Cloud-based and user-friendly, BigCommerce software helps merchants from all levels of experience sell their products online.
BigCommerce At A Glance
- Cloud-based eCommerce platform
- User-friendly tools for selling online
- Annual sales limits for each subscription level
- No added transaction fees
- Numerous features
- Excellent integrations
- Free trial, no credit card
- Revenue caps on subscription levels
- Moderate learning curve
- Limited customization
Table of Contents
What Is BigCommerce?
BigCommerce is an eCommerce platform that’s generally recognized for its ease of use, solid functionality, and quality customer support. Cloud-based and user-friendly, this shopping cart software helps eCommerce merchants at all experience levels and revenue sell their products online.
While it’s true that BigCommerce’s basic software may not have enough advanced features or customizability for the largest of companies, there’s an enterprise-level plan available for growing into. For this reason and many others, we believe BigCommerce is an excellent platform for most merchants, and it belongs on your shortlist as you look for your store’s new online home.
Keep reading for our full, independent review of BigCommerce.
|BigCommerce Plans||Price||When To Use|
|Standard||$29.95/month||If your annual sales are below $50K|
|Plus||$79.95/month||If your annual sales are below $180K|
|Pro||Starts at $299.95/month||If your annual sales are below $400K|
|Enterprise||Custom pricing||For unlimited annual sales|
BigCommerce offers a free 15-day trial, with no credit card required, so you can test the platform without committing. You’ll find no contract, setup, or cancellation fees, and discounts are available on some plans if you pay annually rather than month-to-month. Unlike some of its top eCommerce competitors, BigCommerce bases its pricing levels on your store’s annual online sales.
What does that mean? BigCommerce tracks users’ sales volume on a 12-month trailing basis. If your company’s revenue exceeds the set amount for a specific plan, you will automatically get bumped up to the next pricing tier. Meanwhile, note that as your sales volume increases on the Pro plan, the cost of your platform will also increase, with an additional $150/month due for each additional $200K in sales. I’ve been told that, at a certain point, a BigCommerce representative will reach out to ask you if you’d like to switch over to BigCommerce Enterprise, which may be a better choice for your business.
All BigCommerce pricing plans include unlimited products, storage, and bandwidth; unlimited staff accounts; sitewide HTTPS and dedicated SSL; mobile-responsive websites; single-page checkout; built-in blog, professional reporting tools; and a mobile app.
Here’s the complete rundown of BigCommerce’s pricing in its Essentials subscription tier (excluding the customized Enterprise plan for larger companies), with a sampling of the features each plan delivers:
BigCommerce Standard Plan
BigCommerce’s Standard plan costs $29.95/month and allows sales up to $50K/year. The Standard plan includes these features:
- Unlimited storage, products, staff accounts, and bandwidth
- Online store with dedicated SSL
- Unlimited staff accounts
- 24/7 support
- Payment processing option via PayPal at 2.59% + $0.49 per transaction
- Single page checkout
- POS integrations
- Mobile app
- Real-time shipping quotes
- Coupons, discount rules, and gift cards
- Product rating and reviews
- Multichannel selling (Amazon, eBay, Walmart, Facebook, Instagram, Google Shopping)
- Multiple currencies
BigCommerce Plus Plan
BigCommerce’s Plus plan costs $79.95/month and allows up to $180,000 in annual sales. The Plus plan includes everything in the Standard plan and these additional features:
- Payment processing option via PayPal at 2.35% + $0.49 per transaction
- Abandoned cart saver
- Customer groups and segmentation
- Stored credit cards
- Persistent cart
BigCommerce Pro Plan
BigCommerce’s Pro plan starts at $299.95/month and allows annual sales up to $400,000. You can expect a price increase of $150/month for every additional $200,000 in annual sales. The Pro plan includes everything in the Plus plan, with these additional features:
- Payment processing option via PayPal at 2.05% + $0.49 per transaction
- Google customer reviews
- Product filtering
- Custom product filtering
- Custom SSL
High-volume vendors with sales figures to match might want to check out the BigCommerce Enterprise plan. You’ll need to contact the BigCommerce sales team for a personalized price quote and details. The company says that Enterprise is the way to go if you have a high order value or do a lot of B2B transactions.
|Retail Equipment Available|
|Shoppable Social Posts|
BigCommerce has lots of features out of the box compared to similarly priced eCommerce competitors. Here’s a rundown of what you can expect to find as you get started setting up and running a BigCommerce store:
BigCommerce offers beautiful premade templates called Stencil themes. Stencil includes simple functions you can use to edit your storefront without needing a lot of technical expertise. Changing colors, for example, requires zero coding.
If you’d still like to mess with the raw code, however, you can download a copy of your Stencil theme and dig in from there. Currently, there are 12 free themes, most with three or four different variations each. You can also purchase a theme, with prices ranging from $150 to about $300.
Compared to the themes offered by other top shopping carts, BigCommerce themes rate favorably. Here’s a sample of BigCommerce’s free themes:
Types Of Payments Accepted With BigCommerce
BigCommerce accepts 65+ online payment solutions, with built-in integrations and support for international sales. All payment solutions are PCI-compliant. BigCommerce also has an arrangement with PayPal (powered by Braintree) that may cut down your payment processing fees.
For every step up in BigCommerce’s plans, you pay a slightly lower credit and debit transaction fee with Braintree, starting at 2.59% + $0.49 at the basic plan and dropping to 2.05% + $0.49 at the highest level.
You can find integrations to support these types of payments:
- Popular Payment Gateways: With dozens to choose from, you’ll probably be able to find your favorite options for processing credit card payments. Choose from Adyen, Chase Merchant Services, Clover Payments, Square, Stripe, and more.
- Digital Wallets: Shoppers can pay via Apple Pay, Amazon Pay, Venmo, Visa Checkout, and Masterpass.
- Alternative Payment Methods: APMs let shoppers pay with various other methods besides credit cards, including online banking, direct debit/ACH, mobile payments, and more.
- Buy Now, Pay Later: BigCommerce supports popular BNPL payments, such as Affirm, Afterpay, Sezzle, and Klarna.
Importantly, BigCommerce doesn’t limit how many payment options you can add to your store. And don’t forget that BigCommerces charges no transaction fees above and beyond regular payment processing fees.
Selling On Multiple Sales Channels With BigCommerce
BigCommerce includes prebuilt integrations that you can use to sell on Facebook and shoppable posts on Instagram, as well as Amazon, eBay, Pinterest, and Google Shopping. And you can manage sales on all those sites from a single dashboard.
Does BigCommerce Offer Buy Buttons?
Although BigCommerce does support buy buttons, you won’t find that option out of the box. Instead, you’ll need to add an app before you can add buy buttons to your BigCommerce store.
BigCommerce fully supports international sales. You can use the Stencil framework or your own CMS to build a unique branded site and then push localized content to specific areas with region-specific growth and conversion tools. You can set your storefront and products in multiple languages and your control panel to Mandarin, French, Ukrainian, Spanish, and other languages.
You’ll find support for sales in 230+ countries and 140 currencies. And you can customize product catalogs, pricing, and promotions for different target regions. Add integrations that allow you to calculate international shipping and tax rates in more than 150 countries.
BigCommerce Marketing Features
One-page checkout is the default checkout setup for BigCommerce stores, which is good since that’s an option that encourages quick transactions and can reduce abandoned cart rates. But that’s not the only feature that will help you convert customers:
- Segmentation lets you group your customers by purchasing trends, location, and demographics so that you can market differently to each group
- Social sharing features let customers display their purchases on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and other platforms
- Recently viewed product reports give you a second chance to capture the sale
- Product reviews help build buyer confidence
- eCommerce Analytics tools provide 11 reports, including a store overview, visitor metrics, order trends, and the success of marketing campaigns. It’s available on all plans, provided you enable analytics cookies
BigCommerce Product Limits
There are no limits on the number of products you can add to your BigCommerce store, no matter what subscription level you sign up for.
Inventory Management With BigCommerce
BigCommerce allows users to list unlimited physical and digital products. You can also create and assign virtually unlimited variants (color, size, style, and so on) to your products. That compares quite favorably to the competition. In addition, you can use bulk import/export tools to transfer your product information from a CSV file into your online store.
Simply enter and track stock levels from within your control panel and configure stock level notifications for both you and your site visitors. You can track inventory by product or product variations. You will receive notices when a product sells out or reaches a predetermined level, so you have time to resupply.
BigCommerce Shipping Tools
You have options for setting up shipping with your BigCommerce store. You can pack and mail the boxes yourself, add a shipping integration or app, or outsource shipping to a fulfillment partner. No matter how you want to handle shipping, BigCommerce’s shipping manager page will guide you.
Use the Shipping Manager to display shipping rates at checkout. You can choose specific shipping methods for different shipping zones. For example, you could offer real-time carrier quotes, free shipping, flat-rate shipping, weight-based rates, or value-based rates. And you can access discounts between 5% and 40% with the US Postal Service, FedEx, and DHL. International shipping is supported.
You’ll need to add an app if you want your BigCommerce store to support dropshipping. Choose from multiple partners on the app store, including Sprocket, Doba, and AliExpress, plus some print-on-demand services, such as Printful and Art of Where.
BigCommerce SEO Tools
Built-in features align with SEO best practices, including automatic sitemaps, sitewide HTTPS, and search-friendly themes. Take advantage of optimized URLs and automatic sitemaps and customize your URLs, title tags, header tags, and metadata to maximize your reach.
Blogging is a particularly nice feature to have already built-in and fully supported. You’ll find it easy to use the on-site blog to improve your site’s SEO rankings and deliver valuable content to your customers.
BigCommerce Discounts & Coupons
BigCommerce has a highly customizable coupon and discount creator, so you can make discounts apply to a specific category, brand, product, or cart total.
BigCommerce has a REST API. You can find resources and support online.
In-Person Selling Tools
Add an app to connect your online store with your in-person sales efforts. You can even enable buy online and pick up in-store options. Available POS systems include PayPal Zettle, Square, Clover, Heartland Retail, ConnectPOS, Hike POS, and Vend.
BigCommerce also has POS providers that support high-risk sales, such as vape and CBD products, guns and ammo, and liquor and wine.
Is BigCommerce Easy To Use?
BigCommerce is one of the top eCommerce solutions in terms of usability. Customers often praise the user interface on comment boards, and when I tested the platform for myself, I found that I agreed with them.
However, some users have said they experience a moderate learning curve with BigCommerce. Keep in mind that even the entry-level Standard plan comes with a relatively high number of features compared to similarly priced plans from competitors. So even if it takes you a little longer than you’d like to get the hang of it, you’re getting great value for the investment.
When you create your account, you’ll receive an email that directs you to your store’s admin. Upon logging in, you won’t find any tutorials or guided tours around the software. You will, however, find a to-do list on your main dashboard page. Clicking on each task takes you to the appropriate section of the dashboard. Fortunately, the admin is fairly intuitive, so it isn’t hard to figure out the functions on your own.
Adding products is pretty straightforward. It’s clear why ease of use is one of BigCommerce’s biggest pulls. The admin is easy to navigate, and advanced features are only a few clicks away.
Customer Service & Technical Support
|Dedicated Support Representative|
|Knowledge Base or Help Center|
|Videos & Tutorials|
BigCommerce offers 24/7 personal tech support via email, live chat, and phone, and it’s available at all subscription levels. If you’d prefer to take matters into your own hands, BigCommerce has lots of online self-help resources as well. Merchants on the BigCommerce Enterprise-level plan have access to Premium Services.
Online review sites reveal a range of reactions to BigCommerce support. Some say it’s world-class, and others say they can’t find the help they need. The one thing we can be sure of is that BigCommerce makes available a wide range of options for accessing help. Unlike many other eCommerce platforms, the resources available don’t depend on how much you pay for your BigCommerce subscription.
Here’s what’s available to all users:
- Phone: Phone support is available for all BigCommerce merchants.
- Email: You can also contact support via email.
- Contact Form: Open a web ticket and have BigCommerce support reach out to you via email.
- Live Chat: Live chat is available for all users.
- Help Center: The BigCommerce help center is your main point of access to the knowledgebase as well as product news and updates, developer docs, user docs, guides, and tutorial videos.
- Community Forum: BigCommerce’s community forum features various sections, such as community groups, town halls, an ideas forum, and a Q&A forum.
- Guides: Read BigCommerce’s extensive guides on specific aspects of running an online store.
- Videos: A series of video tutorials guide you through the basics of using BigCommerce. For longer videos, check out the archive of topical webinars.
- Dev Center: BigCommerce has a dev center to help developers find resources.
- Training: On the BigCommerce Services page, you can purchase a plan that connects you with a BigCommerce coach who will help you launch or grow your store. Resources are available around the globe.
- Find An Adviser: Look on the Partner Marketplace to find developers to assist in customizing your store.
- Blog: Find information on the eCommerce industry, product news, and announcements.
- Social Media: BigCommerce has active accounts on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube, Pinterest, and Instagram. While you can reach out to BigCommerce on social media, I recommend first trying to contact someone via phone, email, or live chat.
BigCommerce Integrations & Add-Ons
If the BigCommerce platform doesn’t have everything you need already built-in, you should take a look at the BigCommerce apps marketplace. Integrations are well-organized into 21 categories and subcategories for easy browsing. Most apps show user reviews. Additionally, the Preferred and Elite tiers for integrations indicate how firmly BigCommerce stands behind each partner.
You’ll find around 1,000 add-ons available in the BigCommerce app marketplace, and while some will present an extra expense, a good number of them are free to download and/or use. You should always be aware that apps that seem free upfront may come with an ongoing monthly cost. Before adding any integration, be sure you understand the current pricing structure. Fortunately, BigCommerce makes that a little easier by displaying two important pieces of information for each app: the upfront fee and the recurring fees associated with using that app.
In addition to prebuilt integrations, you’ll also have access to BigCommerce’s open, flexible API for developers.
Users are not shy about sharing their personal BigCommerce reviews. Though many are generally positive, not every user is satisfied with the experience. In fact, on one review site, roughly the same percentage of customers rate BigCommerce 5/5 stars as rates it 1/5 stars, with 35% of customers completely satisfied and 36% completely dissatisfied. With just about one-quarter of users saying the software is great, average, or poor, it’s clear this is one platform that delivers a varied experience.
The company is not accredited by the Better Business Bureau, though it has earned an A+ rating.
Negative BigCommerce Reviews & Complaints
- Poor Support: Although many users praise BigCommerce’s customer service, others say it’s exceptionally poor, with inadequate communication, unhelpful reps, and nonresponsive tech support.
- Lacking Advanced Features: Some customers complain that BigCommerce doesn’t have the robust features that larger businesses need. Although customers can access BigCommerce’s API to make a range of changes on their own, that is not an option everyone can take advantage of.
- High Cost: Most pricing complaints these days center around the added cost of integrations or price increases after being bumped by rising sales into a higher-priced tier.
- Hard To Cancel: I saw multiple complaints that BigCommerce makes it hard to cancel once you’ve decided to move on from the platform.
Positive BigCommerce Reviews & Testimonials
Here are a few reasons why users say they like BigCommerce:
- Ease Of Use: BigCommerce is a fully hosted platform that most people can use to set up an online store with relative ease, no coding required. Although some users report a moderate learning curve, this is one area where BigCommerce generally earns high marks.
- No Transaction Fees: One of BigCommerce’s closest competitors, Shopify, still charges transaction fees unless you use its in-house payment processor.
- Good Customer Support: Although reviews continue to be mixed on BigCommerce’s customer support, many commenters say that BigCommerce representatives are helpful and friendly.
- Good B2B Features: I’ve seen merchants point out that fewer third-party apps are available for BigCommerce, in general, than some competitors offer. They aren’t necessary because, comparatively, more features are natively built into the platform.
Final Verdict Of BigCommerce
|BigCommerce Review Summary|
|Choose If You Need|| |
Despite some negative reviews, we feel BigCommerce is one of the best shopping cart platforms out there, with enough features to meet the needs of most online sellers. It compares favorably to another popular choice: Shopify. If you’re trying to decide between BigCommerce and Shopify’s eCommerce platforms, BigCommerce deserves a close look.
Most users find the admin easy to use, and the available themes appear professional. BigCommerce tends to favor built-in features over third-party apps, which could potentially save you money in the long run, depending on the precise features you need. The wide range of available apps is nothing to sneeze at, but some competitors offer more. So if you need a significantly higher degree of customization, you might do best to look elsewhere, perhaps at an open-source solution.
Keep in mind that BigCommerce uses your sales volume to place you in the appropriate pricing tier. A relatively small increase in your sales could bump you into a higher-priced tier and cost you thousands extra in subscription fees each year. Of course, higher-level plans bring greater customization and better eCommerce features, which you may be glad to have access to.
I know you’ll carefully weigh these factors when you make your shopping cart decision. Either way, I recommend taking the platform out for a spin with a free trial. It doesn’t take much time to get a feel for the software, and you’re given a full 15 days to explore and test to your heart’s content. You’ve got nothing to lose, so get going!
The Merchant Maverick Seal of Approval 🏆
After hours of in-depth research and evaluation, we can confidently recommend this brand to our readers. Get started today and see BigCommerce for yourself.
The Merchant Maverick Seal of Approval 🏆
After hours of in-depth research and evaluation, we can confidently recommend this brand to our readers. Get started today and see BigCommerce for yourself.