BigCommerce vs. Magento vs. Shopify: 2021 Comparison

BigCommerce vs Magento 2 vs Shopify - once you get down to business and start comparing eCommerce platforms, you might find yourself confused.

How do you choose the right CMS for your business?

While there is no one-size-fits-all solution, everything boils down to two questions:

• What site functionality does my business need?
• Which platform has the best price to quality ratio?

If you don't know how to get started with the comparison and the eCommerce platform selection in 2021, the following guide will teach you the essentials. We've picked three of the most popular eCommerce platforms and compared them on pricing, functionality, usability, and security.

Let's get started!

Magento vs. BigCommerce vs. Shopify: Pricing

Although price should never be your number one deciding factor, let's get this out of the way first.

Pricing comparison of BigCommerce vs. Magento vs. Shopify

Magento: is Magento free to use? That depends on which version you choose: Magento Open Source or Magento Commerce. The Magento website's pricing page isn't too helpful, but with a bit of digging around, here's what you should note. Magento Open Source is free, but it doesn't include hosting, design, and development charges. If you're looking for more comprehensive choices, the Magento Commerce solution would be the one to pursue. The average enterprise project cost will fall in the $22,000-$125,000 range.

BigCommerce: the pricing range depends on what you're looking for in your eCommerce business. Once again, your store's complexity and the range of services you need will be determining your actual cost. Prices vary from $29.95 to $299.95 per month. For an enterprise-level solution, you'll have to get a tailor-made quote.

Shopify: You may mistake this eCommerce platform for the most affordable solution. Granted it's true for the basic Shopify version, the Shopify Plus cost amounts to $2,000/month. In the case of the Standard Shopify version, prices may fluctuate, depending on your store's complexity. Generally speaking, you'll have to spend $29 to $299 per month.

Functionalities: Which eCommerce Platform is Best?

Magento, BigCommerce, and Shopify all offer a range of functionalities to give you an all-encompassing eCommerce management platform:

Functionality comparison of Magento vs Shopify vs BigCommerce

Magento: in the BigCommerce vs. Magento vs. Shopify comparison, Magento comes out on top as a particularly feature-rich solution. The open-source system makes it the leader in terms of customization and versatility. With the right development talent, you can develop any functionality suitable for your eCommerce business. For instance, you can have hundreds and thousands of products in your store and still manage them effortlessly: configure selling information, break products into categories and centralize everything under one flexible system. Also, the Magento Marketplace offers thousands of extensions suitable for SEO, marketing, or other eCommerce needs. Finally, you get a rich Magento community where you can exchange your experience, share knowledge and find new ways to scale your business.

BigCommerce: as far as sales, marketing, and search engine optimization features go, BigCommerce is a superstar. Its features, however, are best suited to the needs of small and medium-sized merchants interested in built-in integration with Amazon, eBay, Google Shopping. If your product list goes beyond a hundred SKUs, you may face limitations. For instance, each product item would need to be categorized manually, and you will have to use third-party apps for dropshipping. Most importantly, BigCommerce puts a limit on annual online sales, which means you will have to pay a fee if you start making huge profits on a BigCommerce website.

Shopify: the basket of functionalities, in this case, is best suited to small merchants' needs. The fact that it's a SaaS solution takes away all the versatility and customization features available in Shopify alternatives. The new Shopify Plus version does boast more functionality with every single update. But unlike Magento, with a rich open-source system and BigCommerce with its flexible API, Shopify has a long way to go to catch up with its competitors.


The BigCommerce, Shopify, Magento comparison would be incomplete if we don’t look at the critical factor: user-friendliness.

Usability comparison of Magento vs Shopify vs BigCommerce

Magento: Out of all BigCommerce competitors, Magento is characterized by the highest complexity level. There's a simple reason why – it offers the most extensive set of features and the largest range of personalization options. Usually, you'll need to hire a developer to build a Magento website typical for enterprise-level projects. In that case, user-friendliness isn't going to be an issue.

BigCommerce: BigCommerce also ranks high on the intuitive scale because of the drag-and-drop store building capabilities. You may struggle with manual product entry, as there are numerous fields to fill out.

Shopify: based on the functionality assessment above, it's pretty easy to conclude one thing – Shopify is the easiest one to master due to the limited range of native capabilities. If you're a newbie and lack technical knowledge, you'll enjoy Shopify. Even in the case of a Shopify Plus vs. BigCommerce examination, Shopify is still in the lead.

Hosting: What's Included in the Price?

Does the cost of using the three platforms include hosting, and what kind of service is it?

Hosting expenses for Magento, Shopify and BigCommerce

Magento: with Magento, you have complete autonomy in selecting a hosting provider. You get to choose between on-premise or cloud hosting. Opting for a third-party hosting service provider is also a choice, once again adding to the versatility of Magento.

BigCommerce: cloud-based hosting solutions incorporate the minimum monthly fee of $29. But you may have to pay extra, depending on your site traffic and the number of products your store contains.

Shopify: a free-of-charge cloud-based hosting package is included in all Shopify plans.

Main Security Features

Since customers exchange sensitive data with an online store, security is a critical element to look at when doing a Shopify vs. Magento vs. BigCommerce comparison.

Security comparison of Magento vs Shopify vs BigCommerce

Magento: in the BigCommerce vs. Magento competition, Magento may lose or win security-wise. Magento merchants need to update their backend to ensure security for their customers. Failing to do so may jeopardize sensitive payment data, which is deadly for any eCommerce business reputation. You do have security patches available on top of the freedom to incorporate your security developments. However, owning a Magento means you're in a "driver's seat," and your website's security is entirely in your hands.

BigCommerce: Unlike both Shopify alternatives (Shopify & Shopify Plus), BigCommerce also includes DDOS protection. The acronym stands for Distributed Denial of Service, which means putting an additional "lock" on your customer's payment data.

Shopify: even though this platform is considered the most "basic", you still get essential security features. If you set up a Shopify store, you get an SSL certificate and PCI compliance out of the box, which is enough for online store operation.

BigCommerce vs. Magento vs. Shopify: Final Verdict

Each eCommerce platform offers some pros and cons. And deciding between Shopify vs. BigCommerce vs. Magento 2 comes down to opting for features tailored to your business needs. Time to sum up everything you’ve just read in 3 final paragraphs!

Shopify: while the new Shopify Plus version offers compelling features, it is still a raw SaaS technology. On the other hand, it’s the best choice for small shops to get online when it comes to the basic Shopify edition. If you’re new to eCommerce or your business has a low number of products, Shopify would be your best bet.

BigCommerce: great SEO features, outstanding customer support, and reliable security patches – make it an excellent fit for medium-sized businesses. However, the fact that it’s a SaaS eCommerce solution may put you in a dead-end if your business grows to thousands of SKUs. The lack of customization may be an issue, especially if your online store is likely to grow in the future.

Magento: the most flexible and complex eCommerce solution – hands down. The open-source system makes it possible to do anything with your eCommerce store; the possibilities are endless. But every company going for Magento should be very confident that they have enough development resources. We recommend Magento to every company looking to scale their eCommerce website, as they would be able to align their business growth with a flexible and feature-rich platform.

Man thinking about Magento development services

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Frequently Asked Questions

Are open-source eCommerce platforms generally better?

➡️ If you're looking for an open-source Shopify alternative, especially if you have enterprise-level needs, go for Magento. Magento is in fact, an open-source platform that, with time, evolved to meet and address the needs of larger businesses. Since the solution is open-source, developers enjoy a lot more flexibility.

How do I choose the right eCommerce platform functionalities?

➡️ If you can't make up your mind between solutions for enterprise-level clients (like BigCommerce vs. Magento 2), try to imagine your website's structure and operations. Knowing who your customer is will also simplify the process of making the right decision. You may also want to explore a demo version to get a better "feel" of the particular platform.

Which eCommerce platform is best for an enterprise-level store?

➡️ A purpose-built, highly scalable eCommerce solution will be essential to address the needs of an enterprise-level project. Understand the fact that generic capabilities that are perfect for small shops will not work once your business grows. In the Shopify vs. Magento comparison for enterprise, there's one clear winner – Magento.

What else should I consider when choosing an online shop platform?

➡️ When doing a Shopify vs. Magento vs. BigCommerce comparison, you can check out some additional features. These include marketability, B2B capabilities, digital vs. physical product sale features, inventory management, and most importantly – support!

Is Magento the best eCommerce platform for enterprise-level projects?

➡️ Out of all BigCommerce competitors, Magento is best suited to the needs of enterprise-level businesses. The chances are that you're seeking alternatives to BigCommerce if your store has already outgrown the platform. Magento gives you more control and all of the extensive developers' community experience that you can base your upgrades on. When it comes to flexibility and scalability, very few solutions out there can beat what Magento has to offer.

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