BigCommerce is a top ecommerce platform which allows you to create an online store. It lets you set up your store, add products, and make money through your website.
But that’s not all. BigCommerce is a specialized ecommerce builder, meaning it’s designed to help you sell online. With tons of built-in features, data tools, and more, BigCommerce is best for large or fast-growing businesses. You won’t outgrow this platform anytime soon!
BigCommerce’s clients include big brand names like Toyota, Kodak, and Ben & Jerry’s. For small businesses looking to scale up, BigCommerce boasts an impressive average growth of 28% for its clients year on year.
This isn’t just hype. Here at Website Builder Expert, we carry out thorough research on all the builders we review. We put each one through hours of rigorous user testing and scoring. We compare, analyse and dig deep into every builder’s features, pricing, design flexibility, customer support, and sales tools.
BigCommerce was no exception: we put the platform through its paces, and it came a solid third overall out of all the ecommerce builders we tested (beaten only by Shopify and Wix). BigCommerce was also number one for website features, and was only behind Shopify when it came to sales features.
Could BigCommerce be the perfect ecommerce builder for you? Find out as we shine a spotlight on the quality of its features, ease of use, template designs, and more. Time is money, so let’s get started!
How Easy is BigCommerce to Use?
As a business owner, you want to spend as much time as possible looking after your customers, shipping products, and watching your profits go up; you don’t want to spend precious hours trying to reformat a text box. That’s why ease of use is so important, and why we research it so thoroughly.
So how did BigCommerce do in our ease of use testing? To be honest, it was fairly average. BigCommerce scored 3.7/5 stars for ease of use, with people finding it 14% more difficult to use than Shopify.
The main reason people struggled with BigCommerce was its design interface. When you’re creating your store, it’s split between two areas. One is where you add products and manage the “behind the scenes” parts of your store – for example, discounts and shipping – while the other is where you edit your storefront.
To combat this, we recommend setting up the inventory section of your store first. Upload all your products, add items such as discounts, then go to the storefront editor to personalize your storefront.
The good news is, BigCommerce has recently released a new and exciting feature to make designing your store easier than ever! The new visual merchandising tool is called Store Design, and means you can see the effects of your edits. This new feature makes BigCommerce much more customizable.
One thing that remains a consistent problem with BigCommerce is its terminology. It’s very complex, and this makes it unsuitable for beginners. You need to be familiar with the technical terms, or else you could waste lots of time just figuring out what they mean – which, let’s face it, is a lot less fun than actually building your store.
BigCommerce is an ecommerce builder designed to carry stores into big business. Think of it like a jumbo jet: it’s got all the powerful tools necessary to take your online store on a long-haul flight, without you having to change planes halfway through. However, you won’t be able to fly it straight after passing your pilot’s exam!
With great power comes great complexity, and BigCommerce isn’t ideal for anyone who’s not tech savvy. However, the recent release of the Store Design tool is a great step. It shows BigCommerce is listening to its users’ feedback, and is making its builder easier to use.
BigCommerce Sales Tools and Features
So what are these amazing features we keep going on about?
BigCommerce has the best in-house features of any ecommerce builder. These provide a high level of quality and reduce the reliance you may have on third party apps. You effectively have everything you need right at your fingertips, and for no extra cost.
BigCommerce is the only ecommerce builder on the market which lets you sell physical, digital, and service-based products without having to use an app. All of these sales types are already built into the editor. This means less hassle and less cost, because you don’t have to worry about using third party apps.
Once you’ve got all your products set up and ready to sell like hot cakes, you need a way to get paid! Unlike some other ecommerce builders, BigCommerce doesn’t lock you into its own payment gateway. Better still, it doesn’t impose transaction fees on any of its plans.
Instead, it lets you choose your own provider without imposing any extra charges or transaction fees. The only fees are the usual credit charge applied by your chosen payment gateway (the average credit card charge is 2.2% + 30¢).
BigCommerce provides a large choice of payment gateways, serving over 100 countries. It doesn’t add any transaction fees, either.
You’ve got over 40 integrated payment gateways to choose from. With one-click setup, mobile payments, and multiple currencies supported, BigCommerce does its best to get you paid fast. Payment providers include:
- Apple Pay
- Amazon Pay
To help you succeed, BigCommerce has built relationships with payment providers to reduce your costs. For example, all BigCommerce plans have no transaction fees, and come with pre-negotiated rates for PayPal. The longer you stay with BigCommerce and upgrade through its price plans, the lower your rates will go – in fact, they can drop from 2.9% all the way down to 2.2%, or sometimes even lower!
BigCommerce has the largest amount of built-in features of any ecommerce builder. This includes the all-important SSL Security certificate, which encrypts user data to make online payments safe.
Abandoned Cart Recovery
Almost as important as an SSL certificate is the option for abandoned cart recovery. When a customer enters their email and then abandons their products in the shopping cart at checkout, you can send an automated email to draw them back to their purchase. You can even personalize the emails and include discount codes.
This is a real money saver! On average, these emails win back 12-15% of customers, while personalized emails are six times more effective than regular ones.
Reaching customers has never been so easy. With BigCommerce, you can “sell everywhere” using multichannel integrations. Put simply, you can sell through Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, eBay, Amazon, and more. Manage everything from one place, sit back, and watch the sales roll in from all across the web.
Keep track of all those sales using BigCommerce’s data reporting tools. Identify customer trends, track your store’s performance, follow your conversion rates, and more – all from your dashboard!
These are just a few of the essential features BigCommerce has. If you do want to expand your site beyond these functions, you can – you’ve still got over 600 apps to choose from in the BigCommerce app store.
BigCommerce has a much more limited app store than its competitors. But that’s only because it has so many impressive in-house features already! You just don’t need as many apps as you would with Shopify, for example. This keeps costs lower, because you don’t have to pay out for third party add-ons every month.
How Good are BigCommerce’s Template Designs?
Your online store needs all the latest sales tools to stay ahead of the competition. But when it comes to standing out from the crowd, the first thing your visitors will notice is your website’s design.
BigCommerce has over 100 themes on offer. There are seven free themes and over 100 paid themes, which range from $145-235. That’s a lot of themes to choose from!
Luckily, BigCommerce makes it really easy to find your perfect theme. You can search by industry, or by the layout you want for your template. For example you can choose from grid layouts or designs featuring large images. You can also view just free or paid themes, or use the search bar to find tailored results.
Themes really vary depending on the industry they are categorized under. For example, themes in the ‘Clothing’ category have a product zoom feature, while other categories don’t include this. So it’s worth having a proper search to find a theme that best fits your store’s needs.
BigCommerce has over 100 templates which you can browse by industry, collections, free or paid themes, as well as using the search bar.
You can preview a theme before you select it, which is a really useful option. If you do pick a theme and then change your mind, don’t worry! You can switch your template any time you like.
All BigCommerce themes are fully mobile responsive. You can’t edit the mobile view, because the theme automatically reformats to fit mobile screens. This means you don’t have to spend a second worrying about losing out on mobile shoppers. With over 50% of traffic coming from mobile devices, this is an essential feature to have
The real question is, how customizable are BigCommerce’s themes? It’s a question with an exciting answer.
BigCommerce recently released a new visual merchandising tool, called Store Design. Whereas before you had to customize your storefront in two separate areas and wait to see the results, this tool changes everything!
BigCommerce’s Store Design tool gives you an extra menu where you can select areas of your page to customize, from background colors to logo size and position.
The Store Design tool allows you to pick out sections of your page and customize them there and then, right in front of you. This gives you instant control over everything from background colors to logo positions, number of featured products, navigation arrow colors, and more.
This new tool brings a much higher level of customization to BigCommerce’s themes than ever before.
BigCommerce Pricing – is it Good Value for Money?
Everyone knows you have to spend money to make money. But just how much do you have to spend with BigCommerce?
BigCommerce has four pricing plans:
- the Standard plan is the cheapest at $29.95 per month (billed annually).
- the most popular is the $71.95 per month Plus plan
- the Pro plan will cost you $224.95 per month and provides even more scalable features
- the Enterprise plan is the most advanced, and has custom pricing
There is a 15-day free trial, and you can even request a demo to see how BigCommerce can benefit your online store.
So what do you get for your money?
The Standard plan sets you up with a well-rounded, fully equipped online store. It’s best for establishing your business and finding your feet before scaling up – we’d say it’s suitable for sales of up to $50k a year. Standard plan features include:
- Unlimited number of products to sell
- Unlimited staff accounts
- Multiple sales channels, such as eBay, Amazon, Facebook, and Google
- Shopping Coupons, discounts, and gift cards
- Real time shipping quotes
- Product ratings and reviews
- 24/7 support
As you work your way up through the price plans, you unlock more advanced features. It’s worth noting you only get Abandoned Cart Recovery on the Plus plan and higher.
The Plus plan is the most popular, at $71.85 per month. It’s suitable for businesses making up to $150k in sales per year. It’s also the best for growing your business, as it comes with marketing tools such as:
- Abandoned Cart Recovery
- Customer groups to reward frequent shoppers
- Store credit cards
Sending automatic emails to draw customers back to your site and rewarding frequent and long-term buyers gives your business extra appeal.
At $224.95 per month, the Pro plan is best for scaling up fast-growing businesses making up to $400k in online sales a year. You have everything included in the lower plans, with extra features such as:
- Google customer reviews
- Product search filtering
- Custom SSL (Secure Sockets Layer)
This gives your customers a higher quality user experience on your site. Make shopping easy with product search filters and earn trust with recognized brands like Google. You can even apply your own custom SSL certificate if you have one.
There’s no denying it: BigCommerce does have more expensive plans than some competitors. However, this is because of all the built-in features it comes with. While other ecommerce builders require you to use lots of third party apps, BigCommerce includes most of these functions for you. This means you’re not racking up any unexpected costs.
These prices really reflect BigCommerce’s ideal users. You’re paying for a whole set of really powerful tools, and large and fast-growing businesses will be boosted rather than held back by these prices. Why? Because they remove the roof you’d be likely to hit with a smaller (and cheaper) ecommerce builder.
BigCommerce Review: The Verdict
BigCommerce is a top ecommerce builder with a lot of weight behind it. It came third overall in our ecommerce builder research. Impressive data reports, an extensive inventory, and the most built-in features of any builder make it a force to be reckoned with.
It’s perfect for large and fast-growing businesses. If you’re not looking for growth, or are a total beginner, this builder isn’t for you.
Its powerful features make BigCommerce a bit like a rocket. Attach it to the right business and it’ll blast you into the next tax bracket. But apply it to something which isn’t reaching for the stars, and you’ll be spending an awful lot on fuel just to get from A to B.
BigCommerce caters to businesses of all shapes and sizes, so don’t be put off if your store isn’t the biggest on the playground. You’ll simply get the most out of this ecommerce builder if you’re planning on growing your business.
If you think BigCommerce could be the perfect place to expand your business, why wait? Try it free for 15 days, no card details required, and decide for yourself!