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BigCommerce vs. Shift4Shop vs. Shopify

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

There are a lot of good e-commerce platforms out there. Three top contenders are BigCommerce, Shift4Shop and Shopify — and they’re constantly duking it out for new customers.

But which is best for you depends on your business needs. We've broken down all the ways these e-commerce giants compare to help you decide.

Which platform should you pick?

Comparing BigCommerce, Shift4Shop and Shopify across five main categories, Shopify comes out in the lead, with Shift4Shop in a close second.

That said, the overall winner for you will be the one that works best for your store and will depend heavily on the size of your business.

Lowest price for a standard plan:

Shift4Shop

Lowest monthly price for a micro plan:

Shopify

Best for unlimited products:

3-way tie

Best for unlimited sales volume:

Shopify

Best for POS hardware:

Shift4Shop and Shopify

Best for transaction fees:

BigCommerce and Shift4Shop

Best Micro and Enterprise plans:

3-way tie

Best for themes:

Shift4Shop

How much do they cost?

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

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Winner: Shift4Shop

Technically, Shift4Shop comes out on top, but only for those who sign up for its End-to-End plan. Shift4Shop's End-to-End plan is free to use but only if you opt into payment processing from its parent company, Shift4 Payments. Otherwise, you're looking at one of its paid plans which start at $29 monthly — the same as BigCommerce.

You’ll want to look at other features to compare, of course. But if you plan on using Shift4 Payments as your payment processor, Shift4Shop wins this battle.

BigCommerce

Standard

$29.95/month

Plus

$79.95/month

Pro

$299.95 for first $400,000 in sales

+ $150 for each additional $200,000 in sales

Shift4Shop

End-to-End

$0 — if you use Shift4 Payments

Basic

$29/month

Plus

$79/month

Pro

$229/month

Enterprise

$499/month

Shopify

Shopify Lite

$9/month

Basic Shopify

$29/month

Shopify

$79/month

Advanced Shopify

$299/month

Shopify Plus

$2000

Comparing the features

We compare entry-level plans for each of the three e-commerce platforms: BigCommerce’s Standard plan, Shift4Shop’s Basic plan and Shopify’s Basic Shopify plan.

Monthly price

$29.95

$29.00

$29.00

Product limit

Unlimited

Unlimited

Unlimited

Sales limit

$50,000

$100,000

None

Website

Yes

Yes

Yes

Blog

Yes

Yes

Yes

Transaction fees

None

None

None with Shopify Payments; 2% with external payment gateways

Bandwidth limit

Unlimited

Unlimited

Unlimited

Staff accounts

Unlimited

2

2

Discount codes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Abandoned cart recovery

No

No

Yes

File storage

Unlimited

Unlimited

Unlimited

Real-time shipping calculation

Yes

Yes

Yes

For full feature lists, check out our reviews for BigCommerce, Shift4Shop and Shopify.

Product limit

Each platform allows you to stock unlimited products.

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Winner: 3-way tie

Sales limit

Both BigCommerce and Shift4Shop set sales limits on their service tiers — a limitation Shopify doesn't impose on any of its plans.

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Winner: 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 Shift4Shop charge additional fees for any payment gateway.

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Winner: It’s a tie — BigCommerce andShift4Shop

Micro and enterprise plans

Some e-commerce platforms offer a micro plan that comes with few features at a low price. Most e-commerce platforms also offer enterprise plans for very large brands. Let’s compare these plans among BigCommerce, Shift4Shop and Shopify.

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Winner: 3-way tie

BigCommerce and Shift4Shop 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, Shift4Shop 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

Shift4Shop

Shift4Shop does not offer a micro plan anymore — its lowest-tier plan is now the Basic plan.

But it does have an Enterprise plan that 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 only $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, Shift4Shop and Shopify do offer POS hardware, including:

  • Cash drawers
  • Receipt printers
  • Barcode scanners
  • iPad stands
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Winner: Shopify and Shift4Shop

Shopify and Shift4Shop have their own POS software, making it easy to integrate your online and brick-and-mortar stores.

Themes

Let’s see how BigCommerce, Shift4Shop and Shopify stack up for free and paid themes.

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Winner: Shift4Shop

Looking only at the number of free themes offered, Shift4Shop comes out on top. As of February 2021, it offers more than 100 free themes. Compare this with BigCommerce's 12 and Shopify's eight and the winner is clear.

Since picking a number one depends on your personal preferences, 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 100 of them. Prices for the paid themes are typically between $150 and $300.

Shift4Shop

Shift4Shop offers over 100 free themes, including:

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

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.

Compare e-commerce providers

To compare providers, try sorting by products, monthly fees, processing fees or hosting services. You can also choose the Go to site button for more information.

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.
Shift4Shop
Website builder, Inventory tracking, Shopping cart software, Shipping software
$29/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
$9/month
2.9% + $0.30 online; 2.4% 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

Frequently asked questions

Do any of these three e-commerce platforms come with contracts?

No, none of the standard plans with Shopify, BigCommerce or 3dcart come with contracts. However, you may be asked to sign a contract if you register for an enterprise plan.

Do I need my own web hosting when I sign up for one of the e-commerce platforms?

No, each platform provides web hosting. You’ll need your own website only if you want to add buy buttons or if you’re on the Shopify Lite plan, which doesn’t offer a standalone e-commerce store.

More guides on Finder

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  • Shopify vs. WordPress

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  • Adobe Commerce vs. Shopify

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  • Square alternatives

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  • Adobe Commerce review

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  • Wix vs. Shopify

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  • Big Cartel vs. Shopify

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  • Volusion vs. Shopify

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