An online store is a great way to expand your customer base and double your revenue. But, before you set up your eCommerce website, it’s important to choose the right platform.
BigCommerce Review (2017): What is BigCommerce and Why Use it?
Aside from an attractive and responsive design, your chosen platform:
- Should make it easy to manage your products and your inventory.
- Come with good SEO features to help your store have better visibility for search engines.
- Integrate with a shipping provider and your accounting software so you can track your revenue.
Luckily, there is no shortage of online platforms that have those features that also allow you to build an online store without having to hire a developer. One such professional platform is BigCommerce.
BigCommerce is an all-in-one eCommerce tool that packs a lot of powerful features into a single platform. It comes with professional hosting built-in, payment integration, advanced marketing tools, and the security you’d want backing your online store.
In today’s article, we take a close look at everything BigCommerce has to offer, cover its main features in-depth, and show you why you should consider building your online store with the BigCommerce platform.
What Is BigCommerce?
BigCommerce is a pro eCommerce platform that underwent a significant overhaul last year and introduced a whole slew of new features. It currently powers more than 90,000 online stores, which shows the platform is a serious contender in the eCommerce world. Some major BigCommerce users include Toyota, Martha Stewart, Original Moxie—and that’s just scratching the surface.
The platform has all the tools and functionality needed to set up your online store, manage your inventory, process your orders, and maintain your store’s branded look and feel.
Some of the main eCommerce features include:
- Customizable and responsive templates for your online store
- Secure shopping cart
- Integration with major payment gateways such as Stripe, PayPal, Apple Pay, and more
- A full suite of marketing tools, like search engine optimization, email providers, and Google Shopping
- Inventory management and returns systems as well as multi-currency support
- The ability to sell across multiple channels, like Facebook, Pinterest, Amazon, and eBay
- Multi-currency support
- Dropshipping and Warehouse integration
- Customers and Groups management
- And more
Let’s take a look at some of its main features in more depth:
6 Main Features of BigCommerce (An In-Depth Overview)
BigCommerce touts itself as the platform that has everything you need to grow your business. It provides plans for both fast-growing brands as well as high-volume businesses. Here’s how some its main features help you sell more:
1. BigCommerce Themes
One of the more important aspects of your online store is the design. Luckily, BigCommerce doesn’t disappoint in this department.
Out of the box, the platform offers plenty of templates to choose from. The themes are divided into several categories, ranging from themes suitable for trendy fashion and craft stores to themes geared for sports or gamer stores. The main benefit of the themes is that they offer plenty of customization options and they range from free to paid.
However, if you can’t find a theme that suits your brand or aesthetic, there are also third-party professional BigCommerce themes available on our popular marketplace ThemeKeeper. Similarly to themes offered on BigCommerce’s website, these themes have been optimized for mobile devices so your customers can shop while on the go.
They also offer extensive customization options as well as features designed specifically for eCommerce websites, which include features like:
- Product quick look feature and wishlist
- Mega menus and featured products carousel
- SEO optimization and newsletter integration
Some of these pro online store themes are industry specific other are multipurpose, and can be used to build any type of store.
No matter which theme you choose for your store, you can easily customize them to integrate with your brand. You can also change the layout of any page quickly thanks to integration with a visual drag and drop page builder.
2. Payment Integration
Accepting payments on your BigCommerce site is easy thanks to their integration with over 60 payment gateways. You can accept credit cards and process payments through your store as well as use PayPal or Stripe.
The platform also allows you to collect offline payments and process them in multiple currencies. Shipping rates are completely customizable. BigCommerce supports shipping label printing, which makes it easy to process all orders as they come in and ship the products as quickly as possible.
It’s also worth mentioning that all payments are processed securely thanks to built-in security features and the option to choose a shared SSL certificate (or purchase your own).
3. Marketing Suite
When it comes to marketing features, BigCommerce has plenty on tap. You can offer your customers promotions and coupons as well as integrate an email service provider like MailChimp to grow your customer base.
It also has built-in social media sharing and marketing tools that will help you promote your online store. One of its more notable features is the easy integration with Google Shopping and eBay Stores, which allows you to reach more customers and market your products to a larger audience.
BigCommerce also allows you to set up ads for your store using Google Adwords. The built-in marketing features offered by BigCommerce are one of its biggest pros, especially for smaller stores that are just starting out and need a bit of guidance when it comes to marketing.
4. SEO Tools
In-line with their marketing tools, the platform also comes with powerful SEO features that will help your store rank better in the search engines. You can modify the product name and description, as well as set keywords and optimize your images on individual product pages.
Other SEO related features include mobile-optimized themes and their own unique content delivery network to help your store load as quickly as possible—which is an important ranking signal for search engines.
5. Product Management
BigCommerce touts itself as the full-featured content management system for eCommerce that has all the tools needed to manage your store from one centralized location.
You can easily categorize your products and process orders while keeping track of your inventory. Aside from product management, BigCommerce also offers the ability to set up real-time quotes for some of the most popular shipping options such as USPS, UPS, FedEx, and more.
What’s more, you can set up different shipping rules and choose a third-party shipping solution like ShipStation or ShipperHQ to help with product sourcing and fulfillment.
6. Customer Service and Support
Customer service and support is something BigCommerce takes very seriously. Each customer that signs up for their platform is assigned a dedicated consultant that can help you get started with the platform.
On top of that, they also offer support via BigCommerce forums where you can get help from their community of users, Live Chat, support portal, and a plethora of online tutorials, and how-to videos available in the BigCommerce University.
Why You Should Use BigCommerce
The BigCommerce features mentioned above might be reason enough to consider giving BigCommerce a trial run. However, if you’re still on the fence, here are a few good reasons why you should use this eCommerce platform:
1. No Technical Maintenance
Since BigCommerce is a hosted platform, you don’t have to worry about maintaining or updating the software like you would if you decided to use a platform like Magento. This also means you don’t have to spend extra money on a hosting plan. You can focus on running your own store and let BigCommerce handle everything for you.
2. All-In-One Platform
You can find all the functionality needed for an online store in BigCommerce. From various shipping options and promotion rules to SEO optimization and conversion tools, you can forego using several different applications to run your store the way you want it to run. BigCommerce packs all that into a single tool.
3. Robust Security
Security is something that BigCommerce takes seriously. Aside from the ability to use payment processors that already have built-in security features, you can also enable an SSL certificate on your BigCommerce store to assure your customers their data will be safe.
On top of that, each BigCommerce store comes with multiple layers of protection and security to prevent unauthorized access, including firewalls, file integrity scanners, intrusion detection software, DDOS protection, and 24/7 human monitoring.
4. The Ability To Scale Your Revenue
Adding new products to your current lineup is a great way to increase your revenue but it does require creating those products first. With BigCommerce, you can easily scale your revenue using the products you already have simply by offering them to a larger audience.
Thanks to the ability to sync your inventory to eBay, Facebook, Amazon, and Google Shopping, you can reach more customers worldwide and sell more of your products.
5. Powerful Analytics and Reporting Tools
Knowing how your store is doing is crucial for the success of your business. BigCommerce offers a complete set of analytics and reporting tools that go beyond the basics and allow you to see all the important metrics. At a glance you can get an overview of your site visits, orders, and conversion rate.
You can also take advantage of their Purchase Funnel Report to see the entire customer’s journey as they move through your site. This lets you pinpoint exactly where they are getting stuck and you can then use that data to improve your website and the customer experience. On top of that, BigCommerce Insights automatically analyzes your business and gives you personalized recommendations for increasing your store’s revenue.
Learn more about how to map your customer’s journey to improve conversions:
6. Integrated Education and Onboarding
As mentioned earlier, BigCommerce provides plenty of learning material that will help you get your store up and running as fast as possible. However, unlike other platforms that leave you searching the Internet for tutorials, BigCommerce integrates all of their guides and videos right in your dashboard so help is only a click away. All of the guides are written and presented in a step-by-step mode so you can follow along.
Each customer also gets a dedicated representative that’s there to answer your questions and you’ll receive a helpful email series that will take you through the process of getting started with BigCommerce.
Learn how to start selling products online now with this comprehensive guide from BigCommerce Editor-in-Chief Tracey Wallace:
BigCommerce Pricing (2017)
In terms of pricing, BigCommerce offers two different tiers with two different price points each.
Standard vs Plus Plans
New and growing businesses can choose between a Standard and a Plus Plan.
The standard plan is priced at $29.95/month and comes with the following features:
- Unlimited products
- Unlimited storage and bandwidth
- Multiple sales channel availability
- The ability to accept credit cards and PayPal
- No transaction fees
- 24/7 Live agent support
The standard plan is best suited for businesses that earn up to $50,000 in revenue per year.
The Plus Plan is priced at $79.95/month, offers everything that’s included in the Standard plan plus:
- Real-time carrier shipping
- An abandoned cart saver
- Advanced customer segmentation
The Plus plan is best suited for businesses that earn up to $150,000 in revenue per year.
Pro vs Enterprise Plans
For established and high-volume businesses, it’s recommended to choose between the Pro and Enterprise plan.
The Pro plan includes everything from the Plus plan and offers a few more benefits:
- The ability to enable Google Reviews
- Filtered search feature
The Pro plan is recommended for businesses that make earn up to $400,000 per year.
Lastly, the Enterprise plan requires you to get in touch with BigCommerce for custom pricing. It includes all the benefits of the Pro plan along with a dedicated SSL, an IP address, and priority support.
Get Started With BigCommerce
BigCommerce definitely has a lot to offer when it comes to setting up a professional online store that you can be successful with. From conversion-optimized templates to its powerful marketing features and the ability to manage your entire store from a central place, it’s a worthy contender in the eCommerce world.
Use the tips above to determine whether BigCommerce is the right choice for you and take the platform for a spin to make the final decision. And if you need a beautiful theme for your online store, don’t forget to check out our BigCommerce theme category on ThemeKeeper.