Big Cartel vs Shopify – 2024 Update

In a Nutshell

To put it mildly:

Shopify: Ideal for building a dropshipping business or a scalable online store.

Big Cartel: Ideal for small online stores or web design beginners.

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Table of Contents

If you are looking to sell services and/or goods online from your website, you can make good use of two leading eCommerce platforms. These are Big Cartel and Shopify. However, it must be made clear here that each of them is made for specific sorts of sellers as they present different types of customisations. If you have made up your mind that you will go with any one of these but don’t know which one, read on. This blog will give you a very good Big Cartel vs Shopify comparison. Hopefully, the comparison that you see here will help you decide which platform is right for you.

While you are looking into the Big Cartel vs Shopify issue, it will also be right for you to take a look at a host of other software industry concepts. These include knowing about a woocommerce web developer or ecommerce web development service.

Big Cartel vs Shopify: An Overview

Just a quick glance at Big Cartel’s website will allow you to see that it presents itself as an eCommerce platform for makers and artists. It is proud of the fact that it is very friendly towards artists thanks to its low cost and free plans, and even because of the absence of fees. It is because of Big Cartel that you can effortlessly create a professional-looking and also stunning web store, and you don’t even have to write one line of code.

Now, let’s look at Shopify. This platform allows you to create a properly functioning eCommerce website. Besides this, it presents a free three-day trial. Then, it allows you to choose from a host of plans depending on your business’ size and the features that you require. It is generally observed that Shopify is costlier as compared to Big Cartel. But at the same time, it presents much more apps, features, and customisation.

It is in the nature of both of these platforms to attain the same objective, which is to sell products on your website. However, because of a wide array of differences in customisation options and features, you are required to choose a platform that rightly aligns with your grand business objectives.

Big Cartel vs Shopify – A Tabular Comparison


Big Cartel




Free for 5 products. After this, it costs $9.99 to $19.99 per month

Starts from $29 and goes to $299 per month for an eCommerce website

Free Trial

No free trial, but there is a free plan

Free for 3 days, plus one month for $1

Transaction Fees

Differs by payment processor

With the basic plan, 2.9% + 30 cents per transaction

Maximum Items




4,000 + integrations with Zapier

6,000 + integrations with the Shopify app


More than 15 free themes featuring some customisation options

More than 75 paid themes and 17 free themes with flexible design capabilities

SEO Tools

No option to edit meta descriptions. Difficult to create redirects or include a blog without knowing HTML or utilising external tools

Easy to include a blog. Option to edit URLs, meta descriptions, and title tags.

Payment Processing

Lack of a built-in processor. The choice of PayPal, Apple Pay, or Stripe for credit cards

Accepts every major debit and credit card, PayPal, Google Pay, and Apple Pay. Built-in payment processor.

Customer Service

There is email support present, but not 24/7. Support documentation is also present.

Live chat, phone, and email support is available 24/7 for every plan.

No Coding Required

Shopify and Big Cartel were created with an average user in mind. This means that you do not require any sort of prior web development experience to either launch or design your site. Many observers believe that the most obvious and biggest difference between the two technologies is associated with the customisation area. When it comes to Big Cartel, there is very little flexibility with regards to modifying its pre-built themes. As a user, you may not include your desired font for usage, put a banner where you require it, or upload videos to your product listings.

Let’s look at Shopify now. This technology gives you a better degree of control over your end design. This is true even when you utilise a pre-built template. Additionally, you have the option of including videos in a given product listing. This will ultimately allow you to raise your conversion rates.

Integrations and Add-Ons

Both Shopify and Big Cartel offer a good number of add-ons from which to select. However, the way you include them on your site is not the same. Big Cartel’s majority of “add-ons” are integrations through Zapier. For those who are not familiar with it, Zapier comes as a reputed automation tool that assists you in attaining a host of duties, such as posting new listings to Facebook, sending order confirmation emails, and adding emails to a Mailchimp database.

There are thousands of integrations in Shopify via its app store. Just like Google Play or Apple’s App Store, you have the option of browsing through numerous apps and directly integrating them into your website’s backend.


Big Cartel presents you with month-to-month plans only. You can cancel them whenever you want.

With Shopify, you get both annual and month-to-month contracts. If you pay in full upfront while selecting a one or two-year plan, then you can save as much as 20%. Let’s say that you decide to shut down your Shopify store. In this case, you can deactivate it and cancel your selected subscription. However, you must understand that you will not receive any sort of refund. Furthermore, you have the option of going with the “pause and build” plan. This allows you to put a pause on your store’s operations. At the same time, it permits you to carry on conducting backend adjustments.

Web Hosting and Domain Names

Shopify and Big Cartel look after a very critical component of building a website. This is web hosting. Note that if you want to get a custom domain name that does not feature either or in your URL, it will demand an integration or additional purchase.

Shopify allows you to buy a domain with the aid of its platform or connect with the domain that you have purchased from a given provider. When it comes to Big Cartel, you have the option of purchasing a domain via a given third-party platform, like GoDaddy, and then connecting the domain with your existing Big Cartel account.

Concluding Remarks

The Big Cartel vs Shopify debate is indeed an interesting one. This is because both of these are no-code and easy-to-use platforms for selling your products. Here, it is up to you to decide which is the right option for you. This decision greatly depends on your business-related priorities and goals. If you are in a position where you are about to scale your eCommerce business significantly, then the most likely choice for you will be Shopify. On the contrary, if you seek a low-cost or free option that doesn’t require advanced customisation and will do so with a small inventory, then Big Cartel will come as a wonderful selection.

While you are on the Big Cartel vs Shopify topic, perhaps you should also look for Shopify plus development services and even Shopify store setup experts.

Lastly, understand that you may be utilising either Big Cartel or Shopify; there is a great degree of chance that you will do well with Futurbyte’s software solutions. This is a well-reputed software company that offers you some of the finest software products that you can avail of anywhere in the world.

I consider myself a beginner with limited technical knowledge. Which platform will be best for me?

In this case, it will be best for you to go with Big Cartel as it is easy to set it up. It is also well-known for its fewer customisation options and a simpler interface. On the other hand, Shopify presents you with a greater number of features and flexibility. However, if you want to make good use of these, then you must possess some level of technical expertise.

Which platform gives greater customisation options for store design?

Here, you should know that Shopify offers a greater number of customisation options and themes for store design than Big Cartel. This means that Shopify will allow you to be more flexible when it comes to creating a unique storefront.

Is it possible to migrate from Shopify to Big Cartel and vice versa?

Of course, it is possible to migrate from Shopify to Big Cartel and vice versa. Both offer resources and tools to assist with any such migration attempt.

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