Switching from Big Cartel to Shopify

Posted by Kim Petty on

Hi. I'm Heremeow and a couple days ago I decided to switch from using Big Cartel to sell my enamel pins to Shopify. The original decision was made because I wanted Instagram to tagging turned on in my IG account @heremeow. This seemed like a cool feature that my customers could use instead of me telling shoppers to "click the link in my bio to shop." I did some research and saw that this only works with Shopify clients who also have a Facebook page. I took the jump and signed up for the 14-day free trial. Then I tried to enable Instagram tagging through the Shopify Apps. Facebook approved my account. Instagram declined it. So now I don't have the tagging that I wanted. I had already migrated over around 70 listings when I got declined (for unknown reasons) so I decided to stay with Shopify. Below I break down the pluses and minuses between the two platforms and make a final suggestion at the end.

Cost:

  • For 100 listings, I was paying $19.99 a month to use Big Cartel.
  • For $29.99 a month I get unlimited listings.
  • Shopify has a 14-day free trial so you can test the platform to see if the difference it worth it.

Set-up in Bigcartel (VERY EASY):

  • Linking a domain name worked for a day and then didn't. So I stopped using my .com name.
  • Very minimum web development knowledge is needed for Big Cartel. You can use an existing template and easily add items. If you want to add additional CSS (which I never did) you can.
  • Adding additional pages to your site in Big Cartel requires html/css knowledge.
  • Easy to add a custom banner and change the font and colors.
  • Easy to add shipping prices for Domestic vs International Customers.
  • Mobile optimization is good.

Set up in Shopify (Advanced):

  • Easy to forward a domain name. No issues so far.
  • Advanced web development skills are needed to avoid tears. The backend is kinda of like Wordpress but NOT Wordpress so you have to learn a whole new set-up system.
  • Tutorials are available or you can hire an expert to set up your site. I used a couple tutorials and made sure I wasn't distracted while working on my site.
  • Customization can be as advanced as your coding capabilities. You can also add-on apps, pages and a blog.
  • You then have to configure each app. For example, I downloaded an app that puts reviews on my listings. I had to copy and paste some css code to make this work.
  • Much harder to figure out how to add affordable pricing for my International customers. I did do it and I will upload a video on the process.

Former Big Cartel Store Front

Cool Stuff in Big Cartel:

  • Works with Shipstation easily.
  • Easy to use mobile app for updating your store from a mobile device.
  • Keeps track of most popular products and profits in an easy-to-understand admin dashboard report.
  • Easy to set up discounts.

New Shopify Store Front

Cool Stuff in Shopify:

  • Works with Shipstation easily.
  • Easy to use mobile app for updating your store from a mobile device.
  • Tons of statistics on your customers shopping habits including a live view of who's in your store, key word searches, google analytics (if set up), abandoned cart details.
  • Customizable emails for abandoned carts. 
  • Calculated shipping costs. 
  • You can add the weight of your packaging to the weight of the product so that calculated shipping is accurate.
  • Easy to set up discounts. 
  • Blog posts!
  • Pages
  • Apparently Instagram tagging (but that didn't work for me). 
  • SEO customization. This is a BIG plus for me.

Recommendations

If your store is small or if you aren't comfortable with advanced back-end web work then stick with Big Cartel. If you are a bigger shop or comfortable with wordpress or web dev then take a stab at Shopify. The SEO customization within each listing is what sold me on Shopify as well as the product reviews app. I also think the interface looks more professional. 

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