Big Commerce – The Natural Choice for Firearms Business

December 20, 2018
December 20, 2018 BrentAlpha

We have only been a BigCommerce Certified Partner for a short period of time, but we have learned so much, and to be honest, Shopify pushing firearms companies off their platform was one of the better things to happen to us. Not to minimize the pain and financial loss of those businesses that are still struggling. But BigCommerce offers way more than Shopify ever could at comparable or slightly higher (at the Enterprise Level) pricing.

We have a few clients on Enterprise and several on the more generic Standard, Plus and Pro subscriptions. The full range of what BigCommerce hs to offer is miles beyond what Shopify can do for you. And some of the biggest feature are not even listed. Like Freedom.

Unlike Shopify, BigCommerce doesn’t make any money off merchant processing. Their revenue stream is based on their SaaS (software as a service) platform and vendor relationships. The biggest issue with Shopify was increase per transaction rates if you didn’t use Stripe. Yes they call it Shopify Payments but it’s actually Stripe. And Stripe is overtly anti-gun.

With BigCommerce you can show up with damn near any merchant processing scheme there is. The list they support is massive and growing daily. On at least one occasion we had them onboard a processor (though it took some time) specifically for that client. Granted that client was billing millions a year and were on the high-end of the Enterprise plan, but their willingness to do business of the usually cookie cutter service offerings was refreshing. 

The other marked difference with BigCommerce is the functionality that is built in and does NOT require apps. Both BigCommerce and Shopify offer extended functionality via third parry apps, like custom shipping rates and rules (ShipperHQ), postage printing and shipping management (Shipstation and Ordoro) and other options like mapping and return authorization.

But the list of base features, even on the BigCommerce Standard package, far outreaches Shopify. At the Plus level ($79 a month USD) you get things like Customer Groups, Abandoned Cart Saver and Stored Credit cards built right in, no need for an app. At Pro, you can tack on Google Reviews, Faceted Search, a super powerful way of letting your customers search your products lists, and a custom SSL that reflects your domain, not a shared one as on Standard and Plus.

The other MAJOR reason we guide our customers to BigCommerce is something almost no one understands outside the SaaS vertical. PCI Compliance. PCI is the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard. The group sets and maintains credit card security standards. Regardless of how your website is bolted together, you have to meet certain criteria in order maintain a relationship with your merchant processor. BigCommerce handles all the PCI compliance issues with their merchant plugins (free) and the entire yearly process of vetting and confirming your compliance is eliminated.


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Brent is a long time IT guru, ex-Army Reserve (no tours) gun loving fool who parlayed his IT and firearms addictions into a filmmaking and marketing career. He has been in the firearms/tactical sector in Canada and the US in various roles for 12 years. Currently he is CEO at Telos Alpha, CTO at Telos One, and volunteers his time and skills at Quinte Humane Society and the Trenton and Belleville Military Family Resource Centers.

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