BigCommerce used to be a hosted solution a decade ago, and today it is a cloud solution to be considered if you are looking to build an online store. The BigCommerce systems suit anything from a small business to medium to large business that would integrate a complex digital marketing strategy, social media, 3PL (3rd Party Logistics), and an ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning). Online businesses may regard this as an intermediary platform much like Shopify where there are similarities in account management, development workflows, and structure.
How does BigCommerce compare to Shopify?
Shopify is an industry-leading cloud-based platform where transactions are centralized through the cloud to a large variety of payment providers. Where Shopify relies on Shopify Experts to assist in customizing and implementing the user experience, BigCommerce has friendlier customization and greater flexibility in implementing your vision when it comes to UI/UX. Besides the store build, the two platforms are just as capable and scalable as your business grows to allow for all the various marketing strategies such as email marketing to on-site SEO tools. If anything, Shopify has a bit of an edge on templates given they have so many pre-built and ready to go.
Starting a business?
At the entry-level, the ease of use is comparable to the likes of Shopify or WordPress. Selecting a theme, adding your products, and defining your UX/UI with your branding. Whereas Shopify depends more on Apps for functionality, BigCommerce has integrated capabilities within its platforms making it more advantageous to be in the BigCommerce environment. When you start an online business there are other platforms such as Wix eCommerce and WooCommerce that are good entry-level platforms, but when considering scaling BigCommerce has an edge.
BigCommerce ease of use.
Setting up a store with products, content and finding the right template makes it all look quite easy. It is when you want to customize the theme that you find yourself pretty quickly into the tech zone. If your requirement is to have a custom experience, integrations with social media sites, or an affiliate marketing business model - hiring a web developer or BigCommerce Expert will most likely get you there reliably. The complexity comes with the features required for mid-tier eCommerce capabilities, and while BigCommerce strives to deliver easier-to-use tools such as their Page Builder, you still need the tech vocabulary to navigate the interface.
When comparing platforms, these platforms do come on strong with industry best practices in capabilities within the account management area. You have everything you need to build your online store with the capabilities of being a marketing tool with abilities in certain themes to have a call-to-action flavor. Integration to popular social media sites is reasonably straightforward. You have competitively rated payment gateway choices and the full abilities to tailor your branded experience to your audience. Reports, taxes and shipping is all standard. It is when you have an online business idea that requires customization that difficulty in envisioning and executing that feature will be more of a challenge - otherwise you have everything you need.
SEO Features and tools
Probably one of its strongest points in the eCommerce industry vs. its competitors. Anywhere from collecting email addresses, having an email marketing strategy to marketing automation or just email newsletters, you have these easily within reach. The On-site SEO tools are easy to use, apply your keywords and it is a cinch to start a blog. Best of all is its site speed being one of the best in the industry. Close attention to Google's requirements such as Meta Descriptions, Alt Text, Microdata, Mobile friendly, Slug's and all the various bits one would consider in their SEO strategy are all there.
BigCommerce App Store
While every cloud-based eCommerce platform has an App store, the one provided here is more modest than the Shopify App Store to only about 900 Apps. These industry best practice Apps will connect you to the likes of QuickBooks, or add features within your store. App development is always an option in working with a BigCommerce Expert on achieving a custom experience in UX.
When signing up, you will get a 10min onboarding call with their support team to understand the direction and requirements of the business type and online store that you are looking to build. There is a tremendous knowledgebase for you to reach, and a community to interact with. Phone, Live-chat, and email support are all available 24/7 - there are video tutorials as well as University tutorials as well. One could say that every resource for learning is easily within reach and an answer is not far from being found or provided.
While it is a large and complex system, BigCommerce has done a good job in simplifying all the basic areas that a business person would want to reach and interact with. It hasn't made the customization non-tech, but then again, it takes a techy to interpret and implement a requirement outside of what's normally available to all the online stores. When it comes to price, their plans are competitive to the likes of Shopify and any small business would easily be able to adopt this platform without much issue. Online businesses that require customization have BigCommerce Experts at their disposal and if you would want to have a discussion on those requirements, feel free to reach out to us at email@example.com.