How to Create an Online Shop with BigCommerce

Written by Austin Chegini

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BigCommerce is one of the largest and most renowned out-of-the-box e-commerce platforms in the world. It allows retailers to seamlessly create an online shop and hosts major brands like Skullcandy and Clarks on its platform.

Our new integration with BigCommerce will allow you to integrate your online store with your physical locations, giving you the ability to manage stock, sales, and customers across each of your locations from your Epos Now back office.

Today, building your own online store can be achieved in a matter of hours. With platforms like BigCommerce, there’s no need for a web developer or marketing team. You can do it all for yourself.

How you can Create an Online Shop with BigCommerce

1. Create an Account

Before you can start building your BigCommerce online store, you’ll need to create an account. First, visit the BigCommerce website and click “Start Trial” to begin your free trial.

The BigCommerce website will walk you through every step. You’ll input your email address, create a password, and give your store’s name before answering a few questions about your business. 

After adding your details, you’ll be taken to the BigCommerce dashboard where you can start building your e-commerce website.

2. Choose a Theme

Your BigCommerce online store will have a default theme, but there are other free themes available. You can choose to keep it simple with a free theme or pay to stand out from the crowd with a unique layout and design.

While free themes will allow you to change images, colors, and fonts, there are limits to how far you’ll be able to customize your online store.

If you’ve never built a website, we suggest learning the ropes by adding products on a free theme. Once you’ve got the hang of it and are confident in the system, you could look into a paid theme.

You can find these themes in the sidebar under “Storefront.”

3. Add Your Logo & Homepage Images

Your logo and homepage carousel image are two key features that will make your store instantly recognizable to your customers.

Adding a Logo

Click on the Storefront tab and then select Logos. You’ll be presented with the option of adding a plain text logo or uploading your own custom image.

If you already have a logo created for you, make sure you stick to the recommended logo size so it looks crisp and is the right size for all screens.

Don’t worry if you don’t have a logo yet, as you can always add this later!

Adding a Homepage Carousel Image

Your homepage carousel image is a header for the homepage on your website. It is the first thing your customers will see when they land on your homepage. You can edit this image by navigating via the Storefront menu.

Your homepage carousel images really are your centerpiece, so they need to be eye-catching and showcase some of the products you sell. Homepage carousel images can also be used to highlight any sales, special offers, or other information you’d like to get across to customers.

Most BigCommerce themes use carousel images that are sized at 1200x600 pixels. If you’re unsure of resizing or creating images yourself, you can use a free tool like Canva.

BigCommerce has a handy carousel image builder that will allow you to add text and buttons that can link to your product pages

4. Create Product Categories

If you’re operating an online store that only sells one type of product, BigCommerce’s product category function may not be relevant. But if you have multiple products or product variants, you’ll need to set up product categories.

It’s best to add product categories before you add your actual products. Otherwise, you will have to do double the work. 

To start, navigate to Products and click Product Categories. Once you’re in the product categories section, you’ll see that BigCommerce has added some sample categories which you can delete to start building your store from the ground up.

There are several fields to complete, but the most important ones are “Category Name,” “Category URL,” and “Category Description.”

5. Adding Products

This is the exciting step, where you get to add the products that you can sell to customers on your new online store. BigCommerce makes it easy with its user-friendly interface.

Firstly navigate to the Add screen in the Products subcategory. The site will guide you through adding all types of information about your products, as well as photos and product variations such as sizes and whether different forms of shipping apply.

This is also where you can add products to the categories you created earlier so that customers can easily navigate to them.

6. Create Information Pages

Information pages are incredibly important because they tell the story of your business. Just as important, they give customers vital information about things like your shipping and return policies, contact details, and frequently asked questions.

From your dashboard, navigate to Storefront and Web pages to find the section where you can add pages.

Thankfully, this is another section that BigCommerce makes it incredibly easy for even the least tech-savvy users.

When you create a webpage, you can easily add information, images, and even link to other relevant pages.

7. Set Up Navigation Bars

Setting up the Navigation on your online shop will allow your customers to find your categories, products, and information. To do this, you’ll have to customize the theme you set up, which you can do via the Storefront.

The categories you set up will appear as default, but you can change the visibility to “off” if you don’t want these to display. The web pages you’ve created will also show as default, but you can make these invisible or move them to the footer.

8. Set up your Shipping Methods

Under Store Setup, you can find the Shipping section. This page allows you to tell your customers how you will deliver their goods, which countries you ship to, and how much it costs.

To begin with, you’ll enter basic details about where you’re shipping your items from. This could be your physical store, warehouse, or home address.

On the next page, you’ll be able to set up which shipping partner you’ll use. Fortunately, BigCommerce integrates with several, so you’ll have plenty of choices. You can also just take care of shipping yourself if you have an existing provider and use BigCommerce to print postage labels.

Next, you’ll set up your shipping zones. BigCommerce defaults to the USA, but this is easily changeable. You can add and edit which countries you ship to, and within each “zone,” you can set up your shipping rates and options.

9. Set up Payments

Another incredibly important step is to set up how you’re going to get paid for the goods you’re selling on your new website. You can find this by going to Store Setup then to Payments.

BigCommerce has many options to integrate your existing payment provider. Whether you’re using PayPal or an existing payment processor, it’s simple to set up so you can start selling right away!

10. Add the Finishing Touches and Launch your Store

You’re almost ready to launch your BigCommerce store. There are just a few things you need to do before you can.

Firstly, you’ll need to set up your store profile by navigating through the Store Setup menu, where you’ll be able to add basic information about your new online store.

Next, you’ll want to navigate to Tax where you’ll be able to set up sales tax by country or state.

Finally, you’ll want to preview your store one last time to make sure it’s looking good, and then you can upgrade your trial to a full account to activate your store!

The different pricing plans depend on the number of sales you do each year. If this is your first online store and you don’t know what kind of volume you’re likely to be selling, you can start with the standard plan and then upgrade if you surpass the limit.

Congratulations, your new BigCommerce online store is ready to go!

To get customers interested in buying from your online store, start promoting on social media. If you have a bit of budget to spare, it’s worth paying for some Facebook sponsored advertising to drive people online.

Ready to integrate your BigCommerce store? Get in touch with our team to find out more.