If you’re looking to lease an eCommerce storefront but worry that you’ll be locked in if your business outgrows the platform, you may want to consider whether BigCommerce is right for you and your business.
Scaleable solutions can be tricky. Platforms like Shopify can get you set up with an online store quickly and easily. What you get doesn’t belong to you, however: it’s leased, and ultimately out of your control, which can create serious disruptions to your business if something breaks or if it’s time for an upgrade.
On the other hand, you have open-source eCommerce platforms like WooCommerce or Magento. They allow you to build your store out to your liking — and, crucially, to retain ownership of the store you build. The flexibility’s good, but the upfront investment of effort and cost can be restrictive for smaller operations looking to grow.
If you’re looking for a little from column A and a little from column B, you might want to investigate whether BigCommerce is right for you. That’s what we’ll be doing here, with a focus on a particular BigCommerce feature: the fact that the platform is headless, making it easy to migrate your storefront to another provider if you need to.
I wish I knew how to quit you
BigCommerce is somewhere between WooCommerce and Shopify. It’s a leasing platform, yes, but it’s built from the ground up to be headless and extendable. Because you’re leasing, it’s a turnkey option, ready to go with relatively little setup.
The difference between BigCommerce and a leasing option like Shopify is that BigCommerce is headless. That means the front end of the store (the head) is built so that you can disconnect it from the back end (the body). BigCommerce handles your transactions, inventory, and products; you choose how it looks and what specific features you want.
If your business outgrows your platform, or if your store is built around a feature that they choose to stop supporting, or if something breaks on their end, you may find yourself without a lot of options. If you’re leasing from Shopify or a similar service, you may not be allowed to make the necessary fix. You can pull up your stakes and go to another provider, but you may have to start from square one once you find a new home. Under the terms of your leasing agreement, you may not be able to take what you’ve built with you.
For an established business with many employees, such a situation doesn’t just affect you. It affects everyone who’s on your payroll. That’s why it’s important to prepare for a situation in which you outgrow a service, or in which a service changes so that it no longer fits your needs.
A happy medium
BigCommerce is more than a one-size-fits-all solution. If you’re running a boutique operation and like it that way, BigCommerce supports that. If your business starts modestly and continues to grow, BigCommerce can accommodate that too.
That doesn’t mean that Bigcommerce is right for you and your business. By trying to straddle the space between WooCommerce and Shopify, BigCommerce runs the risk of straddling their shortcomings, as well. Customers interested in a readymade storefront might find that there’s too much setup involved for their liking. On the other hand, customers seeking the flexibility afforded by open-source platforms might find that the platform is too restrictive.
You might fall into either of those categories. Or, you could fall into the third category — the goldilocks group for whom BigCommerce is just right. It depends on your preferences and your needs.
Give it a try
If you’re interested in finding out for yourself, you could always try it and see if you like it. BigCommerce offers a two week trial for the curious who are unsure if they’re ready to commit financially yet. Consider giving it a try.
Still struggling? Do you feel like BigCommerce is right for you and your business but need some help getting set up? We’re here for you. At Arcada Labs, building eCommerce sites is our specialty. We can help you create your storefront with unique plugins and features built just for you and your business. We’d be glad to help you determine which platform is right.
Don’t be shy. Feel free to reach out. Ecommerce is the future, and BigCommerce may be the path to take your business to the next level. We’re excited and you should be too.