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We have awarded Big Commerce our prestigious Gold Award in this category, having reviewed 27 Shopping Cart Software. Read our review below to find out why...
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Big Commerce is an extremely impressive one stop solution for setting up and powering an online store. It has an almost unending feature list and plans to suit anything from a home business to a potential Amazon beater. Stores are incredibly simple to set up, but can be customized to such an extent that you are in control of exactly how your store looks and feels. The best part is that barely a scrap of technical knowledge is required to get things up and running so practically anyone can set up shop. However, don't take our word that BigCommerce deserves its place at the top of our ecommerce category, check out some of the over 20,000 stores across the web that it powers.
The first thing anyone will notice about your online store is the way it looks which is why BigCommerce really goes to town on the features that let you create your own identity. Starting from any one of almost one hundred professional looking designs you can customize things to whatever extent you desire. Go with one of the designs straight out of the box or get right down to the HTML and CSS level to style things the way you want them.
There's even an online logo editor to help you create your brand identity. Once the design is in place the whole store can be managed very easily without the need for any further interference – allowing you to delegate the work easily. Each level of account gives you a certain number of admin accounts that you can allocate to your staff to allow them to manage the store.
With your store's first impressions sorted out your thoughts will no doubt turn to inventory management and actually making sure that you can get products out to the customers who buy them. Adding products to your store is as easy as uploading a photo and description of the thing you want to sell; no technical knowledge is needed at all. Products can be categorised and grouped to help your customers browse more easily and the integrated search features mean that they should always be able to find what they are looking for.
When it comes to the admin side of things BigCommerce integrates directly with Ordoro for drop shipping and with Shipwire for inventory management. However, if you want to use a different system you can export all your orders in CSV format which should be compatible with most software.
Now that you have your stock control system set up you are almost ready to start taking orders, but of course you won't make any money unless you have a payment system in place for your customers to use. BigCommerce integrates with over 50 different payment gateways, including PayPal and Google Checkout, so they should have whatever you want to use covered.
Most smaller stores tend to use PayPal or something similar to start out with, but then start taking payment directly as they grow. BigCommerce realises this so makes it easy to switch payment systems at the drop of a hat and they can even set up a merchant account for you. Since selling on the internet is often an international affair these days it's also easy to take payment in multiple different currencies so you don't miss out on any sales.
Web hosting is included in the membership cost so that's one less thing to worry about and we think the prices are extremely reasonable.
With everything in place you can hopefully sit back and watch the orders roll in, but if you really want to maximize your sales you can take advantage of the merchandising and promotion features that BigCommerce offers. This is an area where BigCommerce really outdoes itself and using these tools appropriately could really help grow a business very quickly.
There are too many features to mention, but some of the best include a discount rules system so you can highly customize the pricing of products and offer discounts, trackable coupon codes that you can use to entice new customers, affiliate tracking tools and gift certificates. For cross-selling you can also enable features such as suggestions based on what's in the shopping cart or views of similar products related to the one being purchased. There is certainly a very powerful system in place to help you make the most of every potential customer.
To further understand your store and the customers who are shopping in it, BigCommerce provides a range of business intelligence reports that you can use to analyze what has been going on. At the click of a button you can see important information, such as your best selling products, the locations of your customers, who your best customers are and the best and worst performing search terms.
Any good business will tell you that this information is invaluable when trying to come up with sales strategies to maximize profits. There are also numerous tools that integrate with Google to help you analyze how people are getting to your site and where they are coming from.Every page in your BigCommerce site is also SEO friendly to help improve your rankings with the major search engines.
We are thoroughly impressed with BigCommerce and would highly recommend it to anyone looking to set up an online store, no matter what the size. There are so many features that we have barely been able to scratch the surface in this review and you get access to all of them even with the lowest level of membership.
Furthermore, web hosting is included in the membership cost so that's one less thing to worry about and we think the prices are extremely reasonable. It would be very easy to pay just as much, or more, elsewhere for a poorer quality service. There is no doubt in our minds that BigCommerce is well deserved of its number one spot in this category so check it out and see if you agree.
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