How does BigCommerce work?
BigCommerce is an all-in-one ecommerce platform suitable for businesses that have serious intentions for growth in online sales. It has a wide range of functionality and features, with a variety of additional tools available.
The solution includes hosting, a drag-and-drop builder, and marketing tools that help maximize sales conversions. Any payment method can be implemented. It is not necessary to already be an expert in online sales, as the platform offers suggestions on the impact produced by your choices.
Unless you have a large budget available, you will have to rely on one of the plans called Essentials . In addition to the economic factor, these are the most user-friendly solutions, although some features require some experience in managing websites. The plans called Enterprise are instead intended for large companies.
Image: Mobile Transaction
The dashboard shows all the steps for setting up the site.
Starting to build an online store from scratch is quite easy. The dashboard shows all the steps to take for the initial site setup, while the wealth of options means time and patience for customization.
If you have an existing product catalog, coming from another ecommerce platform, you have the possibility to import it into BigCommerce in a short time.
It should be noted that, although the platform is available in Italian , assistance and documentation are exclusively in English.
Prices and commissions
Several subscriptions are available to be paid monthly or in advance for the whole year. The annual Plus and Pro plans with annual billing, however, this implies the payment of a large sum in advance, with no possibility of reimbursement if you decide not to use the service anymore.
BigCommerce Essentials Plans:
|Monthly billing *
|Annual billing *
|Online sales / year
* VAT excluded
BigCommerce doesn’t charge transaction fees. The expense depends exclusively on the payment gateway that you choose to implement at the online store.
What does it mean? For example, if we choose PayPal, we will pay only the PayPal commissions. Conversely, most competing solutions – such as Shopify – charge an additional fee to the carrier’s.
That said, all plans in the Essentials categories have a maximum transaction threshold. With the Standard plan, a transaction of up to $ 50,000 per year is included, Plus sets the limit to $ 180,000, and finally, Pro allows you to cash out $ 400,000 without additional fees. Also with Pro you can pay an additional fee of $ 150 per month to add an additional $ 200,000 per year of transaction included.
Subscriptions can be canceled at any time, however no refunds will be given for months paid in advance (when billed annually). Only the Pro plan includes a contract in case of negotiation of rates and transaction included.
All plans include the standard functions for building the online store. The more advanced the plan, the more tools available to stimulate sales growth.
The Enterprise option is available for large companies . In this case, everything is tailor-made: from functionality to cost. It is the most complex plan, suitable only for companies with a high turnover and possibly an internal web developer.
BigCommerce can be tried for free for 15 days , with no obligation. No credit card details are required.
- Amazon Pay
- CyberSource Direct
- Elavon – Converges
- PayPal Powered by Braintree
You need to open an account with one of the aforementioned gateways before you can connect it to the online store created with BigCommerce.
The payment methods accepted depend on the service chosen: some only support Visa, MasterCard and American Express, others offer a wider selection of methods and circuits.
Many features are available with all plans, including Standard . These include unlimited staff member profiles, unlimited products with a variety of features, unlimited storage and bandwidth. You can also sell through Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, payment links and, of course, in the online shop set up with BigCommerce.
Here are additional functions, available in all or only some of the plans:
|Single page checkout
|Coupons, discounts and gift cards
|Real-time shipping estimates
|Advanced reporting and analytics
|Product rating and reviews
|Customer groups and segments
|Recovery of abandoned carts
|Credit card data saving
|Product search filters
Basically, you have all the basic tools (and more) to create and manage an online store regardless of the subscription – including SEO functions, that is search engine optimization. However, some features that are particularly effective for sales growth are only available with the more advanced plans. For example, product search filters are essential when you have a large inventory, so that the potential buyer can search based on a specific characteristic (color, fabric, size, etc.); this feature is only available with Pro , the more expensive plan.
It should be noted that the terminology used on the platform is not suitable for beginners, and some of the functions require some knowledge of code and web development. For example, gift certificates are modified through code
Image: Mobile Transaction
Gift card editor.
There are also features (not included in the table above) that require a separate subscription. Visibility on Google Shopping, for example, requires a Sales and Orders account , to which additional costs may apply. Specific shipping rules can be added with all subscriptions, however a separate ShipperHQ membership is required (costing $ 50 to $ 300 per month).
Themes and graphics
You don’t need great technical knowledge to build a site with BigCommerce development. You can choose from a catalog of over 160 themes, some of them free and others for a fee. The price of the latter ranges from 150 to 300 dollars.
Once the theme has been chosen and installed, the customization is carried out using an easy-to-use editor.
Free template sample available on BigCommerce.
All designs are responsive , i.e. optimized for all types of screens (desktop, smartphone, tablet). It is a fundamental feature, both for an easy navigability of the site by potential buyers and to climb the search engines. That said, this is actually an essential aspect that we find on any ecommerce platform.
In addition to choosing the theme in the BigCommerce store , you can upload your own template, however in this case you will not be able to add features of the platform or receive technical assistance regarding the theme.
One of the paid themes ($ 195) that can be purchased in the store.
Hosting and security
As an all-in-one ecommerce platform , BigCommerce also takes care of hosting, i.e. the web space that will host the store. It relies on Google Cloud Platform solutions, with high performance, for this purpose. A technical aspect that should not be underestimated, given that even a second delay in loading the page can have a negative impact on sales.
The hosting is PCI DSS 3.1 Level 1 certified; it means that the vendor will not have to worry about compliance to comply with PCI (the industry standard that prevents data leaks and credit card fraud).
The inclusion of hosting and all the services necessary to go online safely facilitates the construction of the website considerably, avoiding additional subscriptions with third-party companies. The only cost to add, beyond the subscription fee, is the domain name – that is, the address we enter to access the site. You can buy directly from the BigCommerce dashboard or connect an existing domain.
In terms of security, all plans include a free SSL certificate , which certifies the reliability of the pages and payment methods. Its presence is communicated with the padlock symbol and the https preceding the site address. With the Pro plan you have the option to implement a custom SSL, purchased from another provider.
Apps and plugins
A key factor in making BigCommerce modular and highly customizable is the ability to add over 900 partner apps for advanced features. Among the categories in the store appear:
- Accounting and taxes
- Analysis and reports
- Business-to-business (B2B) / wholesale
- Catalog and order management
- Customer care
- Enterprise resource planning (ERP)
- Payments and security
- Sales channels
Many of these involve business management, but some provide tools to add to the online store or to use in place of those provided by BigCommerce.
Only with the Enterprise offering , the one intended for large companies, can the APIs be used for further advanced integrations, but this requires the intervention of a developer.