An eCommerce platform, Big Cartel, was launched in 2005 and proved helpful for the artists and creators looking for a place to sell their goods. It provides users additional control than Etsy, but it’s less complex than Shopify. 

A tiny business can reap the benefit of this eCommerce platform who need an easy way to develop an eCommerce store for free or run a side business. 

Big Cartel is a cost-conscious and easy way to kickstart selling your goods online. 

This post will introduce and put forward the essential details about Big Cartel, pros, cons, features, etc.

Keep reading!

What Is A Big Cartel?

A cloud-hosted eCommerce platform, Big Cartel permits you to develop and operate your online store from any device having internet access.

Furthermore, you can use its free themes to make your store engaging, or you can create a unique one through its API. 

It is crafted for artists by artists, so you can sell anything you want through this website. It was specifically designed with handmade and custom goods in mind, from clothing, jewelry, and more. 

When developing an online store using Big Cartel, you can choose from various options, including the free and paid ones. The plan you select will rely on the number of items you want to sell and the features you need to access. 

Most people consider Big Cartel a “light” eCommerce platform as it keeps it simple and easy. As per their website, they offer just the right and suitable blend of real-time stats, order management, SEO, and promotional tools to build a small online store and run it hassle-free. 

How Does Big Cartel Work?

Create and open your own online store with Big Cartel, a free e-commerce platform. You can use the web-based solution to start selling online by creating an account on Big Cartel, which is relatively faster.

Here’s an overview of how Big Cartel Works- 

1. Design your Store 

Big Cartel provides you with 18 free themes to help you create and personalize your online store. You may preview your website before it goes live, add images, modify the font and color scheme, and tweak the layout all with the editor. Even though you don’t need to know how to code to create a Big Cartel business, the premium plans let you change the theme using HTML.

2. Add your product 

The quantity of goods and photos you can post with each listing on your website are both limited by each Big Cartel plan. But in addition to the product name and price, when you add your products, you may also include descriptions, categories, statuses, variations, and shipping charges.

3. Set your product 

You may take payments both in-person and online using Big Cartel. You must set up a separate Stripe or PayPal account in order to use them as your payment processor in order to take credit card payments online.

  • Customers with Apple Pay can purchase straight from a product page using Stripe’s instant checkout feature.
  • Your clients can use PayPal Credit or Venmo to make payments if you accept PayPal.
  • Giving your customers the most payment alternatives is possible with the integration of PayPal and Stripe.

Alternatively, you can take cash or use the Big Cartel app for iOS or Android devices to process credit cards using Stripe while receiving payments in person.

4. Start Selling 

You can launch your website and begin selling after you’ve finished setting up the essential elements of your online business.

Your dashboard’s “orders” area allows you to check order history, print packing slips, modify shipping information, and mark orders as shipped. Customers can receive notifications and tracking information from you.

You can utilize more techniques to engage clients as your store grows in popularity. If you have a paid account, you can link with more third-party tools like Instagram and LiveChat. You can also establish a discount or run a campaign, add a newsletter, or sign up with Mailchimp.

5. Track  your Progress

In addition to getting a fuller picture that includes conversion rate and income for a specific time period, you can track sales and visits in real time.

Furthermore, Big Cartel provides statistics by product and category so you can examine the most popular items, the revenue earned by particular products, the number of times an item has sold, and more.

Who Should Choose Big Cartel?

1. Small Businesses

For small businesses on a limited budget who want to open an online store, Big Cartel is a great option. Small business owners can use it to market and sell their goods and services because of its user-friendly platform and reasonable prices.

2. Creators with a Global Customer Base

Big Cartel is a good option for creators, artists, and craftspeople who wish to connect with a worldwide market. By strength of its online shop capabilities, they are able to access a global customer base and exhibit its one-of-a-kind products and artwork.

3. New Online Sellers

Big Cartel is good for businesses that are new to ecommerce. It is simple and has a straightforward setup process, making it a good choice for those just starting to sell online. It provides various tools and supports that grow their online presence and business.

Top Features Of Big Cartel

Now, let’s check out the popular features of Big Cartel for which it’s widely known. 

Paid Features Of Big Cartel

If you choose paid plans of Big Cartel, you can expect the below additional features:

1. Inventory Management

By performing inventory tracking, your eCommerce store can keep track of the number of products you have in stock and they sold out. Additionally, you will get notifications when you are running low on specific products. 

2. Analytics

Using the dashboard, users can track the orders, visitor stats, and conversion rate. If you choose a paid plan, you will be permitted to link Google Analytics to your Big Cartel eCommerce store to catch up with detailed information about your store’s customers, location, and what they are looking to buy. 

3. Multiple Product Images

Holding a paid plan, you can take up to five images of every product you want to sell (for a free plan, it’s just one image).

4. Custom Domain

The free plans come with a “” URL, whereas a paid store permits you to use a custom domain registered through Google Domains. A custom domain will make your online store easier to find and is best for SEO. 

5. Apply Discounts

The paid plans permit you to offer discount codes to your consumers that they can apply during checkout to grab a fixed amount or percentage off the product’s cost. 

6. HTML/CSS Editor

You can only edit your store’s source code when you have the paid plans. 

Free Features Of Big Cartel

Big Cartel is famous for offering various things, even with a free plan. 

1. Security

Every website comes with SSL encryption, which states all the details sent or received from your site will be encrypted. 

2. Order Management

After purchase, users can send confirmation emails to the customers using the Big Cartel dashboard, like track orders, bulk export order history through a CSV file, and print shipping labels. 

3. Mobile App

Big Cartel has an Android and iOS app that you can use to manage your online store easily. 

4. Search Engine Optimization

Every Big Cartel page is optimized for SEO; also, this eCommerce platform offers tips on enhancing the website’s SEO ranking by performing various things, such as providing detailed product descriptions and accumulating inbound links to your website. 

5. Customer Support

This eCommerce platform provides email support between specific hours of 9 a.m. and 6 p.m. ET, Monday through Friday. The Big Cartel Help Center is quite helpful and offers robust documentation on developing and managing an online store. 

Big Cartel Integrations

Big Cartel provides a plethora of 3rd-party apps and plug-ins that best extend your store’s functionality. A top name among such plug-ins is Zapier, a paid service that allows connections with 1,000+ additional 3rd-party apps. 

Below are some of the great apps available for purchase on the Big Cartel App Store:

  • MailChimp
  • Facebook Store
  • Instagram
  • Pulley
  • Google Analytics
  • ShipRobot
  • ShipRush
  • ShipStation

Moreover, you will get a Big Cartel API to facilitate other software integration. 

Big Cartel Payment Processing

An eCommerce store eases online purchases, and to complete those sales, you will need a payment processor. 

A payment processor charges an amount per transaction, and sometimes an extra flat fee applies. However, this eCommerce platform doesn’t charge any additional payment processing. 

Big Cartel performs with PayPal and Stripe to accept credit card payments online. If you choose PayPal, customers will hold an option to check out using Venmo or PayPal credit. Also, you can use the Big Cartel iOS app to accept payments in person. 

Pros Of Big Cartel 

Let’s now go through the advantages of Big Cartel:

1. Price

If you are just selling a limited number of goods, Big Cartel would be quite valuable in this case. However, the free version of Big Cartel limits some features that you may need to access. Still, it arrives with the necessary functions of an eCommerce store. 

Even its Platinum plan comes at an affordable price that will bring along a lot of features and functionalities than you can find elsewhere at this price. 

The best part of Big Cartel is that it doesn’t charge any percentage from its vendor’s sales or any additional cost as a payment processing fee.

2. Ease of use

New eCommerce businesses can opt for Big Cartel. It offers a single setup process and is easier for users to sell online with uncomplicated aspects like payment processing, taxes, shipping, etc. 

Besides, as Big Cartel doesn’t provide numerous themes or features, the users are not required to spend much time developing or managing their online store. 

3. Developer-Friendly

One more advantage of Big Cartel is that apart from offering free and easy-to-use themes, it also facilitates the users with development knowledge to craft a completely customized design. As this eCommerce platform is focused on creative types, Big Cartel can be best for someone who needs to build a site that would entirely match their brand. 

4. SEO Friendly

All Big cartel pages are SEO-friendly. By providing its customers with the following basic SEO options, the shopping cart also offers assistance on how to improve the search engine ranking of your website:

Specific titles and meta descriptions that are relevant to your pages and products

  • Valid markup in HTML
  • Clear, optimized URLs for search engines
  • Easy-to-understand navigation
  • Appropriate anchors and headers
  • correctly labeled alt tags for photos
  • A sitemap that is automatically created and referenced by robots.txt

Cons Of Big Cartel

Big Cartel comes with some disadvantages also, let’s check them out:

1. Fewer Features

If you are a larger eCommerce platform with a Big Cartel you are going to miss some chief features, like CRM or abandoned cart recovery, as this eCommerce platform doesn’t prioritize lots of features. Its target is to ease small businesses develop their online store. 

2. Lack of Scalability

However, Big Cartel is best for startups, but while your business will grow, you will find Big Cartel lacking advanced features. 

For instance, you may need more options than Big Cartel holds in its limited library of store themes. 

3. Very Niche

Theoretically, any business can develop its eCommerce store with Big Cartel; this platform was crafted keeping artists in mind. The businesses with different niches would need to find other platforms to better meet their needs, whether for more features, themes, or overall functionality.

Alternatives Of Big Cartel

If you need an eCommerce platform holding more functionality, you can go with any of the below options of Big Cartel:

1. Shopify

The most popular eCommerce platform, Shopify, is constantly in use and is popular in the market because it comes with lots of features, integrations, and customizations at the best price. 

If you were looking for Diamond or Titanium plans of Big Cartel, it’s better if you jump onto Shopify. 

When it comes to the Big Cartel vs. Shopify discussion, Shopify will win the show as it’s the best and most-picked choice for big eCommerce business owners. 

2. WooCommerce

A shopping cart plug-in, WooCommerce permits you to convert WordPress websites into an eCommerce store. 

Moreover, it’s free and doesn’t limit the number of products you want to sell. It demands a steep learning curve. So, try to learn the ins and outs of WordPress before you choose it.

Big Cartel Price Chart

Factors Gold PlatinumDiamond
Price  Free$9.99/month$19.99/month
Products 550500
Listing Fee  NoNo
Features Images Per Product155
 Free Customizable ThemesYes Yes Yes 
 Sell In-Person & OnlineYes Yes Yes 
 Real-time StatsYes Yes Yes 
 Discounts & Run PromosYes Yes Yes 
 Custom Domain UsageYes Yes Yes 
 Shipment TrackingYes Yes Yes 
 Sales Tax AutopilotYes Yes Yes 
 Product Option GroupsYes Yes Yes 
 Bulk EditingNoYesYes
 Inventory TrackingNoYesYes
 Google AnalyticsNoYesYes
 Theme Code EditingNoYesYes

How can we help you develop an eCommerce Store using Big Cartel?

EmizenTech, a Big Cartel development company, specializes in building e-commerce stores. We offer expertise in customizing Big Cartel platforms, ensuring a smooth user experience. Hire our highly skilled Big Cartel developers for assistance, from store setup to design implementation, to create your ideal online store efficiently.

Our team of skilled experts guarantees a smooth development process, offering customized solutions for your e-commerce store.  Hire our experts today to build, optimize, and maintain your Big Cartel store, taking your online business to new heights.


Big Cartel is specially developed for creative people, makers, and anyone who has crafted a unique product and wants to sell it online. 

If you are a jewelry maker, designer, woodworker, painter, or anything, Big Cartel would be the best choice for you. 

Big Cartel offers the online stores an amazing visual presence and doesn’t need any site developing skills. This way, you can develop anything you want. 

So, if you hold a small store (with around 1-20 products to sell), Big Cartel would be a useful choice for you. In simple words, the one looking for an easy to offer online exposure to their small business can pick Big Cartel. 

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CTO at Emizentech and a member of the Forbes technology council, Amit Samsukha, is acknowledged by the Indian tech world as an innovator and community builder. He has a well-established vocation with 12+ years of progressive experience in the technology industry. He directs all product initiatives, worldwide sales and marketing, and business enablement. He has spearheaded the journey in the e-commerce landscape for various businesses in India and the U.S.