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7 Easy Steps to Start Your Online Store on BigCommerce

When it comes to building and managing an online store, BigCommerce emerges as a leading player in the market. With its robust features and user-friendly interface, BigCommerce empowers businesses to create and customize their digital storefronts effortlessly. From seamless product management to secure payment integrations and advanced marketing tools, BigCommerce offers everything you need to establish a successful eCommerce presence. In this guide, we will walk you through the essential steps to start your eCommerce journey using BigCommerce, providing you with the knowledge and insights to unlock the full potential of online retail.

Why BigCommerce?

BigCommerce is a robust and versatile platform designed specifically for building and managing online stores. With its user-friendly interface and comprehensive set of features, BigCommerce empowers entrepreneurs to create a professional and visually appealing online presence. Its intuitive dashboard allows easy store management, inventory tracking, and order processing, making it ideal for both beginners and experienced business owners.

One of the key advantages of BigCommerce is its scalability. Whether you’re just starting out or experiencing rapid growth, BigCommerce can accommodate your business needs. It offers flexible pricing plans and supports unlimited product listings, ensuring that your online store can expand and evolve as your business grows. 

BigCommerce provides seamless integrations with popular payment gateways, shipping providers, and third-party applications, allowing you to streamline your operations and provide a seamless shopping experience for your customers.

Furthermore, BigCommerce offers a range of built-in marketing tools and features to help you drive traffic and boost sales. From SEO optimization capabilities to social media integration and email marketing campaigns, BigCommerce provides the necessary tools so you can promote your products and engage with your target audience effectively. With BigCommerce, you can focus on growing your business while leveraging the platform’s powerful features to create a successful online store.

Step 1: Choosing a BigCommerce Pricing Plan

BigCommerce Enterprise and Essentials are two distinct offerings from BigCommerce that cater to different business needs and sizes.

BigCommerce Enterprise

BigCommerce Enterprise is designed for large and high-growth businesses that require advanced features, scalability, and dedicated support. 

  • BigCommerce Enterprise provides extensive customization options, allowing businesses to tailor their online stores to specific branding and functionality requirements.
  • It offers advanced features like custom price lists, advanced segmentation, and complex shipping and fulfillment capabilities.
  • BigCommerce Enterprise can handle high volumes of traffic and transactions, making it suitable for businesses experiencing rapid growth.
  • Enterprise customers receive dedicated account management and priority support to address their specific needs.

No pricing information about BigCommerce Enterprise is published on the platform’s website. However, you can request for a demo and a quotation specific to your business needs. Depending on several factors, monthly plans can range from $400 to 20,000.

BigCommerce Essentials

BigCommerce Essentials is geared towards small to mid-sized businesses that require a simplified yet robust eCommerce solution.

  • BigCommerce Essentials offers a user-friendly interface and simplified setup process, making it accessible for users with less technical expertise.
  • It provides essential eCommerce features such as product management, responsive themes, and basic marketing tools.
  • BigCommerce Essentials offers competitive pricing plans tailored to smaller businesses with budget constraints.
  • While Essentials users have access to community forums and basic support, they do not receive dedicated account management or priority support.

BigCommerce Essentials starts from $29, and you can start with a 15-day trial before you commit. 

Ultimately, the choice between BigCommerce Enterprise and BigCommerce Essentials depends on the specific needs, size, and growth trajectory of your business.

Step 2: Setting up your BigCommerce account

Setting up your BigCommerce account is the crucial first step in launching your online store with BigCommerce. With its user-friendly interface and simplified setup process, BigCommerce Essentials makes it easy for small to mid-sized businesses to establish a professional and functional online presence.

Starting through the free trial

If you opted for the free trial, you can start creating your store after registering.

Signing up as a new user

You can also set up your store directly, you simply need to provide a valid email and your website’s domain to get started. The next step will ask you for more information. Once you’ve provided all the requested details, you will be directed to your BigCommerce dashboard.

Step 3: Choosing a theme for your store

You are given a default theme—Cornerstone—for your store after you sign up. But since the BigCommerce theme you choose will determine the overall look and feel of your store, we recommend you browse the many available options from the BigCommerce Theme Marketplace and select one that resonates the most with your brand.

Step 4: Customizing your BigCommerce store design

All BigCommerce themes are based on the default theme Cornerstone, which allows for customization of store colors, fonts, layout, footer, header, and more. In addition, BigCommerce also supports other themes that have features and customization not available in the default theme. 

Source: BigCommerce

The BigCommerce theme marketplace provides free and premium professionally designed themes. The responsive themes are optimized for different product catalogs and industries, utilizing the latest technology, design, and SEO best practices. With BigCommerce’s Stencil theme platform, each theme includes multiple variations, allowing easy adjustments in any store’s appearance. The Page Builder can be used to switch between variations and customize colors.

Step 5: Adding products to your BigCommerce store

There are several ways to add products in your BigCommerce store, you can:

  • Create products in the control panel
  • Add products via CSV import (bulk processing)
  • Make product creation API requests
  • Migrate products from another BigCommerce store or a different platform

In the control panel

Creating products in the control panel is the easiest way to add products in your BigCommerce store. Navigate to Products > Add, then enter all the product attributes in the Add Product page.

Source: BigCommerce

This is the best method to use if you’re building individual products and want to familiarize yourself with all the attributes you can add to your products. If you want to create multiple products simultaneously, however, this is not the best route to take.

CSV import

Adding multiple products at the same is best done by importing items via a CSV spreadsheet.  This way, you can create and edit products in bulk. You can also edit whole catalogs very quickly and create a backup of all your product information.

Via API requests

This is an advanced method of quickly adding products to your catalog and requires some knowledge of the BigCommerce APIs. Creating products via API requests allows you to add information for all product fields and create categories with different attributes, among other things you can do.

From another store

If you already have an existing eCommerce store, another BigCommerce site or some other platform, you don’t have to recreate your products from scratch. You can transfer your products via a CSV import, API requests, or by using apps created for this purpose from the BigCommerce App Marketplace

Step 6: Configuring Payment and Shipping Options

After you’ve added your products in your BigCommerce store, it’s time to set up your payment and shipping options.

There are several payment methods you can add, including:

  • Payment gateways such as PayPal, Adyen, AfterPay, and Klarna Payments, among others
  • Alternative payment methods, including online banking, direct debit, mobile payments, and more
  • Digital wallets in some cases—some payment gateways let shoppers use digital wallets like Google Pay and PayPal Pay Later

For shipping, you can set the following configurations:

  • Flat rate shipping
  • Shipping rate by weight
  • Shipping rate by order total
  • Free shipping

Step 7: Launching your BigCommerce store

Now that you’ve created your products, added payment methods, and configured the shipping options, you finally launch your online store. But as final steps, you need to set up your store profile, set the sales tax, and preview your store.

From the dashboard, navigate to Store Setup > Store Profile. Provide basic information about your store: store name, address, country, email, and contact numbers. This information will appear in the footer of your BigCommerce store.

Tips for successfully launching a BigCommerce store

Set your BigCommerce eCommerce store up for success with these essential tips for a seamless launch.

Plan and prepare

Start by creating a comprehensive launch plan that outlines your goals, target audience, marketing strategies, and timeline. Take the time to research and select the right BigCommerce theme and ensure that all necessary integrations and configurations are in place.

Optimize your store

Prioritize optimizing your store for a seamless user experience. This includes designing a visually appealing and mobile-friendly website, organizing your product categories and navigation, and optimizing page loading speed for optimal performance.

High-quality product descriptions and images

Craft compelling product descriptions that highlight the unique features, benefits, and value of each item. Use high-quality images that showcase your products from various angles and provide zoom functionality to help customers make informed purchasing decisions.

Smooth checkout process

Streamline the checkout process to minimize cart abandonment. Offer guest checkout options, provide multiple payment gateways, and ensure a secure and trusted payment environment. Implement trust badges and clear shipping and return policies to build customer confidence.

Test and QA

Thoroughly test your store before the launch to identify and fix any issues. Ensure that all links, forms, and payment gateways are working properly. Test your website’s responsiveness across different devices and browsers to ensure a consistent user experience.

Wrapping up

Get ready to launch your BigCommerce store and watch your business soar to new heights! By implementing these tips, you’re equipped with the knowledge and strategies to make a memorable impact in the digital landscape. Remember to continuously monitor, optimize, and adapt your store based on customer feedback and market trends. With a well-planned launch, optimized user experience, effective marketing efforts, and exceptional customer support, you’re on your way to creating a successful online business. Embrace the opportunities, stay committed to growth, and get ready to celebrate your eCommerce triumphs. Happy selling!

In the fast-paced world of eCommerce, launching your BigCommerce store successfully requires careful planning and strategic execution. From meticulous planning and optimization to crafting compelling product descriptions and ensuring a smooth checkout process, every aspect of your store should be fine-tuned for a seamless user experience. Don’t forget to thoroughly test and QA your website before the big launch to guarantee a flawless performance.

If you want to know more about launching a BigCommerce store, don’t hesitate to reach out to one of our BigCommerce experts. We can help you not only set up your store but also make your main BigCommerce store pages ace page performance—achieving 90 – 100 Page Speed scores.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT BIGCOMMERCE

How do I set up a store on BigCommerce?

Setting up a store on BigCommerce is a straightforward process. To get started, you need to sign up for a BigCommerce account and follow a few simple steps. First, provide the necessary information during the signup process, such as your email address and desired store name. Next, customize your store’s design by selecting from BigCommerce’s range of themes and templates, or you can even create a custom design. After that, configure essential settings, including shipping options, payment gateways, and tax settings to ensure smooth operations. Lastly, add products to your store by creating categories, uploading product images, and providing detailed descriptions. With these steps completed, your store on BigCommerce is ready to go live and start selling products to customers.

Is BigCommerce good for eCommerce?

Yes, BigCommerce is an excellent platform for eCommerce. It offers a comprehensive set of features, user-friendly interface, and scalability that make it a top choice for businesses of all sizes. From customizable storefronts to secure payment options and robust marketing tools, BigCommerce provides everything you need to create and manage a successful online store. Its reputation for reliability, exceptional customer support, and integration capabilities further solidify BigCommerce as a trusted and effective solution for eCommerce businesses.

How long does it take to build an online store?

The time it takes to build an online store can vary depending on various factors, such as the complexity of your store’s design, the number of products you have, and your familiarity with the platform you are using. With BigCommerce, you can set up a basic online store relatively quickly by following the step-by-step setup process. This typically involves tasks such as choosing a theme, customizing the design, adding product information, and configuring essential settings. For a simple store, this process can be completed in a matter of hours or a few days. However, if you have a larger inventory, require more extensive customization, or need additional integrations, it may take a bit longer. It’s important to consider factors such as planning, content creation, and testing to ensure a well-optimized and functional online store.

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