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Which Do You Prefer To Start Your Online Store In 2023: Big Cartel Or Shopify?

    Everyone now knows how to do business online. If you want to make a lot of money from your online store, you might want to know which e-commerce platform is the best. There are too many, like Etsy, Weebly, etc., to choose from. But in this article, we’ll be talking about Shopify and Big Cartel. Why? They are two of the best places to do business online in 2023.

    Since both platforms have pros and cons, you need to decide which one is best for your online business. This post will compare Big Cartel and Shopify in depth and talk about everything that might affect how you run your online store.

    Big Cartel vs Shopify: Overview

    Big Cartel and Shopify are both great e-commerce platforms that let people make online stores with features like marketing, shipping, payment, and checkout. First, we need to find out who they are:


    Shopify has been around since 2004. Compared to Wix and Squarespace, Shopify’s e-commerce tools are more powerful and profitable for users.

    Shopify is now one of the easiest platforms to use because it gives new users a lot of help.

    Also, it’s a platform that combines web hosting with a lot of shopping cart features and a lot of integrations with third-party services. So, it can be used for any kind of online business, such as blogging, dropshipping, and more.

    Big Cartel

    Shopify is a good e-commerce platform, but Big Cartel has its own benefits. It is the best place to sell single items online, and it is the only platform that lets you do so for free.

    Big Cartel is more like a small, specialized market. Big Cartel is a quick and easy way to make money with your business because it has simple sales tools. Even people who have never done it before and don’t know much about it can get the hang of it in a second.

    It lets store owners sell online for free, so it could be their first choice if they are just starting out and need to keep things simple on a small budget. In short, Big Cartel is a great way to build a small business without taking any risks.

    Features of Big Cartel and Shopify

    Big Cartel and Shopify are two different platforms. Let’s look at their key differences one by one so you can decide which one to use for your online business.


    Big Cartel only has 18 free, stylish themes that you can use. It’s a lot less than other e-commerce platforms, like Shopify, which has up to 73 professional and unique templates. Also, the truth is that you can’t change the themes at all with a free Big Cartel account. So, if you want to make changes to your site themes, you have to buy a paid plan. Shopify, on the other hand, lets you make a unique online store for any kind of business

    Still, artists, photographers, and other creative types will find Big Cartel to be the best choice. All of its themes are definitely made for online stores that sell art. Shopify themes are much more flexible than Big Cartel themes. These themes can also be great for businesses that dropship clothes or jewelry. Also, Shopify’s themes are automatically set up for mobile design. Still, you can change its code to make it look the way you want it to.


    The prices are the most important thing for most store owners. Plans for Big Cartel are much easier to understand, with prices ranging from free to $29.99 per month. With the free plan, users can set up a store that works. But you can only add five products, and each product can only have one photo.

    Shopify, on the other hand, has a free 14-day trial that lets you try out the service and see how it works with your store. To sign up, you don’t need a credit card. Plans for Shopify start at $9 per month and go all the way up to $299 per month for the Advanced plan. Even though you can only do a few things with the most basic plan, that doesn’t mean you can’t have a good online store. It still gives you features that are important for doing business online. When you upgrade your plan, it gives you more features that are more advanced.


    You might have to pay Shopify transaction fees that range from 0.5% to 2%. How much you have to pay depends on which plan you choose and how many products you sell. Users who choose Shopify Payments and meet the requirements can avoid this kind of fee.

    By contrast, Big Cartel requires no transaction fees. But you will get more from a Shopify store than from a Big Cartel store, even though you will have to pay more each month and pay transaction fees. For example, you can expand your product listings and sales as far as you want. It means that you can grow your business as much as you want. With Big Cartel, you can only sell up to 500 items, no matter which plan you choose.


    Shopify is more likely to meet the needs of anyone who wants a large number of integrations and add-ons from the app store.

    The powerful app store on Shopify gives you more than 4,200 ways to customize your store. It has everything you need to know about e-commerce platforms. You can increase your sales with these apps by making coupons, promoting your stores, using affiliate marketing, and so on.

    Big Cartel has a lot fewer apps, but it’s still a great idea for artists, musicians, and other creative people who want simple storefronts. You might find that its free plan takes care of the basics, such as marketing and promotion, shipping, fulfillment, and store management.

    Help for customers

    Any e-commerce platform needs to have good customer service. There are often risks when doing business online. There are more likely to be problems with the products that are sold online. Getting help quickly and well could make your potential customers trust you and make the customer experience better.

    Shopify has great ways to get help. Live chat, a support center, email, videos, podcasts, guides, and even a discussion forum are all ways to get help. You can also use their unique and powerful online support tools for E-commerce University. The most important thing is that you can call for help.

    Big Cartel, on the other hand, also has good help services. It has a help center, tutorials, guides, and a section for frequently asked questions (FAQs) to help people. Their 13-person email support team is available from 8 am to 6 pm, Monday through Friday. Usually, they respond within 24 to 48 hours, but if it’s a weekend or holiday, it could take up to 72 hours. At the moment, it doesn’t offer phone support.

    Taking care of payments

    If you start an online business on Big Cartel, you can accept payments through Square Point of Sale, PayPal, Stripe, and Venmo, among others. But compared to Shopify, it doesn’t have as many options.

    Shopify’s paid plan gives you some of the most flexibility compared to other top tools like WordPress and BigCommerce. You can use more than 100 third-party payment gateways when you have a Shopify account. If you only want to pay through Shopify, you can also use Shopify Payments, which is built into Shopify.

    Shopify has a lot of add-ons that make it easy to add payment options to your storefront, whether you’re selling online or in person. You can also get tutorials on how to make transactional emails by using plugins like Mailchimp.

    Online Store Management

    Big Cartel can only handle one item at a time, so it can’t import products in bulk or change listings at once. It can only hold up to 500 products in its store inventory, which is a disadvantage compared to Shopify. Shopify is an e-commerce platform that lets you sell as many products as you want with any price plan.

    Shopify also lets you update a lot of products at once using a CSV file, which saves you time and work. Then, you can freely change things like the price, description, title, custom images, etc., as well as the shipping options and SEO features on the page.

    A second problem with Big Cartel is that it doesn’t have a way to recover items left in a shopping cart, which is a feature that every business owner worries about. Optinmonster says that the average rate of people leaving a normal online store is around 70%. So, store owners could lose a lot of money if they don’t have this important feature.

    In short, Shopify has a clear advantage when it comes to managing online stores because every plan comes with an abandoned cart recovery feature. It will help you send emails to your customers to remind them of those items.

    Pros and cons of Big Cartel vs. Shopify

    Because of the main differences between the two platforms, it may be hard to decide. So, let’s quickly go over their pros and cons to figure out which one is better.

    The pros and cons of Shopify

    First, let’s take a look at Shopify’s pros and cons one at a time.


    • With Shopify, you can sell through multiple channels, like online stores, buy buttons, and social media like Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest.
    • Shopify’s inventory system is very good. So, it’s easy and quick to set up inventory tracking, view inventory, and change inventory counts in Shopify’s Inventory area.
    • Shopify is the best e-commerce builder when it comes to customer ratings and sales features.
    • Shopify’s app store has a lot of integrations that make it easy to open your own online store and get it up and running.


    • No matter which external payment gateways you use with Shopify, you have to pay transaction fees.
    • When you change themes, you have to rewrite all of your content and start a whole new site.

    Pros and Cons of Big Cartel

    Big Cartel also has its own pros and cons, so let’s take a look at them:


    • Big Cartel is an online store where people can sell things for free. It helps a lot if store owners have a small budget.
    • Big Cartel has a great way to show new users how to use the site.
    • It is a great place to sell one-of-a-kind items, like artworks.


    • Big Cartel’s website features don’t have enough depth and quality. It is more about making things easy.
    • Big Cartel has only a few themes that users can use to change the look of their sites.
    • Big Cartel is hard for new users to use because it requires a lot of coding.

    End Word

    Big Cartel is mostly for artists, small businesses, and people who just want to sell simple things. Shopify, on the other hand, is for all kinds of businesses, including small, medium-sized, and large ones with changing needs for selling. Shopify gives online store owners more features and a lot of freedom compared to other platforms.

    In other words, Big Cartel’s features can’t even come close to those of Shopify. And it’s not as easy for new users to use as Shopify. But it’s still a great way to sell stuff online for free.

    Now, let’s talk about the question: which platform is better for your online business? In reality, it all depends on what you want. The most important thing is to find one that meets all of your needs. If you have a great idea for a business, don’t be afraid to start it.

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