All-around e-Commerce Website Builder
Big Commerce Overview
BigCommerce is an all-around online store builder popular among retailers seeking a balance between costs and the ease of use. The platform supports over 70,000 online stores worldwide including United States, Australia, Great Britain, Canada, Hong Kong, Brazil, Netherlands and other countries.
BigCommerce Full Review
BigCommerce is an eCommerce website builder that is easy to set up, requires no coding, is SEO ready and does not charge random fees. In a nutshell, BigCommerce is an online e-commerce platform that can have you up and running in a matter of minutes. With BigCommerce you do not need to hire developers, coders or anyone else. Using their user friendly set up wizard you will be able to do everything within minutes and this will save you a lot of time and money.
The company was founded in 2010 and has locations in Texas and Australia. Bigcommerce now hosts over 70,000 online stores worldwide. Because of its versatile features, smooth usability, and inexpensive pricing many ecommerce experts and developers feature Bigcommerce as the best online store builder. Many of the store owners who run their website on BigCommerce have tremendous success getting their products in front of online shoppers. Their development team constantly rolls out new features that are aimed at improving the software.
Bigcommerce enables users to create a fully functional store within minutes of signing up. With dozens of templates, several design tools, and the availability to use additional services provided by their partner community creating an online store and taking it to success has never been easier.
Ease of Setup and Use
As with most other hosted ecommerce website builders, there is no need to purchase web hosting for your store. Your store is hosted on their reliable and secure servers. Things like your domain name, logo, and favicon can easily be adjusted on the admin dashboard.
The user-friendly admin panel is ideal for users of all backgrounds. It allows for quick and simple product importing, marketing your store using several promotional tools, and adjusting the store layout. Additionally, there are extra applications and tools available for further store enhancement.
Their ecommerce software is great for newcomers, but also for experienced users and developers. Newcomers can take advantage of their simple design tools and customization whereas experienced users can dive into behind the scenes coding to create something original.
After signing up for a free trial (no credit card required) and going through the simple store setup wizard, you will land on their user-friendly admin panel (see image below). The admin panel is where all of the store tasks are completed, so you want to make sure it is user-friendly.
Today there are more options than ever to choose from when it comes to building your online store. In this variety of options one thing is obvious – Bigcommerce is not only user-friendly but also a feature-rich e-commerce website builder capable of running a business in any industry or niche.
With Bigcommerce, users get an e-commerce website with a fully functional shopping cart, over 100 templates, a blogging platform, enhanced marketing tools, and options for optimizing your online store. In other words, one has everything needed to build and maintain a successful online store without breaking budget.
Additionally, store owners can enable product reviews, single-page checkout, and detailed product images. Alternatively, you can switch to a multi-page checkout format.
Migration to BigCommerce is easy even if you have thousands of products. All stores are given a free URL on a subdomain of their original website that looks like yourstore.bigcommerce.com so you can start building your new store without switching a domain name long before the actual migration takes place. You also don’t have to worry that your store becomes dysfunctional if your domain name expires.
In addition, the shopping cart enables store owners to sell physical products, downloads, services, and events. You have no limitations on what you can sell, as long as it is legal.
What also sets Bigcommerce apart from many of its competitors is that the company listens to customer requests and enables their developers to implement software improvements and user requested features on a continuous basis.
Some of the features added over the last few years include:
- Users can now create and manage a blog using their built-in blogging platform (no need for third-party blogging platforms).
- All online stores are eligible to set up and participate in Google Customer Reviews program.
- Achieve marketing goals with necessary marketing tools.
- Free and paid responsive store themes.
- Set up payment methods, configure shipping, and install third-party applications with a single click.
- Convert your Bigcommerce store into a mobile application using 3rd party apps.
Getting Started with Bigcommerce
Once you have the free trial out of the way, it is time to start building and configuring your online store. Those who are unfamiliar with how the process works are encouraged to follow their step-by-step quick launch wizard that will guide you through several configuration steps.
Naturally, your online store is hosted on the Bigcommerce servers and you are given a free subdomain that looks something like storename.bigcommerce.com.
In order to have a trusted online store you need to set up a top-level domain name. Bigcommerce gives you the ability to purchase a new domain through the admin dashboard, or pointing the store to an outside domain name that you may already own. Purchasing a domain name through Bigcommerce is probably the easier of the two options.
Adding Products and Pages
Products can be added from scratch or imported from another source. Using the main menu found on the admin dashboard, one can easily navigate to “Add a Product” page and start adding products. There is a ton of options for creating product descriptions; including the simple WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) editor.
For the ones that have their products stored in a CSV file, you can easily import the products using the Bigcommerce admin panel. Unfortunately, one cannot preview a product before publishing it to the store.
If you plan on starting a dropshipping business you can source products from Inventory Source and Aliexpress in no time with available 3rd party integrations.
Having the ability to create additional pages is a must. Bigcommerce enables users to create unlimited pages to their stores. When creating pages, you have full control over all of the options, including content and search engine optimization. As with adding products, users add additional pages from the admin dashboard.
Configuring Shipping, Taxes, and Payments
A solid shopping cart must have simple shipping, tax, and payment configuration. Thankfully, the Bigcommerce shopping cart has everything needed to properly configure these options.
Users can create several shipping options – including offering free shipping, product specific rates, shipping based on weight or location, local pickup, and pickup at store. FedEx, UPS, and USPS are among some of the shipping providers that are integrated within the shopping cart. Additionally, users can configure real-time shipping rates.
In addition, Bigcommerce has flexible tax configurations. Users can create product specific tax options, tax on specific locations and addresses, custom tax rates, and even charge tax on gift wrapping.
Configuring payments is a breeze. Some of the most popular payment methods are fully integrated and supported by Bigcommerce. Payment options include PayPal, Apple Pay, Stripe, Square, Authorize.net, checks, money orders, and others. Users can also choose between the single-page and the multi-page checkout layout.
Themes & Design
When designing their online stores, Bigcommerce users can choose from over 100 free themes and several design options. Their huge theme selection has the right look for any type of online store.
Additionally, you have access to the theme’s coding structure, along with a drag-n-drop editor that enables you to manipulate the layout of the store.
Alternatively, there are several premium themes available starting at $195, along with the ability to hire a designer from their Partner Directory to setup a custom store for you.
All themes, including the newly released Stencil themes, are responsive. Responsive themes ensure that customers accessing the store using a tablet or mobile device get a friendly and comprehensive view of your online store.
Users of the older “Blueprint” Bigcommerce themes can also easily enable mobile compatibility of their stores by going to Storefront › Mobile Theme Settings and enabling a check box.
Additionally, Bigcommerce has a neat live preview option that shows the look and feel of your online store. Users can also make changes in real-time – if necessary.
Integrations, Apps & Extras
While Bigcommerce has a wide range of built in features and tools, third party applications are something good to have available. The App Store features hundreds of apps, each one capable of improving your online store.
Their App Store can be accessed directly from your control panel. These applications focus on accounting, analytics, marketing, and other vital for online business functions.
While there are free apps, some applications require a one-time payment or monthly subscription fee.
Marketing tools are vital for all online businesses, especially newly launched stores. Selling products online without a marketing strategy is like buying a TV without any money. Fortunately, Bigcommerce provides just about every marketing tool needed to market your store and products.
Promotions and Coupons
Store owners can easily enable coupons, expiring promotions, and gift certificates. Promotions and coupons are just one of the marketing tools.
In addition, users can set up free shipping options, product discounts, and rule-based pricing. All of these promotions can be configured from the admin dashboard. These incentives and promotions can boost revenue and attract potential customers.
Users have the ability to sync customer emails with the email marketing list of their choice. Also, integrations with some of the popular email marketing services can be found in the App Store.
Configuring email marketing is simple and is done on the admin dashboard. Literally, the entire configuration process takes about 30 seconds.
Abandoned Cart Saver
Plus, Pro, and Enterprise packages include the popular Abandoned Cart Saver. Essentially, this tool tracks customers that abandon their carts and sends them a series of customizable emails.
On average, this tool converts about 15% of abandoned carts into sales. With about 70% of online shoppers abandoning their carts, this tool can come in handy.
SEO & Analytics
The shopping cart was built to be an SEO friendly piece of software. Bigcommerce enables users to add title and header tags, custom page URLs, keywords, and meta-descriptions. Additionally, the website builder is designed to give you a complete overview of powerful analytics tools.
These analytics tools give you an overview of store visitors, sales, conversion rates, and best sellers. Thankfully, Bigcommerce is able to integrate with Google Analytics for advanced tracking.
Sell on Facebook, eBay, Pinterest and Amazon
Selling products on a traditional online store is good and dandy, but taking your products to Facebook, eBay, and Amazon increases exposure and revenue. Today, Facebook is the dominant leader in social networking, eBay is the number one auction site, and Amazon is the top online retail store. Best thing is that you do not have to spend countless hours setting up a Facebook and eBay store. Your products are easily synced to Facebook, eBay, Amazon and Pinterest.
Social Media and Blogging
It is not a secret, social media will continue thriving. Establishing dominant social media profiles will increase your exposure and build up the reputation of your store. Bigcommerce has integrated social media sharing buttons on all of their themes. When clicked, these buttons share and recommend your store and products on popular social media sites.
Bigcommerce Hosting Performance
Since you do not need to purchase a separate hosting account for an online store, the shopping cart must have reliable hosting servers and performance. Fortunately, Bigcommerce has you covered. Their servers will keep the store running smoothly and efficiently, each and every day.
Having the ability to seek help is vital to the success of your online business, especially during the initial setup. Thankfully, Bigcommerce does an excellent job in providing with help features that are clear and easily attainable.
The admin panel is the place to access an array of help options such as commonly asked questions, telephone support, email support, and the ability to live chat with a Bigcommerce support representative.
Their support team is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week in most areas.
Bigcommerce is offering three monthly plans, ranging from $29.95 to $249.95. The standard plan starts at only $29.95 a month (unlimited storage, loyalty marketing and no transaction fees). The Plus plan packed with marketing tools to increase conversions is available at $79.95 per month. An Enterprise package is available for larger stores. The pricing options are set up to attract a wide range of online stores and budgets. Additionally, the plan structuring is set up so that users can easily upgrade or downgrade, if needed.
All Bigcommerce packages include unlimited products and bandwidth. In addition, users can receive a 10% discount on annual prepayments on Plus and Pro plans.
There are no transaction fees on any of the plans, and on top of that BigCommerce partnered with PayPal to offer preferred rates for Plus, Pro and Enterprise users on transactions made via PayPal.
When compared to closest competitors, it may seem that Bigcommerce plans are slightly more expensive. However, the competitors compensate this difference with bandwidth outage charges and transaction fees if you do not use their credit card processing service that both go far beyond of what a BigCommerce user would pay on a month-to-month basis. So in the long run, Bigcommerce ends up being a lot cheaper due to unlimited products and bandwidth.
If you are paying on a month-to-month basis, the service can be cancelled or put on hold at any time.
Due to the nature of the ecommerce business, free trials are vital for users that want to test out the software. Fortunately, Bigcommerce offers a fully functional 15 day free trial without any commitments and a credit card is not required.
On top of the free trial, a simple store launch wizard guides users through several steps that should be completed before making the store public. Alternatively, these steps are optional and can be skipped.
To be able to make the store visible to the public, you have to upgrade the free trial to one of their paid plans.
The Bottom Line
It is fair to say that Bigcommerce is one of the best hosted ecommerce website builders available in the industry. The online store is packed with solid features, has a fantastic support team, and comes at an inexpensive cost. In addition, it is easy to use and ready out of the box.
To finish up this review, we highly recommend Bigcommerce to users of all backgrounds and budgets.
- Bigcommerce has the ability to be up and running within minutes.
- User-friendly admin dashboard and navigation.
- Import products with ease.
- Tons of growth potential with unlimited bandwidth on all packages.
- Reasonable package pricing starting at a low $29.95/mo.
- 10% discount on annual prepayments.
- A 15-day free trial allows you to get the hang of Bigcommerce before committing to one of their packages.
- Point-and-click style customization with live preview
- Advanced template changes may require basic HTML and CSS knowledge.
BigCommerce Facts and Numbers
- Over 70,000 stores worldwide
- About 30,000 stores in the US