Choosing the best e-commerce platform for your new online business is much like choosing the ‘best car.’  The market is flooded with options and it’s a mammoth decision that could impact on your success.  We have been under the hood building eCommerce sites for many years.  Based on our experience these are the platforms we consider to be tops and why.

We examined the following platforms and rated them on features, designs, customer service and pricing.

  1. Shopify (
  2. WooCommerce (
  3. BigCommerce (

Features on the 3 e-Commerce platforms

What we discovered is that each of these eCommerce platforms basically offers the same suite of features.   These features are all essential for every online store.  However, the devil is always in the detail and you need to first determine what niche features will add value to your store and what your deal breakers are.  Chat to us about some of the features that would best suit your store.  By way of example, Shopify offers a point of sale (POS) system that allows you to sell on the go or from a bricks-and-mortar store, without any extra tools or costs.  This can greatly reduce your need for external cash registers and overall running costs.

Based on features we rate WooCommerce as the top option delivering every feature that a store owner may benefit from.  Shopify as a close second, followed by BigCommerce.

e-Commerce platforms design rating

1) Shopify

Shopify offers up to ten free design themes and they are impressive, contemporary and should suit most niche businesses.  They appear to be reducing the number of free themes and the paid themes cost in the region of $160-$180. They also offer flexibility once you have chosen a theme.


Shopify Themes

2) WooCommerce

WooCommerce is essentially a WordPress plug-in that puts content and information through your current WordPress theme. This has both upsides and downsides.  The advantage is if you have a WordPress site you get to keep your current theme, so things should stay stable.  This equates to less hassle. The disadvantage is that you may encounter some challenges with certain areas of your store not displaying the way you intended.  Getting things perfect might require some work, from developers and specialists in eCommerce.  Creative Imagineering are highly experienced in WooCommerce.  Let’s start the conversation.

The other advantage is that most WordPress themes are equipped to handle a WooCommerce store setup and are completely free.  So, using WooCommerce does minimise setup costs and remains the best from a design flexibility perspective. To conclude, where Shopify’s theme selection is great for its out-the-box quality, WooCommerce’s gives you much more in terms of the customizations possible, but it also requires more work by specialists.


WooCommerce bought theme

3) BigCommerce on Design

This platform is quite similar to Shopify in terms of designs.  They however only offer seven free themes at a heftier price tag of between $145-$250. You can expect a set of well-designed online store designs in a specific style that require a bit of adjustment.  Once you select your design BigCommerce offers a host of customisation options. What tops the scale yet again is the fact that WooCommerce remains the most compatible platform with all WordPress themes.


BigCommerce Design

Customer support with Shopify

Shopify offers 24/7 support via live chat, email, phone and even Twitter.  It should be noted that not all the tools that you’ll use at your store will be official Shopify tools. Some maybe third-party apps created by developers.  Should you need to reach out to a specific developer, that could present a challenge.

Customer support with WooCommerce

When you use a free open-source tool such as WooCommerce it’s beneficial for cost-saving, but you don’t neccerally get dedicated support.  The good news is that they do have a public knowledge base and due to their (and WordPress) popularity there are a plethora of social media groups and tutorials that can help you find the answers.

Customer support with BigCommerce

Much like Shopify, BigCommerce offers 24/7 support for the core eCommerce platform. You can get support via Live chat, Email or phone.

The bottom-line across all three platforms is if you use the free applications, the support is limited compared to anything purchased.

Pricing across all 3 Platforms


In a nutshell at Creative Imagineering we prefer working with WooCommerce as we feel it ticks all the boxes.  The main advantage is the platform’s compatibility with WordPress.

It’s important to do your research but tackling the setup and population of your eCommerce platform is not advisable.   If you are shopping around for your new online store, email us and let’s start the conversation.

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