Start with Big Cartel
Templates and Design - 43%
SEO - 19%
Products and Inventory - 63%
Marketing Tools and Integrations - 44%
Ease of Use - 89%
Technical Support - 64%
I have wanted to properly review Big Cartel since I first came across it with my favorite T-Shirt Company Grand Flavour (They have since upgraded to Bigcommerce). It is quite unique in the e-commerce world because it shows no interest in being the biggest and the best and doesn’t ram monstrous claims down your throat the moment you visit them. The specialize in small (less than 100 products) and they have optimized their platform to suit.
Big Cartel is incredibly clean, very cheap and so simple to use I defy anyone to get lost. They have done an excellent job of creating a shopping cart for small e-retailers and deserve to be commended for it.
Big Cartel Pricing
Here’s a gem for you. Big cartel has a free plan. Not a trial, a plan. If you have less than 5 products and are willing to forgo some of the advanced customizations you don’t have to pay them a thing. Nice right.
Up to 25 products and some standard customizations – $10 a month – sweet! This is an affordable solution for anyone starting out. The most expensive plan, with full customization and extensive stats is only $20, still cheaper than the cheapest offering from Big Commerce or Core Commerce.
Barriers to entry in Online selling
For new businesses looking to start selling online, there are a few hurdles to get over setup fees, monthly fees, having a credit card and getting a design made. Big Cartel makes it easy for anyone to get started with no setup fees, low or no monthly fees, Paypal payments and a good set of design tools. It is far from ideal for larger businesses but I don’t think the care. They want small businesses just starting out. They want record label, clothing companies and artists and they have put together a solid offering that is bound to attract them.
Big Cartel Negatives
It can’t be all good news, can it? No. But it doesn’t make it bad. The biggest issue I found was that you couldn’t add and tracking code (like Google Analytics) to the free plan – and because you can’t edit the HTML your out of luck. It would be great if Big Cartel offered a text box Shopify style to add your Google Analytics account number – they could keep a lock on the HTML but still allow businesses to properly track there visitors – no real harm there GA is not likely to replace the in-store stats that require an upgrade.
Big Cartel Alternatives
Big Cartel has built itself a nice little niche around small, new e-commerce stores and with it’s dedicated focus on smaller it has been able to remove itself form the feature race of the “larger” e-commerce solutions. It is incredibly simple. There are very few options compared to Big Commerce, for instance but that is all some people want and I respect that. They have resisted the urge to add a million features and pages of marketing blah and have just focused on keeping the customers that want a cheap, simple shopping cart very happy.
Do you use Big Cartel? How have you found it? Are you ready to upgrade to a full featured shopping cart?