BigCommerce E-Commerce Review: WordPress-Friendly, High Volume Solution
Some online storefronts claim to serve hundreds of thousands of customers, and it’s tempting to select one based solely on that information. But popularity doesn’t always determine quality. Too often, an overcrowded platform can mean less customer support and more downtime.
With this in mind, seeking out a smaller company might be a better choice for a site that needs e-commerce functionality. And BigCommerce might precisely fit the bill.
It’s not the most popular e-commerce platform, but it holds its own — pound for pound — in every category.
Trustworthy, reliable, and offering up more core features than many of its competitors, BigCommerce may not support a million storefronts, but it’s still worth considering.
E-Commerce for All Blog Types
BigCommerce has features to fit blogs of all sizes — and in all stages. Its plans are revenue-locked, so the price you pay depends on how much you make per year through your store. Each tier has features befitting a blog of that size, so you’ll never need more until your site “levels up,” so to speak.
Some smaller features include the ability to:
- Connect to Facebook, eBay, Amazon, and other sites.
- Make use of payment gateways like PayPal, IBAN, Paysafe, and over 50 others.
- Apply discounts, give coupons, or gift cards.
- Get a free site-wide SSL certificate (or buy a dedicated one).
You manage everything from a CMS that works similarly to other dedicated admin panels, including its ease-of-use. You should have no problem whether you’re new to e-commerce or transferring from another platform. And while BigCommerce isn’t open-source, it has an API that can be customized and automated at will.
The app store and theme store are major features as well. Neither are as extensive as popular counterparts like Shopify — such is the downside of choosing a less popular company — but there are plenty of serviceable add-ons and beautiful themes to choose from.
If you’re a fan of WordPress, you can connect it instead of using the built-in blog features. Many other e-commerce platforms don’t offer this option. This makes it an excellent choice for bloggers since so many already use WordPress as a blogging platform. It’s easy then to connect to BigCommerce when you’re looking to take an established blog into the e-commerce space with either digital products or tangible goods.
The necessities are all there. But the basic feature list isn’t the main attraction of BigCommerce; rather, it’s the free hosting, SSL certificate, themes, and everything else needed to get started at such a low price. And with no product restrictions or transaction fees, it’s a wonder this e-commerce host doesn’t get more attention.
Who Benefits the Most from BigCommerce?
BigCommerce will work as an e-commerce platform for just about any type of blogger, but we think its services work best for three distinct groups.
You don’t need to be spearheading a huge project to reap the full benefits of BigCommerce’s software. The company claims those who use this platform experience 28% growth, on average — twice the average amount. So, this might be just what a blog looking to get a healthy boost right out the gate needs.
Since hosting, website themes (or WordPress integration), and all the other essentials are included in the package, there’s nothing you need to worry about. This makes it great for those who don’t have the money for external services. Unlimited products, storage, and bandwidth make for a healthy foundation, too.
BigCommerce itself provides everything needed to get started, and the base plan will serve most at an affordable price.
Blogs in the Growth Stage
Blogs that go viral a few times can grow rapidly, and before you know it, you have a full-fledged business on your hands. If your traffic is growing faster than you can keep up, you have two plans to choose from. The first is still fairly affordable, and it comes with some useful features that the basic plan does not. The most expensive option is one that grows with you, starting at a set price and scaling up as your site gets more popular.
Some features included in these mid-level plans include the ability to:
- Separate customers into groups to reward loyalty and keep an eye on returning shoppers.
- Use abandoned cart programs to draw back prospects you’ve yet to convert.
- Create a product search with filtering that allows people to find exactly what they’re looking for.
These features won’t appeal to every blogger, but if you need an online shop to support your content — if you want to sell swag for your brand, let’s say — these plans make it easy to do so.
When you outgrow a traditional plan, BigCommerce has a solution for large blogs, too. This is the backbone for many successful companies. Toyota, Motorola, Ben & Jerry’s, and other well-known brands all run on this platform.
Along with some features that can only be found on this plan — custom product filters, premium support, and more — you can rest assured knowing that hosting, maintenance, and customer support are all covered on a program that grows to meet your needs. All you need to pay for is the software.
A Few Alternatives
BigCommerce is inexpensive yet powerful, but maybe it’s not right for you. While Shopify is the most similar product, if you need a bit less (or a lot more), there are plenty of other platforms out there.
- Squarespace: a website builder with e-commerce features, Squarespace is a wonderful low-cost purchase, especially for bloggers, artists, and other creators. For smaller projects, this will work just fine.
- Shopify: at around the same price and power, Shopify is a strong alternative to BigCommerce. It’s one of the most popular shopping cart programs out there, and thus, its app and theme stores receive much more traffic. Non-programmers may benefit from the extensive catalog.
- Magento: if BigCommerce isn’t enough for you, try the free, open-source Magento. It’s one of the most powerful e-commerce programs out there, and bloggers with large online stores will love it.
Reliable, Scalable E-Commerce
BigCommerce is rich with features, and it has a clean reputation to go with it. This company has a good track record of keeping things transparent and not engaging in bad business practices.
And what more can you ask for, really? An e-commerce platform gets you on your feet and sticks with you as you grow — and does it all with a charming and user-friendly atmosphere — is a pretty good deal. BigCommerce serves as a worthy ecommerce option for most bloggers.