BigCommerce Free Trial in 2023: Everything You Need to Know
With over 60,000 active users, BigCommerce has firmly cemented itself as one of the most popular eCommerce platforms on the market. So, if you’re looking to launch an eCommerce business or migrate to a new eCommerce platform, you’ve likely come across BigCommerce alongside its competitors (Shopify, Squarespace, and the like).
However, if you’re on a tight budget (and with the cost of living crisis, who isn’t at the moment?), you might be wondering if BigCommerce is free. That’s a straight no. However, it offers a free trial, and several subscription plans to suit different budgets.
So, if you want to learn more about BigCommerce and its free trial, stay with us:
How Long Does BigCommerce’s Free Trial Last?
The BigCommerce free trial lasts 15 days (at the time of writing). As you read through this article, you’ll see that while the free trial is relatively short, there are ways to access more for your money:
- Wait for a promotion that offers a longer free trial (often 30 or 60 days)
- Make use of affiliate links that provide one or two-month trials
- Try asking the sales team for an extension by calling or emailing them
How Do I Sign Up For the BigCommerce Free Trial?
Head to the BigCommerce website. On its homepage, you’ll see a series of tabs at the top. Click on Pricing, and you’ll see the following message: try BigCommerce free for 15 days, then pick a plan.
Underneath this text, there’s a blue ‘START YOUR FREE TRIAL’ button. Click on that. You’ll then be prompted to complete a short form that asks for your:
- First name
- Mobile number, including country dialing code
- A store name (this can be changed at any time after starting your trial)
- Email address
- Select what size business you are from a dropdown menu (there’s an option to state you’re just starting out).
You don’t have to provide any credit card details.
Once you’ve done all the above, click the ‘CREATE YOUR STORE’ button.
You then have to answer three questions, again, each from a dropdown menu:
- Do you have an existing website: Yes/No
- What will you be selling: There’s a long list of categories to choose from.
- What best describes how you currently sell your products: including ‘a not selling yet’ category.
Once you’ve done that, click ‘FINISH.’
You’ll then receive an email with your log-in URL; click on it. This takes you to a log-in page for your BigCommerce store’s dashboard.
As soon as you sign in, your free trial begins.
From your dashboard, you’ll see that BigCommerce automatically allocates you a free template to start working with. However, you can easily change this by heading to its Theme Marketplace to check out other free and premium themes.
On the other hand, if you like the theme you’re allocated, you can start customizing it via your dashboard using the BigCommerce page builder.
Click on the blue ‘CUSTOMIZE’ button. This takes you to the page builder.
From the ‘Home’ page of your dashboard, you can complete the following listed actions:
Add products: If you’re yet to source products and just want to get a feel for BigCommerce’s interface, don’t worry; when you click the ‘ADD PRODUCTS’ button, you’re taken to a page listing fictional items you can upload to your eCommerce store. However, suppose you do have actual products to list. Then, you can add product information, such as product name, description, image, etc., here.
Get set to ship: Set your shipping methods. This includes setting your:
- Shipping origin
- Sipping zones
- Your out-of-delivery zone message
- Shipping labels
You can also integrate with ShipperHQ to unlock more advanced shipping rules (free 15-day trial and $75/mo after that).
Edit payments: You can choose which online and in-person payment methods you want to accept.
Set up your tax rates: You can opt for BigCommerce’s chosen automated tax tool Avalara AvaTax (free), or set your own tax rules.
At the top of the ‘Home’ page, there’s an upgrade button you can click on if you’re ready to sign up for a plan before your 15-day trial is over.
You don’t need to worry about your trial website going live. It’s not. So, search engines won’t pick it up, and internet users can’t browse your store or find it until it goes live.
BigCommerce has a fulsome store launch guide. It recommends users look for more information on preparing your store for launch should they go ahead. There is also a quick start guide for anyone who wants to spend less time on store setup and focus on testing all the individual features.
What’s Included in the BigCommerce Free Trial?
The BigCommerce free trial offers access to almost all of BigCommerce’s features, including those only available on some of its higher-tier price plans. So, for example, you can try the Abandoned Cart Saver feature, which is usually available from the Plus plan upwards.
However, this means that after your free trial and once you’ve chosen a paid plan, if you opt for a cheaper package, you may find that some of the features you’ve tried are unavailable.
On the flip side, this highlights why it’s essential to test as many features as possible in the free trial. Then, use this experience to guide your choice of price plan to pick a package with the exact functionality you require.
That said, it’s worth noting that some features don’t come with the free trial; you can only access them when you upgrade to a plan. These include:
- Adding a custom domain to your store (Standard Plan and up)
- Installing a third-party SSL certificate (Standard Plan and up)
- Setting 301 redirects (Standard Plan and up)
- Creating and utilizing product filters (Pro Plan and up)
What Happens When The Free Trial Runs Out?
No action is needed if you decide that BigCommerce isn’t for you. The free trial simply runs out after 15 days. But, if you want to continue using the platform (as we’ve already mentioned), you’ll need to subscribe to one of the price plans.
If you don’t upgrade to a paid plan when your free trial ends, the store and its data are no longer accessible. However, if you lose your store, not all hope is lost. You can still contact the BigCommerce Account Services team to see if you can reactivate the account.
Although several online reviews state there are longer free BigCommerce trials (30 and even 90 days), this promotion wasn’t available at the time of writing. The BigCommerce Resource Center and pricing pages also don’t refer to extended free trial periods.
BigCommerce Pricing After The Free Trial Runs Out
Four pricing plans are available to you:
You can save 10% on the Plus and Pro plans if you pay annually. Otherwise, you’ll be billed monthly.
All the prices shown in the above screenshot are per month and are as follows:
- Standard: $29.95/mo aimed at small online businesses
- Plus: $79.95/mo aimed at growing medium-sized businesses
- Pro: $299.95/mo aimed at big businesses with a larger budget
- Enterprise: This is a custom plan for which you need to speak to the sales team directly for a quote. This is aimed at enormous organizations with equally significant revenue.
If you opt for an annual plan (available with all packages apart from Standard), you can expect to pay the reduced price of $71.95/mo for the Plus plan and $269.96/mo for the Pro.
The following features are available on all four plans:
- No additional transaction fees
- Unlimited staff accounts
- You can list unlimited products
- Unlimited bandwidth
- You can create a full-featured, responsive online store
- You can sell on multiple online sales channels, including Amazon, eBay, in-person POS systems
- Social media selling like Facebook Shop/Instagram checkout and Google shopping
- You can create customer coupons, discounts, and gift cards
- You can provide customers with real-time shipping quotes
- Sitewide HTTPS and a dedicated SSL certificate
- Single page checkout
- You can edit your store and access orders on the go with the BigCommerce mobile app
- Customers can pay using Apple Pay/Google Pay/Amazon Pay
- You can accept multiple currencies
- Reporting tools
- A built-in blog
- Customers can leave product ratings and reviews
- Access to 24/7 customer support via phone, chat, and ticket
You also receive the following features on the Plus and Pro plans:
- Abandoned cart saver
- Customer grouping and segmentation features
- Use Google customer reviews to collect customer feedback and display your seller rating on your website
- Product filtering
On top of all of the above, the Pro plan also offers the following:
- Custom SSL
- Include custom fields in your product filters
- Unlimited API calls
Lastly, the Enterprise (custom) plan also offers the following:
- Unlimited API calls
- Priority support
Each plan has a limit on the revenue you can make per year. So, Standard is up to $50k, Plus is up to $180, and Pro is up to $400k. If you exceed this threshold on the Pro plan, you pay an additional $150/mo for each extra $200k. The Enterprise plan offers custom revenue limits.
BigCommerce Free Trial, Tell Me More
Although the BigCommerce free trial runs out after 15 days, in that time, you should be able to explore the platform well enough to decide whether it’s the right fit.
One important aspect of this is its themes:
One thing worth noting is that if you want to try out different themes during your free trial, you can. But you can only use the free ones, not the paid ones. Again, you’ll find these options in the theme marketplace.
The themes are split into a range of categories, and you can use the Free or Paid filter to hone in on your preferred options.
The themes are categorized as follows:
- Arts and crafts
- Animals and pets
- Automotive and industrial
- Electronics and computers
- Fashion and jewelry
- Food and beverage
- Gifts and specialty
- Health and beauty
- Home and garden
- Books and entertainment
- Sport and recreation
- Toys and games
BigCommerce has around 170+ themes available in its theme marketplace, 12 of which are free. The rest come with a price tag, typically between $150-$300.
We’ve already mentioned which features you can’t access during your free trial, but what about those you can?
Page builder tool: You can create and edit pages using BigCommerce’s drag-and-drop visual editor. You don’t need any coding experience to use it.
Support: This is 24/7 across all its plans. Support teams are US-based. You can contact customer services via live chat, email, or phone. There’s also a self-service online help center where you can access frequently posted questions, helpful guides, and much more.
0% transaction fees: There are no additional transaction fees for using a third-party payment solution. BigCommerce offers over 65 pre-integrated online payment providers that operate in 230+ countries and 130+ currencies.
But, if you want to use PayPal, fees vary depending on which plan you’re on:
- Standard: 2.59% + $0.49 per transaction
- Plus: 2.35% + $0.49 per transaction
- Pro: 2.05% + $0.49 per transaction
- Enterprise: 2.05% + $0.49 or lower per transaction
So if you plan on using PayPal, you’ll need to factor those costs in if you decide to go with BigCommerce.
Is the BigCommerce Free Trial Worth It?
The quick answer: Yes, it is.
While BigCommerce’s free trial at the time of writing isn’t exceptionally lengthy, it’s always worth exploring. You can explore plenty of features if you sign up for the cheapest BigCommerce plan (Standard). Don’t forget, if you pay annually, there’s a 10% reduction. Of course, you can always upgrade to a higher-tier plan once your business is more profitable.
Overall, if you’re interested in BigCommerce. In that case, it’s definitely worth using your free 15-day trial to its maximum to road-test the platform.
That’s all, folks; If you have questions about our BigCommerce free trial review, comment below!