BigCommerce was founded in 2003 by two Aussie entrepreneurs, Mitch Harper and
Eddie Machaalani and has since grown to a strong service with a
powerful team. The company was then offering a downloadable version of
the software called Interspire. In August 2009 then started offering a
SaaS pricing model with BigCommerce. Gradually they switched to SaaS
pricing model and Interspire is no longer offering hosted eCommerce
software. They are now headquartered in Texas with offices in Sydney and
If design is a crucial aspect to you, and it should be, you may be a little disappointed when you look through the options available from BigCommerce. Months ago, the options available were insufficient and rather dated. They have since introduced a new range of themes that adds some value to its portfolio of themes available, but still pales in comparison to some of its competitors.
Like Shopify, BigCommerce has introduced the option of paid themes by third party developers if you are willing to spend additionally. The Website Builder is decent, but lacks sufficient functionality. If you are willing to get your hands dirty, BigCommerce does give you the option of modifying the site’s HTML and CSS.
One redeemable feature would be easy deployment of mobile and tablet versions of the site which is a major requirement to succeed in e-commerce.
Just like other shopping carts, BigCommerce allows selling a limited number of items as per the plan you select. Distinctively, you can add items in bulk to avoid that monotony and then spend time in writing your own custom product descriptions. The inventory control ability is also commendable, which tracks products on a per-option or product level and send alerts.
BigCommerce offers a flexible and customizable, automated return system (return merchant authorizing) for ensuring hassle-free returns of purchases. You can disable returns, allow customers can file a return request online, and assign those requests to a staff member. The RMA system is very advanced and allow user to directly refund for any order from the account. Customers can also request the return of an individual item from entire order, which sometime can save a lot of time and hassle. Upon successful processing of returned item, it automatically updates inventory which is yet another powerful way to handle returns, especially when there are hundreds of orders processed everyday.
Next to Shopify, BigCommerce is perhaps the only provider that offers a reasonably sized app store containing plugins that can considerably extend the services available to your shopping cart. The pricing varies, some apps are free and some can be quite pricey; $200 a month for instance.
The App Store provides tools to upsell, improve integration with third party websites and apps and other marketing features such as autoresponders.
BigCommerce is rock-solid in terms of available core features. You have the option of seamlessly integrating with popular, related, third-party tools such as Google Analytics and customer support programs such as Mail Chimp and Olark. Some may not be happy to find out that the service does not provide a default email marketing solution, but many may prefer to use their own separate solution. There is also compatibility with all the major (and minor) payment processors and shipping services.
The product description page lets you sell any number of variations of the listed product with 360 degree views for a comprehensive online shopping experience for the user. The website is equipped with industry grade security to keep your customers safe.
The service is also easily accessible via mobile platforms, giving you full functionality including tracking of products and reporting.
This is a commendable feature where you get the option of customizing your check out page with fields you may want to add for data collection purposes or something site specific such as a contest for people who make purchases on your e-commerce website. While some other shopping cart solutions do provide this feature, it is not as straight forward and easy to use in comparison to Bigcommerce.
Abandoned Cart Saver
Another very useful feature, although it is not available in the base pricing package, with this option you get to pursue users who have abandoned their shopping carts for one reason or another with follow up autoresponders using your email marketing software. According to BigCommerce, you can boost your revenue by up to 15% by using this follow up mechanism.
BigCommerce has option to build customized product and pages to attract customers quickly via search engines. There’s also an email-marketing feature for selling on Facebook and other social media sites. The other notable marketing feature includes the option to create a datafeed for various comparison shopping sites and submit the datafeed directly to their directory. This can be very helpful and time saver for those who are looking to sell through popular comparison sites like Google merchant, Nextag, Shopping.com and others.
BigCommerce is also capable of securing the selling transactions with SSL certificate, denial-of-service protection, hardware firewalls, disaster and recovery support, and a network-intrusion detection system. All BigCommerce stores are level 1 PCI compliant with frequent PCI security standards audits. PCI compliance is especially required when you want to accept dedicated credit card payment processors on your store.
Users can also take advantage of content delivery networks to server rich media and improve the overall speed of loading webpage.
BigCommerce is quite easily in the top 3 of e-commerce shopping cart providers in terms of quality of service and popularity. With transaction fees waived off for higher plans, it may be the best option taking cost-effectiveness and features into consideration.