If you're wondering what all the hype surrounding BigCommerce's new WordPress Plugin is, then you're in the right place. For those of you who aren't familiar with the premise of ‘headless commerce' then you might be a bit confused as to how this tool works.
Luckily for you, we're going to break everything down in this review. Sound good? Great, let's dive straight in!
Put simply, BigCommerce is a leading cloud-based ecommerce platform, and they now offer a WordPress plugin.
This new integration enables WordPress to manage the content and design side of things, while BigCommerce handles all the complicated e-commerce systems and infrastructure on the backend of your store.
This allows business owners to enjoy the flexibility of WordPress' design while utilizing BigCommerce’s formidable commerce engine to streamline the activities behind the scenes of your digital store.
For online store owners using WordPress, this is a welcome addition. This plugin allows them to expand and personalize their stores in a way that was never possible before!
They're also pioneering a fresh API-driven Commerce-as-a-Service initiative. This permits store owners to run their sites via commercial content management systems and a central catalog.
Plus, BigCommerce provides handy data about your customers and their related orders- how neat is that?
All in all, you can develop your business using WordPress on the front-end while freeing up server resources on the back-end. For example, you can safely use BigCommerce to help you with: catalog management, processing payments, fulfilling orders, etc.
Through installing one easy-to-use plugin, you can access all of BigCommerce's handy features.
WordPress and BigCommerce complement one another beautifully. This new integration allows content-fuelled brands, and their developers a handy solution for managing their e-commerce store.
However, this still begs the question; why have BigCommerce prioritized WordPress?
Chris Grow, the global marketing manager at Firewire Surfboards, puts it best;
“We love WordPress. It empowers us to customize our website in ways that match our brand values, and it enables us to tell compelling stories alongside our retail partners,”
“With BigCommerce for WordPress we’ll have what we’ve always wanted – a laboratory for experimenting with ecommerce experiences that both bring value to Firewire retailers and enable more surfers to find our surfboards who previously couldn’t access them.”
Frankly, we couldn't put it better ourselves.
We understand this is a lot to take in, so let's delve into BigCommerce's main features in a little more detail…
BigCommerce for WordPress: Features
Easy to Customize
You can access all your catalog data within your WordPress dashboard- it's up to you what you do with it. Just open the BigCommerce plugin and build whatever you want, how you want for your storefront.
This ensures you don't have to compromise when it comes to customizing the design of your site.
As we've just mentioned, commerce-as-a-service is a crucial feature of BigCommerce's software. This enables you to tailor your front-end user experience without treating e-commerce functionality as an afterthought.
You can seamlessly blend the WordPress site you've already built alongside this new integration. That way you don't confuse your current customer base as you can keep your branding consistent.
Unlimited Access to Important Plugin Files
If you have an intricately designed WordPress theme, you can still make the most of BigCommerce's plugin. This integration supports WordPress’ methods of main template files.
An expert team of WordPress developers built BigCommerce, with developers at the forefront of their design. The plugin is open source, allowing you to extend and modify the integration to suit your specific needs.
This ensures you have the option to edit the elements of your e-commerce store fully, including product cards, lists, cart info, etc. You can make these modifications safe in the knowledge that plugin updates won't undo all your hard work.
Manage Multiple Sites
You might be selling across an array of WordPress sites; if you are, you can use BigCommerce to manage them all from one control panel. Here you can oversee your: catalog, orders, and shipping info related to all your stores.
Having this information under one roof helps streamline your administrative tasks, saving you a ton of time and energy which you can better use to focus on scaling your e-commerce business.
Build Complex Product Catalogs
BigCommerce allows you to create extensive catalogs, manage large volume orders, and handle up to 600 SKUs per product. With over 250 options, it's safe to say you'll be able to create a completely customized product catalog.
Benefits of BigCommerce for WordPress
Bigcommerce's integration powers the entire checkout experience. This means you don't have to worry about PCI compliance, so you'll have one less burden to worry about!
Stores Boast a Quick Load Time
Running your digital store shouldn't adversely impact the speed of your site's load time. BigCommerce handles the majority of tasks associated with slow websites. For example, processing orders.
A slow upload time can hurt your SEO efforts, conversions, and ultimately the overall reputation of your brand. With BigCommerce you can scale your business without worrying about your site slowing down.
Save Money on Credit Card Rates
With BigCommerce you'll have access to pre-negotiated credit card rates. These are currently the lowest fees available within the SaaS e-commerce space.
You can also take advantage of BigCommerce's competitive PayPal rates, as powered by Braintree. Through Braintree, you can also utilize both Apple Pay and Visa Checkout.
Plus, as you continue to grow your business, the chances are you'll want to upgrade your BigCommerce plan. When you do, you can enjoy even lower credit card rates!
Scale Your E-Commerce Business
The BigCommerce plugin exports a copy of your product catalog and saves products as custom posts in WordPress. It also crafts pages for all the following features of your site:
- Account profiles,
- Sign in,
- Shipping and returns,
- Gift certificate,
- Order history,
The main advantage to using BigCommerce is that you don't need to install numerous plugins to access all the tools you need to help manage and expand your e-commerce store.
Instead, with BigCommerce, you'll get instant access to both basic and advanced e-commerce features. For example complex catalog support, global payment gateways, currency handling, taxation, shipping calculations, and centralized channel management; all in one place!
Access Numerous Payment Gateways
With BigCommerce you can access over 65 payment gateway integrations. These serve over 100 countries across the glove and enable over 250 payment methods- that way you can be confident that you'll satisfy the needs of all your customers.
Secure User Accounts and Logins
It's not just the checkout that's secure, BigCommerce also provides safe accounts, logins, and the storage of payment information for your shoppers. This helps to ensure they enjoy a pleasant shopping experience with you.
Streamline Global Shipping
BigCommerce supports major global couriers and provides real-time international carrier quotes. Alternatively, you can advertise free shipping, flat rates, drop shipping (or whatever else suits your business model best).
With BigCommerce's ShipperHQ integration, you can even specify rates by product, category, customer group, quantity, destination, dimension, etc. You get the idea- it's customizable!
You'll be pleased to hear that all BigCommerce customers have access to customer support via telephone, live chat, and email support- 24/7.
You'll also have access to the ever-growing collection of help, support, and how-to guides published by their help center.
These resources are running from their headquarters based in Austin, Texas. However, for larger enterprise customers, BigCommerce also offers a dedicated account management service as part of your plan.
A Great Sense of Community
BigCommerce customers can access and make use of the large online BigCommerce community. This is full of other entrepreneurs and online store owners that all share similar goals and business aspirations.
When you join this community, you're able to get answers to all your burning questions, discuss e-commerce strategies, get the low down on fresh product updates, contribute your thoughts on the latest industry news, and so much more!
What Makes BigCommerce for WordPress Different?
As you can see, BigCommerce takes a wildly different approach to handling and managing e-commerce stores within WordPress.
This is what Jimmy Duvall, Chief Product Officer for BigCommerce has to say about the plugin;
“WordPress powers the web presence of millions of businesses around the world, allowing them to bring their brands and content to life. Our WordPress integration enables retailers to combine the world’s most popular content management system with the world’s best cloud commerce platform.”
In a nutshell, that's what makes BigCommerce so different from other WordPress plugins.
Ideal for Content Driven Brands
Often content fuelled brands struggle to handle the content they've published on the front end of their site due to the limitations imposed by many leading web platforms.
This means they're forced to purchase expensive integrations that are explicitly customized to combine platforms like WordPress to whatever other e-commerce platforms they're utilizing.
Typically, business owners don't budget for these fees because the gaps in CMS systems and e-commerce platforms are mostly unknown.
This is where the BigCommerce WordPress plugin comes into its own. Content-driven brands have the solution they're craving. They can utilize the functionalities relating to commerce within their existing WordPress platform.
A Move Towards Headless Commerce
BigCommerce's WordPress plugin aligns with a more significant trend towards headless commerce. This premise refers to the separation of user interface from backend functionality.
Before software like BigCommerce, you'd have to use the same commerce platform to sell through. Whereas, headless commerce enables you to mix and match your tools to build an online brand.
For example, when customers buy things they'll see WordPress designs, however, on the back end, BigCommerce picks up the slack.
What Are the Main Benefits of Headless Systems?
It may seem that using several forms of software to run your e-commerce store overcomplicates things. This is where you're wrong; it actually provides you with a massive advantage over your competitors, and here's why:
1. Control: you'll enjoy way more control over the functionality and customization of your website. Full-stack e-commerce platforms are typically designed to help you fulfill all the tasks that come with managing an e-commerce store. Unfortunately, sometimes being able to develop your site is a challenge. By separating these tasks, you ensure your site looks fresh and conveys your brand in a way your audience resonates with best.
2. Better Integration: With new developments in API integration and with the right headless platform, you can connect your e-commerce platform to other front-ends. This means, in addition to publishing listings on your store, you can automatically send this info to other third-party sales platforms- like Amazon, eBay, Etsy, etc. All via one comprehensive dashboard- how awesome is that?
A Case Study
This is what Modern Tribe found when they used BigCommerce's WordPress Integration:
A Brief Background on Modern Tribe
Founded 15 years ago, Modern Tribe is a very successful freelance agency. As the years have gone by, they've branched out and now offer clients services in digital design and development.
They specialize in user experience, content marketing strategies, publishing, and product development.
The team at Modern Tribe are proficient in WordPress (at scale), and utilize the world renown plug-in, ‘The Events Calendar'- for those of you who don't know, this is the most commonly adopted calendar plugin offered on WordPress' store.
Where Does BigCommerce Come In?
Last year, BigCommerce reached out to Modern Tribe and asked if they'd be interested in working with them to create the first ever WordPress plugin enabling a fully featured SaaS e-commerce platform.
The overarching aim of BigCommerce was to provide a solution that would benefit both the WordPress community and the BigCommerce community- so everyone wins!
Why Did Modern Tribe Take on the Project?
This project appealed to Modern Tribe because BigCommerce was committed to keeping SaaS ‘open'. As such they become one of BigCommerce's official partners.
Since their collaboration, Modern Tribe has come to realize all the benefits the BigCommerce plugin has.
This is what Travis Totz, Director of New Projects at Modern Tribe, had to say;
‘From what I’ve experienced thus far with BigCommerce, I believe the program will connect us with clients determined to tackle some unique integrations with both BigCommerce and WordPress. We’re looking forward to experiencing more high-value collaborations through the BigCommerce partner program.'
‘It’s inspiring to work with BigCommerce because the people within the organization are seeking to solve unique and complex problems. These types of challenges are ones in which we thrive — helping solve from both a design and development standpoint. We're looking forward to helping meet the needs of future clients by using the components we’ve built to integrate BigCommerce into other environments.'
We don't know what you're thinking, but to us, this sounds like a pretty glowing report!
How Much Will the BigCommerce for WordPress Plugin Set Me Back?
You'll be pleased to hear that this plug-in is entirely free. However, users need to purchase a BigCommerce plan to make use of the integration.
You can choose from their standard package which costs $29.95 per month (this enables you to sell online while utilizing the beautiful digital store you've already created). Or, you can opt for their plus package, priced at $79.95 per month- this allows you to grow your online business with BigCommerce's marketing tools, which are all proven to increase conversion rates.
Alternatively, if you want to kick things up a notch, you can purchase their pro bundle. This is perfect for scaling your growing business and gives you access to all of BigCommerce's handy features. However, it'll cost you a whopping $249.95 per month (needless to say, your business needs to be firmly established for users to afford this option).
Last but not least, you can go for the enterprise package. To access this, you'll need to contact BigCommerce directly as it involves custom pricing.
However, they're committed to providing a deal that's lower than both Magento and Shopify Plus, so it's worth reaching out and seeing what BigCommerce can offer you.
If you're thinking of buying either the Plus or Pro plans, you should know you can save up to 10% by paying annually- score!
Join the Conversation
Have you had experience using the BigCommerce WordPress plugin? Or, do you have an opinion about this integration you'd like to share? If so, we'd love to hear from you in the comments section below. We always enjoy listening to genuine, and honest feedback, so let's kickstart the conversation!