Bigcommerce Prices 2014

There has been rumbling for about 6 months now that Bigcommerce was looking at changing it’s pricing and by the looks of recent split tested pricing pages that is being looked at more seriously now.

The biggest changes are:

  • Simplified pricing to only three plans Silver, gold and Platinum
  • All plans now unlimited products & bandwidth
  •  Minimum plan now $39.95/month
  • 2% transaction fee on Silver plan
  • API access on available on Platinum plan

Wait! Bigcommerce charges a transaction fee? Yes so it seems. Bigcommerce is charging a 2% transaction fee for the 2014 Silver plan. I am still thinking over this one. I spoke to Jaimie at Seo Egg Head briefly about it and I still don’t know what to do with the information. Leave your thoughts in the comments while I mull it over. They are up front about it so I guess that is OK but I just think they could have found better ways to generate the same increase in revenue.

 

Bigcommerce Monthly Pricing 2014

Bigcommerce Monthly Pricing 2014

 

Yearly Bigcommerce Pricing 2014

Yearly Bigcommerce Pricing 2014

 

This is currently only being tested so you may be fortunate enough to see the old pricing – I am not sure what the plan is for people that want the $25 plan but get the new sign up pages. I would suggest signing up and when sales contact you to welcome you reply and ask to be put onto the old plan. I have tried contacting Bigcommerce but they are playing this close to their chest at the moment, I assume until they see the test results.

Bigcommerce pricing from 2013

Bigcommerce pricing from 2013

 

 

Full Bigcommerce pricing from 2013

Full Bigcommerce pricing from 2013

Do I still recommend Bigcommerce?

Yes. the new Bigcommerce prices are not changing my plans or recommendations. What I will say is, if you are on a budget and require a sub 430/month plan sign up and contact for a down grade OR switch to Shopify or Americommerce (both have similar features with plans around $25/month). In the past I have been vocal about transaction fees and it seems like an odd move by Bigcommerce but I am holding off slamming them this week because working with Shopify I have seen the merit. I am not a complete convert but as long as companies are upfront about it I guess it is just part of the business model. I recently penned this article on cheap ecommerce platforms that may offer alternatives if the price if out of your budget now. Alternatively you could take a look at these Alternatives to Bigcommerce.

Do you think the new pricing will cost Bigcommerce many sign ups? Will it affect your decision to join Bigcommerce?

Comments

  1. Jaimie Sirovich says

    I think they’re trying to get rid of the paradox of choice problem they have with “5,” and changing it to “3,” which is the only odd number of choices after the number “1.” “1″ would clearly not be tenable. Various psychologists posit that an even number of choices lets you decide while being indecisive. It applies less on a purchase decision than an opinion decision, but note that they always tout the middle choice.

    They’re also trying to get rid of the dreamers who want to pay $25.00/mo. and get the world (and Cadillac support that costs them $ in the form of support hand-holding). Similarly, you see Volusion trying to branch out of this lower-priced world with Mozu.

    Volusion interestingly has 4 choices, an even number, which goes against conventional wisdom. This may be because of the same paradox of choice problem in “5.” “4″ may be needed. Why? You still need the low tier for people who really just sell 10 products, aren’t dreamers, but really just sell … 10 products. They’re not high maintenance, but they’d be best off with Shopify in that case, so they’re going to lose all those people to Shopify.

    Maybe Volusion has it right. You may need “4″ tiers. Just limit the basic tier severely so it only runs that small tier. No unlimited. Have “3″ unlimited tiers and “1″ starter tier.

    I also don’t like that they’re disabling API usage on the mid tier.

    If they enabled it on the mid tier I’d be all for it. The API enables various hackery and/or magic that might keep people in their ecosystem. Laypeople may not know what’s possible with the API and just leave, thinking what they need is impossible. The API is the “glue” that holds SaaS together when it doesn’t do something you need, and making people upgrade to get it presumes a proprietor knows what an API is. They often don’t.

    (0)
  2. Mark Mathson says

    Thanks for the post Andrew. That is really interesting and I hadn’t seen this yet.

    I’m not sure I understand where a transaction fee would benefit new startup eCommerce sites? Would seem to put more people off to me.

    On the other hand, in the tests, I think its compelling they’d include the real time transactions still, along with beefing up to unlimited products. That isn’t commonly seen with turnkey hosted eCommerce carts.

    Keep up the good stuff, Andrew!

    (0)
    • says

      Its a little confusing isn’t it Mark. When Shopify used to have the transaction fee (they no longer do) I spoke to some reps there and they said the rationale was to keep up front costs down for new online stores – which makes sense and to get the rest of the cost only from stores that where active and making sales. I am paraphrasing. I can see the logic but I just have an issue with referring customers to a platform where I can not give them a fixed monthly cost, most businesses I know would rather pay for a higher plan and have the surety of a known price each month.

      (0)
  3. Shopping Cart Reviews says

    Not a fan of the transaction fee at all. It was such a huge point of difference for a very long time with Bigcommerce and Shopify, It seems like a big step backwards to have Shopify cancel the transactions fees and Bigcommerce adding them. Deleting the cheap plan too is also the opposite of what Shopify and Volusion are doing right now. This won’t make it past the testing phase

    (0)
  4. Jaimie Sirovich says

    Shopify didn’t get rid of the fees. They got rid of them _IF_ you use their processing service. Smart move, but it’s not the same as getting rid of them. They’ll be skimming 1-1.5% @ 2.9% overall in most cases. If you’re in a low-risk sector and shop around, chances are you can do better than 2.9%.

    And if you bring your own merchant processing service, you’ll still pay the +2%. In other words, if you use Stripe, you’ll pay 2.99% + 2% = 4.99%.

    (0)
  5. MadRick says

    Pretty shitty IMHO to charge transaction fees. Look at the response up there from BigCommerce about the “Strain from the API”. Well, did any of your newsworthy 10million in funding go to building a better system? And as someone on the BC forums pointed out – all the cheap plans can use some free apps like mailchimp – isn’t that going to hammer the API anyway?

    Also it is a joke to give different tiers nicknames like one is more enterprise or advanced – all of the plans – ALL OF THE PLANS – suffer from the built-in search using OR instead of AND boolean logic. Nothing advanced about that.

    I would LOVE to pay bigcommerce more if I actually got “advanced” support. But all plans get the new ticket-less email black hole support system.

    Jamie, you try to make the point that cheaper plans want “the world” in support. Well I’m on the current gold plan and am getting just as shitty support as I would have on the cheapest. I don’t need hand-holding, I need things to not break after they worked for a few years. I would think you probably work for BigCommerce. Otherwise, what is a completely happy store owner doing commenting here? If you aren’t an employee, you should stroll through the BigCommerce forums and see their own partners complaining.
    Jamie, I get that there are some people on the cheap plan complaining that “it should be easier to change colors” so yes, they do want too much. But there are many people like us that are facing dead ends. We can’t even pay someone to fix for us. I had my buy 2, get 1 free discount break for 3 months. Support lied to me and said that was never a feature – even though it worked previously. Am I asking for the world? Should I upgrade two more plans higher to get the truth?

    (0)
    • Jaimie Sirovich says

      @MadRick

      @MadRick

      Where, exactly, am I defending them? You make it seem like I am. I’m critical of the move, but I’m giving you my analysis of what they’re thinking. I’m well aware of BC’s lapses in search quality. That”s what I help people with, actually. The boolean-or approach provides good recall but poor precision. It works very well in a legal research setting combined with a statistical ranker such as BM25. Much more poorly in eCommerce.

      MailChimp won’t strain the API nearly as much as you’d think. Writing out the full contents of a dataset to a stream is surprisingly cheap in terms of computing.

      I agree about the transaction fees. Dumb move. Shopify has a much smarter idea. Just be the merchant processor and skim 1%.

      (0)
  6. Jaimie Sirovich says

    @MadRick

    Where, exactly, am I defending them? You make it seem like I am. I’m critical of the move, but I’m giving you my analysis of what they’re thinking. I’m well aware of BC’s lapses in search quality. That”s what I help people with, actually. The boolean-or approach provides good recall but poor precision. It works very well in a legal research setting combined with a statistical ranker such as BM25. Much more poorly in eCommerce.

    MailChimp won’t strain the API nearly as much as you’d think. Writing out the full contents of a dataset to a stream is surprisingly cheap in terms of computing.

    I agree about the transaction fees. Dumb move. Shopify has a much smarter idea. Just be the merchant processor and skim 1%.

    (0)
  7. Jaime says

    I will totally stop recommending BigCommerce for my clients. I do not believe in the 2% transaction fees. I was quite happy with the other model, pay more when you sell more. I totally dislike the idea of wanting to eat away from people’s profit.

    I enjoyed when BigCommerce was still Interspire, and I had access to all the code in order to modify as I pleased. It was a higher entry cost, but well worth it. I believe BigCommerce will really see many people moving away from it….. I sure will.

    Jaime

    (0)
    • Jaimie Sirovich says

      I think the 2% is a step backwards, too. Maybe not in fairness in every way, but in the realm of marketing for certain. It’s going to irk people. Shopify did it smarter. They “waive” the fees when you use their payment gateway, which, surprise-surprise, collects fees. See “when free is not free.” So when Shopify is moving away from it, BC is moving to it.

      This trend to SaaS isn’t going away. I’m with you in a nuanced way. There’s a guest post coming up for this blog you might be interested in (comment if you want to see it prior to publish). Where I differ with you is that there will be a mass exodus from BC. I think the fees are a mistake, but there really isn’t anything much better. I work with BC somewhat regularly. It’s OK. I don’t love everything about it, and it isn’t for everyone. SaaS caveats apply to all platforms.

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  8. Lisa says

    I have a store on Big Commerce currently. After waiting from the 8th March with no reply for big commerce to contact me I have given up. I had three new stores for clients that I wanted to place on the pricing with no transaction fees.

    Basically they did a server upgrade and removed the old pricing completely. I was happy to go with a silver plan that has no transaction fee. Customers don’t want to be penalized for making profit. BC used to be upfront and say they would never charge fees.

    Now they are.

    This will stop me from recommending BC. Hopefully other ecommerce platforms will catch up on features. It is really disappointing.

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  9. Joralyd says

    I got the partner email from Bigcommerce today stating their new prices, after the initial shock (had no idea this was coming) I have to say I don’t mind the Gold package if you were making intermediate sales that is.

    However for a lot of my clients the Silver is just asking too much. 2% of your sales and you’re not processing payments?? small businesses are already paying 2 to 3% in transaction fees to 3rd party gateways and payment systems.
    Not to mention the exchange rate from US to AUD.

    Sure unlimited products is temping but a lot of business, especially entry level, don’t have a large inventory so it would be wasted.

    Why not have 4 packages and include a limited product plan? it was their best seller after all. Transaction fee MUST go though.

    I wont be recommending any new clients to Bigcommerce after the 8th of April unless they suit the Gold plan.

    (0)
    • says

      Got the same email, processing the info and about to update this post and several others. They flagged the possibility a while ago when they started the testing – I guess the tests worked out.

      (0)
  10. Kirsten says

    Hi Andrew & Jaimie,

    Thanks for the feedback so far on the plans we are evaluating over here at Bigcommerce. We are getting ready to roll out some new features and simultaneously are trying to simplify choice and provide the right bang for buck at each level of our plans.

    It’s tough finding that perfect balance of price that lets us keep investing in the product but provides a good entry point and value as folks step up their e-commerce sophistication – so your ideas and insights are totally welcome. If we do end up with a transaction fee in any of our plans long=term, you’re right that we’ll be transparent about it, instead of hiding it or tacking on overage fees the way that some other platforms are doing.

    As one of the few platforms that can empower a full spectrum from the ‘dreamer’ all the way up to the more mature client who needs to do custom integrations and puts strain on our APIs and systems while needing extra support, we’re going to try to get it right the first time, but I am sure we’ll make tweaks along the way so we can help more clients sell more every day.

    Looking forward to continuing the dialog and if you ever want to reach out directly – you can ping me at kirsten [@] bigcommerce dot com.
    Best,
    Kirsten

    (-2)

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