BigCommerce’s WordPress Plugin Keeps It Ahead of the Curve

BigCommerce has released the beta version of its WordPress plugin. Initially only accessible to developers, the app will soon be rolled out to millions of new potential users. The move reaffirms an ecommerce trend away from rigid, siloed experiences. Website building is becoming more fluid — headless, to use the technical term.

It’s no secret we admire BigCommerce’s capabilities when it comes to selling things, but few (if any) platforms can touch the customizability of WordPress. Combining the two makes complete sense. When you can’t be the best at everything, make sure what you are best at is widely available.

Headless Commerce

BigCommerce targeting WordPress aligns neatly with a larger trend towards headless commerce. Headless commerce separates the user interface from the backend capabilities. In the old days, a BigCommerce account would have to sell through a BigCommerce site. A Shopify store would require a Shopify site. And so on.

Headless commerce means you can mix and match the platforms you use to build a brand. When people visit your site, that’s WordPress, but when they buy things, that’s BigCommerce. It enables advanced omni-channel retail, which is where ecommerce is headed. As BigCommerce Editor-in-Chief Tracey Wallace summarizes, “Omni-channel selling is about being proactive in getting in front of customers when and where they’re likely to make a purchase.”

BigCommerce Wordpress

It’s the same principle that allows social media share buttons to appear on news websites, or major website to use Mailchimp to organize mailing lists. Making BigCommerce’s API available like this enables advanced integration, meaning stores can appear anywhere and in any form.

What is It Exactly?

The plugin means you can sell things on your WordPress site using BigCommerce. It’s an ecommerce engine that can be integrated seamlessly with a WordPress site. Built by Modern Tribe, the plugin is currently in beta for developers, but it won’t be long until millions of WordPress websites can draw on the backend power of BigCommerce.

Some key things to know:

  • It shares the load with WordPress. BigCommerce shoulders orders and store upkeep, meaning the the performance of WordPress sites won’t be negatively affected.
  • The product catalog is housed by BigCommerce. No square pegs in round holes. BigCommerce takes care of all the ecommerce logistics. WordPress can do WordPressy things, BigCommerce can do BigCommercy things.
  • It’s Gutenberg ready. The app has been developed to work with WordPress’s impending Gutenberg update (a complete drag and drop revamp), making it bang up to date.

This is a big step for scalable ecommerce on WordPress. Savvy integration with an ecommerce platform as powerful as BigCommerce could be transformative for small businesses.

The plugin lends itself to growth. Multiple sites can share one control panel, so one product catalog can can pop up and make sales just about anywhere.

The plugin lends itself to growth. Multiple sites can share one control panel, so one product catalog can can pop up and make sales just about anywhere.

The more advanced implementations of the plugin will fall on developers, but the tools are there, and that’s big news. To complement this, BigCommerce has launched its Commerce-as-a-Service initiative, encouraging brands to combine superb user experience with seamless commerce.

Developers can sign up at the BigCommerce Developer Portal, while owners of WordPress sites would do well to follow the plugin’s early progress.

Read more about the release on BigCommerce’s plugin information page.

The Best of Both Worlds

BigCommerce capabilities mixed with WordPress flexibility is the best of both worlds for budding entrepreneurs. It’s a very forward-thinking move on BigCommerce’s part. Pure commerce is functional, but it is often incomplete. Great websites live and die by their content, and to do good content justice you need platforms that can be shaped around it.

More Information:

Read our BigCommerce Review for a full breakdown of its features

Read our WordPress Review to see what all the fuss is about

This is why nearly a third of all websites use WordPress. No other content management systems come close to its popularity. Sites built on WordPress can do just about anything, provided you have the developing resources to get there. Plugging BigCommerce into that flexibility makes complete sense. WordPress can take care of the website; BigCommerce API can handle the ecommerce.

Connections Still Reign Supreme on the Web

BigCommerce’s announcement is great news for entrepreneurs, but it’s also a welcome reminder that the internet thrives when it embraces connection. For all the hand-wringing about a handful of super companies taking over the internet, the age-old truth remains that no site is an island.

It’s highly unlikely one platform will ever be the best at everything. There will always be specialists. Ecommerce platforms like BigCommerce and Shopify are nowhere near the level of customizability of WordPress, or even website builders like Wix or Squarespace. If you can cherry-pick the best elements of each platform, why wouldn’t you?

Initiatives like this are good for everyone. BigCommerce’s strength is powerful, sophisticated, scalable ecommerce software. It makes complete sense for it be made available on WordPress. This is a move that keeps BigCommerce well ahead of the curve.

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About Fred O'Brien

Fred O'Brien

I know from experience that building a website is only as hard as you make it. The internet is more accessible than it’s ever been, with all the resources you need to join in and stand out. Anyone can get online. I’m here to help you do that.

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