The choice between BigCommerce Edition and Shopify Plus is vital for B2B businesses looking to set up or expand their e-commerce operations. With two leading solutions catering to the needs of B2B merchants, it can be difficult to determine which platform is the best fit for your business.

This article compares BigCommerce B2B Edition and Shopify Plus, analyzing the pros and cons of each solution for B2B sellers. Key factors such as features, pricing, customization, and more are explored to help you decide which platform offers the right capabilities for your business needs.

Core Platform Features

Shopify Plus: Robust Feature Set, Scalability, and Reliability

Shopify Plus has extensive features to support the specialized requirements of B2B e-commerce merchants. From multi-channel selling across online storefronts, markets, and social channels to advanced inventory and order management tools, Shopify Plus is built to power and connect global B2B operations.

Shopify Plus does indeed support complex e-commerce use cases including many required by B2B merchants. Shopify Plus also supports integrations with major ERPs, accounting, CRM, and shipping solutions, which allow businesses to incorporate their Shopify Plus stores into existing systems and workflows. This enables centralized management and a single view of all customer and business data.

A core strength of Shopify Plus is its enterprise-grade infrastructure and scalability. The platform is designed to support high volumes of traffic and transactions with fast page loads and minimal downtime.

Shopify Plus can scale alongside businesses, maintaining high performance as businesses grow. This makes it suitable for B2B brands anticipating rapid growth in order volumes over time. As of early 2024, Shopify is marketing its B2B functionality that will appeal to many B2B merchants including company profiles, customer-specific pricing, customer-specific product publishing, and a lot more (full list of Shopify B2B features is here:

BigCommerce: Enterprise-Grade Foundation and Flexible Architecture and APIs

Like Shopify Plus, BigCommerce B2B Edition is built on an enterprise-grade SaaS foundation with security, speed, and reliability as central pillars. The platform is high-performing, secure, and incredibly stable, minimizing downtime during peak traffic and order volumes.

Designed for growth and scale from the ground up, BigCommerce B2B Edition sites effortlessly handle increasing visitors and transactions over time. This enables businesses to focus on expansion rather than maintenance.

One B2B-oriented advantage BigCommerce currently has over Shopify Plus is its flexible open SaaS architecture. The platform exposes a robust set of APIs and webhooks, allowing businesses to customize their stores and connect them to external applications.

Developers can tap into these integration points to incorporate custom features, bespoke functionality, and specialized workflows into BigCommerce stores according to unique business needs.

B2B-Specific Capabilities

Shopify Plus: Mature B2B Feature Set

Shopify Plus offers B2B-specific capabilities including B2B customer accounts with support for multiple users, customized catalog and pricing management tools, purchase order functionality, and advanced shipping options.The platform streamlines B2B e-commerce operations, from user and inventory management to international shipping and tax compliance. This enables businesses to deliver robust and tailored B2B buying experiences.

Shopify Plus checkout can also be customized for B2B needs with capabilities like purchase order as payment, purchase approval workflows, and custom payment term agreements. It is important to note that every B2B business we have consulted with has different requirements and therefore Shopify Plus would likely require some customization to integrate a B2B business’ complete set of requirements. But that is likely true for BigCommerce as well.

The Shopify Payments system is optimized for recurring B2B payments with support for invoices, credit terms, and automated invoicing based on custom order values or cycles.

BigCommerce B2B Edition: Flexible Architecture

BigCommerce offers a B2B Edition that packages enterprise capabilities for wholesale retailers and brands selling to other businesses. This includes B2B customer accounts, price lists, negotiated pricing, and quotes.

Businesses can create multiple catalogs with custom pricing for different customer groups. Approval workflows and purchase orders as payment are available with the B2B Edition checkout as well.

Advanced shipping options, tax tools, and POS integration complete the B2B-centric feature set for B2B sellers, providing an all-in-one solution tailored to B2B needs.

BigCommerce provides incredible customization flexibility thanks to its open architecture. Based on unique requirements, B2B businesses can tap into developer APIs and webhooks to incorporate custom catalogs, pricing, checkout flows, reporting, and more.

While Shopify Plus offers some flexibility for developers, BigCommerce provides greater freedom to customize core B2B functionality. Its Open API architecture can help progressive B2B merchants with varying functional requirements.

Ecosystem and Integrations

Shopify Plus: Robust App Marketplace

A significant advantage Shopify Plus has over BigCommerce is its robust app marketplace. With thousands of apps explicitly tailored for B2B businesses, Shopify Plus merchants can extend their stores with specialized pricing, reporting, accounting, ERP, and more capabilities.This ecosystem creates opportunities for innovation and customization beyond Shopify Plus’s core feature set. Apps like Handshake and Privy bridge the gap between Shopify Plus and popular B2B software tools.

BigCommerce: Growing App Marketplace

While Shopify Plus has a more mature app ecosystem, BigCommerce’s app marketplace is maturing with more and more options for merchants. Top apps provide added functionality for B2B use cases around managing users, catalogs, pricing, and quotes.

And with its open architecture, missing apps can be replaced by custom integrations and in-house development. BigCommerce integrates natively with major B2B solutions for shipping, tax, accounting, ERP, and more.

Pricing and Fees

Pricing plays a significant role when evaluating e-commerce platforms. Transaction fees and additional charges can significantly impact profitability for high-volume B2B merchants.

Shopify Plus Cost Considerations

Shopify Plus has recently increased its pricing across the board. The platform now charges a monthly subscription fee starting at $2,500. Additional fees apply for:

  • Payment processing (2.4% + 30¢ per online transaction)
  • International card processing (additional 1% fee)
  • B2B transactions (0.18% fee per order)

These extra charges quickly add up, cutting into margins. Complex pricing with semi-hidden fees makes cost planning difficult.

Check here for additional details

BigCommerce B2B Edition’s Predictable Pricing

In contrast, BigCommerce pricing plans are straightforward, with no hidden fees. B2B Pro plan starts at $299 per month with volume-based discounts available.
Notable exclusions from BigCommerce pricing:

  • No payment processing fees
  • No additional B2B transaction fees
  • No limits on sales channels or transactions

This transparency and predictability allow businesses to forecast and manage costs accurately.
For more information on BigCommerce pricing check here.

Final Considerations

Shopify Plus Provides Turnkey B2B Solution

Shopify Plus is a leading choice for B2B businesses that want an off-the-shelf e-commerce solution with minimal need for customization. Its suite of B2B features and integrations enables merchants to be up and running quickly with minimal development.

However, the platform’s rising costs and limited flexibility beyond apps are downsides to evaluate. Still, Shopify Plus delivers a robust B2B e-commerce foundation out of the box.

BigCommerce Delivers Enterprise Customization

BigCommerce is ideal for B2B brands wanting maximum control and customization abilities. Its open architecture provides access to modify and enhance core platform capabilities to fit unique needs.

While more custom development is required, BigCommerce provides stellar enterprise fundamentals and pricing predictability. For B2B brands wanting an e-commerce platform tailored to their workflows, BigCommerce is a top contender.

BOTTOM LINE: If you need help evaluating whether Shopify Plus or BigCommerce Edition is right for your business, feel free to reach out to us!