I work hard on making ecommerce easier for you. Ecommerce Income has particularly focused on making it easier for you to find ecommerce software to suit your needs. Comparisons, in-depth analysis, and easy to understand conclusions and advice on ecommerce software are the results. Over the last few weeks, I published fresh posts comparing two ecommerce software packages for you. The last post focused on Shopify vs. SEOshop, and a first post discussed the differences and advantages of Bigcommerce and Shopify, the two ecommerce giants. Today I publish a third post in this series: would it be better to choose SEOshop or Bigcommerce?
First: Some of the similarities of Bigcommerce and SEOshop
Both Bigcommerce and SEOshop focus primarily on getting you started and selling quickly. Not as preoccupied with design as Shopify is, they put business first. One example of their similarity in this respect and difference to Shopify is that both use traditional categories that can be added and removed at will. This site structure is better for SEO purposes than Shopify’s site structure. Shopify’s site structure, grouping products in “collections”, perhaps looks cool but apart from the potential negative SEO effects, it is less flexible. See more in this article on this topic.
Another example is the possibility to make your checkout in the way you like it with both Bigcommerce and SEOshop. You can either choose for a one-step checkout or a multi-step checkout. Bigcommerce, moreover, has the nice feature that you can host you own checkout (for a fee) – this is not possible with SEOshop (or Shopify). SEOshop has a cool checkout feature of its own – the possibility to A/B test your checkouts to maximize revenue and limit abandoned shopping carts.
Sell on every channel at any time with Bigcommerce
Bigcommerce is ready to sell – wherever your clients may be. It takes pride in what it calls its omni-channel capabilities. The Bigcommerce team takes effort to let their ecommerce platform integrate with as many sales channels as possible, be it outside of the online store (comparison and shopping websites, Facebook, Ebay) or inside the online store, with many features to attract and retain customers (good email marketing, integrated blog, free abandoned cart saver and easy to use product reviews features).
SEOshop offers integrations with all of the important Dutch comparison and shopping websites and most of the European ones. It doesn’t have easy integrations with North American shopping and comparison websites and the creating and sending of the feeds required to sell through these external Dutch and European marketing channels is not a very easy process. SEOshop forces you to pay extra to make use of an integrated blog.
We can therefore conclude, that Bigcommerce is ahead of SEOshop with the wide reach and the ease of use of its many sales channels.
Expand internationally with SEOshop
SEOshop has some wonderful features that make your international expansion much easier. It has a multi-languages feature, in with all the basic elements of the online store, such as the “order” and “add to cart” buttons are already translated. There are a couple of dozens standard elements, and they are availabe in 14 European languages. SEOshop offers additional languages on request. The greatest part of this feature, however, is that it is fully native and integrated into the platform. So if you add another language for a product in the backend of the online store, this product will automatically appear on the language version of the store to which you added it. The same for categories. Look here for more information on the multiple languages feature.
Another feature of SEOshop making it easier for you to expand internationally is the option to manage multiple stores from one admin (and thus have only one place to manage stock). This is an option that is only offered on SEOshop.
SEOshop is clearly ahead of Bigcommerce in making it easy to sell internationally. For more information on doing ecommerce business internationally, and in Europe in particular, check out these articles: this and this article.
Bigcommerce offers more functionality out of the box
If you look for value for money and need a complete ecommerce software package that is packed with features and full of integrations, look no further. At a fee of less than 80 UD er month, Bigcommerce is most ready out of the box. Check out the extensive research done on this here.
To name a few examples: Bigcommerce has a good abandoned cart saver feature while you need to pay extra for an app that does similar things in SEOshop. Bigcommerce has extensive options with coupon and discount codes, and has integrated product reviews, blog and newsletter. SEOshop’s possibilities with discount rules are less extensive, the Dutch shopping cart has no (free) integrated blog and it free email marketing software is a bit less well-known. I already called attention to the better multi-channel capabilities of Bigcommerce.
In short, if you want to attain the same functionality with SEOshop as Bigcommerce has in the 79.95 USD “Plus” package, you will pay much more per month.
Does Size matter?
Last but not least, does size matter? Bigcommerce has more than 350 employees and managed to attract 125 million USD in funding in just a couple of years, whilst SEOshop has about 70 employees and raised about 1.6 million USD over its lifetime. Bigcommerce is targeting a global audience, starting with the English speaking world. SEOshop is a Dutch solution that opened an office in Germany in 2013 to facilitate European and further international expansion. In short, Bigcommerce has rapidly become a big, global player that is trying to beat Shopify to become the biggest Ecommerce SaaS solution. SEOshop is an ambitious, but so far mostly regional player in the ecommerce software field.
These facts do not necessarily mean you should choose Bigcommerce (or Shopify) over SEOshop, just because of their bigger size. SEOshop punches above its weight with the complete ecommerce software packages it offers. I also got the impression that with SEOshop, perhaps because it is smaller, it is easier to reach the most knowledgeable employees of the company – when I was just registering for a trial I was already talking to an account manager. Moreover, SEOshop has some wonderful features, unique to the platform (see for example the features discussed under “Expand internationally with SEOshop”)
I would advise ecommerce entrepreneurs mainly operating in North America or Australia to choose for Bigcommerce as the software is more tailored for this region (SEOshop lacks some integrations for these markets). In Europe, however, SEOshop is the better option for most ecommerce entrepreneurs. You definitely should choose this platform if you are looking to do business across borders in Europe.