BigCommerce is one of the most popular ecommerce platforms available today as many sellers are drawn to its robust set of features and affordable pricing.
Like any platform, it has its pros and cons. It’s important to carefully evaluate the platform before you choose it to build your online store.
In this BigCommerce review, we’ll take a look at BigCommerce’s features, performance, and how the platform compares to competitors.
Let’s get started.
Table of Contents
- BigCommerce Overview
- BigCommerce Sales and Marketing Features
- BigCommerce Performance
- What Is BigCommerce Pricing?
- Is BigCommerce Easy to Use?
- BigCommerce Themes, Templates, and Designs
- Does BigCommerce Have Apps and Integrations?
- Dropshipping With BigCommerce
- BigCommerce Customer Support
- What Are the Alternatives to BigCommerce?
- BigCommerce FAQs
- BigCommerce Review Summary
BigCommerce was founded in 2009 in Sydney, Australia, and has since relocated to Austin, Texas. The company provides a comprehensive ecommerce platform that is meant to serve as an all in one solution for those looking to build an online store.
The platform isn’t as widely used as some of its competitors like WooCommerce and Shopify, but it still commands a solid portion of the ecommerce market as around 3% of all online stores use BigCommerce.
This includes popular companies such as:
- Ben & Jerry’s
- Harvard Business Publishing
- HD Supply
- The Art of Shaving
Bigcommerce Sales and Marketing Features
BigCommerce comes with the most abundant set of ecommerce features built into a platform. These features help you make a highly functional store without the need of adding any extensions.
Let’s take a look at some of the features that make BigCommerce one of the best ecommerce platforms.
As an online seller, you need a way to collect payments from your customers if you want to make any money. Payment gateways provide this ability by enabling you to process transactions via credit or debit cards on your website.
BigCommerce comes with built-in integrations for 65 different payment gateways. This includes many of the popular payment processors such as:
- Apple Pay
- Amazon Pay
Each gateway will charge processing fees for credit cards that will vary depending on that particular solution.
Unlike some platforms, BigCommerce doesn’t charge any added transaction fees for any of your sales.
With the BigCommerce Shipping manager you can select all the locations where you will sell products and set up shipping settings for each.
The platform supports a variety of shipping rates including:
- Real-time carrier quotes
- Flat-rate shipping
- Weight-based rates
The platform also provides direct integrations for many popular shipping solutions such as ShipStation, AfterShip, and Easyship.
If you use a third-party to fulfill your orders, BigCommerce provides seamless integrations for many popular 3PL services.
When launching your ecommerce business, it is important to be on top of your taxes and other legal requirements from the start.
BigCommerce provides a variety of options for managing your store’s taxes.
You can choose to manually calculate tax rates or use a third-party service to automatically calculate sales tax for each order. Using an automatic calculation makes it easier to keep all tax documents in order.
There are also plenty of apps available to connect powerful tax management systems like TaxJar directly to your BigCommerce platform.
BigCommerce is the only ecommerce platform that allows you to sell physical, digital, and service products right out of the box.
You can apply different attributes to your physical products to create multiple variants of that product. For example, a shirt with multiple colors and sizes.
With BigCommerce, you are able to add up to 250 options to each product. You are also able to have 600 different variants of a product. This is notably higher than the 100 variants offered by Shopify.
Order and Inventory Management
BigCommerce provides a robust order management system for you to handle your orders efficiently. You can view the status of every order from a single dashboard.
When a customer places an order, you can receive a notification message via email, text, or the BigCommerce mobile app. You control when the customer is notified and can set up automatic notifications to go out to them for each change in order status.
BigCommerce also provides a great inventory management system full of useful tools to track your stock levels in real-time.
You can sync your inventory across different sales channels to ensure that your stock levels are always accurate.
Another useful feature is the ability to set up low stock-level notifications. This will help you stay on top of your inventory to ensure that your in-demand products are always in stock.
BigCommerce supports multichannel selling with direct integrations for many platforms and marketplaces including Amazon, eBay, Facebook, and more.
Some of the notable features include:
- The ability to publish products to Amazon directly from your BigCommerce catalog.
- A seamless connection to Google Merchant Center to enable your products to appear in Google Shopping results.
- Sync your product catalog to your social media profiles on Instagram and Facebook to list and sell items right from your profiles.
Abandoned Cart Recovery
Abandoned cart recovery is an important feature to look for in an ecommerce platform. It allows you to send follow-up messages to shoppers who put items in their cart but leave your site without making a purchase.
With BigCommerce’s abandoned cart saver, you can automatically send customizable messages to shoppers who leave your store with items still in their carts. This includes the ability to easily add coupons to your emails to help bring customers back to your store.
Be aware that abandoned cart saver is not available on the standard plan. This means that you will need at least the Plus plan to have this functionality built into the platform.
Point of Sale Integration
Point of sale (POS) integration allows you to connect your in-store and online sales systems. This makes it easier to manage your orders and inventory as everything is synced in real-time.
BigCommerce provides support for many leading POS solutions including Hike, Vend, and Clover.
Whenever you make a sale, in-person or online, the platform will make sure inventory is automatically updated. This helps remove the need for additional bookkeeping when selling both on and offline.
Blogging is an important addition to ecommerce stores as it provides another effective way to drive more traffic to your store.
BigCommerce comes with a built-in blog module that you can use to create content to attract more visitors. It includes a rich text editor that makes it easy to format your posts for SEO and user engagement.
If you want to take advantage of the massive amount of traffic available from search engines like Google, your ecommerce platform needs to be designed with SEO in mind.
BigCommerce offers some of the best SEO capabilities of any ecommerce platform. Some of the useful SEO features that come with the platform right out of the box include:
- Optimized URLs: BigCommerce automatically gives URLs SEO optimized names. The platform also gives you complete control over your URLs to be able to make them however you’d like.
- Redirects: Broken links negatively impact SEO. If you update the URL for a page, BigCommerce will automatically create a redirect from the old URL to the new one.
- Unique URLs: BigCommerce makes sure every URL is unique so that you are not penalized for duplicate content.
- CDN: By using a content delivery network (CDN), BigCommerce is able to have pages load super fast, which is an important SEO factor.
- Microdata: Microdata gives search engines a quick overview of what a page is about. It also appears in search results and impacts whether a searcher clicks through to your site. With BigCommerce, microdata is built into your products to help your pages show valuable information like price and reviews in search listings.
These features give BigCommerce an advantage over some of its competitors. For instance, Shopify uses a URL structure that is not the best for SEO, and users are unable to make any changes to it.
BigCommerce provides multi-currency support for merchants looking to sell to an international market. This includes over 100 different currencies buyers can use to complete their purchases.
Offering customers the ability to pay in their local currency is a great way to boost conversion rates. The platform provides more useful tools to help improve your sales as you can set different price levels based on currency. You can also set different coupons and discounts to specific currencies.
Reporting and Analytics
BigCommerce provides a robust analytics system you can use to track the performance of your store. This helps provide a better idea of what is working and what is not so you can make any necessary changes.
Some of the reports you can access include:
- Marketing reports
- Customer reports
- Finance reports
- Search data reports
If you want even more data to analyze the performance of your store, you can sign up for “E-commere Insights” reports that will provide additional details on your customers and products. E-Commerce Insights comes with an extra fee that varies based on which plan you are using.
Ecommerce platforms need to perform at a high level if you want to maximize the number of visitors that you turn into customers.
If you use a SaaS provider for your ecommerce platform, it is important to ensure that they have reliable hosting so that your website is always online. BigCommerce excels in this regard as it offers an industry-leading 99.99% uptime.
Along with reliability, other important areas of performance you’ll need to consider when evaluating ecommerce platforms are speed and security.
All BigCommerce stores are level 1 certified PCI compliant. This means that the site provides the protection necessary to process, store, and transmit credit card information safely.
BigCommerce provides a free shared SSL certificate with all plans. You also have the option to use your own dedicated SSL.
Stores are protected by multiple layers of security features including firewalls, file scanners, and intrusion detection.
If you want to extend the security of your store even further, there are dozens of security apps available in the BigCommerce app store.
Fast loading pages are critical to your ecommerce success. The longer visitors have to wait for your pages to load, the more likely they will be to leave the site without making a purchase.
BigCommerce boasts some of the fastest loading websites among any ecommerce platform. All themes are responsive which allows your pages to load quickly on mobile devices as well as desktops.
The platform also automatically optimizes all images helping to significantly reduce the time it takes for them to load.
What Is BigCommerce Pricing?
Prices are an important part of choosing an ecommerce platform as you want to ensure that you are getting good value.
BigCommerce offers four different plans for their ecommerce platform. Monthly prices for their plans are as follows:
- Standard: $29.95
- Plus: $79.95
- Pro: $299.95
- BigCommerce Enterprise: Custom pricing (starts around $400)
BigCommerce offers a 15-day free trial so you can try the platform out to see if it works for you.
Be aware that each plan comes with sales limits. Below are the limits associated with each plan.
- Standard - $50,000
- Plus - $180,000
- Pro - $400,000
These limits are generous but you’ll still need to keep them in mind.
When comparing the different plans, you’ll find that they all include the following:
- Unlimited storage and bandwidth
- No added transaction fees
- Free SSL
- Fully-responsive websites
- One-page checkout
- Ratings and reviews
- Unlimited products
- Built-in blog module
- POS integration
- Coupons and gift certificates
- Unlimited staff accounts
- Advanced analytics and reports
- Real-time shipping quotes
- Multichannel integration for Amazon, eBay, Facebook, and Google
- 24/7 customer support
With the Plus plan, you’ll get all these features along with:
- The ability to store customer payment information
- Abandoned cart recovery
- Customer segmentation
- Persistent cart
Is BigCommerce Easy to Use?
Ease of use is an important consideration when deciding which ecommerce platform to use to build your online business.
A platform could offer all the features in the world but if using the platform is difficult, it will create many challenges for your business.
BigCommerce comes with a drag and drop builder you can use to build your online store without knowing how to code. While this helps make it easier to design your storefront, the platform has its drawbacks.
Many store owners find that the platform’s interface is harder to use than other solutions. With the abundance of features it can be challenging for new sellers to learn their way around the platform.
BigCommerce Themes, Templates, and Designs
BigCommerce themes are pre-built store designs that you can use to shape the appearance of your online store.
The theme store makes it easy to find the right theme for your ecommerce business. You can search based on industry or other criteria such as layout style or catalog size. Every theme is mobile responsive and automatically reformats your pages to fit mobile devices.
There are 12 free themes available and the rest are premium. The price for premium themes varies quite significantly with most themes costing between $150 and $250.
While there are a dozen free themes, it is important to note that there is limited variation between the themes so they are very similar to each other.
Does BigCommerce Have Apps and Integrations?
Apps and integrations allow you to extend the functionality of your ecommerce store even more by adding new features and connecting other services.
BigCommerce has a large app store with over 800 apps available for you to choose from.
Some of the popular categories for apps include:
- Accounting and tax
- Analytics and reporting
- Catalog and order management
- Customer Service
- Payments and Security
- Shipping and fulfillment
- Sales channels
While BigCommerce’s app store is not as large as Shopify’s, the platform offers more built-in features making fewer apps necessary.
Dropshipping With BigCommerce
Dropshipping is an order fulfillment method that allows merchants to sell products online without storing their own inventory.
Instead of storing products and handling order fulfillment yourself, you simply list your suppliers products on your website. When a customer places an order, you pass the order details on to the supplier who will then ship the items to the customer.
BigCommerce is a great platform for dropshippers as it seamlessly integrates with many popular dropshipping services and suppliers.
With these integrations you can easily find and add products to your store. Depending on the solution you use, you are also able to automate much of the order fulfillment process. This will save you from manually having to place each order with the supplier.
BigCommerce Customer Support
BigCommerce provides excellent customer support to help merchants sell online with confidence. This includes 24/7 support via phone, live chat, and email.
Before you are able to access the contact information to get in touch with customer support, you will be prompted to search for an answer to your question in BigCommerce’s support database.
BigCommerce also provides a help center with an extensive amount of resources including a knowledge base and a Q&A community to answer any questions you may have.
What Are the Alternatives to BigCommerce?
With the rapid expansion of ecommerce, there is no shortage of platforms you can choose to build your online store.
Here are some of the most popular BigCommerce alternatives.
WooCommerce is an ecommerce platform that runs as a plugin for the WordPress content management system (CMS).
The platform is open source and free to use. Because it is open source, WooCommerce offers the potential for unlimited customization.
The main difference between WooCommerce and BigCommerce is ease of use. WooCommerce is much more difficult to use, especially if you don’t have much technical experience.
The platform also doesn’t come with the same level of dedicated customer support as BigCommerce. This makes troubleshooting any issues even more challenging.
BigCommerce’s primary competitor is Shopify. Both of these platforms provide a similar set of features at an almost identical price.
There are a few differences between the two that you’ll want to keep in mind.
To start, Shopify charges additional transaction fees for all orders that are paid using any gateway other than their native processor Shopify Payments.
However, BigCommerce has sales limits for each of their plans (except the Enterprise plan) while Shopify does not.
Shopify offers a 14-day free trial for you to see if the platform is right for you.
We have put together a detailed comparison between BigCommerce and Shopify which you can check out here.
Wix is a popular website builder that has added ecommerce functionality to its platform, enabling users to sell products online.
The platform varies quite significantly from BigCommerce. With Wix, you have access to a much more beginner friendly interface as it is designed to be as easy to use as possible for inexperienced users.
That being said, Wix doesn’t offer the same level of ecommerce features provided by BigCommerce.
If you are a small business looking to create a basic site or if you simply want a platform that is easy to use, Wix could be a solid option for you.
What is BigCommerce?
BigCommerce is an ecommerce platform that allows users to create a website to list and sell products online.
How Much Does BigCommerce Cost?
BigCommerce offers four different plans with the following prices:
- Standard: $29.95
- Plus: $79.95
- Pro: $299.95
- BigCommerce Enterprise: Starts around $400
BigCommerce also has a large app store with many helpful tools that you can purchase to add even more features to your store.
Who is BigCommerce Best For?
BigCommerce is best for merchants looking to sell products on multiple channels. It is also a solid option for those focused heavily on SEO.
Is BigCommerce Better Than Shopify?
BigCommerce is similar to Shopify and both platforms offer a similar level of quality. However, there are a few areas where BigCommerce has the edge over Shopify. Some of the more notable advantages include:
- More built-in features
- No transaction fees
- Better SEO
Shopify does have its advantages including a lack of sales limits, and an interface that is slightly easier to learn your way around.
Is BigCommerce the Same as Big Cartel?
BigCommerce and Big Cartel are not the same. Each is its own ecommerce platform that enables you to list and sell your products online.
BigCommerce Review Summary
With its extensive set of selling features, BigCommerce is one of the best ecommerce platforms available on the market today.
It includes everything you need to create and manage your store, from themes and apps to robust inventory and order management systems.
The design interface may be difficult for some to use. But, if you learn your way around, you’ll benefit from having a single solution offering all the essential features needed to run your ecommerce business.
Here is a quick summary of the pros and cons of BigCommerce:
- It offers the most built-in features of any ecommerce platform
- Strong SEO
- Great multichannel selling capabilities
- No transaction fees
- The platform is highly scalable
- Hundreds of apps available for adding extra features to your store
- Multi Currency support
- Great security and fast loading pages
- Selling limits for each plan
- The platform is a little more difficult to use than some of its competitors
- Limited blogging functionality
- Limited variation in free themes