BigCommerce Review 2018

BigCommerce Review 2018

Big Commerce eCommerce Solution

7.8
BigCommerce-logomark-whitebg
Ease of Use 7.5
Features & Flexibity 8.0
SEO & Mobility 9.0
Help & Support 6.5
Pricing 8.0

Pros

  • Impressive merchant growth rates: Businesses using this platform grew twice as fast as the industry average (28% annual growth)
  • Ease of selling: This platform makes it very easy to sell through multiple channels including eBay, Amazon and Facebook
  • Out-of-the-box: eCommerce tools that aim to pack a punch
  • Bolt-on App store: Wide choice of paid-for Apps helps you easily migrate your business to the next level

Cons

  • Limited free template options: Small selection of free templates and paid for templates fewer than its competitors
  • Weak product filtering: Capabilities to filter and easily find products limited unless you go for high monthly payment plans
  • Not as easy to set up as competition: The drag and drop functionality of other platforms make store set-up and management easier than this platform
  • Customer support: Weaker, more inconsistent than the competition

Welcome to our bigcommerce Review. Those looking at a reliable, well-established eCommerce platform will undoubtedly have come across BigCommerce. Reviews and insights are generally available, but having looked in-depth at all of the e Commerce platforms out there, we know exactly how time-consuming and often confusing this process can be.

Our intention in this BigCommerce review is to tell it how it is with clear explanations on topics such as:

  • Business-wise, what is BigCommerce ideally suited to?
  • The platforms pros and cons
  • BigCommerce pricing plans
  • A host of other pointers that will help you clearly understand what is offered and why their 15-day free trial offer is an eminently sensible way to go for those whose interest has been piqued.
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What is BigCommerce?

BigCommerce is classed as an all-in-one eCommerce platform offering features that allow businesses to create, maintain and expand their online store with ease.

The complete set of tools offered for building online stores include integration of payment gateways, advanced marketing tools, solid hosting and security features.

The platform has helped generate $10 Billion in sales for companies in 150 countries. In terms of penetration, their customer base is massively loaded to the USA, with Australia 2nd and the BigCommerce UK customer base 3rd.

The platform is touted as an ideal base for bricks and mortar stores looking to set-up online, or for those simply wishing to go directly into selling their products or services online. It is suitable for a whole range of industries.

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Ease of use:

When considering BigCommerce, reviews, comparisons and assessment in terms of ease of use must be a key factor. You want to spend time developing your brand and fostering customer relations, not worrying about problems with online store function.

The comprehensive set of tools provided to help build your online store mean the investment of a few hours to understand the basics, but once this is achieved it is not too difficult to get your online store up and running.

Additional app integration with just one click:

When looking at BigCommerce, reviews and comments in terms of ease of use should be quick to mention the app integration process.
As your learning curve with the platform develops and additional tools from the app store require integration this can be achieved with just 1-click. Streamlined, Straightforward!

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Features and flexibility:

For potential BigCommerce UK users and those in other countries where the platform is striving to make inroads, it is important to understand what features and flexibility are offered.

Out of the box:

Everything required to create, manage promote and sell services or products comes with your monthly subscription. Bar the entry level subscription package this also includes the highly effective shopping cart recovery feature. Our BigCommerce review pricing section covers what you get for each price plan.

Themes and Templates:

While there are only 7 free templates (with either 3 or 4 ‘styles’ each) to choose from, you do have a large choice of industry-wide templates that can be purchased for a one-off cost. All templates are designed to catch the viewers eye and spread your branding word. BigCommerce's new Store Design Visual Merchandising Tool has recently replaced Theme Editor. This is certainly an improvement which adds capabilities for customizing the theme's look and feel more easily.

3rd party Apps market:

What is BigCommerce worth to you in terms of the 3rd party apps offered? Inventory to email marketing, accounting to shipping, SEO enhancers to backend integration and marketing tools aplenty are there to enhance your online store. You will find gradual introduction of relevant apps are added with ease as your online presence grows.

Hosting:

Delving into BigCommerce reviews and information relating to their fully hosted service will give you peace of mind. They claim (and have stats to prove it!) that uptime is an industry-best at 99.99%.

Backups:

As with other eCommerce platforms, regular backup points are created and can be accessed as and when required.

Migration:

The choice is yours. The 2 most common migration scenarios are: Changing your hosting provider, but keeping your existing domain name and changing both hosting provider and domain name. Whichever you choose the BigCommerce support team will assist.

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eCommerce Tools:

A long look at Big Commerce, reviews and comparisons with other selling platforms will clearly show that the eCommerce tools offered are extensive. Here are some certainly worthy of attention:

Create unlimited product options:

Examples being price, weight, images and real-time inventory levels

Create product rules:

Two clear examples: Clothing: Add different price stickers to different size items (S,M,L) and for all categories, free shipping on orders over a certain amount

Non-tangible sales:

Ability to sell ‘physical’ products as well as non-tangible ones such as event tickets and digital downloads

Order process management:

From the BigCommerce control panel you can see order status, whether shipped or pending, invoices and packing slip info.

Inventory management:

Comprehensive ‘at a glance’ inventory details

Returns management:

This tool allows you to stipulate and execute your returns policy. You decide such things as whether refunds given, replacements allowed or store credit offered

Payment processors:

This is an important one to note for BigCommerce UK and other countries where the platform is still on the low side in terms of market penetration. In excess of 60 different payment processors in different currencies are available. Importantly there is Paypal; Worth noting the company states that implementing PayPal as a payment method can improve checkout conversion by up to 44%.

Best sellers list:

Easily viewed lists of your best-selling products. This can be set by day, week, month, all time, or anywhere in between. It can also be viewed as ‘by units sold’ or ‘revenue received’.

Best customer list:

This ‘role-call’ allows you to identify and reward your best customers. The top 20 can be viewed from either a date range, number of orders fulfilled or revenue.

Product reviews:

This tool allows customers to leave reviews

Abandoned cart saver:

This highly effective eCommerce tool is only available on the Plus or higher price plans, but our BigCommerce review sees it as a ‘must have’ for those intent on clawing back potential lost revenue. It relates to any visitor who has demonstrated their intent to purchase by entering their email address in the checkout cart, but did not complete the purchase. You can use this function to send up to 3 different emails to the visitor urging them to complete their purchase. Any created coupon codes can also be sent with the emails.

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BigCommerce SEO capabilities:

Online businesses intent on increasing their brand recognition and search engine rankings should strongly consider outsourcing this crucial aspect of their online business development to a professional marketing agency.

We say this because optimising SEO for eCommerce websites can turn out to be a headache that increases as your business grows. Most businesses will have multiple pages to optimise, and as product numbers increase the tasks become more demanding.

However, if you decide not to go down this route it is good to know that BigCommerce reviews on SEO give positive ratings to the platforms capabilities.

The company states it follows the most up-to-date SEO practices and here are some of the most important features you will have access to when using the BigCommerce UK and other world region service:

  • Auto-optimised titles and URLs for your pages
  • Individual pages contain an SEO box to manually add information
  • 301 Redirects
  • Facebook Open Graph
  • Google’s Rich Snippet
  • Auto-generated XML sitemap
  • Editable Robots.txt file
  • Canonical tag
  • Google AMP (Accelerated Mobile Pages)

Any BigCommerce plan you choose offers a site-wide SSL certificate that can help build trust on Google’s side.

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BigCommerce mobile features:

Make no mistake, mobile visitors to your site expect a crisp, clear and easily navigable experience. For those intent on selling on BigCommerce, reviews are an important indicator of what the platform will offer and this is something you must take into consideration.

You will be pleased to note that the platform offers mobile features which will have visitors returning on a regular basis to view and purchase your products or services.

Beautifully presented mobile store: This eCommerce platform allows you to build a beautiful, mobile-presented store through dozens of mobile eCommerce themes.
Fit for purpose: These themes are purpose-designed to fully express the power of your brand and automatically adjust to fit any screen.

Theme editor advantages: Their theme editor clearly shows how changes will impact your store when viewed on different devices. This editor allows simultaneous viewing of your store on mobile, tablet and desktop screen sizes without the need to publish updates.

Native AMP support:

Means you are delivering near-instant page load times to mobile visitors.
Fully optimised: Your mobile store is fully optimised for search engines as well as Google Analytics.

One-page mobile checkout:

Their one-page mobile checkout feature lowers barriers to transaction completion and allows your visitors to buy using a variety of mobile payment solutions including PayPal and Apple Pay.

Increased mobile cart conversions:

BigCommerce state that these responsive designs coupled with the latest mobile selling features give mobile cart conversions that are up to 3x higher than the industry average.

Mobile store customisation:

If you or a colleague have coding knowledge then it is possible to further customise certain parts of your mobile store to increase effectiveness. If you do not have this knowledge then hiring a professional marketing agency to complete this work should be viewed as a positive business decision.

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Support and resources:

For those businesses planning on selling on BigCommerce, reviews and in-depth understanding of what support and resources are available from the platform is an essential piece of homework.

Our BigCommerce review needs to be completely upfront on this point and we offer the following advice:

The platform offers a comprehensive knowledge-base of video tutorials that include multiple screenshots to help you along.

You can take advantage of the BigCommerce community forum where other users gather to ask questions, receive tips and contribute to forthright issues.

Then there is the BigCommerce university which is designed to enhance your understanding of all-things eCommerce.

As for direct customer support. This is contentious and ‘personal experience’ reviews often state gripes with the levels of support offered.

BigCommerce offer onboarding teams to get your online store migrated and launched, technical support is available either through 24/7 livechat, email or their US-based telephone support, and a Premium Services team is there to focus on helping your business grow.

BigCommerce UK based customers do have a free-phone number (0808) they can use, as do customers in USA/Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore and India – customers in other countries will need to make international calls to the US for telephone support.

Please be sure to read the latest BigCommerce reviews and customer comments on support as they offer subjective insight into client satisfaction. It must be said that some are not as complementary on this point compared to other eCommerce platforms.

In our conclusions and recommendations section below we offer a solution to this important issue that should give peace of mind.

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Pricing:

What is BigCommerce in terms of pricing plans over the features offered? The BigCommerce pricing structure is extremely straightforward, so let’s dive straight in:

These figures are for customers using the BigCommerce platform outside of the USA (i.e. BigCommerce UK, European or AsiaPacific customers).

  • 10% discount for an annual subscription
  • Sales threshold based on 12-month rollover period
  • Pro plan: Online sales of $400k-$1m are charged an additional $150/month for every $200k in online sales
  • Enterprise plan costs based on discussions with BigCommerce major client team
  • 15-day FREE trial offered with full features. NO credit card required
StandardPlusProEnterprise
Monthly Price $29.95 $79.95 $249.95 Custom
Sales threshold Up to $50,000 Up to $150,000 Up to $1,000,000 Unlimited
Transaction fees 0% 0% 0% 0%
Abandoned cart saver
Google customer reviews
24/7 Support

Included in ALL plans:

  • Products, storage & bandwidth unlimited
  • Staff accounts unlimited
  • eBay & Amazon connected
  • Point of sale (PoS)
  • Social channel integration (Facebook, Pinterest & Google Shopping)
  • Single-page checkout
  • Blog built-in
  • Mobile wallet (Amazon Pay & Apple Pay)
  • Coupons, discounts & gift certificates
  • Responsive websites
  • Free sitewide HTTPS & dedicated SSL
  • Shipper HQ - Shipping rules engine
  • Special credit card rate from PayPal
See Big Commerce Pricing plans

BigCommerce Review Conclusion and recommendations:

It is quite obvious that the BigCommerce platform has a lot going for it. You really do get enough ‘out-of-the-box’ features to set-up and run your online store while those considering migration of their existing online store should feel confident of its capabilities to expand their operation.

Some BigCommerce UK and other countries outside of the platforms home market may be wondering about penetration in other world regions. Rest assured it is the company’s intention to increase this.

Their abandoned cart feature is superior to other similar offerings, they charge zero transaction fees (other platforms normally charge between 1%-3% of transaction fee per sale), and they offer time-saving functions as well as easy-to-implement expansion modules including such features as Omni-channel, cart-level discount and ShipperHQ.

We must also mention the free, no credit card required, 15-day trial period.

As for their customer service, they have their supporters as well as detractors. This will clearly be seen when looking at BigCommerce review comments from existing customers. We have not forgotten our promise of how you can discover for yourself exactly how satisfactory this aspect of the service is, and really it is quite simple:

Take advantage of their full service by opting for the 15-day (NO credit card required) FREE trial and fully test all aspects of the platform INCLUDING their customer service response.

You are sure to have questions or requests and the answer to: What is BigCommerce in terms of customer service response levels, will go a long way to determining whether or not this platform is for you.

Click here to try Big Commerce RISK-FREE Today!

Click here to try Big Commerce RISK-FREE Today!


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[Review last updated in Dec 2018]

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