As one of the “Big 5 Ecommerce Platforms” in the online storefronting space, BigCommerce serves more than 150,000 eCommerce businesses. Clearly, the platform works, and works well, for many companies, but is it right for your business?
When looking at the BigCommerce website, it would be easy to assume that the answer is “yes”.
BigCommerce loves to talk about how fast, inexpensive, and efficient it is than the competition, but no business is as good as it sounds. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at BigCommerce, where it shines and where it stumbles in an effort to help you answer the question, “Is BigCommerce right for me?”
Where does BigCommerce fit in?
With its huge user base and well-developed e-commerce platform, BigCommerce is a huge player in the e-commerce space. However, unlike competitors like Shopify or Big Cartel, it is a bit difficult to define the BigCommerce niche.
Shopify is designed for new to medium-sized ecommerce businesses that are focused on selling mass-produced products. Big Cartel is ideal for artists or creators who want an easy and inexpensive way to sell their products.
But BigCommerce? BigCommerce can’t seem to understand itself.
In many ways, BigCommerce positions itself as a “premium” e-commerce platform.
|E-commerce platform||The cheapest||Half||More expensive|
|Great Poster||$ 0 / month||$ 19.99 / month||$ 29.99 / month|
|Volusion||$ 15 / month||$ 35 / month||$ 135 / month|
|Shopify||$ 29 / month||$ 79 / month||$ 299 / month|
|3dcart||$ 29 / month||$ 79 / month||$ 229 / month|
|Bigcommerce||$ 29.95 / month||$ 79.95 / month||$ 900 + / month|
At least, it would be if the BigCommerce platform was truly better than the competition for large companies …
Unfortunately, instead of focusing on truly being the best eCommerce platform for large-scale businesses, BigCommerce tries to be everything to everyone and fails across the board in my opinion.
That being said, BigCommerce is still a great ecommerce platform. If you are a BigCommerce customer or decide to become one, you will not receive any criticism from me. Many businesses can run great eCommerce sites on BigCommerce.
So why do I recommend that people think twice before signing up for BigCommerce? Let’s take a look at the good, bad, and ugly sides of BigCommerce.
BigCommerce: the good stuff
BigCommerce outshines the competition in two areas: 1) search engine optimization (SEO) and 2) customer service.
Search engine optimization
While most ecommerce platforms offer some level of SEO support (Shopify is particularly good at this), BigCommerce uses a unique content delivery network that loads the site page blazingly fast. Page load time is a big problem for search engines and users, so this feature can help improve the overall ranking of your products.
Plus, BigCommerce does a good job of posting your microdata and reviews where search engines can find it, which can further improve your results. Combine that with BigCommerce’s Google Shopping integration options and BigCommerce can help you get a lot more organic traffic to your site.
You’ll need to optimize your SEO directly within your store’s product area, but once you’ve done the initial work, don’t be surprised if your pages start to climb in search engine rankings.
While BigCommerce does a great deal with its other marketing tools, these tend to be a bit underwhelming. They may be better than nothing, but not much, especially once you learn how to set up and run ecommerce marketing campaigns on your own (which you’ll have to do either way).
But, this is the “good” section, so let’s get back to the other thing BigCommerce does well: customer support.
BigCommerce Development Company in Lahore customer support is great, but not in the way you’re used to. If you want to be able to call a customer service representative at any time, BigCommerce is not for you. Their phone lines are not always open and wait times can sometimes be long. Even online chat, which is available 24/7, isn’t always that helpful.
However, if you’re like me and like to figure things out on your own, BigCommerce has a fantastic knowledge base full of tutorials, videos, and even some active forums where users help each other.
Compared to many other ecommerce platforms, BigCommerce’s level of online support is excellent. Since the platform seems to favor developers over non-technical users (we’ll get to that more in a moment), that’s to be expected, but it’s still a great resource to have.
So, if you are an entrepreneur with a decent technical understanding, try BigCommerce University or any of the other customer support materials. Most of the time, you can find the answers to your questions there.
BigCommerce: the bad
To BigCommerce’s credit, it’s pretty easy to set up a new store on their platform. In fact, I would say that BigCommerce’s setup phase is just as easy and intuitive as Shopify’s, which is great since many new ecommerce business owners don’t have much web design or development experience.
At least that’s true as long as you don’t want to do anything unusual or unique.
If all you want to do is set up a basic store, BigCommerce is great. However, if you have a specific vision or look in mind and can’t find one that fits that vision (a common problem for reasons we’ll cover in the next section), you’re a bit stuck. Unless you know a web developer
Are you starting to notice a pattern here?
Unfortunately, BigCommerce’s template framework for store design is a bit difficult to navigate if you are not a tech-savvy. This can make it difficult for many small business owners to make small adjustments that can really set them apart or create the perfect shopping experience.
Now if BigCommerce themes were as varied as Shopify themes, this probably wouldn’t be as important. However, most BigCommerce themes are designed by Pixel Union, so they tend to have the same basic feel. Don’t get me wrong, Pixel Union themes are actually pretty good, but if your particular approach to ecommerce site design doesn’t match what you’re looking for, you’re a bit in the way.
BigCommerce: the ugly
As I mentioned earlier, BigCommerce is the most expensive ecommerce platform on the market. When the entry-level price is as high as the premium offering from other platforms, you’d expect BigCommerce to blow you away with features.
However, BigCommerce features are quite common.
Sure, you can easily add and manage products in your store. You can configure custom shipping and product rules. You can optimize your pages for search engines. But you can do all of that on any decent ecommerce platform … and for a fraction of the cost.
In fact, although BigCommerce and Shopify charge the same for their base subscription package, you actually get more features with Shopify.
BigCommerce’s features don’t really get very interesting until you hit the enterprise level, at which point you can expect to pay well over a thousand dollars a month. At this point, however, the big advantage you get is the ability to directly interact with the BigCommerce API and code the exact features you want for your store … which negates the point of paying for more built-in features, yes. Ask me. .
Unlike their direct competitor, Shopify, BigCommerce claims that they place a heavy emphasis on built-in features, rather than requiring users to add (and potentially pay for) apps to get the features they want.
Since BigCommerce and Shopify cost roughly the same, this should be a huge plus for BigCommerce. However, BigCommerce hasn’t done a great job of providing its customers with the features they need. As a result, many customers have been frustrated for years by the lack of easy and obvious features in the standard BigCommerce package or as plugins.
With that said, if you have immediate access to a developer who can customize the features you need, this may not be a huge hurdle. But, when BigCommerce sells itself as the ideal ecommerce platform for growing brands, most of which don’t have a ton of surplus cash to spend on a developer, BigCommerce’s lack of features makes life difficult for many customers.
In many ways, BigCommerce feels like a payment processing company masquerading as an e-commerce platform in an effort to generate more revenue. Like many payment processing companies, if you do all the heavy lifting and pay their fees, they will be more than happy to let you do whatever you want.
However, if you’re like most ecommerce business owners and don’t have the technical resources to create your own personalized experience on its platform, BigCommerce forces you to settle for a rather disappointing set of options.
The frustrating thing about BigCommerce is that it doesn’t work particularly well for any type of business.
Ecommerce startups and small and medium-sized businesses will struggle with the fact that BigCommerce almost requires you to hire a developer to get what you want from the platform. Larger companies can afford the development resources to take full advantage of BigCommerce, but at this level, Shopify or Magento still offer better or more enterprise-level features.
Honestly, BigCommerce is only really a solid candidate if you plan to run an ecommerce business focused on generating sales through search engine optimization (for example, you plan to blog a lot or sell very specific niche articles that your competition is not. don’t advertise on Google Shopping) and you think your audience will respond well to one of BigCommerce’s existing templates. Other than that, a platform like Shopify might be a better option.