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BigCommerce (15-Day Free Trial)

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BigCommerce is our recommendation for larger ecommerce stores, those with 1,000+ products and sales volume of $50k+ per month. There are few shopping carts out there that are as easy to work with as BigCommerce. Not only does it include everything that you'll ever want or need in the average eCommerce store, but they have great tutorials for just about anything. Here's more to love about BigCommerce:

  • 100% customizable URLs
  • Built-in blogging system
  • Full control of HTML
  • Over 60 pre-integrated merchant account providers
  • Abandoned cart saver (on higher plans)
  • 100+ pre-integrated templates

15-Day Free Trial >

 

 

Recommended Apps for BigCommerce

A lot of BigCommerce apps are worthless. Some are cool but nothing to write home about. But these BC apps are game-changers you've absolutely gotta have! One of the things that makes the BigCommerce shopping cart such a great one is that there are so many applications that have been built for it. The problem, though, is that when you go to their apps page, there are so many of them, it is overwhelming. Compounding the problem is the fact that so many of the apps seem to do exactly the same thing. We tested dozens of the Big Commerce applications in order to find the handful that were unique, performed truly valuable functions and that were reasonably priced. Below, are the select few that we have selected as our recommended Big Commerce apps. Although we have not tested them on other shopping carts, the majority of the following applications should work with pretty much any kind of website or shopping cart ...

Zopim

Zopim is a fantastic application that allows you to see what customers are doing on your website in real time and chat with them. You can often learn a lot about what is working well on your store and what isn't, simply by seeing how people move from page to page. The built in chat feature of Zopim allows a visitor to initiate a chat with you or you can start the conversation, yourself. You also have the ability to be “invisible” and just watch site visitors if you don't want to chat. One of the things that makes Zopim truly fantastic is that it can be integrates with popular IM programs like Google Talk, Yahoo IM, MSN, AIM and Skype. This allows you to see what is going on at your website and chat with people wherever you are – even from your phone! There is a free version of Zopim that allows you to carry on a single conversation at a time and a couple of other versions that offer advanced options like customizing the look of your Zopim plugin, chatting with multiple visitors simultaneously and automating some of the conversations. Although we recommend getting the lower priced Zopim Basic, everyone should at least download the free Zopim trial – even if they decide to only keep the free Zopim Lite version on their website.

AddShoppers

The AddShoppers plugin for BigCommerce allows you to take social sharing to a new, smarter level. AddShoppers allows you to replace your static social buttons with more intelligent social buttons that allow you to collect actionable intelligence on the pages that are being shared the most and who is actually sharing them. AddShoppers also features revenue boosting social applications that let you offer rewards to those who share the purchases they have made with their social network followers. The AddShoppers analytics data allows you to reach out to those customers who are generating the most revenue for you and get them to share even more. You can set AddShoppers up to email daily, weekly or monthly reports to you that provide a summary of social data you want along with suggestions on how to use that data to increase your social shares and sales. It will show you which products and social channels are performing the best, allowing you to concentrate your efforts on your best performers. There are three different pricing levels of the AddShoppers plugin starting at free (a price we can all afford!). You can learn more and sign up for your free AddShoppers account here.

Omnistar Affiliate Manager

Some of the most time consuming tasks in eCommerce are building links and marketing your website. Paying affiliates a small percentage of the sale is one of the best ways of getting more traffic and links to your website. By letting other people do the link building and marketing, it frees up your time for other things like article writing or relaxing with your family. Omnistar Affiliate Manager is the only affiliate marketing software designed for use with the BigCommerce shopping cart. It is ridiculously customizable, allowing you to very closely match the look and feel of your website. Used by more than 14,000 companies wordwide - giants like Macys, Cisco, and several prominent universities like Cornell and LSU - Omnistar is truly the maker of big league software! The Omnistar Affiliate software is hosted on Omnistar's secure servers, so you never have to worry about software installs or backups. There is a login interface for you and another one for the affiliates that you sign up and both are accessible from PCs, tablets or smart phones. You can create multi-tier affiliate payout programs that provide a link for your affiliates to sign up their own affiliates to promote your website, too. And, if you don't want to create your own banners, you can opt to offer affiliates a site replication feature, that basically lets them run their own versions of your website which pass the orders along to you. Unlike some other affiliate marketing software, Omnistar does not charge a percentage of the sale. They employ a simple monthly fee pricing structure that starts as low as $27.00/month. That low price plan is probably more than most websites will ever need, in fact! You can learn more about Omnistar Affiliate software and sign up for your free trial here.

MailChimp

MailChimp has long been recognized as one of the very best Email marketing programs in existence. Not just a program that sends out mass Emails, MailChimp allows you to segment your Email list so that you can target newsletters to the people who will really care about the subject of that Email. MailChimp allows you to import customer lists, make notes so that you can segment those customers and even integrates with Google Analytics. Autoresponders, Email delivery by time zone, RSS-to-Email, A-B Email split tests and more are possible with MailChimp. You don't have to be an Email marketing wizard to use MailChimp, either. They include pre-designed templates that you can drag or drop things into, allowing you to easily “make them your own.” There is no need to be tied to your desk, either. You can access your account to compose, edit or send Email campaigns from a PC, tablet or even your smart phone. Best of all, if you have fewer than 2,000 subscribers, MailChimp lets you send up to 12,000 Emails per month totally free! For folks with bigger mailing lists and needs, their pay as you go pricing format ensures that you won't be paying for anything that is not actually used. You can learn more about MailChimp and sign up for your free account here.

Abandoned Cart Saver for BigCommerce

Although you cannot purchase the Abandoned Cart Saver separately, it comes at no extra cost with all BigCommerce Gold Plan or higher memberships. Obviously, if you already have 1,000 or more products in your store, you have to sign up for the Gold Plan. If you have less than that and are paying for one of their less expensive plans, it might be well worth the money to pay a little extra per month just to get the Abandoned Cart Saver, though. The Abandoned Cart Saver integrates automated Email marketing to recover sales when someone leaves your cart just before they were ready to buy something. Statistics show that the average website is able to get 15% of those people to return and make a purchase by implementing the Abandoned Cart Saver. Offering a coupon code makes recovery rates especially higher. Needless to say, for most websites, a couple of extra sales per month more than pays for the difference between the least expensive BigCommerce plan and the Gold Plan. Some Store Coach members are reporting recovery rates in excess of 25% using BigCommerce's Abandoned Cart Saver, resulting in hundreds or even thousands of dollars in extra profit per month! You can sign up for the BigCommerce Gold Plan here. You can learn more about the Abandoned Cart Saver here.