Category: Marketing

New BigCommerce Apps for May, 2018

Are you too busy running your BigCommerce store to get over and see what’s new in the BigCommerce Apps Marketplace? Here’s a rundown of apps making their debut in the first quarter of 2018*. Have you tried any of these out in your store? If so, what did you think?


Shogun Landing Page Builder

Category: Merchandising

Description: Powerful drag and drop landing page builder. Create completely custom page layouts that use your theme’s styling.

Price: Starting at $29/month

Top 5 Features/Benefits:

  1. Limitless styling options allows for completely custom landing page and blog page creation.
  2. Expansive library of drag & drop elements, including image and video backgrounds, parallax, social and much more.
  3. Import and edit existing landing pages with the click of a button.
  4. Mobile responsive.
  5. Developer friendly: custom elements can be built by those who know HTML/Stencil, CSS, and JavaScript.

What We Like About It:

Having spent some time playing with Shogun, we can attest to how easy it is to use this app. Whether you need a landing page or a blog page, Shogun allows you to design on the fly — with no coding!


Elfsight Testimonials Slider

Category: Site Tools

Description: Want to display testimonials on your store? Testimonials Slider is a simple and easy-to-use tool to display customer testimonials how you want them.

Price: Free

Top 5 Features/Benefits:

  1. Shows testimonials written by both individuals and other businesses. Lists author data: name, position and company, photo, and link to author’s profile and/or website.
  2. Automatically chooses how many testimonials are displayed based on widget settings and positioning.
  3. Multiple display settings for sliders and grids.
  4. Single page and tiled templates available in three display styles.
  5. Support team available to answer questions and/or install the widget for you.

What We Like About It:

What’s more powerful than customer proof that your products are awesome? Testimonials Slider seems like a great way to format and display testimonials on your site that attract attention and add credence to your business.



Category: Marketing

Description: Create any type of web form for your store. Collect payments, generate leads and interact with your customers.

Price: Free

Top 5 Features/Benefits:

  1. Build any type of web form you want within minutes with no coding needed; advanced styling options.
  2. Adapt forms to your users’ responses with conditional logic.
  3. Process orders and collect payments by adding PayPal, Stripe, Square and more.
  4. Have your form translated in multiple languages.
  5. Powerful security measures such as IP limitation, country filters, password protection and SSL encryption.

What We Like About It:

If there are three words we like, they are “no coding needed”! Designing forms isn’t always fun, but this app helps makes it easy. For more info, visit 123 Form Builder’s website.



Category: CRM & Customer Service

Description: Engage with customers on your websites, social networks and messaging apps. Chat on the go, increase conversion and double up your sales.

Price: Free

Top 5 Features/Benefits:

  1. Connect your Facebook Page, Viber and Telegram accounts, and receive all the incoming messages into your Jivo app.
  2. Talk to your visitors anytime, anywhere via Android, iOS, Mac or Windows apps.
  3. See who is on your website, get their detailed info and proactively contact them.
  4. Offer calls to your clients via chat widget, be able to close deals on phone.
  5. 24/7 live support.

What We Like About It:

JivoChat helps business owners connect with customers where they are, and creates a hub for multiple social accounts, which is a real timesaver. For more information, visit JivoChat’s website.



Category: CRM & Customer Service

Description: Helps you get actionable insight from your BigCommerce order data into HubSpot

Price: $79/month. 14 day free trial.


Top 5 Features/Benefits:

  1. Real time sales metrics and contact syncing.
  2. No data storage.
  3. Single-click install.
  4. Automatic lifecycle stage advancement.
  5. Creates properties automatically.

What We Like About It:

Analytics can be a real pain, but they’re a necessary evil if you want to get important insights into your business. Hubmetrix harnesses the power of HubSpot in an easy, accessible way.



Category: Analytics & Reporting

Description: Reduce shopping cart abandonment, increase conversions, and recover lost sales by remarketing to customers through Facebook Messenger.

Price: $19.95/month. 30 day free trial.

Top 3 Features/Benefits:

  1. Monitors competitor prices, provides price change alerts, pricing analytics, and semi-automated repricing features.
  2. Monitors complex B2B sites, in-cart price capturing, and monitors prices on sites that do not want to be monitored.
  3. Define your own pricing strategies, identifying which products can go up/down in price, and get these prices changed in your BigCommerce store.

What We Like About It:

Taking the legwork — and the guesswork — out of product pricing helps online retailers stay competitive. For more information, visit Price2Spy’s website.



Category: Marketing

Description: Reduce shopping cart abandonment, increase conversions, and recover lost sales by remarketing to customers through Facebook Messenger.

Price: From $20/month. 10 day free trial.

Top 5 Features/Benefits:

  1. Helps simplify customer acquisition and support by providing a direct, conversational way for people to connect with your brand.
  2. Increases sales, conversion rates, and ad spend ROI with an abandoned cart reminder Facebook Messenger campaign.
  3. Gets your business, product or service in front of more people.
  4. Generates more leads and turns your conversations into conversions.
  5. Creates a scalable, real-time customer service experience that feels personal.

What We Like About It:

Find your customers where they are and go there. This app uses Facebook’s messenger to capture people at just the right time.



Category: B2B/Wholesale

Description: The leading B2B commerce platform for BigCommerce merchants selling to retailers and businesses. Transform your in-person and online sales.

Price: $79.95/month. 15 day free trial.

Top 5 Features/Benefits:

  1. Dedicated apps for sales reps in the field
  2. Advanced pricing management for B2B needs
  3. Bulk order entry workflows
  4. Robust inventory support
  5. Territory management

What We Like About It:

Handshake looks to be a great solution for sales teams on the go, especially those who do a lot of business at tradeshows. For more information, visit Handshake’s website.



Category: Merchandising

Description: Targeted product search tool helps customers find the right part fast via customizable search filters (like year/make/model).

Price: From $49.95/month. 7 day free trial.

Top 5 Features/Benefits:

  1. Reduces product returns
  2. Increases customer confidence
  3. Reduces support effort & staffing
  4. Increases conversion
  5. Quick and easy setup

What We Like About It:

We couldn’t resist including our new app for BigCommerce. PartFinder’s search widget makes it easy for customers to find part matches for any product, and it can be easily customized and positioned on your page. For more information, visit PartFinder’s website.



Category: Marketing

Description: Create a fun interactive slide-out with Gamify to help you get your store traffic into your mailing list and then to your checkout.

Price: Free

Top 4 Features/Benefits:

  1. Customers are incentivized to provide their email address in exchange to win something.
  2. Provides a customized, branded game experience (currently three games available, with more to come).
  3. “Prize” can be a coupon code or a physical prize — your choice.
  4. Games and prizes can be changed at any time to keep promotions fresh.

What We Like About It:

Gamification is an increasingly popular method of attracting customers. You control how the slide-out looks, how it’s triggered, and how the prizes are awarded.


Do you have a BigCommerce app that you’d like us to highlight? Please send us an email at and a link to the page in the Apps Marketplace. While we cannot guarantee your inclusion in this blog, a good detailed app page will give you a much better chance of being considered.

*Note: This list was compiled from public data on BigCommerce’s App Marketplace. Selections were chosen at random to represent a variety of categories and is not intended to be an endorsement of any app (except our PartFinder app, that is :).

3 Lessons from The Natural Grip’s Shark Tank Experience

Recently The Natural Grip was featured on Shark Tank, ABC’s investment television show. The Natural Grip is a one year old company that sells reusable tape hand grips that protect your hands during CrossFit training. They do business primarily through distributors but also have an online store, hosted on Bigcommerce’s ecommerce platform.

The company has seen great growth in its first year and shows a lot of promise. So much promise, in fact, that it generated a heated bidding war between investors Robert Herjavec and Daymond John. Eventually Herjavec won and invested $125,000 for a 25% stake in the company.  The exposure they have received from their TV appearance, along with Mr Herjavec’s expertise, seems to guarantee that The Natural Grip will see continued growth and expansion.  Here are a few takeaways from the show and our experience visiting their website.

The Natural Grip on Shark Tank

Ashley Drake on ABC’s Shark Tank


Lesson #1: Focus on Your Goal

As an entrepreneur, you wear many hats and are pulled in numerous directions. Furthermore, with all the challenges you face, it can be easy to be blown by the wind and chase after every possible revenue opportunity.

From The Natural Grip’s experience on Shark Tank, we learned that they are extremely focused.

Mark Cuban: “I don’t think you want to expand outside of CrossFit. That’s not the opportunity. The opportunity is adding additional products that leverage your credibility and the trust you’ve developed.”

Ashley Drake: “Right now though, let’s deal with this… what we have going on.”

Without losing sight of future opportunities, she maintained her focus on her existing product in the untapped market before her. That’s not an easy thing to do when talking to a billionaire with a lofty vision for your company.

Now, what Cuban says makes sense in a lot of contexts. However, for a young company that has yet to fully find their identity and take advantage of what lies before them, it’s not the  best idea. Too many people jump at every opportunity – never finishing what they started.

With finite bandwidth, you cannot do everything. Excel at one thing first.

Click to Tweet

For your business or online store, you might find yourself in similar scenarios, but don’t get distracted. Focus and achieve your goals, then move on.


Lesson #2: Go All In

Like many entrepreneurs, founder Ashley Drake and her family are fully committed to the business. Although she is an active duty Captain in the Army Corp of Engineers, she finds time to dedicate to the business by sleeping less than four hours per night. On top of that, her husband has left his day job to commit full time to the business.

Rarely do entrepreneurs survive, let alone succeed, without this type of dedication. Of course, timing and preparation are key. Long gone are the days when you could merely open an online store and easily get sales. Commit to the journey.

Sacrifice and commitment are critical to your success.

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It is critical to understand the vision and see the endgame. However, don’t expect that you will get to the finish line without putting in hard work first.


Lesson #3: Optimize Your Website

While The Natural Grip shared on Shark Tank that they have built the business through distributors, they have focused some of their effort online as well. They have an online store — hosted on Bigcommerce’s ecommerce platform — on a subdomain, as well as a basic site with a fancy parallax splash page featuring their Shark Tank experience and their products.

While Bigcommerce was a great choice for their ecommerce platform, the website is poorly optimized for online visibility.   Hopefully they become aware of this while the company is still young, because it can impact their presence and sales significantly.  Not once is CrossFit included in a page title, URL, or H1 tag! Only one product has a product review, and none of them are marked up with structured data.

The results of all this? See for yourself — Google “crossfit grips” and see what happens. They are nowhere to be found (though their Facebook page shows up at the bottom of page one of the search results).

There are also a few critical user experience issues such as not having their own SSL certificate, and forcing users to check out on an unbranded URL ( instead of their own domain. As a result of the splash page, root domain site, store site, and unbranded checkout, there are multiple different experiences that potential customers have to navigate through to buy the product. These types of user experience challenges can seriously hurt a store’s conversion rate.

Don’t get so caught up in the business that you forget to do your due diligence on this critical marketing channel. Even if the focus is not on online sales, potential retailers and distributors are going to have a hard time finding The Natural Grip over their competitors.

Don’t forget about your users.  Make it easy for them to find you.

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It is critical that you optimize your website for both online search and user experience. If you don’t know how, start by filling in the standard fields with descriptive text as if talking to a customer. From there you can learn more about online search or hire an ecommerce SEO agency to help you out. Be sure to have a friend (or a stranger) go through your website for the first time – with no background – and share their experiences.


There are always lessons to be learned from observing others’ experiences.  We wish The Natural Grip continued success in their growing business, both wholesale and online.

How to Add a WordPress Blog to your Bigcommerce Store

Despite the addition of an integrated blogging feature in Bigcommerce earlier this year, many store owners still want the power and flexibility of a WordPress blog for their website. While you cannot install WordPress onto Bigcommerce’ servers to fully integrate the code into the Bigcommerce system, it is possible to have it function together well with your online store.

Integrate WordPress into your Bigcommerce Store

How it Works

Effectively you have to set the blog up on a subdomain (ie that is hosted elsewhere. By doing so, you can control the environment to be able to install WordPress onto the server and modify as desired. In doing so, there will be 2 sites (store & blog) running on 2 platforms (Bigcommerce & WordPress) hosted on 2 servers (Bigcommerce server & other) all creating 1 unified experience.

This allows you to take advantage of the flexibility of WordPress for your blog while retaining the power of Bigcommerce for your online store.

The image below demonstrate what this looks like.

WordPress Blog on a Subdomain

How to Integrate WordPress & your Bigcommerce Store

Step 1: Set up your Hosting

The first step is to set up a hosting account (unless you already have one you can use) with a website hosting company. Typically people use GoDaddy, Bluehost or a similar hosting service. We highly recommend Bluehost for use with this.

Quick Disclaimer: we are a Bluehost affiliate and do get a minor commission if you click on that link but most hosting companies offer similar programs and we choose Bluehost because we have had great experiences using them ourselves for over 8 years.

The hosting account is where website files are stored and the server-side code is run (WordPress is built on PHP which is processed by the server). You will want to host on a Linux server as IIS is more complicated to set WordPress up on and is not recommended.

Step 2: Install & Configure WordPress

Most hosting companies now have easy “single click” installations of WordPress. This means that the hosting company has an automated process to help you with this installation.

When adding WordPress onto a subdomain you will want to set that up prior to beginning this installation process.

Be sure to install WordPress onto the subdomain you have set up for your store (and not onto some other location). This process is quite simple with the only other key to success really being that you need to remember the username and password you set up.

Step 3: Change your DNS Settings

Once ready, you need to make the necessary changes to point the subdomain at your WordPress hosting. If you are not familiar with DNS, this process effectively maps the location of your website’s subdomain to the server where your blog resides.

Most of you will have pointed your domain’s nameservers at Bigcommerce. In that case, you will likely want to set up an A record to point at the IP address of your self-hosted WordPress blog. If you don’t know how to find that, just call or chat with your hosting company’s support team.

To set up the DNS records on Bigcommerce:

  1. Login to your Bigcommerce store dashboard as an Administrator
  2. Go to Setup & Tools > DNS Records
  3. Add an A Record where your “Fully Qualified Host” is your new blog subdomain (ie and your “Value” is the IP Address you tracked down for the hosting server

Bigcommerce DNS Settings

DNS setups can be very complicated and vary widely. We highly recommend you ensure you know what you are doing (and take note of current settings) prior to making any changes.

Note: propagation (the process of these changes pushing to servers around the world) can take up to 72 hours but typically you will see this change within a couple hours.


That’s it! It’s time to implement all those blogging and content marketing plans.

Still Sound Complicated?

Stop Struggling. Hire Us to Do It For You.

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Why Would You Want to Use WordPress with your Bigcommerce Store?

There are many great reasons to use WordPress to host you blog (or other content). Here are some of the top ones:

  • Flexibility – you have access to all the source code to make it do whatever you want
  • Ubiquity – while there are some 55,000 stores on Bigcommerce, WordPress is the platform that runs over 13 million websites around the world. Support & developers are easy to find
  • Plugins – you can choose from thousands of plugins to help with site layout, functionality, SEO optimization and much more

What if I Want a Seamless Experience?

Some of you will be content with a blog that does not match your Bigcommerce theme. Other will be looking for a much more unified experience. Your blog experience can range from totally different from your Bigcommerce store to a truly seamless experience where the user does not realize they are moving back and forth unless looking at the URL. We have worked on every range and while it takes a whole lot of work to offer a seamless integration, it can provide a really great user experience to complement your online store.

What Are the Alternatives?

There are not too many alternatives to this setup. The top contender is Bigcommerce’ built-in blogging. While it will never be as powerful as WordPress, it is a decent option. Other alternatives would be to do this exact same thing just with some other blogging platform other than WordPress.

Step by Step Guide