How much for a kick-ass Bigcommerce or 3dcart site?

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I want to move a client off zencart. He's got lots of traffic but conversion is low. I just don't think zencart can handle conversion rate optimization. All changes require editing PHP/HTML. I can do that and I would if I had to, but there has to be a better way.

I was wondering how much it would cost to get a really slick Bigcommerce or 3dCart site for about 1,000 products.

I mean, including a great design, the apps you can't live without, like that. Anyone have any experience or thoughts?

thanks in advance.
#3dcart #bigcommerce #kickass #site
  • Profile picture of the author serpyre
    Honestly, they are on the same level so you are replacing like for like - more or less. We have tried advising people what is happening but there appears to be a consensus that it is business as usual - a new recession is coming next year. Depressing, yes, but at least you can get off the tracks before the train comes - least worst result.

    From a cost point of view the standard IT budget is 5% of revenue, of which consulting is 35% of that, hosting 20% and platform 10-20%. The truth is that it should take days to implement and be running - you do not need anything fancy - it just needs to look professional and trustworthy. Most will quote weeks to months adding extra code to justify chargeable time – medium to long term it causes serious problems.

    Basically you can buy an off the shelf theme, find yourself some decent Tier 3/4 or 5/6 hosting and launch – reality is that a service provider should be charging high $100s for it – but you can normally double that for chargeable time justification. The thing with the platforms you’re quoting is they have an upper limit of organic at around $50,000 revenue per year, after that it is your hard work and time. Magento is better for growth but it is harder to implement – this should take weeks and be as minimal as possible.

    Conversions are averaging 2.5% across the board however SMEs are running 5-10x less efficient so conversions can easily be 0.5% and be normal - obviously it depends on sector. The best is to take the largest corporate in your market – find their conversions – and reduce by 5-10x. The quick solution is ad-remarking for conversions – it was designed specifically for the task – then you get in to things like payment gateways, shipping costs, pricing, however these are qualitative so you will spend 3-6mths trying to figure it out. If ad-remarketing does not double your conversions within 2-3wks then you have a fundamental business issue – often due to pricing and/or trust.

    The real problem you have is this, you want to generate growth in a downturn environment. In most situations the best case advice will keep stability (until next year) – neutral advice is a decline and worst case will put you out of business. We use information from enterprise consultants so best case is exponential growth, neutral is some growth and worst case is stability. It is the reason you will see department store YOY sales growth of 20-50% whereas SMES will be static or declining – they are absorbing the SME business.

    You can use these for reference - the business forum posts will actually repress any growth but they did not understand those concepts so we decided to stop participating - it's a shame as the real business people will be taken out.

    There are many ways to solve the same problem, but ultimately it comes down to how much time you are willing to spend, remmeber we in Q3 and a high proportion of sales are made in Q4, so if you miss Q4 sales for most sectors you will reduce your revenue by 50% for the year.

    How to increase traffic?
    http://www.warriorforum.com/ecommerc...-optimize.html
    People leaving at the checkout page on my website | Page 3 | UK Business Forums
    What marketing has actually worked for your online business? | Page 3 | UK Business Forums
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    • Profile picture of the author Dog Rescuer
      Originally Posted by serpyre View Post

      Honestly, they are on the same level so you are replacing like for like
      Not replacing 3dcart/bigcommerce. One of those would replace zencart. There you do not have a like for like.


      - more or less. We have tried advising people what is happening but there appears to be a consensus that it is business as usual - a new recession is coming next year. Depressing, yes, but at least you can get off the tracks before the train comes - least worst result.

      What do you base that on?

      From a cost point of view the standard IT budget is 5% of revenue, of which consulting is 35% of that, hosting 20% and platform 10-20%. The truth is that it should take days to implement and be running - you do not need anything fancy - it just needs to look professional and trustworthy. Most will quote weeks to months adding extra code to justify chargeable time – medium to long term it causes serious problems.
      Excellent breakdown. The store has 25k revenue/month. So by this calcuation:
      IT: $15k
      Consulting: $5250
      Hosting: $3k
      Platform: $1500-$3000

      The question is, would I get a decent bigcommerce/3dcart for $1500-$3000.

      Basically you can buy an off the shelf theme,
      The site has a custom zen cart theme. I need to match it. How much should I expect to pay for a custom theme?


      find yourself some decent Tier 3/4 or 5/6 hosting
      Sorry what are these tiers?

      and launch – reality is that a service provider should be charging high $100s for it – but you can normally double that for chargeable time justification. The thing with the platforms you’re quoting is they have an upper limit of organic at around $50,000 revenue per year, after that it is your hard work and time.
      What limit is this? Do the stores break? Or are you saying that marketing efforts must increase significantly to get $300k a year?


      Magento is better for growth but it is harder to implement – this should take weeks and be as minimal as possible.
      I looked at the code when it came out. I felt like I was caught inside spider's web. My motto is: If you think you're going to change Magento, don't buy it.

      Conversions are averaging 2.5% across the board however SMEs are running 5-10x less efficient so conversions can easily be 0.5% and be normal - obviously it depends on sector. The best is to take the largest corporate in your market – find their conversions – and reduce by 5-10x.
      Precisely why I want a new platform. I don't want to edit html and PHP for every A/B test.

      The quick solution is ad-remarking for conversions – it was designed specifically for the task – then you get in to things like payment gateways, shipping costs, pricing, however these are qualitative so you will spend 3-6mths trying to figure it out. If ad-remarketing does not double your conversions within 2-3wks then you have a fundamental business issue – often due to pricing and/or trust.
      Fantastic suggestion. Are there any services you feel are trustworthy you wouldn't mind mentioning?

      The real problem you have is this, you want to generate growth in a downturn environment. In most situations the best case advice will keep stability (until next year) – neutral advice is a decline and worst case will put you out of business. We use information from enterprise consultants so best case is exponential growth, neutral is some growth and worst case is stability. It is the reason you will see department store YOY sales growth of 20-50% whereas SMES will be static or declining – they are absorbing the SME business.

      You can use these for reference - the business forum posts will actually repress any growth but they did not understand those concepts so we decided to stop participating - it's a shame as the real business people will be taken out.

      There are many ways to solve the same problem, but ultimately it comes down to how much time you are willing to spend, remmeber we in Q3 and a high proportion of sales are made in Q4, so if you miss Q4 sales for most sectors you will reduce your revenue by 50% for the year.

      How to increase traffic?
      http://www.warriorforum.com/ecommerc...-optimize.html
      People leaving at the checkout page on my website | Page 3 | UK Business Forums
      What marketing has actually worked for your online business? | Page 3 | UK Business Forums


      I am not sure why you believe your views on the economy but I will read those articles.

      Since all boats float in the good times, it's my believe that investment in conversion is that much more important during a downturn.

      thanks for the most excellent response.
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  • Profile picture of the author dadamson
    In my opinion and experience I would personally go with Wordpress and WooCommerce due to the customisation and flexibility of these platforms.

    I have been working with clients to monitor traffic and conversions to make tweaks which have resulted in a much higher conversion rate which means plenty more profit to the client.

    You can use plugins such as WP All Import to transfer the entire product list over including images, descriptions, variations, etc.

    Cheers,
    Dave
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    • Profile picture of the author serpyre
      Originally Posted by dadamson View Post

      I have been working with clients to monitor traffic and conversions to make tweaks which have resulted in a much higher conversion rate which means plenty more profit to the client.
      Do you want to provide so examples of how they would do this

      We user Tier 1/2 hosting for the organic traffic and re-marketing for the conversions with fixed price shipping. If you have some hard numbers it would help them - for us we use Net-A-Porter as a reference which has a 5% conversion rate and $500/order average, so for a new startup always target 1% conversion and $100/order average upfront before adding re-marketing or incentives (5:1 compared to Net-A-Porter).
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    • Profile picture of the author Dog Rescuer
      Originally Posted by dadamson View Post

      In my opinion and experience I would personally go with Wordpress and WooCommerce due to the customisation and flexibility of these platforms.
      Can WooCommerce handle 1,000 products? $25k revenue/month? Attributes (small, medium, large). Stock counts changing based on sales?

      I have been working with clients to monitor traffic and conversions to make tweaks which have resulted in a much higher conversion rate which means plenty more profit to the client.

      You can use plugins such as WP All Import to transfer the entire product list over including images, descriptions, variations, etc.

      Cheers,
      Dave
      thanks very much for this info.
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    • Profile picture of the author Dog Rescuer
      dadamson - can woo commerce handle stock attributes products, i.e., separate stock keeping for small, medium, large, or brown, yellow, red of a product?

      Originally Posted by dadamson View Post

      In my opinion and experience I would personally go with Wordpress and WooCommerce due to the customisation and flexibility of these platforms.

      I have been working with clients to monitor traffic and conversions to make tweaks which have resulted in a much higher conversion rate which means plenty more profit to the client.

      You can use plugins such as WP All Import to transfer the entire product list over including images, descriptions, variations, etc.

      Cheers,
      Dave
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    • Profile picture of the author Dog Rescuer
      Originally Posted by dadamson View Post

      In my opinion and experience I would personally go with Wordpress and WooCommerce due to the customisation and flexibility of these platforms.

      I have been working with clients to monitor traffic and conversions to make tweaks which have resulted in a much higher conversion rate which means plenty more profit to the client.

      You can use plugins such as WP All Import to transfer the entire product list over including images, descriptions, variations, etc.

      Cheers,
      Dave
      Hey Dave, we are moving a zen cart and an oscommerce site to Woocommerce. Thanks for your input. It's been a fun ride so far.
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  • Profile picture of the author OnlineStoreHelp
    Originally Posted by Dog Rescuer View Post

    I want to move a client off zencart. He's got lots of traffic but conversion is low. I just don't think zencart can handle conversion rate optimization. All changes require editing PHP/HTML. I can do that and I would if I had to, but there has to be a better way.

    I was wondering how much it would cost to get a really slick Bigcommerce or 3dCart site for about 1,000 products.

    I mean, including a great design, the apps you can't live without, like that. Anyone have any experience or thoughts?

    thanks in advance.
    For under 3 grand you can have it built on Bigcommerce or 3dCart. 3Dcart has come a long way in the last year and has some functionality built in that BigCommerce doesn't (multi-warehouse for example)but BigCommerce still has the better third party ecosystem. If that is the route you want to go it shouldn't be to hard.

    That being said, have you checked out Magento CE or even Prestashop or Opencart? All three have a real strong third party developer market and as long as you test, there are some neat things you can do. Add on top of this, some really beautiful designs can be bought on the cheap. Just need better hosting is all.

    In my opinion and experience I would personally go with Wordpress and WooCommerce due to the customisation and flexibility of these platforms.
    Why take someone off a real shopping cart and put them onto a blogging platform that has been hacked (not a derogatory term) into a shopping cart.

    The thing with the platforms you're quoting is they have an upper limit of organic at around $50,000 revenue per year, after that it is your hard work and time.
    You keep quoting this yet there seems to be tons of people doing more then 50k in revenue a year on a variety of platforms so I have no idea what you are talking about.

    Honestly, they are on the same level so you are replacing like for like - more or less.
    I would disagree, I think the modern shopping carts all around are much more conversion oriented and user friendly than some of the legacy carts like zen and oscommerce. Add on top of this the modern design principals (I am shocked the number of table based sites I still see being built), that help make the site more readable and modern and the biggest issue with cart change is translating attributes and options over than anything else.

    The biggest issue you will have with the hosted carts is they more often then not don't allow you to import past orders which means you may need to stick with self hosted. You can import customers, just not past orders.
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  • Profile picture of the author Solid Commerce
    Both BigCommerce and 3dCart are shopping cart platforms that a TON of Solid Commerce customers swear by.

    They're both great options right out of the box, with a ton of great built-in features and responsive themes to choose from.
    Signature

    _ Sean B.
    Solid Commerce

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    • Profile picture of the author Dog Rescuer
      Originally Posted by Solid Commerce View Post

      Both BigCommerce and 3dCart are shopping cart platforms that a TON of Solid Commerce customers swear by.

      They're both great options right out of the box, with a ton of great built-in features and responsive themes to choose from.
      I've noticed some expensive themes and apps though. Add one app and a $50/month store because a $122/month store. Seems like it gets expensive fast.

      And custom template work? Am I looking at hundreds or thousands?
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    • Profile picture of the author Ryce
      Originally Posted by Solid Commerce View Post

      Both BigCommerce and 3dCart are shopping cart platforms that a TON of Solid Commerce customers swear by.

      They're both great options right out of the box, with a ton of great built-in features and responsive themes to choose from.
      What is your client´s average opinion on Shopify?

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      • Profile picture of the author Solid Commerce
        Originally Posted by Ryce View Post

        What is your client´s average opinion on Shopify?
        Let me see if I can get that for you!

        Back with an answer as soon as I'm able to grab one for you.
        Signature

        _ Sean B.
        Solid Commerce

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    • Profile picture of the author Dog Rescuer
      Originally Posted by Solid Commerce View Post

      Both BigCommerce and 3dCart are shopping cart platforms that a TON of Solid Commerce customers swear by.

      They're both great options right out of the box, with a ton of great built-in features and responsive themes to choose from.
      Are there any must have add-ons or does everything come all in a the monthly package?
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  • Profile picture of the author serpyre
    They are all in the same category of platform, Nano Enterprise sub $200,000/yr revenue solutions (yes there are exceptions) averaging $50,000 revenue/yr. Magento CE is the next level up at Micro Enterprise.

    The venture capitalists who fund our platform and won't deal with anyone who is targeting less than +20% YOY growth.

    Yes, but you can also implement Magento CE for that price, we did one a few months ago for $2,500 - took 2wks - although we're not doing service provider work anymore.

    No you do need to match it, off the shelf theme <$100, usually get them from ThemeForest and choose a high sale one.

    Tier 3/4 are Nexcess, Tier 5/6 Sonassi, Tier 7 Siteground, we use Tier 1/2 but that is for corporates.

    Over $50,000/yr revenue it is your hard work on a Nano Enterprise platform, most service providers take week to months to implement and code things that are not necessary - it breaks the site and causes problems when trying to adjust to business conditions - so you can't react.

    You don't change Magento code, everything is ready to go, people only change it because they think they can gain an edge, what happens it that they lose the edge as they cannot react - everything has already been done before - just make yours the most trustworthy looking site - works 10x better.

    The platform won't necessarily change your conversions, it might but you would expect ~20% difference, pricing, trust, shipping costs all come in to play.

    Google remarketing seems the best at the moment, more exposure, just don't use GWT or Google Analytics - same as giving them the key to your front door, and we don't trust them that much.

    It is not believe, it is a fact that will present itself next year, from a venture capital company who trade forex, commodites - if you target 20% growth you will see flat sales next year, <20% and you will be negative, the department stores are growing 20-50% online sales each year - taking sales from the SMEs. Most SMEs are backward looking - so will know the train is there when it hits them - we were waiting on some solutions to be build so thought could pass the growth knowledge on to people - you are basically the first in one year of 100s to 1,000s of posts that actually asked questions - so at least we helped one person which is always good.

    Basically Magento CE is your platform as it designed for $200,000-$3million revenue, you are hitting the limits of WooCommerce at those levels. Sure, there are Nano Enterprises that make $millions on the platform, but you need to attach some intersting technology to make it work at those levels - we used some of it and although it works - it just feels limited.
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  • Profile picture of the author serpyre
    I would disagree
    Everyone always disagrees with us, we target growth and to do that you need to be in the top 5% - so by definition 95% will disagree (although it feels like 99% at the moment) - the top 5% of retailers generate 50% of all online revenue (comes down to trust) - hence their >20% YOY growth. Whether we get there or not is another matter - anyway we're going to be moving over to some different forums - well hopefully as they are closed invitation groups. Have some specialist consultants who worked for companies like Renault & L'Oreal participating (SAP) but also built layers that sit over Magento, WordPress, Drupal to make them act like a real enterprise solutions (rather than restricted open source platforms) - so get to see growth strategies which could be interesting given what the VCs told us.
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  • Profile picture of the author Dog Rescuer
    What does it cost to have a completely custom template created for big commerce?
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  • Profile picture of the author TejaswiR
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    • Profile picture of the author Dog Rescuer
      Originally Posted by TejaswiR View Post

      Some great data and tips
      thanks for your input!
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    • Profile picture of the author AadhyaMehra
      Banned
      Originally Posted by TejaswiR View Post

      Some great data and tips have been shared before on the budget, the strategy and steps to build your store theme. Just to add and maybe provide a different perspective, some of the best stores doing millions of dollars of business/ with world wide successful presence are built on basic customisation of Free Themes available on Bigcommerce.

      It's important to focus on branding of your store and if you do that, the design of the website falls into place organically. No expert coding needed.

      I analysed stores like 'Criquet Shirts', 'Mason Jars' and compiled the following list of Top 5 Free Bigcommerce Themes Used By Successful Stores
      Thanks for such info. I am thinking about whether I should opt for Bigcommerce or not. Your detailed information is clarified everything. Thanks once again for this, man.
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