What is BigCommerce?
Experts estimate that there are around 12-24 million ecommerce sites on the web. In this sea of online stores, you need the best ecommerce website builder to stand out and make impressive sales. Online platforms is a great way to expand your clientele – something that’s prioritized when BigCommerce was re-launched.
Here, we will dive deep on BigCommerce’s features and why it’s becoming one of the most promising Shopify alternatives.
BigCommerce is a one-stop platform where store owners can easily design, build, manage, and sustain their business. The platform was launched back in 2009 and has undergone a massive overhaul back in 2016. Currently powering over 90,000 online stores, BigCommerce came back with a new set of features and functionality.
The big change proved to be successful. Renowned brands like Toyota and Martha Stewart have integrated BigCommerce in their online platforms.
Is BigCommerce for you? Here’s a quick rundown of the platform’s pros and cons:
-Impressive uptime, intuitive discount, and coupon tools
-24/7 technical and customer support
-Built-in store support and product review functionality
-Reliable and efficient SEO with a built-in blog
-Well-rounded product management
-The preferential arrangement with Braintree for cheaper PayPal transactions
-There are limits on the annual online sales, an upgrade is needed if the limit is reached.
-No mobile apps to manage your store away from the computer
-Free templates are very limited
Key features of BigCommerce
Thanks to BigCommerce, you can now enjoy the convenience of having designing, SEO, sales managing, and promotion all in one place. Here are some of the best features the platform has to offer:
As you know, the overall look and responsiveness of the online store is a major sales factor. BigCommerce offers many pre-designed templates, both free and paid so you no longer have to source it from a third-party provider.
Their themes are categorized based on the niche of the store. From crafts to automotive parts, they have the right design to suit your store.
The best thing about the themes is it allows full customization. You can place product carousels and menus as necessary. If you have multiple online businesses, some of their themes are multi-purpose which augments the learning curve.
BigCommerce has over 60 payment gateways so integrating your preference would be a breeze. The likes of PayPal, Stripe, Square, and Worldpay are just some of the digital platforms included in this roster. You can also capture payments through major credit and debit card providers. One of the highlights here is you can collect offline payment and have it processed in different currencies.
Like all ecommerce shopping cart platforms, BigCommerce is secured with an SSL certification and other built-in security features.
Monitoring your shipping is also easy with BigCommerce since it supports shipping label printing and the shipping rates can be adjusted based on your metrics. You can use Ordoro, ShipStation, and more to handle fulfillment and shipping.
With the help of add-ons, you can also handle your taxes. Some of these are TaxJar, Avalara, Xero, and Quickbooks Online.
SEO and marketing tools
All of the themes in BigCommerce are mobile-responsive, not to mention the suite of SEO tools you can use to promote the products. It’s easy to edit the product name, description, keywords, and images for every page.
When it comes to website speed, BigCommerce is lauded for its excellent content delivery network. It will ensure that your website loads fast and always active.
Do you need marketing features? BigCommerce is equipped with plenty of plugins and add-ons like MailChimp, Justuno, and Privy. You can also indulge in their sales channels like Revel POS, ChannelAdvisor, and ShopKeep to name a few.
Both big and small ecommerce owners will have an easy time running their online stores with BigCommerce. After its major revamp years ago, BigCommerce now offers a well-rounded suite of product management tools. From the inventory, payment, processing, shipping, and taxes, you’ll want for nothing.
Everything is streamlined in this platform but you’ll have to watch out for the annual sales limits. In case your store reached the said limit, you’ll be forced to upgrade to a more expensive package. This has something to do with the higher traffic and level of transactions.
BigCommerce won the hearts of business owners who are into building website stores. They are reachable 24/7 for whatever concerns the store owner has. Each of their customers will be assigned with an assistant to help resolve the issue in the soonest possible time.
They also have the BigCommerce university where users can access forums, resources, portals, LiveChat, self-help videos, and other tutorials.
To be honest, BigCommerce is a bit on the steep side when it comes to pricing. Still, it’s cheaper than Shopify if you’re going to avail the higher tiers. Here is BigCommerce’s pricing chart:
|Annual sales limits||Up to $50k||Up to $150k||Up to $400k||Custom|
|Abandoned cart server||No||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Google customer reviews||No||No||Yes||Yes|
|24/7 live support||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
For the enterprise package, the business owner would have to call BigCommerce to acquire customized pricing. According to BigCommerce, they offer lower prices than Magento and Shopify Plus. Basically, that should be lower than $2,033 if we are to base on Shopify Plus pricing.
If we are to compare it with its major competitors, BigCommerce is in the middle of the price ladder. It’s reasonable for most business owners considering the tools and functionality housed in the ecommerce site builder.
Why BigCommerce is popular among online brands
Although there are many platforms where you can create your website, BigCommerce stands out among the growing online brands.
First, BigCommerce has a more affordable basic pricing. For $29.95, business owners can already start a web store. This is a fraction of the price of its competitors that range from $70-$90 for the entry-level package alone.
BigCommerce is also a scalable platform. Even though it has a sales limit per package, it doesn’t border to hitting a functionality ceiling. This is the same reason why even a big brand like Toyota is seamlessly using the platform. There’s no need to migrate into a more scaleable ecommerce platform.
For small-time online brand owners who don’t have technical knowledge about setting up a website, BigCommerce is relatively intuitive and easy to learn.
Also, there’s no need to source third-party plugins and software as there is a slew of add-ons already integrated into the BigCommerce platform.
You don’t have to be an HTML or CSS wizard to use this platform. But in case you want to edit the site’s functionality through the PHP code, sorry to say but BigCommerce has this locked.
Is BigCommerce for your business?
Ecommerce platforms aren’t made equal. The best ecommerce platform for a certain store may not be as functional to another. If you’re wondering if BigCommerce is a perfect fit for you, here are some considerations:
Do you want a low-maintenance platform?
BigCommerce is self-hosted and user-ready so you’re assured that it will require minimal technical maintenance. If ever you encounter issues, the 24/7 customer support line is easy to reach.
Are you looking for a one-stop platform?
If so, the BigCommerce will be a perfect suit. It has a roster of plugins and add-ons that make product management, marketing, SEO, and sales manageable within one platform. Although you can always source applications from third-party providers, BigCommerce almost has it all.
Worried about payment and sales security?
During its major renovation, BigCommerce has invested much of its resources to build strong and consistent security features. Aside from the strict SSL certification, it’s also equipped with safe payment portals for credit cards, debit cards, and digital payment gateways.
There are multiple layers of security features in BigCommerce including firewalls, intrusion detection software, file integrity scanners and checkers, and human monitoring.
Do you need powerful marketing and inventory tools?
Being on top of your sales and inventory is an important part of running an ecommerce site. BigCommerce has these tools so you wouldn’t have to migrate or use separate software. There’s also the Purchase Funnel Report where you can monitor your conversion rates.
You can also use the analytics tool to get a bigger picture of your sales and incremental growth. This tool also provides suggestions to increase your sales.
As the best ecommerce website builder, BigCommerce never disappoints in providing useful tools and an intuitive platform for business owners, big or small.
Although BigCommerce failed to warn ahead about its price spike back in 2016, almost all of its users were able to regain their confidence to the platform. Besides, the cost is worth the shopping cart advantage.
It’s feature-rich, but like any platform, it has some limitations and some caveats that most builders can live with. Based on its pricing, integration, customization, functionality, and features, BigCommerce gets 4.5 out of 5 stars.