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BigCommerce vs. 3dcart vs. Shopify

Are you ready to start an online store, but not sure which e-commerce platform to use?

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Fact checked

There are a lot of good e-commerce platforms out there. Three top contenders are BigCommerce, 3dcart and Shopify — and they’re constantly duking it out for new customers.

Compare e-commerce providers

Data indicated here is updated regularly
Name Product Products Monthly fees start at Processing fees start at Hosting
BigCommerce
Payment processing, Website builder, Inventory tracking, Shopping cart software, Shipping software
$29.95/month
2.9% + $0.30 per transaction
Hosted
BigCommerce is an all-in-one e-commerce platform created to help you sell more.
3dcart
Website builder, Inventory tracking, Shopping cart software, Shipping software
$19/month
None
Hosted
Helps businesses build online storefronts while offering a variety of service tiers bundled for businesses large or small
Shopify
Payment processing, Website builder, Inventory tracking, Shopping cart software, Shipping software
$29/month
2.9% + $0.30 online; 2.7% in person
Hosted
Shopify offers both e-commerce and in-person POS systems designed to help you build a new online store from the ground up.
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Compare up to 4 providers

How much do they cost?

Let’s lay out the pricing for each platform’s main paid plans.

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Winner: 3dcart

Judged solely on monthly price, 3dcart comes out on top. It’s about $10 cheaper than BigCommerce and Shopify.

You’ll want to look at other features to compare, of course. But if you plan on running a smaller store, 3dcart could win this battle.

BigCommerce

PlanPricing
Standard$29.95/month
Plus$79.95/month
Pro$249.95/month

3dcart

PlanPricing
Startup$19.00/month
Basic$29.00/month
Plus$79.00/month
Pro$229.00/month

Shopify

PlanPricing
Basic Shopify$29.00/month
Shopify$79.00/month
Advanced Shopify$299.00/month

Comparing the features

To compare the three services, we’ll compare each of the entry-level plans: BigCommerce’s Standard plan, 3dcart’s Startup plan and Shopify’s Basic Shopify plan.

BigCommerce (Standard)3dcart (Startup)Shopify (Basic Shopify)
Monthly price$29.95$19.00$29.00
Product limitUnlimited100Unlimited
Sales limit$50,000NoneNone
WebsiteYesYesYes
BlogYesYesYes
Transaction feesNoneNoneNone with Shopify Payments; 2% with external payment gateways
Bandwidth limitUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited
Staff accountsUnlimited12
Discount codesYesYesYes
Abandoned cart recoveryNoNoYes
File storageUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited
Real-time shipping calculationYesYesYes

For full feature lists, check out our reviews for BigCommerce, 3dcart and Shopify.

Product limit

3dcart may have the lowest price point, but it comes with a disadvantage: It caps the number of products you can list in your store. Meanwhile, BigCommerce and Shopify both let you stock unlimited products.

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Winner: It’s a tie — BigCommerce and Shopify

Sales limit

One big weakness to BigCommerce is its sales limits — $50,000 on the Standard plan, $150,000 on the Plus plan and $1 million on the Pro plan. Neither 3dcart nor Shopify have sales limits.

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Winner: It’s a tie — 3dcart and Shopify

Transaction fees

You’ll pay credit card transaction fees of between 2% and 3%, regardless of which payment gateway you use. However, some e-commerce platforms charge additional transaction fees.

Shopify, for example, charges a transaction fee if you accept credit card payments outside of Shopify Payments — 2% on the Basic Shopify plan, with a smaller percentage on the upper-tier plans. Meanwhile, neither BigCommerce nor 3dcart charge additional fees for any payment gateway.

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Winner: It’s a tie — BigCommerce and 3dcart

Micro and enterprise plans

Some e-commerce platforms offer a micro plan that comes with very few features at a very low price. Most e-commerce platforms also offer enterprise plans for very large brands. Let’s compare these plans among BigCommerce, 3dcart and Shopify.

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Winner: 3-way tie

BigCommerce and 3dcart don’t offer micro plans, while Shopify does. Each company’s enterprise plan is highly capable, making it tough to anoint a winner here. Consider contacting BigCommerce, 3dcart and Shopify support teams for platform demos.

BigCommerce

BigCommerce doesn’t offer a micro plan. Its lowest-level plan is the Standard plan.

BigCommerce’s Enterprise plan comes with such features as:

  • Unlimited yearly sales volume
  • Priority customer support
  • Special credit card rates (2.2% + $0.30 or lower)
  • Abandoned cart saver
  • Product filtering
  • Dedicated SSL
  • Unlimited API calls

3dcart

3dcart does not offer a micro plan anymore; its lowest-tier plan is now the Startup plan.

It does have an Enterprise plan, however, which comes with:

  • Dedicated support team
  • Unlimited sales volume
  • Unlimited monthly visitors
  • Unlimited staff users
  • Unlimited email hosting
  • Unlimited disk space
  • DDOS protection

Shopify

Shopify’s micro plan is Shopify Lite, which is just $9 a month. This plan doesn’t come with an online store — instead, Shopify Lite lets you sell on your own website or on Facebook, Pinterest or other social media.

If you’re an established brand or running a store that sells at a heavy volume, take a look at Shopify Plus. With this enterprise plan, you get:

  • Unlimited bandwidth
  • Unlimited sales transactions
  • Dedicated support manager
  • Multichannel sales
  • Unlimited email hosting
  • Infrastructure to handle product launches, flash sales and special events
  • Fraud detection

Point-of-sale hardware

In addition to selling online, you might also want to sell in person. All three e-commerce platforms offer this capability.

BigCommerce integrates with Square’s point-of-sale (POS) platform, but it doesn’t offer its own POS hardware.

However, 3dcart and Shopify do offer POS hardware, including:

  • Cash drawers
  • Receipt printers
  • Barcode scanners
  • iPad stands

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Winner: Shopify and 3dcart

Shopify and 3dcart have their own POS software, making it easy to integrate your online and brick-and-mortar stores.

Themes

Let’s see how BigCommerce, 3dcart and Shopify stack up for free and paid themes.

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Winner: 3dcart by a hair

Looking only at the number of free themes offered, 3dcart comes out on top. As of January 2020, it offers more than 40 free themes, compared with BigCommerce’s 12 and Shopify’s eight. Meanwhile, BigCommerce offers more paid themes than 3dcart and Shopify.

Since picking a winner depends on your own tastes, it’s a good idea to check out the platforms’ theme pages for yourself.

BigCommerce

BigCommerce offers 12 free themes that include:

Fortune Theme on BigCommerce
Versatile and Modern Theme on BigCommerce

If you’re willing to pay for a theme, you’ll find many more options — around 80 of them. Prices for the paid themes are typically between $145 and $200.

3dcart

3dcart offers over 40 free themes, including:

Start by Listening Theme on 3dcart
Forever Classic Style Theme on 3dcart

You can choose from more than 40 paid themes, which generally range from $149 to $199.

Shopify

Shopify offers eight free themes, including:

Summer Collection Theme
Shopify Reinventing Coffee Theme

You can choose from over 70 paid themes, typically ranging from $140 to $180.

Which platform should you pick?

BigCommerce, 3dcart and Shopify are all highly capable e-commerce platforms.

We can pick winners in a few categories.

CategoryWinner
Lowest monthly price for a standard plan:3dcart
Lowest monthly price for a micro plan:Shopify
Best for unlimited products:BigCommerce and Shopify
Best for unlimited sales volume:3dcart and Shopify
Best for POS hardware:3dcart and Shopify

That said, the overall winner will be the one that works best for your own needs. And if none of these sound like what you’re looking for, compare other e-commerce platforms to find the right choice.

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