Today we are taking a look at the BigCommerce shopping cart system. BigCommerce lets you create your own online store without have to have a lot of technical expertise. It is hosted which means you do not need to worry about servers, SSL certificates, upgrades and PCI compliance.
What I like about BigCommerce
BigCommerce is probably one of the more complete shopping cart systems available. The amount of functionality amazes me at times. From its optioning system to how compete the product set up is, you can create a fully functional store. The system is SEO optimized down to the product level. I have one customer whose site shows up in the top 3 over the actual manufacturer for local searches. With them moving to unlimited bandwidth, its hard to suggest other carts for most people.
What I don’t like about BigCommerce
No shopping cart system is perfect and that includes BigCommerce. Some of my dislikes are for the most part just minor. It doesn’t support shipping from multiple warehouse locations and no subscription pricing. It also does not have an integrated blog so you will need to patch it in through your existing blog or feeding it in through Blogger or WordPress. One thing you will notice is your logo needs to fit into particular dimensions since BigCommerce won’t automatically resize the header to fit. If the logo is to big its starts dropping down into the menu. (Edit: BigCommerce has fixed this, it will now resize your logo automatically.) You can check the dimensions on this page here:
Who is BigCommerce for?
BigCommerce will actually work for most small businesses and entrepreneurs. If you are a store that has multiple categories and sub categories the system displays them really well. A fully functional cart with tons of options , delivery, payment and coupon options it will meet the needs for most people starting a store.
Who is BigCommerce not for?
While just about anyone can use the BigCommerce platform, there are a couple people where it will not work for. If you need recurring orders, for example every month it sends out a new order of vitamins, this is not the platform for you. Also, if you have multiple warehouses with complete shipping algorithms, then BigCommerce won’t work as well as some other carts. Finally, if you are running a very niche store where you don’t need a bunch of categories, you might just want to use a simpler cart.
If you haven’t figured out, I am a very big fan of BigCommerce. I have used it myself and put several clients on the system. I also think their customer service is very good. While at times complicated, it is still easy enough for my customers to use on a daily basis. Unfortunately I have not even skimmed the surface of what BigCommerce can do and I recommend you take a closer look at what they have to offer. Click on the link below and it will take you to their site to try it out. I would love to hear your comments on the video or your experience with BigCommerce.
Check out our review of Shopify at Shopify Review.
April 2014 Update: BigCommerce has recently announced some new premium themes that are mobile responsive. I have not had a chance to play with them yet but they are nice additions to bring BigCommerce up to par with Shopify and other platforms that are known for design. They run about $140 a piece so not necessarily cheap but significantly cheaper then hiring a designer to build one for you.