BigCommerce is an e-commerce hosting solution which allows you to start your online store to sell your products. In this article, we have listed all the information you need to know before purchasing this BigCommerce solution. Let’s have a look at them.
This BigCommerce has its own Servers and hence you don’t need to buy web hosting. This is a software as a service (SaaS) product which means you have to pay a monthly fee for the product, even if you didn’t use it. You can also get many customizable templates to design your new online store and there are some tools which help you to market the store.
They are aiming to give a simple design to people who don’t have web design skills. Big dealers like Toyota, Kodak, and Ben & Jerry’s are also the customers of this BigCommerce. This BigCommerce shows off an outstanding standard growth of 28% for their users year on year.
If you are not in a position to create your online store from scratch, you may end up using a hosted solution like BigCommerce to run your store anyway.
Is BigCommerce Easy To Use?
We have done the tests to find the ease of using this BigCommerce. The test for the performance resulted in the score of 3.3/5 stars. People also reported that they are facing 14% more difficulty in BigCommerce than Shopify.
The main reason behind this difficulty level is their design interface. If you are ready to create your online store you have to split the process into two major areas. In one area you have to add products and manage the parts of your Store and another area is to edit your storefront. To overcome this, it is better to set up the inventory section of your store as the first step. Here you can add your products and discounts, then go to the storefront editor.
Bigcommerce has recently added a new exciting feature which makes your designing process simpler than ever. This new exciting feature is called Store Design, with that, you can see the effects of your edits. Hence you can make more customisable easy online store setup.
BigCommerce Essentials Pricing
With BigCommerce you can get four monthly pricing plans. They are,
- BigCommerce Standard plan: $29.95 per month
- BigCommerce Plus plan: $79.95 per month
- BigCommerce Pro plan: $299.95 per month
- BigCommerce Enterprise plan: The price varies, depending on the business requirements
If you select an annual payment for Plus and Pro plan you will get a 10% discount and a 15 day free trial period. Grab this deal from here.
The Standard, Plus and Pro plans are suitable for those who are looking to start their small business. The Enterprise plan is created for larger businesses and corporations.
What Are The Core Selling Features?
The future of this Bigcommerce depend on the plan you are using, but there are some features which are common to all the plans, they are as follows,
- No transaction fees
- Unlimited Products, file storage and bandwidth
- Unlimited Staff accounts
- Grow your branded online store with marketing tools
- eBay and Amazon
- 12 free templates
- Sell unlimited goods in the categories and use shipping rates of your choosing.
- Drag-and-drop page builder
- Facebook/Instagram & Google Shopping sales channel
- Easy integration with the Paypal and other payment methods.
- Create a Responsive website
- Full content management (CMS) functionality
- BigCommerce mobile app
- Apple Pay, Google Pay, Amazon Pay
- Search engine optimisation (SEO) features
- Automated image optimisation, using Akamai Image Manager
- A way to get integration with several email marketing services: Constant Contact, iContact, Mailchimp and Interspire.
- Discount coupons and gift vouchers
- Professional reporting tools
- Have product review functionality
- The ability to tweak CSS and HTML as desired
- Free Sitewide HTTPs and Dedicated SSL
- Multi-Currency support
In other online store builders, many of the above features can be accessed only through buying special plans. With BigCommerce you will get all these unique features. Hence when comparing with other online store builders, BigCommerce offers more features at its entry-level monthly plan price point of $29.95 per month. You can even get more premium features by paying more.
Differences Between The BigCommerce Plans
You will get more features when you pay more. Every plan has their unique features and we have listed here.
This Standard plan is the cheapest offering of these BigCommerce plans. It costs you about $29.95, which is more likely as the Shopify, Volusion, and Squarespace’s entry-level eCommerce plans. But with this Standard plan, you will get the following features:-
- Create beautiful Standalone Online Store
- Sell an unlimited number of products
- Unlimited bandwidth, File storage and staff accounts
- Coupons, discounts and gift cards
- Ratings and reviews functionality
- Real time shipping quotes
- Multi-currency selling
- Professional reporting tools
- POS (Point of Sale) functionality (Sell products on physical locations using with BigCommerce store)
- Automatic image optimization
- Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) functionality
As referenced above you will get more offers when compared to other providers. Nearly all basic features are covered in this standard plan. You won’t get these offers with other competing products. With BigCommerce Standard plan you have the option to sell on multiple currencies with automatic conversion, that you will not get it with other competitors.
The main defect in this Standard plan is the abandoned cart saving functionality is not included in the plan. This abandoned cart feature is the essential functionality you can identify the inactive customers of your Store and send them a reminder email to encourage them to complete the purchase.
Shopify’s Basic Plan has this feature and it is even cheaper in Squarespace. At this point, BigCommerce gets a little fall down. The annual sales limit for the BigCommerce Standard plan is $50,000.
BigCommerce Plus plan is the little advance from Standard Plan. You will get all the core features of Standard Plan with some extra tools.
- An abandoned cart saver tool
- A ‘persistent cart’ (this saves products to a customer’s cart irrespective of device used)
- Stored credit cards (users can save their card details on the online store)
- Customer grouping/segmentation
In this plan, you will get another feature called customer grouping which helps you to divide the customers into different segments and reward the customers based on the purchase. It has an annual sales limit of $180,000.
With a Pro plan, you will not get more functionality when compared to the Plus plan, but you will get an increased sales limit with this plan. It permits the sales up to $400,000 with extra fees about $150 per month per $200k in sales.
The extra feature with this plan is, you will get a Google Customer Review Program. That will help you to collect and display the feedback of your product from your customers who made purchases from your Store. If you turn on this Google customer review feature it will ask the customers to give a review on Google, once the product gets delivered.
If a customer wants to rate your product Google will automatically send an email survey to the customers under collector ratings will be displayed on your site, Google Search Ads, and Google Shopping.
You will also get benefit of faceted search and custom SSL provied by third party. Faceted search means advance product filtering.
This is the last and the largest plan offered by BigCommerce. BigCommerce Enterprise plan is suited for large corporate users who have a very high rate of sales. The features of this plan are not included in cheaper plans, they are:-
- Advanced product filtering
- Price lists (different groups of customers can see different product prices based on how you’ve segmented them)
- Unlimited API calls (Developers can share data between your app and online store using with BigCommerce API. Great thing is that there is no limit of data sharing connections. If your online website is getting huge traffic then this plan suits your need)
- BigCommerce consulting / account management
- Priority support (including API support).
If you are going to get this enterprise plan you have to discuss your requirements with Bigcommerce to establish the pricing. Remember one thing the price you give, will reflect on your business needs. However, BigCommerce claims that they will come in cheaper than Shopify’s Enterprise-grade.
With this Enterprise plan, you can expect a lot of support from BigCommerce like data migration setup account management can all be facilitated. The main advantage is that the annual sales limit for this Enterprise plan is negotiable.
Transaction Fees And Sales Limits
The advantage that you have with this BigCommerce is there are no transaction fees on any BigCommerce plan. You won’t get this with the key competitors.
You have to pay the credit card transaction fees to the company whom you select to process the payments. The drawback with BigCommerce is they place a limit on your annual online sales. It depends upon the plan you are choosing.
- BigCommerce Standard plan– $50,000
- BigCommerce Plus plan -$180,000
- BigCommerce Pro plan– $400,000
- BigCommerce Enterprise plan -negotiable.
You can increase the sales limit by paying $150 per month for every additional $200k in sales on the Pro plan.
You have two options to accept the credit card payment in BigCommerce you can simply use the default payment option available on the BigCommerce Paypal powered by Braintree.
It creates a much easier payment gateway system and gives you preferential PayPal charges for credit card transactions, which fall when you go up the BigCommerce’s price ladder.
- BigCommerce Standard: 2.9% + 30c
- BigCommerce Plus: 2.5% + 30c
- BigCommerce Pro: 2.2% + 30c
- BigCommerce Enterprise: 2.2% + 30c
This can be varied according to the countries you are residing in. There are some other options to process the payment and they are known as payment gateways. In BigCommerce you will get around 65+ gateway depending on the country of operation. This is far away from other competitors.
BigCommerce best Payment gateways are:
- Apple Pay
- Amazon Pay
You may expect a monthly fee, a transaction fee, or both depending on the payment gateway provider you choose. In BigCommerce, the fees are not applied.
This is still worthwhile to look at the different tariffs associated with other tariff gateway providers. It depends on what you are selling and how much, trying a different tariff gateway may be the best way for you to get down, even if it involves a bit more configuration time.
They can drop your fee from 2.9% to 2.2% or sometimes much lower than this, but you have to continue with BigCommerce for a long time or upgrade your price plan.
BigCommerce has many shipping options and you will get real-time shipping quotes, offering free shipping to your customers. This can be done with BigCommerce’s third-party integrations.
BigCommerce has its next-level shipping tools, all you need is to install the new BigCommerce Shipping app and you can get up to 80% off with USPS, DHL, and FedEx. You can set up many shipping rules like,
- Free shipping rates
- Flat rates
- Price-based rates
- Weight-based rates
- In-store pickup
- Real-time shipping rates available from third-party carriers
BigCommerce Shipping has many perks and you can even manage all your shipping from one central hub. With BigCommerce, experience good shipping without much fuss.
This is an essential feature for any website, and BigCommerce has many built-in features of any eCommerce builder. This includes a very important SSL certificate and other security settings.
You can sell your products anywhere with BigCommerce using multichannel integrations. You can simply add your products on social media and manage everything in one place.
If your site was using the paid-for template, you may have to get the third-party app to facilitate multi-currency. BigCommerce plays well in this part. Speaking of other competitors, you have to get an Enterprise-Level plan to provide full automatic currency conversion but BigCommerce has an easy solution for all that.
BigCommerce has many responsive templates that you can select and design your online store. It provides 12 free BigCommerce themes and 140 paid themes. Each paid theme has different variants and you are provided with many options to choose from. Free themes have a professional appearance and give you the best starting point for your online store.
These themes are somewhat identical to each other and this is a major issue with the free templates. At this point, BigCommerce falls badly. Other competitors provide more distinct free themes like Shopify provides 9 very distinct free themes, Squarespace provides over 100 bundled themes.
You can also expand this option by purchasing one of the paid BigCommerce themes. It is starting at $150 and goes up to $300. Thus you can create a professional-looking design for your store using either free or premium templates.
What we feel is BigCommerce needs and improvement in the typefaces, which is the bundled font section. In most of the free themes, it is very small when compared to the competitors.
The advantage of this theme is, they are fully compatible with mobile devices and they are AMP-enabled too.
Product Variants And Categories
This is a strong feature of BigCommerce on how they handle the product variants. Unlike other competitors, BigCommerce has ‘product options’ and ‘product rules’ which allows you to create product options up to 250. The product variant limit is 600 versions which are fairly decent when comparing with other competitors. (Shopify and Squarespace’s equivalent limit is 100).
Thus if you are selling a product that has a lot of different formats you can go with BigCommerce. BigCommerce does a great job when it comes to product options as creating and editing is very easy.
Watch this Product Options video for more detail.
BigCommerce’s categories is not very impressive like product options.
Shopify is doing automatically categorize your products based on name or tags. It would be better if BigCommerce improve this feature for online store builders.
BigCommerce’s Abandoned Cart Saver Feature
This abandoned cart feature is a great one available with BigCommerce. You can make about three automatic emails to your visitors who are remaining inactive and make them visit your Store frequently.
It will increase your revenue with small effort. Other online store building tools also provide this same functionality but in a review, we found BigCommerce is doing better. This functionality is available only on the ‘Plus’, ‘Pro’ and ‘Enterprise’ plans. It makes this functionality somewhat more expensive than other competitors.
When comparing with other providers, BigCommerce abandoned cart saver is flexible enough. This may be a reason for its higher price.
If you have more visitors to your site you can get this BigCommerce plan that has this abandoned cart saver functionality. Sure it will make a change in your revenue.
Note:- BigCommerce is offering 15 days free trial before buying any plan. This free trial works with all features and if you are unable to complete your building store within 15 days then you can request for another 7 days expansion.
Point Of Sale Functionality In BigCommerce
This is one of the best features that BigCommerce has.
It facilitates the ‘point of sale’ (POS). This facility was integrated with many POS providers like Square, Clover, iZettle, and Vend. If you are selling from a Physical store or stall or event then you can accept payment and sync inventory.
To find the right one for your needs you have to do a lot of research on each of the available providers, but with BigCommerce you will get some options on this front.
When speaking about other competitors, they don’t have this facility.
File Uploads And Custom Fields
Those Merchants who need to capture the text to complete an order will find BigCommerce custom fields and file upload are very good for them.
You can easily create a custom field and capture data with BigCommerce without more fuss. You can find the relevant product and create your custom field so that your customers can enter information into it at the point of purchase.
In addition to this, uploading files is very easy and your users can easily edit your product.
Your customers can even upload file size up to 500 MB when they purchase any product. This BigCommerce functionality is very much better when comparing with other competitors.
Tax rules And VAT MOSS
The US And Canada
While running an online store, everyone faces the challenge of selling goods in jurisdictions with different tax rates. This would be a problem for some merchants in the USA and Canada. But with BigCommerce this is very easy, as it automatically applies a tax rate for these two countries but you need to install a third-party app to facilitate this. For example – Avalara, Vertex, or Taxjar — you could expect some extra cost.
If you are selling digital products to the European Union with BigCommerce and would expect to raise over €10,000 a year in revenue from doing so, you know something called VAT MOSS. VAT MOSS (VAT Mini One Stop Shop) needs the use of country-based VAT rates for digital products even if you run a business outside the EU.
Unlike major competitors like Shopify, BigCommerce does not seem to offer an automated solution for this. To make it easier you need to set manual tax rates.
Enhancing Your BigCommerce Store’s Functionality Via The App Store
If the features provided by Bigcommerce are not sufficient for you then you can purchase some other apps from the app store called ‘Ecommerce Apps Marketplace.’
You can find the wide range of integration available in the app store, through that you can add many features to your online store. You can select the apps based on the different aspect of categories, they are:
- Shipping and much more.
You can get an integration for many well-known business SaaS apps. The cost associated with these apps is high, but they will give advanced features for your online store. About 870 apps are available on this platform.
BigCommerce provides a key app “Official Integration for Mailchimp” which is not provided by Shopify.
Interface And Ease-of-use
BigCommerce has a simple interface, which is very similar in quality and appearance to the other competitors like Shopify. Those who were familiar with the CMS would find it very easy to use.
You can find the vertical menu on your left-hand side of the screen which has the easy access to key features. If you select an option on the menu the associated content will display on the right side, so you can easily view and edit the content.
BigCommerce has a drag and drop page builder so that you can set content blocks (text, columns, images etc.) and align them in the appropriate position.
BigCommerce SEO Features
Bigcommerce has a very good Search Engine Optimisation feature in their platform and they are very strong.
You can easily edit with the BigCommerce page titles all basics are covered clearly. You also have the option to create and change the specific URL of a product without any difficulty. With another competitor, you can’t create a short URL for your product. which is generally considered better for an SEO point of view.
Bigcommerce also has a good performance on mobile as they have designed to suit all devices. However many of these have Accelerated Mobile Pages, which shows some positive SEO implications.
Using Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) in BigCommerce
Are you the one who always likes to keep on top of trends in web development? Then you must know about this ‘Accelerated Mobile Pages’ (AMP) format.
This is a Google-backed project that is aimed at providing your site content to all devices quickly. The advantage you have with AMP is, it greatly reduces the number of mobile users leaving your site as a result of loading your content too slowly. This means you will get more engaged visitors and sales.
This also gives some SEO benefits. Many SEO professionals are rewarded by Google’s methods for searching for pages with low downtime, where people ‘live’ for a while (two things that AMP can provide).
As the AMP format is commonly used for blog posts and news articles, it can also be used for other page types, including product pages on eCommerce sites.
This BigCommerce’s AMP offering is best when comparing with its competitors. BigCommerce also does it with free and premium themes.
Image with the correct size for the device will quickly load and improve the page speed. BigCommerce has this image Optimisation feature which will optimize your images automatically and those who are using Akamai image manager will see a 70% improvement in site load times.
The advantage is that this feature is included in all the plans of BigCommerce. Speaking about other competitors they don’t provide this functionality and have to install paid apps for doing this.
Blogging in BigCommerce
Blogging is a very essential feature that online stores must-have. Good blogging will improve site SEO and traffic.
Thanks to the BigCommerce built-in blog features. This is not going to compete against WordPress but you can create posts to pull the visitors to your store site. However, there is one different exception to the blogging process of BigCommerce: an RSS feed.
These RSS feeds are helpful as they allow your site content to travel on Google so that the visitors can subscribe to get the latest notification from your store. Hence it will automatically populate the newsletters sent by email marketing tools like Getresponse, Aweber or Mailchimp.
If you are not satisfied with the BigCommerce blogging function, or the RSS is a contract breaker for you, you have the option to include another blogging product with your BigCommerce store.
However, it is important to set it up correctly using a subdomain, doing the wrong thing means that you do not get benefits from the SEO / incoming marketing benefits that good blogging can bring.
Dropshipping With BigCommerce
Several forthcoming BigCommerce users will be eager to know about its drop shipping.
Dropshipping is a selling model, in that there is no need to stock up on what you sell. Instead, you take an order and send the details to a supplier, who sends the goods to your customer. The advantage of this model is that you do not need much start-up capital because you do not need to buy any stock before you start selling.
The downside is that a lot of people doing it with low start-up price, and it ends up being part of a competitive business.
To use this dropshipping feature, you have to install a third-party app from BigCommerce’s app store. You can find some apps that help you in dropshipping, the main ones are,
- Ali-Express Dropshipping
- Wholesale B2B
- Inventory Source
A free trial is available for some apps, whereas you have to pay for using some paid apps.
Bigcommerce Analytics Reports
BigCommerce provides some reports to users as standard. They include:-
- Customer reports (about new visitors, how much they spend on your site and more details)
- Marketing reports (how you acquired your customers)
- Search data reports (users searching on your online store)
- Finance reports (sales, tax reports etc.)
- Abandoned cart reports (if your plan has these Abandoned cart features)
If you pay some additional fees you will also get the ‘E-commerce Insights’ report, which gives some detailed information on your customers, abandoned carts and products. This additional fee carries based the plan you are using. The Standard and plan have an additional fee of $49 per month to get this insight. The Pro customers have to pay $99 per month to get this feature and the Enterprise customers have to pay $249 per month to get this feature.
Thus, this BigCommerce analytics gives many features and the main advantage is that they offer report functionality as a default function to all plans. Speaking about other competitors like Shopify, you have to get a $79 plan to access their in-depth sales and customer reports features.
In addition to using the built-in BigCommerce reporting tools, you can further enhance your analytics tools by integrating Google Analytics into your site and using objectives to measure change.
iOS And Android Apps For BigCommerce
BigCommerce has introduced a mobile app after several years of usage without an app. This app is available for both Android and iOS. Through the app, you can manage your store on the go. Further, it has many features like:-
- Access all your stores with one login.
- View and search your store’s orders, access individual order details, and update order status
- Check your store’s revenue, orders, visitors, and conversion rate by a week or by month
- Contact customers via in-app phone and email links.
Before a time, the review about this BigCommerce was somewhat poor, but now they have fixed many key bugs and it’s receiving quite positive feedback from the users now. When comparing with the Android app, the iOS version is generating more ratings and if has scored 4.6 out of 5, whereas the Android app store is only 3.4 out of 5 respectively.
GDPR Compliance In BigCommerce
After the introduction of the General Data Protection Regulation, they have taken legal steps to go make sure that they sufficiently protect their EU visitors’ privacy.
Even if your business is not EU based, you still have to comply with the terms and conditions of any site visit from the EU.
As per our analysis about the GDPR rules, the main priority and prospective that the store owners will have are,
- Provide adequate privacy and cookie notices
- Process and store data securely
- Get clear consent from people signing up to mailing lists
- Provide an option to accept or reject non-essential cookies
This is easy on some platforms to meet these requirements and you have to give your time to create notices and tweak data capture forms to make them GDPR compliant.
The cookie approval requirement is difficult to meet and with BigCommerce, this is very easy when comparing with others.
To ensure GDPR compatibility in this area, you must display a cookie banner for your website users, which allows them to-
- Choose which cookies they want to run BEFORE those cookies are run (i.e., to give ‘prior consent’)
- Logs their consent to run cookies
- Give the option to revoke consent at a later stage.
Thanks to BigCommerce’s direct way, it helps you to add third-party scripts. It also makes sure that they run only when permission is given.
We consider this GDPR cookie permission functionality as a ‘core feature’. Here, the users don’t have to look at the app to provide, so this is great to see BigCommerce deliver this feature excellently.
BigCommerce Customer Support
You will get various support from BigCommerce to help you in the ‘onboarding’ process, once you start the BigCommerce free trial. A reasonable amount of hand-holding is available if you wish, which will be enough to get your shop up and running.
If you have purchased a plan from BigCommerce they will provide you 24-hour ‘live agent’ customer support. You can get support by phone, chat or mail. Before gaining access to relevant contact details, you are encouraged to try to resolve the issue by seeking an answer to your question, first via the BigCommerce help pages.
It may be an annoying part for some users, however, It can provide contact details that are easy to digest once you have finished your search and ignored help articles. There is an option to skip the step a down to directly get the phone numbers, live chat options.
The phone support is available for many countries and if your country was not listed there you can also click on the ‘all other countries’ number to call. For those who are more interested in trying to resolve support issues, you can get a large range of video and text resources from BigCommerce, as well as a community forum.
Key Pros and Cons of BigCommerce
Pros of Bigcommerce
- The features of the entry-level plans on BigCommerce is very comprehensive. They have many premium features available at low prices, that other competitors won’t give those features at cheap rates.
- Multiple currency selling processes are quite forward.
- Third-party real-time shipping calculations are available on all plans. This feature makes BigCommerce unique from other competitors.
- No transaction fees, even on using a third-party payment gateway.
- It provides good reporting tools on every plan as the competitors won’t have this feature.
- Easy custom field design.
- Allow the customer to upload files.
- Have built-in product review functionality.
- Have drag-and-drop page builder functionality.
- Great SEO features as you can create short URLs, and AMP format is available on all its templates. Have automatic image optimization features on all plans.
- Comprehensive ‘abandoned cart saver’ tool.
- Unlimited staff accounts on any plan.
- Have a built-in blog.
- Cheap Paypal card transaction fees on BigCommerce.
- An easy and flexible solution for vendors with many product variants.
- You can easily meet the GDPR requirements with the built-in cookie consent feature.
- You will get a 15 days free trial.
Cons of BigCommerce
- When comparing to other competitors you have to pay more for getting abandoned cart functionality.
- They will put limits on your annual online sales and if you cross the limit you have to upgrade to the expensive monthly plan.
- Free themes are almost identical.
- Only limited typefaces on free themes.
- Improvement is needed on the page builder functionality.
- Editing on free templates can be easy.
- The built-in blog doesn’t have RSS feeds.
- VAT MOSS rates could be better catered for.
You may decide the best alternative for you after reading this review. The main competitor of this site probably is Shopify.
You can also switch to WordPress in alternative with an e-commerce tool such as Ecwid or Woocommerce.
If you want to know about Squarespace, while it is not feature-rich in the e-commerce point of view, it is a good product for those who want to combine impressive visual or graphics or content with some e-commerce features. In particular, Squarespace is very flexible when setting up content, and its blogging features are robust.
If you are happy with your existing website and want to add e-commerce functionality to it, you can do worse than looking at Ecwid. It allows you to create a store that can be added to any site by adding a simple widget.
Frequently Asked Questions – BigCommerce Review
Is BigCommerce free?
No, BigCommerce will provide a 15-day free trial, which allows you to test the site without paying anything. You can get a plan at the cost of $29.95-269.96 per month (billed annually). The advantage is that you don’t have to pay the transaction fees.
Who is BigCommerce best for?
BigCommerce best suits large and fast-growing businesses. It provides many built-in tools to improve your online store. You can easily track your website’s insights with powerful reporting tools. You have the option to sell through multiple channels while managing everything from one place.
What can I sell through BigCommerce?
You can sell physical, digital, and service-based products with BigCommerce. To do this, you don’t have to install any app, as it is already included in the builder.
Is BigCommerce good for beginners?
This is not suited for beginners. BigCommerce utilizes many complicated tech-speak, which makes it difficult for anyone who isn’t tech-savvy. If you want to grow your business fast, this is not the best one for you.
Should I use BigCommerce or Shopify?
It depends on the type of business. Both platforms have tools to cater to all sizes of business. BigCommerce is best suited for large and fast-growing stores. Shopify is the best and all-around e-commerce builder.
We hope that our BigCommerce reviews 2021 helps you in deciding your best e-commerce website.