BigCommerce is a popular eCommerce platform for businesses of all sizes, but many BigCommerce users eventually decide to move their online store to a different provider. One of the most common reasons is cost, as BigCommerce's pricing structure can significantly cut into the budget of a growing business. Other BigCommerce store owners choose to migrate in search of an eCommerce platform that offers more essential features at a lower price point.
3dcart is a popular choice for former BigCommerce store owners because it includes a larger feature set at a lower price, and also because BigCommerce's revenue tiers cause a growing business's monthly fee to grow rapidly. Of course, the thought of switching platforms can be intimidating, as many business owners have concerns about data loss, store downtime, or other problems. There's no need to worry, however — switching from BigCommerce to 3dcart is easier than you might think. This step-by-step guide will help you through the process.
Signing up for 3dcart only takes a few minutes, and doesn't require any credit card information until you choose your plan. Once you sign up, you can immediately access a 15-day free trial that gives you an opportunity to learn more about the 3dcart software. If you're not in a rush to migrate your store, take some time to familiarize yourself with 3dcart and how it differs from BigCommerce. If you need help, our support team is available 24/7 every day of the year, including holidays.
For best results, you should choose your 3dcart plan before you start importing your products. All 3dcart plans are cost-effective for businesses in different stages. To decide on the best plan for your business, look at 3dcart's eCommerce hosting plans and compare the features and pricing. There are no contracts and you can change your plan anytime, so don't worry too much if you have difficulty choosing.
To make it easier for you to select the best 3dcart plan, let's go over your business's needs, budget, and revenue and hold them up against the BigCommerce plan you were using. The best rule of thumb for comparing BigCommerce plans to 3dcart plans is to first evaluate which features you need, and then see if you can drop down to a 3dcart plan lower in tier than your BigCommerce plan due to 3dcart's much larger revenue tiers.
If you were on BigCommerce's Standard Plan ($29.95/month), the smoothest transition is to migrate to 3dcart Basic at $29/month. You'll be migrating to a plan in the same general tier, saving $11.40/year by eliminating that extra $0.95/month, and accessing some new features in the process. For example, Persistent Carts and Google Customer Reviews are reserved for higher BigCommerce plans but included on all 3dcart plans.
If your primary concern is your budget and you only chose BigCommerce Standard because it was the cheapest plan available, switching to 3dcart Startup ($19/month) will reduce your monthly fee by $10.95. You'll still have access to tons of features, unlimited products, and more.
If you were on BigCommerce's Plus plan ($79.95/month), the closest 3dcart counterpart is 3dcart Plus for $79/month and carrying a similar but slightly larger feature set. However, consider why you are using BigCommerce Plus: are you actually making use of the features and feel as if it's the correct plan for your business, or have you simply been boosted into it because your trailing 12-month sales volume exceeded BigCommerce Standard's limit of $50k? If it's the latter case and you're making between $50k and $100k in online sales per year, you can comfortably fit within 3dcart Basic for $29/month as long as you are satisfied with the included features. This will save you $50.95/month.
If you were on BigCommerce's Pro plan ($249.95/month), the most similar 3dcart plan is 3dcart Pro at $229/month, which includes more features than BigCommerce Pro while saving you $20.95/month. Just like with BigCommerce Plus, though, you should determine whether your business is using that plan because of its features or simply after being placed there due to your revenue exceeding $150k in online sales per year. If the latter case is true, your business could be fine with 3dcart Plus ($79/month for businesses making up to $250k in trailing 12-month sales volume).
If you do decide to use 3dcart Pro, your new plan can handle $1M in online sales per year, over twice the sales volume of BigCommerce Pro. This is especially important if you're currently using BigCommerce Pro and paying the extra overage fee of $150/month for every $200k in online sales per year over the limit of $400k. By switching from BigCommerce, you'll see your monthly fee drop by the hundreds.
Tip: If you don't have a lot of products or just prefer to do things manually, you can skip the product migration outlined in steps 3 and 4 and instead opt to create the products manually in the 3dcart dashboard. However, you'll probably still want to migrate your customers, which we cover in Step 5.
BigCommerce provides tools for you to export several types of data into CSV (comma-separated value) files, including products, product options, customers, and more. You're also able to customize the specific information and columns included in the export, so you can tailor your CSV files to various needs. For complete instructions on creating export templates and exporting your data, visit BigCommerce's Import/Export Overview.
Your BigCommerce CSV will need some editing to upload properly into 3dcart, but it only involves some minor changes to the headings. Download a sample CSV from your 3dcart dashboard to see the required format. This may also help you create your export templates in BigCommerce more efficiently, since you'll be able to see the information and headings needed.
Before you import your CSV files, upload your product images using your method of choice: the 3dcart File Manager (better for smaller numbers of images) or FTP (best if you have a lot of images). This allows you to add each image's file path to your product CSV before you upload, ensuring that all product images are correctly "attached" to the relevant product pages.
Once you've done that, you're ready to start importing. First import your product CSV into 3dcart. If your products have options or variants, these will need to be uploaded in a separate CSV file after your main product CSV has been imported. You can find more information about the different CSVs your products may require in 3dcart's Knowledgebase; start by learning how to import Product Options into 3dcart and, if necessary, follow up with importing Advanced Options via CSV. You may also want to check out how to import product inventory counts.
Don't be intimidated by the prospect of working with CSV files. While it can seem like a difficult task on the surface, it's a massive time-saver and you'll get the hang of it quickly.
Migrating your customer records from BigCommerce to 3dcart follows a similar process as products and other types of information. First, export your customer list from BigCommerce and then visit your 3dcart Online Store Manager. Within the dashboard, navigate to Customers and then Customer List, and from here you can download a sample CSV file similar to the sample CSV for products. Reference the sample CSV to learn the headings and formatting needed, and edit your BigCommerce CSV accordingly. Once you're done with this, you're ready to import your customers into 3dcart.
Content pages include various pages on your website that aren't the homepage, categories, or product pages, such as "About Us" and pages for your different policies. You can't simply transfer these over with an upload, but you can recreate them quickly in 3dcart. Just create a new page in your 3dcart Online Store Manager, copy the content over from your BigCommerce website, and check to ensure it's formatted correctly. 3dcart's Extra Page creation tool resembles a familiar word processor, so you should find the interface easy to use.
If your BigCommerce website also had a blog via their built-in blogging tool, just copy the blog posts over in the same manner, and backdate the posts to retain their original posting date.
Now that you've done all the heavy lifting data-wise, it's time to choose a 3dcart theme! With products and other pages added to your site, you'll have a better idea of how each theme will look across various sections of your online store. Feel free to play with themes, use the Theme Editor (on 3dcart Core Themes only), and tinker with your store's design until you're satisfied with the look and feel.
While you can't directly copy a BigCommerce store design over to 3dcart, you're sure to find a theme in the 3dcart Theme Store that works great for you. If you were using a free BigCommerce theme, be aware that 3dcart provides dozens more free templates, so you have.
It's also a great time to customize your Store Settings, which include various details on your eCommerce website like the name and slogan of your store. If you want deeper customization, check out the Store Language section which allows you to edit all the text that appears on your website, including system-controlled messages, footer content, and more.
3dcart has far more payment options than BigCommerce, so you may first want to go over our eCommerce payment gateways to get an idea of what 3dcart supports. We integrate with more payment providers than any other eCommerce platform, so you'll be able to tailor the payments you accept to perfectly match the needs of your customer base. You can quickly add your existing payment methods to your 3dcart store by selecting them in the 3dcart Online Store Manager.
Ensure you charge the right amounts of sales tax, based on the location of your business and your customers, by setting up the appropriate rates in 3dcart's built-in tax manager. You can define rates by country, province, state, and even a range of ZIP codes. 3dcart can handle VAT and you will find these settings within the tax manager as well.
Shipping methods are quick to set up, thanks to 3dcart's real-time integrations with several domestic and international carriers. Enter your basic information in your Shipping Settings and then add your carriers in Shipping Methods.
Unlike BigCommerce which only provides forwarding email addresses, 3dcart includes fully-hosted email accounts for your online store. This means you can choose to read your email within a web interface, or opt to continue forwarding it to another inbox. The number of email addresses you get depends on your 3dcart plan, but you'll always have at least one to use for your business.
If you were using a third-party email service to get branded email addresses, such as a paid email provider or your domain registrar, you can continue to use those emails in the same way as you did with BigCommerce.
Once you're done transferring your data and following the other above steps, your migration from BigCommerce is almost complete. All that's left is for you to point your domain name to the location of your 3dcart store. If you already have a domain name, you'll need to log into your domain registrar account and change your DNS settings to connect to your 3dcart store. If your domain was registered for you by 3dcart, you can simply contact us to make this change for you. It can take up to 48 hours for your domain's new settings to propagate, but it usually happens much more quickly.
Your final step is to create 301 redirects to prevent any of your old BigCommerce links from breaking. 3dcart's built-in 301 redirect setup makes it simple to create them, so any customers visiting your old links will automatically be sent to the new ones. If you have a large number of redirects to create, you can import 301 redirects into 3dcart via CSV.
With this last step complete, your new and improved eCommerce website has gone live and is ready to accept orders. Congratulations on moving your business to 3dcart. We are proud to have you with us!
If you want help with your online store's migration, please contact 3dcart for a free Migration Consultation. If you're brand new to 3dcart, we welcome you to contact 3dcart Sales to claim a coupon for a free data migration from BigCommerce in which our experts will handle the bulk of the process for you.