Shopify vs Big Cartel

For artists and creators looking to sell their products online, choosing the right e-commerce platform is crucial. Shopify and Big Cartel are two popular options that cater to the needs of artists, makers, and small businesses. In this blog post, we will compare Shopify and Big Cartel to help you make an informed decision about which platform is best suited for your creative business.

  1. Target Audience:

Shopify is a widely-used e-commerce platform that caters to businesses of all sizes, including artists and creators. It offers a robust set of features, integrations, and scalability options suitable for both small and large-scale operations. Shopify provides a versatile platform that can accommodate various product types, inventory sizes, and business models.

Big Cartel, on the other hand, specifically targets artists, makers, and independent creators. It focuses on simplicity and ease of use, making it an excellent choice for individuals or small businesses with a limited product range. Big Cartel’s interface is straightforward and designed to showcase creative products effectively.

  1. Store Setup and Design:

Shopify offers a vast collection of professionally designed themes, both free and paid, that can be customized to match your brand. Its theme editor and drag-and-drop interface make it easy to create a visually appealing and unique online store. Shopify’s design options provide a high level of flexibility, allowing you to showcase your art or products in a way that aligns with your brand aesthetic.

Big Cartel offers a simpler and more streamlined approach to store setup and design. It provides a selection of customizable themes specifically tailored for artists and creators. While Big Cartel’s design options may be more limited compared to Shopify, they are optimized for highlighting visual elements and products, making it an ideal choice for artists who prioritize visual presentation.

  1. E-commerce Features:

Both Shopify and Big Cartel offer essential e-commerce features to help you manage your online store effectively. They provide functionalities such as product management, inventory tracking, secure payment gateways, order management, and customer support.

Shopify offers a wider range of features and tools, including advanced inventory management, comprehensive analytics, abandoned cart recovery, and more. Its extensive app store allows you to integrate additional functionalities as your business grows. Shopify’s ecosystem provides the scalability and flexibility needed for expanding your creative business.

Big Cartel focuses on providing a streamlined and user-friendly experience, focusing on essential features for artists and creators. While it may not offer as many advanced features as Shopify, Big Cartel simplifies the selling process and provides a clean interface that allows you to focus on showcasing your art and products.

  1. Pricing:

Shopify offers different pricing plans to accommodate businesses of various sizes and needs. The plans range from basic to advanced, with additional transaction fees for using external payment gateways. Shopify’s pricing includes hosting, security, and updates, providing a transparent and straightforward pricing structure. Additional costs may apply for premium themes or apps from the app store.

Big Cartel offers a free plan for up to a limited number of products, making it an attractive option for artists just starting. It also provides paid plans with additional features and higher product limits. Big Cartel’s pricing structure is simpler and more affordable, making it suitable for artists and small businesses on a tight budget.


Choosing between Shopify and Big Cartel depends on your specific needs, budget, and goals as an artist or creator. Shopify offers a comprehensive e-commerce platform with advanced features, scalability, and flexibility, making it suitable for artists looking for a robust and customizable solution. Big Cartel provides a user-friendly and budget-friendly option with a focus on simplicity and visual presentation, catering specifically to artists and creators with a smaller product range.

Consider your business requirements, growth plans, budget constraints, and technical expertise to determine which platform aligns best with your artistic vision and selling goals. Both Shopify and Big Cartel are reputable platforms that can help you showcase and sell your art or creative products online effectively.

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