Disclosure: Our editorial staff write reviews independently. We may be compensated if you sign up for a service through our affiliate links.

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 complex online store, integrate with POS, utilize marketing tools and much more.
  • Highs: Lots of online store features. Big 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 about websites.

How BigCommerce works

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, a drag-and-drop website builder and marketing to maximize 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.

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.

BigCommerce Essentials plans:

Essentials plan Standard Plus Pro
Monthly billing* $29.95
Annual billing* $29.95
Online sales /year Up to
Up to
Up to
PayPal transaction rates via Braintree (optional) 2.9% + $0.30 2.5% + $0.30 2.2% + $0.30

*Prices exclude sales tax.

Monthly billing*
$29.95/mo $79.95/mo $299.95/mo
Annual billing*
$29.95/mo $71.95/mo $269.96/mo
Online sales /year
Up to $50k Up to $180k Up to $400k
PayPal transaction rates via Braintree (optional)
2.9% + $0.30 2.5% + $0.30 2.2% + $0.30

*Prices exclude sales tax.

Transaction fees are not paid to BigCommerce. Instead, you can integrate any compatible payment processor with the online shop and pay the fees applicable to that processor. If you use, say, PayPal on your BigCommerce site, you only pay transaction fees to PayPal.

BigCommerce has special rates for PayPal powered by Braintree (2.2%-2.9% plus $0.30, depending on the BigCommerce plan). Conditions apply for the acceptance of this.

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 $180k 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 for building and running a store online. 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 also gives you lower rates for PayPal powered by Braintree. 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.


In contrast to all-in-one ecommerce builders that include credit card 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 US, BigCommerce supports the following online payment gateways:

  • Adyen
  • Affirm
  • Afterpay
  • Amazon Pay
  • Authorize.net
  • BlueSnap
  • Bolt Payments
  • Chase
  • Checkout.com
  • Clover Payments
  • CyberSource Direct
  • Elavon – Converge
  • eWay Rapid
  • First Data Payeezy
  • Heartland Payment Systems
  • Klarna Payments
  • MyVirtualMerchant
  • NMI
  • Paymetric
  • PayPal
  • PayPal Powered by Braintree
  • QuickBooks Payments
  • SecureNet
  • Sezzle
  • Square
  • Stripe
  • USAePay
  • Windcave
  • Worldpay

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

If you’re selling in-store, you can integrate online with in-store sales so payments and inventory data are synced and analyzed 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.

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 and Google Pay and accept international currencies.

Customer shopping online

What’s the best online store builder?

Compare the best ecommerce platforms

Ecommerce 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
Real-time shipping quotes
In-depth analytics & reporting
Product ratings & reviews
Customer groups & segmentation
Abandoned cart emails
Saved cart
Stored payment cards
Google customer reviews
Product-filtered search
Plus Pro
Single-page checkout
Coupons, discounts & gift cards
Real-time shipping quotes
In-depth analytics & reporting
Product ratings & reviews
Customer groups & segmentation
Abandoned cart emails
Saved cart
Stored payment cards
Google customer reviews
Product-filtered search

Essentially, you have all the basic (and more) features for creating and running an online store regardless of the subscription, including search engine optimization (SEO) functions. However, certain really effective features for growing sales are only available on the more expensive plans. For instance, the product-filtered search is very important for large inventories so customers can find specific products by color, type etc. but this comes only on Pro which is way outside a small budget.

We should also emphasize that some of the terminology on the platform is too advanced for beginners, and several features may require some knowledge in coding and websites. For example, gift certificates are edited using code in an editor window (see below). It can also be unclear how certain things on your website are changed, so you can end up relying on answers in the online resources provided by BigCommerce.

Image: Mobile Transaction

BigCommerce editor gift card

Text editor window for a gift card in BigCommerce.

Some features not in the table above require a separate subscription. Being visible on Google Shopping, for example, requires a Sales & Orders account, which may cost extra depending on the level of features required. You can add a sophisticated shipping rules engine on any plan, which prevents misquotes for shipping, but this requires a separate subscription with ShipperHQ ($50-$300 monthly).

Website themes

Limited (or no) coding skills are required to build a beautiful website with BigCommerce. Take a pick from over 160 theme templates, some of which are free and some costing a license fee. The paid themes cost $150-$300 (excl. tax). You can then use the website editor to create your online store based on that design framework.

Example of a free BigCommerce template.

All designs are responsive, i.e. optimized for mobile viewing on a small screen. This is very important for search engine rankings, as Google prioritizes websites that are easy to navigate and view on phones. That said, it has become the norm for popular ecommerce platforms to make their designs mobile-friendly, so BigCommerce isn’t unique in this regard.

You can upload your own website theme, but you won’t be able to add features from BigCommerce or get technical assistance related to that template.

A $195 theme called Beautify Cosmetics.

Hosting and security through BigCommerce

BigCommerce takes care of the website hosting (i.e. storage of a website on internet servers) through Google Cloud Platform. It’s common for hosting providers to have occasional loading issues, but Google Cloud Platform’s performance is among the best in the industry. This matters in ecommerce, as even one second’s delay in loading a web page can negatively impact on sales.

The hosting is PCI DSS 3.2-certified at Level 1, meaning you do not have to take care of PCI compliance (payment industry standard for preventing data breaches and card fraud).

If you were to set up a website outside of a website builder with hosting included, you normally pay ongoing fees for a hosting provider to run and store your website on their servers, but BigCommerce pricing covers hosting. The only thing you need to pay extra for is the domain name – that is, the www URL for your website. You can purchase this through BigCommerce’s dashboard or connect an existing domain to the online store.

In terms of security, all the plans include a free SSL certificate, ensuring your web pages are secure and any customer details entered at checkout are encrypted. The padlock symbol and “https” before the domain address give customers the reassurance of a safe website, strengthen search engine rankings and keep customers on your custom domain during checkout. On the Pro plan, you have the option to bring over a custom SSL purchased from a different provider.

Point of sale (POS) integration

If you have a physical shop, your BigCommerce online store can integrate with different POS systems such as:

Some of these integrations can be set up easily, whereas others may require a third-party integrator.

An integrated POS system means that products and sales are syncs across sales channels, allowing for an easier overview of your business.

Square POS offers a direct point-of-sale integration with BigCommerce.

If you’re already using software that is not on the official list of integrations, we recommend asking your POS provider whether they have a way to connect with BigCommerce through connector software – just be prepared this might incur a monthly cost.

Additional integrations

A key thing that makes BigCommerce scalable and highly customizable is the ability to integrate with over 900 different partner apps for advanced functions. You can pick tools for:

  • Accounting and tax
  • Analytics and reporting
  • Business-to-business (B2B)/wholesale
  • Catalog and order management
  • CRM and customer service
  • Data migration/transfer
  • Enterprise resource planning (ERP)
  • Marketing and merchandising
  • Mobile apps
  • Payments and security
  • Product sourcing
  • Sales channels
  • Shipping and fulfillment
  • Site tools

Many of these relate to business operations, but some provide functions to replace or add to your online store, e.g. embedding Trustpilot reviews on your site or automating the refund process.

Only on the Enterprise plan can you use APIs (special code to connect apps) for even more advanced integrations, but this requires technical know-how.

Customer support and user reviews

If you are okay setting up a website on your own through step-by-step instructions, you can get far with BigCommerce’s extensive online resources. Many online guides are available with video guidance and advice, and a community support forum can answer some of your queries.

You can also call, email or chat-message BigCommerce customer support team 24 hours a day, seven days a week, for technical help. The team is based in the US, which is great for domestic merchants. Other countries have to do with the US support, which is less than ideal for them.

We have seen many poor customer reviews about the support for Essentials plans.

If you are okay setting up a website on your own through step-by-step instructions, you can get far with BigCommerce’s extensive online resources.

Some users have have reported buggy functions that are not fixed for long periods of time. Lack of helpful support is another recurring issue, as is a lack of certain functions that some merchants consider important. For this reason, you should definitely make full use of the free trial to check it has everything you require.

On Enterprise, you can get dedicated account managers, and this probably comes at a high price. But as mentioned previously, Enterprise is for large businesses – and only “premium Enterprise customers” can get priority support. In other words, the company prioritizes service for businesses who can pay for it.

Our verdict

BigCommerce is first and foremost built for high-growth businesses, which shows in their integration options and emphasis on features proven to close more sales. Although there is a general user-friendliness around setting up, the platform prioritizes the extent of functions over ease of use.

There is a pretty steep difference in prices between plans, which could easily be too expensive for the merchant who wants just few of the features available on the higher plans.

However, if you’re going for the most adaptable ecommerce platform that’s not necessarily the simplest to set up, then BigCommerce can be an awesome choice.