BigCommerce Review Highlights
Very comprehensive set of e-commerce tools “out of the box” that packs a huge punch.
Grow your sales with minimal effort by leveraging on different social channels.
Have an App store which you “bolt on” more advanced tools to take your store to the next level.
Powering November 2018
15 Days Trial
Best ecommerce builder for large and fast-growing businesses.
BigCommerce is a leading ecommerce builder, providing extreme scalability for online stores. Do you want to start an ecommerce empire? Or just give your business room for growth? In this review, we’ll take an in-depth look at BigCommerce and find out if it’s the best choice for you.
What are the Pros and Cons of BigCommerce?
|#1||Most scalable ecommerce platform|
|#2||More built-in features than any competitor|
|#3||Lets you sell across multiple channels like Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest|
|#4||Fantastic SEO tools|
|#1||Complex terminology is unsuitable for beginners|
|#2||No mobile app to run your store on the go|
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!
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 3.3/5 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.
In our user testing, 56% of people said they were likely to recommend BigCommerce. On the whole, they liked the power of BigCommerce’s features,the ease of the onboarding process, and the professional quality of the builder.
Here’s what one user had to say about how much they liked BigCommerce:
“It supports you in getting the job done and is incredibly professional. It clearly knows what it’s doing, even though I don’t 100% know myself.”
What people found tricky was the technical language that BigCommerce favors. It also took people longer to get to grips with because of the number of advanced features. While people found it difficult to use, they appreciated the reasons behind it:
“Yes it’s difficult, but you can see why. It’s because it’s basically there to run your business for you. But creating a website was not the easiest of experiences.”
These are things real people had to say when they tried out BigCommerce. As you can see, it’s not the quickest or easiest platform to create an online store with. But in the long run, its powerful features will make running your business super easy.
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¢).
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.
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.
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!
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.
When you’re making money through your website, any problems can be costly. Fortunately, BigCommerce has help options in place to get you sorted quickly and easily.
The help and support channels available depend on what price plan you’re on. As standard, BigCommerce provides 24/7 phone and live chat support. No need to stress out at 4am, counting down the hours until 9am; simply pick up the phone or open up a live chat to get your problem dealt with by morning.
There’s also email support. In fact, when you sign up for a free trial, you get an email through offering an appointment for a 10 minute call to discuss your business, its goals, and how BigCommerce can help you succeed.
In addition to phone, live chat, and email, you can also make use of video tutorials – and even better, the BigCommerce Help Center.
If you’re on the most expensive Enterprise plan, you unlock priority support. This includes an onboarding consultant, as well as prioritized phone calls. With instant connections to the most senior and highly-trained support staff, this provides the highest level of quality support for your store.
Everyone knows you have to spend money to make money. But just how much do you have to spend with BigCommerce?
- 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 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!
Is BigCommerce free?
Sadly, no! But this isn’t surprising – there’s only one ecommerce builder on the market which lets you sell for free.
BigCommerce has a 15-day free trial, so you can test it out without paying a cent! You then choose from four price plans ranging from $29.95-224.95 per month (billed annually). The great thing about BigCommerce is it has 0% transaction fees, so no sneaky added costs are waiting for you! Read our BigCommerce Pricing Review to learn more about the details of this builder’s price plans.
Who is BigCommerce best for?
BigCommerce is the best choice for large and fast-growing businesses. It has an impressive range of built-in tools and features to support your online store’s growth. Powerful reporting tools mean it’s easy to keep track of your store’s successes and improvements. You can sell through multiple channels, while managing everything from one place.
What can I sell through BigCommerce?
BigCommerce is the only ecommerce builder which automatically lets you sell physical, digital, and service-based products. You don’t have to install an app to allow this; it’s already included in the builder!
Is BigCommerce good for beginners?
The honest answer is, not really! This is because BigCommerce uses a lot of complicated tech-speak, which makes it difficult for anyone who isn’t totally tech savvy. This isn’t to stop you giving it a go, but if you want a store online fast, this might not be the best ecommerce builder for you.
If you want to compare ecommerce builders, why not check out our ecommerce comparison chart? You can see star ratings side by side, including ease of use!
Should I use BigCommerce or Shopify?
This choice really depends on the type of business you run. Both builders cater to all sizes of business, but BigCommerce is better suited to large and fast-growing stores. Shopify did extremely well in our research, coming out as the best all-round ecommerce builder. If you want to read about these two market leaders in more detail, check out our BigCommerce vs Shopify comparison.