There are plenty of choices for running a web-based store – BigCommerce is a brand-in-one ecommerce solution that I’ve labored on for many clients’ online retailers since 2012. Here’s my BigCommerce review – with 6 pros and 6 cons of utilizing BigCommerce for the online shop.
Take a look at BigCommerce’s current Plans & Prices here.
However, some overview. There’s lots of factors which go into an selecting the very best online shop platform. There’s also a lot of options, and the selection of platform might have just like big of the effect on your web business as selecting an actual place for your physical business.
It may greatly expand or hurt your company lengthy-term and for the short term it may certainly add/remove lots of headaches.
That stated, much like selecting an actual location, there’s no such factor being an absolute “best” or “top” choice. There’s merely a such factor as the best choice in accordance with your objectives, experience, and conditions.
There are plenty of BigCommerce reviews online – usually with user-generated reviews according to anecdotes and private experience. That’s fine however i have a different approach – searching at not just pros & cons but additionally it’s devote the general marketplace.
Around the wide spectrum of search engine optimization, BigCommerce endures the finish that’s all-inclusive and offers all you need to get began and also be your web store. It’s as opposed to solutions in which you buy, install, and manage all of the “pieces” of the store individually.
Using BigCommerce is kind of like leasing and customizing a store inside a development rather building your personal store. You’re still in charge of design, merchandising, and everything business-wise – however, you leave the shop construction, plumbing, security, and infrastructure towards the house owner.
Again, you will find benefits and drawbacks for this, but realize that BigCommerce competes like a “hosted platform” directly with Shopify (see their website here and my Shopify review here) and Volusion (see their website here and my Volusion review here) as all-inclusive options.
Individuals options like a group contend with non-turn-key options like WordPress + WooCommerce, Magento, yet others. Seem sensible? Awesome, let’s really dive into this BigCommerce review.
Another quick aside – a disclosure – I receive referral charges all the businesses pointed out within this publish. My opinions & research derive from my encounters as whether having to pay customer or consultant to some having to pay customer.
Pros of utilizing BigCommerce
Here’s things i discovered to be the professionals of BigCommerce – not only to comparison to Shopify as well as their competition, but additionally being an overall online shop solution.
There’s an abundance of methods tos, advice, and newsletters on the web about managing a effective ecommerce store. The primary issue is curation (ie, sorting the 90% that’s fluff or generally useless) and relevance (ie, suggest that might work with WordPress may not be highly relevant to BigCommerce).
BigCommerce puts a lot of concentrate on assisting you learn to develop a effective online shop. There is a BigCommerce College with very in-depth videos, how you can guides built directly into your store’s dashboard, an setup wizard, an autoresponder email series at signup, along with a consultant who solutions any queries right from the start.
And on top of that – it’s all perfectly highly relevant to BigCommerce. So while you’re reading something similar to “you should perform a/B testing” or “there’s huge returns with establishing a Google Credit card merchant account,” you don’t need to hack around and Google solutions on implementation – rather, you simply stick to the step-by-step BigCommerce guide.
Understanding is power (and cash), and BigCommerce puts an enormous concentrate on it.
No Hassle Speed & Security
One of the most difficult challenges of running your personal ecommerce web site is coping with speed – as with how rapidly your site loads. That’s because speed matters.
Countless research has proven that buyers function not watch for pages to load. Generally after 4 seconds, conversions begin to plummet. Speed is really essential that every major web company for example Google, Facebook, Twitter, etc has whole teams focused on reducing page load time.
The additional challenge for online retailers is you need reliable security. Giving a complete stranger your charge card might have become really common in 2014, however if you simply’re serving a brand new customer – they have a powerful bias to heading to Amazon . com or perhaps a store they trust using their charge card information.
And all sorts of that security means more layers for the server to deal with, or, should you delegate your charge card processing to PayPal or Google Wallet, more places to accidentally drop or slow your checkout. And all sorts of these layers and off-site links can, obviously, slow lower your website experience.
An exciting-in-one online shop solution like BigCommerce enables you to definitely turn all individuals hassles to professionals. Rather of battling having a caching wordpress plugin (or having to pay a developer $$$ / hour), you’re able to simply not even be worried about it (or call customer support for complaints). Plus, you’re able to hands off security, compliance, along with a whole selection of security issues (have you heard about Heartbleed a couple of years ago?) to experts who handle it without any hassles.
Now, BigCommerce is not really fast as competitors like Shopify within my store’s speed tests – but they’re still blazingly fast & secure. Utilizing an all-in-one like BigCommerce enables you to definitely offload the intricacies (without getting an enormous dev budget) while easily accepting a variety of payment providers & meeting your clients’ expectation for a quick, easy shopping experience. Take a look at these results:
They’re also very transparent regarding their technical stats and availability – that is encouraging to determine in almost any company.
Intuitive Built-in Features
At its core, a web-based store is essentially an internet site with shopping cart software functionality and the opportunity to accept payments. It’s type of fundamental. But many store proprietors would agree there is a lot more functionality which goes into creating a effective online shop.
You would like reviews, a good way to include & delete products, inventory management, integrated payments, analytics, order management, promotion code creation, discount functionality, easy shipping integration, etc, etc.
And something huge pro for implementing BigCommerce is they have most all you can consider already built-into their software. It’s all there and able to go.
And not just are all of the features built-directly into BigCommerce, however they all simply work. From order management to abandoned cart saver, BigCommerce has truly thought of all of the features you’d need and exceed even their competitors with integrated features. Within the screenshot below – you’ll observe that they integrate bulk 301 redirects to their platform (rather of via third party application, wordpress plugin or extension).
Bonus feature by April 20th, 2015 is BigCommerce integration with Alibaba. Alibaba may be the world’s largest industry for wholesalers. Any retailers using BigCommerce get lots of interesting ordering and inventory benefits. Here’s the pitch around the feature:
Built-in Marketing Features
But getting features like importing product SKUs and tracking return demands aren’t the only real features which are important. Your web store also needs features that will help you really get customers.
And integrated marketing features are another huge pro for BigCommerce. Similar to their more technical features, they’ve an incredible built-in advertising tool set.
There’s a bewildering quantity of choices for marketing your web store, but there are many options (noted within the image above) which are particularly effective for anybody just beginning out. And BigCommerce has them built-in.
I’m especially astounded by their Google Shopping integration (typically a royal discomfort for ecommerce developers over the Internet), their eBay store integration (easy wins for niche stores), AdWords ad generator, and Search engine optimization friendly setup (particularly customizable category pages & canonical product pages).
Built-in marketing features really are a huge pro for selecting BigCommerce, particularly if you’re just beginning out selling on the internet and in the dark about where your marketing should even begin.
Useful Customer Support
Soon after signup in my newest BigCommerce project, I had been astounded by how rapidly I had been contacted by email by phone by my “ecommerce consultant” with BigCommerce.
I had been also looped into an onboarding automated email sequence that timed perfectly using the free trial offer period. Now – that may seem a little sales-y prior to signing up, however it wasn’t. Everything happened after I registered, and all sorts of inside a friendly tone reminding me that BigCommerce desired to try everything easy to help this project succeed. And getting customers concerned about putting things off by calling customer support wasn’t a part of that formula.
Unlike a lot of companies, BigCommerce appears doesn’t appear to deal with customer churn as yet another area of the customer acquisition formula, they notice being an chance to enhance for everybody involved. It produces a great customer support experience based my anecdotal experience.
BigCommerce not just assigns a dedicated “consultant,” they likewise have active forums, an enormous learning understanding-base, support via Facebook, Twitter, chat, email, and make contact with.
Which degree of support is a big pro for BigCommerce – especially compared to non-platform options or DIY options. Should you go the construct it yourself route (ie, building an ecommerce site with WordPress or Magento), you will be by yourself to work through any bugs or issues that show up. Which process usually involves time and effort navigating online forums, or having to pay plenty of $$$ to some developer.
If you wish to spend 100% of your energy really running your web store rather of handling a checkout page error, then BigCommerce’s customer care can alone spend the money for fee every month.
Within the physical world, we make lots of judgments in regards to a store according to appearance. Despite the fact that sleekness doesn’t equal security, service, or selection – an unpleasant or amateurish searching site usually doesn’t inspire confidence among online buyers.
But like I noted within my Shopify review, shopping online platforms must always are available in 3 amounts of personalization. First, it ought to look great as they are. Your default website shouldn’t seem like it’s “under construction” or sketchy whatsoever. BigCommerce certainly excels only at that. Here’s what my default appeared as if:
Second, you will be able to upgrade the default look without getting to employ an expert artist – in most cases what this means is having the ability to buy a professionally designed “theme.” BigCommerce offers that ability and it has many responsive styles within their marketplace (for purchase). Installing a style is extremely straightforward, and knowing fundamental HTML or CSS, you may make easy edits. For example:
Third, BigCommerce builds its design off HTML & CSS with very straightforward templates. The templates are simply designs (they aren’t important to the particular purpose of your store), so if you prefer a professional, custom web design – you may also obtain that. BigCommerce doesn’t create a lot of technical hurdles for many any artist or front finish developer to apply the precise look you might want to have.
Regardless if you are just beginning by helping cover their hardly any budget, or perhaps a billion dollar ecommerce operation, BigCommerce’s design setup is flexible enough and powerful enough to own the design you would like for the online shop.
Cons of utilizing BigCommerce
However, no BigCommerce review could be complete without searching in the downsides of BigCommerce – because no ecommerce platform will probably be perfect. Let’s take a look at 6 specific cons I’ve found with BigCommerce.
Prices is difficult, particularly when budgeting to have an online shop. It’s usually nearly impossible to find a “walking out of the door cost” like you may have offline. BigCommerce is transparent about prices, however it’s useful to interrupt lower exactly what you’re searching at so far as prices goes (see BigCommerce’s prices chart here).
First, your monthly cost – the sticker cost you have to pay each month for any certain degree of features. BigCommerce’s plans begin with the conventional Plan at $29.95 USD monthly and increase after that, for instance.
Second, your platform transaction charges – the extra fee you have to pay to some platform like a percent of sales. Shopify accustomed to charge these on all of their plans, and BigCommerce also accustomed to charge 2% transaction fee on their own Silver Plan, for instance. These aren’t huge (and many platforms are getting rid of them), however they can also add up. Shopify and BigCommerce have removed them – however it’s something to bear in mind when evaluating platform.s
Third, your charge card charges – these was once pretty standardized, however more platforms (like Shopify) are establishing their very own charge card processing or partnering with 3rd parties (like BigCommerce & Stripe) to provide cheaper & more flexible payment solutions. Not to mention if you’re building your personal store with no platform, these will be a larger and much more costly issue.
4th, your add-on charges – they are third party apps, plugins or items of software that you could purchase to create your store better. These is one-time purchases, but may they elope transaction charges.
Here’s how BigCommerce compares with prices versus. all-inclusive solutions (like Shopify or Volusion):
Monthly prices – BigCommerce is competitive, particularly when you range from the Standard plan ($29.95/mo) they exclude in the primary prices page. Whatsoever tiers, they’re a little more costly than direct competitors like Shopify and Volusion, though BigCommerce does incorporate a couple of more quality-add features each and every tier (like more space for storage). With Shopify particularly, they’re directly on if you are a online-only merchant.
Transaction charges – BigCommerce charges transaction charges around the Silver tier. So if you’re a smaller sized store product wise, but planning to do high average order value – make sure to remember that. BigCommerce doesn’t do transaction charges on greater tiers, but neither do their direct competitors. BigCommerce removed transaction charges at the end of 2015. This really is something to think about when evaluating these to competitors like Volusion.
Charge card charges – BigCommerce partners with Stripe for integrated payments. Which means that accepting charge cards are easy, and included in the woking platform. However, the direct rate aren’t as little as Shopify or direct contracts with your personal third party processor. Although the charges aren’t much, they are able to accumulate.
Add-on charges – el born area is how BigCommerce constitutes a comeback with prices. They really stand out on value. Sure, they are doing small things like limitless disk space, they also build-in many helpful features in to the platform free of charge. This is particularly a large factor when evaluating to the price of building your personal store with WordPress + WooCommerce, PrestaShop, or Magento. All individuals platforms are likely to charge for essential add-ons.
So for prices, I’d state that BigCommerce is competitive enough for pure play online stores to come to a decision according to value – not cost. If you need to do offline sales and have developer expertise to construct your personal store – then BigCommerce’s recurring & charge card charges will add up. For the reason that situation, Shopify can be a better match their offline/online payment and inventory options.
Accessibility to Add-ons
Among the big pros of BigCommerce is the fact that a lot of features are made into the platform. That stated, very couple of stores are ever exactly alike. And when many stores work through the foundational stage and transfer to more complex marketing for his or her customers – it’ll frequently mean the requirement for specific store solutions.
Platforms like Shopify have a big “app store” and you’ll discover just about anything you can actually need. Self-located solutions like WordPress or Magento have a big community of developers as well as an open development setup where one can add-on whatever you can consider.
However, while BigCommerce has began a little (but growing) application marketplace they still don’t possess the depth or breadth of other setups with regards to very custom solutions. That can typically be a disadvantage – or at best something to organize around.
Lock-was something I must use in BigCommerce review, though it’s likely to be a disadvantage of utilizing any hosted ecommerce platform. Should you ever choose to proceed to a self-located or different store platform – it’s not really a simple, 2 click process. Your website’s design, functionality, payments & content are likely to be kind of included in the BigCommerce platform. It’s an expense that might or might not come – however it’s something to understand while shopping around.
For me, like Shopify, BigCommerce is really a solid platform using the team, expertise, and procedures to consider you from one-product store to another Zappos.
However, should you ever be to wish to depart for any self-located setup – or maybe BigCommerce ever re-did their product inside a not useful way, you’d be facing pretty high switching costs. You’d have the ability to export your product or service into Stand out – and scrape your articles (see above). Otherwise, you’d be at a complete loss. It’s exactly the same with Shopify & Volusion. Something to understand.
Product & Inventory Management
To effectively operate a store, you need to not just sell these products, but additionally provide & ship these products. Which means managing inventory. While BigCommerce provides extensive product options, it’s almost an excessive amount of (that we’ll reach in just a minute) and winds up burying the inventory management options.
Inventory is utilized via each product screen rather of getting its very own dedicated area (like Shopify). It’s not really a huge disadvantage, however if you simply’re using a a lot of different product with many different turnover, it might affect your efficiency.
An Excessive Amount Of Functionality (Paradox of preference)
Ok this disadvantage may seem just like a complete fake (pun intended), however i think it’s really a real issue. Whenever you’re first beginning an internet site or store, the most crucial factor you should do is really implement that which you intend to implement. A little, good marketing campaign that’s running is preferable to an enormous & perfect campaign that’s still within the works.
Consistently mix-posting products on eBay is preferable to spending hrs and hrs planning your Facebook store (that never launches). Quite simply, features are useless unless of course they are being used.
When I outlined within the pros, BigCommerce constitutes a big push makes a large push to possess all of the options you can want available & included in the machine right from the start. Self-located stores and platforms like Shopify place a bigger focus on adding the thing you need – when it’s needed, and ensuring the fundamentals are great and simple to complete on in the beginning.
All BigCommerce’s options could be overwhelming – and certainly a disadvantage in the beginning unless of course you’ve got a very specific plan. Now, for those who have an agenda, then more features can be quite convenient. Should you simply want the necessities in the beginning with easy add-ons later on, then something similar to Shopify is going to be in your sweet zone.
Every platform faces the tradeoff between supplying a simple interface for those who simply want items to work & supplying editing use of people who wish to tweak their website (think iPhone versus. Android).
BigCommerce like a platform obviously is around the “just get it work” finish from the spectrum. However, even among other platforms like Shopify and Volusion, BigCommerce biases towards “just getting it work” versus. giving editing access – specifically for features.
It features a fairly straightforward editing access for design – however, you can’t really get near to the code as if you can on Shopify. Should you’re keen on making small tweaks to functionality additionally to create, this’ll be considered a disadvantage for BigCommerce.
BigCommerce Review Conclusion
If you’re searching to have an all-in-one ecommerce solution, and also you want something with a lot of built-in features and just works together with no technical understand how – then BigCommerce is a great fit for you personally.
Take a look at BigCommerce’s prices & obtain a 15 day free trial offer here.
If you’re searching for something with increased versatility (apps and offline options), and don’t mind (or prefer) a bit more technical know-how, i then’d opt for Shopify. You should check out Shopify’s prices & obtain a free trial offer here.
If you wish to build yourself-located custom store – then you need to take a look at my help guide to building a web-based store with WordPress + WooCommerce here.
And finally – if you’re now more confused than ever before- take my BuzzFeed-style ecommerce platform quiz that will help you sort the options.
BigCommerce is really a leading company within the ecommerce like a service business.
Compiled by: Nate Shivar
Date Printed: 06/07/2016
A couple of flaws including inventory management, but overall an excellent located solution for ecommerce and building a web-based store.
4 / 5 stars
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