CoreCommerce vs BigCommerce

CoreCommerce vs BigCommerce

For more in this series of see Big Commerce vs Shopify or CoreCommerce vs BigCommerce

It has taken the best part of 8 months to get this comparison together. BigCommerce and CoreCommerce have both grown in features so quickly and prolifically in the last 12 months, that every time I wrote this comparison I was needing to edit it before I published.

BigCommerce and CoreCommerce have almost identical plans at the time of writing, except that CoreCommerce has launched a beginner plan for $20 a month – the cheapest BigCommerce plan is $25/month. At the moment, (as of February 2011) neither shopping cart is charging a setup fee – usually $50.

The Basics of a Shopping Cart

Payment Gateways

Both BigCommerce and CoreCommerce support a huge array of Payment Providers so you should be safe unless you picked an obscure one. That aside if you use anything other, 2Checkout, eWay or Paypal (with some exceptions) you will find your options to move limited in the future.

Shipping Providers

Again, BigCommerce and CoreCommerce support an almost identical group (and a very extensive group) of shipping providers including USPS, UPS, FedEx, DHL, Canada Post and Australia Post. Both support ShipWire and digital (e-goods) delivery.

Only CoreCommerce supports multiple warehouses and drop shipping, although BigCommerce has mentioned plans to add this support in the future.

CoreCommerce integrates with USPS, FedEx and UPS to print labels directly from your store – BigCommerce has no such support for mail labels.

What are the differences between BigCommerce and CoreCommerce?

Excess Bandwidth Charges

BigCommerce charge $5.12 for each extra gigabyte (1/2 cent per megabyte)

CoreCommerce charges $7 per gigabyte

Accounting Software Integration

BigCommerce integrates with MYOB and Peachtree Accounting

CoreCommerce integrates with Quickbooks

Social Media

Both support Facebook and Twitter sharing. Both support selling products through Facebook. Only CoreCommerce allows your customers to login to your store (to checkout and purchase) using Facebook, Twitter and Google.

Multiple Warehouses and Drop Shipping

CoreCommerce allows for unlimited vendors and warehouses which can be tied to individual products. A full suite of reports helps you manage your drop shipping and postage.

Google Website Optimizer

BigCommerce currently supports 6 different GWO tests to continually test and improve your shopping cart conversions. You can A/B test Add to Cart button positioning, Single or Multi page checkouts, Newsletter Signups, Checkout button images and product detail areas and content. CoreCommerce has no integrated support for Google Website optimizer.

Email Marketing

BigCommerce basically only supports MailChimp as it’s email management system. Other solutions can be worked with but they require significant effort. The upside of this focused approach to email marketing is that the integration you get with MailChimp is rock solid and full featured.

You can subscribe customers to different lists depending on the product they bought, the type of product they bought, the total amount they spent at your store or any combination of the above.

CoreCommerce has plugin support for Mail Chimp and Constant Contact

Multiple language support

CoreCommerce allows you to add any language and translate and string in the store. BigCommerce has no such functionality and struggles with Asian character sets when you try and use them.

Returns and Refunds

CoreCommerce supports processing refunds from the control panel for selected payment processors such as;, Paypal and Quickbooks Merchant Services.

What do BigCommerce and CoreCommerce have in common?

Gift Certificates, Reviews and ratings, Discounts, Coupon Codes, Up-sell, Cross sell and inventory management and notifications.

SEO tools for meta descriptions and keywords, page titles and content management.

Mobile versions of the store front end, PCI Compliance and business reports and statistics.

The Conclusion

Given the remarkable similarity between BigCommerce and CoreCommerce you could generally choose either one and have a wonderful experience. My opinion is that unless you need multiple warehouses, direct label printing or Constant Contact support go with BigCommerce. I just find it a little bit more polished and easier to handle. Start by looking at BigCommerce and if you find it doesn’t have a feature you need look at CoreCommerce.

Want a more updated Big Commerce Review? I guest wrote one in Janurary 2012 over at Shopping Carts Reviewed. Read my new BigCommerce Review and leave a comment.

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  • Jagath
    February 10, 2011 at 4:53 am

    If you are looking for dropshipping, multi-warehouse support, and shipping label printing (Fedex, UPS, USPS) for BigCommerce, then you should try the Ordoro add-on for BigCommerce. The BigCommerce support team has published an article about how to setup Ordoro for BigCommerce.

  • Jack
    February 16, 2011 at 3:39 pm

    Hi Andrew,

    Your posts here provide great information. Thanks.

    I’m building my first ecommerce (actually my first ever) website and am setting up a store using the BigCommerce trial. One concern I have is what payment gateway to use. You mention four gateways above, including BigCommerce has their own gateway, Interspire Secure Payment Gateway, that they promote. What do you know about this gateway? Is it just as good/better than, say,

    Another concern I have is that my business model calls for, at least initially, using drop shipping exclusively. And I will have products coming from many different warehouses. As far as I can tell, comments here suggest that BigCommerce doesn’t handle drop shipping/multiple warehouses well. I’ve heard about Ordoro, but I’m not sure how well it integrates with BigCommerce.

    • Jagath
      February 17, 2011 at 2:10 am


      Ordoro integrates well with BigCommerce. The BigCommerce orders can be automatically downloaded into Ordoro because of the API level integration. You should test drive the dropship functionality using the Ordoro trial version.

      • Jack
        February 17, 2011 at 3:44 am

        Thanks, Jagath. I’ll take a closer look at Ordoro.

    • Mike
      March 2, 2011 at 1:21 pm


      I used BC for my website I have a love/hate relationship between BigCommerce and CoreCommerce. CoreCommece does a good job, but the admin section does not flow well like BigCommerce. BigCommerce needs to add an internal drop-ship feature where multiple vendors can be notified when an order has been placed.

      I also was excited about using the new Interspire Secure Payment Gateway (PayLeap)…until I got my first statement from PayLeap. What they dont tell you is that you have to pay “Interchange Fees”. At the end of the day I am paying more than 4.3% for credit card transactions. I hate to do it, but I think I am going back to PayPal Pro.

      Good Luck with your store and thanks Andrew for setting up this blog.

  • Paul
    March 14, 2011 at 11:19 am

    Hi Andrew,

    I’m playing around with the CoreComerce free trial. Overall I like the product but there are a few things that bothers me.

    1) They have some PDF manuals available to download but they are outdated. I spent a few hours trying to locate some functionalities on the control panel but I finally realized that what’s described in the manual doesn’t really match what you see on the screen. I asked their support about this and they admitted that these PDF manuals are outdated. I mean…they should remove them if they are outdated, or at least state that they are outdated.

    2) Their sales webiste looks messed up on Mac. Here is the screenshot. It happens on most of the pages, and on both Safari and Firefox.
    This is not acceptable if you are a web developer. I reported this about 5 days ago and still not fixed. Looks like a simple CSS issue though. I hate when people ignore Mac users.
    Also it makes me wonder if their product has been fully tested on Mac.

    Well, other than these points, so far so good.

    • andrew
      March 14, 2011 at 6:30 pm

      I have never noticed the messed up menu’s before – that’s a real shame, I reckon it has cost them a few sign ups over the years

      Yes a lot of the manuals are out of date – but sadly the same goes for BigCommerce and Volusion as well – they are so busy adding new features and functionality they forget to tell people how to use it – it does keep me busy though so I don’t complain about it too much.

    • MacUser
      April 20, 2012 at 5:23 am

      I have the same issue. Some elements of the page don’t show up either in Safari or in Chrome from my Mac at all. But does work OK from my iPhone and Windows PC.

  • Larry
    March 26, 2011 at 5:51 am

    Thanks for these shopping cart reviews. They have been extremely helpful to me, especially this one (BigCommerce vs. CoreCommerce). We have been using MivaMerchant for many years and it really lets you get in there and customize it, but it seems to be lacking many features that BC & CC have.

    I am leaning toward CoreCommerce because we need to use Quickbooks Merchant Services, and we want it to integrate easily with Quickbooks Enterprise Edition. And the “biggie”……… multiple languages for selling internationally. BC needs to wake up fast on this one.

    This is a big move, so a bad decision could really hurt. I was almost sold on BC for months now, but after spending many hours looking closely at all the features of both carts and spending time on their forums… CoreCommerce is the winner for us.

    Keep up the good work!

    • andrew
      March 26, 2011 at 9:51 am

      Thank you for the kind words Larry, best of luck with the new store

  • Benny
    March 31, 2011 at 11:09 pm

    I have to tell you i have been a paying member of BC for over 6 six months and have been trying to migrate my store from Yahoo but they have the worst customer support i have ever seen. I have to tell you as much i want to leave Yahoo their customer support is solid but can’t stand their fees on transaction. Just signed up with CC for a free trial and may be heading that way myself. Thanks for the comparison

  • SoundsGood
    April 25, 2011 at 10:18 pm


    My site will contain all drop ship items. Currently I only have (and need) one dropship supplier, so it looks like I can use bigcommerce.

    BUT, I have a feeling I’ll need to use more than one dropship supplier at some point… so am I better off starting with corecommerce instead of bigcommerce?

    Any thoughts or suggestions about this?


    • SoundsGood
      April 30, 2011 at 4:54 am

      Anyone?? Thanks…

  • Ryan
    May 18, 2011 at 11:07 pm

    Integration with MYOB? A simple file download is not integration. Integration is a two way, automated process. Having to manually download a file and then upload to MYOB without the file having payment or customer data is pretty useless.

  • Eran
    May 21, 2011 at 5:38 am

    It seems to me that the support issue renders CoreCommerce a clear winner. (all else pretty much equal)…

    What do you think?

  • Chad
    June 4, 2011 at 4:12 pm

    Speaking about printing shipping labels and invoices..This is a big deal with internet stores.
    So here’s a thought..Both Big Commerce and Core Commerce are pretty much charging the same price for the same bandwidth, HD Space,etc..

    But here is a clear difference, with Core Commerce you can print shipping labels and invoices directly from your store..with Big Commerce they want you sign up for Ordoro so you can print your invoices and shipping labels and let the integrated service handle it..But WAIT!!! You have to pay an additional 40.00 to do this..So let’s say you get the 24.95 package deal with both..With Core Commerce that’s all you are paying..With Big Commerce you are now paying 24.95 + 40.00 (To print shipping labels and invoices)..Hmmmm..Now I am at basically 65.00 a month with Big Commerce…You do the math!!!

  • katherine
    June 9, 2011 at 1:56 am

    We use Core commerce, and generally love it. The only thing I’m frustrated with is the ability to sign up affiliates to the site, and track sales for them. Core commerce offers basic function with no templates…but I can’t find anything about affiliates at big commerce. This issue is causing me to look at changing platforms. have you any thoughts on affiliate capabilities (important for a lot of ecommerce folks) of the two platforms?

  • Erin
    June 26, 2011 at 2:00 pm

    I am based in Australia and am looking to establish an e-commerce shopping cart site, targeting international buyers and sellers but have yet to decide which company (Big Commerce or Core Commerce) to set up an account with and which payment processors are reasonable with their fees.

    Here are some questions I have:

    1. Can I embed my e-commerce shopping cart into an already made website using a WordPress thesis framework?

    2. Which e-commerce store (with a drop shipping service) allows you to accept payment on behalf of the seller, take your commission fee from the total purchase order, then submit an automated e-mail to the seller/s, showing only those items which are sold by that particular seller with the clients shipping address – who fulfill the order for you (being the merchant)? Then once the product/s is shipped, they charge your merchant account.

    If the item isn’t shipped or delayed, can an automated e-mail can be sent via myself advising them and giving them the option of still proceeding or receiving a refund?

    Are there payment processors who hold the payment from the merchant in the event the order is cancelled before they pay they pay me? This way, there won’t be any refund fees to my merchant account. Is this possible?

    3. Would it be cheaper for me to send full payment directly to the seller fulfilling the order, with an invoice advising them what payment is due once a sale is made? I am trying to find the most secure and affordable payment and shipping solution for all parties involved.

    4. Do both e-commerce sites offer wholesale log ins or member log ins for special discounts offered by suppliers?

    5. I am also concerned about any down time that may effect visitors from shopping too. Which e-commerce site offers the best CDN which is not shared?

    6. For online stores who would rather get the seller to print and ship directly from their retail store or warehouse, can this be done right from either e-commerce site?

    7. Is it also possible to embed another shipping company who can fulfill the order not mentioned on either e-commerce website?

    Preferably, I would like to stay with one e-commerce site instead of switching back and forth.

    Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

  • me
    July 18, 2011 at 4:37 pm

    is it really worth it to pay an extra $15 – $50 per month just for ups, usps, fedex lable printing? I dont think so. Seriously, that should be a standard feature for a bigger cart like BigCommerce…sucks

  • Nick
    July 26, 2011 at 4:35 am

    Just wanted to let you know CoreCommerce does have Google website optimizer integration. CoreCommerce actually had it before Big Commerce.

  • Lisa Schmidt
    August 18, 2011 at 4:07 am

    Core Commerce Review – if you’re thinking of going with Core Commerce I strongly recommend that you look elsewhere….I’ve been with them for two years now and am really sick of dealing with new issues and problems with them on a regular basis. I’m on hold with them right now because no one can buy anything in my shopping cart at the moment. I put in a ticket 5 days ago that no one could use gift certificates and it’s still not fixed. I put in a ticket earlier today that new products we entered are not showing up in our cart….you get the idea. Super nice people but far too many ongoing issues for that to make up for the continual isssues that affect the shopping cart working properly. Core Commerce – are you finally listening?? Please contact me if you are….on to the next site to post my reviews.

    • Sherman
      September 4, 2011 at 4:52 am

      I’ve been with CoreCommerce (CC) since the beginning of the year. It’s my first ecommerce site, so I have nothing else to compare it to.

      I think sites are easy to setup, but it could be better. There are too many fields without adequate explanation of what they really do and how they interact with each other.

      They have easily reached customer support. They have people responding to my tickets 24/7, and they are all very nice and patient. However, often they cannot immediately resolve the issue and have to defer to tech support, which is much slower.


      -Have been trying to get shipping working for CanadaPost and Fedex, and it’s driving me nuts. CanadaPost and Fedex have different expectations of what parameters to accept, so I don’t think you can fully support both at the same time, but this is not CC’s problem. The problem is there is no way to find out what CC does with the box weight/dimensions you entered for each product. When the shipping rates returned by CC don’t match the shipper’s rate (what you expect), there is no logs and no way to debug what’s wrong.

      -The other issue with shipping is that there is no way to combine shipping when multiple, different items are bought. CC supports combined shipping (ie. put multiple items in 1 box) only for the same items. What I’m looking for is what CanadaPost supports. They let you create a profile and let you indicate what sizes of boxes you have. For all the items in a transaction, it will try to fit the various items, based on each item’s individual size/weidht, into the most appropriate box you have. Maybe other ecommerce site don’t provide this feature either (does any? please let me know) but I thought this is a pretty common use case. I’m actually forced to provide free shpping as an option just to get around this problem – otherwise the shipping price will be ridiculously high.

      -Also, there is no way to show shipping ETA eventhough they are provided that information from the shipper.

      Feature Quality
      There are so many little issues here and there that doesn’t work. Let me list some that I’ve encountered.
      – They have a one-click generation of sitemap.xml for submission to google. Clicked on it and it doesn’t work. I had to raise a ticket to finally let the developers (not tech support) resolve the problem.
      – 301 redirect settings didn’t work. Finally had to open a ticket to resolve the problem.
      – 301 redirect settings gone for no reason. After I get it working the first time, I noticed, based on google search results, that somehow my 301 redirect settings were gone. Had to raise another ticket and go back and forth a few times before the issue is resolved.
      – bundled items shows out-of-stock

      …among other issues.

      I’m really thinking of switching to another solution, but will have to find out if the others are any better. It sounds like CC is considered one of the best, most stable out there already.

  • Glenn Wallace
    September 2, 2011 at 1:53 am

    We chose corecommerce because they had customer group and product category features none of the other carts had for the price. However be advised they had an odd business model. They have features that they claim were the result of custom development (for which they charge extra). If there is a problem with those features they will not fix it (unless you pay for it yourself). There is no list of these unsupported features which can result in quite a surprise when corecommerce refuses to fix a bug in one of those features. Also we had problems getting straight answers out of their support staff regarding payment gateway integration. Apparently this is another “feature” that someone paid for and they have included for all to use – BUT – if it doesn’t work they won’t fix it without further payment.
    Bottom line, if their core features are something you need, you can’t beat the price, but be prepared for spotty support and attempts to sell you stuff you don’t need.

  • Kevin
    September 13, 2011 at 7:07 am

    I’m looking at these two solutions, also. The inability to print labels from within BC would be a big step backwards for us — and we are on Zen Cart, for goodness sake. And lack of QB integration is a real head scratcher. CC sounds like a better fit for us, but these comments have me concerned that “better on paper” isn’t actually better in real life.

    • andrew
      October 22, 2011 at 9:40 am

      I wouldn’t get too caught up in other people’s experiences Kevin, if if looks like the better fit give the trial a test drive and call the support number and see what sort of help you get. I have many clients that are absolutely thrilled with Core Commerce and haven’t got a bad word to say about them

  • NYSpursFan
    October 14, 2011 at 11:05 am

    BC uses ShipWorks for FedEx, UPS, etc. It’s an extra $15/month, which sounds cheap to me if it saves you 10-15 minutes a day.

    Also, BC does integrate with QB (two-way). QB is wicked expensive, though!

  • Blake
    October 22, 2011 at 7:17 am


    I have learned that you have to take these comments with a grain of salt. It’s kinda like reviews on movies, just because it wasn’t good for someone else, doesn’t mean It will not be great for you. I am currently on a free trial plan with CC and I love it personally. There tech support is very helpful, and are around 24/7

  • Paul
    October 22, 2011 at 10:28 am

    I had a very upsetting experience with CC and just want to share with the people here.
    We needed a custom functionality and CC agreed to develop for us for $xxxx.xx (yes, four-figures) which we paid in advance.
    The original turnaround was 1 month. After 1 month we asked them how the development is going and they told us it would take another month. After another month they came back to us and told us the development is not even 50% done and they needed more money – 200% additional.
    We all understand that estimate is estimate and overrun happens. But how in the world professional developers mis-calculate estimate this much? And the most upsetting thing was there was no apology or anything. They just told us either pay additional 200% or stop here for a full refund. Of course we took the refund, cancelled our account and moved on to alternative solution.
    We really wanted to like their product but we got turned down by such a snobby and rude attitude.

  • Kevin
    October 22, 2011 at 10:54 am

    Very interesting feedback — thanks, all!

    Paul, what did you end up moving to?

    • Paul
      October 22, 2011 at 10:59 am

      After all we decided not to use the hosted service, we hired engineers and developing our own. It cost you more money initially, but much more flexible.

  • CC hater
    November 9, 2011 at 10:24 am

    We moved to core commerce, based on how it appeared to have “everything we needed”…we spent 5 weeks editing the design, and 8 hours from our “grand opening (we had thousands of fans counting the minutes literally)…8 hours left to go, and 80% of our website was GONE. why? apparently “there was minor error”…yes, they tried to fix it, “is this the picture you had here? did you have tabs like this?” We were so irate. spent 72 hours straight to get it to at least open. Opening day, customers could not use their wish list or registry (I have a baby store, so..registry is a must!). Apparently, registry doesn’t work with variants.
    I am eager to jump the core commerce ship…but sadly, not sure which ship to jump to! I need to integrate with quickbooks. So..if you know any good ones out there, let me know :)

    side note, their customer service stinks. I asked them “is there a way to bulk upload orders?”… “no there is not” was the response. My husband found the “bulk upload orders” tab within 2 minutes. Yes I should have looked, but I was on hold for 45 minutes to speak with a rep about another issue, thought I’d use advantage of finally have someone on the phone. I’d really do all you can before you get sucked into CC.

    • Zach
      December 15, 2011 at 9:51 am

      I have had similar issues with BigCommerce (and many more that were completely different). For example, I was told via chat support that there was no way to use the bulk editing spreadsheet to have all of my products’ inventory tracked, and that I had to go to the control panel and edit each products’ inventory tracking individulally. This could be very time consuming with hundreds of products. After some experimentation, I located the right column in the spreadsheat, entered a Y for “yes”, dragged it to the bottom of the entire column and was able to do in about 5 seconds what tech support told me was impossible and would have taken me hours. That’s just one example. Some of the BC support know what they are talking about, others seem to have no clue whatsoever.

  • Geoff
    November 10, 2011 at 12:15 pm

    I have been going back and fourth on CC and BigC, I can’t seem to find really anyone that can do what I really want. I have spent maybe 50 -100 hours looking at reviews online and testing free trials and so on. I also use Quickbooks ( Enterprise ) and the main problem that I am finding is if you have a true store front that is your main biz and you want to give a online cart a shot you can’t have your inventory and price changes going into the carts to upgrade. You can dump info from your cart but who wants to do double work to do inventory and pricing updates, not me! We have over 20K products so that is not going to happen twice.

    Every cart is also missing the whole idea for people like me that have a store front, have customers who have accounts with 30 day terms who want to order online. Every cart is only set up for the typical “online cart” and not for someone who wants it for the local customers with terms accounts that they bill with invoices. All the carts are really set up for it and are just missing a few small features for that to happen if you us QB. Have your customer login so the system knows they have a true account with terms, add items to cart, they add PO and finalize they cart. Then send that order into QB as a “sales order” and not a sale receipt. Then in QB you can change that sales order to an invoice and ship or deliver, like we do for our local customers.

    I just found these guys, they are in the UK but opening a office in San Francisco soon. This looks like what I have been looking for for 10 years now. Has anyone used these guys yet? Looks really cool, has everything Qb has with your cart and everything in one place online. Please let me know.

    • BC User
      October 3, 2012 at 11:49 am

      Just so your aware, BC integrates with Webgility that should solve all your problems. We too have a retail store and Webgility keeps all inventory updated after each purchase. It also integrates beautifully with QB and QBPOS..

  • Lasonya Jakeman
    November 14, 2011 at 6:36 am

    Carrie I think slow and steady is the only advice I have.

  • yopi
    November 16, 2011 at 1:16 pm

    After spending some time learning the BC structure and process and having tech service experiences from very good to not so good, we decided to go with BC. Then they wouldn’t accept our money because a policy they have to assume anyone working their site from abroad is a fraud. The credit card billing address has match the geographic location from which you are accessing the site. This is untenable for us, since we live overseas and move a lot, and, I have to imagine, also an issue for anyone that doesn’t have identical home and work addresses. We raised the issue with CC and they said “this is not a problem.” What did the tech assistance at BC say? “Can’t you just use another credit card,” which I translate as “dude, stop making my life so hard. Can’t you, like, fix this yourself.”

    On a side note we are glad this problem occurred as we have since found CCs label printing a key feature for us. I also find the site cleaner and easier to navigate. I’m sure there a lot gee whiz features and depth at BC that CC doesn’t have, but also sure we’ll never use them.

    Thanks for making such a cool site Andrew!

    November 27, 2011 at 9:53 pm

    I’m trying to decide between Core Commerce & Big Commerce for my small 200 unique product exclusively- online store.

    SEO optimization is really paramount for me, so I thought, with all of BC’s noise/hype touting BC that clinches it, UNTIL I read on SEO guru Aaron Wall’s blog that he really had nothing to do with it & BC has ignored his repeated requests to stop naming him in their hype, AS WELL AS comments here that BC’s setup messes up the all-important title function so that search engines can’t read them….???

    That was one commenter’s experience & no one else really responded to it. Does anyone else have any advice/comments on the efficacy of BC’s SEO as opposed to CC’s?

    Thanks for your great blog, Andrew–no one anywhere else has matched it for great info sharing.

    • andrew
      November 28, 2011 at 10:16 am

      Thanks for the kind words Ysabel

    • MaxPower
      March 6, 2012 at 5:00 pm

      “UNTIL I read on SEO guru Aaron Wall’s blog that he really had nothing to do with it & BC has ignored his repeated requests to stop naming him in their hype”

      This alone made me not choose Big Commerce. I’m sure they have a pretty awesome cart, but dishonesty like that?

  • Jose Crespo
    December 1, 2011 at 11:49 am

    Thanks for all reviews, Andrew. I am planning on using one of these shopping carts, but in a different way… I will be setting it as a rewards site, in which users redeem points against a rewards catalog. In other words, visitors will not pay for items out of their pocket, but will “burn” points which they will be credited to their individual accounts on behalf of their employer (who will be paying for these points, and thus for the merchandise). I know this is not the main purpose of all these shopping carts, but it seems to me that they could be tweaked somewhat making use of the Gift Certificates, Coupons or even the rewards points functions. Do you have any suggestions? Which of these engines is the easiest to customize? Thanks.

  • OnMyWay
    December 15, 2011 at 12:21 pm

    We decided to go with BC, but there are clearly issues with BC that we’re dealing with. Their Tech Support is quite variable, as someone else mentioned. I’ve called and asked the same question 2-3 times, and have gotten different answers, ranging from “It’s not possible to do that” to “It’s easy to do that. Here’s what you do…” I’ve learned not to take their Tech Support advice as Gospel. An odd issue we ran into with BC is email. They recommend that you not run your store’s email through their servers, but use Google Apps instead because they (Google) are more reliable. I was taken aback by this at first, but Google Mail & Analytics & AdWords all work well together, so I’m glad email is being run through Google. I also signed up with iContact for email marketing & BC integration. I’m sending out my first email tomorrow, so I’ll see how that works.

    I’ve been a BC user for 2 weeks, and it’s pretty good overall. For a total newbie, it seems to be working so far. I’m getting traffic, generating sales, and shipping product. I’m still fixing things on the site, like 301 Redirects. Ask me again in 3 months and we’ll see.

  • OnMyWay
    December 15, 2011 at 12:23 pm

    One more thing about BC…their templates are not that great. They are basically all the same template, but just different colors. I think they are fine as a first draft and for getting product into the store, but I’d recommend getting a web designer to finish your store layout. It’s easy to provide access to somebody on a temporary basis. And spending the money for 2-4 hours of professional help is well worth it.

  • Ecommerce-Hosting-Guru
    December 28, 2011 at 4:58 am

    I agree that BigCommerce just seems much more polished on the UI side. CoreCommerce is very clunky to move around in, they only put a few fields on each page which causes you to have to click so many more times and I felt like things loaded kind of slow. It is really hard to make a nice and easy to use interface on something as complicated as ecommerce software so I can tell that BigCommerce has really put some thought into it, probably why they are growing so quickly.

    I don’t agree with some of the commentors above about the BigCommerce template selection though. I feel like they have some of the best predesigned templates and they are very easy to modify.

  • Kevin Gianni
    December 31, 2011 at 3:32 am

    We’ve been using corecommerce for about 2 years now and are switching to 3dCart (which we use for another business.) The support at CC is friendly and generally helpful, but the biggest bug we’ve experienced is that customers are still able to order products that are out of stock. We recently we did a promotion and customers were allowed to buy over 32 units of something that was out of stock. The explanation that we received was, first, that we messed something up, and then second that the system doesn’t check real-time for inventory when someone orders, it just goes by cookies installed on their computer. Since this issue, we’ve had other orders come through for products that are out of stock and it’s driven us to choose another solution – so unless you like backorders and unhappy customers – I’d recommend using a system like 3DCart. I haven’t used BigCommerce. (The reason we didn’t catch this issue sooner is because we had a management company handling our orders and cart – we’ve just recently taken back those responsibilities.)


  • Pingback: Alternatives to BigCommerce - Andrew Bleakley
    January 9, 2012 at 3:00 pm
  • Catherine Ho
    January 28, 2012 at 4:24 am


    We are currently looking into using BC. I’ve read other comments saying that their BC websites are down all the time especially on the weekends because of their servers and the lack of support. Is this still the case?

    • andrew
      January 28, 2012 at 9:10 am

      No it isn’t Catherine. They had support issues early on because they took on too many new customers too quickly but they have more than adequate resources now, you will be in good hands.

      Alternatively look at Americommerce, Core Commerce or Ashop all very good alternatives to BigCommerce – you will find reviews of all these platforms at

  • Carlos
    January 28, 2012 at 10:58 am

    We’ve been using BC since December, first on a trial basis, then as a paying customer. BC has its quirks, but we’ve definitely never had an issue with their servers being down. I’ve never been on hold with Customer Support for more than a few minutes.

    • andrew
      January 31, 2012 at 9:35 pm

      That’s great to hear Carlos, thank you for taking the time to share. I worry that the forums get too negative a times. Very pleased your experience is positive. All the best

  • Catherine Ho
    January 31, 2012 at 3:29 am

    I was just speaking with a custom developer of ecommerce sites and he mentioned that their value add is the SEO optimization that you will not get with sites like BC… Andrew – are you able to elaborate or provide more insight?

    • andrew
      January 31, 2012 at 9:31 pm

      Every single vendor of shopping cart software (and the developers that use them) will try and convince you that they have the best SEO. truth be told they are all lacking. Some more than others, yes but they all need help.

      Core Commerce does have lots of good built in SEO that will help you but you will need to have a professional add more if you want to dominate your niche (h=the same is true for all shopping carts)

      I suppose the take away here is that the SEO in Core Commerce is no better and no worse than say Ashop, Americommerce or BigCommerce. If Core Commerce does everything you need it to at a price you can afford go with it, it is a good piece of software. If you have your doubts and are only staying with it because of this perceived SEO take the time to explore any of these Core Commerce Alternatives – Ashop, Americommerce or BigCommerce

  • Carlos
    January 31, 2012 at 11:25 pm

    For BC, they make it very clear that they give you the TOOLS for SEO. Developing your SEO strategies and tactics are entirely up to you. They highly recommend that you retain a good SEO consultant and a good AdWords consultant. Frankly, I’d be very skeptical if a shopping cart system says their SEO is better than another. The last thing I would want is a shopping cart that is dependent on Google. What happens if Google changes? I need my shopping cart to be very flexible, and have all the bells and whistles so that I can adjust accordingly. I’m convinced that any SEO magic comes back to the basics: good content build around well-selected key words, with multiple marketing channels (both on and off line).

  • Pool Fence
    February 19, 2012 at 2:27 pm

    Do both of these carts allow you to fully customize the look? I had heard at one time that BigCommerce wasn’t that easy to customize. Thanks.

    • andrew
      February 21, 2012 at 11:03 am

      Not sure where you heard that, bigcommerce is very simple to customise and make designs for

  • HVille
    February 26, 2012 at 9:29 am

    Finding the right shopping cart when you need an option to sell single products in many different products (in our case artist mediums such as pastels, oil paints and inks) is an absolute disaster. Especially if you realise that there are literally hundreds of colours.

    Of course you could make them standard products with their own SKU, but that gives two major problems: (1) you make it very hard (if not impossible) and certainly very frustrating for customers to order say 30 individual pastels and (2) you burn your available sku’s very rapidly which makes it very expensive.

    Try to make them options is a very logical thought but hardly any shopping cart can do this in a structured way. For example display 203 different pastels for easy selection and ordering such as shown in This seems such a trivial way of displaying products, yet neither BIG Commerce, Core Commerce nor Shopify can do this.

    Volusion can do something that looks like it via a so-called Multi-Child Add to Cart, but still requires custom programming. Magento can obviously do this but is so complex that you need a team of programmers and thus a bag of dollars.

    Anyone any suggestions?

    PS We like Big Commerce from a design, marketing and stability point of view but their product options are very standard and their support is pretty hopeless as you constantly get someone else and they all come up with something different ‘solutions’ they give are virrually useless as they keep referring to te fact that they have support documentation on their website. Doh…
    CoreCommerce has very good specifications: broad range of product options, multi-language, drop shipping, etc. However their software is so incredibly buggy that I can’t even set up our products or change the layout without encountering all kinds of errors and very weird behaviour of the software. Don’t even want to think what would happen if a customer starts to enter an order.

    • HVille
      February 26, 2012 at 9:31 am

      Small typo:

      “Finding the right shopping cart when you need an option to sell single products in many different products …” should obviously read:
      “Finding the right shopping cart when you need an option to sell single products in many different varieties/flavours/colors/etc….”

      • Scott
        March 4, 2012 at 2:54 am

        HVille –
        I feel your pain, even as a merchant with a handful of SKUs. That is, I concur with your observations (and posted yesterday similar frustrations under the “BigCommerce v. Shopify” thread). I’m not sure a magic bullet exists, as everyone’s requirements vary, and the carts generally (perhaps unavoidably) play to the perceived needs of 80% of potential clients…

        That being said, I would encourage you to check out Pinnacle Cart — I don’t know for sure that it would suit you; however all plans are touted as “unlimited products” (quote: “our cart has no category or product limitations…”) and as one would have API access at the $95/month level, one might be able to play around (or hire PC’s in-house folks — I’ve been quoted very reasonable rates) to develop a work-around if necessary to accommodate your approach re: options/attributes.

        Also, have you checked out Americommerce? I have not used them, but have found them extremely friendly and responsive over the phone and email — e.g., they would have been perfectly willing to build QR code marketing functionality into a cart for me. Their website also overviews their “Custom Shopping Cart Package” (apparently they would build out the cart with a catalog to fit your needs).

        Best of luck, and please let us know with whom you settle!

        • HVille
          April 6, 2012 at 2:23 pm

          Hi Scott

          We have managed to work our way around the product limitation by using the swatch in a slightly different way (see So for now (next three months) we’ll stay with BIG Commerce. At least this environment is stable unlike CoreCommerce.

          Haven’t looked at Pinnacle or Americommerce yet. Will certainly check out how they compare to BIGCommerce. Just need to find the time to do the testing ;o).

          Thanks for the tips!

  • Josh
    April 5, 2012 at 2:48 pm

    I am attempting to make the switch to CoreCommerce right now but the View Cart and Checkout pages are so terrible and support keeps telling me they cant be customized, so I don’t know what to do? Have you noticed that CoreCommerce checkout pages loose more customers?

  • Mac
    July 8, 2012 at 6:55 am

    If you are a hobbyist and want to use a template, and get a few options at a decent price, then CoreCommerce is for you.

    However, if you are a web professional that is looking for an all-in-one solution, then STAY AWAY from CoreCommerce!

    They claim to give FTP access, but it’s only a partial access, and you can only connect with a few FTP clients of their choice. Dreamweaver will not connect, nor will Frontpage.

    I personally tried for hours to get a css box to resize in their control console, but to absolutely no avail.

    It turns out that there is some hidden Javascript keeping the div tag from expanding, and I as a customer do not have access to the Javascript.

    I contacted their technical support, and after many back-and-forth’s this is what the reply was;

    “I have not no expert in dreamweaver so I am uncertain how it will work.

    The last question you asked I honestly don’t know how to remove the java script. But I am sure if you do you might have to create your own widget.

    Please forgive me if I am short with these answers, I try to stay away from programming and web design stuff.

    **Please confirm this issue has been solved”

    I would definitely recommend another option.

    • andrew
      July 8, 2012 at 11:26 am

      I believe the newest version of Dreamweaver has support for the necessary protocols (FTPES) to connect to CoreCommerce – it is actually a failing in Dreamweaver and Frontpage not CoreCommerce (or BigCommerce which has the same issue)

      I agree though it is a pain though and means simple tasks take longer but security is something shopping carts take seriously so it is hard to fault them for using the enhanced FTP

      • Mac
        July 8, 2012 at 4:14 pm

        Actually, your correct about the newest version of Dreamweaver having the correct protocol, but CoreCommerce still will not allow me to connect with it, as “they have never bothered with Dreamweaver before,” as one girl in the technical support chatroom told me today.

        I imagine there are ways to get things done in CoreCommerce, but when I can not resize a simple div box because it requires Javascript changes- which they won’t even let me have access to- then I begin to have problems with the service.

        I am definitely not advocating for Americommerce, as I know next to nothing about them, but they do allow Dreamweaver to connect; plus it seems much more friendly to people like myself who dig into the nuts and bolts. I am considering a switch.

        • andrew
          July 8, 2012 at 4:51 pm

          Americommerce are very friendly – good software too – if you switch you will be happy

        • Daniel
          July 9, 2012 at 12:31 am

          Hi Mac,

          I know there are a few customers who have successfully been able to get the newest version of dreamweaver to work, In support it’s not really something a lot of our techs know about or have access to, there are only a few that really know html/css. If you would like this maybe something you can post on the community and get feedback from other customers as to how to set up dreamweaver.

          As you mentioned there are several files that are blocked in corecommerce, if you view the site in firebug you will from time to time see elements being called ‘dynamically’ and the javascript files you are seeing. If these files are modified, a lot of times it can effect everyone on the server, since corecommerce runs on a shared platform.

          Have you had a chance to look into our other product digishop? It functions a lot like corecommerce. However, since it is a stand alone product you will have access to all of the files, unlike corecommerce.

          Best Regards,

  • The eWAY Team
    July 16, 2012 at 10:01 am

    Thank you for posting this; you have been very thorough! Merchants ask us for cart recommendations every day (we are one of the few payment gateways with free 24/7 phone support) so the next time a seller is comparing CoreCommerce to BigCommerce, we will be sure to send them this link.

    • andrew
      July 16, 2012 at 10:05 am

      Thanks guys that’s awesome. Got lots of love for eWay

  • Hilario Brana
    June 14, 2013 at 11:11 pm

    “Very interesting blog, very fun to read it:) Thanks for giving me what I need to get a business going.”


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