The Bigcommerce Experience: A review

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Out there in the market, there are many e-commerce platforms available, but the list would be completely incomplete without Bigcommerce and for good reason. Since the platform can have just as big of an impact in the online business as choosing a real location, there’s a lot of consideration that go into choosing an online store platform.

What is Bigcommerce? An overview

Eddie Machaalani and Mitchell Harper made their big entry into the ecommerce world through Bigcommerce. It is a paid-for ecommerce solution where the business owners set up an online store and sell their products online. Since the owners are not necessarily geeks in programming, the platform comes with a range of customizable templates to help with designing the store. To put it in the simplest way, Bigcommerce helps the merchants to create a fully functional online store in a matter of time.

Hosting features

One of the major headaches in the online business is already taken care of by Bigcommerce. Hosting is done by the Bigcommerce servers and details such as the domain name, the logo and the overall design can be easily adjusted.

They have the business owners covered, no matter how big the business is and can handle huge consistent traffic without breaking a sweat, as they say about them. Even while using the free trial, we can experience the speed. The lightning-fast SAS 70 Type II certified servers takes care of the traffic. Their data center employs hacker deterrent security provisioning, three redundant network architectures and hardware firewalls.

 

The Design features

The slick admin panel is very user friendly and allows us to seamlessly add products or import them. The drag and drop widgets, and other additional tools helps to customize and enhance the store even better. While there are hundreds of free themes to choose from, it is also possible to tweak them using the control panel. The persistent criticism of the looks on the dated side was shooed away by the introduction of Bigcommerce Next.

The updated Next has so professional looking themes that it puts the competitor’s themes on stake. Plenty of third party designers are there to make custom designs for the online store. So if a unique and beautiful store is your priority then you might want to give it to them. However a little knowledge of coding might help you to change the actual content by digging deep into the HTML/CSS files.

Ecommerce Hosting features

The owners get to sell wide range of physical and digital goods in categories of their choosing and using the shipping rates of their choice. The store is integrated with Paypal and other payment gateways. It offers full content management functionality and advanced SEO options. The store is integrated with e-newsletter services like Constant Contact, iContact, Mailchimp and Interspire. It is also integrated with Alibaba, world’s largest online store and has discount coupons and gift vouchers as standard.

Marketing tools

Be it any website, marketing tools make up an inevitable member. With multiple online stores available, selling products online is never easy and so it is absolutely vital that your marketing strategy is up to the standard.

Time limited promotions, coupons and gift certificates that can be purchased via admin panel, customized offers such as buy one get one free and customer incentives can really boost the professionalism of your online store in the eyes of your customers.

Email marketing is possible by syncing the email addresses of the customers. The third party email marketing apps makes the syncing process even more worthwhile.

The abandoned cart feature is available for Gold, Platinum and Diamond customers. Essentially, this tracks the email of customers who abandon their cart in the end, and notify them through emails and can be accompanied by a coupon code.

Bigcommerce is SEO friendly from the scratch. It allows you to add title and header tags, search keywords to your website. It can be synced with Google shopping and other social media sites like facebook. The theme provides a range of buttons for different social media sites.

Payment Options

With over 65 payment gateways available Bigcommerce makes the payment option really simple. Yes, you can also make use of most common credit cards, such as Visa and MasterCard. But for those who opt gateways, choices like Paypal, Google checkout, Amazon Simple Pay etc… are available.

By paying some additional charges, gateways can be included. It even provides facilities for one click options to make the payment process a minimum fuss and a not so lengthy one.

Ease of Use

Though not as simple as other online platforms, the admin panel of Bigcommerce is still clean and intuitive enough that it makes it easy for the owners to use it. Apply a little WordPress back end logic and the store should do just fine adapting.

Just when you finish creating the store, it has a step by step tutorial, which guides the users in using the options. Once you finish the tutorial, you would be pretty much ready to sell.

The search option can use filters to sift through products, orders and customers. You can hover over the question mark to get a tip for the general settings options.

But attempting to use the dashboard from a mobile browser resulted in forgivably imprecise experience. To say that managing the store is plug and play might sound oversimplifying, but once you get the nook, you will run in a flash.

 

Pros:

  • One of the easiest to use online store platform.
  • The abandoned cart saver feature.
  • Very strong marketing features.
  • Out of the box discounting and coupon tools
  • Built in blog to save the time of setting up third party blogs.
  • Responsive store templates that are highly customizable
  • 24 hour phone support for all plans

Cons:

  • Starter plan is high compared to other competitors.
  • Entry level plan has transaction fees.
  • During a shut down or feature change, complete migration to another platform needed since the platform is a hosted solution.

 

The Bottomline

Bigcommerce is undisputedly one of the best online store platforms. But it is not without its wrinkles. The pricing is the main problem. The starter plan involves transaction fees, whereas higher plans are very pricey. It is still reasonable and scalable. It absolutely earns every star that we can give.

But as usual, try the platform first using the trial and decide before jumping to paid services.

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