BigCommerce is a fully hosted ecommerce platform that lets you build an online store and sell on multiple platforms, including enterprise and ecommerce apps. It is known for zero transaction fees and scalable solutions, making it best for high-revenue and growing businesses needing a sales platform that can grow with them.
It also has inventory and product management tools that can easily handle more variants and modifiers than competing ecommerce platforms, making BigCommerce a great fit for businesses with large inventories or complex product assortments. Monthly plans start at $29.95.
Table of Contents
- 1 When to Use BigCommerce
- 2 When to Use an Alternative
- 3 BigCommerce Store Examples
- 4 BigCommerce Pricing
- 5 BigCommerce Features
- 6 BigCommerce Ease of Use
- 7 What Users Think About BigCommerce
- 8 Bottom Line
What We Like
- No transaction fees and 65 payment gateway options
- Strong inventory and product management tools
- Well-reviewed 24/7 customer support
- Extensive reporting tools
- Not beginner-friendly
- Has sales volume limits on its plans
- No shipping discounts available
- Abandoned cart recovery is only available in higher plans
- Software Fees: Starts at $29.95
- Transaction Fees: None
- Payment Gateways: PayPal powered by Braintree and 65 others
- Point-of-sale: Not included, third-party required
- Native custom work order and digital product tools
- Extensive product variants and modifier options
- Ability to sell on enterprise and ecommerce apps (Google Shopping, Walmart Marketplace, and PriceGrabber)
- Real-time shipping quotes even on basic plan
When to Use BigCommerce
BigCommerce is one of our top-recommended ecommerce platforms, scoring 4.38 out of 5 in our evaluation. In fact, we consider BigCommerce as a close runner-up to Shopify in being the best overall ecommerce solution.
In particular, we recommend BigCommerce for:
- High-revenue enterprise businesses: BigCommerce’s name implies who it’s best suited for—big ecommerce businesses. It offers integration with payment partners such as PayPal, Square, Amazon Pay, and Apple Pay. The lack of transaction fees and the ability to shop for the best payment processing rates makes it very attractive to high-revenue companies.
- Growing businesses needing a scalable ecommerce platform: BigCommerce offers various subscription tiers that you can upgrade to as your business grows and your needs change. Aside from your own website, the platform allows you to sell across multiple channels such as Instagram, Pinterest, and Facebook, as well as utilize its search engine optimization (SEO) tools to gain more traffic and increase conversion rates.
- Well-established online stores that have outgrown their current platforms: As mentioned above, you won’t outgrow BigCommerce. It also provides helpful tools and guides for a smooth migration.
- Online stores carrying a large variety of inventory such as clothing stores: BigCommerce lets you set up 250 product options and up to 600 variants.
- Businesses offering a mix of physical, digital, and service-based products: BigCommerce allows you to sell these options, without the need of a third-party integration.
- Online stores with global reach: With its basic plan and free theme, BigCommerce allows you to sell with multiple currencies. It even detects a site visitor’s IP address and switches currencies automatically.
When to Use an Alternative
- If your business is involved in small-scale selling or has only a few products, Shopify might be a better option. Its Shopify Lite plan allows you to embed checkout links on your social media pages for only $9 a month. Alternatively, you can explore our list of the best free ecommerce website builders.
- If you are looking for a quick and easy setup and are not versed with coding, check out Shopify, Square Online, and Squarespace. Users say they are very intuitive and easy to set up.
- If you run a brick-and-mortar store and would like to add an online component for pickup or local delivery sales, then Square Online is your best option. It lets you build a full website or a simple one-page site for free.
- If selling is not the main focus of your small business site and you just need a small business website, Squarespace is our recommended website builder for a user-friendly, all-in-one solution.
- If you need a fully customized website and online store on your own servers, WooCommerce or PrestaShop is a better option. These are open-sourced platforms primarily geared toward developers.
- If you already have an existing WordPress website and would like to build or add an online store, a WordPress ecommerce plugin such as WooCommerce would be a better option. Such plugins have robust features similar to BigCommerce and have the advantage of being as customizable as WordPress.
BigCommerce Store Examples
BigCommerce is best for businesses that have an extensive product catalog, need custom or work-order tools, and require a scalable solution. The brands below are perfect examples of those businesses that utilize BigCommerce’s standout features.
Revelry is an online shop that offers bridesmaids dresses in a wide variety of styles, colors, and sizes. Michelle DeLoach, its owner, shared that she chose BigCommerce because of its fast loading time, ability to set up shoppable Instagram posts, and low transaction fees—thanks to its PayPal by Braintree integration.
Skullcandy is a lifestyle audio brand selling high-quality earphones and headphones (both wired and wireless). It migrated to BigCommerce for its versatility, adaptability, and affordability. Jenny Buchar, its Director of Digital Experience and Operations, shared that she was convinced to migrate to BigCommerce upon learning that its nontechnical team could configure its global stores’ checkout, taxes, shipping and payment types with simple preset selections.
3. Glory Cycles
Glory Cycles started out by selling bike parts on eBay, and it is now a multiplatform ecommerce business powered by BigCommerce. Clive de Sousa, its president, said that the company needed a website that could scale with its business. Its former platform wasn’t able to meet that need, so it migrated to BigCommerce and took advantage of its eBay integration to transfer inventory. It still sells on eBay and will soon be on Amazon.
BigCommerce’s pricing guide shows four subscription plans with fees that start at $29.95. The main differences among the tiers are the annual sales limits and availability of premium features—such as stored credit cards, Google customer reviews, and unlimited API calls.
BigCommerce offers a 15-day free trial, no strings attached. To build a store, you need to sign up with an email address, type in your store name, and answer a few questions about your business.
You can watch a video tour of the platform first or go through the prompts to set up your store. If you feel stuck or need help, then connect with its support team through phone or live chat.
BigCommerce Ease of Use
- Help center
- Knowledge base: User and developer docs, guides, videos, and webinars
- Community: Q&A, groups, forum, and town halls
- 24/7 email, live chat, and phone support
BigCommerce’s user interface is straightforward, relatively similar in appearance to Shopify and Squarespace’s dashboards. One of its features is a drag-and-drop builder, though most users said that it is not as intuitive as Squarespace’s layout builder. However, we found it easy to get started with setting up and managing products.
The provider offers a huge advantage to its users by having 24/7 phone, email, and live chat support. When you sign up for a free trial, you are entitled to a 10-minute call with its experts to discuss your business and goals and how BigCommerce can help you succeed.
If you subscribe to its highest plan (Enterprise), you are provided priority support. This is in the form of an onboarding consultant and prioritized phone calls with its most senior and highly trained support staff.
In addition, you can make use of its comprehensive help center and library of video tutorials.
What Users Think About BigCommerce
BigCommerce is one of the most popular ecommerce platforms based on the number of reviews online. A majority of user reviews reflect satisfaction with the platform—citing its customization, zero transaction fees, and 24/7 support as strong advantages. Most customers agree that while the ability to customize is great, it presents a steep learning curve for those not well-versed at coding.
At the time of publication, BigCommerce reviews earned the following scores on popular user review sites:
- Capterra: 4.3 out of 5 based on about 200 reviews
- G2: 4.2 out of 5 based on some 420 reviews
- TrustRadius: 8.1 out of 10 based on around 620 reviews
- iOS app: 4.6 out of 5 stars based on nearly 500 reviews
- Android app: 3.16 out of 5 stars based on more than 220 reviews
Finances Online has a Customer Satisfaction Algorithm that gathers reviews, comments, and opinions on software from many different social media sites and analyzes the data to provide a score out of 100. BigCommerce garnered an overall user satisfaction rating of 97%.
When reading through BigCommerce reviews, I noticed these trends:
- Great 24/7 customer support
- Provides more sales tools, cross-channel integration, and SEO features
- Gives more freedom when it comes to website design/customization
Users Don’t Like
- Free templates are pretty much the same except for their colors
- Can get more expensive as your store gets more sales
- You need to know HTML or CSS in order to customize BigCommerce templates
We highly recommended BigCommerce—and with good reason. It is one of the most feature-packed ecommerce platforms on the market, with its basic plan providing strong capabilities—such as SEO features (AMP functionality and image optimization), multiple currency support, and ability to set up hundreds of variants—suited for scaling and growth. This makes it perfect for large, fast-growing, and high-revenue businesses. If you are not looking for growth or are a total beginner, then the platform isn’t for you.
When it comes to choosing an ecommerce platform, it’s all going to boil down to what kind of business you have. If you run a large enterprise that requires numerous user accounts or an exhaustive product catalog, you need BigCommerce. Sign up for its 15-day free trial today.