BigCommerce v2 to v3 Migration Guide: When Is It the Right Time?

Bigcommerce v2 to v3 blog

In 2019, BigCommerce introduced a game-changer: the Catalog v3 API. This update transformed online stores by boosting API accessibility, which is a set of definitions and protocols that allow one application to communicate with another, opening up opportunities for seamless integration and automation. Additionally, the update streamlined omnichannel sales and brought intuitive tools for managing products, enabling more functional and customizable eCommerce solutions. This shift empowered BigCommerce developers to create better shopping experiences and significantly impacted the competitive eCommerce landscape.

This guide delves into the key differences between BigCommerce’s v2 and v3 product catalogs, a critical consideration for anyone contemplating a BigCommerce migration. It’s crucial knowledge for web designers and developers looking to enhance their website development. We’ll uncover how v2 and v3 impact eCommerce operations, from product management and inventory to customization and user experience. Whether you’re migrating an existing store or building a new one, understanding these nuances is essential for informed decision-making that drives business growth.

Comparing Product Creation and Management: v2 and v3

BigCommerce v3 offers BigCommerce web designers a much more user-friendly and streamlined experience compared to the previous version v2. While both versions have similar features, v3 builds upon the previous version to offer much greater flexibility and sophistication. Now let’s a closer look at some key differences for BigCommerce developers and designers:

  1. User Experience (UX): v2 uses multiple tabs for product details. v3 consolidates everything onto one page with a side menu.
  2. Customs Information: v3 allows direct entry of customs information in the control panel, unlike v2, which requires the API.
  3. Option Organization: v3 introduces variant and modifier options for more flexible product configurations, replacing v2’s option sets.
  4. Option Data: v3 enables direct price and weight assignment to variant options, while v2 relies on parent product data and rules.
  5. SKU Management: v3 automatically generates SKUs for variant options, eliminating the need for manual entry or complex formulas in the Auto-SKU Generator found in v2.
  6. Bulk Product Updates: While both versions offer bulk editing and CSV imports, v3 requires the Catalog API for updating individual or shared modifier options, providing BigCommerce developers with more granular control.

Should You Migrate to BigCommerce v3? Weighing the Pros and Cons

data migration

While BigCommerce v3 offers significant advancements for eCommerce businesses, the decision to migrate from v2 should be carefully considered. Let’s break down the scenarios where migrating to v3 can be beneficial for your eCommerce business’ growth and when it might be best to stay on v2:

Reasons to Embrace BigCommerce v3:

  1. Streamlined Product Management: If you find yourself juggling multiple tabs to edit product details in v2, v3’s single-page editor with a customizable sidebar will significantly streamline your workflow. This is especially beneficial for BigCommerce web designers who need to efficiently manage product data.
  2. Simplified Customs Information: If you find yourself juggling multiple tabs to edit product details in v2, v3’s single-page editor with a customizable sidebar will significantly streamline your workflow. This is especially beneficial for BigCommerce web designers who need to efficiently manage product data.
  3. Advanced Option Management: v3’s automatic SKU generation saves valuable time and reduces errors for BigCommerce web designers and store owners, contributing to more efficient inventory management.
  4. Direct Pricing for Variants: v3 grants greater control over pricing strategy by allowing direct price adjustments for each product variant, a feature often sought after by eCommerce businesses.
  5. Multi-Storefront (MSF): If you plan to expand your online presence with multiple storefronts, v3 is essential for utilizing BigCommerce’s MSF feature, a powerful tool for reaching a wider audience.

Reasons to Stay with BigCommerce v2:

  1. Established Catalog If you have a well-established product catalog, recreating it in v3 might be time-consuming, especially for larger eCommerce websites.
  2. Image Manager Preference: If you prefer the v2 Image Manager, switching to v3 might disrupt your workflow, impacting the efficiency of your BigCommerce web design process.
  3. Checkbox Options: v2 is better if you heavily rely on checkbox options and require CSV import/export or inventory tracking for them, as these features are not directly supported in v3.
  4. SKU generator BigCommerceAuto-SKU Generated Example
  5. Auto-SKU Generator Control: v2 offers more flexibility if you need granular control over SKU generation fields, which might be important for businesses with complex product variations.
  6. API-Driven Catalog Management: If your catalog management heavily relies on the API, transitioning to v3 might necessitate adjustments to your existing processes, requiring additional development efforts.

The decision to migrate to v3 hinges on your specific business needs and priorities. Consider your product catalog’s size and complexity, workflow preferences, and future expansion custom development plans

If you’re unsure, try out v3 with a trial store or consult a certified BigCommerce partner. They can offer tailored advice based on your unique requirements and help you maximize the potential of your own BigCommerce platform through store design and other development services.

Navigating the Migration Process

team discussing about process of migration

If you’ve weighed the options and determined that BigCommerce v3 is the right path for your eCommerce stores and commerce business, a well-planned migration is key to a seamless transition. Begin by clearly defining your goals for the move: What specific improvements do you want to see in your store? Which v3 features align with your eCommerce strategy and overall business objectives?

Next, develop a detailed BigCommerce migration plan outlining the steps involved, timelines, and potential risks. This roadmap will keep you organized and ensure a smooth transition. Don’t hesitate to seek expert guidance if needed. If navigating the technical aspects of the BigCommerce migration seems daunting, our award-winning BigCommerce agency is here to help. As a certified BigCommerce partner, we specialize in web design, development, and even API development and integration. We’ll work closely with you to create a customized platform migration plan tailored to your unique needs, allowing you to focus on running your business while we handle the technical details.

Before launching your upgraded BigCommerce store on v3, it’s imperative to thoroughly test everything. This includes meticulously checking for broken links, ensuring compatibility with third-party apps, and identifying any potential issues that could negatively impact the customer experience. By taking a methodical approach and prioritizing comprehensive testing, you can confidently unveil your revamped BigCommerce store and unlock the full potential of BigCommerce stores on the v3 platform.


BigCommerce’s v3 platform offers a significant leap forward in eCommerce capabilities, empowering businesses to create more efficient, customizable, and user-friendly online stores. By understanding the differences between v2 and v3 and carefully weighing the pros and cons, merchants and BigCommerce web designers can make informed decisions about their eCommerce strategy. A well-planned BigCommerce migration, often with the assistance of a BigCommerce web development agency or expert, can unlock the full potential of v3, enhancing eCommerce businesses’ website performance, conversion rate optimization, and overall business growth.

Whether you’re a seasoned BigCommerce designer and developer or just starting with custom BigCommerce design, v3 offers a wealth of opportunities for creating highly functional eCommerce solutions that stand out in the competitive, eCommerce platform landscape. With its robust API, streamlined processes, and enhanced customization options, v3 is poised to be the industry leader in eCommerce platforms.

Unlocking eCommerce Success with MAK Digital: Your BigCommerce Experts

As a leading BigCommerce design and development agency, MAK Digital boasts a proven track record in crafting exceptional eCommerce websites. Our skilled team deeply understands the platform, delivering highly functional, customized solutions tailored to your needs. This includes stunning BigCommerce redesigns that breathe new life into your online store.

From custom BigCommerce design and development to comprehensive digital marketing strategies, we offer a full suite of services to elevate your online store. Whether you’re looking for a brand-new BigCommerce site or seeking to migrate your existing store to v3, our proven expertise and dedication to client success ensure a seamless and rewarding experience.

Ready to unlock your BigCommerce store’s full potential? Contact MAK Digital today and let’s discuss your growth strategy in the competitive eCommerce landscape.

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