What is Bigcommerce and Why Would You Choose it Over Shopify?

Bigcommerce has become a prominent ecommerce platform, distinguishing itself through its comprehensive features and user-friendly design.

Its rise in popularity among online retailers clearly indicates its effectiveness and adaptability in meeting the diverse needs of the digital marketplace. This platform has steadily gained traction, attracting businesses of all sizes with its versatile and scalable solutions.

In this article, we aim to explore the various facets of Bigcommerce, focusing on what makes it a top choice for many businesses. From its intuitive interface to its extensive customization options, we will examine the key elements contributing to its growing appeal. 

Whether you are just starting in the world of ecommerce or looking to expand your existing online presence, understanding the strengths and capabilities of Bigcommerce is essential. Join us as we take a closer look at this platform, highlighting the features and benefits that make it stand out in the competitive world of online retail.

Understanding Bigcommerce

Bigcommerce is a comprehensive ecommerce platform that provides businesses with the tools and capabilities needed to create and manage an online store. It’s a software as a service (SaaS) solution, meaning it’s hosted in the cloud and accessible from anywhere, offering a range of features to support online sales. 

Bigcommerce enables online retailers to build digital storefronts, manage inventory, process payments, and handle shipping logistics, all within a single, integrated platform.

Founded in 2009, Bigcommerce began as a small startup in Sydney, Australia, with a mission to democratize ecommerce for businesses of all sizes. Over the years, it has evolved significantly, expanding its offerings and enhancing its platform to meet the changing demands of the online retail industry. 


Core Features of Bigcommerce

Storefront Design: 

Bigcommerce offers a range of customizable templates and design options, allowing businesses to create unique and engaging online stores. The platform’s design flexibility ensures each store has a distinctive look and feel, aligning with the brand’s identity.

Product Management: 

With robust product management tools, users can easily add, manage, and categorize products. Features like bulk import/export, product variants, and inventory tracking simplify the management of extensive product catalogs.

Payment Processing: 

Bigcommerce supports many payment gateways, allowing businesses to choose the best options for their customers. This includes integrating major payment processors like PayPal, Stripe, and Square, ensuring secure and efficient transactions.

Analytics and Reporting: 

Bigcommerce’s analytics capabilities offer insightful data on store performance, customer behavior, and sales trends. This helps businesses make data-driven decisions to optimize their operations and marketing strategies.

Multi-Channel Selling on Bigcommerce

Bigcommerce’s multi-channel selling feature empowers businesses to expand their reach, diversify their revenue streams, and connect with customers wherever they prefer to shop. Here’s an in-depth look at how Bigcommerce facilitates multi-channel selling:

Seamless Integration with Major Marketplaces

  • Expanding Market Reach: Bigcommerce allows easy integration with major online marketplaces like Amazon, eBay, and Walmart. This integration enables businesses to list their products on these platforms directly from the Bigcommerce dashboard, significantly expanding their market reach.
  • Centralized Inventory Management: Manage inventory across all channels from a single location. This feature ensures that stock levels are automatically updated across all platforms, reducing the risk of overselling and helping maintain consistent inventory records.

Social Media and Shopping Feeds

  • Social Selling: With the rise of social commerce, Bigcommerce provides tools to integrate online stores with social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest. This integration allows businesses to tap into the vast user base of these platforms, turning followers and engagements into sales.
  • Product Feeds to Shopping Engines: Bigcommerce also supports the creation of product feeds for shopping engines and comparison sites, helping businesses increase their products’ visibility and attract more traffic to their stores.

Omnichannel Retailing

  • Consistent Brand Experience: Bigcommerce ensures that your brand’s look and feel are consistent across all channels, providing a unified brand experience to customers. This consistency is crucial for building trust and recognition in a crowded market.
  • Data-Driven Insights: Businesses can gather valuable insights into customer preferences and behavior by tracking sales and customer interactions across different channels. Bigcommerce’s analytics tools help understand the most effective channels, allowing for more targeted marketing and sales strategies.

Streamlined Operations

  • Order Management: All orders from various channels are centralized in the Bigcommerce dashboard. This centralization simplifies order processing, tracking, and fulfillment, regardless of where the sale was made.
  • Automated Processes: Automation tools in Bigcommerce reduce the manual effort required to manage multiple channels. From inventory updates to order processing, automation ensures efficiency and accuracy in operations.

Flexibility and Scalability

  • Adapt to Market Trends: The flexibility to quickly add or modify sales channels means businesses can adapt to market trends and consumer preferences with agility.
  • Grow with Your Business: As your business grows, Bigcommerce’s multi-channel selling capabilities scale with you, supporting increased volume and complexity without compromising performance.

Advantages of Using Bigcommerce

Moving forward, let’s focus on the specific advantages of Bigcommerce that cater to the needs of online retailers.

Ease of Use

One of the most significant advantages of Bigcommerce is its user-friendly interface. The platform is designed with simplicity, making it accessible for users regardless of their technical expertise. 

Ease of use begins with a straightforward setup process, guiding new users through each step of creating their online store. The dashboard is intuitively organized, allowing for quick navigation and managing various store aspects, from product listings to order processing.

Examples of intuitive design elements include drag-and-drop functionality for building and customizing web pages and a straightforward product upload process that simplifies adding new items to the store. The platform also offers a variety of pre-designed templates, which users can easily customize to fit their brand, eliminating the need for extensive coding knowledge.

Scalability

Scalability is another key advantage of Bigcommerce, making it a suitable platform for businesses at any growth stage. The platform is designed to handle increased traffic and sales volume without compromising performance, ensuring businesses can grow without outgrowing their ecommerce solution.

For instance, a fashion retailer might start as a small online boutique and grow into a large, multinational brand. With Bigcommerce, they can expand their product range, enter new markets with multi-currency and multi-language support, and integrate with advanced shipping and fulfillment solutions, all within the same platform.

Built-in SEO and Marketing Tools

Bigcommerce has comprehensive SEO and marketing tools crucial for driving traffic and increasing sales. The platform offers built-in SEO features such as customizable URLs, automatic sitemap generation, and optimized headers and metadata, which help improve search engine rankings and visibility.

In marketing, Bigcommerce provides various integrations and tools to enhance promotional efforts. This includes email marketing integrations, allowing businesses to connect with customers through personalized email campaigns. 

Social media integration is another key feature, enabling businesses to link their ecommerce store with their social media profiles for seamless marketing across platforms. Additionally, the platform supports various discount and coupon strategies, helping businesses attract and retain customers with special offers and promotions.


Bigcommerce for Different Business Sizes

Small Businesses

Bigcommerce is an ideal solution for startups and small enterprises, balancing functionality and affordability. The platform’s cost-effectiveness is a significant draw for smaller businesses operating with limited budgets. Bigcommerce offers a range of pricing plans, allowing small businesses to choose a package that aligns with their financial constraints while accessing robust ecommerce tools.

The ease of setup is another vital aspect for small businesses. Bigcommerce simplifies launching an online store with user-friendly templates, drag-and-drop page builders, and an intuitive interface. This ease of use means that even those with limited technical skills can set up a professional-looking online store without extensive web development resources. 

Additionally, the platform provides essential features like integrated payment processing, basic SEO tools, and straightforward inventory management, which are crucial for small businesses looking to quickly establish a robust online presence.

Medium to Large Businesses

As businesses grow, their needs become more complex, and Bigcommerce is well-equipped to handle these evolving requirements. The platform offers advanced features for medium to large businesses catering to more significant operations and higher traffic and sales volumes. 

This includes advanced analytics for deeper insights into customer behavior, more sophisticated inventory management systems, and enhanced security features to protect the business and its customers.

Customization capabilities are a standout feature for more prominent businesses using Bigcommerce. The platform allows for extensive customization of the online store in terms of aesthetics and functionality. This is achieved through a combination of customizable templates, an open API for bespoke integrations, and the ability to modify HTML and CSS directly. 

Moreover, Bigcommerce’s support for third-party integrations means businesses can easily connect their store with a wide range of external applications and services, from advanced marketing tools to ERP systems, further enhancing the platform’s flexibility and scalability.

Comparing Bigcommerce with Other Platforms

Bigcommerce stands alongside other significant ecommerce platforms, including Shopify and WooCommerce. Understanding how Bigcommerce compares with these platforms can help businesses decide which service best suits their needs.

Bigcommerce vs. Shopify

Both Bigcommerce and Shopify offer robust solutions for setting up and managing online stores, but they have distinct features and functionalities that cater to different business needs. Here’s a detailed comparison to help you understand how Bigcommerce and Shopify stack up against each other.

Ease of Use

  • Bigcommerce: Known for its comprehensive feature set, Bigcommerce offers a slightly steeper learning curve. It provides a more feature-rich environment out of the box, which can be overwhelming for beginners but beneficial for businesses looking for advanced options without relying heavily on third-party apps.
  • Shopify: Shopify is often praised for its user-friendly interface. It’s designed for ease of use, making it a great choice for those new to ecommerce. The platform’s straightforward design and intuitive navigation allow users to set up and manage their online store quickly.

Customization and Design

  • Bigcommerce: Offers a variety of customizable templates. While the selection may not be as extensive as Shopify’s, the available templates are highly customizable. Bigcommerce allows deeper customization through HTML and CSS access, catering to businesses with specific design needs.
  • Shopify: Boasts a wide range of professionally designed themes, both free and paid. The platform’s theme editor is user-friendly, making it easy for store owners to customize their site’s look and feel without extensive technical knowledge.

Features and Functionality

  • Bigcommerce: Packed with more built-in features than Shopify, especially in areas like analytics, product options, and SEO. This can reduce the need for additional apps and plugins, potentially lowering overall costs.
  • Shopify: While Shopify might require additional plugins and apps for some advanced features, its app store is extensive, offering a wide range of add-ons. However, relying on apps can increase the monthly cost of running the store.

Pricing

  • Bigcommerce: Offers a transparent pricing model with no transaction fees. However, each plan has a sales threshold, meaning you’ll need to upgrade your plan as your sales grow.
  • Shopify: It also offers a straightforward pricing structure, but it includes additional fees for transactions made using payment gateways other than Shopify Payments.

Bigcommerce vs. WooCommerce

When comparing ecommerce platforms, Bigcommerce and WooCommerce represent two very different approaches. Bigcommerce is a standalone, hosted platform, while WooCommerce is an open-source plugin for WordPress websites. Here’s a detailed comparison to help you understand the key differences and decide which might be better suited for your business needs.

Platform Type and Ease of Use

  • Bigcommerce: As a fully hosted SaaS (Software as a Service) platform, Bigcommerce handles all the technical aspects of running an online store, including hosting, security, and updates. This makes it relatively easy for users to manage their store without worrying about technical details.
  • WooCommerce: An open-source plugin for WordPress, WooCommerce offers more control and customization but requires higher technical involvement. Users need to manage hosting, security, and updates themselves, which can be more complex but offers greater flexibility.

Customization and Flexibility

  • Bigcommerce: Offers a range of customizable templates and themes, with the ability to modify HTML and CSS for further customization. However, the scope of customization is somewhat limited compared to WooCommerce.
  • WooCommerce: Being open-source, WooCommerce allows for extensive customization. Users can modify almost every aspect of their store and have access to a vast array of WordPress plugins and themes.

Features and Functionality

  • Bigcommerce: Comes with a wide array of built-in features, including payment processing, SEO tools, and various marketing functionalities. This can reduce the need for additional plugins or apps.
  • WooCommerce: While the basic WooCommerce plugin is free, many additional features require paid plugins. The

SEO and Marketing

  • Bigcommerce: Provides strong SEO capabilities with features designed to improve search engine rankings.
  • WooCommerce: Leveraging the power of WordPress, known for its SEO strengths, WooCommerce can be highly effective for SEO, especially with the right plugins and optimizations.

Why Choose Bigcommerce?

In the competitive landscape of ecommerce platforms, Bigcommerce distinguishes itself with its comprehensive set of built-in features, scalability, and robust analytics. It’s an excellent choice for businesses looking for an all-in-one platform that minimizes the need for numerous third-party apps. 

The platform’s focus on advanced SEO tools, multi-channel selling capabilities, and extensive customization options make it versatile for a wide range of business sizes and types. Moreover, Bigcommerce’s ability to handle complex product catalogs and international sales makes it an excellent choice for businesses seeking global expansion.


Conclusion

In summary, Bigcommerce emerges as a robust and versatile ecommerce platform, well-suited for a wide range of business needs. Its strengths lie in its comprehensive feature set, scalability, and user-friendly design, making it an ideal choice for small startups and large enterprises. 

With advanced SEO capabilities, extensive customization options, and a strong focus on user experience, Bigcommerce stands as a competitive option in the ecommerce market. For businesses seeking a reliable and efficient online retail solution, Bigcommerce offers the tools and flexibility necessary to succeed in today’s digital landscape. 

As you consider the best platform for your ecommerce venture, Bigcommerce merits serious consideration for its ability to adapt and grow with your business.

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Chris Bradshaw

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About the author

Before switching to ecommerce I was a design engineer, so I understand the importance of having the right tools. All of the tools I recommend in Ecom Uprising are ones that I have used and would recommend to my consulting clients.

Thanks for reading, Chris

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