BigCommerce: Go Big or Go Home!
If you sell products—digital or physical—you need a store to sell them in. Whether you sell in a standalone store or you need to add store features to an existing website, having a good-looking store layout can make more of a difference than you realise!
Nobody wants to fight to find what they’re looking for. A sleek, streamlined buying experience is what everyone is after, and that’s exactly what BigCommerce offers. They don’t just host your store, though—they have a lot of extra features to help you market your store, beef up your store security, and ultimately, make sales.
Whatever you see, BigCommerce can help you sell more. Even if you’re already using another ecommerce software, I highly recommend checking them out… You might like what you see!
What Is BigCommerce?
BigCommerce is an ecommerce builder that allows website owners to set up a virtual store and sell products right from their website. It’s one of the most popular ecommerce solutions around, and for good reason! It has a ton of pros and not too many cons, all of which I’ll delve into as we go through this review.
There’s no need to download any kind of software to be able to use BigCommerce. As long as you have internet, you can access and manage your store from any device, anywhere. That alone gives it a big thumbs-up!
What Sets BigCommerce Apart?
BigCommerce has many advantages over other platforms, like Shopify, Squarespace, and eBay. Is it right for you? Well, that’s up to you, but here’s why BigCommerce gets my vote.
15-Day Free Trial
15 days is more than enough time to play around with BigCommerce’s features. It’s a relatively average trial period, but if you’re serious about learning the platform’s functions, 2 weeks is enough time to get an idea of whether or not it’s right for you.
No Commission or Transaction Fees
One of the best things about BigCommerce is that you won’t be charged any sneaky fees on top of your monthly membership fee.
That means that they don’t take any commission fees on what you sell, and even if you’re using a third-party payment app, you won’t be charged transaction fees.
This is a huge pro, especially in comparison to other ecommerce solutions.
Already selling on other marketplaces or on social media? BigCommerce is big on omnichannel marketing, and integrates easily with eBay, Etsy, Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, Wish, Amazon, and even Walmart, even on the Standard Plan.
As well as plenty of options for where to sell, BigCommerce allows you to accept over 60 payment gateways! These include PayPal, Stripe, Square, Amazon Pay, Bolt, Klarna and Ayden.
Best Starter Plan
As ecommerce goes, BigCommerce has one of the most comprehensive starter plans of all platforms. If you’re new to ecommerce, you won’t find better than this! Here’s why:
- No limit on number of products you can sell
- Supports multiple sales channels
- Multi-currency support
- Professional reporting tools
- Blog is built into store
- No transaction fees
- Allows coupons, gift cards, and discounts
- 24/7 customer support
Excellent SEO Support
SEO is more important than you may think for store owners! Making sure your product descriptions are SEO-friendly is essential, and BigCommerce makes it easy with built-in SEO features, such as:
- Unique, optimised URLs
- Built-in rich snippets
- 301 redirects
SEOing your own products descriptions is something you’ll need to do. But the fact that BigCommerce deals with all this in the background without you even having to think about it is a big thumbs-up and actually gives you a bit of an advantage.
Easy to Scale
As mentioned, the standard package is one of the best you’ll find if you’re a new or small store. But there’s also room for growth. It’s easy to upgrade if your store gets bigger, and although the starter plan is comprehensive, each successive one comes with useful features for scaling to the next level.
Website Builder Included
This is a superb feature for those who don’t yet have a storefront. BigCommerce’s handy drag-and-drop website builder means you can quickly create an attractive, effective, and easy-to-browse storefront without needing any fancy website building knowledge.
Just choose a theme that you like (and that works for your niche) and get building! Most themes also offer a certain amount of customisation, so it’s easy to design something you really like (although some features may cost you extra).
Useful Built-In Management Tools
Aside from the inventory and website building tools, there are also multiple handy management tools built into it. You can take advantage of tools like:
- Checkout customisation
- Automated or custom tax calculations
- Purchase orders & quote management (for bulk buyers)
- Refund & return features
- Integrations with accounting apps
Freedom to Sell Your Own Products
Did you know that BigCommerce was the first ecommerce selling platform to OK the sale of CBD and its various products? Whatever you want to sell, you should be good to go with BigCommerce.
How It Works
BigCommerce is actually extremely comprehensive. That’s one of the things that makes it stand out above other similar ecommerce platforms—whatever you can think of, it’s probably got it.
But at the same time, you can’t really get more straightforward than BigCommerce for creating your store and starting to sell. Here’s a quick overview of the menu and processes
I’ve started with products first, because you can’t have orders until you’ve got stuff to sell! During your free trial you’ll find sample products in your store, but it’s really quite easy to add your own. You’ll need to add a bunch of info, including:
- Product name
- Type (physical or digital)
- Weight (for shipping calculations)
- Photo or video
- SEO information
There’s quite a lot more customised information that you can add, but this is the core of your product page. You can view them as a list, as well as separating them into categories like those with free shipping, featured products, and out of stock.
It’s easy to keep track of your orders on this page. They’re separated into those awaiting payment, those that have been paid but are awaiting fulfilment, and those that are waiting to be shipped.
The layout makes it extremely easy to get an overview of your orders at a glance and keep up with what needs to be done in order to fulfil them.
This is where you can basically build your own website store! Choose a theme from the marketplace and then it’s as simple as drag-and-dropping pieces into place.
Here you can also add your business logo, social media links, manage your uploaded images, and even create a blog if you want to! You’ll also find gift certificate templates here, which is a super feature to offer your customers.
Under this tab you can set up promotions, transactional emails, and abandoned cart emails (may need to pay extra). You can also create coupons, set up Google Customer Reviews, and set up an email newsletter.
I love that marketing features are built into the platform here. It saves time and energy outside of the platform trying to promote your products, especially if you already have an email list.
If the existing features don’t cover everything you need, it’s easy to find extras in the BigCommerce App Marketplace. Some are free, some are paid.
Are There Cons?
To be honest, there aren’t a lot of cons with BigCommerce. It’s affordable, feature-packed, and fairly easy to use, for shop owners of any experience level. That being said, there are a few small things that may be tricky to get around.
Revenue-Based Plan Selection
One thing that many people don’t realise initially is that you can’t just go ahead and choose a plan when signing up for BigCommerce.
The plan you fall under is based on your store’s revenue, so if you pass the maximum revenue for your existing plan, you’ll be automatically upgraded to the next plan.
- Standard Plan: under 50k per year
- Plus Plan: between 50 and 150k per year
- Pro Plan: between 150 and 400k per year
- Enterprise Plan: over 400k per year
This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, as you’ll be upgraded to tools more suited for running larger stores. But it does take away a certain amount of flexibility and choice, which could be a disadvantage for some stores.
However, there is a bonus to this structure—it incentivizes the BigCommerce platform to help brands grow, which means you’ll be getting top-tier customer service, assistance, and tools to get you from A to B as quickly and easily as possible.
There’s also this little bit of fine print, which you should know if you fall into the Pro Plan revenue bracket:
Expensive to Customise
The plans themselves are actually quite full-featured. But if there’s something missing (or something you see as a useful add-on), it can get pricey customising your store. Not many customisations are available for free.
If you’re okay to use the existing built-in features, you most likely won’t have any issues with pricing. But if you want to add extras, be aware that your monthly total may be quite a bit more than what you see on the plan.
The biggest potential issue here is that there’s no Abandoned Cart feature on the standard plan. If you want to add this feature, you’ll have to invest in a separate app.
Setup Can Be Tricky
Although it looks fairly straightforward, many users find setting up their BigCommerce store a little tricky. This seems to be due to the fact that the storefront settings and behind-the-scenes settings are separate, which can be complicated to navigate.
But once you’ve got the hang of it, you should find it simple enough to move around. There may just be a bit of a learning curve in the beginning.
Final Thoughts on BigCommerce
If you’re an ecommerce store, BigCommerce is worth having on your side. Whether you’re just starting out or you’ve been selling on other platforms, you can’t go wrong with creating an attractive storefront and taking advantage of the many sales tools in BigCommerce!
I highly recommend it. The great thing is that you can make it look like a full-on retail store if that’s what you want, or you can make it look a bit more like an informative website that just happens to sell stuff.
All-in-all, it comes highly recommended for those wanting to sell physical or digital products. You don’t have to take my word for it, either—just a bit of Googling will confirm it.