BigCommerce is one of the shopping carts I like and I highly recommend it up there with Shopify. One reason I like it is it is one of the more full featured hosted shopping carts available to entrepreneurs. But, with functionality comes added complexity and the one thing that confuses people with BigCommerce is setting up product options. Most carts (Shopify for example) allows you to set up product options individually. Then there are some carts, 3DCart for example, that allow you to set up individual product options but also to set up “option sets” for recurring product options. For example, if you are selling t-shirts, you know you will always have Small, Medium and Large t-shirt sizes. So 3D cart will allow you to set up an option set with those sizes already input. BigCommerce doesn’t allow you to set up individual product options, everything needs to be set up as an option set.
Video walk through of setting up Product Options in BigCommerce
In the video below I walk you through setting up those option sets in Bigcommerce and applying them to your products.
Disadvantages of setting up Option Sets
If you are selling very similar products then as you can imagine setting up Option Sets gives you a ton of flexibility. But where it fails, is when you have products that have very unique product options. For example, I had a local clients that sold Pet Products. Every Treat Manufacturer and Dog Food Manufacturer had different product sizes which required me to set up option sets for every product manufacturer. What made it even more difficult was the manufacturers would change their sizes when they did a refresh which required even more option sets. That being said it was made up with all the included functionality.
Advantages of Setting up Option Sets
I had another customer (again in the pet industry) that made three things, dog clothes, harnesses and treats. Because the doggy t-shirts and harnesses all had consistent sizes, setting up options sets worked really well for them. And since their treats only came in one size, they had the option of creating a flavor option set or what I suggested, was creating individual products to fill out their product sets.
Like any cart, there are always work arounds to help accomplish filling out your product display. One thing you need to consider is whether option sets will make your life more difficult. That is why, as much as I love BigCommerce it is not the perfect cart for everyone, the same thing I say about Shopify, 3DCart, Americommerce, Corecommerce, and every single other cart I have used.
You can try out BigCommerce and Shopify by clicking the links below: