BigCommerce Banner Image
Source: BigCommerce.com

BigCommerce is a fully hosted, Software as a Service (SaaS) platform that lets you build, run, and manage your e-commerce store, even if you have limited related technical knowledge.

Simple to use, BigCommerce provides a stellar tech support team to guide you every step of the way while building your storefront. If you have some knowledge of coding, you can customize your storefront by making CSS/HTML modifications — BigCommerce has provisions for everything, making it a strong contender among other best e-commerce platforms in the business.

The platform is designed to power and help your online business grow rapidly. From setting up and designing your storefront to order and inventory management, customer handling, marketing solutions, and product management —this SaaS platform assists you with everything related to online selling.

However, if you’re new to the e-commerce industry, BigCommerce may not be for you since users report that the platform can be hard to customize. This means you’ll have trouble getting your vision from your head to your website design without enlisting help from an expert, which affects your startup costs.

Let’s dissect the good and bad things about BigCommerce so you can decide if it is the right platform for you.

BigCommerce Standout Features
Support
  • Live Chat Support
  • Email Support
  • Phone Support
  • Community Forum
  • Help Center
  • BigCommerce University (New feature)
Uptime99.99%
Faster on mobile with Google AMP
Best ForEnterprise-level companies wanting to scale
StrengthsSuperfast loading speed
A diverse range of templates equally responsive on multiple devices
Excellent technical support 24/7
Multiple payments, marketplace, and POS integrations
WeaknessesAnnual sales threshold
Pricing plans get expensive as revenue increases
Dated templates
Promotion15-day free trial, no credit cards required

What Are the Pros and Cons of BigCommerce?

While BigCommerce is popular with e-commerce players in the market, it stakes its claim as such because of the safety, security, and flexibility of features it offers. Although it positions itself as a platform suitable for all businesses, those with high revenue and product volume benefit the most from it. Read on to know what works and what does not:

Pros

  1. Highly scalable: BigCommerce will handle your store’s hosting capabilities and infrastructural upgrades. No matter how much you want to scale your business, your website will always be running seamlessly in real time.
  2. Highly customizable: BigCommerce offers ample scope for personalizing your storefront. You can take your pick from 12 free themes or 183 paid templates and customize themes using its Page Builder , which I found to be fairly easy.
  3. Multichannel selling: Using BigCommerce, you can sell through multiple channels including social media and major e-marketplaces including Amazon, Facebook by Meta, and Instagram. You can also use third-party integrations for Walmart, eBay, Google, and more.
  4. Top-notch SEO optimization: BigCommerce has all essential HTML tags embedded in its back end code for your webpage; that alone helps improve your Search Engine Results Page (SERP) ranking. Also, your product page is designed to collect microdata from your customer activity, which you can use to make adjustments to your webpage.
  5. Impressive security features: BigCommerce hosts your online store and takes care of the security. It is ISO/IEC 27001 certified, deploying hardware firewalls that can detect hacker activity. The platform is Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI) compliant and always up to date with the latest security measures.
  6. Best-in-class tech support: BigCommerce has one of the best technical support teams of all the players in the business. You can reach out to them 24/7 if you run into roadblocks or check out the BigCommerce University.

Cons

  1. Annual sales limit: BigCommerce gets expensive over time as your revenue increases and business grows, and you have no control over it.
  2. Limited, difficult to edit free themes: BigCommerce gives you only 12 free themes, and some of them don’t look great. They’re not easy to edit or customize, either.
  3. No multilingual support: BigCommerce is only available in English and does not support any other languages. If your customers are not comfortable with English, you cannot sell to them.
  4. Lack of native POS feature: While BigCommerce lets you integrate with a host of the top payment service providers, it does not have any inbuilt POS of its own, which slows down the checkout process.
  5. No ability to block IP addresses: Unlike open-source platforms, you cannot customize the source code to block IP addresses for malicious activity.

BigCommerce may be the best platform for: Medium to enterprise-level businesses with large inventories and looking to scale and sell globally and hassle-free.

StandardPlusPro
Price:$29.95/month$79.95/month$299.95/month
Best for:New businessesMid-level businesses that want to scaleEnterprise-level businesses and big brands that want to migrate from offline to online
Basic features:
  • Online store
  • Unlimited products
  • Online store
  • Unlimited products
  • Abandoned cart saver
  • Online store
  • Unlimited products
  • Abandoned cart saver
  • Google reviews
Customer service:
  • 24/7
  • Unlimited contacts
  • 24/7
  • Unlimited contacts
  • 24/7
  • Unlimited contacts
Scalability:
  • Unlimited staff accounts
  • SEO support
  • Unlimited staff accounts
  • SEO support
  • Unlimited staff accounts
  • SEO support
Sales support:Coupons, discounts, and gift cards
  • Coupons, discounts, and gift cards
  • Abandoned cart saver
  • Coupons, discounts, and gift cards
  • Abandoned cart saver
Order management:Manual order creationManual order creationManual order creation
Reporting:In-depth reporting and analysisIn-depth reporting and analysisIn-depth reporting and analysis
Marketing:BannersBannersBanners
Shipping:Standard shipping with commercial service providersStandard shipping with commercial service providersStandard shipping with commercial service providers
Security:Standard inbuilt securityStandard inbuilt securitySSL Certificate
Point of sale:Multiple integrationsMultiple integrationsMultiple integrations
Transaction fees:Free
*POS provider charges may apply
Free
*POS provider charges may apply
Free
*POS provider charges may apply
Tax calculations:Automatically calculates taxes per transactionAutomatically calculates taxes per transactionAutomatically calculates taxes per transaction
BigCommerce Plans
Source: BigCommerce.com

15-Day Free Trial

BigCommerce Trial Promotion Texts
Source: BigCommerce.com

Apart from these three paid plans, you can also opt for the 15-day free trial that BigCommerce offers. At this stage, you do not need to sync your credit card to start using the platform, and you can build your first store using the resources available.

It’s a good place to start: You can explore all that BigCommerce has to offer without paying a dime. But sadly, you cannot begin selling during the trial period. It is exactly what it claims to be: a test drive for the platform, especially for users who have never used an e-commerce platform before.

Designing Your Store

The platform offers plenty of paid and free themes and ample scope for customization. You can build your storefront from scratch using the drag-and-drop editor, add widgets and carousels, and more. The interface is intuitive and easy to use.

BigCommerce’s basic customizations are enough to help you design a store to your liking, but if you’re a coder, you can do much more. Depending on your proficiency, the sky’s the limit when it comes to designing your store on BigCommerce.

Adding Products to Your Store

Adding Products to Your Store
Source: BigCommerce.com

I’ll admit this can be an effort-intensive task. You have to fill in a lot of details about each product you want to sell:

  1. The first step is to fill in the Product Information tab. It includes all the basic details such as product name, type, SKU, price, brand, weight, a SEO-rich product description, images, videos.
  2. The next step is the Product Options. Add details pertaining to the customizations, variations, and the likes you offer.
  3. Then comes the Storefront where you can optimize your listings by inserting search keywords and sorting the order of appearance of your products.
  4. The penultimate step is to curate your fulfillment details: from your shipping and payment to returns, exchanges, and the other details.
  5. SEO & Sharing is what completes the process. Here, you can optimize your page URL, add a meta description, or opt for open graph sharing.

It is a lot of work to add products one by one, but in the long run it pays off.

And you can sell anything without integrating any third-party app.

BigCommerce also has the provision for editing products from the same category in bulk — a rather handy feature. You can also list them all on eBay and import or export your inventory in a few clicks. Product management is rather simple and convenient.

Managing and Processing Your Orders

Managing and Processing Your Orders
Source: BigCommerce.com

Centralized order management is the most significant benefit that BigCommerce offers its users. You can choose to integrate with an order management system (OMS) like NetSuite, Brightpearl, or Order Desk. Or, just let BigCommerce’s inbuilt features do the job.

Apart from the basics of order management, BigCommerce has a very useful feature to search and locate your orders. You can dig up the details of any order placed on any of your selling channels using the “Advanced” settings in the search tab. And because the search is so thoroughly streamlined, you can retrieve any order from the past to the present.

You can also create and issue gift vouchers for specific customers from the “Order” tab in your BigCommerce account.

BigCommerce lets you manage and process your orders from start to finish without any hassle. This one-stop solution is definitely a boon for businesses that sell on a large scale.

Handling Your Cart

One of the most important factors that determine the utility of an e-commerce platform is its cart handling capabilities. BigCommerce offers two crucial features to help you make an impression on your customers.

First is its abandoned cart saver feature. You can send up to three automated emails to customers who have added products to the cart but have not completed the purchase process. BigCommerce falls short by not offering this feature with its Standard Plan.

So, unless your yearly revenue is more than $50k, you do not get access to this feature.

However, you can still make the most of its Persistent Cart feature. BigCommerce maintains the same cart across your client’s devices, so whatever they add to the cart using their laptop will be the same across their tablet or mobile.

Even though BigCommerce is on par with most other e-commerce platforms, the price factor is a bit of a bummer. If you don’t have something as crucial as an Abandoned Cart Saver when you begin, it’s almost akin to beginning on the wrong foot.

Making Checkout Simple

Would you go through with your online purchase if the checkout process was tedious and drawn out? You’d probably just ditch your cart. This is where the BigCommerce optimized, single-page checkout works like a charm.

It is easy on the eyes, free of clutter, and inviting. The single-page checkout format makes life easy for your customers. As you’re aware, the faster they get to the checkout, the happier they are. So the fact that the whole process is simple and easy doesn’t hurt either.

You can optimize your checkout page further and make it as seamless as possible when building your store. BigCommerce gives you ample provision to do your best here.

Limitless Storage

The platform justifies its name because BigCommerce offers unlimited storage irrespective of the pricing plan you choose. And the storage that BigCommerce offers is better than most of its competitors — all have storage limits.

You can store as much of any data you wish, from product catalogs and images to inventory, videos, and customer data. This will not slow down your website loading time or affect your front-end operations. BigCommerce is a cloud-based SaaS platform capable of handling data load.

If you’re scaling up your business, this feature will be your most powerful ace in the greater scheme of things.

Marketing Your E-Commerce Store

Marketing Your E-Commerce Store
Source: BigCommerce.com

While BigCommerce has a rather impressive list of marketing features, not all of them are included in the Standard Plan. Nonetheless, you can make use of the following features:

  • Banners: Create and place banners all over your store to advertise sales, discounts, limited-time offers, and other marketing activities.
  • Coupons & Discounts: You can add discount coupons for first-time customers, returning customers, and much more.
  • Gift certificates: The best part about this feature is that you can create individual gift certificates for each of your customers based on their purchasing habits.

Analyzing Your Performance

Analyzing Your Performance
The BigCommerce Dashboard
BigCommerce dashboard
Screenshot of sample BigCommerce dashboard.

Data-driven insights are imperative in identifying your strengths and weaknesses. If you don’t know what’s going wrong, there’s no way you can fix it.

With BigCommerce, you can simply click on “Analytics” to get the lowdown on:

  • Merchandising
  • Marketing
  • Orders
  • Customers
  • Purchase funnel
  • Carts
  • In-store search
  • Sales tax reports

BigCommerce updates and generates reports in real-time to give you the most accurate picture of your store’s performance. If you aren’t great with numbers, the visual representation through charts and graphs makes it easy to understand the metrics that matter.

Unlike Shopify, you can generate detailed reports no matter which plans you’re on. For a growing business, such detailed reporting is a key enabler.

Shipping Made Easy

Shipping Manager
Source: BigCommerce.com

Just like its biggest competitor Shopify, BigCommerce gives you multiple shipping options:

  • Free shipping
  • Flat rate per order/item (specific to a region)
  • Shipping by weight
  • In-store pickup

Depending on the scale of your operation, you can choose what best suits you. For instance, shipping cost by weight might be the most practical option if your customers are overseas.

You can also tie-up with a commercial shipping partner like:

  • FedEx
  • U.S. Postal Service (USPS)
  • United Parcel Service (UPS) to fulfill your order delivery.

In fact, if you choose the Postal Service as your shipping partner, BigCommerce has this ingenious capability that lets you print your shipping labels at the back end. Resourceful and high on utility, don’t you agree?

You can import an SSL or purchase a new certificate. Although it looks like this transaction takes place on your site, the transaction happens elsewhere, making it almost impossible to breach..

As a fully hosted platform, BigCommerce also ensures that you get a backup to your last known safe configuration even if malware affects your data. The platform is always on top of the latest security updates and deploys best practices at all times.

Any website you create using BigCommerce can also withstand sudden spikes in traffic on sale days, flash sales, and other such changes. This means your website won’t collapse, even under pressure. And because it’s a cloud platform, you do not have to worry about data safety.

In this aspect, BigCommerce and Shopify are at par with each other, offering the best degree of protection possible.

BigCommerce Support
Source: BigCommerce.com

Need help? Reach out to the BigCommerce customer support team through the following options:

  • Live Chat: Prompt and responsive, but you will need to fill in a form sharing personal details, store URL, and a “Support PIN” (an identification number unique to your account) to get started.
  • Email: Send your query to the support team in a few clicks, but you only have two options, product or billing-related support
  • Phone: Dial the number for your country and request to talk to an agent

The wait time for both live chat and phone support is under one minute, so you don’t have to wait long.

If you are open to a discussion, you can also post your question in the BigCommerce Community or submit a feature request. This is often more helpful to newbies who will come across multiple takes on resolving one problem. And, it is good learning too.

BigCommerce also has extensive tutorials and lessons under BigCommerce University to help you get started. On the whole, you’ll get all the needed support in as many different ways as possible, some albeit more time-consuming than others.

Centralized Multi-Storefront Management

BigCommerce plans on giving users a centralized dashboard to control multiple storefronts simultaneously. This implies that you can check sales activity on all sales channels using just one back end dashboard. You’ll also be able to continue using your favorite third-party apps across all these storefronts.

Compare BigCommerce Alternatives

While BigCommerce definitely ticks all the right boxes, including some brilliant features and great value for money, big doesn’t necessarily mean better when you consider the fact that it’s relatively tricky to use and has a comparatively steeper learning curve. Depending on your requirements, platforms like Shopify, Magento, Pinnacle Cart, Wix, and WooCommerce might just give you the best bang for your buck.

Fortunately for you, we’ve done the research to give you a better idea about each platform so you can decide which one’s best for you.

E-Commerce PlatformPricingMultichannel SalesAppsBasic Plan FeaturesCompare
BigCommerce
Overall rating: (4.3)
$29.95/monthYes1,030Unlimited products
24/7 support (phone, email, chat)
Reporting tools
Marketing tools
0% transaction fee
Shopify
Overall rating: (4.1)
$29/monthYes7,070Unlimited products
24/7 support (email, chat)
Marketing tools
Shipping tools
2% transaction fee
BigCommerce has less reliance on apps, no platform transaction fees, and better reporting than Shopify.
Consider Shopify if: You want a user-friendly platform that is feature-rich and intuitive.
Magento
Overall rating: (2.8)
FreeNo5,731Magento is open-source and customizable to include your preferred features but may require web developer helpBigCommerce is a SaaS platform that offers great support and is more secure than Magento.
Consider Magento if: You have the coding skills to build your online store in line with your brand and vision.
Pinnacle Cart
Overall rating: (3.0)
$79.95/monthYes71Unlimited products
Ticket and live chat support
Reporting tools
No transaction fees
BigCommerce is better because it has a comprehensive set of features, better outreach, and is easier to use than Pinnacle Cart.
Consider PinnacleCart if: You’re just starting out in e-commerce and will be setting up your store yourself.
Wix
Overall rating: (3.0)
$27/monthYes250+Unlimited products
Ticket, phone, and social media support
BigCommerce provides end-to-end support, especially for enterprise-level or mid-level businesses that want to scale fast – Wix is less powerful.
Consider Wix if: You want to customize every aspect of your store but also want a hassle-free setup procedure.
WooCommerce
Overall rating: (3.2)
FreeNo4,228Unlimited products
Email support or WordPress.org forums for self-help
Limited reporting
No transaction fees
BigCommerce, being a SaaS platform, comes with handy features and integrations and is easier to use than WooCommerce.
Consider WooCommerce if: You are a small or big business with a wide product range independent of any niche.

Frequently Asked Questions About BigCommerce

What is BigCommerce Used For?

BigCommerce is a paid SaaS e-commerce platform that helps you create, build, host, and maintain your online store. Currently, the platform hosts more than 52,000 stores.

What Is the Difference Between BigCommerce and Shopify?

Both e-commerce platforms share some similarities in features, pricing, and other aspects. However, BigCommerce is better equipped to handle large-scale selling and superfast growth than the latter. It also offers robust support, while Shopify has wider outreach and multilingual selling options.

How Much Does BigCommerce Cost?

The most basic pricing plan, called the Standard Plan, is priced at $29.95 per month, but this is only for businesses with annual sales up to $50k. BigCommerce upgrades you to its successive plans as your yearly sales increase.

What Are Some of the Brands That Use BigCommerce?

Skullcandy, La Perla, Superdry Australia, and Ben & Jerry’s are some big names that swear by BigCommerce.

Is BigCommerce Good for Small Businesses?

BigCommerce has a full suite of functionalities that can help small businesses make their foray into e-commerce and allow them to scale up fast. However, it is still better suited for mid to large-scale businesses.

Does BigCommerce take a percentage of sales?

No, it does not. However, there is a standard processing fee of 2.9 percent + $0.30 that you need to bear, whether you pay by debit or credit card. This is true of all credit and debit card transactions. that BigCommerce charges per transaction, whether you pay by debit or credit card.

Is it possible to have the same BigCommerce store with multiple domains?

No, you cannot do that. The only way to have the same store setup on different domains is to duplicate your current store on a different account. This could be a new or an existing account, just make sure you build it as a spitting image of the store you want to sell from.

What does BigCommerce integrate with?

BigCommerce offers a number of POS, marketplace, and other integrations to its users. You can sync your account with Amazon, eBay, Walmart, and even HubSpot with the help of third-party apps.

Can I transfer a domain to BigCommerce?

Unfortunately, BigCommerce does not allow domain transfers.

How can I contact BigCommerce support?

Simply click on Contact Support to get started. However, you will need a support PIN to access BigCommerce’s live chat support. The PIN is available to you even if you are on a free trial.

Apart from chat, you can call the BigCommerce support center or email them.

How do I open a BigCommerce support ticket?

Contact BigCommerce email support and create a case with your concern. This becomes your support ticket. You can also check the status of your ticket from the same tab, or add new ones any time you want.

Does BigCommerce have a knowledge base?

BigCommerce University and discussion forums double up as real-life knowledge bases for their users. But the platform also allows you to build one of your own for internal and external usage.

How We Rated BigCommerce

Our rating processes involved direct testing and using third-party services. We even created a dummy store to compare the various features offered by BigCommerce and other players in the market, especially its biggest and closest competitors. We also experimented with various permutations and combinations in the store to get a better understanding of essential factors like ease of use, flexibility, and scalability.

BigCommerce scored impressively on each of these criteria and was the winner hands down when it came to prompt and easily accessible customer support. Its highly active and helpful online community also gets a big plus.

And at a starting price of $29.95/month, it’s a great deal, especially considering you can build and manage your store from anywhere in the world with nothing more than access to a web browser and the internet.