Big Cartel vs. WooCommerce: A Simple Breakdown

Here’s an insightful comparison guide to help you navigate the choices between two prominent e-commerce platforms — Big Cartel and WooCommerce.

We’ll delve into their key features, advantages, and considerations to empower you in making an informed decision tailored to your online business needs.

But first, let’s go through the difference:

The main difference is that Big Cartel is a user-friendly platform tailored for independent artists and small businesses, while WooCommerce is a WordPress plugin, offering a highly customizable solution for businesses of all sizes.

Overview of Key Features

In this side-by-side analysis, we’ll evaluate the key features of Big Cartel and WooCommerce using a table chart to provide a visual representation of their strengths and limitations.

FeaturesBig CartelWooCommerce
Financial Automation✅ Streamlined processes for small businesses.✅ Comprehensive automation, suitable for all sizes.
Cross-Border Payments⚠️ Basic international payment options.✅ Versatile solutions for cross-border transactions.
User-Friendly Interface✅ Simple setup, designed for ease of use.⚠️ User-friendly but may have a learning curve.
Integration Capabilities⚠️ Basic integrations with essential tools.✅ Extensive ecosystem, allowing diverse integrations.
Transparent Fee Structure✅ Straightforward pricing with transparent fees.⚠️ Free plugin, but additional costs may vary.
Scalability⚠️ Limited scalability for larger enterprises.✅ Highly scalable, suitable for businesses of all sizes.
Versatility in Payment Options⚠️ Standard payment options.✅ Diverse payment methods for customer convenience.

What is Big Cartel?

Big Cartel stands out as an e-commerce platform specifically crafted for individual artists, creators, and small businesses. Its user-friendly design and straightforward setup make it an attractive choice for those entering the online retail space.


  • User-Friendly Interface: Simplified setup and intuitive design for ease of use.
  • Designed for Small Businesses: Tailored features catering to independent artists and small ventures.
  • Affordable Pricing: Budget-friendly plans, suitable for startups and small-scale businesses.
  • Responsive Customer Support: Quick and responsive customer support for user assistance.
  • Basic Integration Support: Allows connections with essential tools for added functionality.


  • Limited Scalability: May lack the scalability required for larger businesses.
  • Basic Feature Set: Some advanced features available in larger platforms might be missing.
  • Dependency on Third-Party Integrations: Relies on third-party integrations for extended functionality.
  • Transaction Fees: Certain plans may include transaction fees, impacting overall costs.

What is WooCommerce?

WooCommerce, a WordPress plugin, transforms regular websites into robust e-commerce platforms. Known for its versatility, it caters to businesses of all sizes, providing extensive customization options.


  • Extensive Customization: Unparalleled customization options for a tailored online store.
  • Vast Plugin Ecosystem: Integration with a wide range of plugins for added features.
  • Scalability: Adaptable to businesses of varying sizes with significant growth potential.
  • Community Support: Access to a large and supportive WordPress community.
  • Versatile Payment Options: Offers diverse payment methods for customer convenience.
  • Free Base Plugin: Core functionality is free, making it cost-effective.


  • Learning Curve: Steeper learning curve, especially for beginners.
  • Dependency on WordPress: Relies on the WordPress platform for functionality.
  • Potential Additional Costs: Users need to consider hosting, domain, and extension costs.
  • Complexity for Simple Stores: Overkill for straightforward or small-scale online stores.

Key Feature Comparison: Big Cartel vs. WooCommerce

In this detailed comparison, we’ll explore seven key features to help you discern between Big Cartel and WooCommerce for your e-commerce endeavors.

1. Financial Automation:

Big Cartel excels in simplicity, offering streamlined financial processes suitable for small businesses. However, its focus is on ease of use rather than comprehensive financial automation.

The platform is designed for users seeking straightforward management of transactions without intricate financial complexities.

WooCommerce, integrated with WordPress, provides extensive financial automation capabilities. It caters to businesses of all sizes, offering robust tools for managing transactions, inventory, and financial reporting.

The plugin’s versatility allows for intricate financial workflows, making it a powerful choice for those requiring comprehensive automation.

Verdict: WooCommerce triumphs in financial automation due to its scalability and robust feature set.

2. Cross-Border Payments:

Big Cartel offers basic international payment options, making it suitable for businesses with a primarily local customer base.

While it facilitates cross-border transactions, its capabilities are not as extensive as some larger e-commerce platforms.

WooCommerce, with its vast plugin ecosystem, provides versatile solutions for cross-border payments. Users can integrate various payment gateways, allowing seamless transactions across different countries and currencies.

Verdict: WooCommerce emerges as the winner, offering a more comprehensive approach to cross-border payments.

3. User-Friendly Interface:

Big Cartel’s strength lies in its user-friendly interface, specifically designed for individuals and small businesses.

The platform prioritizes simplicity, ensuring that users with limited technical expertise can navigate and manage their stores effortlessly.

WooCommerce, being a WordPress plugin, inherits the user-friendly nature of the WordPress platform. While powerful, it might have a steeper learning curve for beginners due to the extensive customization options.

Verdict: Big Cartel takes the lead in providing a more user-friendly interface for individuals and small businesses.

4. Integration Capabilities:

Big Cartel supports basic integrations, allowing users to connect with essential tools. However, its integration capabilities might be limited compared to larger e-commerce platforms.

WooCommerce boasts an extensive ecosystem of plugins, enabling seamless integration with various tools and services. The platform’s flexibility allows users to tailor their e-commerce setup according to their specific needs.

Verdict: WooCommerce excels in integration capabilities, offering a broader range of options.

5. Transparent Fee Structure:

Big Cartel adopts a straightforward approach to pricing, with transparent plans and fees. Users can easily understand the cost structure, making it suitable for those looking for simplicity in financial matters.

WooCommerce itself is a free plugin; however, users need to consider associated costs like hosting, domain registration, and additional extensions. While transparent, the overall fee structure may vary based on individual choices.

Verdict: Big Cartel wins in providing a more straightforward and transparent fee structure.

6. Scalability:

Big Cartel is designed with simplicity and ease of use in mind, making it ideal for smaller businesses and individual artists. However, its scalability might be limited for those with significant growth ambitions.

WooCommerce is highly scalable, catering to businesses of all sizes. Its integration with WordPress allows for extensive customization and adaptability, making it suitable for growing enterprises.

Verdict: WooCommerce stands out as the more scalable option, accommodating businesses with diverse growth aspirations.

7. Versatility in Payment Options:

Big Cartel offers standard payment options suitable for smaller businesses. While it provides essential methods, the range might be more limited compared to larger e-commerce platforms.

WooCommerce’s versatility shines in its comprehensive range of payment options. Users can choose from various gateways and even integrate additional methods through plugins, providing flexibility for diverse customer preferences.

Verdict: WooCommerce excels in offering a broader range of versatile payment options.

Use Cases for Big Cartel:

  1. Independent Artists and Crafters: Big Cartel is well-suited for individual artists and crafters looking for a simple yet effective platform to showcase and sell their creations.
  2. Small Boutique Businesses: Small boutique businesses with a limited product range can benefit from Big Cartel’s user-friendly setup and affordable pricing.

Use Cases for WooCommerce:

  1. Versatile Online Stores: WooCommerce caters to businesses of all sizes, offering extensive customization options for a versatile online store.
  2. Content-Rich Websites: For businesses that prioritize content marketing alongside e-commerce, WooCommerce’s integration with WordPress is beneficial.

Pricing Overview: Big Cartel vs. WooCommerce

Pricing AspectBig CartelWooCommerce
Base Software CostFree plan available. Paid plans start at $9.99/mo.Core WooCommerce plugin is free to use.
Transaction FeesSome paid plans include transaction fees.No native transaction fees imposed by WooCommerce.
Hosting CostsIncluded in Big Cartel plans.Requires separate hosting. Costs may vary based on provider.
Domain CostsCustom domains available. Some plans include.Separate domain registration costs.
Extension CostsLimited third-party integrations.Varies based on selected WooCommerce extensions.
Additional CostsPossible additional costs for higher plans.Potential costs for premium themes and specific extensions.

What to Consider When Choosing Between Big Cartel and WooCommerce

Factors to weigh:

  1. Business Size and Scale: Consider the size and growth ambitions of your business.
  2. Ease of Use: Evaluate the platform’s user-friendliness based on your technical expertise.
  3. Customization Needs: Assess the level of customization required for your online store.
  4. Budget Constraints: Consider your budget and the associated costs beyond the basic platform.
  5. Community and Support: Evaluate the community and support networks available for each platform.

Frequently Asked Questions about Big Cartel and WooCommerce:

  1. Is Big Cartel suitable for large-scale e-commerce businesses?
    • Big Cartel is tailored for smaller businesses and independent artists, emphasizing simplicity. While it excels in user-friendliness, larger enterprises may find its scalability limited.
  2. Can WooCommerce be used without WordPress?
    • No, WooCommerce is a WordPress plugin, tightly integrated with the WordPress platform. To utilize WooCommerce, you need to have a WordPress-powered website.
  3. Does Big Cartel support third-party integrations?
    • Big Cartel supports basic integrations, allowing users to connect with essential tools. However, its integration capabilities may be more limited compared to larger e-commerce platforms.
  4. How scalable is WooCommerce for growing businesses?
    • WooCommerce is highly scalable and adaptable to businesses of all sizes. Its extensive customization options and integration with WordPress make it suitable for those with significant growth ambitions.
  5. Are there transaction fees associated with Big Cartel’s paid plans?
    • Yes, some of Big Cartel’s paid plans may include transaction fees. It’s essential to review the specific details of each plan to understand the associated costs.

Big Cartel vs. WooCommerce: Takeaway

So which of these platforms should you use? Well, Big Cartel excels in simplicity and affordability, making it ideal for independent artists and small businesses.

On the other hand, WooCommerce offers extensive customization and scalability, making it suitable for businesses of all sizes, especially those leveraging the power of WordPress.