BigCommerce Review: Why Choose It Before Other eCommerce Platforms
A closer look at BigCommerce. A review of the strengths and weaknesses of BigCommerce and who it’s ideal for.
One of the most important steps in creating your online business is choosing the right eCommerce platform. We’ve already discussed the key factors we need to consider when we make that choice in a separate article. This is our BigCommerce review where we will take a closer look at the platform as one of the top choices for your online business. We will review the strengths and weaknesses of BigCommerce and find out which business owners it’s ideal for. So, let’s get it started.
BigCommerce Review: Quick Overview
- What is BigCommerce
- Which big companies use BigCommerce
- Why you should use BigCommerce (advantages)
- Why you should NOT use BigCommerce (disadvantages)
- What is unique about BigCommerce
- Consider this
- What does it cost
- Definitely use BigCommerce
What is BigCommerce?
BigCommere is a fully-hosted service. It not only supports a vast number of payment gateways, including PayPal but also the platform won’t charge you for transactions. BigCommerce is another heavyweight contender on the market alongside Woocommerce but it’s quite different in comparison.
What type of businesses use BigCommerce?
The best examples of successful companies that had chosen BigCommerce to be the platform for their business are Toyota, Fujitsu, and PayPal Here. There are many others who also deserved to be mentioned, so we listed them below as well.
Why choose BigCommerce?
The platform is focused to appeal to both users without design skills and those who are more tech-savvy and know their way around writing code. BigCommerce is highly preferred by developers who want a hosted alternative to WordPress WooCommerce without the need to develop from scratch.
Another great news is, the platform is already an established heavyweight on the market and gains the trust of big companies like Toyota and Gibson.
Why you should use BigCommerce ( advantages)
💳 No transaction fees
The platform doesn’t charge transaction fees no matter the plan.
🛠️ Essential Tools
It includes lots of reporting and analytic tools to all of its plans.
💳 Pre-negotiated rates with PayPal
BigCommerce has teamed with Braintree in order to arrange special pre-negotiated rates from PayPal. The concept is, basically, the more you grow using the platform, the lower your rates will go.
📦 AIO Platform
It’s an all-in-one platform which includes hosting, multiple payment gateways, blog and more.
24/7 support through email, LiveChat and phone. There is also the BigCommerce University database with a huge archive of articles and tutorials, a blog, and community forums.
PCI Compliance Level 1 security, same as with Shopify. You’re also granted access to Swift Science auto fraud detection.
🛒 Multiple sales channels
BigCommerce also allows multiple sales channels like Amazon, eBay as well as in-person sales through Square POS integration.
Quick process to set up shipping options, as well as real-time rates from USPS, Royal Mail, Canada Post, and DHL. Shipping discounts over 50% are also available.
The fastest performing eCommerce platform due to its implementation of Google AMP.
👑 Other advantages
- Easy store and product management.
- Great features for developers.
- It offers a 14-days trial.
Why you should not use BigCommerce (disadvantages)
In a way, there can be higher costs for more successful businesses. Since the plans come with annual sales limits, the platform will automatically upgrade your plan to a higher one had this limit been exceeded.There isn’t a free plan option.
There isn’t a built-in multi-lingual feature so you’ll need to do it by altering the code. This, of course, requires significant coding experience and knowledge.
📖 Learning Curve
BigCommerce is more complex to learn due to its terminology. This makes it not suitable for beginners.Adjusting all components of your page can get difficult. It’s difficult to manage VAT MOSS rates for digital products.
Free themes can be very similar while the premium ones can cost around $200.
What is unique about BigCommerce?
Similar to Shopify, BigCommerce also facilitates POS so you could sync your inventory and take payment when selling from a physical shop. So far, the platform offers integration with Square, Shopkeep and Springwood retail, however, more will be added soon.
💱 Multi-currency Solution
This feature comes with all plans and provides you with automatic currency conversion based on your visitors’ IP address. It comes without saying this is a key advantage for online stores that sell in multiple countries since it logically increases sales.
🎨 Better product variants
BigCommerce handles this feature so well, that without the need for third-party extensions, you can create up to 250 product options. This comes particularly in handy if your business sells a product that comes in a lot of different variations.
🛒 Abandoned Cart Feature
Many would complain that this feature appears to be more expensive in comparison to other platforms since it’s available only for Plus, Pro and Enterprise. This is because the BigCommerce Abandoned Cart feature is probably the best. You can create three email templates that would automatically reach store visitors who have browsed items but left halfway through. This is the only feature that allows you to use three active correspondents and it’s definitely worthy if your online store has high traffic.
This is an alternative to Shopify Oberlo, which comes in handy for online stores that prefer to sell without stocking items. Many businesses who don’t need much capital to start up with, choose to sell items from stores like AliExpress for prices just a little bit higher than the original. Their store plays the role of a mediator between AliExpress and the final client and profits from the price difference. It’s competitive since many stores are doing it, but also quite easier to maintain. The BigCommerce App Store offers such third-party apps: AliExpress Dropshipping, Sunrise, and Printful.
BigCommerce is a cloud-based Software as a Service licensed to its users. One of the advantages of being an out-of-the-box solution is the provider maintains the hosting and infrastructure for the users. Aside from that, the solution offers features such as digital marketing and product reviews. Although BigCommerce doesn’t provide access to the core data the same way open-source as WooCommerce does, you can still tweak the HTML/CSS as much as you desire.
👁️ Visual Editing
The platform has a WYSIWYG visual editor same as Squarespace. It allows you to add and edit content without the need to touch the code.
BigCommerce is a hosted service with everything all set up for you to start building your pages.
💡 Intuitive Experience
The platform isn’t suitable for beginners. It’s terminology and learning curve makes it difficult for new users to understand, however, BigCommerce does offer onboarding and support. It also features the Store Design merch tool that allows users to edit their storefront on screen. Let’s also keep in mind that such a powerful system will inevitably be somewhat of a challenge to handle.
All tools for BigCommerce are already built-in which saves you from being reliant on apps and features. It offers full CMS, automated image optimization as well as integration for several email platforms Mail Chimp, iContact, Interspire, and Constant Contact.
📈 SEO Performance
The platform performs excellently in the search engines. It offers all the features you would need to rank higher. In addition, it comes with its own analytics suite for key metrics.
- Standard: $29.95 monthly
- Plus: $79.95 monthly
- Pro: $299.95 monthly
BigCommerce provides its users with 24/7 phone and LiveChat support, email support and a vast collection of video tutorials. It’s necessary to mention that business with higher volumes of sales who choose the Enterprise plan get priority support, in-depth data migration support, API support, account management support and more.
What does it cost?
As we mentioned earlier, BigCommerce doesn’t charge transaction fees for most leading gateways. Instead, it takes a different approach and automatically upgrades your plan to a higher one based on your online business’ annual sales revenue. The three sales thresholds are $50k for Standard, $159k for Plus and $400k for Pro which when met put you on the higher tier. The limits are negotiable for Enterprise.
In a way, BigCommerce has the most straightforward pricing without surprising additional costs in the future.
In addition, there is also a 10% discount for Plus and Pro for annual payment.
Definitely use BigCommerce
The platform is unnecessarily powerful for smaller projects, but ideal for big and fast-growing businesses that aim to expand and become bigger. It has a huge range of built-in features, reporting, marketing tools and also supports POS to sync businesses’ online and physical stores. BigCommerce is also more suitable for advanced developers and isn’t quite there for beginners. Another pro is the straight forward pricing that doesn’t surprise with hidden costs and doesn’t charge transaction fees. BigCommerce is also the fastest eCommerce platform which can seriously boost the search engine rankings.