Last Updated on Nov 9, 2021

BigCommerce Review – 2021

  • Ease of use
  • Abandoned cart feature
  • Sell across currencies

While it may not be the biggest name in the industry, BigCommerce has put itself into the limelight by offering several features like search engine optimization (SEO), web hosting, customer groups, and segmentation. It is one of the most versatile platforms for global sales, using multiple currencies, payment, and versatile shipping options. Those who are looking for an e-commerce platform should consider BigCommerce, especially those looking to launch an online store.

Pros:

  • Ease of use
  • Shipping integration
  • POS functionality

Cons:

  • Requires more technical skill to set up
  • Limits on annual online sales

BigCommerce is a software-as-a-service (SaaS) platform that provides a variety of e-commerce solutions. Thousands of businesses, including Skullcandy, Sony, and Ben & Jerry’s, use BigCommerce worldwide.

BigCommerce was established by two Australians, Mitchell Harper and Eddi Machaalani in 2009. The two had started talking in an online chat room in 2003 and decided to relaunch BigCommerce, which was a hosted version of another program called Interspire Shopping Cart. 

The two opened an office in the United States the same year. 

BigCommerce got its big break in 2011 when it obtained $15 million in funding from General Catalyst Partners. It filed for IPO in 2020 and went public a month later.

BigCommerce has its pros and cons and whether or not it is for your business largely depends on what you are trying to achieve. It is aimed at business owners who want large-scale e-commerce sales and who sell through multiple platforms. 

Startups or family-owned businesses that are selling locally on a small scale wouldn’t benefit. 

Here are some pros and cons of using BigCommerce:

Pros

  • Platform fees or commissions for the website builder do not exist: This is different from other platforms that initiate commissions on sales or platform fees based on use. There are no transaction fees attached to any BigCommerce plan. That is because BigCommerce is a hosted platform, meaning it has its own servers. What that means for a business is that you don’t have to buy additional web hosting to install computer programs. You can build and manage your e-commerce store from anywhere as long as you have internet service.
  • It has free features built-in: This includes a choice of templates, a drag-and-drop website builder, payment integrations, staff accounts, blogging, and SEO features. 
  • It has multi-channel integration: This is an important feature for those who sell across multiple platforms and social media. E-commerce sales are much easier to manage from one platform like BigCommerce rather than from each platform. 

Cons

  • It requires more technical skill to set up: BigCommerce customers say some of the setup features are hard to find and some instructions are difficult to understand, even with a drag-and-drop menu. Setting up a BigCommerce store, for example, is going to take longer than with other, simpler platforms like Shopify. It is expected that those who use BigCommerce already have some technical skills with online systems, so there could be some coding or other tweaks to make. The upshot of this is you can make your e-commerce site more customized with BigCommerce than with other platforms as it allows tweaks and modifications more than other ready-to-go systems.
  • It doesn’t have an abandoned cart saving functionality on every plan: Abandoned cart functionality is important to e-commerce sales because it can remind the customer to finish their purchase. Without this feature on every plan, thousands of carts could be left without follow-up. The abandoned cart feature comes only with the Plus, Pro, and Enterprise plans. It isn’t a part of the Standard plan.
  • It places limits on your annual online sales: This is the flip side of the advantage of no transaction fees to BigCommerce. The company places sales limits on your business based on the plan you purchase. For instance, the lowest-cost plan, called the BigCommerce Standard, has a $50,000 annual sales limit. 

Other annual limits are as follows:

  • BigCommerce Plus: $180,000
  • BigCommerce Pro: $400,000
  • BigCommerce Enterprise: negotiable

Additionally, the company has an option to pay an additional $150 a month for every $200,000 in sales for those in the BigCommerce Pro plan. 

It has multiple payment methods

Businesses can’t let limited ways to pay cause them to lose money in sales. With more than 65 payment gateway options, this SaaS platform offers your customers every possible way to pay that is secure and safe. 

It is great for global sales

Whether you are dropshipping or have a store, BigCommerce is set up for global sales and product options. It operates web hosting and website building in at least 29 countries, offers multiple currency options, and can be customized for targeted customers. 

Numerous apps are in BigCommerce’s store to enhance the functionality and customize your e-commerce store to further target your customers in various countries. You can add any of them as you wish regardless of the plan you are on.

It works across multiple platforms

BigCommerce is designed for a business owner to operate across multiple sales platforms, including social media. It can expand your reach easily without a lot of fuss on your part. 

It limits your sales

No entrepreneur likes to feel their sales are limited, but BigCommerce has annual limits based on the plan you buy. However, it does allow you to pay an additional fee or upgrade if you find you are going over your plan’s limits. 

It is more technical than what smaller businesses need

BigCommerce themes are beautiful and can be customized but many new entrepreneurs lack the technical skills to use all those customization features. Trying to figure out how BigCommerce works may be too challenging for those who aren’t familiar with e-commerce website design and launch.

BigCommerce meets the highest level of security for a platform. It is certified Level 1. All stores, regardless of plan, have multiple layers of security like file integrity scanners, firewalls, and intrusion detection.

BigCommerce has four plans that online businesses can use. Here are the price structures, features, and sales limitations of each plan. 

Standard Plan: The price is $29.95 monthly whether you go monthly or pay annually. Sales limits are $50,000 annually. 

  • Unlimited staff accounts
  • Multiple sales channels
  • Coupons, discounts, gift cards, 
  • Real-time shipping quotes
  • Product catalogs
  • Inventory management
  • Product ratings and reviews
  • Unlimited number of products offered for sale

Plus: Price is $79.95 billed monthly and $71.95 a month if paying annually. Sales limits are up to $180,000 annually.

Besides the features in the Standard plan, this plan offers:

  • Abandoned cart recovery
  • Customer categorization to reward loyal shoppers
  • Credit cards for your store

Pro: The price is $299.95 if paying monthly and $269.96 a month if paying annually. Sales limits are up to $400,000.

Besides the features offered in the Plus plan, the Pro plan also includes:

  • Google customer reviews
  • Product search filtering
  • Custom SSL certificate

Enterprise: The price for this plan is customized. The sales limit is up to $400,000 annually. The company does offer a one-month free trial.

This plan has everything of the Pro package plus the following:

  • Priority support
  • Custom product filtering
  • API support
  • Price lists

BigCommerce offers more customer service options than most of its competitors. That is especially true of its onboarding. 

The company has an onboarding team to help small businesses migrate from other platforms and launch their store with BigCommerce. There is also email and phone support based in the United States to deal with technical issues. 

BigCommerce also has a 24/7 live chat to help with any issues or answer any questions. Tutorials are also available online.

Does BigCommerce meet standards for PCI compliance?

PCI DSS requirements apply for any platform accepting customer transactions using a credit or debit card. BigCommerce certifies yearly on all 12 requirements mandated to be a shared hosting provider and is PCI DSS compliant.

Can I use my domain name with BigCommerce?

Yes, but those who don’t have a domain name can buy one through BigCommerce.

Who gets SSL certificates with BigCommerce?

SSL certificates are free with all plans, along with site-wide HTTPS. You can purchase a premium SSL certificate from BigCommerce to access advanced security features.

Will I need to pay sales tax on my BigCommerce subscription?

Yes, you must pay sales tax for all services and products from BigCommerce.

Does BigCommerce do automatic upgrades?

Yes, automatic upgrades occur when your business reaches the maximum for sales over  12 months. That means those in a Standard package will be upgraded and billed for Plus and those in a Plus package will be upgraded and billed for a Pro package.

Those who have a drop in numbers are not automatically downgraded. You will need to call the BigCommerce billing team to discuss it with a representative.

Sales volume is calculated using your most recent 12 months of sales after you have been with BigCommerce for a year. This prevents seasonal spikes from throwing off your sales volume numbers.

You can see your yearly sales and orders using the BigCommerce Control Panel. Navigate to “billing” and then to “purchase history” to find your trailing yearly sales and order figures.

Do sales on social media count toward annual sales limits?

Yes, transactions from Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest, along with those from places like Amazon and eBay count toward your annual sales.

How are my sales limits figures if I have multiple stores on BigCommerce?

Each store is considered a separate store and will be governed by the sales limit in the plan used by each store.

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