One of the prestigious eCommerce platforms that is robust by its built is BigCommerce. It possesses all the tools that an eCommerce store will need for its development. The interface is pretty easy for users who are just starting to build their online businesses. Almost all the features are in-built. BigCommerce even helps you to enlarge your store. Being in the internet market since 2008, BigCommerce has grown to be a huge platform that has served around 90,000 stores online from over 65 countries.
Let’s quickly get into knowing BigCommerce more.
Click here to land on the official site of BigCommerce. Have a look at the featured stores and get some idea of what you want to do with your site. If you are impressed with what you see, you can sign up here.
Getting yourself an account is the first thing to do with BigCommerce. In the beginning, you will get to have a 14-day trial for free. No credit cards, no cash, totally for free. Type your store’s name in the respective field on the homepage and press the “ Start my free trial now” button.
Now it’s time to talk about your store. You should give the details of what you are going to sell and if you are not sure, you can choose the option “I’m not sure yet”. And then enter your name, location, contact information, and anything else that the form asks from you. As soon as you fill in all the details, click on “Create my store now”. By default, you agree to the terms of service of BigCommerce when you create your store. Your store will be ready in a couple of minutes. When the page displays a huge green open sign, it means that your store is ready. Click on the “Visit your store” option to see what your newborn eCommerce store has got for you.
To begin with the store, you can use the Quick Start Wizard. Let’s see what this wizard has got in store for us.
Quick Start Wizard
To launch the Quick Start Wizard click on the blue button that says “Let’s customize your store”. If you have mistakenly shut down the Wizard window, click on the “Quick Launch Wizard” button to reopen it. You can find this button at the top of the page.
- Store Details
As soon as you launch the wizard, you are expected to give certain details about your store and that includes the name and the address of your store.
Press the blue button that says “Update your store settings”. This is where you should update the address, email id, and phone number of your store.
Sometimes you may not want your visitors to look at your store while it is half the way through its development. In such cases, you can make use of the “Yes, display a ‘Down for Maintenance’ message on my store” option. Now click on the blue-colored “Save” button. You can find it at the bottom to your left.
- Measurement Units and SEO
Once you have entered the details of the address and the store name, scroll down to find the fields where you gotta choose the units by which you measure your products in BigCommerce. You can either opt for the metric units or the US customary units.
Scroll down and find the SEO settings there. SEO is an important factor for any eCommerce store because only when you get it right, you can attract customers to your store. Once you are done with setting up your measuring unit and the SEO, get back to your dashboard. For this click on the “Save” button at the bottom and then click on the logo of BigCommerce at the top to your right. This will take you to the dashboard. The dashboard is the place for relaunching the Quick Start Wizard.
Now is the time to select a theme and logo to suit your business brand. To begin with, press the blue-colored button that says “Change your theme and logo”. Classic is the default theme. If you prefer the same, you can go with it but it is always recommended that you change the look of your site to attract visitors. As soon as you click on the blue button that I mentioned above, you will be taken to the dashboard where you will find a lot of themes. You can preview the templates of your choice by clicking on the image of the templates and check if they will suit your business in BigCommerce. Use the “Apply this template” option to use the template. Always have a backup of your customization before making any modifications to your site because whenever you apply a new theme, a confirmation message, saying that all the earlier customizations will be deleted on applying the new theme, will pop up. If you are just newly setting up the store, do not worry about this message. On putting a tick on the boxes that popped up for confirmation, press the “Apply” button and that is all.
As already said, logos are prominent for a business brand. Go to the themes page and the third tab is the Logo tab. Click on this and land on a page where you can include your brand’s logo in your eCommerce store. Make sure that the logo image is 250 x 100 pixels for a better appearance. If the size is different from the mentioned size, then the image will be subjected to resizing automatically.
Click on “Upload a logo image from my computer” and then on the “Choose file” button. Your file manager will appear. From here, browse and select your logo. Now press on “Upload Logo Image”.
If you have not yet designed a logo for your eCommerce brand, do not worry. BigCommerce helps you out with its “Show text where my logo will be displayed” option. By using this, you can use texts instead of the logo. This means that you can enter your tagline or anything similar to taglines in the form of text.
- Adding Products
Now that you have developed your online store to a basic level, let us add the products you wish to sell.
Start with relaunching the Quick Start Wizard. Go to stage 2. Press the blue button that says “Add Products”. You will land on a page where you should add the products.
Adding the products requires a lot of details regarding the product from you. Enter the name and choose the category under which your product falls. Accessories, Ladies, Men, and Sale are the categories you will find by default. Choose either of them appropriately if these categories suit your brand. Otherwise, BigCommerce allows you to create new categories to suit your products. You can sell both digital and physical products provided you mention the type for each product. The default URL for your product is its name. To improve the SEO, you can make changes to the URL and the SKU. Entering SKU is not mandatory but it is highly helpful in handling the inventory.
Now enter the description that best suits your product. This field is not mandatory but description always gives a higher scope of your product being displayed in the search results. Through a good description, you can convey the sales pitch of your eCommerce to the customers and get them to buy it.
Your product should be added along with the pricing details. This will include both the product price and the shipping charge. You are free to charge for the shipping based on either weight or size. Or it can also be fixed. This step just displays the pricing details. We will have a look at the Payment setting later.
A picture speaks more than words. So your product image should be included. For this go back to the top. At the moment you are on the “Details” tab. Go to the “Images and Videos” tab. This tab will facilitate you to add images or videos of your product with the drag and drop feature.
Press either on the “Save and Exit” or “Save and Add Another” buttons according to your need. Now you have added your products.
- Payments Settings
BigCommerce offers a wide range of gateways to make payments on your site. Under the Quick Start Wizard, go to stage 3. Now select “Set up payment methods”. By doing so, you will find that setting up PayPal and Stripe gateway is easy. Press the “Off” button to turn on the PayPal and Stripe gateways. A walkthrough will make it easier for you to set them up in just two clicks. If you want to set up a different gateway, press the “More payment methods” button.
To set up the shipping feature, go back to the stage 3 page and press the “Ship your products” option. Click on “Choose shipping options”. Enter the official address. You will find options to set up the shipping zones. Depending on the country, state, province, or ZIP codes you can configure the shipping zones. If you add different handling costs according to the different shipping zones, you will be able to differ the shipping charges accordingly.
Setting up taxes is the final step of stage 3. You can simply mention that the tax is included in the product prices or set up different rates according to different shipping zones.
- Get Set Go!
Now you are set to go. Go back to the Quick Start Wizard and press the “Launch” button. And then click on “Launch your store”. And that is all! Your eCommerce store is all ready to welcome your customers.
Do I need a developer?
Comparatively, BigCommerce might seem a little complex keeping in mind its consistent development to serve the users with enhanced features. All these new changes might pose some problems when it comes to building a new eCommerce store as a beginner. To make it function efficiently with utmost speed is significant. In such a case, if your budget allows you to afford an experienced BigCommerce developer, you can make use of them to build your site to become one of the well-built eCommerce stores. Developers know what all functions to integrate with your store and what not to because they know the drill.
BigCommerce is exclusively constructed to develop eCommerce stores. One of the other CMS tools that does the same job is Shopify which is also an eCommerce platform. Apart from these two, the CMS tools like WordPress and Joomla provide a wider range of options. You can use them for building an eCommerce store as well as for blogging. You can mash two potatoes with one fork.