BigCommerce is an ecommerce platform that allows individuals with little to no coding skills achieve enterprise-level solutions. It was built with scalability in mind, allowing you to easily integrate hundreds of apps and extensions according to your specific business needs and growth. Accept a variety of payment methods, manage payments and shipping as well as perform deep customizations of the website’s design with pure simplicity. Adding to its ease of use, BigCommerce even allows you to list products for sale on Amazon, Ebay, Facebook and Pinterest with just a few clicks.
BigCommerce is a robust, feature-rich eCommerce platform. It’s an online store builder or a hosted shopping cart application. The company is currently providing services to businesses across the globe and in more than 150 countries with almost a hundred thousand online stores.
BigCommerce was founded in 2009 but was recently overhauled to introduce features that put it in the major league of eCommerce contenders. Some of the big companies currently being serviced by BigCommerce are Original Moxie, Martha Stewart, and Toyota. This eCommerce platform offers all the functionalities and tools a business would need to set up an online store, process orders, manage inventory, and maintain the store’s branding.
BigCommerce was designed to be as uncomplicated as possible to help businesses put up their online stores with the least amount of time and effort. Here are the necessary steps:
After pricing, the second most commonly asked about any application is how easy it is to use. Businesses don’t want to spend too much time and money on designing online shops and maintaining them. Also, they may not have a resource with web development or design skills for building a site from the ground up.
Launching a website with BigCommerce comes with useful tutorials and helpful steps to help any business get started. Although some customers find the new Stencil framework not easy to navigate or use and might be targeted to more advanced developers or users. For businesses that have the budget to hire developers, that’s good news. But not for the non-technical users who find it difficult, even making small changes. And admittedly, most regular merchants are not that tech-savvy.
BigCommerce does offer features that developers will find very useful, but at its current state, it’s not for the non-techie. But it doesn’t mean it will take a lot of coding to put up an online store.
Actually, it only takes a few seconds to design a fully-functioning online store using BigCommerce design templates. From setting up products to configuring shipping settings, to managing tax rates, it’s a real breeze. Customization can also be done using integrations and apps, and the pre-built website themes look professional like seasoned web graphics designers have designed them. Beyond the basics, however, it gets more complicated.
To summarize the usage experience, managing the store, adding products, taking care of orders, and other day-to-day tasks are quite straightforward. Everything is just self-explanatory and highly intuitive. The same, though, can’t be said with setting up the store and tweaking the site’s design, or just about any one-time task. These things can be quite confusing and may require help from BigCommerce’s support team or a third-party developer.
BigCommerce is one of the most functionality-rich eCommerce platforms currently available. But what makes it stand out of the competition are the following features:
BigCommerce allows an online store to be integrated with various sales channels, which can help boost sales significantly. This feature is configured using the platform’s channel manager called the Omni-Channel. This interface makes connecting and selling products on various marketplaces a breeze. It imports products to channels it’s connected to, so there’s no need to provide products on each of these channels manually. Omni Channels allows selling marketplaces such as Google Shopping, eBay, and Amazon; social media networks such as Instagram, Pinterest, and Facebook; and physical stores such as Springboard Retail, ShopKeep, and Square. When a sale is generated from any of the connected channels, the order can be processed through the BigCommerce Standard saving the merchant a lot of valuable time.
The Abandoned Carts feature of BigCommerce is worth recognizing. If a shop visitor didn’t or wasn’t able to go through the complete checkout process for some, the system will automatically send up to 3 emails as a reminder. Because of the repeated email, there’s a higher probability that the customer will go back and buy what they planned to buy in their recent visit. Surveys show that a lot of customers keep unpurchased in their shopping carts. More than 70% of online shopping activities end up with abandoned items in shopping carts that never made it to the checkout gate. These unrealized sales can be recovered by sending timely emails to the customers. BigCommerce claims that this tool recovers 15% of the lost sales due to abandoned carts.
This feature facilitates the sending of personalized discounts and coupon codes to emphasize the business’ branding. Banner ads can also be displayed when promoting offers. The Cart-Level Discount functionality allows applying the discount on the fly to which lessens the complications for both the business and the customers. BigCommerce also offers deep targeting options in its discount system, which shows offers exclusive to customers before they check out, such as additional discounts for bundled products or buy one get one promo.
When an online store lacks a particular payment method, it can lead to potential loss of sales. Customers want to have the freedom to choose the payment method most comfortable to them. With BigCommerce, merchants can choose from more than 40 payment methods that are pre-integrated and serve more than 100 countries. Natively, it can integrate with Square, PayPal, Stripe, Adyen, Klarna, and Authorize.net. It also allows credit payments via Braintree. BigCommerce also supports mobile wallets such as Apple Pay and Amazon Pay as payment options. Although BigCommerce doesn’t charge the sale with transaction fees, payment gateways do, and the cost depends on which option was chosen when checking out. Another good thing about BigCommerce is that they don’t charge fees for any transaction, unlike its competitors.
BigCommerce comes with various automation tools on the platform. Tax and shipping rate calculations can be automated using these tools. ShipperHQ can be used to calculate the shipping rate depending on the set rules. Rates, shipping methods, carriers can be configured according to product specifications. Avalara can be integrated with BigCommerce and is a tool used for calculating tax based on different criteria. It’s also called the AvaTax and helps to charge the tax during checkout.
It’s every merchant’s dream to sell their products all across the globe, and BigCommerce can help in reaching that goal. With this eCommerce platform, it becomes possible to sell products to buyers from all around the world. Shipping fees and the corresponding taxes are automatically charged to the shopping cart. It supports and displays prices in various currencies. Payment is processed using the multiple payment gateways available.
The previously mentioned features are just a scratch on the surface of BigCommerce in terms of functionality and design. BigCommerce is designed like a content management system or CMS making it highly customizable. Expanding and personalizing the online store can quickly be done by integrating third-party apps, which can be found in the BigCommerce marketplace. Add new services and functions to the online selling site such as billing solutions, payment gateways, automated review prompts, or exit-intent popups. Also, services that require a separate account to logon to can usually be integrated with BigCommerce at no extra cost. All it takes is installing the application. Once the app is installed, it becomes available in the dashboard’s Apps tab.
BigCommerce is one of the most highly-customizable eCommerce platforms in the industry, thanks to its ability to integrate with some of the most powerful eCommerce applications. Their marketplace offers a selection of industry-leading third-party integrations and applications that were carefully selected to provide the best solutions possible. These connect to BigCommerce seamlessly allowing merchants to sell more effectively.
ERP integrations that can help a business streamline its operations such as Microsoft Dynamics, Brightpearl, and Netsuite connect perfectly with BigCommerce.
Improving customer experience is easy with CRM applications such as Zoho, NetSuite, and Salesforce, which allow merchants to market to, retain, and acquire customers.
For those who want to develop their customized integrations, BigCommerce open, flexible API allows integration with existing proprietary or legacy applications. API allows connection to essential parts of the platform such as Shipping, Payments, Orders, Customers, Products, and more.
Manage cash flow, create purchase orders, and sync order and customer data using accounting applications such as Sage, Xero, and Quickbooks, to reduce manual errors and save time.
BigCommerce is in partnership with Avalara, which means customers get complimentary AvaTax accounts. Avalara applies more than 100,000 rules for sales tax calculation during checking, which can help merchants save money, time, and effort. An AvaTax account comes with advanced functionalities such as product-level tax, address verification, exemptions, integrated filing, and reporting.
To explore the available integrations and applications, just visit the BigCommerce marketplace. There a lot of add-ons available for merchants that can be used to add more services and functionality to their online sites.
A quick visit to the BigCommerce is enough for one to see how professional it would be working with the company. The site is clean and comfortable to the eyes, with different payment options available for varying merchant budgets.
BigCommerce has an extensive collection of really impressive templates that can be used for the online store’s design. Even free trial users get to choose from 12 themes, which are all modern looking yet simple.
For the paying customers, BigCommerce offers more than 100 great-looking themes priced from $145 to $235 depending on the requirement. Most of these themes come with different variants and also allows adjustment for a more personalized online store.
Even the free themes should be enough to create an attractive site, and they’re also highly customizable. The paid themes, on the other hand, are easy to work with, stylish, and very responsive.
These templates are quite easy to customize and personalize if required. To get a feel of the designs available, select a theme, click on it to open, and just play around. Any of the available themes can be used to sell any service or product. All it needs is just a little adjustment.
Clicking on the Style Editor allows playing with settings such as the theme color that reflects the business’ brand or the fonts. It also allows modifying the main carousel, enabling mobile themes, and adding a logo. For an even more customized online store, the themes can be updated using raw HTML and CSS.
Overall, BigCommerce has excellent site speed, great uptime, and no major incident complaints. However, if you’re looking for an eCommerce platform that provides elite customer support, this isn’t the platform for you. Uptime is rather impressive with very few outages, but they occasionally have issues with slowed-down servers when sudden traffic spikes occur for customers with smaller pricing plans. Website loading speed shouldn’t be an issue. All of our tests showed BigCommerce as one of the fastest eCommerce platforms as far as web page loading times are concerned. However, their servers are not the fastest when compared to similar options. BigCommerce is an overall highly reliable eCommerce platform that excels in speed and uptime but lacks customer support reliability.
Uptime is a crucial aspect worth considering when choosing an eCommerce platform for your business. A single minute of downtime can cause missed sales and prevent users from returning to your website for good. Fortunately, BigCommerce guarantees a 99.99% uptime, which is above the average of roughly 99.03%. One area where BigCommerce seems to fall short is with slowed-down servers when sudden surges of traffic hit your website. While not all users are affected by this, it can definitely cause some negative feedback from customers when the site slows down at random moments.
Overall, BigCommerce deals with very few major incidents regularly. The major complaints are issued against the customer support team, who seem to really hit or miss. There are several complaints about unresolved issues going on for weeks without any response back from the BigCommerce support team. Another incident that has received a few complaints includes issues with completing transactions. More specifically, credit cards declined without displaying any error message, leading customers to believe that the transaction went through even though it didn’t.
Site speed is another important aspect to consider when choosing an eCommerce platform online. Site pages that take longer than 3 seconds to load have been proven to get more exits. Slow servers can mean lots of lost customers and can cause your business to get a bad reputation. We tested numerous BigCommerce stores for site speed, and the results were rather impressive. Our tests showed most stores loading in roughly 2.5 seconds, and components were properly compressed with gzip. While BigCommerce is incredibly well-optimized for speed, some components did not have far-future expiration dates, which could cause minor issues if you rely heavily on organic search engine traffic. BigCommerce is better optimized for speed when compared to similar eCommerce platforms. However, the servers weren’t as quick as the others we tested.
When selling products online, any problem can prove to be costly. BigCommerce has got that covered with a few support options to get a store’s issue sorted easily and quickly.
The support options offered by BigCommerce for a merchant will depend on the price plan purchased. 24 by 7 live chat and phone support come standard with all plans, so there’s no need for office hours to kick in before getting help.
BigCommerce also offers support via email. Merchants who want to try their 15-day free trial will receive an email with an offer for a 10-minute business discussion covering the goals and how BigCommerce might be able to help. In addition to the help options mentioned above, there are also video tutorials to help merchants learn more about the platform and the BigCommerce Help Center, which is an excellent resource for Knowledge Base articles, updates, news, and tips from other members of the BigCommerce community.
Businesses opting for the Enterprise Plan get the BigCommerce priority support. Phone calls for support will be prioritized, and an onboarding consultant helps businesses ease through eCommerce. Priority support also means highly-trained and senior support staff will answer calls and fix problems providing quality support at the highest level.
To cater to different business and budget sizes, BigCommerce offers four pricing plans to be paid on a monthly basis – Standard, Plus, Pro, and Enterprise.
At a monthly cost of only $29.95, the Standard plan is BigCommerce’s cheapest option. This offering is ideal for small to medium businesses who don’t need the advanced features of the higher-priced plans. The plan includes:
As shown above, this entry-level BigCommerce offering already contains all the essential elements an online store would need. The annual sales are limited to $50,000 for the BigCommerce Standard plan.
The BigCommerce Plus Plan costs $79.95 per month and carries all the core functionalities of the standard plan in addition to the following:
The BigCommerce Pro option, priced at $249.95 per month, doesn’t have many extra functionalities over the Plus plan, but what it does have is a significant increase in the sales limit. In addition to all the features and capabilities of the Plus option, the BigCommerce allows online sales of up to $400,000. There’s also an additional $150 fee per month for every $200,000 in sales. One notable feature that BigCommerce Pro has over Plus is the inclusion of the Google Customer Reviews. This allows the collection of feedback from customers, which will then be displayed on Google.
The Enterprise plan is BigCommerce’s beefiest offering when it comes to functionalities and online sales limit. This option is aimed at businesses that generate online sales of over $1,000,000 and with advanced selling requirements.
BigCommerce Enterprise has all the functionalities that can be found in the lower-priced plans in addition to the following:
Pricing is not indicated in the BigCommerce site and requires contacting them to discuss the plan. The monthly costs will reflect the requirements of the business. BigCommerce Enterprise’s annual sales limit is negotiable.
Even the best eCommerce platforms take a percentage from each sale in order to cover transactions. These are often labeled as transaction fees. BigCommerce mentions that they have no transaction fees. Do not let this fool you, they do take an amount from your sales, but rather than calling it transaction fees, they have you upgrade your pricing plan as you make more money. At BigCommerce, instead of having to pay transaction fees, you’ll need to upgrade your account when you reach over $50,000 in yearly sales, over $150,000 in yearly sales, and when you reach over $400,000 in yearly sales
At BigCommerce, you will have to pay your monthly subscription fees, but you should also plan ahead for theme fees and plugin fees. There are less than 10 free themes to choose from, so you’ll most likely want to choose a premium theme, which costs between $140 to $200. Plugins and apps will also come at a price. Most apps will charge your a monthly subscription fee, so keep this in mind if you plan on using multiple plugins on your site.
How much does it cost per month?
Providing eCommerce solutions to businesses of all sizes, BigCommerce quickly became a household name for store and business owners worldwide. The platform allows businesses big and small to quickly set up an online store and place their products for sale. BigCommerce is an all-in-one solution that allows you to control of every aspect of owning an online store without the need for 3rd party software. They allow you to easily accept payments online, create invoices, keep track of inventory, fulfill orders and design your web store with ease.
There are four different BigCommerce services available to choose from. “Standard” is ideal for users who are just on the brink of setting up an online store and have very few products to sell. “Plus” is the most popular service available at BigCommerce and is the ideal solution for businesses that sell up to $150,000 online in a single year. “Pro” is for well-established businesses with a strong product line that sells very well. This service comes with many additional features including custom SSL and product filtering. “Entreprise” is the final solution available and includes all of the available features provided by BigCommerce. This plan is dedicated to large-scale businesses that sell millions of dollars worth of product yearly. Each plan varies in price and features, but they all come with sitewide HTTPs and 24/7 live agent support.
BigCommerce was founded in 2009 by Eddie Machaalani and Mitchell Harper. The two founders are both originally from Australia and they met randomly in an online chatroom, which is where they first discussed the idea of BigCommerce. The company was completely bootstrapped up until July 31st, 2011 when General Catalyst Partners invested $15 million in a Series A round of funding. By 2013, BigCommerce had received a total of $125 million in funding by investors such as American Express, Telstra Ventures, Revolution Growth and more. In 2018, Goldman Sachs led an additional funding round which ended at $64 million.
They currently have their headquarters in Austin, Texas along with offices in Sydney Australia and San Francisco, California. Brent Bellm is the current CEO of the privately-owned company and has been ever since 2015. They report a sales volume of roughly $16+ billion.
BigCommerce is an all-around eCommerce platform with all the features any business might need and more. A testimonial of that is the many big companies using their services.
When it comes to pricing, BigCommerce has managed to keep their payment plans within industry standards and affordable for businesses that have just started to shift to transacting online. The half-month, no-strings-attached free trial of their services is a great relief for those just trying out the waters if eCommerce can work for them.
But no eCommerce platform is perfect, although BigCommerce tries to be with a recent overhaul. Some businesses will, at some time, require a feature that BigCommerce doesn’t currently possess.
In general, though, BigCommerce has all the features for basic and advanced needs, it’s easy to use, and the support is incredible.
Robust and feature-rich as BigCommerce may be, it may not be a fit for all businesses. It can be the payment schemes, the available templates, or something else that an organization may find lacking. Fortunately, it’s not the only eCommerce platform around. Here are some alternatives for BigCommerce.
Shopify – It’s one of the biggest competitors of BigCommerce and is also considered one of the market leaders.
AmeriCommerce – If managing multiple stores using a single login or account is a requirement, this platform has that, but the pricing can be steep for small businesses.
Squarespace – They may be offering their services for a meager price, but it doesn’t mean they’re cutting corners when it comes to features.
Volusion – Another viable BigCommerce alternative that offers features priced at the industry average.
3dCart – With rare service features such as drop shipping, affiliate marketing, and others, this is a favorite amongst businesses with special requirements.