Product Name: Bigcommerce
Price: $29 – $199 monthly
Free Trial: Yes
Guided Tour: Yes
Support: 24/7 chat, email, phone
Bigcommerce.com offers an enjoyable drag and drop interface, so you don't need any coding skills. They provide new users with a ‘setup wizard' that guides you easily through the entire process of getting your store online and running. When you consider all the apps and features Bigcommerce offers, it's easy to see why they host more than 54,000 online stores.
What I Liked
Bigcommerce offers a lot of features while keeping things simple for new users. They have lots of features to help with tracking inventory, sale pricing, and even a free shipping option. Bigcommerce understand the need for users to market their stores with ease.
With Bigcommerce it’s easy to add blog posts, pages images and video content to your store. With a lot of store builders, content seems to take a ‘backseat’ to other, less important features.
You can tell that Bigcommerce places an importance on content and that’s a good thing. Without content your store is, well, just a store. We're living through a shift in the marketing industry that’s all about content and Bigcommerce seems to understand this.
BigCommerce has 100’s plugins and apps. There’s apps to help you with customer support, shipping, taxes, marketing and just about anything else you could possibly need.
There’s a mixture of free and paid apps, and some of them aren’t cheap. But I noticed that the more expensive apps offer a free option, or a trial version. The app store is complete, to say the least.
Some apps also help you customize the layout and functioning such as being able to add live chat for sales in real-time with customer service, provide timed deadline deals, and ask customers for evaluations.
Apps can also help you drive more sales and traffic by rewarding repeat customers with loyalty credits and encouraging customers to share what they purchased with friends. This can be a handy system to learn where your customers come from and how long they stay browsing in your store.
After your store is built, Bigcommerce can help you convert visitors into customers. You can take advantage of many conversion tools such as product reviews, social sharing on each product, and offer recommendations of similar products.
You can offer great side-by-side product comparisons, recently viewed products history, and use coupons with promotions. They also have mobile commerce set up to work on any device. Since mobile commerce is a fast rising trend online, this feature alone, is worth looking into.
There are some neat analytics tools that include viewing a daily snapshot of your store, orders, and ability to measure the performance of new visitors over time. You can also analyze revenue, see geographical purchase locations, and view products that sell best over any period of time.
The abandoned cart notifications is in the analytics section as well. When you combine the two, you’ll get a very good idea of where improvements need to be made and you’ll definitely be able to increase sales.
I was amazed at how easy they explain things about tax rates. They made it easy to understand and implement tax costs based on the customers location. Bigcommerce gives resources that will literally tell you what tax rate to use for each state. This can save you a lot of time and money.
Bigcommerce suggests making your order fulfilling easier by labeling what “bin” your products are stored in at your warehouse. I really like that idea of getting organized for streamlining the process. They say to have shipping boxes already available which you can get for free from the several main shipping carriers.
They even have a “copy” button right next to the shipping address so you can paste the whole thing easy into your shipping label software. If you don't know what that is, they suggest a few for you and have some available right in their app store.
They make returns easy for the customer to click a button and explain the reason for the return as well as any other information you might need – including any specific action you need to take in order to complete the return. You can authorize the return and place the item back in inventory.
Making returns easy for customers is a great way to win their trust. Stores without this feature will struggle.
What I Didn't Like
Bigcommerce is moderately priced but their least expensive plan of $29.95 a month is still more than their competitors lowest priced plans. Even though they give you a few weeks to try it out, this plan doesn't come with many of the features that make Bigcommerce great.
In order to make the best out of Bigcommerce you’d need to sign up for the middle plan, at $79.95 per month.
Bigcommerce says they have support available 24/7 to help you with phone, chat, and email. I did find the chat feature to be annoying because it was following me around everywhere. Yet when I did want to chat with them again, the chat feature was nowhere in sight!
This occurred in the early afternoon during business hours, others mentioned this happening as well.
Also, they pressure you to sign up if you’re still using the free trial. I didn’t appreciate that much since I was still on my first day. They should really tone down the sales pitch.
What Makes Bigcommerce Different?
Drag and drop ease-of-use, no coding, offering free shipping to your customers, and the informative video instruction library make it easy to build and run your online store. Bigcommerce is also the place to have bigger stores, more selection of tools, and not be charged a purchase fee per sale.
Who is BigCommerce for?
This will make a great storefront solution if you have little technical ability. You will appreciate an easy way to set up and sell physical products and services online, with the ability to maintain a large inventory. If you are considering signing up for BigCommerce, I recommend you also check out my reviews on Volusion and Shopify, two other high scoring ecommerce platforms.
This ecommerce platform is one of my Top 3 choices! The other two are Shopify (91/100) and Volusion (90/100). They both have different features, so check them out and see which one fits your goals best.
Bigcommerce Versus Affiliate Marketing
With Bigcommerce, you get an online store. And even though they offer some of the best features, apps and tools, you still need to fill that store – You need to fill it with products, and you need to fill it with shoppers.
That means you need to stock, insure, ship, manage and store multiple physical products somewhere. If you want to have a successful store that means having a huge warehouse. That’s a lot to manage.
Affiliate marketing is a much more efficient way of making money online. You can create a highly successful affiliate marketing business without, ever having to touch a product. As an affiliate you just need to spread the word about the products online through content such as blog posts, articles, videos and things like that.
The company, Amazon for example, handles everything else, and they pay you a percentage of everything you help to sell. With affiliate marketing you only need two things to be successful:
- a computer
- internet connection
Other than that, all you need is a little training and support. I became a successful affiliate marketer when I found that training and support from a community. I've written a review of that community just for you.
They gave me all the knowledge and support I needed to create a profitable affiliate business online. Because of the live support 24/7, one-on-one training, and video tutorials I was able to be successful online, without having all the common worries and fears of normal business owners.