Startup
Basic
Plus
Pro
Transaction Fees 0% 0% 0% 0%
Storage Unlimited Unlimited Unlimited Unlimited
Bandwidth Unlimited Unlimited Unlimited Unlimited
No. of products 500 Unlimited Unlimited Unlimited
Price $19/mo. $29/mo. $79/mo. $229/mo.

VERDICT:

Above I have given a detailed walkthrough about the various alternatives to BigCommerce. Each of this has set of features which have a cutting edge advantage over BigCommerce.

A fact which is clear is there is no specific guideline on which e-commerce you should choose, but it purely depends on your business requirement.

If you purely have a requirement to customize your look and feel, then Lemonstand (Review) or 3dcart (Review) is a good to go option, provided you have enough front-end development support.

Both of these have affordable pricing options and additional supported features. But a point of caution, this is definitely less beneficial for first-time divers.

Volusion and Shopify are easy to use. While a general review is, Volusion has a slightly steeper learning curve.

However, again Volusion is rich on knowledge base so things can be learned easily.

With Shopify, you have the luxury of having a larger community support since this is a popular platform for website development. It has a low priced option  (Shopify lite $9/mo.) for the smaller website and additionally you have access to more than 2000 apps which is just phenomenal.

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Chris Wagner

Chris Wagner has 7 years of experience as Network Administrator. His areas of interest includes Servers, Network Management and Cloud Computing.