Big Cartel vs Shopify: Which Platform is Right for Your Online Store?

business By Oct 15, 2023 No Comments

Welcome, The France Jobs Reader! If you’re an artist or a maker looking to start an online store, you’re in the right place. As someone who has experience with both Big Cartel and Shopify, I understand the importance of choosing the right platform for your creative business. In this article, we’ll compare and contrast these two popular options and help you make an informed decision.

Big Cartel: Built for Artists and Makers

Big Cartel has been empowering artists and makers since 2005, providing them with a simple and affordable platform to showcase and sell their unique creations. Let’s delve into some key aspects of Big Cartel that make it a beloved choice among the creative community.

Customizable and Affordable

One of the biggest advantages of Big Cartel is that it doesn’t take a cut of your sales or charge excessive fees. It offers affordable monthly plans designed to fit different needs and budgets. Whether you’re just starting out or running an established business, Big Cartel has a plan for you.

Plan Options and Features

Big Cartel offers a range of features to support your creative business. With customizable themes, you can create a unique online store that speaks to your brand identity. Multiple payment options make it easy for customers to make purchases. Real-time stats provide insights into your store’s performance, allowing you to make data-driven decisions. Custom domains help establish a professional online presence.

Furthermore, Big Cartel offers discount and promo code capabilities, allowing you to run marketing campaigns and boost sales. Shipment tracking helps you stay organized and keep customers informed about the progress of their orders.

Flexible Pricing

When it comes to pricing, Big Cartel offers different options to accommodate businesses of various sizes. If you’re just getting started and have a small product range, you can opt for the free plan, which allows you to list up to 5 products. As your business grows, you can upgrade to paid plans that offer more product listings, with options available for 50 or 500 products. This flexibility ensures that you only pay for what you need.

Big Cartel has been a trusted platform for over a million creators worldwide, providing them with the tools to successfully sell their products and grow their businesses.

Shopify: Empowering Entrepreneurs and Big Brands

Shopify is a leading e-commerce platform, supporting entrepreneurs and big brands alike in building and scaling their online stores. Let’s explore what makes Shopify a popular choice for businesses of all sizes.

Build an Online Store with Ease

With Shopify, building an online storefront is a breeze. The platform provides customizable templates and an intuitive interface that allows you to craft the exact brand experience you desire. Whether you’re a solo entrepreneur or a larger company, Shopify caters to your needs.

Expansive Sales Channels and Apps

Shopify enables you to sell your products not only through your website but also via numerous channels. By leveraging social media integrations and marketplaces, you can reach a broader audience and increase your sales potential. Shopify also offers an extensive app store, allowing you to enhance your store’s functionality with various apps and integrations.

Fast and Reliable Checkout Process

With Shopify, you can offer your customers a seamless checkout experience. The platform ensures secure and efficient payment processing, reducing cart abandonment and maximizing conversions. Shopify also provides options for multiple currencies and languages, enabling global sales.

Centralized Business Operations

Managing an online store involves various backend tasks, such as inventory management, order tracking, and customer support. Shopify streamlines these operations by integrating them into one centralized system. You can easily track and manage inventory, fulfill orders, and handle returns all within the platform. Additionally, Shopify provides tools for money management and offers flexible funding options.

Support and Resources

Shopify believes in providing comprehensive support to its users. On their website, you’ll find a helpful blog filled with marketing and business strategy tips. They offer online courses taught by successful entrepreneurs, providing valuable insights and learnings. Additionally, Shopify has a thriving community where you can connect with fellow entrepreneurs and seek support. Their help center is another great resource, offering articles and videos to assist you in using the platform to its fullest potential.

Endless Growth Potential

Whether you’re just starting or aiming to expand globally, Shopify equips you with all the necessary tools. The platform allows you to sell products locally and internationally, supporting your business growth at every step.

A Detailed Comparison: Big Cartel vs Shopify

Now, let’s dive deeper into the differences between Big Cartel and Shopify in a side-by-side comparison.

Comparison Big Cartel Shopify
Target Audience Artists and Makers Entrepreneurs and Big Brands
Pricing Model Free and Paid Plans (Based on Product Listings) Various Plans with Monthly Subscription
Customization Options Customizable Themes Customizable Templates
Sales Channels Website Website, Social Media, Marketplaces
Payment Options Multiple Options Secure Payment Processing
Inventory Management Basic Advanced with Centralized System
Shipping and Fulfillment Basic Integrated Solutions
Marketing Tools Discounts, Promos SEO, Social Media Integration, Email Marketing
Support and Resources Limited Extensive Blog, Online Courses, Community, Help Center
Growth Opportunities Up to 500 Products Unlimited Products, Global Sales

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. Can I use Big Cartel or Shopify for any type of product?

Both Big Cartel and Shopify are versatile platforms that can accommodate various types of products, whether physical or digital.

2. Which platform is more affordable, Big Cartel or Shopify?

Big Cartel offers a free plan and affordable paid plans, making it a budget-friendly choice. Shopify has various subscription plans that cater to different budgets and business sizes.

3. Can I use my own domain name with Big Cartel and Shopify?

Yes, both platforms allow you to use a custom domain name, providing a professional online presence for your store.

4. Does Big Cartel or Shopify offer integrated shipping solutions?

While Big Cartel offers basic shipping options, Shopify provides more advanced and integrated solutions for shipping and fulfillment management.

5. Which platform offers better marketing tools?

Shopify offers a range of marketing features, including SEO optimization, social media integration, and email marketing capabilities. However, Big Cartel allows for discounts and promo codes to boost sales.

6. Can I sell products globally with Big Cartel and Shopify?

Yes, both platforms enable you to sell your products globally and reach customers worldwide.

7. Are there limitations on the number of products I can list?

Big Cartel offers different plans with varying product listing limits, while Shopify allows for unlimited product listings on most plans.

8. Which platform provides more support and resources?

Shopify offers extensive support through its blog, online courses, community, and help center. While Big Cartel has a limited support system, it still provides basic assistance to its users.

9. Can I expand my business with Big Cartel and Shopify?

Both platforms have the capabilities to support business growth. However, Shopify’s advanced features and global reach make it an ideal choice for scaling a business.

10. Can I switch from Big Cartel to Shopify or vice versa?

Yes, you can migrate your store from Big Cartel to Shopify or vice versa. Each platform provides tools and resources to facilitate this transition.


In the battle of Big Cartel vs Shopify, both platforms have their strengths and cater to specific audiences. For artists and makers looking for simplicity and affordability, Big Cartel is a fantastic choice. It offers various features tailored to the creative community, without breaking the bank.

On the other hand, Shopify is a robust and versatile platform that empowers entrepreneurs and big brands. It provides extensive tools, resources, and scalability options, allowing businesses to thrive on a global scale.

The decision ultimately boils down to your specific business needs and growth aspirations. Whichever platform you choose, both Big Cartel and Shopify offer valuable solutions to build and manage your online store successfully.

Ready to take the plunge into the world of e-commerce? Check out our other articles for more in-depth insights and guidance on building a successful online business.


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