Since 80% of my sales are via my website, I have a lot at stake when choosing an Ecommerce platform. I was a happy Big Commerce customer for a little over 2 years. But last September the business coach I hired suggested I switch to Shopify.
“Oh Hell No!!”was my reaction when she said that. I have over 600 products that would need to be transferred and a strong SEO presence I didn’t want to risk losing. Plus my newly hired virtual assistant had just begun to master using the Big Commerce system. I liked Big Commerce and felt, “if it ain’t broken, don’t fix it.”
But my coach was persistent. She reminded me that the reason why I hired her was to take my business to the next level which meant I would need to do some things differently. She said that Shopify is known for being more innovative with technology than the other Ecommerce platforms.
My business coach and I are based in the SF Bay Area where the desire to have the latest technology is practically a religion here. She told me my website looked “old school”and must be updated to enhance the shopping experience of my customers. This would lead to more sales she assured me.
Grudgingly I agreed to have a conversation with a sales rep from Shopify to compare how their system stood up against my favorite features in Big Commerce. And I wanted to see if they had a solution for my pet peeves with Big Commerce.
I spoke with different members of the sales team to see if the info they were providing was consistent. I have had more than a few bad experiences with sales reps from various industries promising the moon before they get your business then once they have you they fail to make good on their promises.
I signed up for the free trial and before the free trial deadline expired, I decided to make the switch. As of today, I have now been using Shopify for almost 6 years and I couldn’t be more delighted!
Already the average size of my orders has increased, I am attracting more high end clients and their backend is a lot more efficient. Plus their support team is fanastic.
With Big Commerce the hold times were long (even when I was on their premium plan) and too often when I got a hold of someone, the techs were inexperienced. Shopify’s tech’s are smart and available 24/7.
Before I list my top five reasons (I have a lot more but didn’t want to write a lengthy post) why I like Shopify, I have a request. If you decide to switch to them, I would appreciate it if you use this link to sign up.
1 Dashboard analytics
Shopify understands that I am a small business owner not an analyst so I appreciate that they provide a quick snapshot of my important analytics right in my dashboard. And it is presented in a very user friendly format. Their analytics are more detailed and accessible than the ones I got in Big Commerce. And MUCH easier to digest than google analytics. Below is an example from the web, this is not my store.
2 Love, Love, Love their Templates
My business is in visual merchandising, so I place a high value on functionality AND aesthetics. Big Commerce templates were functional but not particularly aesthetically pleasing. While they do have number of template styles, they are all essentially slight variations on the same theme. And according to my web designer they weren’t all that customizable.
Shopify has a much wider VARIETY of template styles, especially for the fashion industry, all of which come with a mobile version. And are much easier to customize than the Big Commerce templates – both on the front end and back end.
Note: There are front and back end features I love with their templates but don’t want to write about here in case any of my direct competitors read this.
3 Mobile Reader
While almost everyone has a mobile reader now – Big Commerce might have one now but they didn’t in when I was using them. What makes the Shopify mobile reader unique is that it automatically connects to the products on my website. So when I process a sale in my brick and mortar store, their mobile reader will decrement the inventory accordingly.
Nothing is more frustrating for a customer than to purchase something online that is no longer available because the last one was sold in the brick and mortar store. So this feature is HUGE timesaver and increase in efficiency for me. I no longer have to remember to update the inventory on the website – which I would often forget to do when I was using The Square.
4 Drop Shipping
I work with a lot of drop shippers and with Big Commerce I had to pay an additional monthly fee for the Ordoro app so that orders could be routed to the appropriate drop shipper. Besides the cost, I also had to do an extra step to get the orders processed. Time is money.
Shopify has a drop shipping option that is built into the system (so no extra cost) and it works automatically. I am in the midst of trying that option out now so I can’t comment on it, but just the fact that it is there makes me thrilled.
5 Text Alerts for New Orders
Installing their mobile app, not only lets me manage my site on the fly. I love that I now get a a text alert when a new sale comes in. And since I switched to their platform, I have been getting a lot more of these alerts recently.
I think Big Commerce had this feature as well, but I like the look and functionality of the Shopify alert better.
Both companies have a wonderful blogs with useful tips and strategies – and I continue to subscribe to both. But I find the Shopify blog has more more detailed info and will often discuss trends and small business tips instead of just hawking their services. They even wrote a trendy article about How to Be a Boss: 19 Tips from Big Little Lies.
If you are using Big Commerce and have some third party apps good news almost all of them also integrate with Shopify.
Feel free to drop me a line if you have any general questions, but for specifics contact Shopify directly.