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BigCommerce website builder review 2021

Advanced ecommerce store creation solutions from an industry leader

BigCommerce logo
(Image: © BigCommerce)

Our Verdict

BigCommerce is right up there with the most powerful ecommerce store builders in the world, and every aspect of its service shows this.

Pros

  • Powerful mobile management app
  • Zero transaction fees
  • Advanced tools for larger stores

Cons

  • Relatively low sales limits
  • Small number of free store templates
  • Small app library when compared to some alternatives

Competing with the best website builders, BigCommerce is a powerful option for online store creation, and is one of the best website builders with ecommerce and one of the best website builders for small business. It boasts an ecommerce focused editor, a suite of excellent online selling tools, and various other features to help you maximize the success of your business. 

BigCommerce review: Snapshot

As you will see in our BigCommerce review, this builder is right up there with the best online store creators in the world. It’s a little more complicated than competitors like Shopify, but it’s great for those looking for a scalable solution with great design flexibility. 

Other noteworthy features include a small but decent app library, a suite of SEO tools, zero transaction fees, an advanced mobile management app, and a suite of third-party marketplace integrations. New features, such as the recent Mercado Libre integration, are regularly added, so you can expect the platform to continue to evolve in the future.  

Score: 4.5/5

Read on for the full review. 


BigCommerce's competitors

How does BigCommerce compare to its main competitors?
BigCommerceShopifyWix
Score4.5/54.5/54.5/5
Pros- Powerful mobile management app - Zero transaction fees - Advanced tools for larger stores- Huge range of online selling tools - Excellent data collection and analytics portals - Feature-packed mobile management app- Industry-leading drag-and-drop design flexibility - Streamlined ecommerce management - Huge template library
Cons- Relatively low sales limits - Small number of free store templates - Small app library when compared to some alternatives- Will be too expensive for some users - High transaction fees with some payment gateways - Code experience required for fine customization- Third-party apps can be quite expensive - Customer service is average at best - The Wix Editor can take some getting used to
VerdictBigCommerce is right up there with the most powerful ecommerce store builders in the world, and every aspect of its service shows this.Shopify is the world’s most popular ecommerce platform, and it’s backed by a suite of advanced tools and a decent store editor.Wix is known for its powerful drag-and-drop editor, but it also comes with a selection of ecommerce tools for online selling.
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Key features

BigCommerce is one of the world’s most popular and top-rated ecommerce-focused website builders, and even a quick glance at its features shows why this is the case. You will have access to virtually everything you could ever need to create and manage your new online store. 

Along with this, you will benefit from additional marketing, analytics, and other tools to improve the long-term performance of your store. We’ve outlined a few of the standouts below. 

One of the most noteworthy features is BigCommerce’s integrations with a range of third-party marketplaces. These enable you to connect your store directly to said marketplaces, which include eBay, Amazon, Facebook, and Google Shopping. 

By doing this, you can take advantage of BigCommerce’s inventory management, analytics, and other tools to drive informed business decisions. Setting up these marketplace connections is a straightforward process, and you shouldn’t run into any problems along the way. 

BigCommerce comes with a suite of excellent native features, and you can add even more advanced integrations through the App marketplace. Here, you will find a range of vetted and approved third-party apps that you can use for everything from dropshipping to adding advanced customer service tools. 

For example, a quick look at the “Product Sourcing” category reveals 18 different apps, including popular options like Spocket and Printful. Many of these are free, although some are only available at an extra cost. 

BigCommerce: Key features and highlights

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BigCommerce's library of third party marketplaces

Connect with any of a number of third-party marketplaces (Image credit: BigCommerce)
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BigCommerce's URL settings menu

Customize product URLs to improve your site’s SEO score (Image credit: BigCommerce)
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BigCommerce's webpage for Facebook integration

Connect your Facebook account to access additional marketing tools (Image credit: BigCommerce)
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BigCommerce's app store

There's a selection of apps available in the BigCommerce app store (Image credit: BigCommerce)

SEO is an excellent strategy for driving new customers to your store. And luckily, BigCommerce does a great job of providing highly customizable SEO settings that you can configure as required. 

For starters, you can customize the URL of every single page on your store, ensuring each is presented in an SEO-friendly manner. Rich snippets are automatically created for every product page, 301 redirects are very easy to implement, and you will have direct edit access to your store’s Robots.txt file—which basically means that you can tell the search engines which pages to look at and which to ignore.

On a more technical side, BigCommerce is known for its fast, responsive server infrastructure. It uses an advanced CDN to ensure fast page load times, which will improve the customer experience and, by extension, your search engine ranking.   

There’s also a selection of integrated Facebook marketing tools that you can use to drive more traffic to your website. Connect the Facebook Business Extension to access a range of built-in advertising tools. With this, you can create customized targeted ads with items from your product catalog. Link these to your store’s Facebook page, and sell directly through Facebook if you would like to. 

What’s new? 

As a leading ecommerce platform, BigCommerce naturally provides regular product updates. In fact, there’s an entire blog section dedicated to this, and updates are posted at least a couple of times per week. 

One of the more noteworthy recent updates concerned abandoned cart emails. All customers that currently use transactional emails will now have access to a range of abandoned cart saver email templates. These can be extremely useful, as they enable you to set up automatic emails encouraging potential customers to return to your store. 

Those selling in South America will love the recent Mercado Libre integration. With this, you can connect your BigCommerce store directly to the popular online marketplace, enabling you to sell directly to a huge audience across Brazil, Chile, Mexico, and Colombia. 

There have also been numerous updates to the Facebook Pixel integration recently, ensuring you’re gathering the most accurate data possible. Two-factor authentication was recently added as well, enabling an extra layer of security to all user accounts.

Pricing

All users can test BigCommerce with a no-obligation 15-day free trial. There are four subscription options available for those who choose to continue with the platform, with both monthly and annual payment choices. 

The cheapest Standard plan comes in at $29.95 a month, and supports up to $50,000 worth of sales per year. A Plus plan starts at $79.95 a month ($71.95 with annual billing), and the high-end Pro plan comes in at $299.95 a month ($269.96 with annual billing). Custom Enterprise solutions are also available for the largest stores. 

BigCommerce's pricing plan
Plan type/featureStandardPlusProEnterprise
Cost per month$29.95$79.95$299.95Custom
Cost per year$359.40$863.40$3239.52Custom
Unlimited storage and bandwidth
Abandoned cart saverX
Custom product filersXX
Maximum annual sales volume$50,000$180,000$400,000Custom
Store builder

Testing BigCommerce

In order to comprehensively compare BigCommerce to the competition, we analyzed a series of its features and tools to see how it performed. This included creating a store via the Shopify website builder, because this is key when taking ecommerce website building into account.

How do you create an online store with BigCommerce?

BigCommerce's questions pop-up when creating a store

You will be required to answer a selection of questions when creating your first store (Image credit: BigCommerce)

To find out just how easy it was to get started with BigCommerce, we created a simple online store of our own. Signing up for an account takes no more than a couple of minutes, although you will have to provide your name, phone number, and some basic information about the store you’re planning to build.

BigCommerce's theme editor in use

The BigCommerce theme editor enables advanced yet beginner-friendly editing (Image credit: BigCommerce)

The first thing we noticed when we were taken to the store dashboard was that it appeared a little cluttered. The menu on the left of the screen seemed to be jammed into a space that was too small for it, and overall, the appearance wasn’t great. 

Next, we jumped into the store editor, which was actually quite impressive. It uses a block-based editing interface, which enables you to drag elements into position before customizing their appearance and content. You can also make specific edits on mobile and tablet versions of your site, which was nice to see. 

On the downside, there are no pixel-perfect drag-and-drop editing tools. If you want to fine-tune your site’s design, you will need to edit your theme’s code file. 

Alternatives to BigCommerce

BigCommerce is one of the best ecommerce-focused website builders in the world, but it has some mighty competitors.

For example, Shopify is arguably even more powerful. Its store builder plans start at $29 a month, which is virtually identical to BigCommerce’s cheapest subscription option. It boasts an excellent mobile management app, a beginner-friendly store editor, and a decent selection of templates.

In addition, Shopify has some of the best analytics and data collection tools that we’ve seen. Its support team is responsive and knowledgeable—as is BigCommerce’s—and there’s an excellent app market that you can use to add extra functionality to your store. Find out more in our detailed Shopify review.

Another popular option is Wix, which is known for its leading design flexibility. At first glance, it appears somewhat cheaper, with its basic plan coming in at $14 a month. However, you will need at least a Business Basic plan ($23 a month) if you want to sell anything through your website. 

Wix also has significantly more templates, with more than 500 free designs compared to BigCommerce’s 12. You'll get a free domain with Wix, but the fact that it’s a more general website builder means you shouldn’t expect anywhere near the level of advanced ecommerce tools that you'd get with a dedicated online store builder. Take a look at our comprehensive Wix review for more information.

BigCommerce's features compared to the competition
BigCommerceShopifyWix
Templates17081500+
Free domainNoNoYes
Mobile store managementYesYesYes
SupportEmail, live chat, scheduled phone callbacksEmail, live chat, scheduled phone callbacksOnline ticketing, scheduled phone callbacks
Basic plan$29.95 a month$29 a month$14 a month

The verdict

An in-depth analysis of BigCommerce and its online store builder shows that it deserves every bit of its reputation as a leading ecommerce platform. It sits right up there alongside Shopify as one of the best ecommerce-focused website builders. 

For starters, all users will benefit from an excellent selection of advanced features. There’s a selection of integrations with third-party marketplaces like eBay and Amazon, a range of SEO and other marketing tools, and a small app market that you can use to add extra functionality to your site. New features are added regularly in an attempt to continue to improve the platform. 

In addition, BigCommerce’s prices are comparable to other industry leaders. Its cheapest plans come in at $29.95 a month, almost identical to Shopify’s base option and only slightly more expensive than Wix, another market leader. 

BigCommerce is also known for its excellent customer support. You will have access to live chat, phone, and email support options, and the customer service team is friendly and knowledgeable. 

The editor itself isn’t as powerful as some general website builders, but it’s among the best store-focused builders we’ve seen. The block-based interface enables you to add and customize content in a streamlined manner, and you shouldn’t have too many problems here. 

At the end of the day, there’s a lot to like about BigCommerce. If you’re looking for a powerful online store builder that offers excellent scalability and a suite of advanced ecommerce features, we’d highly recommend signing up for a free trial and giving it a try. 

Further reading on website builders

We've covered how to build an ecommerce website, and compiled a series of buying guides in which we evaluate the best website builders, the best small business website builders, and the best ecommerce website builders.

The Verdict
4.5

out of 5

BigCommerce website builder review 2021

BigCommerce is right up there with the most powerful ecommerce store builders in the world, and every aspect of its service shows this.

Daniel Blechynden

Daniel is a freelance copywriter with over six years experience writing for publications such as TechRadar, Tom’s Guide, and Hosting Review. He specializes in tech and finance, with a particular focus on website building, web hosting, and related fields.