If you’re shopping around for an eCommerce platform, you may have come across the usual suspects: Shopify, BigCommerce, Magento and WooCommerce. While there are many more eCommerce platforms on the market, these are the most widely used and recognised. To help you wrap your head around the platform, we’re digging deeper to explain how to set up a BigCommerce store, what BigCommerce does, how it works, and why it may work for you.
The BigCommerce eCommerce platform is a cloud-based solution that gives you all the features and functions you need to get your online store up and running. More than a simple website builder, BigCommerce has basic solutions for startups, as well as more complex enterprise functionalities. If you’re new to eCommerce, any platform you choose will have a steep learning curve, but once you understand the fundamentals, it should be smooth sailing.
BigCommerce Building Blocks
Unlike some other eCommerce platforms on the market, BigCommerce is a hosted solution which means they take care of the backend web hosting while you take care of business. Managing servers can add thousands of dollars a year in operational expenses, let alone the time spent maintaining compliance and security. Opting for a hosted solution gives you peace of mind that your store will remain online, fast and safe. Bottom line: hosted stores keep you running so you can keep retailing.
- Unlimited bandwidth so when your store grows, your hosting grows with you
- Fast content delivery network means no slow sites or painful lagging
- If you’ve already got a domain name it’s easy to use it; alternatively, you can buy a new one when you set up your store
- Shared SSL certificate included meaning your store is safe and secure from the start
- If you already have a dedicated SSL certificate, it’s easy to transfer it across
- Multi-layered security and DDOS protection means your site is safe from hacking
With only a few seconds to grab the attention of your website visitor, you’ll need to make sure your website design cuts through. Not being a designer or developer can make this process harder, but thankfully, BigCommerce has a range of ready-to-use themes and templates. While BigCommerce themes have traditionally been a sticking point, they’ve made leaps and bounds recently, now offering over 80 fully responsive templates to choose from.
If you’re after something custom, the BigCommerce storefront editor lets you edit your site’s look with no coding required. As one of the industry’s leading eCommerce platforms, there are plenty of BigCommerce design and development experts available. Having access to an extensive network of support is invaluable.
- Build a completely custom online store with HTML or CSS
- Themes are optimised to improve page speed because faster page loading leads to higher conversions
- Templates are responsive, meaning they look and work great on different screen sizes
- Use the built-in image manager to optimise image sizes
- All templates come with a mobile-optimised checkout
- A vast network of design and development support
Customer Acquisition and Retention
Building and designing an online store is one thing; finding and keeping customers is an entirely different kettle of fish. While SEO and built-in marketing has traditionally been the focus for blogs and websites, eCommerce platforms like BigCommerce have made leaps and bounds in the last few years. With built-in features to help you optimise your store for SEO, BigCommerce has sitewide HTTPS, optimised URLs, automatic sitemaps, microdata and the flexibility to customise your URLs, titles, header tags and metadata.
BigCommerce integrates seamlessly with Google Shopping which means listing your products in the shopping feed is seamless. The same goes for marketplaces like eBay and Amazon, and product comparison engines like Nextag, PriceGrabber and Shopping.com. Seamless omnichannel integrations mean you can showcase and sell your products on Facebook and Instagram.
Now you’ve got traffic on your site, built in conversion optimisation tools help turn shoppers into buyers by reducing friction, encouraging checkouts and reducing cart abandonment. Once you’ve made a sale, promote return visits with email marketing. Seamless integration with leading platforms like MailChimp means you can easily promote products based on buying history, target long-time customers with rewards, and win back previous shoppers with targeted offers.
- Easy customer segmentation and subscription captures mean it’s easier to grow your list
- A built-in blog makes for easy content marketing
- Side-by-side product comparisons help customers convert
- Live chat integrations for upping the customer experience
- Integration with omnichannel outlets and social selling
- Boost shopper confidence with built-in and automated product reviews
Once you’ve started getting traffic to your store, use the data to help you grow and streamline your business. With access to a dashboard of metrics, you can use the insights to help you understand how to turn trends into opportunities. eCommerce analytics and insights give you an instant and easy snapshot into your sales, customers and order values.
Shipping and Returns
One of the main reasons online shoppers abandon their carts is limited shipping options. Giving consumers options gives them confidence that their needs will be met, and in turn, increases your conversions. The fact of the matter is that more shipping options mean higher sales.
Through BigCommerce Shipping Manager, you can manually set locations and specific shipping methods. While BigCommerce gives you a comprehensive range of tools to roll out advanced shipping rules, it’s what happens once the order is placed that adds time and cost.
Integrating with a platform like Shippit takes the guesswork and manual labour out of customised shipping options. Through the app, you can seamlessly offer multiple shipping options like standard and 3-hour delivery, right there at the checkout, without manual configuration. Print pack slips, labels or both for hundreds of orders with just a couple of clicks. Once packed, labelled and ready to ship, one click will mark your orders as fulfilled in BigCommerce and copy across vital tracking information to keep your customers informed right from your dispatch notification.
The Shippit BigCommerce plugin will help you close more sales by giving your customers more flexible shipping options including standard, express and same-day delivery time slots. Save time and money shipping by fulfilling and tracking orders anywhere you are, anytime you like. With Shippit, you can streamline packing and shipping decisions so you can focus on doing what you love.
To find out how Shippit can take the headache out of fulfilling orders, click here.