Bottom line: BigCommerce is one of the top e-commerce performers because it offers a dependable combination of features, applications, and integrations. The platform is highly customizable and scalable while at the same time being extremely secure. If you have little knowledge of online store building or have outgrown your current online store, BigCommerce is your best bet.
Who should choose BigCommerce? BigCommerce is a good e-commerce platform for well-established enterprises looking to migrate their offline business online, or businesses planning to scale up rapidly.
What we like about BigCommerce
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Top-notch search engine optimization (SEO): 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.
- 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 DSS) compliant and always up to date with the latest security measures.
- 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 24/7 if you run into roadblocks or check out the BigCommerce University.
What fell flat
- Annual sales limit: BigCommerce gets expensive over time as your revenue increases and business grows, and you have no control over it.
- Limited, difficult to edit free themes: BigCommerce gives you only 12 free themes, and some don’t look great. They’re not easy to edit or customize, either.
- 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.
- 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 and can be less secure than a native POS.
- No ability to block IP addresses: Unlike open-source platforms, you cannot customize the source code to block IP addresses for malicious activity.
BigCommerce’s Editorial Review
BigCommerce has features and tools to make building your online store an easy affair. The fact that it has topnotch security and offers a lot of room for personalizations is also a big win for me.
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:
Plans and Pricing
BigCommerce has three different plans to choose from, guided by your annual revenue. You’ll be automatically upgraded to the next plan once you cross the threshold for your yearly revenue. And all of these plans come with an extensive list of features. I found it quite expensive compared to similar platforms, especially the automatic upgrades as revenues increase.
Standard—$29.95 per month
- Good for: New medium to large businesses
Plus—$79.95 per month
- Good for: Mid-level businesses that want to scale
Pro—$299.95 per month
- Good for: Big brands that want to migrate from offline to online
- Good for: Enterprise-level businesses
BigCommerce’s core selling features are consistent across all three of its pricing plans and enable you to build, optimize, and run your online store while scaling it over time. While BigCommerce does have free themes, they are very limited and pretty restrictive in how much you can customize them. For further customization, you need to look at paid themes, which do not come cheap.
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.
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:
- 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.
- The next step is the Product Options. Add details pertaining to the customizations, variations, and the likes you offer.
- Then comes the Storefront where you can optimize your listings by inserting search keywords and sorting the order of appearance of your products.
- The penultimate step is to curate your fulfillment details: from your shipping and payment to returns, exchanges, and the other details.
- 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.
Order management and processing
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.
Cart and checkout handling
One of the most important factors that determine the utility of an e-commerce platform is its cart and checkout handling capabilities.
BigCommerce offers two crucial features to help you make an impression on your customers.
- Abandoned cart saver: 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.
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.
- Single-page checkout: A checkout process that’s easy on the eyes, free of clutter, and inviting. 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.
The platform justifies its name because BigCommerce offers unlimited storage irrespective of the pricing plan you choose. That’s 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.
While BigCommerce has a rather impressive list of marketing features, not all 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 and 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.
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:
- Purchase funnel
- 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.
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:
- 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 either import a previously bought SSL or purchase a new certificate. Although it looks like this 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 scores over Shopify, which is not as secure with data handling.
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.
To adapt to the fast-changing e-commerce domain, BigCommerce plans on introducing a multi-storefront capability. And the platform does have plans in the pipeline to roll out several changes and improvements. But, until then it remains an inferior option compared to Shopify, for most use cases.
- 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 can also 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.
Pricing + Basic Plan Features
$29.95 per month
- Unlimited products
- 24/7 support (phone, email, chat)
- Reporting tools
- Marketing tools
- 0% transaction fee
Consider BigCommerce if: You’re a mid- to large-scale businesses that doesn’t have multiple sites.
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 $50,000. 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.
Does BigCommerce take a percentage of sales?
No, it does not. However, there is a standard processing fee of 2.9 percent plus 30 cents 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 I Rated BigCommerce
I test e-commerce providers based on the following factors:
- Value: What do you get for each plan — and does it hit that sweet spot of cost ratio to features?
- Ease of use: Is it simple to use the platform with intuitive tools, familiar interfaces, and supportive tutorials or tours?
- Features: Does the platform offer tools that support your business, including marketing integrations, plug-ins, reporting, and management? How effective are the features?
- Security: Which measures does the platform take to protect your business? Does it offer Payment card industry (PCI) compliance and Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) certificates?
- Support and improvements: How well does the platform help when you need it? And will it continue to grow with your needs?
Learn more about our review methodology.