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Big Cartel vs Shopify: Choosing the Right E-commerce Platform

When it comes to setting up an online store, choosing the right e-commerce platform is crucial. Two popular options that often come up in the comparison are Big Cartel and Shopify. Both platforms offer a range of features and benefits, but they also have their own unique strengths and weaknesses. In this article, we will compare Big Cartel and Shopify to help you make an informed decision for your online business.

Big Cartel vs Shopify Comparison

FeatureBig CartelShopify
FocusArtists, creators, small businesses with simple product linesBusinesses of all sizes selling a wide range of products
PricingFree plan with limited features, paid plans start at $9/monthNo free plan, paid plans start at $29/month
Ease of UseVery simple and user-friendlyUser-friendly, but more options can be overwhelming for beginners
CustomizationLimited customization optionsWide range of themes and apps for extensive customization
Product ManagementBasic features for managing products and inventoryRobust features for managing products, variants, inventory, and orders
Marketing & Sales FeaturesLimited marketing toolsBuilt-in marketing tools and extensive app integrations
Payment GatewaysLimited options, transaction fees applySupports various payment gateways with lower transaction fees
ScalabilitySuitable for small businesses with limited product linesHighly scalable to accommodate large businesses and growing product catalogs

Best Choice For:

  • Big Cartel: Artists, creators, and small businesses selling a handful of products who prioritize simplicity and affordability.
  • Shopify: Businesses of all sizes looking for a powerful platform with extensive features, scalability, and customization options.

Additional Notes:

  • Big Cartel offers a free plan, while Shopify does not.
  • Shopify offers a wider range of features and integrations than Big Cartel.
  • Big Cartel is easier to use for beginners, while Shopify offers more flexibility for customization.

Ultimately, the best platform for you depends on your specific business needs and priorities.

Big Cartel

Big Cartel is a user-friendly e-commerce platform that is designed specifically for artists, makers, and small businesses. It offers a simple and intuitive interface, making it easy for beginners to set up and manage their online stores. Big Cartel focuses on providing a platform for creative individuals to sell their products, with a strong emphasis on customization and personalization.

One of the main advantages of Big Cartel is its affordability. It offers a free plan that allows you to list up to 5 products, making it a great option for small businesses and artists who are just starting out. However, if you have a larger inventory or need more advanced features, you will need to upgrade to one of their paid plans.

While Big Cartel offers a range of customization options, it may not be as feature-rich as other e-commerce platforms. It lacks some advanced features like abandoned cart recovery, built-in blogging, and extensive reporting. However, if you are looking for a simple and straightforward platform to sell your products without the need for complex features, Big Cartel can be a good choice.


Shopify is one of the most popular e-commerce platforms available today. It is known for its robust features, scalability, and extensive app store. Shopify is suitable for businesses of all sizes, from small startups to large enterprises. It offers a wide range of themes and templates, allowing you to create a professional-looking online store with ease.

One of the key advantages of Shopify is its powerful inventory management system. It allows you to easily manage and track your inventory, set up product variants, and handle shipping and fulfillment. Shopify also offers advanced features like abandoned cart recovery, built-in blogging, and detailed analytics, making it a comprehensive solution for online businesses.

While Shopify offers a range of pricing plans, it may be more expensive compared to Big Cartel. However, the additional features and scalability that Shopify provides can be worth the investment, especially if you have a growing business or need advanced functionality.

Which Platform is Right for You?

Choosing between Big Cartel and Shopify ultimately depends on your specific needs and goals. Here are a few factors to consider:

  • Size of your business: If you are a small business or artist with a limited inventory, Big Cartel’s free plan may be a suitable option. However, if you have a larger inventory or plan to scale your business, Shopify’s scalability may be more beneficial.
  • Features and functionality: Consider the specific features and functionality that are important to your business. If you need advanced features like abandoned cart recovery and built-in blogging, Shopify may be the better choice.
  • Budget: Take into account your budget and the pricing plans offered by each platform. Big Cartel’s free plan can be a cost-effective option for small businesses, while Shopify offers more comprehensive plans with additional features.
  • Design and customization: Evaluate the design options and customization capabilities of each platform. Big Cartel focuses on customization and personalization, while Shopify offers a wider range of themes and templates.

Ultimately, both Big Cartel and Shopify are reputable e-commerce platforms that can help you set up and manage your online store. Consider your specific needs, budget, and long-term goals to make the right choice for your business. Remember, it’s important to research and test the platforms before making a final decision to ensure they meet your requirements.

Whether you choose Big Cartel or Shopify, the key to success lies in creating a compelling online store, providing excellent customer service, and marketing your products effectively. With the right platform and strategy, you can build a successful online business and reach your target audience.



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