BigCommerce V2 to V3 Differences

If you have an older BigCommerce store and have received notifications about upgrading to the new V3 version of the product experience, you may be wondering what that is all about, why you should upgrade, and what is going to change post-upgrade.  Let’s break down your most pressing questions into digestible bites.

Why should I upgrade to the V3 BigCommerce Product Experience?

Simply put, the latest version, V3, brings several enhancements over V2 with improvements in the user experience, customization, and product management.  This upgrade is recommended for stores still on V2, but it is not yet a requirement.  It’s important for store owners to understand what the differences between V2 and V3 are and how things will change once the upgrade is complete.

What is going to change once I upgrade to BigCommerce V3?

Good question and the answer is… well, quite a bit.  However it’s all for the better and the improvement in V3 make managing products much easier.  Here’s a breakdown of what is going to change with V3:

  • User Experience (UX) – In V2, product details are compartmentalized into separate tabs including Images & Video, Stock & Options, and SKUs. This separation can help users focus on specific areas without distraction. V3 streamlines the process by consolidating product details onto a single page complemented by a side menu, simplifying navigation and allowing quick access to various sections. An additional UX improvement in V3 is the ability to move effortlessly between the previous and next products in the catalog while editing, enhancing the workflow for users who need to update multiple listings in succession.
  • Product Images – When it comes to adding product images, both V2 and V3 offer a drag-and-drop feature or the option to insert an image URL. However, V3 eliminates the ability to select images from the Image Manager and add to a product.
  • Customs Information – For businesses that ship internationally, managing customs information is vital. V2 limits the addition of this data to an API, which can be less accessible for those not versed in programming. V3 improves accessibility by allowing users to add customs information directly in the control panel or via API, catering to both technical and non-technical users.
  • Organizing Options – Options organization in V2 is based on option sets applied to products, with a clear distinction between optional and required options. V3 introduces variant options for inventory tracking and modifier options for customizations without inventory concerns. This new model allows for direct creation of variants (like a large blue t-shirt) and modifiers (like engraving or gift wrapping) in a single step, eliminating the need for complex setups and making it easier to manage product customizations.  In V3, every purchasable item, including the main product, is considered a variant. This change enhances inventory management, enabling more precise control over stock levels and variant-specific details.
  • Options Data – In V2, options data is reliant on the parent product’s data, with rules to modify this data as needed. V3, however, allows direct assignment of price and weight to variant options, offering more direct control over these critical details. Additionally, modifier options in V3 support multiple display formats and can include rules to adjust price and weight, providing a more flexible system for pricing and product presentation.
  • SKU (Stock Keeping Unit) – Creating SKUs is a manual or automatic process in V2, tied to the Automatic SKU Generator, whereas V3 automatically generates SKUs for variant options, though they can be manually edited afterward. Modifier options in V3 do not use SKUs, simplifying the process for products that do not require individual inventory tracking.
  • Update Products in Bulk – Bulk editing features in both versions continue to allow CSV uploads and the bulk editor. V2 allows for editing details like category, price, and stock for multiple products simultaneously. V3 builds on this by enabling updates to SKU and default prices for numerous products at once, plus the addition of variant and modifier options in bulk through the Catalog API.
  • Introducing Metafields – V3 introduces the concept of metafields for Brands, Categories, Products, and Product Variants. These are essentially custom fields that developers can use to store additional information. This feature opens up new possibilities for customization, allowing you to tailor your store to meet specific needs and provide a unique shopping experience for your customers.

Where can I get more information on upgrading to BigCommerce V3?

We have written several articles that you may want to read, including:

While V3 brings many improvements, it’s important to note that not all V2 resources have V3 counterparts yet. However, BigCommerce is committed to migrating all existing V2 resources to V3.

In summary, the transition from V2 to V3 is recommended and BigCommerce is encouraging store owners on V2 to transition to V3 as soon as possible. While it may seem like a daunting task, Your Store Wizards can help with upgrading your store to V3.  We offer a white-glove migration service that is done by one of our experienced developers.  This is not a self-service service, or one done by an app, as we know the apprehension some store owners have about undertaking an upgrade like this.

If you’d like to learn more about our V2 to V3 upgrade service, click here, or contact us at to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation where we will answer all your questions about upgrading.

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