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Bigcommerce vs Bigcommerce Enterprise Review – Which Is Right For You?

I love Shark Tank. You probably do too. Watching spirited, small-time entrepreneurs pitch ideas to a lineup of who’s who investors is entertaining and invigorating, to say the least. We all know what happens in The Boardroom, but what happens after the contestants leave?

They go back to business and prepare for the big bump in customers due to their newfound fame. For many of Shark Tank’s e-commerce entrepreneurs, that also means preparing their Bigcommerce shopping cart platform for the uptick in traffic. I know they use it thanks to the company’s Better Backend campaign and I can’t say I’m surprised because of Bigcommerce’s recent successes. The platform is consistently ranked as one of the top three e-commerce platforms and it has just raised $50 million in Series D funding from some of the world’s top investors.

Enterprise Plan vs. Pre-Selected Plans

If you’re reading this article, there’s a good chance you’re considering or have chosen Bigcommerce as the platform for your growing business. But now you’ve come to a fork in the road – do you choose a pre-selected Gold or Platinum Plan, or do you elevate your initiative with Enterprise? You already know what Gold and Platinum Plans offer, but Enterprise is a bit of a mystery. What extra features do you get? Is it worth the big jump in price? Will Enterprise help your store grow with limitless potential? Or are the pre-selected plans a safer investment? Let me help you answer these questions.

Bigcommerce Enterprise Features

Before I divulge all the details, I want to make it known that I understand why the decision to ‘go Enterprise’ may be unsettling at first. It’s a big investment and there’s inherent risk to any business decision this big. That’s why I reached out to my contact at Bigcommerce, Elsa O’Donnell, who quickly responded, “Enterprise is for stores that are on a strong trajectory for growth. They need Enterprise features and Enterprise service”. And she’s right – you either know that you need it or you don’t, and hopefully this article will give you that answer right away.

‘White Glove’ Data Migration

Let’s be serious – data migration is a nightmare, especially for stores with thousands of products, customization options, and other variants. Sometimes the migration costs more than the entire development project because it’s so labor intensive! So having Bigcommerce perform your data migration is SUPER helpful. But what makes Enterprise’s “white glove” migration better than Platinum’s standard data migration? Platinum data migration is limited to a specific set of platforms that Bigcommerce supports, while Enterprise is open for all platforms (even custom ones) and is led by an implementation specialist.

High Availability Servers & Uptime

Fast servers and uptime guarantees are crucial for running your e-commerce store 24/7. Standard plans like Gold and Platinum rely on an Amazon hosting environment (public servers, often shared). Enterprise stores, on the other hand, are hosted on IBM High Availability servers that are boxed out from other IBM customers (private).

If you’re running on a shared or VPS environment now, a dedicated server probably isn’t very important to you. However, those of you managing a dedicated server now should realize the large costs this Enterprise feature could eliminate. For example, I have a client running Magento on a Hostway setup that’s costing them $2,000/month just for the server.

In addition, there is an option for SLA with Guaranteed Uptime and response time.

  • Less than 99.9% but equal to or greater than 99.8% – 10% of monthly subscription credited back to customer’s account
  • Less than 99.8% but equal to or greater than 99.5% – 30% of monthly subscription credited back to customer’s account
  • Less than 99.5% – 100% of monthly subscription credited back to customer’s account

Top-Level Support

When problems arise (which they always do), standard plans start at Level 1 support and have to escalate it from there. Enterprise clients are given priority access to Level 2 support, helping resolve problems much quicker with technicians who are more experienced with the platform.

However, support goes much farther than that. You might notice that Platinum Plans get ‘White Glove Setup’. This is awesome during the initial phases of setup, but once you launch your store you’ve got to get back in line with everyone else. Enterprise gives you a dedicated Account Manager, or personal Ecommerce Expert, who will be there through setup and beyond. How many dedicated experts? It all depends on your business. If you’re making $1 million in revenue annually, you’ll probably get one, but if you’re raking in $5-10 million, you could expect more. I don’t have exact numbers, but you get the point.

Other Features

Of course, there are plenty of other cool features you get with Enterprise, like:

  • Unlimited API calls
  • Product Option Filtering
  • Marketing and Merchandising Reporting with the new Bigcommerce Analytics

You also get early access to new feature rollouts, which is great if you’ve been seeking something specific.

Pricing

Now you know the what, but it all comes down to the how much. You can clearly see that Platinum goes for $199.95/month, however Enterprise is much less defined. A lot of the pricing depends on your needs (do you need 1 or 3 dedicated Experts? Is your migration standard or custom?), but you can expect to see a price around $1000-1500/month on average. Yes, it’s significantly higher than the highest pre-selected plan, but the idea is that you’re getting everything Bigcommerce can offer along with a top-notch hosting setup.

Conclusion

Enterprise does offer a lot of perks for growing businesses: data migration from any platform, faster and more reliable servers, the best customer support. If you’re a fast-growing company currently using a custom ecommerce platform and require the best of the best to keep things running, then Enterprise is definitely for you. With all the rave reviews about Bigcommerce, you can trust that they’ll take care of your business and make sure your money is well spent.

But the companies needing Enterprise represent only a small percent of companies. For everyone else, you’re probably just as well off with Plus or Pro. Are you really going to use over 60,000 API calls? How many times do you require Level 2 support? Do you need another analytics report? If you run some calculations, you’ll probably realize quite quickly that what you need isn’t worth $12,000 per year.

It’s certainly okay if you don’t meet these requirements right now, because you may get there one day. As Elsa pointed out, “the great thing about Bigcommerce is that we have clients who started on Standard and have organically grown to Enterprise level clients in just a couple of years.” The possibilities are endless, but it takes making smart decisions at every turn, and deciding whether Bigcommerce Enterprise is right for you is one of them. Once you’ve made that decision, the experts at Bigcommerce and LeapGo will be there to lend a helping hand!

If you’re considering Bigcommerce Enterprise, you’d be best served having an impartial agency at your site to help you navigate through the sea of options and choices. We’d love to be that agency.  It costs nothing to talk to us, so why not?