In the last year BigCommerce has pushed hard to develop its platform, differentiate between its two main competitors in the marketplace, it has gone public, and it has managed growth in a time where adding talent has been very difficult. From our perspective as an e-commerce SI, BigCommerce is building space between its competitors and carving out a swath of the mid market B2B AND B2C marketplace where it is potentially the best fit for merchants; and it is doing this without alienating startups or enterprises for whom one of its versions is a good fit.
This recent Partner Summit visual illustrates how BigCommerce is positioning itself:
How BigCommerce Has Evolved its Offering in 2021
API-Driven and Headless Capabilities
The vision of an API-centric e-commerce application was shared at the recent Partner Summit, and best summarized in this visual:
What this means for developers like us, and our merchant clients, is that we are getting closer to being able to have our cake (customizability / integrability) and eat it too (secure, hassle-free, high performance infrastructure of SaaS).
With the integration of the Bundle B2B App this year, BigCommerce now “officially” calls its B2B offering, “B2B Edition”. It offers enterprise level B2B functionality to businesses of all types and sizes. It enables store owners to facilitate their B2B operations online and provide their B2B customers with seamless transactions and convenient self-service account capabilities.
Key seller features include Corporate Account Management, Custom Catalogs and Pricing, Bulk Ordering Tools, Shopping Lists, Quick Order Pad, Sales Representative Masquerade, and a more through 3rd party apps.
Brightpearl, PunchOut2Go, and Apruve are also key integrations that will help merchants expanding their B2B e-commerce achieve their requirements objectives.
Rolling out a multi-store architecture has been a success for BigCommerce this year; and with the completion of their recent closed beta it is officially “in-market.” This recent feature alone has the power to differentiate BigCommerce from Shopify (which only provides secure single sign-on to multiple store instances) and gets it closer to the core multi-store feature set of Adobe Commerce / Magento which has supported multi-store architecture for some time.
Key points on its commitment to multi-store were provided recently at the Partner Summit:
So if you consider these two points together (API-centric and Multi-store), developers and merchants are presented with a powerful opportunity to integrate the specialty 3rd party apps they need within a multi-store context. BigCommerce can definitely support growing e-commerce businesses with global aspirations that don’t want to leave the more protected world of SaaS.
Speaking of international expansion, BigCommerce has expanded language pre-population to help international businesses jump start their expansion efforts:
Multichannel Management: The Channel Manager
The Channel Manager is another area helping BigCommerce to differentiate with businesses and especially e-commerce merchants that rely on a truly multi-channel approach. Businesses that have revenue somewhat equally spread over e-commerce channels like Marketplaces (Amazon, Walmart), Retail, and their marketing channels will gain great efficiencies from this tool.
Retail Business Support: Omni-channel Developments
BigCommerce is truly thinking about retail and supporting retail businesses, having ramped up features and roadmap activity during the pandemic. They’re focused across a wide range of retail as well, from smaller operations to larger retail enterprises. BOPIS (Buy online pickup in store) is core BC now, and as they look to the future they want to support retail businesses with multiple warehouses and inventory locations and multiple retail locations:
The Bottom Line
While BigCommerce is still a SaaS platform and therefore more limited than Adobe Commerce or Hybris for enterprises that need large amounts of customization — its commitment to these areas of e-commerce operations are helping it to stand apart from Shopify in the startup segment of e-commerce, yet still provide features that global e-commerce merchants might want within a SaaS framework.
For SI’s, it’s exciting to see BigCommerce’s evolution, and also puts them forward as a legitimate option when we’re given business requirements that previously would have only been possible with the likes on Adobe Commerce / Magento.