BigCommerce is one of the most popular e-commerce platforms. But how good of a choice is it for building and launching your online store? In this 2021 review we look at some of the possible problems / disadvantages of BigCommerce and explore some of the reasons for choosing BigCommerce.
The basics – what to know about BigCommerce:
BigCommerce has split its ecommerce offering into two: they have “BigCommerce Enterprise” and “BigCommerce Essentials”. The Enterprise-solution is aimed at large companies / online stores and the Essentials-solution is aimed at small and mid-sized online stores.
In addition to the Enterprise vs. Essentials split, BigCommerce also has three different payment plans within the Essentials-solution: Standard, Plus and Pro. The Standard-plan usually costs $29.95/month, the normal cost of Plus is $79.95/month and the Pro-plan usually costs $299.95/month.
If needed, you can read more about the different BigCommerce plans from here.
What is great about BigCommerce:
It should come as no surprise that BigCommerce has managed to build a decently easy-to-use ecommerce platform with a lot of nice functions. That is because that is the case with pretty much all of 2021’s best ecommerce platforms. However, there are a couple of things that set BigCommerce apart from many of its competitors.
The first thing BigCommerce has going over many of its competitors, is that it charges no additional transaction fees on top of those charged by the payment providers. This is in contrast to, for example, Shopify, that might charge even quite significant additional transaction fees.
The second particularly great thing about BigCommerce is that it gives a lot of flexibility with URL structures. That might not sound like a big thing at first, but especially the founders who want to have their store in a language other than English, can find it quite annoying when some other ecommerce platforms (e.g. Shopify) force them to have specific English language parts in their store’s URLs.
The third nice thing about BigCommerce is that it has no product, storage space or bandwidth limits on any of its plans. That for example in contrast to Volusion that has product limits and Wix that has storage limits.
The fourth possible advantage of choosing BigCommerce is that, it should be trustworthy: BigCommerce was founded already in 2009, has quite a lot of employees, has received more than $200 million in funding and is listed on the NASDAQ stock market. At least in my opinion all those things add up to the fact that you should be able to trust BigCommerce.
And like many other e-commerce platforms, BigCommerce also offers its customers a free trial and a possible discount. In the case of BigCommerce the free trial is 15 days and the possible discount is 10%. You can get the 10% discount if you pay in advance for one year of Plus- or Pro-plan. Try BigCommerce for free.
What are some of the possible problems with BigCommerce:
The most obvious problem with BigCommerce is their turnover limit: with all the regular “BigCommerce Essentials” -plans there is a limit on how much you can sell in a year. And if you hit that limit you need to either upgrade to a more expensive plan or pay extra to continue using the plan. With the Standard-plan the yearly revenue limit is $50,000, with the Plus-plan it is $180,000 and with the Pro-plan it is $400,000.
The second problem BigCommerce has concerns especially its international customers: currently both BigCommerce’s store builder and its themes / templates are only available in English. With the themes / templates it is possible to translate the template to another language, but that will obviously require some labor and in some cases the characters that are not part of the English alphabet might cause issues. In comparison, for example, at Shopify at least some of their templates are readily available also in languages other than English.
The third problem with BigCommerce is that while their store builder is quite easy to use, it is certainly not as easy as something like Wix. And that is something to keep in mind when thinking about choosing BigCommerce.
The fourth possible problem with BigCommerce is what their store templates cost: at BigCommerce the paid templates cost from $150 to $300 per template and that range means that at BigCommerce higher-end templates cost a bit more than at many of their competitors. Although luckily the difference is not huge as, for example, at Shopify the maximum price is $180 and at Shift4Shop it is $199.99 (update: it seems like all Shift4Shop themes are now free).
What others are saying about BigCommerce – summary of BigCommerce reviews by others
- A lot of inbuilt features
- No transaction fees
- No product limits
- The platform could be easier to use
- Themes could be better
- There should be more apps
Final verdict – should you build an online store with BigCommerce?
Although BigCommerce has some problems, it is still a very good option for building and launching an online store. However, as BigCommerce is not maybe the most beginner-friendly platform, I would mainly recommend it for those founders who are serious about ecommerce and are willing to put time and other resources into their store. Try BigCommerce for free.
Not sure if BigCommece is the right choice for you? See your recommended BigCommerce alternatives.
- Is BigCommerce legit and safe? It should be. That is as BigCommerce was founded over 10 years ago, is listed on the Nasdaq stock exchange and based on my personal experiences seems secure.
- Is BigCommerce the same as Big Cartel? No. Even though those two companies both offer an ecommerce solution, they are completely different companies. The difference between BigCommerce and Big Cartel can be summarized as BigCommerce being a considerably more advanced ecommerce platform.
- Does BigCommerce offer a free plan? No. However, at least at the time of writing this, they give new users 1 free month when they signup via E-commercePlatforms.com (the site you are on right now). That should be plenty of time to decide if you want to invest in using BigCommerce. Open a BigCommerce account.