For every budding online entrepreneur, there are a lot of decisions to be made. But not many of them are as important as deciding which platform should you use to host your eCommerce website. Although there are many eCommerce platforms out there, not all of them are built equally. Hence why we strive to write as many reviews as we can for every eCommerce platform out there, so you can make an informed decision. And today, here’s our BigCommerce review.
Before we get to the meat of the review, let’s talk about who BigCommerce is first. BigCommerce is a technology company that was founded in 2009, and it’s main order of business is providing hosting and platform services for all online entrepreneurs out there. This means that BigCommerce is a direct competitor to other eCommerce platform services like Shopify, Magento, Volusion, and many more. So in this BigCommerce review, we’re going to look at how BigCommerce compares to the rest.
Popularity, Plans, And Pricing
Popularity And Stability
Just like in our in depth Shopify review, the first thing we’re going to look at is just how popular BigCommerce is. Here are some of BigCommerce’s outstanding facts, according to reports;
- Over 160,000 live online stores
- Used by big brands all over the world, including SkullCandy, Ben & Jerry’s and Natori
- More than $17 Billion in merchant sales using BigCommerce
From these facts, we can already tell that BigCommerce is one of the biggest eCommerce platforms out there in the world right now.
What this shows that BigCommerce is a really stable eCommerce platform, trusted by millions of users all over the world. Although it’s not as big as Shopify, BigCommerce really is giving them a run for their money right now.
Stability is really important when you’re choosing your eCommerce platform. You are basically entrusting your business to the platform you choose, so you want the platform to be sturdy and stable, with no unforeseeable mishaps.
It’s similar to building a brick and mortar shop, you don’t want to set up shop in a rickety building.
So in terms of popularity and stability, although BigCommerce might not be as big as Shopify, they do pull their own weight.
Now let’s look at their pricing.
Plans And Pricing
Just like Shopify, BigCommerce hands another heavy blow to prospective users who’re looking for a free plan. The reason? Simple. BigCommerce don’t offer any free plans. The cheapest plan BigCommerce offer is their BigCommerce Standard Plan, which costs $29.95/monthly (RM124.05/monthly). With this plan, you will be getting all the basics you’d expect from a eCommerce platform, such as your own fully customizable website and a free domain name. BigCommerce’s Standard Plan also comes with a few bonuses like unlimited bandwith, and unlimited staff accounts. This sets them apart from many other starter plans offered by most eCommerce platform companies, as they usually set a limit on bandwidth, staff accounts, or even both.
BigCommerce Plus Plan
The next offering in the line of plans offered by BigCommerce is the BigCommerce Plus Plan, which comes in at $79.95/monthly (RM331.14/monthly).
If the BigCommerce Standard Plan is aimed at startups and small scale businesses, then the BigCommerce Plus Plan’s targeted demographic is the people whose business is starting to grow. In return for the bigger pricetag, the BigCommerce Plus Plan comes with more features which can prove to be essential for growing businesses.
Some of these features includes;
- The ability to group your customers which allows you to set up a frequent shopper bonus or a loyalty program,
- An abandoned cart saver,
- A persistent cart feature,
- The ability to store your customer’s credit card details securely to streamline their shopping process.
BigCommerce Pro Plan
Their top of the line plan starts with the Big Commerce Pro Plan, which costs a whopping $249.95/monthly (RM1033.97/monthly). As you can deduce from the price, this is not a plan geared for startups or small businesses. Instead, the price reflects that the plan is targeted for growing businesses who are already making some serious cash.
You can see this from the features they offer as well. Some of the features exclusive to the BigCommerce Pro Plan includes;
- The ability to customize facets for your product filtering feature
- Price lists
- Express routing, priority support, and strategic account management. This means that your account will be given top priority at all times for every problem that you might face.
BigCommerce Enterprise Plan
The BigCommerce Enterprise Plan is BigCommerce’s answer to Shopify’s Plus Plan, Magento’s Enterprise Edition. Just like the latters enterprise plan, the BigCommerce Enterprise plan’s is determined by the scale of your business. You can consult BigCommerce, and they will give you the best rates for your eCommerce business.
Factors To Consider
some BigCommerce users have gone to the internet to complain about BigCommerce’s new payment structure. According to them, when your business reaches a certain point in revenue or orders, you are forced to upgrade to the Enterprise Plan. Reports have stated that this might cost your business to pay around $900/monthly (RM3737.25) – $1500/monthly (RM6228.75). As you can see, this is a steep price for any eCommerce business in Malaysia, so you should take this into account.
Another downside you should take into account if you’re going for BigCommerce is that the fact that they not only force their most successful customers into the Enterprise Plan. Everytime you reach a certain point in revenue or orders placed per year, you will be forced to upgrade your plan, whether you want it or not.
This will cost an increase in your monthly rates. So that’s one thing that you need to consider.
Features And Ease Of Use
In our Shopify in depth review, we mentioned how for most eCommerce startups in Malaysia, the pricing is the most important factor to consider in choosing an eCommerce platform. But most eCommerce business owners in Malaysia don’t mind paying more, if the features are worth paying for.
Which is why in our second section of our BigCommerce review, we’re going to look at BigCommerce’s features, and see if it’s worth paying for.
One of the main plus for BigCommerce is that all their plans comes with the website builder, which allows you to create your own website with beautiful, responsive designs. And the best part is that you don’t even need to have any prior knowledge about web design, their interface is done in such a way that even a total noob in web design can come up with an amazing website.
To make things even easier for you, when you first log into BigCommerce, you will get a dummy website set up for you, complete with your website name, placeholder images, and a default template.
If you don’t like the website, then there’s no problem. You can always create your own website using their website creator. You just have to choose a theme, and then with their tutorial settings, you will be given a complete crash course on how to construct your own eCommerce store.
The only drawback with BigCommerce’s website creation page is it’s limited number of themes, but we’ll touch more on that later.
With BigCommerce, you get a fully customizable shipping module set up in your store. This means that the way you carry out your business don’t have to change just because of the shipping limitations, instead it can be molded around your business.
The best thing about this feature is that you’re able to customize the UX of your checkout page according to your liking. This allows you to come up with the best way to move your customers from the checkout phase.
Another great thing about this feature is that they are able to quote the shipping price for every customer, no matter where they are. So you don’t have to worry about calculating the shipping costs anymore.
The inventory is another standout feature in BigCommerce. Unlike most shops inventory, BigCommerce offers the options to upload quick products, setup inventory tracking and update your stock levels, all in the span of a few minutes.
The inventory is also very flexible, and you can add in rules or specifications that pertain to your business. For example, if you’re running a clothes store, this inventory makes it easy for you to add in the sizes category for your clothing line. The inventory, much like everything else is fully customizable, so this is a big plus for every Malaysian eCommerce business.
For this BigCommerce review, it’s important to point out another one of BigCommerce’s huge plus. And that is they have the fastest website load times compared to every other eCommerce website platform out there.
This is a huge plus because as mentioned in our previous articles, Google has placed huge importance on the loading speed of a website, and it’s now one of the major factors determining if your website is going to rank or not.
So if your website is slow, it’ll be a double whammy for your business. Not only will your customers be annoyed at your website’s slow loading speed, your website won’t rank highly with Google as well.
Hence, BigCommerce’s speed is a very welcome feature for every prospective eCommerce business owner.
Ease Of Use
As mentioned earlier, ease of use is one of the most important aspects to consider when choosing an eCommerce platform. This is due to the fact that most eCommerce business owner don’t have the acumen to develop a website on their own. Therefore, in this part of our BigCommerce review, we’re going to look at how easy BigCommerce is to use.
When you first log in to your BigCommerce dashboard, it seems simple enough to use. You are presented with a few steps you should take before launching your eCommerce website.
This part is simple enough to use. And as mentioned earlier in this article, when you first launch your website you’re given a dummy website with one of their default themes, so you just can have a clear idea of how your website will look.
But the problem arises when less technologically savvy users try to make minor tweaks on their website. You see, BigCommerce uses a framework called Stencil to help users make edits to their themes. But Stencil is more friendly for the advanced users.