BigCommerce is a competitive brand in e-commerce online store building. It’s popular for providing solutions to businesses that need to scale their online sales.
It’s a globally recognized company operating in over 150 countries. Since its inception in 2003, the feature-packed store builder reports total merchant sales of $17 billion.
BigCommerce has made its way to the top, and therefore bagged several awards such as Top Places To Work in 2016, San Francisco Bay Area’s Top And Brightest Companies to Work for in 2016.
Furthermore, it appeared in the World’s list of the Best Cloud Companies in 2016. As you can see, this is a brand providing you with reliable hosting solutions for your online store.
Here’s a detailed BigCommerce review you should check out for features, pricing, pros & cons.
What is BigCommerce?
This is a paid-for SaaS tool you can use to build your online stores. By providing online shopping solutions, this brand has continued to gain popularity among businesses.
There’s no need to buy themes for your new online store as they are already available in BigCommerce, whether it’s the free or paid versions.
Over the years, top brands including Toyota, Martha Stewart, Camelbak, Schwinn, Payless, and Gibson have adopted BigCommerce services to develop stellar online stores.
Pricing in BigCommerce
In this BigCommerce review, you’ll find pricing plans which start from the basic level to the premium level. Each package has distinct features, but the sale limits increase as you go up the ladder.
Also, note that some features like the image optimization are accessible in all the four available pricing plans.
BigCommerce pricing plans are:
- BigCommerce Standard - $29.95;
- BigCommerce Plus - $79.95;
- BigCommerce Pro - $299.95;
- BigCommerce Enterprise - There’s no fixed price for this package as this pricing changes according to your business needs.
BigCommerce Standard is the starter plan suitable for customers who wish to try out this brand for online building solutions.
This plan targets small businesses testing the waters in the online shopping section. It costs $29.95, similar to Shopify, Volusion, and Squarespace, but offers better features that would be paid for on other platforms.
The BigCommerce Standard package comes with;
- Independent online store;
- Unlimited product sales;
- Extensive bandwidth;
- Ample file storage;
- Immeasurable staff accounts;
- Gift cards;
- Feedback section (ratings & reviews);
- Diverse currency selling;
- Point of sale feature (BigCommerce can operate from a physical location);
- Professional reporting;
- Computerized image optimization;
- AMP (Accelerated Mobile Pages) feature.
BigCommerce entry-level plan is a fully-equipped package reliable for building an online store. This platform stands out thanks to its inclusion of multiple currencies as well as automated optimization features.
However, BigCommerce Standard omits an essential feature which is the ‘abandoned cart’ capability such that it becomes difficult to track customers who started the payment process but never completed it.
As a result, the sales that were made from these customers are overlooked, which is a big minus to the business. However, Shopify outdoes BigCommerce on this section as it features the ‘abandoned cart’ option.
In terms of payment, Squarespace’s basic plan costs lower than BigCommerce's basic plan.
Note that the annual sales limit should never exceed $50,000 in BigCommerce standard plan. So, businesses with more than $50,000 should consider subscribing to the next available pricing plans.
BigCommerce Plus is the second pricing plan you can count on for your business needs. For $79.95, you’re assured of more sales and better features that are not included in the basic plan.
The BigCommerce Plus package offers all the features from the basic plan alongside with the following functionalities:
- Abandoned cart option;
- Persistent cart (saves regular products on customer’s cart);
- Stored credit cards (enables customers to save their card information on the site);
- Segmentation (putting the customers into groups) - You can use this feature to create a loyalty program.
Always remember that BigCommerce Plus limits the annual sales to $180,000. Therefore, it’s important for businesses that are expecting more sales.
The third pricing plan for BigCommerce has no additional features from the BigCommerce Plus level. It costs you $299.95 with an increased sales threshold and a super powerful feature you’ll find below.
The positive thing about the Pro version is that it offers more sales limits up to $400,000 in addition to an extra $150. The Pro version also consists of the Google Customer Reviews option.
With this feature you can display any feedback from customers who’ve bought products from your online store. Activating this option means that customers receive a survey after receiving their order.
They can leave their feedback there and the customer reviews are displayed in Google Shopping and on your site.
BigCommerce Enterprise is the premium version which targets corporations and big businesses with high sales volume and advanced selling needs.
The sales volume for this plan is over $1,000,000. Therefore, if your business expect huge volume of sales, this is the best pricing plan.
The individual features you’ll get with the Enterprise plan are:
- Advanced product filtering. This feature provide the search for products option to your customers via customized filters. This allows your customers to find the products they’re looking for in a matter of minutes. As a result, closing a deal within a click is possible;
- Price lists. It helps you segment prices according to different groups of customers. This feature is resourceful as you distribute fairly according to how you’ve grouped your customer base;
- Limitless API calls. The Enterprise plan features the Application Programming Interface (API). It allows data sharing across apps and platforms without limitations. So, businesses with high traffic volumes can share their products as many times as possible. They can do this on both apps and other channels;
- BigCommerce Consulting/ account management;
- Priority support (API support included).
The size of your enterprise requirements determine the cost of the Enterprise pricing plan. When you purchase this premium version, you receive in-depth support, data migration and account management for your online store.
As a result, selling your products and managing bulk sales becomes manageable. BigCommerce targets the Standard, Pro, and plans for small businesses without too many needs.
However, the Enterprise option target big businesses and corporations with advanced business needs.
It’s also worth noting that the BigCommerce Plus & Pro options offer you a 10% discount when you pay annually. A 15-day free trial is also available for you to gauge the platform and see whether it meets your needs.
BigCommerce Payment Plans
BigCommerce payment methods are flexible such that you can pay through a default option namely Paypal powered by Braintree. This makes it easy to make payments in your online store.
Remember, the payment plans have different charges which reduce as you go up the pricing plan. Below are how the charges appear:
- BigCommerce Standard charges - 2.9% + 30c;
- BigCommerce Plus costs - 2.5% + 30c;
- BigCommerce Pro costs - 2.2% + 30c;
- BigCommerce Enterprise costs - 2.2% + 30c (can be lower, depending on your negotiation skills).
Some countries such as the UK have lower payment rates (1.55% to 1.85%).
You also have the option to use third-party payment processors known as ‘payment gateways’. BigCommerce prides itself in 35 payment gateways and each of them is specified accordingly.
BigCommerce is higher in the competition compared to Squarespace which has two payment gateways, that is, PayPal and Stripe. However, Shopify has a competitive edge with more than 100 payment gateways.
There are no transaction and monthly fees in BigCommerce, making it an affordable hosting plan. Monthly subscription charges and transaction fees apply to Shopify when using third-party payment gateways.
Incorporating a payment gateway in BigCommerce is a process that starts with setting up a merchant account first. You can also configure your online store with your preferred gateway payment. Doing so helps a lot, because you can start building your online store on the right note.
BigCommerce is feature-packed to give your online store the best experience. You can check some of these features below:
The SEO feature
BigCommerce offer all the SEO basics that include editable headers, meta titles, and meta descriptions. It's also easier to transform URLs in to short URLs in comparison with Shopify, which is good for SEO.
BigCommerce mobile performance is also on top. This promotes SEO according to Google's mobile-first approach while indexing content.
Also, responsive themes work well on tablets, mobile, and desktop, which works as AMP (Accelerated Mobile Pages). All these outstanding features boost the SEO.
File uploads and custom fields
BigCommerce facilitates file uploads and custom fields making it convenient for site users buying print design clothing and engraved jewelry.
Precisely, the custom fields allows you to customize different products and leave space for customers to fill in the details. It’s also easy to upload an image provided including ‘upload file’ in the format. Customers can upload files up to 500MB after purchasing the product.
BigCommerce gives you the chance to sell products without the need for incurring inventory costs. What happens is that the customer order products from you, then you forward the request to the manufacturer who ships the product.
Fortunately, it’s possible to dropship on your BigCommerce online store but you should download a third-party app from its app store. Several apps to help with your dropshipping in BigCommerce include:
- Ali-Express Dropshipping;
- Wholesale B2B.
Point of sale (POS)
With BigCommerce in mind, you not only sell online but also physically from a Point Of Sale (POS). The online store builder integrates with various POS providers such as Square, Clover, Hike, and iZettle to sell the products easier.
Through them, you can pay and do your stocktaking easily. Ensure that you do background research before finding the right option for POS.
Product variations and categories
BigCommerce accommodates various product rules and variations. You have the freedom to create up to 600 versions of your product and 250 product options. The products are a large variety, this way providing to your customers the possibility to choose.
Nevertheless, BigCommerce comes with a complicated product categories section that needs you to manually categorize the products. Of course, this procedure takes some time and may bring confusion in the long term run.
Fortunately, there’s the product edit tool that comes in handy when categorizing products. If BigCommerce used Shopify’s smart/ automatic categorization it would have worked better.
BigCommerce comes with built-in stunning themes both free and paid-for. While setting up your store, you can choose from these themes and go for the one that suits your needs.
The free themes, however, don’t differ from each other since the same developer behind them never inputs creativity and uniqueness in them. Fortunately, you can depend on the paid themes for a stellar-looking online store.
BigCommerce Mobile App
For your convenience, BigCommerce developed an app compatible with your Android and Apple devices. This way, it’s easier to manage your online store with utmost diligence. Here are the things you can achieve from the app:
- You have direct access to all of your stores with a single BigCommerce app login;
- You can analyze your store’s orders, conversion, and rates per month or week;
- You can easily search individual details from visitors and update their order statuses;
- Its mobile app makes it easy for you to monitor your customer searches and even their order history;
- Through the BigCommerce mobile app, you can comfortably keep in touch with the customer. You do this by using the in-app phone and the email links available.
For online store hosting platforms, the loading time should be faster to facilitate better buying and selling. BigCommerce considered this and implemented the Akamai Image Manager, which is an image optimization feature.
Usually, the Akamai Image Manager optimizes images automatically such that they have faster loading times. By using this functionality, BigCommerce increases its visibility as search engines such as Google prioritize pages that are loading faster.
Better still, this feature is available in all pricing plans, making BigCommerce a preferred option. In other competing products, you have to install third-party apps and pay to enjoy the image optimization functionality.
While doing efforts to improve your visibility and boost your SEO, BigCommerce prides itself in the in-built blog. This section facilitates blogging which is good for inbound marketing.
If you have somewhere to blog about your products within your online store, it’s possible to improve search results. By offering the built-in blogging feature, BigCommerce enables businesses to extend their customer reach.
However, the blogging section may not be at par with WordPress in terms of functionality. So, businesses with plans and better results can integrate WordPress with the blogging section.
In addition, the integration may facilitate RSS feeds such that your online store is visible to visitors.
Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP)
BigCommerce uses AMP, a powerful functionality, to improve search results. Usually, the AMP format makes your content mobile-friendly so that mobile users never miss anything. This functionality filters out any codes or scripts that slow down the loading times.
This way, mobile users can easily find your page and conveniently check your offerings. Of course, better visibility equals sales conversions for your online store.
User-friendly layout with ease of use
You don’t need to experience problems when navigating your online store, and that’s why BigCommerce designed a user-friendly interface. The layout is easy-to-access, this way, new users never find it challenging to host their online stores.
Usually, the layout resembles the WordPress design with a menu on the left indicating the orders, page analytics, and storefront design.
There’s also the drag-and-drop page builder feature that allows you to highlight text, images, and columns and move them to your preferred section.
Bigcommerce Customer Support
The customer support of BigCommerce is dedicated to hold your hands until you’re good to go. At the beginning, a free trial is the excellent option as it grants you support emails and resources to get you started.
Later on, you can use the purchased plans to get 24 hours live agent support. It’s advisable to search your problem on the BigCommerce help pages before contacting BigCommerce’s human support.
If there are no answers on these pages, use the ‘skip this step’ button to move to the phone number and live chat options.
The phone support option is available for all countries and if you miss your country, use the “all other countries” number to get help.
If at this point your problem remains unresolved, you can watch the videos and read the text resources in the community forums.
Pros And Cons Of BigCommerce Platform
Pros Of BigCommerce:
- The basic plan offers a detailed and feature-packed plan. This way, BigCommerce turns out advantageous over other online store builders which charge extra bucks for extra features;
- Allows easier selling in multiple currencies;
- Availability of quick calculations on third-party shipping. The other platforms offer this capability at an extra fee;
- BigCommerce never charges you transaction fees on third-party payment gateways. This is different from Shopify which applies transaction and monthly fees on payment gateways;
- Unlike other competing products, BigCommerce avails handy free reporting tools;
- Setting up custom fields is easy and straightforward. This makes it easier for you to tailor-make products for your customers;
- BigCommerce comes up with a specialized product review functionality;
- You can take advantage of the drag-and-drop functionality;
- BigCommerce boasts strong SEO features which improve the organic results on search engines. They include short URLs, image optimization, and AMP features available on all pricing plans;
- Availability of limitless staff accounts;
- The site’s blog comes ready and filled with resources to guide you through your online store-building process;
- There’s flexibility when it comes to customers with different product variants. Various product variations and product versions make it easy to sell products that come in different forms;
- BigCommerce's built-in cookie-consent feature makes it easy for GDPR compliance. As a result, customers can rest assured of their data privacy.
Cons of BigCommerce
- You have to pay more for the abandoned cart functionality compared to other platforms. For Shopify, the abandoned cart feature is present to increase sales. BigCommerce fails on this part;
- Annual sales are limited, and paying more monthly is the penalty for exceeding these limits. These unrealistic limits and additional costs make BigCommerce an expensive option;
- There’s no reasonable difference in most free themes. They are precisely similar, meaning they don’t offer as much value as the paid-for themes;
- Free themes contain fewer typefaces;
- You’ll experience some bugs in the page builder functionality, which becomes a bit confusing and time-consuming;
- BigCommerce offers zero shipping discounts on all the plans;
- Free templates where only a few of them are editable;
- RSS feeds never appear on the built-in blog;
- BigCommerce would cater to the VAT MOSS rates better.
Is BigCommerce Better Than Other Alternatives?
BigCommerce has built its platform to provide the best solutions for businesses. In terms of features, the platform has invested in handy in-built features designed to help businesses host their online stores.
At no extra cost, BigCommerce offers you the kind of scalability you need for your business. In addition, BigCommerce is a trusted brand in hosting online stores for reputable companies globally.
BigCommerce is super affordable for both small businesses and large corporations. First, the starter packs cost you $29.95 in exchange for value-filled features. The top-tier plans are also suitable for big businesses such as Toyota, Kodak, and Ben and Jerry’s.
Through the multi-channel functionality, BigCommerce becomes the best option for selling across other platforms. If you have a presence on let’s say eBay, Etsy, Shopify, or another online store, your presence becomes organic, thanks to the super helpful omni-channel feature.
BigCommerce accommodates large corporations which wish to scale greater heights. Through reliable tools and data migration capabilities, you can easily build your store. The handy resources and guides are at your disposal for an overall successful online store.