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. 

Top Features Of Big Cartel

Now, let’s check out 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, visitors 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 the 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 “shop.bigcartel.com” 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. 

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

Conclusion

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. 

Author

I am an eCommerce consultant, a member of the Forbes technology council with a decade of experience in the ecommerce development segment. My expertise can make your business overcome any obstacles while you are dealing with the Magento ecommerce platform!