In 2016, BigCommerce stacked hands on a bold mission: to empower retailers, developers and partners to build world class sites in a fraction of the time as other ecommerce platforms.
We wanted retailers to have a pool of modern, beautiful, fully responsive themes that would empower their brand, drive more sales and engage with shoppers — both today and tomorrow — in ways they previously couldn’t.
Our strong community of merchants, developers and partners stepped up and helped us build that theme platform.
In early 2016, we released an early access edition of this new theme platform. Then, throughout the year, we spent countless hours speaking with many of you to incorporate your feedback to build themes that were faster, stronger and more beautiful.
We poured through net promoter score studies, support inquiries and surveys to drastically improve the quality of our new themes and framework.
Today, through that feedback, we are proud to announce the full release of the new BigCommerce theme development platform and theme marketplace.
We hope this new platform feels as much yours as it does ours.
Let’s have a look at what’s new.
We’ve eliminated the disadvantages of our old Style Editor.
We’ve removed the need to edit HTML/CSS for things like inserting credit card logos, social media icons, adjusting the size of your images, adjusting the number of featured/popular/new products, and more. You can now do all of this within your new Theme Editor, without needing to touch the code.
Click on the photo to see the full image.
For those not afraid to get their hands a little dirty in HTML and CSS, don’t worry! With our edit theme files capability, you can easily access the HTML and CSS code to fully customize your site and build upon already existing templates.
Regardless of how you choose to edit and customize your theme, you’ll be able to preview your new site on desktop, mobile, or tablet –– all from one screen.
Merchants can no longer afford to have a non-responsive site. Here are just a few case studies.
Kelty is one of several Exxel Outdoors brands.
We want to make sure that someone on our site is having a great experience no matter what device they’re on.
Exxel Outdoors migrated 10 sites from an ASP.net framework to BigCommerce specifically for a mobile-responsive experience. It was clear their audience was mobile-driven, and traffic was high from mobile devices. Mobile conversions, though, remained incredibly low.
Once Exxel Outdoors launched all 10 sites, including Kelty and Sierra Designs, on the new BigCommerce theme framework, the team immediately began to see the revenue benefit.
“Mobile is very important to us,” said Cory Barnes, Digital Marketing Manager for Exxel Outdoors. “If you look at the percentage of visitors that are using mobile devices or tablets, the number increases every year. We expect that trend to continue and we want to make sure that someone on our site is having a great experience no matter what device they’re on.”
Sadly we can’t move things over to BigCommerce every month!
BPI Sports predominantly sells through retail channels, like Walmart and GNC, as well as online channels like Amazon. They are one of the largest supplement companies around today, and are increasingly competing with a new breed of online direct-to-consumer supplement companies.
Online sales is a part of their business they aimed to grow in order to own a direct relationship with their customer.
Realizing the importance of mobile in doing this, they launched a mobile responsive site dedicated to ease of use and customer UX.
Since then, mobile revenue has shot up 120% and mobile conversions 49%. All in less than a month.
“Sadly we can’t move things over to BigCommerce every month,” says Bill Maroulis, Digital Strategy Director at BPI Sports. “Even our organic traffic went up 60 to 90%!”
BigCommerce is the Digital Wallet Powerhouse
BigCommerce is the only ecommerce platform that comes out of the box with proven mobile conversion tools like Apple Pay and PayPal One Touch. For brands focused on mobile growth, these two digital wallets drive high conversion rates through single touch checkout.
“Having my audience be on a mobile platform, I want to encourage that impulse buy,” says Brandon Chatham, CEO of NatoMounts. “To do that, I needed to implement systems that would allow them to checkout in literal seconds. I use PayPal, Amazon, Stripe and ApplePay to do that with BigCommerce. In the first week after we launched, we had a new visitor land on the site and hit the finish order page in less than 43 seconds.”
Designed in partnership with the award winning design agency Pixel Union, our new themes are optimized for various size product catalogs, industries and promotions.
Better yet, our customers’ customers are taking note.
Sales are up 320%!
“Upgrading to a BigCommerce-designed theme was a huge win for us,” says Elizabeth Przygoda-Montgomery, Owner at BoxHill. “We now have complete control over the minor changes we wish to make on our store, and our customers have noticed, too!”
“Everyone remarks on the beautiful design and comments on what a clean store we have. We find that publications are more inclined to promote our store because of the new design, and vendors who have said ‘no’ to us in the past are now selling their products to us because of the improved, professional look. Sales are up 320%!”
For customers migrating from our legacy theme development platform, we’ve included tools for an easy migration. Your SEO and product data will all transfer to your new theme, and with our theme preview capability, you’ll be able to see what your current store looks like on a new theme without any obligation to buy.
It took less than one day for me to design and launch!”
“In the last few months, we switched to a new Stencil theme. While maintaining the same great SEO we’ve enjoyed, we could launch a new website that showed off our new focus in business,” says Christopher White, CEO at Ichiban Toys. “Since all of our customer and product data remains in the system, it took less than one day for me to design and launch!”
The platform just does the work for you. That really adds up.
“There are some built in things on the backend of BigCommerce that I think people don’t even notice, like automatic URL redirects that are built when you change a product title,” says John McCann, CEO of Spectrum Audio. “Stuff like that –– where the platform just does the work for you –– really adds up. You can import redirects into BigCommerce. Even if you have a developer who knows how to do that, you’re still paying him to do something that’s built into BigCommerce automatically.”
All new BigCommerce themes also come with a fully responsive one-page checkout and checkout editor that enables you to change the look and feel of your checkout, including button colors, fonts and checkout header.
We basically gain an entire team of product designers and developers by using BigCommerce.
“We basically gain an entire team of product designers and developers by using BigCommerce who are dedicated to making our checkout experience the best it can be,” says Dylan Staley, Systems Engineer at Marucci Sports. “One other neat thing about letting BigCommerce control our checkout is that we were able to begin accepting Apple Pay with a few button clicks!”
Each of our new themes follows best practices for ecommerce design, conversion and search engine optimization. Over the coming year, we’ll be releasing additional themes that will continue to incorporate the feedback of a constantly changing world.
If you have thoughts, ideas or questions, please leave them below! You can browse all current themes here.
Want to dive deeper into the BigCommerce features and integrations that will make your webstore stand apart from the rest? Check out the 43 BigCommerce secrets the fastest growing brands use right now.
Deniz Ibrahim is the co-founder of Who’s Your Fanny, an online retailer that sells fanny packs. Deniz is also a former Director of Product Marketing at BigCommerce, where he was focused on introducing new features to BigCommerce merchants. He has a decade of experience in a variety of product and marketing roles. He has also previously held positions at American Express and Seamless.