Are you ready to start an online store, not sure which e-commerce platform to use?
How much do they cost?
Let’s lay out the pricing for each platform’s main paid plans.
|BigCommerce||Standard||$29.95 a month|
|Plus||$79.95 a month|
|Pro||$249.95 a month|
|3dcart||Mini||$19.99 a month|
|Professional||$65.99 a month|
|Professional Plus||$99.99 a month|
|Power Plan||$129.99 a month|
|High Traffic Plan||$199.99 a month|
|High Traffic Plan Plus||$499.99 a month|
|Shopify||Basic Shopify||$29 a month|
|Shopify||$79 a month|
|Advanced Shopify||$299 a month|
Comparing the features
To compare the three services, we’ll compare each of the entry-level plans: BigCommerce’s Standard plan, 3dcart’s Mini plan and Shopify’s Basic Shopify plan.
|BigCommerce (Standard)||3dcart (Mini)||Shopify (Basic Shopify)|
|Transaction fees||None||None||None with Shopify Payments; 2% with external payment gateways|
|Abandoned cart recovery||No||No||No|
|Bing Ads and Google AdWords credits||No||Yes||No|
|Real-time shipping calculation||Yes||Yes||No|
|Google Trusted Stores designation||No||Yes||No|
For full feature lists, check out our reviews for BigCommerce, 3dcart and Shopify.
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.
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.
Winner: It’s a tie — BigCommerce and Shopify
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.
Winner: It’s a tie — 3dcart and Shopify
You might find 3dcart’s bandwidth limit to be a hassle as you’re growing (it’s 2GB on the Mini plan). Neither BigCommerce nor Shopify set limits on bandwidth.
Winner: It’s a tie — BigCommerce and Shopify
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 plan, with a smaller percentage on the upper-tier plans. Meanwhile, neither BigCommerce nor 3dcart charge additional fees for any payment gateway.
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 platforms also offer enterprise plans for very large brands.
Let’s compare these plans among BigCommerce, 3dcart and Shopify.
BigCommerce doesn’t offer a micro plan. Its lowest-level plan is the Standard plan.
However, BigCommerce does offer the Enterprise plan that 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
- Google Trusted Stores designation
- Fraud monitoring and analytics
- Product filtering
- Dedicated SSL
- Unlimited API calls
3dcart’s micro plan is the Nano, which is $9.99 a month. On this plan, you get:
- Up to 10 products stocked in your store
- 1 staff user
- 1GB of bandwidth
- Monthly visitor quota of 2,000
3dcart’s Enterprise plan comes with:
- Dedicated support team
- Unlimited sales volume
- Unlimited monthly visitors
- Unlimited staff users
- Unlimited email hosting
- Unlimited disk space
- DDOS protection
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 heavy volume, take a look at Shopify Plus. With this enterprise plan, you get:
- Unlimited bandwidth
- Unlimited sales transactions
- Dedicated support manager
- Multichannel sales
- Infrastructure to handle product launches, flash sales and special events
- Fraud detection
The big winner
BigCommerce doesn’t offer a micro plan, while 3dcart and Shopify do. Yet 3dcart allows you create a standalone store on its Nano plan, while Shopify doesn’t. But Shopify arguably offers better options to sell on social media (such as Pinterest Buyable Pins), which 3dcart can’t match.
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
Let’s see how BigCommerce, 3dcart and Shopify stack up for free and paid themes.
BigCommerce offers seven free themes that include:
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 offers over 60 free themes, including:
You can choose from more than 40 paid themes, which generally range from $99 to $199. You’ll also find third-party themes from sources like Envato.
Shopify offers nine free themes:
You can choose from over 40 paid themes, typically ranging from $140 to $180.
Since picking a winner depends on your own tastes, it’s a good idea to check out the platforms’ theme pages for yourself.
Looking only at the number of free themes offered, 3dcart comes out on top. It offers more than 40 themes, compared with BigCommerce’s seven and Shopify’s nine. Meanwhile, BigCommerce offers more paid themes than 3dcart and Shopify.
Which platform should you pick?
BigCommerce, 3dcart and Shopify are all highly capable e-commerce platforms.
We can pick winners in a few categories.
|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 unlimited bandwidth:||BigCommerce 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.