In an era of e-commerce and online sales popularity, platforms that allow you to create, innovate and grow your business online are becoming increasingly important. They have quickly become one of the essential tools on the market.
E-commerce website design is a service that many online resources now offer, and PrestaShop and Bigcommerce are some of them. Each platform has advantages and other features that cannot be called disadvantages. We suggest you compare these two resources for organizing your online commerce and choose the one that will suit your type of business better.

What do we mean by “e-commerce platform”?

Simply put, it is a platform that allows you to create your online store to sell goods. It works just like any other website: the user will be able to open it on his computer, phone, or tablet. He browses the product, adds the product he likes to the cart, and makes a purchase, paying for it.

Thanks to the intro of an interface for administration, the merchant or owner of such an online store can manage inventory, control customer orders, and edit and constantly improve his product catalog.

The first launch of the online store

Creating your online store in Prestashop doesn’t seem complicated.

Installation of PrestaShop website
Installation of PrestaShop e-commerce

You should download and install the PrestaShop software on your server. After that, you can start creating and designing your online store. You must pick a name that sells and is easy to use, add a theme for the website, and insert an e-commerce project logo. After these steps, you’ll start adding products to the catalog, set up payment methods and procedures, and even set up a carrier you can assign the responsibility of delivering the goods. Now you have an online store. All that is left is activating it and selling your products online.

In the matter of creating a Bigcommerce store, things are somewhat different. You can start with a creating free trial there. It’s risk-free and does not require a credit card.

Creating Bigcommerce store
Creating Bigcommerce Store

After creating an account and user registration on the platform, the website prompts you to work on the store profile. It is where you enter basic store information such as store name, country, and contact information. Any changes you make to the store will not be publicly available until the store is active. You perform the actions with the store in the control panel. You will quickly manage customer orders, add products to the catalog, and access marketing and sales reports.

Comparing the process of starting a new shop on PrestaShop or Bigcommerce, the winner there is Bigcommerce. You need a piece of less technical knowledge and the start process is much faster.

Themes and design customization

Platforms offer customization of your store with professional design and ready-to-use themes that match your products and are easy to use.

A wide selection of themes and adaptive modules for your website is available on the PrestaShop Addons Marketplace. There are 2,072 themes in the PrestaShop Templates section, and their prices range from €83.99 to €279.99. In addition, PrestaShop offers administrators and store owners many functional modules to simplify the ordering process, website promotion, organization of the goods delivery and logistics, and much more.

The BigCommerce themes marketplace offers both free and paid professionally developed themes. The platform themes are fully optimized for different industries and product catalogs and are modern.

When choosing a theme, you can click on a thumbnail of any of them to get more information:

  • A live demo of the theme
  • Screenshots of the available options
  • Available features and optimizations
  • Documentation, release notes, and support

If you select “View Demo,” the platform will jump to show a demo of the theme with sample products, pages, and content.

BigCommerce based all its themes on Cornerstone, a central free theme downloaded by default for all stores. The Cornerstone theme has different built-in customizations. They allow you to customize the color, font, and images of your store, as well as the content in the header, footer, homepage, and more.

A little over ten themes are accessible to a new merchant, but if you are willing to spend a budget of $145-$235, the number of designs available will increase by over 100. E-commerce website design becomes easy and possible without programming skills because all design options are easy to set up.

On this point Bigcommerce and PrestaShop is works almost in the same way. The Prestashop platform has a big higher range of available themes and modifications. Also, PrestaShop is an open-sourced engine, so if you need something that does not exist, it is possible to extend or modify functionality. At the same time, Bigcommerce has a bit newer list of extensions and addons. And installation of it is much simpler, plus there fewer chances that not the correct extension will brake the functionality of your store.

PrestaShop pricing vs. BigCommerce pricing

It is common practice for platforms to offer different pricing plans depending on your business needs.

When placing up your store, you can choose a plan based on your expected sales volume and desired feature set.

But what’s notable is that you can download and install PrestaShop for free. That doesn’t mean you won’t spend a penny to create and use your online store.

Download PrestaShop is Free, but what about hosting cost?
Download PrestaShop is free, but what about hosting?

The extra cost will depend on how much help you need to set up your store. For instance, if your purpose is to integrate your store with eBay, Amazon, QuickBooks, or Facebook, there will be a charge. On top of that, you will also incur costs for website hosting, domain name, and security.

In addition to hosting costs, which could start from 5$, you will need technical skills for the installation and maintenance of website functionality. Otherwise, you will be needed to involve an agency to help you with shop maintenance.

The PrestaShop demo version allows you to try out the platform before you actually decided to install it and use it. The same applies to most paid apps. So you can make conclusions about its quality.

Bigcommerce offers several different pricing packages:

  • Standard ($29.95 per month)
  • Plus ($79.95 per month or $71.95 for annual payment)
  • Pro($299.95 per month or $269.95 when paid annually)
  • Individual pricing (for businesses, there is an option to contact the sales department to negotiate a package price)

There are no additional transaction fees, penalties, or commissions.

Bigcommerce is the free for first 15 days

The store owner can switch to either plan at any time to get additional features. However, it’s worth noting that BigCommerce based its pricing on the amount of annual online sales. For the standard package, this amount should not exceed $50,000; for the Plus package, it is $180,000. And for the Pro package, it is $400,000. Yours will automatically be upgraded to the following package if your store’s annual sales revenue exceeds the stated amount. For people who are uncertain about choosing a platform, there is a 15-day Bigcommerce trial.

So for this part, the clear winner is PrestaShop if we don’t look for hidden costs like shop maintenance, security updates, hosting, and so on. But if we start counting it, then the cost of Bigcommerce for $29 does not look so high for a hassle-free shop run.

Multi-channel integration

Another important factor in selecting an e-commerce platform is the possibility of also integrating with big marketplaces like ebay or amazon. This gives the possibility to increase sales and reaches millions of potential buyers.

For both platforms, PrestaShop and Bigcommerce, Salestio offers the possibility to integrate with online marketplaces.

Salestio – PrestaShop Amazon Integration

In PrestaShop, ebay and amazon integration modules are available in the PrestaShop addons marketplace — PrestaShop eBay Integration and PrestaShop Amazon Integration. Because PrestaShop is more DYI platform, merchants will be required to download module code and install it on their website. In general, the process is very simple and intuitive. And Salestio also provides a detailed manual on how to set up such integration for ebay and amazon. Another important case, it’s requirements to set an automatic task — cron job to execute regular operations like stock and price sync.

For the Bigcommerce platform, Salestio is also available on the app store — Salestio Amazon Integration on Bigcommerce app store. Because Bigcommerce is cloud-based e-commerce, installation of Salestio is much easier and does not require any additional cron job configuration or setup.

Bigcommerce Amazon Integration by Salestio
Bigcommerce Amazon Integration by Salestio

Detailed instructions on how it could be configured are available in our manual — Bigcommerce Amazon Integration Documentation. Salestio also offer a free 30 days trial, so it’s possible to try integration before purchase.

To sum up

Setting up a website in Bigcommerce is much easier than in PrestaShop. It does not require even minimal programming skills, allowing you to quickly and easily create your online store. Speaking of PrestaShop, you should immediately think that you will need to spend quite a lot of time and money to install additional modules that will help organize your work.

In addition, Bigcommerce has a much more developed technical support system, which can be important in the further implementation of the activities of the store. This platform offers support through email, phone, contact form, help center, chat, community form, online tutorials, video tutorials, training (paid), and a blog.

PrestaShop boasts an extensive community of users who can help solve your problem. You can also contact an advisor via the contact form on the website or by phone. Additionally PrestaShop is open source, and with a right skill you can create any complex logic you want/

After reviewing the information on the platforms, we believe both platforms are great for getting started in e-commerce. However, an analysis of the features they offer leads to the conclusion that the PrestaShop platform is more appropriate for small and medium-sized businesses. At the same time, Bigcommerce is better for medium to large organizations.

What do you think? Are you using PrestaShop or maybe Bigcommerce?

Please let us know, we will be happy to know more from you.