The cat’s out of the bag; Big Commerce is a major player that is going to push Adobe upstream and Shopify downstream and possibly even some of the bigger enterprise players at the top. They went public last fall, in the middle of the pandemic and CEO Brent Bellm declared after the bell rang that, “with the proceeds from our IPO, we look forward to further investing in the research and development of our platform. We will continue to innovate our product and service with the goal of powering your e-commerce prosperity.”
As a recently-minted member of their solution partner program, we at Accorin currently position Big Commerce as a viable alternative for many types of businesses including B2C and B2B merchants. We love the idea of putting mid-market B2B, and B2C e-commerce merchants that need to move quickly and have simple to medium complexity in their catalogs on Big Commerce. We also like putting B2C startups on Big Commerce, especially if they have aspirations to expand quickly overseas and with multiple brands. We expect to see Big Commerce announce one or two new architectural shifts or feature announcements in 2021, while also pushing its merchants to leverage recently added features from 2019 and 2020 as their user base expands.
Here are several Big Commerce features or noteworthy enhancement we see merchants taking advantage of in greater numbers this year:
Big Commerce has announced the availability of “multi-store” functionality that will allow merchants to operate multiple storefronts from one instance of Big Commerce. This is a significant achievement and a big draw for a SaaS platform targeting mid-market merchants – especially merchants with multi brand aspirations. Magento, of course has offered multi-store architecture for years – and it is still the leader. But by offering muti-store from a SaaS platform Big Commerce is serving notice that it wants to service merchants with multi-store requirements but that don’t have the same level of complexity as Magento merchants.
It’s likely merchants that are expanding into multi-store requirements will and should explore both Magento and Big Commerce so they invest in the platform that provides the right fit for both current and future needs. The December Big Commerce “Town Hall” mentioned that the feature is now in Beta test, so we are expecting it to be available soon – we’re just not sure when.
Headless Support for CMS Platforms
Big Commerce is going big on headless and given the flexibility of its front end, and its commitment to supporting CMSs of all shapes and sizes its not surprising that it will no doubt announce more pre-baked integrations this year. Currently BigCommerce’s pre-built integrations and starter apps include, but are not limited to:
- Adobe Exp Manager
We anticipate this list will grow in 2021, so merchants that have complex and unique user experience demands, and a CMS / website that already serves those requirements would do well to investigate Big Commerce as a platform for supporting growth in 2021.
B2B Features – Mobile
According to Big Commerce, 61% of their B2B merchant customers conduct transactions using phones. The integration of B2B features at Big Commerce is now mature and the feature set is robust enough for many mid market B2B companies. Customer groups, pricing tiers, pricing flexibility, login-to-purchase and other basic B2B requirements are ready for merchants “out-of-the-box” and there are numerous other great applications that can be plugged in or integrated with ease (read more about them, here. However, given the increasing adoption of mobile purchasing by end customers in B2B, leveraging the overall performance of the Big Commerce SaaS platform and its flexible front-end mobile themes will be the area of greatest benefit in 2021 for these merchants. Mid-market B2B merchants – especially those with any complexity in their e-commerce architecture and catalog – should carefully consider Big Commerce AND Magento.
Checkout on Instagram
With the announcement of this feature late last year Brent Bellm justified the investment in this feature by stating “Creating a streamlined checkout experience is paramount for merchants looking to social commerce to drive revenue growth. The rollout of checkout on Instagram is another significant step in Instagram’s evolution toward becoming an essential commerce channel for customer-focused brands,” “Big Commerce is proud to be one of a select group of partners to offer their customers access to this innovative new feature at launch.”
Big Commerce reinforces the key benefits of the features on their website by stating that it enables:
- Meeting customers where they already are. Checkout on Instagram brings products closer to 130 million shoppers interacting with brands’ shoppable Instagram content each month.
- Creating a simple and secure path to purchase. Provide a differentiated social commerce experience by making it easier, more convenient and safer
While other platforms offer similar functionality and while Facebook/Instagram will increase the list of platforms supported for this, the differentiator for Big Commerce merchants in 2021 will be the combination of this feature with the growth of headless approaches. As consumers demand a seamless, omni-channel experience with rich merchandising and virtual try-ons and configuration tools, the pressure will be to enable purchasing from the experience, including the most visual and popular of social platforms. Big Commerce is well positioned to support merchants with these types of requirements, including merchants in the apparel, fashion, footwear, and home furnishings industries.
The Bottom Line
Having just gone public late last year Big Commerce is going to push and market a lot of its features and benefits. But these are the ones merchants are best poised to take advantage of immediately in 2021. Get in touch, if you want to talk more about what Big Commerce has to offer your business.