Besides Shopify, Bigcommerce delivers a beautiful set of features as one of our favorite ecommerce website builders.
No, you wouldn’t make use of Bigcommerce if you just needed an informational business website, but the tools are too difficult to pass up for those companies out there that need effective inventory management, product listings and promotional tools.
A word of warning: Some of our Bigcommerce users have reported that once you get past the Plus plan, the Bigcommerce company tries to automatically send you to its Enterprise package, which can be somewhere around $500 per month. From what we’ve heard from users, it’s a huge ripoff. Therefore, as of now, we only recommend Bigcommerce for online stores that are making under $100K per year.
Besides some of the pricing problems we’ve seen recently, Bigcommerce is still a top option out there. So, keep reading to learn more about how it can serve as not only an ecommerce platform, but a complete website builder.
How Many Sites Have Been Made With This Website Builder?
A little over 50,000 websites use Bigcommerce. Keep in mind that there’s no reason to go with Bigcommerce unless the primary function of your site is to sell digital or physical items online.
Starting out, the Bigcommerce system provides hosting and domain names without making you get them yourself. This offers secure options and ensures that your customers feel safe while browsing. Integrate with email marketing solutions, and watch as your SEO improves the more you create blog posts and content pages.
Accepting payments is pretty easy, since you can choose from dozens of options. We recommend payment processors like PayPal, Stripe or Square, but it’s completely up to you in the end. Ship and fulfill your orders without any problems, and watch as your website snaps into place when viewed on a mobile device.
We’ll cover the backend interface below, but there are some nifty reports and tools for analyzing your business in the long run. We also particularly enjoy the fact that you can sell on marketplaces throughout the internet, along with social media sites like Facebook and Pinterest. In fact, Bigcommerce offers one of the easiest web builders if you’re trying to sell your items through social sites.
BigCommerce Ease of Use
The backend looks similar to that of Shopify and WordPress, with tabs towards the left hand side. Quite a few support modules are offered when you land on the backend, so I would say that Bigcommerce is just fine for intermediates and advanced users.
I would recommend Shopify over Bigcommerce for beginners, because Bigcommerce has more built-in features, making it somewhat intimidating if you don’t need to use everything. On the other hand, Shopify uses more apps, so you can add and remove the ones you like or don’t like.
Bigcommerce has a free trial for 15 days. You don’t have to punch in a credit card or anything like that. Once again, many of our users have stated that the pricing has blown up to ridiculous levels recently. However, it only seems to affect those who are teetering on the higher edge of the Plus Plan. Basically, the monthly rates are going up to around $400, or even $500, if you’re not careful.
Anyways, here’s what you can expect from each plan:
- Standard – $29.95 per month for sites with up to $50k in online sales per year. You get lots of payment options, no transaction fees, unlimited products, responsive themes, single page checkouts, real time shipping, coupons, Facebook integration, marketplace integrations and a dedicated SSL.
- Plus – $79.95 per month for sites with up to $125k in online sales per year. You get everything from the previous plan, special credit card rates from PayPal, Abandoned cart saver, Advanced segmentation tools and Advanced pricing rules.
- Pro – $199.95 per month for sites with up to $1 million in online sales per year. You get everything from the previous plan, a Sitewide HTTPS, Fraud monitoring and Google Trusted Stores (where eligible).
- Enterprise – Custom pricing gets you everything from the previous plan, a Dedicated SSL, Faceted search, Unlimited API calls, ShipperHQ shipping rate tool, Prioritized call routing, BigCommerce consulting, Account management and priority support.
BigCommerce Templates and Design
The templates are just as good as Shopify, and you get to choose from around 100 designs. Various industries are supported, so if you’d like to make a shoe store, they have an option for you. If you’d rather sell digital tracks for your band, that’s an option too. These themes are rather modern and customizable, and although the selection isn’t as good as Shopify, this website builder company seems to put more of a focus on quality than quantity.
BigCommerce SEO and Marketing
Bigcommerce SEO is rather intense, giving you support for all sorts of meta data, keywords, customizable 301 redirects and more. If you’re a beginner, this is going to seem a little complicated, but the good news is that most of the SEO is automated. You do, however, have the option to change around regular URLs and meta data if you’d like.
As for marketing, the coupons, discounts and product recommendations are great. You can sell on Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter, making it nice and easy for distributing your sales channels. Most people opt for Bigcommece because of all the built-in marketing tools, but if you’d rather pick and choose, go with Shopify, because it works primarily off apps.
BigCommerce Customer Support
Support through Bigcommerce is offered as live chat, phone and email support. Basically, you can get a hold of the company at any time throughout the day. We like that Bigcommerce has a forum for chatting with other people who use the system, while the blog is there for updates and news you may want to hear about.
Bigcommerce works as a website builder if you’re around the $50k per year mark. We are more keen on recommending Shopify right now because Bigcommerce is seeing some complaints because of pricing moves. However, we still think Bigcommerce is one of the big dogs on the market, so don’t give up on them yet.