BigCommerce Review

In a Nutshell

Growing brands choose BigCommerce and save up to $20,000 per year with built in features and no transaction fees. 

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Pros

  • Robust payment platforms
  • Built-in mobile store support
  • Industry-leading uptime
  • High-quality SEO
  • 24/7 live phone support

Cons

  • Limited free template options
  • Maximum annual sales limits

Why Do Growing Online Brands Prefer BigCommerce?

Competitive plans that offer more: BigCommerce delivers features and customization options previously only available for larger businesses using on-premise solutions

Built-in features vs. apps: BigCommerce doesn't require a reliance on third-party applications to address the core functionality required by growing businesses.

Growth without limits: BigCommerce merchants don’t have to worry about hitting a ceiling in platform capabilities — reducing the potential risk of being forced to migrate to a scalable ecommerce platform down the road.

Customization

When it comes to the actual site design of your Ecommerce storefront, BigCommerce has its own strengths and weaknesses. First off, there’s no denying that BigCommerce has an incredibly easy-to-use site building system in place.

With an intuitive interface and an appreciation for simplicity, this company fully understands that most of their clients are Ecommerce retailers - not masters of HTML and CSS coding

BigCommerce merchants also have Akamai Image Manager automatically enabled on all Stencil themes, which automatically resizes images to the best combination of size, quality and file format suited for each image and device. There isn’t an equivalent feature available with competitors

Still, it’s important to recognize where this service struggles. While they have plenty of professional templates to choose from, some of those templates are not fully responsive - meaning they may not display properly on mobile devices with smaller screens.

Don’t let that scare you, though. BigCommerce does support HTML and CSS coding. The design editor gives you full control over the visual customization of your site. You won’t be able to customize the functionality though, as BigCommerce doesn’t allow for the editing of PHP or the code used for actual shopping cart functionality. You can layer in functions, it just takes a little knowledge or you’ll need to hire a developer.

Build your ecommerce site with BigCommerce

Payment Processing

When you’re managing an Ecommerce store, it’s safe to assume that your customers are all going to have different ways of paying you. Choosing the right site builder for your business is all about determining what kind of payment options you need.

BigCommerce may have been designed with small businesses in mind, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t willing to give you enterprise-level support. With access to PayPal, Stripe, and Authorize.net, it’s no surprise that BigCommerce is considered to have one of the most well-rounded payment solutions in the Ecommerce  market.

As if that wasn’t enough, BigCommerce also happens to be the only Ecommerce platform to date that has PayPal One Touch built-in. Essentially, that lets you offer an instant checkout to the more than 100 million PayPal shoppers. Not only does this increase conversions, but it proves that BigCommerce take efficient payment integration seriously.

 

SEO Tools

When it comes to digital marketing, SEO happens to be one of the most underappreciated (and complex) techniques to turn potential customers into paying ones. Understandably, most budding Ecommerce retailers would prefer to have a simplified SEO solution.

BigCommerce provides the ability to control the permalinks for your individual product pages and site content. You also have control over title and meta elements. Their themes are all designed to load quickly as well, so that site speed won’t create a ranking problem for your store.

BigCommerce includes best-in-class SEO features

Businesses of all sizes can benefit from the organic traffic that comes with having a well-optimized website. There are several factors such as URL structure, site speed, page titles and sitewide HTTPs that can impact how well a store functions.

BigCommerce gives merchants the ability to edit page titles, and support sitewide HTTPs. Merchants can choose to enable a free SSL certificate through Encryption Everywhere or use/purchase a third party SSL with additional security features

BigCommerce default URLs (products, categories and webpages) use a best-in-class format and are fully customizable to help improve search rankings. For many merchants, the ability to set the default URL structure for products and categories on the store level and still modify individual products and categories. Additionally, BigCommerce offers a wide range of Google AMP (accelerated mobile pages) enabled themes which allow merchants to provide lightning fast product and category pages on mobile devices.

Pricing

PackageStandardPlusProEnterprise
Price/month$29.95/mo$79.95/mo$249.95/moCall 1-866-991-0872
Online Sales/year$50k$150k$400kCustom
Abandoned cart saverNoNoYesYes
24/7 live supportYesYesYesYes

Last updated: July 2017

Secure Hosting

Having an impressive storefront might be exciting for your customers, but as an Ecommerce retailer, stability and security should be the things that excite you. Once you look past all of the bells and whistles, it’s crucial to determine how safe your data is.

Fortunately, BigCommerce put just as much effort into its security as it does into its website design. When it comes to uptime, BigCommerce boasts a 99.99% average uptime (compared to the industry average of 99.5%). Historically, it has managed to deliver 100% availability during Cyber Week. With each store protected by layers of perimeter and server-specific firewalls, file integrity scanners and intrusion detection software, it’s clear that BigCommerce cares about keeping your data safe as much as you do.

Hosted stores are automatically set up under BigCommerce’s native secure socket layer (SSL). Once you set up your own domain you can integrate your own SSL certificate to keep customer data encrypted.

Customer Support Services

As any experienced Ecommerce retailer can tell you, it’s just a matter of time before you encounter a problem with or have a question about your site. There are just too many variables and moving parts for everything to go smoothly 24/7.

BigCommerce certainly delivers in that department. With a 24/7 support team that can be reached by phone, email and live saveable chat, BigCommerce makes sure that you’re covered no matter what time disaster strikes.

The site also offers access to help articles and tutorials so you can try to troubleshoot issues on your own if you’re comfortable enough to try and tackle them before calling support.

Seamless Integration and Migration Tools

The latest exciting feature in BigCommerce’s toolbox is the ability to integrate with existing Ecommerce platforms. This migration feature provides impressive benefits, and makes this platform the first of its kind to natively support Amazon selling. Merchants are no longer faced with having to pick their favorite Ecommerce platform provider. Thanks to this tool, users can simultaneously list products on their branded BigCommerce site as well as Amazon, Pinterest, and Facebook storefronts. Amazon Ecommerce merchants can integrate with the BigCommerce platform, giving them the power to customize their storefront with the Ecommerce website builder, yet still maintain the benefits of having their products listed with Amazon, Pinterest, Facebook or eBay.

Another major benefit of this new tool is the reduction in the risk of shopping cart abandonment. Thanks to synchronized inventory tracking, the correct stock levels are displayed across all storefronts. By controlling stock levels from a single location, you stop customers from discovering part-way through their order that the product has already been sold on another site. Integrated inventory tracking across your BigCommerce, Amazon, Pinterest, and Facebook storefronts means you can control and display the same inventory, and manage it all from a single, cloud-based interface.

BigCommerce merchants don’t have to worry about paying for another app or creating multiple products to troubleshoot these types of limitations, with support for up to 600 variants (ie: an option or combination of options tied to a SKU) and/or up to 250 values in a single option (for products without a SKU or inventory additional options can be supported). Merchants can also display their options in a wide range of styles including native support for drop down menus, radio buttons, checkbox options, swatch options, text/number fields, date fields, files uploaded and product pick lists (for upselling another product).

Scalability

BigCommerce helps owners who want to expand their store by offering hundreds of single-click integrations with first-class software. Seamlessly use pre-built integrations by connecting platforms such as Listrak, Bronto, NetSuite and many others that are designed specifically for growing businesses.

BigCommerce Enterprise was launched in 2015 for high-volume retailers, and features advanced security, real-time analytics and much more. Business owners can easily evaluate customer purchasing behaviors, learn to optimize inventory and merchandising and evaluate marketing campaign performances in real time - all necessary tools for scaling a business

BigCommerce vs. Shopify

At a quick glance, BigCommerce and Shopify's plans can look fairly similar. Once you examine the cost of 3rd part apps, it's easy to understand why store owners choose BigCommerce.

BigCommerce Monthly Plans and Prices

Standard Plan$29.95
Plus Plan$79.95
Pro Plan$249.9

Shopify Monthly Plans and Price

Lite Plan (Limited to Buy Buttons)$9.00
Basic Shopify Plan$29.00
Shopify Plan$79.00 
Advanced Shopify Plan$299.00

Both BigCommerce and Shopify include the fundamental features needed to run an online store, such as easy-to-use tools to build and manage your store, site hosting and 24/7 tech support with chat, ticket and phone included. Unlike other SaaS ecommerce platforms in the market, both BigCommerce and Shopify also include unlimited bandwidth, free SSL certificates, unlimited product listings, an active Community, native blog functionality and access to import/export with ease.

While BigCommerce and Shopify have some similar features, the out-of-the-box functionality of BigCommerce can save business owners roughly $6,000 - $20,000 per year in app subscription costs, compared to Shopify. To get these same features out-of-the-box, Shopify merchants would need to install roughly 35+ additional apps, costing up to $20,000 a year.

Conclusion

BigCommerce is a reputable and feature-rich Ecommerce platform that has grown to become one of the largest providers in the industry. Its rates are competitive and it provides everything a startup or growing online business needs to attract and retain customers

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