BigCommerce was founded in 2009. Today, it has 370 employees, and it has processed a reported $8 billion in sales.

ecommerce platform reviews

Is it right for you? Check out their features and you decide…

PERFORMANCE

TESTING NOTES: We tested performance using Google Page Speed. The test store has 20 products, using BigCommerce’s default free theme “Cornerstone Light.”

Be sure to test each theme, whether free or paid, on various devices. We’ve found that sped and user experience varies across themes, so don’t assume that your chosen theme is going to have the same results as the Cornerstone Light theme.

HERE ARE OUR RESULTS:

Mobile Speed:  70 / 100

Mobile user experience: 99 / 100

Desktop speed: 59 / 100

Works great on mobile: Yes

SEO Friendly URL:  Yes

PERFORMANCE SUMMARY

The BigCommerce site looked decent and loaded fast enough on both desktop and mobile devices.  Buyer can shop and purchase the  goods directly from their mobile devices, which is an important feature since phones are overtaking desktop devices. BigCommerce passed the mobile test using the default free theme with no other additional editing and plugins added.ecommerce platform reviews

FEATURES

Does BigCommerce have what you need to create the sort of store you’re envisioning? Check out these essential features…

Essential/ Included out of the box (with the basic $29.95 per month plan)

Hosting: You get unlimited products and unlimited bandwidth on all plans.

SEO tools (customizable meta data and URLs, bulk editing keywords, site map…): Yes

Product search: Yes

Ability to auto send abandoned cart emails: Yes

Blog: Yes

Work great on mobile: Yes

Coupon and discount compatibility: Yes

Integrated ratings and reviews: Yes

Multiple product photos with zooming capability: Yes

Real time shipping quotes: Yes

Use own domain: Yes

Free templates: Yes

SSL: Yes, but there is an additional cost associated with this feature.

PCI compliance: The BigCommerce site does not state whether they are compliant with the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS).

Reporting: Yes, basic reporting is standard, although comprehensive reporting is available on some premium plans.

ecommerce platform reviews

 

Templates: Yes.

BigCommerce has a small collection of nice, modern templates. Out of the box there are seven free templates that are mobile ready.

ecommerce platform reviews

There are also over 70 professional Premium themes available, which range in cost from $145 to $235 per theme.

ecommerce platform reviews

FEATURES SUMMARY

BigCommerce offers more out-of-the-box builtin tools than Shopify, including gift cards, reporting, shipping quotes, and auto-send abandoned cart emails.

The trade-off is the default free templates are not as plentiful, nice or as flexible as the ones from Shopify. You also need to buy SSL certificates and pick a higher subscription plan to get side-wide https security. Shopify includes that feature out of the box.

Finally, take note that there is a limit on the dollar amount of sales you can process year with the various subscription plans. If you exceed the sales quota on your current plan, you’ll need to upgrade to another plan. More on this issue in the pricing section below.

EXTENDED FEATURES

Need more power, function and flexibility? Here’s what BigCommerce offers you…

Ability to handle subscriptions/recurring product orders: No

Drop-shipping integration: Yes, this is available with a paid add on.

Ability to sell customizable products (like custom print): Yes, this is available with an add on.

Fulfillment by Amazon integration: Yes

Reward points program compatibility: Yes

Google trusted store: Yes, but this feature is only available with the Pro and enterprise plans only.

Affiliate system? Yes, this is available with a paid add on.

Can sell digital product (in downloadable form): Yes

Can sell physical products: Yes, this is the default.

Can sell offline: Yes, this is possible via a third-party integration called Square. There will be an additional charge for the POS hardware.

ecommerce platform reviews

App store: BigCommerce has over 200 apps, both free and paid, to add functionality to your store. These apps include eBay Google Shopping, Quickbooks and many more to streamline your accounting and ecommerce functions.

ecommerce platform reviews

App Summary:  With the included built-in functions plus the app collections available through BigCommerce, you have a plenty of choices on how to configure your store and market it. One potential draw back, however, is that you can’t accept recurring payments with BigCommerce, though that may change in the future.

SCALABILITY

BigCommerce has the features you need to grow with your store. Take a look…

Ability to sell across multiple channels:  Yes

Number of Payment Gateways/Options: 30+

Amazon, Ebay, Etsy Integration :Yes

Facebook, Pinterest Sync: Yes

Google Product Data Feed:  Yes

Open API: Yes

Design Customization: Yes

Scalability Summary: BigCommerce is flexible, plus it includes a growing app collection to meet your needs. This means you can use this platform to scale and grow your store.

EASE OF USE

Will you be able to use BigCommerce out of the box, or will you need a developer to create your store for you? Here’s our experience…

Learning curve: Yes, there is a bit of learning curve to set up BigCommerce. At one point we had to jump to live chat for help with some very basic set up steps which were not covered in the how to guides.

Can someone without programming knowledge use it: Yes.

We used the free default theme and had a hard time setting up the navigation menu and product on each row.  Although there are no programming coding skills needed to set up BigCommerce, we did find it difficult to navigate the platform for simple editing and set up. We found the flow in BigCommerce is not as intuitive as Shopify’s platform.

SUPPORT

24/7 support via…

Phone support: Yes

Chat support:   Yes

Email support: Yes

We tested live chat and the agent was available immediately. However, the agent we talked to didn’t appear to have knowledge on subscription, recurring and drop-shipping topics. We received unrelated and unsatisfactory answers.

PRICE

SUBSCRIPTION FEE

BigCommerce has several monthly subscription plans from which to choose, including Standard, Plus, Pro and Enterprise. You’ll need to contact customer service to get a quote for the Enterprise Plan.ecommerce platform reviews

TRANSACTION FEE

There are no transaction fees on any of the plans.

Keep in mind you still need to pay the credit card processing fees, as well as whatever other fees your payment gateway provider charges you to accept payments.

Important note:  while there are no transaction fees and you can pick any one of the plans, BigCommerce does require you to upgrade to a higher plan if your online store exceeds certain sales dollars thresholds.

For example, if you pick the Standard plan ($29.95 per month), once you exceed $50,000 in sales dollars over the trailing 12 months, you will be upgraded to the Plus plan ($79.95 per month). If you exceed $125,000 in sales dollars over the trailing 12 months, you will be moved to their Pro plan ($199.95 per month). If your store exceeds $1 million in sales, then you will be enrolled in their Enterprise plan.

Other fees:

+ App fee if you use paid apps.

+ Applicable tax

CONCLUSION

BigCommerce is a hosted solution like Shopify. It is often compared to Shopify for its speed, performance, user friendliness, scalability and security. You don’t have to worry about hosting, server management, security patch updates and similar technical and security issues when you use BigCommerce.

You can use this platform to sell online and offline, and you can use it to sell both physical products and downloadable digital products. Out of the box it offers a great set of built-in tools at no additional cost. It can handle one-off payments, but at this time you cannot use BigCommerce for recurring payments. BigCommerce can be costly, however, due to the sales quota limitations.

If you want to check out BigCommerce for yourself…

Learn more and to see if BigCommerce is a good fit for your business, check them out by clicking the button below.
If you want to compare up BigEcommerce to Shopify then check out our post “Ecommerce Platform Reviews and Comparisons”

Nam Ybarra

Operations Manager, Entrepreneur, Marketer at PromoteLabs, Inc
Nam Tran has two great passions in life : software experimental and Japanese Kit-Kat bars. She enjoys living life the fullest, which includes eating lots of exotic and spicy foods, none of which she likes to cook herself.
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