When looking at the market as a whole, what are some of the key differentiators among website builder platforms that customers should be aware of?
BigCommerce has some significant advantages to potential e-commerce store owners in respect to its competitiveness of the platform, which are the features and offerings they’re able to bring to the table and the value of those features. BigCommerce is often quite cost competitive when compared to others that have a similar feature level. It also has some significant total cost of ownership or TCO savings relating to its hosting and maintenance costs based on the way that their platform and company actually supports e-commerce business owners in that respect.
What are the features or tools of the platform that have most impressed you?
They have an ongoing commitment to being a very marketing friendly platform, specifically for search marketing. We’re one of the top rated SEO companies and top ranking SEO companies in Los Angeles. One of the reasons we continue to choose BigCommerce is because it’s a very search-friendly platform both on the paid side and the organic marketing side. We’re just now seeing Shopify, despite its size, finally trying to catch up there. That may just be a part of the business focus. I think BigCommerce has really stressed that they’re focused on being an e-commerce solution rather than trying to broaden their horizon and being a potential payment provider or point-of-sale provider where Shopify has maybe diverted some of its focus for being a competitive e-commerce platform. That’s an area where the advantage goes to BigCommerce. I would also say that at their enterprise level, the feature set that’s brought to bear for their enterprise plan is certainly more robust than other e-commerce softwares that are maybe moving up-market. They have integrated capabilities for filtered search, which really helps with larger catalogs, greater tax compliance and remittance integrations, greater integrations with shipping and fulfillment providers, and have a better import and export capability if you’re running a multi-channel e-commerce store. That really does make them a very successful offering at a mid-sized business or established e-commerce business base.
Are there any areas of the software that could be added or improved upon?
I think one of the common concerns with SaaS e-commerce platforms is that generally they have some limitations on checkout, customer account, and ordering functionality because that’s considered the core of their software. If you have a really high degree of customization needs in the processes and workflows for those sorts of things, this could be an area of functional limitation. Maybe that's tied more to the fact that they intentionally restrict some of the potential customizations you might make through the website builder because that does enhance the performance for the actual e-commerce customer.
We’ve heard some complaints regarding their enterprise pricing structure, although I think a lot of that comes from businesses that maybe have lucked into high volumes of sales. Perhaps BigCommerce is a big piece of that fortune and the businesses just don't understand the value they were receiving.
What would you say this website builder is best known for?
As far as editing or injecting HTML/CSS - how do the essentials of the website builder perform?
Can you speak to the support of BigCommerce? In what ways do they excel at support offerings, and where could they improve?
We have a unique perspective in that regard because one of the things we do to make sure we’re competitive in picking the right platform is we operate a number of standalone e-commerce stores that we use as part of our evaluation. We do look at things like support at a base level. So if you’re transacting at a lower volume with lower price points, BigCommerce offers 24/7 support ninjas. These are lower level support staff but they’re typically able to handle most common concerns and complaints readily. BigCommerce also has at that similar entry level tier a pretty robust documentation on the platform - how-to guides, tips, tricks - that sort of thing. So it allows a lot of entry level e-commerce store owners to be able to do things themselves.
When you move up a scale, they do have dedicated support teams for their enterprise or pro accounts. They provide more strategic oversight. You have perhaps a faster response or faster technical response with their engineering team as a result. They have a great partner network which we’re a part of. It’s comprised of a lot of companies who’ve worked on the platform for a long time, which is a bit unique among the bigger SaaS e-commerce providers. Most “solution providers” referenced by SaaS providers are in fact affiliates who really have limited capability or competency on the platform. That’s less true with BigCommerce’s partner network.