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BigCommerce Essentials 2023 Review

BigCommerce is a solid option for multichannel selling and scalability features, but it might be difficult to get started.

BigCommerce is a web-based e-commerce platform that lets you create an online store, list items, handle orders, and interact with consumers. BigCommerce has three Essentials membership tiers and a robust feature set, making it an excellent choice for small enterprises of all sizes.

This e-commerce website builder, on the other hand, stands out from competitors due to its multichannel sales capabilities and diversity of third-party connectors – making it a top choice for firms trying to scale rapidly.

Although BigCommerce is readily extensible, your plan selection is heavily influenced by your yearly sales volume, which means that the more sales you make, the more you’ll have to pay for your membership. Furthermore, several user evaluations highlight a learning curve when getting started, thus some small firms may choose a simpler option.

ProsCons
Products, file storage, bandwidth, and staff accounts are all unlimited.
Integration with numerous sales channels is automatic.
Easily expandable; powerful out-of-the-box capabilities that improve with higher-level designs.
There are no transaction costs; you simply pay processing fees to the payment gateway of your choice.
Customer service is available around the clock.
Annual sales volume significantly determines plans; larger sales effect subscription cost.
There are just 12 free theme alternatives.
There is a learning curve to get started.

Factors to consider

Cost
The standard package is $29.95 per month.The Plus plan is $79.95 a month.Starting at $299.95 per month for the Pro package.The enterprise plan is priced on a quotation basis.
Store designThere are around 180 free and paid themes available, with premium themes ranging from $150 to $300. Customise with a what-you-see-is-what-you-get (WYSIWYG) theme editor; all themes offer HTML and CSS access.
Payment processingTo take consumer payments online, choose from over 65 pre-integrated payment gateways.BigCommerce does not charge transaction fees; you only pay the payment provider’s processing costs.Braintree offers exclusive processing rates to qualified businesses.
ScalabilityThere are three options, however they are heavily influenced by your sales volume. Access to various sales channels, infinite items, and hundreds of third-party app connections are included in all plans.Higher-level plans, among other things, include abandoned cart recovery, customer reviews, and custom product filtering.For enterprises who want a customised solution, a quote-based enterprise package is also available.
Customer supportSupport is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week by chat, email, and phone.
Ease of usePowerful dashboard with a modern layout; platform is simple to use and has a number of built-in capabilities. User-friendly, but may take longer to set up than rivals. A variety of resources are accessible in the online help centre, as well as 24/7 customer assistance.

How does BigCommerce operate?

BigCommerce lets you build an e-commerce website. To get started selling online, sign up for a BigCommerce account, fill up your business profile, and establish individual user accounts by following the steps on your dashboard.

Here’s a rundown of how BigCommerce works:

Make your storefront.

BigCommerce has over 180 mobile-responsive themes from which to design and customise your online store. You may alter the various components of your theme, such as colours, text, photos, buttons, banners, carousels, and more, using a WYSIWYG page builder.

Although you may create your BigCommerce store without knowing any code, you can also utilise an HTML editor to further customise any theme.

Add your items.

You may list an infinite number of goods in your online store with any BigCommerce plan. You can add products one at a time or upload a CSV file. BigCommerce allows you to categorise your items as well as create and assign variations, modifiers, and modifications (for example, size, colour, and text).

When creating your product listings, you can also add photographs, videos, measurements, and weight; select shipping details; enable related goods; configure a custom search engine optimisation field; and choose whether or not you want to track stock levels.

Make your payments.

You may accept both online and offline payments with BigCommerce. You must select a payment gateway and link it to your BigCommerce account in order to accept online payments.

  • BigCommerce integrates over 65 payment gateways, including well-known suppliers like First Data, Authorize.net, Adyen, Square, and Stripe. Which payment channels you can use will be determined by the country and currency of your shop.
  • Qualified US companies can sign up for a PayPal powered by Braintree account to take advantage of BigCommerce’s special credit card processing prices.
  • BigCommerce also integrates with digital and mobile wallets like Apple Pay and Venmo, as well as other online payment methods including bank transfers, ACH payments, and certain “buy now, pay later” services.

You can allow offline payment alternatives such as bank deposits, cash on delivery, cheques, money orders, and pay in store.

Configure your options and begin selling.

BigCommerce has a number of services that will assist you in managing your orders, customers, and other aspects of your storefront even before you begin selling.

You may customise your tax rates, currency options, and delivery methods, as well as optimise the checkout process. You may also customise your order fulfilment procedure, set up a return and refunds policy, and send clients order alerts.

Once your business is up and running and accepting orders, you may utilise extra tools to create relationships with your consumers. You may provide coupons, discounts, and promotions to consumers, as well as allow them to leave comments and write reviews.

BigCommerce also lets you link with hundreds of third-party solutions, allowing you to connect to small-business programmes you already use or enhance the functionality of your shop. Popular apps in the marketplace include Mailchimp, ShipStation, QuickBooks Online, and LiveChat.

Keep track of your progress.

BigCommerce’s E-Commerce Analytics package of tools will assist you in tracking orders, traffic, customers, marketing, and more, allowing you to fine-tune your sales strategy and expand your online business.

You may utilise your main BigCommerce dashboard to see real-time statistics from numerous channels, like as traffic, conversions, orders, and income. You may also create 11 customised reports and enable Google Analytics for more information.

BigCommerce prices and plans

BigCommerce has three Essentials plans — Standard, Plus, and Pro — that are priced monthly. The company also provides a quote-based Enterprise package that may be tailored to your specific needs.

When you choose an annual membership over a monthly subscription, you may save 10% on either the Plus or Pro plan.

The chart below depicts the prices and features of the various BigCommerce plans.

PlanPricingFeatures
Standard$29.95 per month.Online sales of up to $50,000 per year are possible.Products, file storage, bandwidth, and staff accounts are all unlimited.Using a WYSIWYG editor, create an online storefront.There are over 180 mobile-responsive themes to choose from.Using point-of-sale connectors, you can sell on social networking platforms, online marketplaces, and in-person.Single-page checkout simplifies the buying experience.Allow payments using mobile and digital wallets.Discounts, coupons, and gift cards are available.Accept payments in over 100 different currencies.Provide shipping rates in real time.Customers should be able to rate and review items.A built-in blog and professional reporting tools are included.Sitewide hypertext transfer protocol secure (HTTPs) and specialised secure sockets layer (SSL) certificate are provided for free.Manage your account with the BigCommerce iOS or Android mobile app.Customer service is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week through phone, email, and live chat.
Plus$79.95 per month.Standard’s whole set of features.Online sales of up to $180,000 a year are possible.Create client groups and segments based on price, product availability, and promotional offers.Abandoned cart saver built in; customise abandoned cart saver emails and track cart recovery data.Prefill shipping and payment data for returning consumers by storing credit card information.

ProMonthly rates begin at $299.95. If you want to exceed the plan’s usual $400,000 maximum for online sales, you can pay $150 per month for each additional $200,000 in sales volume.

Plus’s whole feature set.Annual online sales of up to $400,000*Turn on Google Customer Reviews.Customers should be able to filter products.In a filtered search, use custom product fields.

EnterpriseQuote-based pricing.All of the Pro features.Amount of online sales each year that you specify.Create SKU-level bespoke pricing for client groups.API calls are unlimited: Sync data from third-party platforms into BigCommerce automatically.Priority customer service; access to customer success management assistance.

BigCommerce offers a 15-day free trial of their platform with no credit card required at any time.

To learn more about BigCommerce Enterprise, arrange a demo online or call a sales representative to get a better idea of how much this plan would cost based on your company’s needs.

Fees for payment processing

BigCommerce does not impose transaction fees; but, in order to take online payments, you must select a payment gateway and pay the credit card processing costs charged by the supplier.

If you utilise PayPal powered by Braintree, you may be able to take advantage of the processing rates that BigCommerce provides to its clients. Qualified businesses in the United States can receive the following pricing, which change depending on their BigCommerce membership plan:

  • 2.59% + 49 cents each debit or credit card transaction is standard.
  • In addition: 2.35% + 49 cents each debit or credit card transaction.
  • The fee is 2.05% + 49 cents each debit or credit card transaction.
  • Enterprise: 2.05% + 49 cents each debit or credit card transaction, whichever is less.

Regardless of your plan, the cost for all online payments made using American Express cards will be 3.5% per transaction. Similarly, the rate for all PayPal Digital Payments transactions will be 3.49% + 49 cents per transaction.

Benefits of BigCommerce

Built-in characteristics that are extremely powerful

BigCommerce comes you everything you need to get started and develop your e-commerce business.

You get unrestricted access to goods, bandwidth, file storage, and staff accounts regardless of your membership package. All BigCommerce plans also include a comprehensive set of advanced sales features, such as a configurable single-page checkout, multicurrency support, real-time shipping quotes, reporting tools, an integrated blog, and product ratings and reviews.

Some rivals, such as Shopify and Volusion, demand higher-tier memberships or third-party connections to access the same degree of features within their systems.

Excellent for multichannel selling

You may sell to clients outside of your online shop by listing your items on social media sites and digital marketplaces, as well as selling in person, using BigCommerce.

BigCommerce interfaces with Amazon, eBay, Google Shopping, Instagram, and Facebook, allowing you to display items, handle orders, and sync inventory across many channels. You may also add buy buttons to your blog, emails, and social media postings to allow consumers to shop right from them.

BigCommerce’s direct connection with Square POS allows businesses to sell both online and in-person. BigCommerce’s interface with Square is bidirectional, allowing you to track in-person and online transactions via your Square Dashboard – as well as instantly updating your inventory when you make a sale.

Furthermore, Square is not the sole choice for in-person sales. BigCommerce also integrates with approximately 30 other point-of-sale system vendors.

BigCommerce’s Negatives

Plans limit yearly sales volume.

Each BigCommerce plan has an annual sales volume restriction that your online business may meet. If you reach the subscription limit, BigCommerce will automatically upgrade you to the next plan level.

Although these volume-based restrictions are not uncommon across e-commerce platforms, they can be burdensome for enterprises looking to develop fast. And there are rivals that do not impose them, such as Shopify and Square Online.

There is a learning curve to get started.

BigCommerce is simple to use, however it may not be the greatest option if you want to start selling online as soon as possible. Whereas an option like Big Cartel or Shopify may be set up in a matter of hours, it may take longer to build an online store with BigCommerce – especially for e-commerce newbies.

To get the most out of BigCommerce, take the time to learn all the platform has to offer and customise all of the important features to your specific needs. To learn how to use BigCommerce successfully, consider watching videos, reading help articles, or contacting customer service personnel.

BigCommerce replacements

Shopify

Shopify, one of BigCommerce’s main competitors, may be a better choice for e-commerce newcomers. Shopify has a rich feature set at a comparable pricing range to BigCommerce; but, getting started selling online with Shopify may be easier.

Pros

  • Your annual online sales volume is not restricted by Shopify.
  • Shopify Payments, Shopify’s payment processing facility, is embedded into the platform, allowing you to take payments straight away.
  • All Shopify subscriptions have access to Shopify POS, allowing you to sell both in-person and online.
  • The Shopify App Store has over 6,000 third-party apps.

Cons

  • If you use a payment provider other than Shopify Payments, Shopify charges an extra transaction fee.
  • Each Shopify plan has a restriction on the amount of staff accounts you may have, with the Advanced plan having a maximum of 15 accounts.
  • The Basic Shopify package does not feature professional reports.

WooCommerce

WooCommerce is a free shopping cart plug-in that can be downloaded and installed on a WordPress site to transform it into an e-commerce business. WooCommerce, being an open-source plug-in, is an excellent alternative for business owners looking for a solution with a higher level of customisation than BigCommerce.

It’s also a wonderful option for companies who already have a WordPress website and want greater control over the pricing of their e-commerce platform.

Pros

  • WooCommerce is available for free download.
  • WooCommerce is an open-source plug-in, which means you may alter the HTML and CSS to tailor the capabilities to your needs.
  • Businesses who lack technical knowledge or development resources can nevertheless use WooCommerce and its benefits.
  • Hundreds of free and paid extensions are available in the WooCommerce marketplace to help you enhance the possibilities of your business.

Con

  • To utilise WooCommerce, you must have a WordPress website.
  • Although WooCommerce is free, you will need to pay for your WordPress website, which may include web hosting, domain name registration, and security monitoring.
  • You may require technical skills — or to employ a professional developer — to get the most of the WooCommerce plug-in.
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