Our rating(4/5)
BigCommerce is one of the most ambitious ecommerce platforms, but it’s not the simplest.
BigCommerce is a semi-user-friendly ecommerce platform for any size business building an online store for serious growth. You can create a site from scratch, integrate with POS, utilise marketing tools, and much more.
  • Highs: Lots of customisation. Choice of payment providers. Sales growth tools.
  • Lows: Not the easiest for beginners. Customer support issues. Higher plans expensive.
  • Best for: Merchants ready to scale their business online, with some knowledge in websites.

How does BigCommerce work?

BigCommerce is a comprehensive ecommerce platform for businesses that want the best possible options to grow their sales. The features are some of the most flexible and extensive in the industry, with lots of additional tools available.

The platform covers hosting, website building and marketing to maximise sales conversion on the site. Transactions are processed by your choice of payment company. You don’t need to know about online selling in advance, as there are numerous prompts to suggest what will have an impact on sales.

Unless you’re a large company with a high budget, you should be looking at the three BigCommerce Essentials plans. These are the most user-friendly of the subscriptions, but some features require knowledge in websites or coding. BigCommerce Enterprise is for high-volume companies with complex needs.

Image: Mobile Transaction

The dashboard in BigCommerce gives you step-by-step guidance in setting up the online store.

It’s easy to start building an online shop from scratch after signing up, since the dashboard shows all the different things you should set up first. The wealth of product options and sales functions will likely require a good amount of time to edit, right down to adding the weight of products for accurate shipping costs. If you already have a product library from another platform, you may be able to import these to BigCommerce to save time.

Want a website builder with payments already integrated? See Square Online Store

BigCommerce pricing

BigCommerce offers tiered subscriptions paid once a year or monthly. The Plus and Pro annual plans cost less when calculated on a per-month basis, but that also means you have to pay a large sum upfront and can’t get the money back if you wish to stop using it before the end of the year. The plans are charged in US dollars even when you are based in the UK.

BigCommerce Essentials plans:

Essentials plan Standard Plus Pro
Monthly billing* $29.95/mo (~£25) $79.95/mo (~£65) $249.95/mo (~£205)
Annual billing* $29.95/mo (~£25) $71.95/mo (~£60) $224.95/mo (~£185)
Online sales /year Up to $50k (~£41k) Up to $150k (~£123k) Up to $400k (~£329k)

*Prices exclude VAT.

Standard Plus Pro
Monthly billing*
$29.95/mo (~£25) $79.95/mo (~£65) $249.95/mo (~£205)
Annual billing*
$29.95/mo (~£25) $71.95/mo (~£60) $224.95/mo (~£185)
Online sales /year
Up to $50k (~£41k) Up to $150k (~£123k) Up to $400k (~£329k)

*Prices exclude VAT.

You don’t pay a fee per transaction with BigCommerce, because they are actually charged for through your chosen payment processor integrated with the online shop. If you use, say, PayPal on your site built with BigCommerce, you only pay transaction fees to PayPal.

That being said, each Essentials subscription has a threshold for how much you are allowed to make through the online shop. On Standard, you can make up to $50k a year, on Plus it is $150k a year, and Pro includes up to $400k worth of transactions annually. If you accept more than $400k a year on Pro, you can pay an additional $150 a month per additional $200k in online sales.

The plans can be cancelled any time, although refunds cannot be made for subscription payments. There is only a contract for Pro if you have negotiated a special rate for a higher turnover or low average-order value.

All subscriptions include standard features enough to build and run a store online, but the higher the plan, the more tools you get to grow your online sales.

There is also an Enterprise option intended for large businesses. This is completely tailored to the business, with a custom quote, contract and features suitable for large-scale online stores. It is the most complex of all BigCommerce plans, ideally suited for companies with an in-house developer.

There’s a no-commitment 15-day free trial without the need to register your credit card details.

Payments

In contrast to all-in-one ecommerce builders that include payment processing, BigCommerce does not handle transactions themselves. Instead, you choose your payment provider and pay transaction fees to that company after integrating the payment gateway (i.e. link to the payment system) with the online store.

In the UK, BigCommerce supports the following payment gateways:

  • 2Checkout
  • Adyen
  • Amazon Pay
  • Authorize.net
  • BlueSnap
  • Chase Integrated Payments
  • CyberSource Direct
  • Klarna Payments
  • MyVirtualMerchant
  • NMI
  • PaymentExpress Post
  • Paymetric
  • PayPal powered by Braintree
  • PayPal Express Checkout
  • PayPal Payments Pro
  • Pin Payments
  • Realex
  • Sage Pay/Protx VSP Direct
  • SecurePay
  • Skrill
  • Square
  • Stripe
  • Worldpay

You need to set up an account with any of these payment gateways before connecting it with BigCommerce (usually via the payment company account). Some of these only offer online payments, but others such as Square and Worldpay deal with point of sale (POS) transactions as well.

If you’re selling in-store, you can integrate online with in-store sales data so payments and inventory data can be synced and analysed together. For example, if you already have a product library with Square, you can upload those products automatically to BigCommerce so you don’t have to manually reenter existing information in Square to the online store.

There is no blanket answer for what payment options are possible to accept, because it depends on your chosen payment company. Some may just accept Visa, Mastercard and American Express while others have a wider choice of international card options. In any case, BigCommerce can enable Apple Pay, Google Pay and Amazon Pay.

You can get favourable rates (1.75%-1.85% + 18p) for ‘PayPal powered by Braintree’ transactions, but special conditions apply. Suffice to say, you must have a PayPal Business account to accept PayPal.

Features

A lot of features are the same on all plans including Standard, such as unlimited staff accounts, unlimited products with tons of options, and unlimited file storage and bandwidth. You can also sell through Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, payment links, and of course your own branded ecommerce store.

Here are other features included on all or just some plans:

Feature Standard Plus Pro
Single-page checkout
Coupons, discounts & gift cards
Shipping label discounts
Real-time shipping quotes
In-depth analytics & reporting
Blog
Product ratings & reviews
Customer groups & segmentation
Abandoned cart emails
Saved cart
Stored payment cards
Google customer reviews
Product-filtered search
Fea-
ture
Stan-
dard
Plus Pro
Single-page checkout