Digital commerce or eCommerce is a new normal, where consumers and retailers communicate digitally through the internet. Ecommerce announced its significance in the early 90s globally; it has grown by leaps and bounds since then.
It is forecasted that eCommerce will grow to $599.2 billion by 2024. Such lucrative figures make it impossible to ignore the most successful entity to make money online. Ecommerce has changed the behavior of consumers as well as business owners.
Ecommerce increases consumers’ expectations and allows business owners to meet these expectations to earn more.
The million-dollar question is how to use this opportunity to facilitate businesses of any size through unmatched accessibility and convenience.
To be a part of eCommerce, one must have an eCommerce platform. Ecommerce platforms facilitate retailers to showcase their products and services while allowing consumers to buy products at their convenience.
In this article, we compare WooCommerce vs Big Cartel. These two are top-of-the-line eCommerce plates. But before comparing, we go through a little introduction of both these platforms.
Big Cartel came onto the scene in 2005, founded by Matt Wigham and Eric Turner. Since then, it has been in the service of artists and creatives to sell their work. The creative community takes this opportunity with both hands and now thousands of eCommerce stores are powered by Big Cartel.
Big Cartel is a fully hosted eCommerce platform that enables artists and creatives to display and sell their work by taking advantage of the reach and convenience of the eCommerce world. It helps artists and creatives to sell $2.5 billion worth of their work.
Unlike Big Cartel, WooCommerce is a self-hosted and open-source platform. WooCommerce appeared in 2011 and immediately became popular, and due to that fact, Automattic, the WordPress giant, acquired WooCommerce in 2017. This affiliation gives a further boost to its popularity and use.
You can turn your WordPress website into an eCommerce platform in a few minutes by integrating WooCommerce. WooCommerce offers seamless integration with WordPress. This results in a highly customizable and flexible eCommerce platform.
There is no limit to what you can do with your WooCommerce platform, and to this flexibility, WooCommerce is used by millions of eCommerce stores.
Now that we have some background knowledge of these two eCommerce platforms, we must set criteria for their comparison. The following are the parameters
- Market share
- Ease of use
- Themes and customization
- Plugins and add ons
- Payment gateways
Market Share – WooCommerce vs Big Cartel
This attribute helps you access the credibility of any eCommerce platform. Market share signifies how many are using that platform, and you can evaluate the user experience to select the right option.
Big Cartel is very popular among artists and creatives all around the world. Its use is growing with every passing day. Up till now, Big Cartel is powering 78,000 websites and ranks 11th in the fully hosted solution category of eCommerce stores.
BuiltWith documents that WooCommerce powers 21% of eCommerce stores. This stat makes WooCommerce the leader of eCommerce platforms. This also proves that WooCommerce has a tremendous user experience that adds to its reputation and popularity.
Regarding market share, WooCommerce has a clear edge over Big Cartel. The reason is that WooCommerce caters to every eCommerce segment, whereas Big Cartel use is limited to a specific segment.
Ease of use – WooCommerce vs Big Cartel
It is one of the most important factors to consider before choosing an eCommerce platform. As we know, the businessman does not often have the technical know-how to run an eCommerce store. But that doesn’t mean they need to; that is why ease of use is important.
Being a fully hosted platform, Big Cartel takes the load off you to easily run your store. Running and managing all the features to run your eCommerce platform is effortless.
You don’t need to have any coding knowledge, and with the help of the Big Cartel comprehensive guide, you can set up your store with easy-to-display creative art features and start selling in no time. The dashboard of Big Cartel is captivating and intuitive. You can monitor all the activities from here: visitors, orders, conversions, revenue generation, etc.
Big Cartel is simple to install and intuitive; it will guide the whole process of installation through useful prompt pop-ups. It offers a simple-to-use editor. Here you can set up your store with utmost ease.
But big cartel needs coding expertise if you are looking for complex customization. For normal small businesses, Big Cartel assures ease of use.
WooCommerce is a self-hosted platform, meaning you must handle its hosting and other requirements. Being an open-source platform, ease of use is not the middle name of WooCommerce. But that downside is well compensated due to its flexibility and ability to customization.
Furthermore, WooCommerce offers excellent ease of use, especially in simple operations. You can install WooCommerce with a few clicks and turn your WordPress site into an eCommerce platform. WooCommerce comes with a setup wizard that helps you to set up all basic features like pages, payments, currency, shipping, tax application, linguistics, etc., in a few minutes.
Being a fully hosted platform, Big Cartel has the edge over WooCommerce in ease of use, but in complex customization, it came down to the level of WooCommerce. Since we know Big Cartel serves a particular art segment, an argument can be raised that it serves its purpose. But if you want to stand out, you should go for WooCommerce, which provides unlimited possibilities.
Cost – WooCommerce vs Big Cartel
Cost is always an anxious area for a business person, especially when it’s affecting them. As far as these two e-commerce platforms are concerned, the cost is not an immediate issue.
Being a fully hosted platform, Big Cartel offers three plans to upgrade according to your requirement.
1. Gold Plan
This plan is free. It limits you to 5 products only, with one image per product. There is no code for theme customization, and it also limits you with inventory tracking and allows only basic feature customization.
2. Platinum Plan
This plan costs you $9.99 per month. The product limit has increased to 50 with full feature customization. You can display 5 images of the product with this plan. It also offers basic Google analytics. With this plan, you can do theme coding with inventory tracking.
3. Diamond Plan
This plan costs you $19.99 per month. The product limit increased to 500 with a limit of 5 images. All the other features are the same as the platinum plan.
All plans include tax calculation automation that helps in the process of transactions.
WooCommerce is free; you can easily download, install, and run it with a few clicks. All you need to do is take care of hosting, domain name, and security certification. But due to its huge user base, many hosting providers can provide hosting at a cost starting at $120/year. The next cost will be registering a domain or site name, which costs you $15/per year.
WooCommerce also offers free plugins, add-ons, and many themes, but if you are ambitious, you can use paid extensions that roughly cost you $50 to $100/year. If you want to scale your business, you may need to employ a professional theme that can cost you $20 to $100/per year.
It seems WooCommerce costs more, but if you break down the monthly cost, there is not much difference. You also need to consider getting limitless flexibility and customization with WooCommerce. Also, there is no limit to the number of products.
If you don’t want to listen to these whistles and bells of WooCommerce, you can go with Big Cartel.
Themes and Customization – WooCommerce vs Big Cartel
Customizations and themes are vital for any eCommerce platform. Surely you want to choose a platform that you can expand through customization and features integrations because you want to not look back on your decision to select an eCommerce platform.
Big Cartel offers 18 themes, but they serve their purpose effectively and efficiently. All these themes are engaging and minimal, allowing the creative community to display and sell their work of art.
Due to this limitation, Big Cartel suites small businesses that don’t need complex customization. If you need more features, you can upgrade your plan.
No platform can offer what WooCommerce can give you regarding customization and theme resources. You have complete freedom to employ any feature you want in-store. With WooCommerce, you tailor your eCommerce store according to your need.
WooCommerce offers thousands of free themes. But you can buy a paid solution with options if you want a customized theme.
Comparing Big Cartel with WooCommerce regarding theme resources and customization is unfair. With WooCommerce, you can run a business of any size, segment, or budget.
Plugins and Add-Ons – WooCommerce vs Big Cartel
Every expanding eCommerce platform requires plugins and extensions to add features to facilitate themselves and their customers. A platform that offers easy integration of these plugins is a preferred choice.
Since Big Cartel caters to a specific segment, it is wise to offer add-ons that serve the purpose of that specific segment. It offers 30 add-ons that work well with specific requirements.
Big Cartel also offers Zapier integration, enabling your store to connect with 500 third-party apps. You don’t require coding skills for that simple integration, but you must pay for Zapier and third-party apps. You can connect to apps like WhatsApp, Instagram, POWr, Mail Chimp, etc.
WooCommerce comes with uncountable plugins and add-ons. You need to integrate them and benefit from robust features to run your store.
You can enjoy plugins and add-ons for any function and features with WooCommerce, like a shipping plugin or a plugin for payment gateway and email marketing. WooCommerce makes the difference; all you need to do is to integrate them and enjoy the features.
It is hard to compete with WooCommerce in terms of resources. WooCommerce gives you access to 55,000 free plugins; all you need to do is go to WordPress.org and get these plugins for free.
WooCommerce is way beyond in terms of plugins and add-ons. No platform can offer this many free and paid resources. Big Cartel offers enough for the specific segment, but if you want to stand above the crowd, WooCommerce is the answer.
Payments gateways – WooCommerce vs Big Cartel
Payment getaways play an essential role in the make or break of your eCommerce platform. Any clutters in the payment process can affect the conversion rate. It is logical to have a payment process that is less complicated and secure.
Unlike other hosted eCommerce platforms, Big Cartel does not charge any transaction fee, but Big Cartel is not PCI (payment card industry) compliant. That means you are in charge of dealing with PCI requirements to take payments through credit cards.
WooCommerce offers multiple payment gateways to make the checkout process as smooth as possible. The customer has the convenience of making payments through credit cards and cheques, or you can integrate third-party payment gateways like PayPal, Square, Stripe, and many more.
With WooCommerce, you can facilitate your customers to take part and recurring payments which help in conversions.
WooCommerce can handle businesses of any size or segment. With WooCommerce, there is no limit to expanding your business. It has incomparable resources and support, enabling you to automate your business chores. But it requires a steep learning curve and professional support.
If you are not ambitious enough, Big Cartel is your ready-made solution. Choose wisely because jumping from one platform to another is not easy.
We hope this article helps you choose the right platform for your business. GOOD LUCK!