7 BigCommerce Features for Growing Ecommerce Brands
As an online retailer, perhaps the most important choice you make for your business is your ecommerce platform. It is the foundation of your ecommerce site. There are several strong platforms to choose from, and today we’re going to highlight the primary features of one of them: BigCommerce.
This year BigCommerce celebrates its 10th anniversary. In their first decade, the hosted platform has helped retailers generate over 17 billion dollars (and counting) in online sales. What makes this platform so appealing to online merchants? Let’s take a look at 7 ways BigCommerce shines.
BigCommerce Features: The Most Appealing Reasons to Consider this Platform
1) Sell anywhere – All Within One System
BigCommerce allows retailers to sell via their online store, as well as in-person, as in a pop-up shop or physical store. Yes, other ecommerce platforms have this capability, but what sets BigCommerce apart is that you can run all your different types of sales through one system.
Further, BigCommerce natively interfaces with three popular point of sale (POS) systems: Square, Shopkeep, and Springboard. This means that retailers have more freedom to choose the POS that works best for them, rather than adhere to one solution. With BigCommerce, by having out-of-the-box integration with three of the most prevalent POS systems, retailers have more control to select the system that works best for them.
2) Sell Different Types of Products from One Site
BigCommerce also has native capability that lets merchants complete a full range of sales on their site. Meaning: you can sell physical, digital, and service products all on the same site. For example, let’s say you sell headphones online. With BigCommerce, you could also offer digital music downloads for sale, as well as a warranty service for the headphones, all from the same ecommerce site.
3) Fewer Limits on API Calls = More Flexibility
When you want to extend the functionality of your ecommerce site with a third-party app, the app will need to make API (Application Program Interface) calls to your platform. Some platforms restrict the number of calls that are permitted to a site.
BigCommerce, however, allows for more API calls than many other ecommerce platforms. This means that retailers can customize your website with different add-ons and customizations, and you won’t run into extension limits. (Note: At the same time, it’s also important to be judicious in adding extensions and other customizations. Add-ons can cause friction and add extra site load, so be sure to have a development strategy in place.)
4) Fewer Limits on Product Variants
Let’s say you’re an apparel retailer who sells a t-shirt in your product line that is available in 8 different colors, 6 various sizes, 4 necklines, and 3 sleeve types. This means there are 576 different variations of this one product for your customers to choose.
Some ecommerce platforms maintain much lower limits on the numbers of SKUs per product that are allowed. For many retailers, this is not an issue. However, if you sell products that need more flexibility on variations, then you should consider BigCommerce. Additionally, if SKUs aren’t required (line item attributes), you can have unlimited options per product and 250 items per option. If you have a lot of product customizability and/or a lot of variation of product, BigCommerce could be great for you.
5) Growing International Capabilities
BigCommerce has big plans for cross-border ecommerce, and the work has already begun. The platform currently gives merchants the opportunity to create microsites for several international regions at once. It also can be set up to translate your site content based on the IP address of your site visitors. Further, looking to the future, BigCommerce is adding staff around the world, so we expect this to lead to more global innovation, including native multi-currency functionality.
The developers behind BigCommerce have had a focus on B2B ecommerce for a long time. They understand that wholesale selling is ready for a major leap forward through technology. As a result, they’ve been building out their tech stack and partner ecosystem to allow retailers to connect their ERP systems, PIMs, all other technologies to support B2B wholesale integrations. The platform features native tools for one-click quote generation and reordering, among other key B2B needs.
7) Pioneers in Social Selling
Social media is one of the big reasons direct-to-consumer brands have come on strong in recent years. Instagram is the club of choice for many lifestyle consumers, especially when they are shopping for fashion and apparel. BigCommerce has been ahead of the curve on social selling. In fact, when Instagram piloted their own checkout, they chose BigCommerce as one of their partners in their pilot program. Since Instagram checkout went live, forecasters predict it could be $10 billion business.
All of these features demonstrate why ecommerce retailers should give BigCommerce a good look. Another aspect of the platform that may be appealing – or not – is that the company’s pricing structure is set up to increase as your sales grow. This is good news for retailers who are launching their sites; in other words, before you begin selling a lot, you’ll pay less. Then as your sales grow, your fee to BigCommerce will also increase. The idea is that you’ll be better equipped to handle a higher fee by the time you have more sales.
Nonetheless, some retailers prefer to lock in their platform cost, regardless of their sales trajectory. These are situations best analyzed on a case-by-case basis with the support of your development partner.