No one can dispute that the internet has completely changed the way businesses operate. Companies have had to find ways to sell their products and services online to keep up with the competition. This has led to an increase in the number of eCommerce platforms available. One of the most popular is BigCommerce.
So, what is it, and should your business use it?
In this article, we’ll give you an overview of what BigCommerce is, and we’ll help you decide if it’s the right platform for you.
What is BigCommerce?
BigCommerce is a highly customizable, premium hosted ecommerce solution that allows you to sell just about any product imaginable. You can sell anything from custom products like wedding dresses to your own line of products or even services.
Unlike other ecommerce platforms, it is marketed as a SaaS (Software-as-a-Service). It doesn’t require you to purchase web hosting or install software on your computer. You pay a monthly subscription fee to use it.
The platform comes with various customizable templates to help you create and design your online store.
We’ve discussed more the basics of BigCommerce in our previous post, BigCommerce: The Fastest Growing Ecommerce Platform. We encourage you to read that first, then return to this page afterward.
Features: What Can You Do with BigCommerce?
The features you get from BigCommerce depend on the plan you choose; however, several elements are common to all plans. These include:
- 12 free templates
- drag-and-drop page builder
- blogging functionality
- discount coupons and gift vouchers
- integration with a library of third-party apps
- Paypal integration and a wide range of other payment gateways
- product review functionality
- professional reporting
- search engine optimization (SEO) tools
- ability to sell an unlimited number of physical or digital goods in categories of your choosing and using shipping rates of your choosing
- ability to tweak CSS and HTML
- unlimited staff accounts
When it comes to online store builders, BigCommerce’s feature set is pretty unusual — most similar online store builders require you to upgrade to more costly plans or install paid-for apps to access some of the capabilities mentioned earlier.
At its basic level monthly plan price point ($29.95 per month), BigCommerce arguably delivers far more bang for the buck than many competing products.
However, if having access to the more powerful additional features is important to you, you’d have to pay extra.
Let’s take a closer look at the differences between each BigCommerce plan.
BigCommerce Plans and their Differences
As you might guess, the number of functionalities you get from BigCommerce depends on how much you’re willing to pay. Each plan has its distinct set of features.
The standard plan costs $29.95, comparable to the entry-level ecommerce plans from Shopify, Volusion, Wix, and Squarespace.
BigCommerce out outperforms its competition with a more comprehensive starter tier which includes:
- AMP (accelerated mobile pages) functionality
- gift cards and discount codes
- multi-currency selling
- point of sale (POS) functionality
- product reviews and ratings functionality
- professional reporting
- real-time shipping quotations
- standalone online store
- unlimited number of products
- unlimited bandwidth and storage
- unlimited staff accounts
This is a lot of bang for your buck because BigCommerce’s basic plan includes almost all the important components of an online store, which isn’t usually the case with rival products’ entry-level plans.
Notably, the BigCommerce Standard plan allows you to sell in several currencies, with automatic currency conversion – this is a rather unique feature.
In addition to the functionalities included on the regular plan, you’ll get the following:
- persistent cart tool (this saves products to a customer’s cart regardless of the device used)
- abandoned cart saver tool
- customer grouping or segmentation.
- stored credit cards details for your regular customer
Customer grouping, the third function listed above, allows you to break customers into distinct categories so that you can reward them differently based on their activity and purchases. This feature could be used to create a loyalty program, for example.
BigCommerce Plus has a $180,000 yearly sales limit like the standard plan.
We believe this plan offers the best value because it gives you access to tools like an abandoned cart saver (important!), credit card storing, and persistent cart that will help you sell more. These features will quickly pay for themselves as long as your site has a reasonable number of visitors.
You don’t get a massive amount of functionality with this plan than with BigCommerce Plus, but you do get a much higher sales limit.
This allows for online sales of up to $400,000, with a monthly cost of $150 for every $200,000.
An extra feature worth mentioning on this plan is Google Customer Reviews, a service that lets you collect and publish comments from users who’ve purchased from your online store.
If you’ve enabled Google Customer Reviews, customers who purchase a product from your BigCommerce store will be asked if they’d like to leave a review on Google- after it’s been delivered.
Advanced product filtering and custom SSL via a third party are two more key features of this plan.
As the name implies, this plan is geared towards corporate users with high sales volumes (usually above $1,000,000) and advanced selling requirements.
The following features are included on the ‘Enterprise’ plan but not on the lesser plans:
- BigCommerce consulting and account management.
- price lists (you can create pricing rules based on customer groups. Different groups of customers see different product prices depending on how you segmented them)
- priority support (including API support)
- unlimited API calls
Since the pricing for this plan isn’t fixed, you’ll need to contact their sales team to get a custom quote.
The costs will vary depending on your business needs, but BigCommerce claims they’re less expensive than Shopify’s enterprise-grade plan called ‘Shopify Plus,’ which costs around $2,000 per month.
Transaction Fees and Sales Limits
Many potential BigCommerce users ask, “How much cut of my sales are they going to take?”
The good news is no transaction fees are charged on any BigCommerce plan. In comparison to its main competitors, this is a significant difference.
You must, however, pay the company you choose to accept payments for credit card processing costs. These will be determined by the payment gateway you choose.
The bad news is that, as previously stated, BigCommerce limits your yearly online sales. These limits are as follows:
- BigCommerce Standard: $50,000
- BigCommerce Plus: $180,000
- BigCommerce Pro: $400,000
- BigCommerce Enterprise: negotiable.
If you breach your plan’s limit, BigCommerce allows an additional 1,000 to 2,000 order limit per plan that users can exceed before being forced to upgrade.
Users will receive notifications about upgrading their plan if they reach the limit during this period.
Thankfully, BigCommerce will not block subsequent orders until users surpass the extra 1,000-2,000 overage order that has been issued.
Ease of Use: How Easy Is It to Set Up and Use?
BigCommerce’s user interface is user-friendly and straightforward in general; it’s comparable in quality and looks to Shopify’s and Squarespace’s.
It’s not unlike a WordPress dashboard, and anyone familiar with a modern content management system (CMS) should find it straightforward to use.
However, there is room for improvement in terms of content and layout.
Despite the addition of a page builder, altering the layout of a BigCommerce page is not as simple as it should be. Some parts are difficult to remove or hide, and changing fonts is not as easy as it should be- the default range provided with the free templates is limited.
Customer Service: What Kind of Customer Service Does BigCommerce Offer?
When you sign up for a BigCommerce free trial, you’ll receive a series of emails and resources to assist you with the ‘onboarding’ process.
BigCommerce offers 24-hour ‘live agent’ customer service to individuals who have purchased a BigCommerce plan via phone, email, or chat.
The good news is that phone assistance is accessible for a wide range of countries — and if yours isn’t mentioned, you can contact a helpful ‘all other countries’ number.
Finally, a note on the languages available for customer service: it is now offered in English, Dutch, French, German, Italian, and Spanish.
BigCommerce Review Conclusion
BigCommerce is one of the most feature-packed hosted online store builders in the market, and its entry-level plan offers much more ‘bang for the buck than many rival offerings.
On the SEO front, it’s robust, with AMP capabilities and automated image optimization tools included right out of the box.
Its multi-currency selling capabilities are also excellent — and one of the most compelling reasons to choose this product over a competitor.
Grow Your Online Store by Having a BigCommerce Specialist on Your Team
BigCommerce is an excellent platform for launching your eCommerce site. It provides a wide range of features and capabilities that can help you create a successful online store.
But choosing the right BigCommerce SaaS development specialist to build your eCommerce store is all about striking the right balance between a slew of variables. There is no silver bullet, but given the intricacies of BigCommerce development, there is always a candidate that best meets your needs.
Jarvis is a world leader in eCommerce recruitment and SaaS recruitment .
We have successfully sourced and placed full-time and contract professionals with BigCommerce retailers and service providers for a wide variety of clients, from start-ups to megastores in all industries.
Ready to supercharge your eCommerce presence with the help of BigCommerce development experts?