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What is BigCommerce? An Overview of BigCommerce

The e-commerce solution occupies a fair place among competitors and provides a wide range of services for its clients. BigCommerce powers B2B and B2C e-commerce for more than 60,000 brands, 2,000+ mid-market businesses, 30 Fortune 1000 companies, and industry-leading brands. An in-depth BigCommerce review will let you discover how you can benefit from using it!

What is a BigCommerce platform?

BigCommerce is an e-commerce platform that provides all necessary features to build your online store and organize successful sales. Before you start your journey with BigCommerce, you can make a 15-day free trial. It’s great to have a trial opportunity, as this way you can see the interface and the admin panel, test the functionality, dive deep into the store settings, consider what plan and features suit you best. Try the platform and explore product management, order completion, online payments, analytics, security features, SEO optimization, marketing, dropshipping, and more!

It can be a good choice for:

  • Fast-growing companies: BigCommerce Pro Plan or Enterprise Plan provides all necessary tools for growing businesses that need to expand their sales channels and withstand heavy loads;
  • Stores using other platforms for sales, such as Instagram, Etsy, eBay, Amazon: The platform will give easy integration and access to countless sales channels;
  • E-commerce stores with developed sale systems to expand: BigCommerce has features that let you synchronize your store with several sales solutions, improve it through using online and offline payment tools, multiple currency options, customizable shipping rates, secure checkouts, and shipping label printing.

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What does BigCommerce do? All in all, BigCommerce can help you to build a store from scratch. There is no need to buy web hosting or install anything on your computer. By having only an internet connection you can successfully build and manage your store. BigCommerce provides highly optimized features for building and managing your store. If you want to know more, let’s take a closer look.

How to choose the best pricing model

BigCommerce pricing is quite flexible. There are four plans based on monthly or annual payments. You can start your e-commerce trip from a Standard plan at $29.95, or choose more expensive plans with a comprehensive set of features: Plus at $79.95, or Pro at $299.95 a month. The pricing system is based on the number of annual sales. By choosing the annual basis instead of monthly, you will get a 10 % discount. It’s convenient as, no matter which plan you pay for, each of them provides a fully responsive site with one-page checkout, digital wallets, basic SEO features, and analytics.

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Let’s discover what each plan can give you.

The BigCommerce Standard Plan

If you are a startup or a small company, you can start with a standard plan which will obviously cover all your needs. This plan will allow you up to 50k sales a year and give access to countless sales channels from Apple pay, Facebook, eBay, and Amazon.

The plan includes:

  • Real-time shipping
  • Coupons, gift cards, and discounts
  • Multiple sale channel options
  • Unlimited product options
  • Unlimited staff accounts
  • 24/7 support
  • Product ratings and reviews

At any time you can upgrade your plan and run your site with the Plus Plan.

The BigCommerce Plus Plan

This solution will fit you if you are planning to sell up to 150k. You will find a bit more assistance, advanced features, and support for a bigger store by using it. At a price of $79.95 a month, you will get all the Standard plan’s features and some more. Among other benefits:

  • Credit card storing. This option provides storing credit cards and other payment information.
  • Abandoned cart saver. A helpful feature for regaining lost leads. It allows sending the client information about disrupted shopping and items added to the cart.
  • Customer groups and segmentation. You can use the feature to identify your most and least loyal customers.

If you keep growing and feel that there are not enough functionalities for your store, choose Pro Plan.

The BigCommerce Pro Plan

The BigCommerce Pro Plan is quite an expensive option. It costs $299.95 per month. You will be provided almost unlimited options, among them are:

  • Average customer order pricing. Calculate your company’s average order value.
  • Product filtering. Let your customers search in a more convenient way by color, size, or brand.
  • Priority support. You will get advanced support services to help the best performance and tactical shifts.
  • Adding custom SSL for security. This provides additional security from threats and cybercriminals.

You are allowed to sell up to $450k per year. Below you can learn more about what you will get choosing a particular plan and compare Bigcommerce pricing models.

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Enterprise plan

If your sales exceed the previously discussed conditions, you need to think about Enterprise Plan. It is created for high-volume businesses. The conditions are negotiated empirically depending on the sales volume. You can fill up the application form and get a callback to discuss all the details about pricing. The Enterprise plan includes all of the Plus Plan features, along with getting a dedicated IP solution with SSL certificates, priority support, product filtering, helpful reporting tools, Google trusted stores, and many others.

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*Some operational fees may arise

Help and support

You can be sure of strong help and support features by choosing a BigCommerce solution for your online store. Even a standard plan provides 24/7 phone and live support.

Also, you will have email support. After registration, you will get an appointment for 10 minutes of live talk to discuss your project details and how BigCommerce can help you in your business development.

There are also many educational video tutorials on the BigCommerce platform that you can use to speed up your learning process. The platform offers informative videos to make your onboarding easier and quicker. Customer support is available in English, French, Dutch, and Italian.

You can find quite a good Community. Now it counts about 137,620 members. It is a useful resource to ask questions and share knowledge and experience.

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BigCommerce Sales Tools and Features

How to sell with BigCommerce

BigCommerce creates new sales opportunities for your store by providing multichannel integrations. You can find high-quality e-commerce features to optimize your store but also to promote your product or service.

Among available sales channels are:

eBay marketplace

eBay is one of the most popular marketplaces that counts over 182 million active shoppers and more than a billion live listings. Started as a consumer-to-consumer selling platform, now it is mostly a place for selling new products. To get started with eBay channel you need to go to Channel Manager and click + Create Channel. Under marketplaces, choose to connect to eBay.

For using the eBay channel you need to pay an insertion fee and a final value fee. An insertion fee is charged for listing an item for sale and is $0.30 for standard sellers. If your item sells, you are charged a final value fee. This fee is calculated as a percentage of the total amount of the sale, including shipping and handling charges. Sales tax is not included.

Channel Manager

Channel Manager is a control panel, where you can find available sales channels, such as point of sale (POS) integrations, marketing channels, including ads and social, and headless/third-party storefronts.

It is responsible for:

  • Discovering new channels
  • Managing Channel status
  • Configuring channel settings

Channel Manager offers BigCommerce-built integrations for Amazon, Facebook, and Instagram, and supports third-party providers to enable even more sales channels including Walmart, Wish, eBay, Clover, and Google. You can find the full list below.

Individual marketplaces have their own fees.

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Amazon marketplace

Connecting to a leading online marketplace like Amazon, which covers almost half of online shopping, is a good step for growing your business and promoting your brand. You can add Amazon by using providers listed in the Channel Manager.

To sell your products on the Amazon marketplace you need to have an Amazon Seller Central account. It is possible to link the BigCommerce store to a single Seller Central account.

Payment gateway

BigCommerce provides a variety of payment gateways. You can use a third-party payment processor or BigCommerce POS. The options are available with one click, have mobile optimization and multi-currency support.

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A Third-Party Payment Method

You will be provided with over 65 integrated payment gateways. Among them are:

  • PayPal
  • Stripe
  • Square
  • Apple Pay
  • Amazon Pay
  • Adyen
  • Venmo

PayPal

The default PayPal payment option of BigCommerce is more beneficial than other third-party payment gateways. The rates for credit card transactions depend on your pricing plan:

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You can manage your payment process with the following features:

  • Capture. It allows authorization of availability of funds for a transaction but delays the capture of funds until a later time. This is a useful tool for customers who want to delay the completion of the order process.
  • Refunds. You are provided with two different refund types. Refunds can be made fully or partially. It is easier to manage refunds by categorizing them.
  • Credit сard storing. BigCommerce payment system provides a checkout process quickly and easily by secure storage of shoppers’ credit card details. The option is available in the Plus plan or higher.

BigCommerce Point of Sale

BigCommerce POS is a free app that allows you to sell online and offline from leading POS providers. It is an effective omnichannel solution that significantly expands the shopping journey. Among popular integrated platforms are:

  • Clover
  • Square
  • Epos Now
  • Vend
  • iZettle
  • Hike
  • ConnectPos

Using the POS app you can:

  • Import product to BigCommerce. You can easily create a new product or item catalog and import them into your BigCommerce online store with a single click.
  • Export product to POS. You can also export your products from BigCommerce online store into POS allowing quick and effective item management.
  • Synchronize inventory. It is possible to manage the POS app and store at the same time. The connection between both solutions refreshes every 5 minutes.

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Some of the application’s main features are:

  • Real-time updates, including orders, products, inventory, and customers
  • Multiple payment options as well as refund and exchange
  • Multi-location management
  • Customization options
  • Free 24/7 support

You need to research each solution carefully to find the one that best fits your needs. But, as you can see, there is a variety of what to choose.

E-commerce features

On BigCommerce you can find all the necessary features for building a successful e-commerce business. I will draw your attention to some of them which I consider as distinguishing the BigCommerce platform from others.

  • Smart Inventory Management. You can import products, set up inventory tracking, update your stocks, and monitor orders in real-time. You can create, edit, add details, and track your items online and offline.
  • Purchase order management. After a customer creates an order, the platform allows a quick process of the order, prepares invoices and packing slips.
  • Multi-currency support. Payment gateways provide multi-currency payments by converting customers’ native currency. The function is available for all pricing plans without additional cost.
  • Multi-channel approach. Multi-channel integration gives you a chance to expand your sales through Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, eBay, Amazon, and others.
  • Shipping options. Access to this functionality is available in each tariff plan. You can use such shipping rates as free shipping rates, flat rates, price-based rates, weight-based rates, in-store pick-up, real-time shipping from a third-party carrier. BigCommerce provides a policy of special discounts, which are available with such leading companies as DHL, USPS, FedEx, and more.
  • Customizable checkout. By using the platform you get access to every part of your checkout page, and you can customize all the fields according to your requirements.

Mobile Commerce

After several years without mobile integration, today customers can enjoy both Android and iOS apps. Using the available tools, you can:

  • Access a store with a login
  • Check the store statistics, such as revenue, visitors, orders, conversion rate weekly or monthly
  • Monitor store orders, change their status, make necessary updates
  • Review customers’ information, including purchase details and order history
  • Contact customers via e-mail or in-app phone

Initially, the app menu had some bugs, but now it gets quite positive users’ feedback.

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Accelerated mobile page in BigCommerce

Accelerated Mobile Page (AMP) is an open-source Google project which helps to deliver your content to mobile users. It is used to optimize mobile browsing and help web pages load faster.

AMP has positive SEO impacts. To achieve lightning load speed, AMP pages are sent to be hosted on Google’s servers. This allows Google to cache, preload, and pre-render AMP content before a user clicks the link in the search results.

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Dropshipping

Many sellers will be interested in dropshipping options. This is a form of selling when you don’t need to keep all goods on sale in stock. This model allows entrepreneurs to start an online business and sell without much start-up capital. This way, you save storage space and money.

To use dropshipping you need to install a third-party app. Among them are:

  • ALi-Express Dropshipping
  • Spocket
  • Wholesale2B
  • Inventory Source
  • Printful

Apps are available at different prices, some of them provide free trials.

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Multi-currency

Multicurrency allows users to indicate quote prices, sell and provide refunds in a shopper's native currency and avoid additional conversion costs. To activate the multi-currency option, you need to go to Store Setup>Currencies to begin.

To use multiple transactional currencies, you need to:

Automatic tax calculation depends on the tax service provider supported by a country. By using BigCommerce free themes you can have a multi-currency solution that facilitates multi-currency conversion using IP addresses.

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If you are using a paid theme template, you need to integrate a third-party app to facilitate multi-currency options.

Security

The most important question when it comes to e-commerce platform solutions is whether my BigCommerce is safe. Security features are an essential instrument for safe online shopping for your customers. BigCommerce provides its clients with level 1 certified PCI compliance. BigCommerce PCI compliance removes all doubts like ‘is BigCommerce legit’. That means you can be sure that your customers’ personal and financial information is protected.

Additionally, you can share or buy your own SSL certificate. If you use a shared certificate, your checkout isn’t hosted on your own website.

The prices for the SSL certificates are the following:

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SEO and marketing

A key benefit of choosing the platform is the strong SEO support. A good ranking in search engines is a base for successful brand promotion. You can find everything you need: page title editing, optimizing meta descriptions and headers.

You can also change URLs easily. BigCommerce lets you transform any long URLs into shorter, more reliable links. When a user clicks the shortened version, they’re automatically forwarded to the destination URL. Shoppers will have a good idea about where your link will lead before they click it. Moreover, shorter URLs help users and search engines identify concepts in the URL more easily.

As mentioned before, all BigCommerce templates are optimized for all devices — mobile, tablet, desktop, and support Google Accelerated Mobile Pages.

BigCommerce design review

Besides multifunctional options and sales tools, you have other ways to make your store noticeable. Here we will discuss what is BigCommerce design and how does it work.

On BigCommerce you can find a variety of design templates. There are 12 free templates and around 170 paid themes, ranging between $145 and $235. Each theme has different modifications, so it is a quite big choice. They are all mobile optimized, stylish, and easy to apply.

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You get to choose from different options, such as searching by industry, price, or preferable layout.

Additionally, themes can help you stand out and highlight unique features by personalizing available design patterns without any code needed. The ‘Style Editor’ function allows changing colors, fonts, logo position, number of featured products, navigation arrow colors, and more.

Reviews for BigCommerce show that users argue that the choice of BigCommerce free templates is a bit limited. Although there are 12 free templates, it seems that there are only five to choose from. Some of them are very similar to each other.

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However, if you need a customized and unique theme, you may need help from a BigCommerce developer. Such themes will help you to change the layout of a brand, category, product, and web page from the default layout to best suit your store and brand.

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Reporting and Analytics

BigCommerce reports

How does BigCommerce work? BigCommerce provides several useful reports and analytical tools included as a standard in all tariff plans. There are:

  • Customer reports. It is easy to track sales by customers, their overall spending, and order creation date.
  • Marketing reports. They provide information about where your client comes from.
  • Searching reports. You can discover the queries that are used by customers for searching for products in your store.
  • Finance reports. There are three types of such reports: income statement, balance sheet, and cash flow statement. They help you to spot trends, maintain positive cash flow and discover new opportunities to improve sales.
  • Abandoned cart reports. These reports list all registered customers who abandoned carts that have not yet expired.

For an additional fee, you can get E-commerce Insights reports. They provide merchants with information on what product should take a top placement on your site and which marketing channels are better to use to attract regular clients at a minimal cost.

The fee varies depending on your plan. Standard and Plus plan users can get it for $49 per month, Pro customers for $99 per month, while for Enterprise customers it is available for $249 per month.

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BigCommerce analytics

You can analyze your store performance by using free analytics tools available on all plans. Analytics solutions cover various aspects of website traffic and evaluate marketing effectiveness. More information about using analytical content is available here. Furthermore, you’re able to integrate Google Analytics into your store. You'll be able to understand customers' behavior better, thus improving customer experience and making personalized offers and better-targeted ads.

Operational expenses

Having certain limitations in sales volumes for each tariff plan may have some unforeseen limitations for your store. It may also require additional costs to move to a more expensive tariff plan that you did not intend to. It means that if you sell items for more than $50,000 each year, you can’t use the Standard Plan anymore, so you are switched to the Pro plan automatically. As a result, you will spend $50 more monthly. You are not allowed to stay on your plan with lower functionality. All changes are administered by BigCommerce. Ultimately, the more you sell, the more you spend.

BigCommerce Pros and Cons

Let’s weigh BigCommerce’s pros and cons to see if it’s an effective e-commerce solution for you.

Pros

  • Variety of free options available in each plan, allowing quick growth
  • Channels for marketplace integration, enabling to expand sales across marketplaces or social media
  • Solid SEO strategy, designed to improve organic search engine rankings

Cons

  • Not an easy setup – some users found it difficult to operate their store, especially when they don’t have such experience
  • Companies with high-profit margins can face high rates based on sales revenues

When BigCommerce is a good choice for:

  • Vendors with a large variety of items to sell. It has many flexible options for store optimization and multichannel synchronization, which allow quick and easy store management.
  • Stores that use other marketplaces for selling, such as Instagram, Etsy, eBay, and others. If your store is already presented on other platforms, BigCommerce is a good choice to expand your store and get inventory sync up and product listings across all platforms.
  • E-commerce stores expanding their activities and market presence. BigCommerce has many helpful tools and guides for quick and easy migration. By using Channel Manager, you can connect to and manage all the different sales channels available for your store, like marketplaces, point of sale (POS) integrations, marketing channels, including ads and social, and headless and third-party storefronts.

BigCommerce won’t suit you if:

  • You have a small-scale business and plan to only sell several items. In that case, you can choose the platform too, but you are likely to lose time facing a more time-demanding interface.
  • You plan a quick setup. To get a quick start on a market, better choose a simpler solution, for example, Shopify.

Users reviews

We have collected some data about users’ assessment of BigCommerce use. Here you can check how it is scored by customers.

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For a more detailed dive, here you can find some feedback from platform users. Read on to see what people say about BigCommerce:

"BigСommerce is paying. But it is important to not withdraw only the bonus. I withdrew twice...and I received my money".

"Tried to use BigCommerce to set up my store, but not much guidance and instructions (I am pretty new to using tools/platforms like this). Looked through the site, still limited resources to be honest".

"I love BigCommerce. Highly recommend them. I have been with BC for 12 years. I have 7 different stores running in 3 countries and I think BC is the best. I have always been able to get through to tech support. Admittedly, on the odd occasion, I knew more than the tech did but I have also taught myself a lot about BC. I am seriously wondering if these negative reviews are legit because I would not use any other platform and I often recommend BC. Maybe there might be something wrong with the end-users rather than BigCommerce"?

In summary, the users’ statistics show that only 56 % of users recommend the BigCommerce platform, compared to 88% of Shopify’s.

Conclusion

There are no ideal solutions, there are solutions that may or may not lead your business to success. BigCommerce, just like other solutions, has its pros and cons that you face when starting to use it. If you need to build an effective e-store and have a quick start, or you need to migrate from one platform to an e-commerce platform while keeping your online presence, contact us and we’ll assist you in choosing the solution tailored to your business needs and help you to kick off your online store.

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