Targeted at companies of all sizes, BigCommerce is a powerful and flexible eCommerce solution designed to cover all aspects of the eCommerce business. BigCommerce offers plenty of features a store owner needs to run an online store, including product management, SEO tools, a WYSIWYG editor, order management, and more. It also integrates with other sales channels such as Amazon, Facebook, and Pinterest, improving business visibility and boosting sales.
While BigCommerce boasts a myriad of features, it has an annual revenue limit on all plans. Sales volumes are capped at $50,000, $180,000, and $400,000 on the Standard, Plus, and Pro plans respectively. If the threshold is exceeded, the store is automatically bumped up to the next pricing tier.
In this BigCommerce review, we will explore website builder features, ease of use, pricing, add ons, and more.
What is BigCommerce?
BigCommerce is a cloud-based eCommerce platform that allows business owners to set up, run, and grow an online store without the added cost of hiring a web developer. After a chance meeting in an online chatroom in 2003, founders Eddie Machaalani and Mitchell Harper launched BigCommerce in 2009. BigCommerce was entirely bootstrapped until July 31, 2011, when it secured $15 million in a Series A funding round.
BigCommerce’s mission is to help merchants sell more at every stage of business growth without compromising their vision. Now a household name in the eCommerce world, BigCommerce is used by customers in 120 different countries and has cleared over $25 billion in merchant sales.
Facts and Figures
|Founder||Eddie Machaalani, Mitchell Harper|
BigCommerce Website Builder Features
BigCommerce combines an eCommerce platform with website builder features, empowering store owners to build the store of their dreams without learning how to code. BigCommerce features a WYSIWYG editor, customizable themes, SEO tools, and high-level store analytics. Business owners can also add products and product variants, monitor stock levels, fulfill orders, and develop promotional campaigns. Finally, store merchants can enjoy zero-fee sales transactions, while customers can shop peacefully knowing that all credit card transactions are PCI-certified.
Though designed to be an eCommerce solution, BigCommerce also offers website builder features such as a drag and drop WYSIWYG editor, blogging tools, and a full-fledged content management system. Users can easily optimize their sites and boost website traffic through BigCommerce’s SEO features while gaining real-time store visibility with BigCommerce’s web analytics tools. All BigCommerce sites are hosted for free and come with a free sitewide HTTPS.
BigCommerce hosts all online stores for free. All stores come with a free sitewide HTTPS and dedicated SSL. Additionally, BigCommerce also offers users the chance to directly purchase domain names and they come with a WHOIS domain privacy protection.
BigCommerce’s visual editor, Page Builder, allows users to easily design and customize their online stores by simply dragging and dropping. Users can choose between page elements such as layout, text, images, and even product sets. It is also possible to add custom HTML to enrich visual content.
BigCommerce enables users to optimize their eCommerce website and content for better search engine rankings. BigCommerce features sitewide HTTPS, automatic sitemaps, SEO-friendly URLs, 301 redirects, fast-loading pages, as well as editable header tags and metadata. Furthermore, store owners can sell directly on social media channels such as Facebook, Instagram, and Google Shopping. Users can also list and sell products directly from Amazon and eBay.
BigCommerce’s form builder offers primary fields such as email address, full name, company name, phone number, order number, and more. However, they are not customizable and cannot be edited to display different information. Users wanting more control over the fields should consider using a third-party contact form builder instead. BigCommerce recommends the following custom form builders: Jotform, Wufoo, EmailMeForm, and Kontactr.
BigCommerce offers a comprehensive content management system with unlimited file storage and bandwidth to users on all plans. With the Image Manager, users can also upload product photos from their computers directly to their online store. Supported file types include JPEG/JPG, GIF, and PNG. Uploaded photos can be sorted into product descriptions, category descriptions, web page content, blog posts, or any area that uses the WYSIWYG editor. The URL of an uploaded image can be used outside of the store, such as in a newsletter or an email campaign.
BigCommerce also boasts an extensive collection of customizable themes optimized for mobile, tablet, and desktop browsers. The themes range from food and beverage to fashion and jewelry. While there are 12 free themes, the more premium, paid themes cost between $150 to $300.
Blog posts are a great way of circulating the latest updates and store news to site visitors, acting as a channel for content marketing. All BigCommerce stores come with a blog, but users can also choose to turn off blog visibility. Users can add images, edit text using markdown formatting, and save posts as drafts. Blog posts can also be shared on social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter.
If store owners want to add a comment section to their blog posts, the third-party integration Disqus will have to be downloaded.
With BigCommerce’s control panel, store owners can view up to 11 detailed reports, ranging from store overview reports to purchase funnel reports. These reports provide key insights and trends into website traffic, merchandising, and consumer behavior. With these metrics in place, business owners can identify patterns, recognize and correct errors, as well as make smart decisions that will drive sales.
BigCommerce particularly excels at eCommerce. From product management to converting sales, BigCommerce helps owners grow their businesses organically and with great success. Store owners can add and edit products in bulk, manage stock levels, and select from over 70 built-in promotions and discounts. All credit card transactions are PCI-certified and commission-free, ensuring that neither store merchants nor customers have to pay for additional transaction fees.
Creating promotions and generating high volume sales is easy with BigCommerce. Store owners can set and combine rules across product prices and cart checkouts to create the perfect combination of discounts. Over 70 built-in promotions and discounts are available, such as BOGO and free shipping offers, ensuring that every customer group and price category can be effectively targeted.
Other promotion features also include product discounts, order discounts, customer discounts, category discounts, and brand discounts.
Adding product options in BigCommerce can be done individually or in bulk, saving time and effort. Every base product and its product variants are assigned SKU numbers to track inventory and stock levels. Business owners can add product descriptions and custom input boxes for orders that need to be customized. It is also possible to sell digital products.
BigCommerce’s powerful inventory management enables business owners to know exactly how much stock is in their inventories and easily make changes. Users can edit stock levels individually or utilize BigCommerce’s catalog import/export features to update thousands of products at once. For store owners who own multiple sales channels, BigCommerce also allows the syncing of inventory.
BigCommerce provides store builders a range of order management tools, including editing an order, printing an invoice, printing a packing slip, initiating refunds, shipping items and much more. This ensures all statuses are updated on time and orders can be fulfilled promptly.
BigCommerce’s in-built product review feature is a great way to gauge user satisfaction and entice further sales. Store owners can toggle this tool on and off, and even choose only to accept product reviews from past customers. Business owners also have the option of manually approving reviews.
Email marketing is a cornerstone of any online store as it alerts buyers to sales, promotions, and store updates. BigCommerce’s email marketing features allow site visitors to sign up for newsletters, and business owners can export the list of subscribers as a CSV file. On Plus, Pro, and Enterprise plans, store owners can also take advantage of the abandoned cart saver feature, which sends an email invitation to customers to complete the checkout process.
Unlike other eCommerce solutions, BigCommerce offers zero-fee sales transactions with over 55 leading payment gateways that are PCI DSS 3.2 Level 1 certified. Other payment methods also include Amazon Pay, Apple Pay, Google Pay, and PayPal. These payment servers adhere to the highest level of security and decrease the incidences of fraudulent purchases and chargebacks.
Finally, BigCommerce also provides manual control over tax settings or automating tax calculations via a third-party tax service.
BigCommerce offers four paid plans: Standard, Plus, Pro, and Enterprise. While the Standard and Plus plans are targeted at small to medium-sized businesses, the Pro and Enterprise plans cater to large-scale businesses. All plans come with a 15-day free trial, zero-free sales transactions, and unlimited products, file storage, bandwidth, and staff accounts.
Businesses on the Plus and Pro plans enjoy up to 10% discount on their subscriptions when paying annually. Note that these pricing lists are simplified for the purposes of this BigCommerce review. For more information, visit the BigCommerce pricing page for more information.
All stores hosted on BigCommerce are issued a free SSL certificate, ensuring that all traffic to and from BigCommerce is encrypted. All webpages utilize HTTPS, giving shoppers an extra layer of security. For businesses that want an added security boost, BigCommerce also offers paid SSL certificates by GeoTrust, which provides additional features such as site seals, increased purchase protection, and extended validation.
Additionally, BigCommerce is compliant with the GDPR, EU-U.S. Privacy Shield, and Swiss-U.S. Privacy Shield. Customers who request to have their data removed from the servers will have their requests processed within 14 days. All payment processors on BigCommerce are PCI DSS 3.2 Level 1 certified, which protects against credit card breaches and eliminates the hassle of maintaining compliance on the businesses’ end.
BigCommerce’s third-party apps and integrations are plenty, ensuring that users can always find the integrations they need. There are both free and paid apps, and they stretch across many industries. Some of these integrations are:
- G Suite
- Facebook Ads
The BigCommerce interface is straightforward and easy to use, even for users with minimal experience with eCommerce platforms. On the left is the main navigation bar that jumps to controls like orders, products, and customers. Users can also tweak their store setup and server settings here.
The center dashboard stores essential details such as store statistics, recent orders, and store performance. There is also a notification bar that displays alerts and new events such as new orders, pending reviews, and products with low stocks that.
BigCommerce’s mobile apps are available on the iOS and Android platforms. Users on the go can take advantage of the mobile apps to check on recent orders and order details, keep an eye on store performance and store metrics, and remain engaged with customers. Nonetheless, it is not possible to customize the store’s appearance on mobile, so users will have to switch to the desktop for this functionality.
Stores that use BigCommerce can enjoy a variety of customer support options, including:
Knowledge base: BigCommerce’s knowledge base is full of helpful articles, videos, and tutorials on how to master the platform’s basics. Users can browse the knowledge base for how-tos, FAQs, and troubleshooting.
Community forum: BigCommerce users can obtain crowd-sourced answers through the community forum. Store owners can also post discussion threads, browse topics for solutions, and share knowledge with other like-minded members.
Direct support: BigCommerce offers 24/7 assistance via live chat, email, and US-based phone support. Most calls are answered in under two minutes, and over 85% of issues are resolved within the first call. BigCommerce also provides in-house launch coaches who can guide users through the set-up process and troubleshoot SEO issues.
While BigCommerce is a great contender for stores looking to adopt an eCommerce solution, it also features a sales volume cap. When a store exceeds its annual sales volume, it is automatically bumped up to the next pricing plan. Here are some alternatives that do not feature a sales volume limit:
BigCommerce is a powerful eCommerce solution for all kinds of businesses looking for an affordable eCommerce software. The tools that the platform offers, such as an integrated payment system, a WYSIWYG editor, and product management features, extend the flexibility and support needed to sustain a growing business. Its interface is also simple to use, making it an ideal fit for both beginners and professionals.
Nonetheless, BigCommerce’s biggest drawback is its annual revenue limit. Once a store exceeds its sales volume, it is bumped up to the next pricing plan. Users who do not want to worry about their stores’ sales volumes should consider other alternatives.
BigCommerce’s paid plans run anywhere from $29.95 per month to $299.95 per month, though users can first start out with a 15-day free trial. For companies that require additional features, BigCommerce also offers an enterprise plan that has custom pricing.
BigCommerce is an eCommerce solution that caters to businesses running online stores. It manages everything from products to orders and payments, all without the hassle of learning code and running multiple tools at once. BigCommerce is an ideal choice for stores looking for a robust eCommerce software.
Both Shopify and BigCommerce are big names in the eCommerce market. Both support multi-channel sales and offer unlimited products, file storage, and bandwidth. However, Shopify charges extra credit card transaction fees, and BigCommerce features an annual sales cap on all paid plans. It is up to individual businesses to decide which option better suits their eCommerce needs.