BigCommerce has already processed £7 billion in sales. But is it right for your small business? Find out in our honest review (and try for yourself for free!)
by Xanthe Gilmore
Updated: Oct 22, 2018 Published: Sep 7, 2018
£23 / month
15-day free trial
PROS – Strong sales growth, all-you-can-eat features, user-friendly CONS – Rivals can be cheaper IDEAL FOR – Businesses hungry for sky-high growth
BigCommerce is the go-to website builder for anyone interested in some serious growth. Right now, it’s helping to supersize businesses at twice the industry average – and it costs just a quarter of a do-it-yourself ecommerce platform like Magento.
Whereas many ecommerce website builders offer plenty of features that sound fun, but really do nothing for your bottom line, BigCommerce really gets what businesses need to succeed online (from a user-friendly checkout to headache-free shipments and SEO support).
We know this isn’t the cheapest hosted ecommerce site out there, but if it’s able to supercharge your business sales like its track record suggests, you’ll be making a decent enough profit to justify its price tag of £23 a month for small businesses and startups.
In this full-fat BigCommerce review, we explain everything you need to know to decide if this ecommerce big weight can really do everything you need for your small business, including an honest break-down of the pros and cons and existing customer user reviews.
And if you like what you see, we’ll link you to a completely free trial, so you can put BigCommerce to the test commitment-free for 15 days.
Here’s an example of a small business that’s churning out sales on BigCommerce.
✔ So easy to use
✔ Tonnes of features
✔ Great social media integration
✔ Plenty of advanced tools in App Store
✔ Pro at growing sales
The less good
✘ Only 7 free templates
✘ Some ecommerce builders are cheaper
The best ecommerce tool for growing your business
Quite simply, BigCommerce means business. It has a track record of growing its merchants 28% year after year. Sound like a lot? It is: twice the industry average.
We think a big factor in that is BigCommerce’s tools which are some of the best designed and most practical out there.
It’s easy to create email newsletters, coupons and promotional campaigns, as well as take care of all the admin behind shipping, returns and product reviews.
What’s more, you can integrate your online store with other sites like Facebook, eBay and Google Shopping, and sell there, so your chances of generating sales skyrockets. We haven’t seen any other ecommerce store builders with that much selling muscle power.
Could have more free templates
BigCommerce only provides seven free templates for your online shop, or their 76-strong premium templates cost between £112 and £182 (as a one-off payment).
This is fairly standard in ecommerce site builders, though Shopify edges ahead here with 24 free templates and 140 paid storefront designs.
BigCommerce offers three core plans, ranging from £23 a month for the Standard Plan, £62 a month for the Plus Plan and £193 for the Pro Plan (we’ve converted from dollars to give you a better idea).
And if you go for a year’s subscription to the Standard and Plus plan, you get a 10% discount.
Here are the original prices in dollars:
Which is the right package for me?
It’s easy to pick the right one for you – just look at your (current or targeted) annual sales:
For small businesses
£39,000 / yr
For small to medium businesses
£116,000 / yr
For larger enterprises
£77,000,000 / yr
Just note that one quirk of BigCommerce is that once your sales exceed any of these thresholds, you’ll need to upgrade to the next plan.
That’s because BigCommerce doesn’t charge transaction fees (most rival ecommerce platforms charge between 1% and 3%), so these differences in plan prices cover the jump in bandwidth and customer support demanded by larger sales volumes.
How does BigCommerce offer value for money?
Mostly, BigCommerce can be an ultra-cost-effective option if you’re really keen to grow your sales (and get a great ROI), rather than just minimise your expenses.
Of course, you can find cheaper hosted ecommerce platforms like Wix or Weebly, but they don’t grow sales at twice the industry average, so saving a few pounds a month might be a false economy.
Plus, we found BigCommerce is a quarter of the price of on-premise ecommerce solutions like Magento – and you can forget the unpredictable expenses of hosting, maintenance and updating.
BigCommerce user ratings
Startups rating ★★★★★ (4.6)
Features ★★★★★ (5)
Ease of use ★★★★★ (4.5)
Templates ★★★★★ (4.5)
Flexibility ★★★★★ (5)
Customer support ★★★★★ (4.5)
Value ★★★★★ (4)
Super easy to use:
“I own a small setup and decided to go online with it. I approached BigCommerce and now I have a perfect setup. The amazing part is that I can manage my business with ease.” – Liam Jones
Packed with features:
“The platform has so many features that help me run my business and there are tons of integrations when I need new apps etc. Kudos to the BigCommerce team.” – Paul Mayer
“I have to say how happy I am with Bigcommerce, the platform is amazing and so easy to use. I had my store up and running in like an hour. The support guys are easily accessible and my success squad representative was excellent.” – Mark Douglas
Could there be downtime?:
“There was some downtime recently which had a small impact on our sales. Still, after 12 months on Bigcommerce the total downtime is well below what we experienced trying to host our own store.” – Anonymous
(We checked, and BigCommerce’s average uptime is 99.99%, which is one of the best in the industry).
BigCommerce user experience
Easy to use
With such a bursting toolbox to help you build the most successful online store and plenty of support whenever you need it, most people find BigCommerce simple and user-friendly.
As you’d expect, there’ll be a small learning curve as you get to grips with the basics, but after that you could be up and running in just a few hours.
BigCommerce is as easy for you to build as it is for your customers to use.
24/7 customer support
BigCommerce take the pain out of starting your own ecommerce site by hosting it for you (otherwise you’ll have to find and pay someone else to take care of this), and you get unlimited bandwidth, all included in your monthly subscription.
You’ll also enjoy some of the most comprehensive customer support of any website builder: 24/7 technical support (and you can take your pick from phone, email, social media and live chatz).
Data in good hands
As well as running security upgrades and backing up all your website data automatically, BigCommerce also takes good care of your customer data and are Level 1 PCI compliant.
The shopping cart even includes an SSL Certificate, which you can mention to your customers so they feel comfortable buying from you.
BigCommerce isn’t just an excellent platform for selling your products – it kits you ot with everything you need to tackle all the admin, marketing and analytics to help you really see your sales grow.
Here is a break-down of the main BigCommerce features:
Digital allowed – Sell digital products like event tickets and services
Happy customers – Split your products into categories
Hassle-free admin – Process and track orders (including invoices and packing slips)
Stay in the loop – Manage your entire stock levels
Global sales – Take international payments
Detective included – Spot your bestsellers
Keep them coming back – See and reward your most loyal customers
28% annual growth
According to Ipsos research, BigCommerce merchants grow on average 28% year on year – that’s twice the industry average, and great news for ambitious startups and small businesses who are yet to unleash their potential online.
Abandoned Cart Saver
The Abandoned Cart Saver is a pretty straightforward tool: any customers who didn’t quite complete a purchase but showed interest (by entering their email at checkout) are automatically emailed reminders to help recover those lost sales.
This means on average 15% more revenue – if usually you’d get £1,000 a month, this tool would turn it into £1,150 without you listing a finger. Just note that such a money-making trick only comes with the Plus and Pro plans, but it can easily pay for itself.
Mega-size App Store
As well as offering more ecommerce tools than most competitors, BigCommerce have a chock-a-block App Store with even more advanced abilities.
These include tools to help turbo-charge your accounting, marketing, shipping, order management, live chat and analytics, and really boost your sales.
BigCommerce’s newly launched BigCommerce Next project has made the online store builder even better with mobile-friendly designs, blogs (to attract even more customers), BigCommerce University with free tutorials on how to grow your business.
Here’s a quick previous of how it all works:
Option to get your hands dirty with code
As with most online store builders, you don’t need to speak a word of HTML to create your ecommerce website. But if you do or if you wanted to bring someone in to tweak a bit of the code, it’s good to know you can with BigCommerce.
If you like doing most your shopping on your phone, you’ll understand why it’s so important for websites today to be mobile-friendly.
BigCommerce gets it too, which is why you can preview your site on a mobile display, and even customise some of the code for the mobile version if you like.
BigCommerce review: Final verdict
The sales pros with hands-on business support
If you don’t just want to plonk your products online, but are really motivated to give them the best chance of flying off the shelves, we think BigCommerce is a hard-to-beat option.
It’s a professional ecommerce website builder for ambitious and high-volume businesses, whether you don’t speak one word of code, or would quite like to build the site yourself.
Plus you’re in good hands with BigCommerce thanks to their 99.99% (industry-leading) uptime stats and 24/7 support if you ever need them.
Whatever your size, BigCommerce reckon they can help you sell more.