How To Launch a BigCommerce Store
April 5, 2022
Ready to launch your BigCommerce store? Follow this step-by-step guide to learn how to set up your ecommerce store quickly and effectively. You’ll also see how to set up an amazing one-click checkout to speed along purchases thanks to Bolt for BigCommerce.
Growing an ecommerce brand is challenging enough without building it on a clunky, cumbersome platform and requiring additional plugins that don’t play well together.
To erase some of these issues and provide an easy-to-use, affordable ecommerce platform, Mitchell Harper and Eddie Machaalani founded BigCommerce in 2009.
At that time, ecommerce made up less than 6% of total U.S. retail sales. Today, more than 60,000 merchants rely on BigCommerce to sell, advertise, optimize, and fulfill orders across multiple channels and marketplaces. Users range from SMBs to enterprise organizations, including well-known brands like Ben & Jerry’s and Skullcandy.
From its inception, BigCommerce embraced the concept of OpenSaaS or open-source software-as-a-service. With this approach, the company was able to work with dozens of innovators and platforms, each developing technology and solutions in their own area of expertise that unify the process of selling online.
This approach has paid off. Today, BigCommerce offers a blazing fast cloud platform, cutting-edge security, and advanced technologies that put more of your product into the hands of your eager consumers.
For online merchants, BigCommerce ticks all of the boxes for must-have features. But how do you go about actually creating and launching a BigCommerce store? Let’s dig in.
Step 1: Enter your information
True to its name, BigCommerce is a BIG site, offering resources and support to help you decide whether the platform is right for you. If you like what you see, you can sign up in just a few clicks without having to enter your credit card information. The account creation process is simple. Click Get Started and enter your information. As of this writing, BigCommerce gives you one month free when you pick your plan.
Be aware, BigCommerce will ask about the size of your online business. You aren’t required to meet any sales quota to join. If you’re a new merchant and haven’t made any sales yet, explain that and click the “Create Your Store” button to proceed.
You can start building your BigCommerce store right away. After choosing your plan, you can tweak your store’s design, products, and other features if necessary.
Step 2: Choose and customize a theme
You’ll be asked to answer a few more preliminary questions about your online store. Then you can choose a theme for your ecommerce store. That’s when you’ll select your theme, customize it, and add your logo.
Click on Storefront in the sidebar and select My Themes. You’ll be able to choose from a variety of themes, both paid and free, designed for different industries. If you only want to see paid or free options, set the filter accordingly.
Your checkout process changes based on the product or service you sell. For example, digital goods downloaded by the customer won’t require shipping details from the customer.
Keep in mind that you can use any theme, regardless of the industry it was designed for. So take time to explore your options. Look for a theme that has the look, feel, and functionality you want. Then customize it to suit your tastes and business goals.
Step 3: Add your products & optimize your page
Once you’ve customized your theme, navigate to the Products area to add your products. Your store will be pre-filled with sample products to give you an idea of how the final page can look. Delete these samples before adding your own products.
To upload your products, start entering the product name, price, and category. Then, if you’d like to optimize the page, enter the SEO metadata, including keywords, the meta title, and meta description. These will tell search engines how to present the product in search engine listings.
In this example, “Front Pocket Leather ID Wallet = Saddleback Leather” is the meta title. The description below is the meta description. Notice that this description is truncated to fit into search engines. Try to limit your meta description to no more than 160 characters.
Now set your product categories. Your store is pre-populated with some sample categories. You’ll need to delete these to create your own.
BigCommerce gives you up to eight different fields for setting your product categories. You don’t need to use them all, and you may change them as needed.
For each category, enter the:
- Category name
- Category page URL
- Category description
Step 4: Test the front-end
As you create categories and add products, you can preview your ecommerce site and product pages to ensure that everything looks the way you want.
Once you’re happy with the design and aesthetic of your site’s front-end, it’s time to delve into the back-end. That’s where you’ll set up the details for order processing and logistics.
Step 5: Set up the back-end
Your back-office settings are where you set up your payment processing and shipping. We’ll delve into the shipping part in a minute.
For now, make sure you sest up three sections in the back-end:
- Your default and preferred currency
- The payment methods you accept
- How taxes should be calculated
When you launch a BigCommerce store, you can choose to display product prices in different currencies so international customers can pay with their preferred currency. With BigCommerce, you can show prices in one currency but allow transactions in another.
For example, a customer can see your prices in Canadian dollars, but when it comes time to pay, you only take American dollars. If you want to accept payment in both currencies, you’ll need to enable a supported payment gateway that includes that currency.
If you haven’t set up a multi-currency option in the BigCommerce dashboard, your transaction currency will be based on the default. Your default currency is based on the country where your billing address is located.
Step 6: Setting shipping methods and rates
Before you launch a BigCommerce store and set shipping rates, watch the shipping video tutorial to understand the variety of options available for shipping and fulfillment. BigCommerce works with various shipping partners, including its own branded shipping option.
You can also configure your shipping by different shipping zones, such as shipping from the east coast to the west coast of the USA. To do this, you’ll want to click the Configure button from the Shipping screen and adjust the parameters, including static and real-time shipping quote options.
Step 7: Integrate one-click checkout
Don’t forget to turn on Bolt’s one-click checkout. BigCommerce stories that leverage Bolt have experienced:
- 50% better conversions, thanks to fast, easy, and secure one-click checkout
- 66% higher repurchase rate, because customers love the Bolt experience
- Access to a network of 10s of millions of shoppers that can check out in a single click, even if they’ve never been to your site before
- 2X the mobile checkout completion rate, thanks to a made-for-mobile checkout
- Bank-level security – Bolt is PCI DSS Level I certified
One-click checkout is built into the BigCommerce platform. It can be set up in under two minutes with just a few clicks. It’s free. And no programming or technical experience is needed.
Navigate to Payments in the sidebar, and select Bolt as your payment processor. Then create your Bolt merchant account and add your payment processor.
Not only will you save time setting up your store, but you’ll also be able to give your customers a smoother, more streamlined checkout experience. And when you log into the Bolt dashboard, you’ll gain insightful customer and shopping analytics that help you refine your advertising even more.
Last step: Upgrade your trial to a paid plan
Once you’ve completed set-up, it’s time to launch your BigCommerce store. But before you do, you’ll need to upgrade your trial to a paid pricing plan. You can do this by clicking the “Upgrade Your Trial” button from your home dashboard. BigCommerce offers four different plans. Of course, you can upgrade or change your plan at any time.
If you’re not sure which pricing plan to choose before you launch a BigCommerce store, you can’t go wrong with the Standard plan. Many businesses start small and then work their way up as they’re ready to scale their business.
Next steps to launch a BigCommerce store
There’s no better time than now to launch a BigCommerce store. You get an ecommerce platform that’s easy to use, intuitive, and straightforward. And you have the tools you need to design a professional store that fits your brand.
With over 100 paid and free fully customizable themes, you’re sure to find something that perfectly suits your needs and budget. And by integrating it with Bolt, you’ll enjoy increased conversion rates, expanded customer reach, and data-rich insights.
There’s no additional cost to add Bolt functionality to BigCommerce. So start today and see the difference that one-click checkout can make for your business!
Your industry, your products, and your customer base impact your cart abandonment rate. First, consider the various factors that affect your cart abandonment to understand your challenges. Then, track analytics to know your average abandonment rate and develop strategies for improving it over time.