Big Cartel, a Web-Based eCommerce Platform

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Founded back in 2005, Big Cartel is an eCommerce platform particularly popular among photographers, painters, authors, crafters, and other creative folks. Its easy-to-use platform makes it easy for users to build creative, eye-catching storefronts, and the process of managing orders, adding products, editing product details, and managing inventory is a breeze. Let’s look at a few of the reasons why so many people have turned to Big Cartel as their eCommerce platform of choice.

Big Cartel’s Usability

When it comes to setting up an online store using Big Cartel, the process couldn’t be simpler. The interface itself is incredibly user-friendly, and when you log into your account for the first time, you’ll be directed to your dashboard where you will find numerous video tutorials. With the aid of the video tutorials and other documentation found in the Help Center, you will learn how to edit your theme and add products without breaking a sweat. Additionally, for an added fee, you can even edit the HTML and CSS style sheets.

Web Design Options with Big Cartel

When you sign up for an account with Big Cartel, you’ll have access to 13 different themes, 11 of which are mobile-friendly. While most of the themes are fairly basic, you’ll be able to add your own design flair to them by adding eye-catching photography and other features. If none of the themes are working for you, though, you can always enlist the assistance of a web developer or purchase a theme from a third party.

Big Cartel Features

While Big Cartel doesn’t offer a lot in terms of features, what few it does offer are highly useful and of great quality. Some of the more popular features the platform offers includes:

  • Usability
  • Ability to manage store with iOS app
  • Custom domains
  • Access to a WYSIWYG editor (what you see is what you get)
  • Ability to customize CSS, JavaScript, and HTML codes
  • Ability to add brand logo to online store
  • Inventory tracking
  • Confirmation emails
  • Order tracking
  • SEO tools
  • Google analytics
  • Guest checkout option
  • Facebook integration and more

Big Cartel Add-Ons and Integrations

While Big Cartel isn’t known for its abundance of  Add-ons, it does offer a nice selection of integrations. Some of the more popular integrations include:

  • Zapier
  • Facebook Store
  • MailChimp
  • Apple Pay
  • Google Analytics
  • Printful
  • ShipRobot
  • ShipStation
  • GetScorecard
  • Social photos

Pricing Options with Big Cartel

When you sign up for a Big Cartel account, you will be able to choose between a free plan and a few different paid plans. However, it should be noted that the free plan is only available for merchants with up to five products —no more. The free plan, known as the Gold plan, includes the following:

  • A picture/products
  • Facebook store
  • Order management
  • Ability to sell online and in person
  • Basic stats
  • Basic customization
  • SEO tools
  • Access to all 13 themes

The paid plans all come with all of the basic plan features, along with the following:

  • Five pictures/product
  • Editing capabilities for JavaScript, CSS, and HTML
  • Inventory tracking
  • Advanced stats
  • Full customization
  • Access to discount codes
  • Custom URL

The pricing for the paid plans are as follows:

  • Platinum: $9.99/month, 25 products
  • Diamond: $19.99/ month, 100 products
  • Titanium: $29.99/month, 300 products

Big Cartel’s Payment Processing Options

As with many eCommerce platforms, Big Cartel offers a variety of different payment processing options. Not only does it integrate well will PayPal or Stripe, but it also works with Square for on-the-go transactions. As an added bonus, Big Cartel never charges transaction fees.

Customer and Tech Support with Big Cartel

While you won’t be able to reach a Big Cartel representative via telephone when you need technical or customer support, the platform makes it easy to contact representatives via email. In most cases, you’ll receive a timely response, typically between 24 and 48 hours for urgent matters and about 3 days for regular questions.

For quicker response times, you can reach out to Big Cartel using its Twitter and Facebook pages. And for those who prefer finding answers themselves, Big Cartel has a vast array of online FAQs, tutorials, and other documentation listed on its help site.

Big Cartel’s Security Features

Because Big Cartel understands that having proper security measures in place is important, all online stores come complete with SSL encryption, and all transactions are secured using Stripe or PayPal as both use 128-bit SSL encryption and are Payment Card Industry (PCI) compliant.

Final Thoughts

Considering the platform’s limited selection of features and basic templates, Big Cartel seems better suited for smaller businesses that have no real intention of expanding very much down the road. That’s not to say that Big Cartel isn’t a good platform—it is. Not only does it feature great usability, but the template design tools make it possible to create eye-catching storefronts. So what are you waiting for? Give Big Cartel a try to find out if it’s a good fit for your business.

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