2015 BigCommerce Review

The Good – The team at BigCommerce continues to create a very intuitive eCommerce platform. They give you a lot of powerful features, and yet they keep things simple enough for any skill level. It’s loaded to the brim with enough features to satisfy experienced eCommerce Guru’s and includes some unique…

Review Overview

Easy of Use
Cart Features
Marketing Tools
Set-up and Design
Customer Service
Security

Best suited for stores with over 25+ products and under 5MM in revenue.

BigCommerce is fun (yes, fun) and user-friendly. While the least expensive packages will get you started, we recommend using the higher priced “Gold” package to get all the features you’ll need. Any way you slice it, BigCommerce is a great eCommerce solution for any small to medium online business.

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User Rating: 2.4 ( 5 votes)
85

The Good – The team at BigCommerce continues to create a very intuitive eCommerce platform. They give you a lot of powerful features, and yet they keep things simple enough for any skill level. It’s loaded to the brim with enough features to satisfy experienced eCommerce Guru’s and includes some unique features you can’t find anywhere. They’ve also worked on the ease of their initial store set-up, making it one of the fastest on the market.

The Bad – Their basic, affordable package comes with a 2% transaction fee. Also, only their top tier package includes a very important revenue increasing feature, abandoned shopping cart remarketing. You’ll need to be careful of the 3rd party add-ons with extra fees as they add up fast.

Cool Features – “Fully loaded with Killer features” – BigCommerce includes everything you need to get your store up, running and making money. What’s not included in the core of the product usually can be found in their robust app store. Our favorites include mobile management, product reviews, built-in blogs, and scheduled shipping options. We recommend savvy users spend a little time in the app store for add-ons that increase productivity and scalability.

Store Setup and Design

BigCommerce has been on the top of the eCommerce scene for the last few years and its incredible growth has way outpaced others in the eCommerce software field. There’s a reason for this. From the moment you log-in to a BigCommerce free trial, you realize you’re dealing with the cream of the crop in shopping cart software. Its admin panel and store set-up tools are some of the most intuitive and user-friendly we’ve ever been through… so much so that ZippyCart considers these features the primary strengths of BigCommerce.

One of truly unique feature of BigCommerce is a feature that will help you setup your internet marketing goals and let you set reminders for marketing tasks.

There have been some dramatic changes in the BigCommerce store setup in the last year or two. They used to start you off with a Quick Launch that threw a lot of details at you at once. Now they stick with only the basics you’ll need to get your store up and running very quickly. They focus on your Storefront, products and checkout, then let you launch.

With over 100 templates to choose from, you may feel overwhelmed in choosing a design for your store. The truth is that you can skip looking at most of their free designs, as they’re dated and not using responsive design. Luckily, there are great paid template options and of course, you can always have one custom built for you. If you go with one of their current design templates, keep in mind that the newer templates use BigCommerces updated “Site Design Mode”, while the older templates use a somewhat dated “Design Mode”. The newer “Site Design Mode” actually recommends options (font, size) based on what the designer feels is best suited for a template, which we feel is a timesaving move and can really assist eCommerce newbies who need help with the look and feel of their online store.

BigCommerce Quick Start Guide
BigCommerce Quick Start Guide

Marketing

The internet marketing features found in BigCommerce eCommerce software is everything you’d expect from one of the top shopping cart solutions on the market. Everything is built with SEO in mind, from their auto-generated sitemaps to search engine friendly links.

One of truly unique feature of BigCommerce is a feature that will help you setup your internet marketing goals and let you set reminders for marketing tasks. This type of system will help your online store with search engine ranking. While most apps simply give you tools to assist with SEM, BigCommerce is one of the first eCommerce systems to recommend what you should be doing and set up “tasks” and “goals”. We LOVE THIS. Since the Google Panada update, SEO isn’t just about title tags and descriptions. Google now wants your company to act like a company and put out relevant content about products and services. This innovative tool can really help with tasks like this.

They also offer many promotions and coupons, basic email marketing and newsletters, social media marketing (that includes selling on Facebook, social media icons, and RSS feeds), and the ability to sell everywhere through multi-channel sales and comparison sites.

BigCommerce Style Editor
BigCommerce Style Editor

Security

The security of BigCommerce eMerchants is automatically covered with level 1 PCI-compliance and SAS 70 type II servers. Dedicated Secure SSL certificates (highly recommended) are available for an extra $129. Why use a dedicated certificate as opposed to a shared? Our research has shown you’ll get a higher conversion rate with a dedicated. Unlike shared certificates, dedicated SSL certs allow you to maintain the same URL throughout the entire checkout process while shared certs require the URL to change when the user goes secure.

Part of the BigCommerce security package ensures a high average uptime, fast page load times and 24x7x365 monitoring.

Add a Product Page
Add a Product Page

Product and Store Management

The core feature set included with BigCommerce includes everything you need to get your shop up and making money. These include drop shipping and inventory control, an automated return system (RMA), as well as integrations with Webgility (automated shipping and order management) and QuickBooks (accounting). They also include a nifty app that allows you to manage your store through your mobile device.
With Bigcommerce, you’ll see some great tools that aren’t easily found in other eCommerce solutions. These include the ability for Merchants to set-up delivery dates (useful for some merchants) and add product tags (which assist with product searches).

Advanced Features Tab
Advanced Features Tab

Customer Service

BigCommerce offers many different support outlets, including BigCommerce University, over 500 online articles, video tutorials, a community support forum, live chat, Twitter, and email support. There is also the option to take regular workshops or purchase a premium plan and setup personalized coaching with their Success Squad.

Contact Sales by phone: Mon – Fri – 7am to 7pm CST
Contact Support thru online chat: Mon – Fri 24 hours and Sat 9am – 2pm CST
Community Forum, BigC University, Articles, Videos, and Twitter: 24 hours, 7 days a week
Email your contact directly: 24 hours, 7 days a week (response times vary)

BigCommerce App Store
BigCommerce App Store

Additional Information

We’ve done some searching online for other reviews of BigCommerce and as with most carts, it’s a bit of a mixed bag. Generally speaking most people spoke highly of their experiences and this software ranks well.  However, here are a couple notable exceptions you may want to look out for:

  • Customer Service: We’ve come across a number of postings that complain about BigCommerce’s customer service. The good news is things appear to be getting better, the bad news is, issues still exist. Of course customer service complaints are not uncommon for eCommerce companies so be sure to set realistic expectations when contacting working with any eCommerce solution. If you’re paying for a low end package, odds are you’re not going to be working with the most experienced techs. If you’re serious about your business and getting good customer service, consider moving to a high-end package or paying extra for “premier” customer support.
  • Additional fees for the “Good” templates: We found the free templates they provide to be pretty decent. But of course, the paid ones look better. This isn’t uncommon among eCommerce providers and BigCommerce is no exception. Our advice, be realistic. If you’re just starting out consider starting with one of their free templates to get the ball rolling. Once you’re started to make a little money, reinvest some of that money into upgrading to a fancy, shiny theme.
  • Billing and Collection Issues: At the time of this review BigCommerce had a “B” rating with the BBB and most of the complaints revolved around the companies billing and collection practices. It’s difficult for us to discuss this issue as they are outside of our experiences, but they are something to keep in mind. Our best advice is this, if you’re having issues with any companies billing department, reach out to them and come to an agreement and/or settlement. At the end of the communication, be sure to summarize your expectations based on the conversation. If they don’t live up to them, contact them again. If they still fail, contact the BBB and file a complaint. Post reviews and comments about your experiences with us and on other sites. When posting these reviews, be very factual and don’t get emotional. Eventually complaints will start affecting their bottom line and they’ll do something about it.

Conclusion

BigCommerce continues to be a great eCommerce platform and it is a great software for most eCommerce business owners. Its robust feature set, good app store and intuitive, easy-to-use software make it a favorite amongst merchants and the ZippyCart team. To really get rolling you’ll have to upgrade to the Gold package but we feel it’s worth the money. If you’re just getting started or an experienced eCommerce guru doing under 4 MM in sales, you really should look into BigCommerce.

BigCommerce
BigCommerce is an intuitive eCom software that offers more than 100 templates!

One comment

  1. Good review on the Bigcommerce platform. Personally, I’ve been using them for the last four years on two separate online stores and have been quite happy. Plenty of templates to choose from and the setup and site creation is user friendly. Tons of app’s to choose from too which helps with more sales and better customer engagement. And their customer support has always been there when we need help. Most of these shopping cart platforms have a 15 or 30 day trial period. Before we chose Bigcommerce, we had trial versions with 4 different platforms to make sure we picked the correct one. Good luck! MH

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