Big Cartel vs Shopify: Which is the best e-commerce platform?

Big Cartel vs Shopify

Table of contents

Launching your online store is an exciting project, and choosing the right e-commerce platform is a crucial step in ensuring your success. Shopify is often cited as one of the best options, but it’s important not to ignore alternatives, such as Big Cartel.

In this detailed article, we’ll compare Big Cartel and Shopify by looking at their key differences, pricing, features and more. Whether you’re a freelance artist or an e-commerce entrepreneur, we’ll help you make an informed decision for the future of your online store.

What is Big Cartel and Shopify?

Big Cartel is an e-commerce platform that primarily targets artists and creators, offering a simple and affordable solution to sell their products online. Shopify, on the other hand, is a more comprehensive and versatile e-commerce platform designed for businesses of all sizes and industries. Let’s take a closer look at both platforms.

Presentation of Big Cartel

Big Cartel vs Shopify

Big Cartel focuses on ease of use and accessibility for small stores and designers. Some key features of Big Cartel include:

  • Targets specifically artists and creators
  • Offers affordable packages for small stores
  • Has a simple and user-friendly interface

Shopify Overview


Shopify is a powerful and popular e-commerce platform that offers a wide range of features and integrations to meet the needs of businesses of all sizes. Some of Shopify’s notable features include:

  • Suitable for all types of businesses, from small to large
  • Offers an ecosystem of applications to extend the functionality of your store
  • Provides 24/7 customer support

Big Cartel vs. Shopify: What are the main differences?

Rates and packages

Your budget: which options are best suited to your finances?

Choosing an e-commerce platform can depend largely on your budget and the features you need. Let’s compare Big Cartel vs Shopify pricing and packages.

Big Cartel offers three packages, one of which is free:

PackageMonthly rateNumber of productsMain features
Free$05Basic themes, e-mail support, 5 products
Platinum$9,9950Premium themes, stock tracking, statistics, e-mail support, 50 products
Diamond$19,99500Premium themes, inventory tracking, statistics, e-mail support, 250 products

Shopify offers four packages:

PackageMonthly rateMain features
Basic Shopify$292 employee accounts, 24/7 support, dropshipping integration, free and paid themes, SSL certificate included, 2.9% transaction rate + 30¢ per transaction
Shopify$795 employee accounts, 24/7 support, advanced reporting features, reduced transaction rate to 2.6% + 30¢ per transaction
Advanced Shopify$29915 employee accounts, 24/7 support, advanced reporting features, reduced transaction rate to 2.4% + 30¢ per transaction
Shopify PlusOn quotationEnterprise level features, dedicated support, negotiable transaction fees

Big Cartel offers more affordable pricing, especially for smaller stores, while Shopify offers a wider range of features and integrations for growing businesses. It’s important to weigh the cost against the benefits offered by each platform before making a decision.

Ease of use and interface

Big Cartel vs Shopify

Big Cartel is known for its ease of use and clean interface, which makes it especially appealing to beginners or those looking for a quick solution to create their online store.

On the other hand, Shopify offers a feature-rich interface that may take a little more time to master. However, once you are familiar with Shopify’s interface, you will appreciate the power and flexibility it offers to customize and manage your online store.

Customization options

Shopify vs Etsy vs Squarespace

Big Cartel offers a limited selection of free themes, while Shopify offers a wider selection of free and paid themes. In terms of customization, Shopify offers more advanced options for creating a unique online store tailored to your brand.

Big Cartel vs Shopify: What about dropshipping?

Big Cartel vs Shopify

Dropshipping is an e-commerce method where you sell products without stocking them yourself. Let’s take a look at how both platforms handle dropshipping.

Dropshipping with Big Cartel

Big Cartel does not offer an integrated dropshipping solution. However, you can use third-party apps to integrate dropshipping into your Big Cartel store, such as Printful or Printify. These integrations may be limited and less seamless than those offered by Shopify.

Dropshipping with Shopify

Shopify has native integration with popular dropshipping providers such as Oberlo, which makes setting up and managing a dropshipping store much easier. In addition, Shopify offers a wide selection of apps to extend the functionality of your dropshipping store and optimize your user experience.

Why choose Shopify over Big Cartel?

Weighing the pros and cons of each platform, here are some reasons why you might prefer Shopify to Big Cartel:

  • Greater flexibility and customization options to create an online store tailored to your brand
  • A broader ecosystem of applications to extend your store’s functionality, including marketing, inventory management, and shipping
  • Native and simplified integration with dropshipping solutions, making it easy to create and manage a dropshipping store
  • 24/7 customer support, which can be crucial in the event of an urgent issue or question
  • Fits all types and sizes of businesses, offering scalability to support your business as it grows

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Should you choose Big Cartel or Shopify for your online store?

To help you make an informed decision between Big Cartel vs Shopify, we’ve summarized the key differences between the two platforms in a summary table. This table includes a rating based on the key criteria we’ve discussed throughout this article.

Rates and packages
Ease of use
Overall score
Rates and packages
Ease of use
Overall score

After reviewing the scores and features of Big Cartel vs. Shopify, here are some recommendations to help you choose which platform is right for you:

  • If you’re an artist, designer, or small business with a limited budget and small inventory, Big Cartel could be a great option for you. Its ease of use and affordable pricing make it an attractive solution for those looking to quickly create an online store without too much fuss.
  • If you’re an e-commerce entrepreneur, growing business, or looking for a platform with more features, customization options, and scalability, Shopify is the perfect choice. With its ecosystem of apps, dropshipping integrations, and 24/7 customer support, Shopify offers a robust and comprehensive platform for businesses of all sizes.


Now is the time to choose between Big Cartel vs Shopify, the platform best suited for your project. Consider your specific needs, goals, and budget to make the most informed decision possible.

If you’re looking for a simple, affordable, small business-friendly solution, Big Cartel might be the right choice for you. On the other hand, if you prefer a platform that offers advanced features, extensive customization, and scalability to grow with your business, Shopify is definitely the best option.

Don’t forget to explore other Big Cartel alternatives if neither of these two options are perfect for you. Whichever platform you choose, remember that your success in e-commerce will depend largely on your commitment, passion, and willingness to learn and adapt.

Take the time to explore all the features and possibilities offered by your e-commerce platform, and don’t hesitate to seek help and advice from other entrepreneurs or the online community.


How to dropship on Big Cartel?

Dropshipping on Big Cartel is not directly integrated, but you can use third-party services such as Printful to manage dropshipping of your products.

How to add customer reviews to Big Cartel?

To add customer reviews on Big Cartel, you can use third-party applications like Disqus or manually integrate the testimonials into your product descriptions.

How to promote Big Cartel store?

To promote a Big Cartel store, use social media, email marketing, search engine optimization, online ads and collaborate with other designers or influencers.

How to sell digital products on Big Cartel?

To sell digital products on Big Cartel, create a product as usual, then use third-party services like Pulley or SendOwl to manage the distribution of digital content.

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