Best Big Cartel Alternatives with Pros and Cons

While Big Cartel can be a great platform to get your ecommerce business started, you may find that you run into issues such as:

  • Lack of features & integrations
  • Limited design customization
  • Limited payment options

Which can all have an impact on your businesses growth, which is why you are considering a different platform and that is why we created this list of what we feel are the best Big Cartel alternatives out there.

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1: Shopify

Shopify Homepage

In our opinion, the best alternative to Big Cartel is Shopify as it offers a platform that can grow with your business and it doesn’t matter whether you are a start-up or a multi-million dollar business, Shopify has the infrastructure in place to deal with it all.

It also beats Big Cartel in quite a few ways, including:

  • A better set of standard features
  • A far larger number of apps and integrations
  • Better theme selection and customization options
  • More payment gateway options
  • Larger online community

And while Shopify does have a steeper learning curve than Big Cartel, it is still a very easy platform to learn and use and due to the size of the online community, there are plenty of Shopify tutorials out there to help you get started.


Shopify is more expensive than Big Cartel but you do get a lot more for your money and they offer three main packages:

  1. Shopify Basic: $39/m
  2. Shopify Standard: $105/m
  3. Shopify Advanced: $399/m

For enterprise-level business, Shopify also have you covered with their Shopify Plus plan, which starts from $2,000 a month and is tailored to you and your business.

Shopify don’t have any turnover limits but do charge a transaction fee with all of their standard packages and the fee you are charged does depend on the package you are on:

  • Basic: 2%
  • Standard: 1%
  • Advanced: 0.5%

This can make figuring out which is the best package to be on a bit more difficult but you can use our free Shopify fee calculator to figure out which is the best one to choose.

Pros and Cons

  • Complete ecommerce platform
  • Large selection of features
  • Large app store
  • Very good website builder & customizer
  • Built for businesses of all sizes
  • 24/7 Support
  • Easy to learn and use
  • Transaction fees
  • Apps can become expensive
  • May need some apps to have same features as Bigcommerce

Want to learn more about Shopify?

2: Ecwid

Ecwid Homepage

The second alternative is Ecwid, which is a platform that is similar in many ways to Big Cartel in that it is a reasonably priced and easy-to-use ecommerce platform.

Where Ecwid differs from Big Cartel is that it includes a lot more ecommerce related features, which can be very useful to small to medium businesses, it can also be integrated with more content-driven website builders such as WordPress and Wix, which opens up more marketing opportunities.

It also offers more third-party integrations with things like:

  • Print-on-demand
  • Shipping and order management services
  • Accounting software

This makes it a more scalable solution and combined with options for selling through social media platforms, Ecwid is definitely an alternative worth considering and as they offer a free package, it is worth trying out.

Ecwid also includes a range of support options but it does depend on the package you are on as to what support channels you get access to but it still offers more than Big Cartel.

Ecwid Pricing

Ecwid is one of the few options that offer a completely free plan but this is limited in some areas and to access more features, you need to be on a paid plan and Ecwid offers three of these:

  • Ecwid Venture: $15/m
  • Ecwid Business: $35/m
  • Ecwid Unlimited: $99/m

The main difference between the three paid packages is the number of products you can list (100, 2,500 and Unlimited) and the features and support options you get access to.

Ecwid Pros and Cons

  • Secure, PCI-compliant checkout
  • Easy to learn and use
  • Offer multiple sales channels
  • Good support offerings
  • Good selection of features
  • To get all features requires being on the top package
  • Website builder is quite basic
  • Not all Apps are free to use

Who is Ecwid best for?

Ecwid is a great option for businesses looking for a simple, easy to use ecommerce platform and want to build a basic online store or for businesses who want to use content driven platforms such as WordPress but also want a fully secured online checkout.

3: Bigcommerce

The third option is another large name (no pun intended) in the world of ecommerce, which is Bigcommerce.

In a similar way to Shopify, Bigcommerce is a fully-fledged ecommerce platform that is a great alternative to Big Cartel for businesses who are looking for a platform that can offer them a selection of features that can allow their business to grow.

This is because Bigcommerce offers:

  • A large number of built-in features
  • A good selection of apps
  • 24/7 support
  • A fully customizable website builder
  • More payment options

Due to Bigcommerce offering so much more in terms of features, it does have a steeper learning curve than Big Cartel but is still easier to use than many platforms that are suitable for everything from start-ups to enterprise-level businesses.

Bigcommerce Pricing

Bigcommerce doesn’t offer a free package but they offer 3 paid options:

  • Standard: $29.95/m
  • Plus: $79.95/m
  • Pro: $299.95/m

All of the Bigcommerce plans do come with annual turnover limits, which are:

  • Standard: $50,000 a year
  • Plus: $180,000 a year
  • Pro: $400,000 a year

For larger businesses, Bigcommerce offer a bespoke enterprise package for larger businesses, which is built for your business.

WooCommerce Pros and Cons

  • Easy to navigate dashboard
  • 24/7 support
  • Ability to sell on social media
  • Bulk product editor
  • Order management system is very good
  • App store
  • Performance
  • Small annual turnover limits

Who is Bigcommerce best for?

Bigcommerce is a very good option for businesses who are looking for an ecommerce platform that is scalable to an enterprise level and don’t want to use Shopify.

4: Square Online

Square Homepage

Square is another great option for smaller ecommerce businesses, especially ones who also have a physical store as they can manage all of their inventory and orders using one platform.

But even if you only sell online, Squares Online Store is still a great alternative and offers a few options that Big Cartel doesn’t, including:

  • Different product types (physical, digital, subscription etc)
  • More ecommerce features
  • POS system

Square also offers a selection of apps and integrations with third-party platforms to help you streamline your business.

In addition, they offer a website builder with a range of customization options to help you build a simple but effective online store.

Square Online Pricing

Square’s pricing is lower than some of the options on this list and for budget-conscious businesses, could be an attractive option and it does also offer a free package along with 3 paid options:

  • Square Professional: $16/m
  • Square Performance: $29/m
  • Square Premium: $79/m

As with Big Cartel, Square don’t have any annual turnover limits.

Square Online Pros and Cons

  • Easy to Learn and Use
  • Reasonably Priced
  • Good Theme Customisation
  • Free Plan
  • Can be Used With Square POS
  • Limited Payment Options
  • No Pre-built Themes
  • Limited Bulk Editors

Who is Square Online Best For?

Square Online is a very good option for businesses that want a simple, easy to use online store which offers a nice selection of features and want to combine this with the POS system in a physical store as it can all be managed from a single dashboard at a cost-effective price.

5: Payhip


Payhip is a good alternative to Big Cartel for smaller businesses whose primary focus is on digital products, which is becoming more and more popular amongst the creatives that Big Cartel is targeted at.

And Payhip isn’t just for digital downloads as it also allows users to sell:

  • Online courses
  • Subscriptions/memberships
  • Physical products

This offers a lot of flexibility for digital products and Payhip has a built-in website builder that is very easy to use but can also be embedded in other websites.

And while it offers a lot of the simplicity of Big Cartel, it does offer some better built-in features such as an affiliate program, which is usually a paid-for option with other platforms.

Payhip Pricing

Payhip is very simple and straightforward in its pricing and offers the following:

  • Free Forever: $0/m (5% transaction fee)
  • Plus: $29/m (2% transaction fee)
  • Pro: $99/m (no transaction fee)

And while Payhip does charge a transaction fee, it does not have annual turnover limits, which offers more flexibility on plan choice.

Payhip Pros and Cons

  • Free Plan
  • Easy to use
  • Can sell a variety of digital products
  • Good marketing tools
  • Website builder and a built-in blog
  • Limited payment options
  • Only email support
  • Lack of SEO tools

Who is Payhip Best For?

Payhip is a great option for small businesses that have a strong focus on digital products but also want to offer physical products and want a platform that is similar to Big Cartel in terms of pricing and also ease of use.


There are some really good alternatives to Big Cartel out there for businesses of all sizes, from independent artists and creators to growing businesses that need a scalable ecommerce platform that can grow with them.

It all depends on what you need from a Big Cartel alternative as to which is going to be the best option but as they all offer a free plan or trial, it is worth trying them all out for yourself in order to find which one is going to be the best option for your business.

Hi, I'm Paul, the Owner and Founder of EcommerceGold.
I ran my own Ecommerce Business for over 7 years and now help others start their own online retail empires!