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BigCommerce 6 - Good features Rate Topic   - - - - -

 
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Posted 18 February 2011 - 03:41 AM #41

It really doesn't matter which shopping cart you go with, all of them will have negatives. For us we have never been able to reach the same sales with CS-Cart 1.3.5 sp4 as we did with our old storefront.net site, so when we were unable to upgrade and even others here on the forum were unable to upgrade it, we figured we would give Big Commerce a shot.

The biggest thing we have learned so far is that Big Commerce is VERY primitive on design and the ease of designing compared to CS-Cart. While neither CS or Big Commerce are easy to re-skin, CS is much easier to add side bars, bottom bars, etc.

tbirnseth said...

The cart you purchase/use should enable you to run the sales side of your business with as little effort as possible and without professional assistance. You (the merchant) are the market for the storefront. The consumer is the user of your storefront.

We needed a much easier way to be able to run the sales side. Right now we rely pretty much completely on Google ppc and we are paying thousands of dollars a year with an "okay" roi. So basically we want to see how a site running CS-Cart and advertising on Google does up against a Big Commerce site using social, ebay, etc.

Here are the main reasons we are going to try Big Commerce...
- Push some/all products to eBay in 5 clicks - also Automatic order creation in BigCommerce when auction is won or BIN is purchased
- Direct point-and-click integration to 7 shopping comparison sites - the nice part here is I don't have to list every item on the comparison sites. I can set up each item to list on which comparison sites I want. With CS it is all or none or I have to choose the items each time.
- Sell on Facebook with SocialShop
- Two-way sync with Intuit Quickbooks that doesn't KILL my settings (like cost) in QBs like CS-Cart continues to do.
- Mobile Commerce built in
There are a few others, but we want to learn more about these and see if they make a difference.

In regards to some in the past that say Big Commerce is "too expensive". I'm sorry, but I really don't think people are quite adding things up right. Our main site has had too much traffic to stay on a "shared" hosting package, so we have to get a VPS. Most of the VPS sites want a minimum of $50 a month and I still end up maxing the small ones of those out. So why not pay the fee for the shopping cart that includes hosting and the cart and upgrades.

@ogia
We may learn the same thing too. Hopefully we can at least learn if there is any value in the social side of things and be able to learn the makeup of how some of the features we like work.

@struck
It is funny that we tried to stay put and hope for the best. Now a half way stable version is finally here and we think it may be better to test other waters. Unfortunately even some on the forum admit that CS has gone backwards on some things...including things like the mini cart. While I feel CS has come a long way, I do feel they are missing the boat in some major ways. It is almost like they want to listen, but they don't want to listen.

Again, we ARE NOT LEAVING CS-Cart! We will still continue to use them and we are actually going to compare CS with Big Com with the same products (with the exception that we will have more products listed on the CS site).
Regards,
Jim

 
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Posted 18 February 2011 - 06:33 AM #42

I'd say just make sure you follow up with your conclusions :) I'd really be curious to know how everything lands after you go with BigCommerce.

 
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Posted 19 February 2011 - 05:57 PM #43

Well, we are still trying to work through issues and figure out their back admin side. There are many, many parts of Big Com that are VERY primitive compared to CS or just about any cart.

Here is our first small list of negatives about Big Commerce after working in it for 2 weeks:
1) Cannot "bulk edit" certain parts of items. Can only bulk edit things like the name, category, Brand, Visible, Featured, Free Shipping...that's it! Very weak in this area. Likewise you can choose to bulk edit just one field, you can only bulk edit all the fields listed.
CS has a HUGE advantage on bulk edit.
2) Cannot easily add to the side bars. So instead of just adding something to the left or right of your page you have to manually do it (find file, add html, etc) Big Com claims that would be too difficult for them to have the function. Yep, that is what their support said.
CS has a HUGE advantage on the design. Even if you use the old CS 1.3.? it totally wipes away Big Com.
3) If you are outside the UK you will be charged the "INTERNATIONAL POS FEE" each month. It isn't much, but Big Com fails to tell you ahead of time that they really are not located in the US. They just give the appearance that they are a US company.
Of course you don't have to pay monthly fees with CS.

Now back to the new site.
Regards,
Jim

 

Posted 01 March 2011 - 11:00 AM #44

Interesting comment about the running costs of a shop like BC6. It all depends on what hosting you have, are you making backups etc. Just having a look at it now to see how the ebay intergration works for the UK (normally we are left out of cool features like this)
Watercooled-pcs.co.uk
Running on CS cart 1.5.3

Test Site liquid-pcs.com
Running on 2.1.1 - Do I risk the 2.1.2 update?

 
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Posted 02 March 2011 - 02:02 AM #45

@shiftlocked
We host some of our sites on shared and some on VPS. On a VPS with low RAM you are doing good to run 2 CS-Carts on the server do to the amount of power they take...at least if you have any traffic at all. So you end up forking out $50 for a mini VPS anyway, so we figured we might as well run BC up again CS and see what happens.

About new site roll out:
An update on working with BC...one thing pretty much never changes. If you point out a legit bug to the designers of the cart they are very quick to deny it and very quick to offer that they can "fix" the bug for a charge. At least with CS when you do finally get them to see that something is a bug they fix it...well, except for the Quickbooks mod which has been broke for a few years now. Well, "NORMALLY" CS seems a little faster to fix bugs.

So basically we still are not live because of this funky bug.

One big advantage that BC has is the customer support is during normal US hours even though they are in Australia. The other thing is BC offers phone support that CS does not have.
Regards,
Jim

 
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Posted 09 March 2011 - 01:31 AM #46

One big advantage that BC has is the customer support is during normal US hours even though they are in Australia. The other thing is BC offers phone support that CS does not have.


Well, we thought this would be a big benefit. After working with them for the last few weeks CS-Cart is MUCH faster to reply than Big Commerce is. While they are in the US, Big Commerce is more than 24 hours most of the time.

We also figured out the the "category" bug ended up being no matter how you tried to edit it. It wasn't just in bulk edit. The big difference again is when I have pointed out a bug to CS they normally help fix it on our server fairly fast. The "category" bug with Big Commerce has been known for almost 30 days now and they still have no "solution". They keep telling me "workarounds" that either do not work or mess up something else.

So, thus far I would rate CS faster on support replies and much better at fixing bugs on your site where you tell them. At least if you can convince CS it is a bug.
Regards,
Jim

 
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Posted 10 March 2011 - 04:43 PM #47

Hi,
To answer the thread. I think the mobile features and the export to facebook ones are the most key. The mailchimp one is nice too.

The basic premise for me is the more accessible my store is, then the more chances and ways I have of selling.

That in turn leads to word of mouth etc.....

I hope CS CART will incorporate some social media features such as:

Auto Post products/Specials to Facebook or Twitter
Share Products with Friends via Facebook/Twitter
Enable auto posting of Newsletters/Blog Entries and Polls to your Facebook Store Page.

I see a bigger need for Price comparison tools too in the near future as people become more buyer aware on the net.

 
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Posted 10 March 2011 - 11:24 PM #48

You can actually get mods for CS Cart for Mailchimp from tbirnseth and I believe it is Thomas that has a mod for Twitter post of any new products you add to your CS-Cart. So some of the things for CS are already coming from the community.

We should finally be through the Big Commerce "bugs" by this weekend and should finally be able to go live. Without a doubt Big Commerce takes longer to get rolling...especially with some of the bugs they have. Not to mention it is just a lot more difficult to navigate.
Regards,
Jim

 
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Posted 16 March 2011 - 08:03 PM #49

Well, after a month and a half of torture, we have given up on Big Commerce. The first month of setting up was a total nightmare.

Here are the reasons why we canned them:
1) The categories setup is filled with bugs
2) If you did an export, changed a few things, and then imported back in the same file it would screw up all your categories and change other information.
3) Shopping comparison sites were nothing more than generic downloads that I still had to go to the comparison site and upload. It did not communicate directly with the shopping comparison site.
4) Ebay would post, but it wasn't wise enough if your title was more than 55 characters. When we post to ebay our items normally do not have the exact same description as what our website as. We try to make the title on ebay have more info so customers can find the item.
5) The Yahoo (now MSN) and Google, that were meant for PPC, functions are nothing more than generic export functions.

I will sit down and try to get the many, many other reasons. Bottom line is Big Commerce, in my opinion, is pretty much a BIG JOKE!

Wow, that sure was a waste of a month and a half! Gotta love it. I guess I did learn more about some of these functions and how what they should and should not do.
Regards,
Jim

 
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Posted 17 March 2011 - 08:43 PM #50

clips,

Thanks for posting this information about your experience. It is really helpful for all of us.

I think CS-Cart is fantastic, I just wanted them or other 3rd party developers to work on improving the ability for a small business to use the technology out there today (Facebook, Twitter, Mobile Commerce, Mobile Management, Feeds, eBay, Amazon, etc.) to improve their business.

Adam