- Top speed and security
- Social media integration
- App Store with advanced tools
- On-site help (How-tos, tutorials, etc)
- Intuitive and marketing features
- Practical e-commerce tools
- Only 7 free templates
- Limited customer support hours
If you are looking for an online store solution that is an all-rounder, then you need to give BigCommerce a whirl. In a pool of millions of competitors, you do not want to give them an advantage. Which is why choosing the best e-commerce platform for your online store is extremely necessary.
BigCommerce is a one-stop solution for your e-commerce needs. The way the service is designed is to provide you with as many options, speed, security, and functionality as possible. Few of its most appealing features are: extensive control panel with advanced settings, unlimited bandwidth, and no transaction fee. Apart from its special built-in marketing features, it also features servers that can instantly pick up on high traffic incoming – however sudden it may be. Let’s explore these exciting features, and figure out if it’s worth your time and investment.
BigCommerce offers a feature-rich experience for its users and covers almost all bases – even the areas that its competitors usually don’t. Let us discuss these unique features
If you really think about it, an e-commerce website is an online store which has a shopping cart, and lets the shopper pay online. But, that’s the basic way to look at it
Along with responsive templates that are proven to drive more conversions to your store, BigCommerce’s interface features built-in options for you to make your experience more interactive and controlled.
You can keep a check and manage your orders, do inventory, as well as keep an index of your customers. With a straightforward backend, you can add/delete products, create coupon codes, generate discount offers, along with a well-integrated payment and shipping system in place. BigCommerce has everything you can think of already integrated with its interface. Instead of using a third-party app, extension, or plugin, they have even integrated bulk 301 redirects right into their platform.
Right from their control panel, we’re able to use Avalara to automate tax procedures, and for shipping, ShipperHQ and ShipStation are available – amongst many others.
An attractive plus: BigCommerce does not find you on using payment methods outside of a set list – it supports at least a few dozen payment methods.
A few other built-in features:
- Google XML Sitemap
- DNS Records
- Store Logs
- File Access (WebDAV)
- Integration with Alibaba
Built-in Marketing Features
Even though features such as being able to import product SKUs and track the requests for returns are important, it has also become crucial for your online store to bring you more customers. How does it do that? BigCommerce incorporates marketing features right within the interface that have proven to help users reach out to their clients better and quicker. With features like Faceted Search and Abandoned Cart Saver that are specifically devoted to conversion, the BigCommerce platform provides many ways to drive conversions, not only traffic.
It lets the user sync the inventory the social media platforms so that you are able to reach your prospect customer where they are and increase sales. They take pride in their omni-channel commerce, which is extended to Facebook, Pinterest, eBay, Amazon, and Square POS.
If you’re in search for an ecommerce solution that is very lightly priced, you’re not at the right place. But, if your goal is to use a service that is highly competitive with the industry, rich with advanced and premium features, and a hosting you can rely on for growth – BigCommerce will prove to be the best choice.
The monthly plans for Bigcommer begin from $29.95 for a month and go up to $249.95 for a month, there is also an Enterprise plan that lets you customize your own plan with the help of the BigCommerce team.
Regardless of which plan you pick, you are not charged any transaction fee and can have unlimited staff accounts as well as unbound file storage, bandwidth, and products. However, as you go up the package plans, the features increase. And if you choose to buy a plan for the entire year, you get to enjoy a 10% discount.
But, what we found interesting was that BigCommerce requires you to upgrade your plan once your annual sales exceed a certain limit (set differently for each plan). For example, if you are subscribed to the Plus Pro plan ($79.95/mo) and your sales have grown over $150,000 during the past one year, you will need to upgrade and get their Pro plan ($249.95). You only qualify to buy the Enterprise plan once your sales cross $1000,000. The reason behind this unique system is the fact that BigCommerce does not charge any transaction fee, which other ecommerce hosting providers so – in turn take a considerable chunk of profits per sale.
Ease of Use
Since BigCommerce offers a wide range of advanced tools and features for the users, it can take a little while to get accustomed to all these options at your disposal. They have tutorials on the website, that you can access once you have purchased any of their packages – they help you build your own online store quite easily.
Their Client Success team is available to guide you through email support, live chat, phone call, as well as a special feature called “BigCommerce University.”
BigCommerce enables its users to:
- Sell services, not just physical products
- Add/edit/delete unlimited products and manage them according to different filters
- Organize products into specific categories
- Manage and process the received orders along with invoicing – through the control panel
- Keep an eye on the inventory
- Take payments via 60 payment methods from all around the world
- Pick the best customers and reward them with gifts or discounts
The ease of use in BigCommerce’s case is that it takes care of most of the things and the vendor can focus on other aspects of the business.
Hosting, Security, and Backup Options
Once you buy any of the BigCommerce monthly plans, the hosting not only gives you a complete range of services to enhance your online store’s functionality, but also has no limit on bandwidth. You could get millions of visitors per month and BigCommerce will not charge you more than your regular monthly plan’s worth.
Along with that, BigCommerce also ensures that your website’s security upgrades are taken care of, in order to avoid any breaches and being hacked. With its 99.99% uptime, it goes without saying that there is minimum loss of sales due to downtime.
Your ecommerce store will be compliant with Level 1 PCI along with the shopping cart being protected with an SSL certificate – yours and the customer’s sensitive information is safe. It’s a great trust-builder with customers.
Automatic backup is another attractive feature that BigCommerce offer with their monthly plans – you don’t have to keep reminders and have the fear of losing data accidentally. The great news is that all these features come with all tiers of packages from the company and are not reserved for the higher priced plans.
BigCommerce App Store
There is an extensive range of Apps that you can add to your online shop. Yes, these aren’t apps for your use – they’re available for you to add more features to your website. Some are free (like extensions), and the others cost, but should you choose to add them to your store, they enhance the functionality of your store while automating more processes.
For example, by purchasing one of the apps, you can add a live chat function to your online store where the customers will be able to get answers to their usual queries. Or add review widgets so that people can view what your previous customers have to say about their experience with your store and rate your products. You can decide whether or not to add apps to your store.
While you do have control over adding these apps, it is important to point out here that many of the apps enhance your website’s marketing power and automate many mundane procedures – leaving you more time on your hands to create more products.
Template Design Options
It’s no secret that having an attractive theme for your website can really help you gain trust and credibility in front of your customers. BigCommerce offers 7 free and 76 paid templates for their users to play around with. You can pick a template that suits your business and the image you want to create for it. The paid templates range from $145 to $235 each, but most of them cost around $170 to $195.
The ratio of free versus paid templates is huge, and that is a bit of a drawback for some people. There is very little room to find your own style among only 7 templates, and a paid template might end up costing you more than the BigCommerce hosting plan you bought.
To prove to be more competitive with other solutions, in spite of being feature-rich, BigCommerce must come up with more free templates or at least charge them a little less for users to be able to afford them along with their plans. However, what you can do is hire a design expert and have him or her design the store for you – BigCommerce does not have limitations when it comes to letting you modify HTML and CSS codes.
When it comes to customer support, BigCommerce leaves no page unturned. They have all kinds of support that you can imagine – available on their website. If you’re one of those who require researching things on your own and becoming well acquainted with the services you are about to opt for, then BigCommerce is it.
Once you sign up, you can access help via live chat, phone call, e-mails, as well as a forum where other users discuss their queries with one another. The most appealing part of their customer support is the BigCommerce University, an informative series of videos that help you build your site to bring maximum sales.
If you’re in search for an ecommerce solution that takes care of all the processes without a hassle, comes with tons of advanced built-in features, comes with a guide for every step of the way, the BigCommerce is a good option for you. It is also a great choice for small to medium sized businesses as they don’t charge extra for different things, and as long as your sales don’t exceed a specific number, you are not required to upgrade to a bigger, more costly plan.
The only downside here is that the packages are priced at a higher amount, and even though the features make the cost worth it, the lack of free templates, does come in the way.
But, you cannot overlook the built-in marketing features – you would have to spend more money on buying it as a separate service, but BigCommerce integrates everything that you’ll need from your online store in one place.