The Accorin team recently traveled to Austin, TX to attend the first BigCommerce partner summit since the end of the pandemic. Since the company went public last year it’s not a surprise to report that the company is moving aggressively to establish itself as an important and viable option for growth-minded enterprises. A number of roadmap announcements, combined with the open access to the executive team indicated that BigCommerce is also serious about integrating partners in a number of meaningful and positive ways.
It was a really fun 2-day event, reminiscent of the Magento Sales kickoffs from the mid 2010s complete with great food, entertainment and parties to induce partner introductions and socialization!
As an aside, a heartfelt plea for supporting BigCommerce’s ecosystem in Ukraine (which is sizable and important) was made by the executive team and key solution partner Mira Commerce which has a large team there. The room of several hundred partners contributed over $16K throughout the day to Mira Action, the place to donate and support supplies to Ukraine.
Here are some key points from the Summit that are also clearly a few pillars of their value proposition moving forward.
“The Most Modern E-Commerce Platform”
BigCommerce CEO, Brent Bellm, proudly announced that BigCommerce wants to position itself as “the most modern, open e-commerce platform”. It was said more than once that they are the only publicly-traded SaaS e-commerce company and this allows them to spend marketing funds to position themselves just about anyway they want – but this position totally makes sense.
E-commerce merchants want the ease and security of SaaS but they want flexibility and openness — BigCommerce provides both. With Adobe’s acquisition of Magento a few years back, BigCommerce is seizing on an opportunity to capture some market share from committed e-commerce merchants that might be categorized as mid-market and SMB.
Feedonomics – Why Did They Buy it?
Many read the headlines about BigCommerce’s acquisition of Feedonomics mid-pandemic but we were likely all too busy serving merchants e-commerce expansions and re-platforms to really consider the implications. Now we’re moving into an era of e-commerce optimization and business performance, so it’ll be important to pay attention to how BigCommerce is going to leverage this acquisition.
Feedonomics describes it’s value proposition for e-commerce merchants as: “Seamlessly connect and manage 300 channels where merchants can sell their products”. To us it sounds like a channel advisor on steroids and BigCommerce hopes it will be. Their vision here is credible but also a little curious: recognize that most of the e-commerce purchases made on sites regardless of industry start with a click on a different site, so through Feedonomics they are allowing merchants to expand their storefront presence into a larger marketplace of uber-ecommerceness.
I’m pretty sure I heard Brent Bellm say: “you can use Feedonomics and you don’t have to be a BigCommerce merchant.” Yes, that’s “open” indeed in a very open way – BigCommerce buying a popular feed platform that is used by merchants on a number of other competitive platforms.
Accessing The Biggest Marketplace
It’s clear that providing openness and access to the largest e-commerce marketplace is a top strategic goal for BigCommerce. On top of the Feedonomics acquisition, they’ve developed several key relationships with which to enable their merchant’s stores; including an important but not-yet-public partnership with the largest e-commerce retailer.
Head of Product, Troy Cox, discussed the integration of an Amazon “Buy with Prime” feature. If you check out his quote from Amazon’s public “Buy with Prime Button” (an invitation-only project from Amazon) site, you’ll get the idea.
“Prime set the bar for a shopping experience customers trust, including convenient and fast shipping…extending these benefits to our merchants will help elevate their online shopper experiences, build brand loyalty, and empower them to grow and scale.”
Not willing to stop at Amazon, BigCommerce merchants will also have the opportunity to sell on Target Plus with approval of the merchant’s catalog by the rapidly growing B2C e-commerce marketplace giant.
Multistore and B2B
It’s clear that BigCommerce wants to lure enterprise merchants with global aspirations and serious B2B merchants that have a variety of custom requirements. The Multistore development and launch story was very impressive especially considering that much of the BigCommerce team developing it is located in Ukraine.
A year ago B2B edition was new. Now it is proven. New features are rolling out for B2B including B2B Ninja / quoting and quote request management. The multistore and B2B era for BigCommerce is here. It will be interesting to see very serious, complex B2B businesses evaluating the platform versus the traditional enterprise e-commerce powerhouses.
The Bottom Line
A slew of positive analysts reports and the increased funding gained from going public are driving a lot of optimism and innovation at BigCommerce. The new positioning as “the most modern e-commerce platform” reflects the company’s ethos that successful merchants will have to commit to omnichannel ecosystems to succeed and beat their competition. It’s evident that BigCommerce is committed to helping merchants navigate and exploit those ecosystems with the functionality and knowledge they will need to succeed. Despite fears of recession and “plateaus” that have been in the mainstream of late, we left Austin with an incredible vibe of positivity and excitement.
We also left Austin with an understanding that the composition of the perfect breakfast taco has potato in it. And it’s really, really good! For those yet to pay attention to Austin as a serious travel destination; you’re making a big mistake! Especially for those Foodies and Musicaholics like us – you should move it to the top of your lists! What a great city!
E-commerce merchants planning big, global operations would also do well to pay attention to Austin and a progressive, large-vision BigCommerce as a platform. It’s no longer that “other SaaS e-commerce platform” with a bit more flexibility and a B2B bolt-on. It’s truly BIG and wants to get BIGGER.