BigCommerce Review

An ecommerce platform worthy of your business

4 stars

A very good ecommerce platform

BigCommerce is one of the best ecommerce platforms on the market. It supports a wide variety of sales channels, includes loads of well-optimized online storefront features, and it’s competitively priced to boot.

4 stars

A very good ecommerce platform

Website Features

4 stars

Sales Features

4 stars

Ease of Use

3 stars

Help and Support

3 stars

Value for Money

4 stars
Get started with BigCommerce

Pros

  • Supports lots of sales channels
  • Lots of features built-in
  • No transaction fees

Cons

  • Limited choice of website themes
  • Restrictive storefront editor
  • Places a cap on the value of sales you can make

In this review:

What is BigCommerce?

BigCommerce is an ecommerce platform with which you can construct and manage an online store, as well as manage sales from different channels – social media sites, Amazon and eBay, for example.

It’s well regarded in the ecommerce space and boasts a client base of over 50,000 companies. This includes some big brands, such as Toyota and Ben & Jerry’s. However, it has some serious competitors, including Shopify.

BigCommerce makes some big claims about the benefits it can bring your business – in fact, it claims its clients experience up to 28% annual growth. This growth is thanks to “the best responsive ecommerce templates” and “best-in-class marketing and conversion tools.”

But on paper, it seems very similar to its rivals. So what sets BigCommerce apart? And can it live up to its own hype?

BigCommerce: The Good

BigCommerce scores an impressive 4 stars in our rigorous user testing, and as you’d expect, it has plenty of great features.

Detail

BigCommerce doesn’t scrimp when it comes to the details of running an online store. While you only need to provide the name, price and weight of a product when adding it to your store, there are a host of other options to choose. These options span everything from bulk buying discounts to individual product SEO options, to where each product is stored in your warehouse.

This level of detail is consistent across the platform, and while it might seem like a hassle at first, the more you utilize this opportunity for detail, the more you’ll get out of BigCommerce. It also helps make BigCommerce a platform which can elegantly scale with your business.

Built-in features

BigCommerce is probably the most fully-featured ecommerce platform out-of-the-box. You’ll find features such as product reviews and coupon codes ready to go – by contrast, with some rivals, you’d have seek out and install an app yourself to get these features.

Moreover, BigCommerce comes with several sales channels set up and ready to go, including Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest. While it’s not exactly plug-and-play, thanks to its focus on detail, you’ll spend far less time searching around to find the features you need.

Multi-channel integration

One of BigCommerce’s most impressive features is the way it manages to integrate a wide range of sales channels into its platform.

We’ve already mentioned its integration with social media platforms. But, it’ll also accommodate sales from Amazon and eBay along with real world sales.

What’s more, you’ll be able to use any payment service you want – ideal if your business is already up-and-running.

No transaction fees

That’s right, if you sell a product on BigCommerce, the platform won’t take a cut.

This means that you won’t find any nasty surprises on your monthly bill.

If you sell a product on BigCommerce, the platform won’t take a cut.

On paper, this doesn’t sound like a big deal, but rivals – including Shopify – will charge a transaction fee regardless of how much you pay every month.

You’re also free to use any payment system, which is ideal if you’re setting up a site for a pre-existing business.

It’s not all good news, though, as BigCommerce will limit the value of annual online sales you can make. For example, on its cheapest plan, you’ll be limited to $50k in sales.

Apps

Along with its impressive roster of built-in features, BigCommerce also has a sizable app store. Offering over 600 apps, you’ll be able to find everything from accounting platforms such as Quickbooks to live chat sales support.

So, should you find BigCommerce lacking in one critical area, it’s likely that as Apple adverts used to say, “there’s an app for that”.

Get Your Business Online With BigCommerce

BigCommerce: The Not-So-Good

While BigCommerce is a great tool for getting your business online and absolutely nails its ecommerce functions, it does have a few drawbacks which prevent it from being the absolute best on the market.

Lack of Themes

One of BigCommerce’s biggest oversights is its lack of themes. These themes determine the overall style and design of your site, and as such, are an integral point of contact between the customer and your business.

BigCommerce only offers seven free themes and 119 paid-for themes, you can upload custom themes, but these will need to be coded manually to work. Its big rival Shopify, by contrast, has 22 free themes and 198 paid-for themes, and you can upload custom themes as well.

Limited Storefront Editor

If we’re honest, BigCommerce’s storefront editing tools are a bit limited.

While ecommerce platforms such as BigCommerce aren’t designed to be the last word in website design, it remains one of the most important aspects of your customers’ experience.

Once you’ve picked the theme for your site, you’ll be able to change font colors and sizes, for example, but nothing in terms of layout. Shopify, on the other hand, will allow to you add or remove elements from your website with ease.

Help and Support

When you first create your site, BigCommerce offers a nifty little tutorial showing you around the key functions of the site. However, once you’ve moved beyond initial setup, some of the help and support functions are a bit lacking.

For example, its knowledge base lacks depth compared to Shopify. And, during our review period we had difficulty access the help and support pages from the main dashboard, and we often received HTTP 414 errors, which occur when a URL is too long for the browser.

BigCommerce Pricing

BigCommerce offers three pricing plans, along with a 14-day free trial and the option for custom pricing plans for big companies.

You won’t be able to sell products during the free trial, as your site remains password protected until you sign up for a full plan.

Standard

This is BigCommerce’s cheapest plan, costing $29.95 per month. As we mentioned above, there are no nasty surprises in store with transaction fees, and you won’t miss out on any features that could significantly hamper your ability to sell.

You’ll get real time shipping quotes, access to coupons, discounts and gift cards, and support for loads of different sales channels, including in-person point of sale. There is, however, a $50k cap on online sales per year.

If you’re starting out selling products online, then the Standard plan should be perfectly sufficient.

Plus

The Plus plan costs $50 per month more than the Standard plan, and feels like a transition plan between stores that are just starting out and established businesses with a strong online presence.

The sales cap is lifted to $150k per year, and you’ll get access to abandoned cart savers that can help you recover potentially lost sales). You’ll also be able to segment your customer base, creating unique customer groups or loyalty programs.

Pro

The most expensive Shopify plan with a fixed price, the Pro plan costs $249.95 per month. That’s a lot to part with, but this plan is designed for businesses already making lots of money.

For the significant price hike, you’ll be able to use a custom SSL certificate (basically the type of security your site uses), be eligible for Google Customer Reviews, and allow users to search within specific product types on your site.

What’s more, the pesky sales cap is lifted to $400k per year.

Enterprise

This is the plan reserved for the biggest businesses on BigCommerce. If that could be you, you’ll need to call up to get a quote specifically for your business needs.

BigCommerce: The Verdict

BigCommerce is a fantastic ecommerce platform.

It excels in its core function: Helping businesses sell products online and in real life. Sign up for a 14-day trial and you’ll find a platform that combines incredible depth with scalability.

It also comes with loads of features built-in. This is great for helping you save time and hassle, and it ensures that these functions will always work seamlessly with your site. However, it’s not all perfect: the site design isn’t the best, and the help and support options leave a little to be desired.

But, if a capable and dependable multi-channel ecommerce platform is what you’re after, you could do a lot, lot worse than BigCommerce.

Make The Next Step For Your Business With BigCommerce