We frequently get asked about the similarities and differences between Subbly and BigCommerce, despite the two platforms being very different. We’re also often approached by business owners who already use BigCommerce and want to know how they can integrate it with Subbly.
The main difference in the platforms is that Subbly is engineered specifically for subscription-first businesses, whereas BigCommerce primarily focuses on one-time purchases and will require that you use another platform or plugin to handle your subscriptions.
Now, let’s dig into the other differences between Subbly and BigCommerce.
A subscription-first business deserves a subscription-first™ platform
Customizable checkouts & subscriptions
Collect information from your customers, allow them to pick their products, and even to customize their subscriptions
Automate marketing, management and operations, and run complex business models with no code
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Subbly was developed as a solution specifically built for subscription and recurring billing. This is indeed the biggest difference between the two platforms and, if you’re here searching for a better (and more affordable) solution for your subscription store, then you should really look no further than Subbly.
With our all-in-one platform, you will be able to build your site, set up your products (both as subscriptions or one-time purchases), manage orders, customers, and inventory, and so much more without relying on any third-party solutions.
For those with a very clear vision about the design of their website, Subbly’s website builder offers extreme flexibility compared to what you’ll get on the likes of Squarespace, BigCommerce or Shopify, while still requiring no coding or design experience.
We make it super easy to migrate your subscription business to Subbly.
It is worth noting that Subbly does not offer as many payment gateways as BigCommerce and does not integrate with other sales channels like Amazon.
It’s also worth noting that BigCommerce has features to manage returns and Subbly does not. This may be critical for many businesses as there are simple methods for managing returns outside of a platform - but this may be a con for others.
Finally, the number of integrations and apps that Subbly has to offer is currently smaller than BigCommerce. This may be a disadvantage if you already rely on many third-party apps to run your business, but Subbly is built as an out-of-the-box solution which has all the features you’ll need right away, all included in the price!
Plus, Subbly is adding more integrations all the time...
BigCommerce has a wide variety of powerful features and functionalities when it comes to running a store that doesn't involve any subscription products. While BigCommerce’s website builder may be somewhat easier to use, balancing drag and drop functionality with a template library (both free and paid) to enable users to easily create their websites, while Subbly’s focuses more on flexibility and customization options.
It’s undeniable that BigCommerce has an extensive list of advanced features, which is probably why they are so popular with enterprise level stores. Some of the most notable features (primarily for single-purchase items and NOT subscription) include a built-in weight-based shipping calculator, cart abandonment notifications, customizable email campaigns, customer segmentation, and integrations with many payment processing partners and sales channels such as Amazon and eBay.
There are some solutions for recurring billing listed on the BigCommerce app store (such as PayWhirl or Bold), but all of these will hike up the price you’re already paying for your BigCommerce store. Plus, using two platforms to manage orders and customers adds complexity and is not an ideal long-term solution.
In regards to the website builder, we believe that BigCommerce relies too heavily on templates, which can be extremely limiting. It’s clear that they have focused primarily on ease of use but it may be too simple for those trying to make highly personalized websites. Subbly’s website builder may thus be a natural progression for those seeking more flexibility after outgrowing their existing BigCommerce website.
Subbly does well with early stage and growing companies that depend upon recurring revenue (from startups to big enterprises including multinationals). BigCommerce, on the other hand, does well for one-time purchase ecommerce companies, especially for enterprise customers.
If you don’t mind paying extra and you're happy to use multiple solutions instead of an all-in-one platform, don’t forget that you can always integrate Subbly as a subscription solution for your existing BigCommerce store.