Underwhelming e-commerce platform, though it gets the job done.
May 20, 2019

Underwhelming e-commerce platform, though it gets the job done.

Anonymous | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 3 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User

Software Version


Overall Satisfaction with BigCommerce

We use BigCommerce for one of our clients' e-commerce stores. They sell upwards of $10,000 per month of home goods each month. It integrates with their shipping and fulfillment software as well, so they can fill orders faster. They sell more on Amazon – but BigCommerce doesn't allow you to manage those listings with their software, so that must be managed separately.
  • BigCommerce does make it easy to list and sell products online. The product manager is comprehensive, complete with variations and shipping details.
  • BigCommerce includes several SEO features out of the box, which encourages users to make higher quality listings that will sell easier.
  • There are many custom themes for Bigcommerce, and most of them look great. The interface has also recently gotten a much-needed face-lift, which improves usability.
  • Most of the pages are made for you, including the home page. Doesn't require much custom editing to get a basic site running.
  • Most themes support recent web advancements, such as SCSS pre-processing and Google's AMP pages.
  • If you're trying to do more than the basics, BigCommerce is difficult to work with. App extensions are present, but nowhere close to the breadth and depth of functionality available to WordPress.
  • They do have a theme editor, but it requires tricky setup and command-line actions to update. Compared to Shopify's theme editor which is all in-browser, the BigCommerce theme editor is lacking. Documentation is available, but I found myself scrounging around on forums for many basic features not listed in the docs. The in-browser theme editor is buggy and unreliable.
  • For editing static pages, BigCommerce WYSIWYG editor is meager and unnecessarily strict. The linter strips out perfectly valid code (like blank
    tags), and there's no way to include CSS on a page - meaning that any @media queries or breakpoints have to clutter up the main CSS file. There are very limited options editing your home page, and almost no options to edit your shop pages.
  • There is no way to edit metadata for most generated pages, meaning your blog and category pages will always throw SEO yellow flags.
  • The email editor is painful. We found ourselves designing in MailChimp and copy/pasting into BigCommerce when done. There's no way to send a test email either, do you have to complete an order each time you want to see that updated order email.
  • The reason our client chose BigCommerce was because it would easily integrate with their order fulfillment software. But it has really cost us development hours (and headaches). I would have preferred to go with a different platform.
  • BigCommerce does include a small suite of add-ons that help engage customers and manage marketing tools, but the features and capabilities fall far behind that of WordPress and Shopify. It's better than managing these manually.
  • It's a fine solution for a secondary online store, behind Amazon. If we had to get rid of our store and focus all efforts toward Amazon, we would likely cut costs and make more sales.
BigCommerce's basic e-commerce store features are limiting, but in theory, you could create your own custom theme to overcome some of its shortcomings. It does allow API integrations so you could connect custom software, but I'm unfamiliar with how deep the API connections go. Being a proprietary platform, there are some limitations about how the store works to be compliant with BigCommerce's online storefront.
Being a proprietary platform, it is somewhat sectioned off, and you can't just go in and customize whatever you want. However, BigCommerce does provide open doors for custom API integrations and add-ons. We have not personally created any custom API connections or developed our own plugins, but we have delved into the custom themes. The Stencil CLI is a big step up from the Blueprint editor they had several years ago, but there are still many backend compatibility issues that need to be ironed out.
Our client chose BigCommerce to integrate with their existing software. After spending several hundred hours working with and developing on BigCommerce, I would have to recommend Shopify and WooCommerce higher than this. BigCommerce is a distant 3rd (or 4th) place behind these two giants. It's not as extensible or customizable as WooCommerce on WordPress, and it's not as lean or user-friendly as Shopify.
BigCommerce does do the basic e-commerce well, and it's perfectly usable for getting a store up and running. However, if you are a small or mid-size business trying to use BigCommerce for a client, I would steer clear. Our team had to spend many extra hours working around making customizations that would be easily and readily available on another e-commerce platform such as Shopify or WooCommerce (WordPress).

BigCommerce Feature Ratings

Product catalog & listings
Product management
Bulk product upload
Mobile storefront
Product variations
Visual customization
Abandoned cart recovery
Checkout user experience
eCommerce security
Promotions & discounts
Personalized recommendations
Inventory management
Custom functionality