Best E-Commerce Platforms: BigCommerce vs Shopify vs Magento

If you’re looking for a way to increase revenue and kick your business up a notch, you should invest in e-commerce software. It does more than allow you to sell products online. It manages your business too. 

Now, there’s a big difference between an e-commerce website and an e-commerce platform. An e-commerce website allows you to sell items 24/7. The right e-commerce platform allows you to simplify business tasks, saving you time and money. Here’s an example – have you been paying for Excel or other spreadsheet software for inventory, payroll calculations, and profits and losses? An e-commerce platform can do all of that? So no more Excel, or other software. If you have staff manage those tasks, they can save a lot of time and energy with the right e-commerce tools. So that means you can redirect the money you’d pay those employees and pay them the same amount to do other tasks, like helping customers or physically cleaning storerooms or storefronts. 

The thing is this – there’s more than one player in town. There are three big giants in the e-commerce platform space: BigCommerce, Shopify, and Magento. Here, we list the pros and cons of each. If you’re still confused or want us to help you decide more, we can offer a consultation. We can also train your employees or maintain the platform for you.

e-commerce website platforms

Shopify: A Standout All-In-One E-Commerce Tool

Shopify is an all-in-one e-commerce website builder and business management platform with over one million clients. Getting started with Shopify is easy, even if you don’t have a website yet. They have a wide range of pre-designed templates that are drag-and-drop editors. If you can use Word or Google Docs, you can use Shopify.

If you already have a website,  you can transfer your existing website to Shopify. In other words, you can replace your previous website builder, all kinds of software you were using to run your business, and your website’s content management system to Shopify. This is called migration, and for beginners, it can be long and tedious. That’s why so many companies use third-party vendors, like us at SEO Design Chicago, to handle the transition and training. 

Shopify’s Pricing Tiers

Basic plans start at $39 per month and include:

  • Simple reports about your website and business
  • The ability to manage 1,000 inventory locations
  • Shipping discounts up to 77%
  • 2 staff accounts 

The next level up is called Shopify, and for $105 per month it includes:

  • More advanced reports about your business and website
  • The ability to manage 1,000 inventory locations
  • Shipping discounts up to 88%
  • 5 staff accounts

The most advanced plan costs $399 per month and includes:

  • A tool to customize reports so that you can finally find answers to your long-burning questions about what makes your buyers purchase goods and services from you, or choose another business to satisfy their needs
  • The ability to manage up to 1,000 inventory locations
  • Shipping discounts up to 88% 
  • 15 staff accounts
  • A tool to show customers at checkout what they’ll pay for shipping

Finally, there is Shopify Plus. This top tier starts at $2000 per month, so it’s best for larger businesses. It offers the most options for tools and features, and you can pick and choose what you want and what you don’t. 

BigCommerce vs Shopify vs Magento

Which Plan Is Right For You?

Here’s one important thing to consider before choosing the least expensive option – the more you pay per month, the less you pay when a customer uses a credit card to buy something from you. The more you pay per month, the more access you have to websites and business management tools, like data reports and profit/loss statements. As you learn more about Shopify’s tools, and as your business grows, you’ll probably realize you need to upgrade from one plan to another.

All Shopify plans include access to an incredible suite of e-commerce features and business management tools, including:

  • Point of sale for brick-and-mortar shops
  • Real-time shipping costs
  • Abandoned checkout features when a user logs back in
  • Automatic tax calculations
  • Customer accounts and profiles
  • Advanced inventory management
  • Unlimited products
  • In-depth analytics to track usability, SEO, and customer satisfaction


The biggest difference between BigCommerce and its competitors is that they don’t charge fees or take a commission on your sales, regardless of if you choose their basic plan or an advanced plan. It’s a great option for those who are already seeing strong sales on Instagram, Etsy, or eBay. If you don’t have a lot of products to sell, stop reading now and read our other suggestions below. BigCommerce isn’t great for people who don’t have a big and robust product line.

Like the others on this list, BigCommerce has pre-designed themes. But for some reason, they’re not easy to spot for new users. They call their themes “Stencil.” The templates produced by Stencil are great, but many reviewers have simply been confused by the term. 

BigCommerce’s Pricing

One thing we love about BigCommerce is that you can try it for free for 15 days, then pick a plan. During that time, if you dedicate yourself to playing around with it, you’ll learn what you need and what you don’t. 

Basic plans start and $29.95 per month and include:

  • No transaction fees for credit card payments
  • The ability to sell products on Amazon, eBay, Facebook, Pinterest, & Google Shopping
  • Ability to accept PayPal, Apple Pay, & Amazon Pay in addition to credit cards
  • Security features
  • Real-time shipping quotes

The Plus plan costs $79.95 per month and includes everything above, plus an abandoned cart saver tool and the ability to customize reports involving customers and users. For $299.95 per month, you get everything from the lower tiers plus Google customer reviews, a custom SSL, and faceted search (product filtering).

An enterprise plan is for big businesses and you must talk to a representative for costs. So if you have a limited product line, BigCommerce may work better for you than Shopify. But there’s a third recommendation too.

best e-commerce platforms

Magento: Best for Companies That Need Multilingual Sites

Magento is a system developed by Adobe Commerce. One of its best selling points is that it can allow users to create multiple multilingual websites. That’s important for any company, but especially B2B companies, that sell to users who live or work or sell products to non-English speaking consumers. 

Through the Adobe Marketplace, Magento users can access 3,600 native tools for SEO, customer support, marketing, shipping, and fulfillment. Now if you’ve never used Adobe, you may as well consider one of the alternatives above. Adobe products require a willingness to learn about technology. That doesn’t mean you need to be a coder to use Magento. Magento offers a drag-and-drop page builder, simple inventory management, and easily digestible website traffic features. Magento also offers point-of-sale tools systems through extensions. People who log in to Magento sites can manage their company accounts, allow people certain powers to buy items, and track and manage their payments and invoices within the platform.

One thing that some don’t like about Magento is that potential customers need to contact the company to get a quote for pricing. Prices for Magento start at $1,999 per month. For larger companies, this all-in-one tool may be worth it. You don’t need any other software to manage anything – from your website to your payroll. The price, obviously, only makes sense if you do large volume sales, especially with people who may prefer a non-English website. 

About 20% of businesses migrated their e-commerce system to Magento by 2020. That tells you that for at least some, Magento offers benefits others don’t. Still unsure what’s best for you? Reach out to us. 

E-Commerce Website Help From SEO Design Chicago

If you need help figuring out what e-commerce platform is best for you, need assistance getting started, or help with ongoing management, SEO Design Chicago has experienced web developers and designers that are ready to help you. Check out all of our services to find out how we can help your business. 


  • What is an e-commerce platform?
  • What is Shopify?
  • How much does Magento cost?
  • What is Magento?
  • What is BigCommerce?

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