Thinking of going into eCommerce and you’re looking for a platform that is easy to integrate your business on? Then look no further as Big Cartel is the answer to most of your unanswered questions. Big Cartel is a unique platform that is dedicated to helping people start and run a creative business. 

An Overview of Big Cartel

Big Cartel is a cloud-based eCommerce platform aimed to ease the affairs of artists. The goal is to help small artists who are looking to sell their talent to the world get audiences. Although this platform offers are limited, its available features are unique and help sellers get noticed. So, as an artist or creative person looking to sell your works/products online, you can’t miss with Big Cartel.

An easy to use website builder, swift integration, budget-friendly plans, etc. are part of what makes Big Cartel stands out. Users are also allowed to test the platform before they fully subscribe. This is to give them an overview of the platform and aid them in their decision making. 

Is Big Cartel a good platform to sell your product? Read on…

How Big Cartel Works

Big Cartel is an all-in-one business solution for people who wants to start an eCommerce store. This platform allows users to build and run their eCommerce store all in one place. This is achieved by providing all the tools necessary to aid the smooth integration of your business on the platform.

Artists can sell virtually anything on Big Cartel, ranging from arts, tees, jewellery, music, prints, pottery, candles, soaps, towels, etc. To help artists reach their target audience, there’s an emphasis on helping creative artists develop a unique and visually friendly online presence. With already created themes that artist can pick from, they have put in a lot to ensure the customization of your store on this platform is appealing and to your taste. Or you could just build an online store from the scratch. 

Surprised? Big Cartel allows users to either use their template to start their store or build the store themselves. So, you do not have to worry about them liking the themes/templates available, you can just build yours. Although the website themes are limited, users can enjoy free customization with all paid plans. All available templates are mobile responsive and minimalistic.

Another upside is that you don’t necessarily need a website building skill or eCommerce experience. Basic knowledge of these things can aid your integration. Just pick a subscription plan, select a theme, and start adding products you’d like to put up for sale. Told you it was an easy process. Some of the themes include:

  • Lunch Break Theme
  • Parade Theme
  • Hopscotch Theme
  • Snacks Theme
  • Setlist Theme
  • Ranger Theme
  • Trace Theme
  • Foundry Theme
  • Neat Theme
  • Sidecar Theme
  • Luna Theme
  • Good Vibes Theme
  • Picklejuice Theme
  • Nova Theme
  • Snakebite Theme

Features of Big Cartel

Generally, compared to other eCommerce platforms, Big Cartel offers limited features. These features are not suitable for enterprise-level businesses, hence why they are limited.

However, the features are suitable for beginners and small businesses who need a head start. The major perks of the limited features are that sellers are not dazed by unlimited options. They can easily create and run their business with minimal skills and be rest assured they are not lacking in any area. Some of the free features include:

  • Mobile app
  • Security
  • Search engine optimization
  • Order management
  • Customer support

While the paid features include:

  • Multiple product images
  • HTML/CSS editor
  • Analytics
  • Apply discounts
  • Inventory management
  • Custom domain

So, what does Big Cartel Offers? 

Sell Digital Products

With the recent integration with Pulley, merchants can put their digital products for sale. This integration helps merchants outsource their skills and their products/services. Regardless of your niche, you can reach your audience or potential client with Big Cartel.

Sell on Instagram and Facebook

The use of social media can never be overemphasized. So, merchants need to have an online presence on all channels. Fortunately, Big Cartel offers integration with Facebook and permits tagging of products on Instagram.

Irrespective of your price tag, as long as the product(s) has been approved by Facebook, you can leverage on your Facebook contact and platform to reach more customers. Note that for this integration to be done, some coding needs to be carried out.

Order Management

Merchants can create automatic emails to inform customers once their orders are ongoing. Mails for confirmation of orders, the fulfilment of orders, print shipping labels, and export history is CSV files would be sent accordingly to shopping customers.

Inventory Tracking

Keeping tabs on all business activities going on can be quite difficult. But with Big Cartel, merchants can easily keep tabs on stocks that are available, sold out or coming soon.

Editable Information

Don’t freight when you input the wrong price or upload the wrong description for a product. You can easily edit product information such as name, description, price, inventory status, edit product URL for SEO reasons, etc. Grouping is another major feature that makes Big Cartel unique. You can group products into categories right from the product edit page.

Marketing and SEO

Unique SEO features like sitemap generation to drive traffic to your store is offered on this platform. It can be used to optimize your store and streamline your adverts to your target audience. Discount and special promotions can also be used with ease on this platform.

Product Management

it has an in-built product management system that offers user-friendly solutions.

Track Progress

Merchants can easily track their sales progress and have an overall insight into how and what product are selling. It can be used to identify the right channel to use to drive traffic to your store. With this, it would be easy to strategize marketing.

APPs and Integrations

Big Cartel integrates with some third-party plugins to expand options available for merchants. The third-party extension gives users access to several applications, though it comes at extra costs. Aside Pulley which is very necessary if you wish to sell any digital products, others are optional and are not compulsory for most sellers. Below are some of the applications available on Big Cartel:

  • Big Cartel (iOS)
  • Pulley
  • MailChimp
  • Google Analytics
  • ShipRobot
  • Socialphotos
  • LiveChat
  • Shipstation
  • Lucky Orange 
  • FaceBook
  • Printful
  • ShipRush
  • Instagram

WordPress Plugin

Another integration available in Big Cartel is the WordPress Plugin that allows merchants to link their Big Cartel store to their WordPress blog/site. With this feature, merchants can include their products in posts, pages, and widgets.

Custom Domains

There are currently two options available for setting up and running your shop with a custom domain on Big Cartel. The default domain can be changed when you sign-up or you can use another subdomain to display contents. The platinum plan allows you to customize your domain for free.

Payment Option

Payment has been simplified on Big Cartel. There are two payment options available for users – Stripe and PayPal. With PayPal, all payment automatically incurs a $2.95 and $0.30 transaction fee per purchase. While for in-person purchases, Big Cartel integrates with Square which accepts newer chip cards, Apple and Android Pay, and magstripe cards. Note that this option also incurs a transaction fee of $2.75 per purchase.

There are no hidden fees attached to using Big Cartel as the platform is serving as a support to the creative community. Also, the platform doesn’t take any percentage from a merchant’s sales.

Big Cartel Subscription Plans

Big Cartel has both the free and paid subscription plan for users. The free plan is known as the Gold Plan. This plan gives you access to sample most of the features on Big Cartel it is limited to only five products and can’t be used to make custom domains.

Other subscription plans unlock all the features on Big Cartel like the Platinum plan. This plan goes for $9.99 and gives users access to 50 products. Then the Diamond plan which has 250 products and cost $19.99. The highest plan is the Titanium plan which has 500 products.

What Can You Sell on Big Cartel?

Like you’ve said before, Big Cartel is like an open book for artists to showcase their products/designs/works, etc. The most exciting stores are available on Big Cartel selling items like:

  • Streetwear
  • Clothing
  • Enamel Pins
  • Hair Accessories
  • Jewellery
  • Hair Boutiques
  • Vintage
  • Photography 

To be honest, Big Cartel is a platform every artist looking to put their product online for sale should try out. It is very simple to operate. Aside from managing your products/inventory, you can also process orders and monitor your store’s daily operation from the dashboard, all on the clear menu on the header.

Pros and Cons of Big Cartel

Like with every eCommerce platform, Big Cartel also has its strong points and weakness. Below are some of the Pros and Cons of Big Cartel.


  • Easy to use 
  • Timely Discount
  • Cost-friendly
  • Optimizing Marketing Tools
  • Strategic Integration
  • Developer-friendly
  • Branding opportunity


  • Scalability
  • Absence of Search Function
  • Limited Payment Options
  • Less Flexibility

As good as a platform Big Cartel might seem, it is not for everyone. But as a small business owner who needs an easy way to build an eCommerce store for free, you just might want to give Big Cartel a trial.

Although Big Cartel might not offer premium features like other prominent eCommerce platforms, it is an efficient and affordable way to start an eCommerce business.