It was great to attend BigCommerce’s annual partner summit and hear more about the direction the platform is heading in and the innovations we’re able to bring to our clients. After the past three years of turmoil, BigCommerce is one of very few ecommerce platforms to experience growth in the past 12 months.
And with glowing analyst reviews from Gartner, Forrester and IDC, and an increasing number of new enterprise launches - Ted Baker, Volvo and MKM Building Supplies to name a few - I was keen to learn more about our ecommerce partner’s future plans. Here are my top takeaways from the day.
1. There’s headless commerce and then there’s composable commerce
One of the advantages of BigCommerce is that it can be configured according to what best suits your digital ecosystem and the strengths of your team. As a member of the MACH Alliance, the platform is built API-first and is fully flexible to customise and integrate with other systems. This means it can be used in a true microservices architecture as a pure ecommerce engine, connecting to various front-end and back-end systems - what’s referred to as composable commerce.
This is great for businesses who want to select best-in-breed and use whichever front-end framework, ERP, payment provider and so forth they wish to use. To make one of these processes more efficient, we recently built an integration between BigCommerce and leading headless content management platform, Contentful.
But some merchants just want to get up and running, fast - whether that’s to support the first launch into D2C sales or creating new storefronts to aid penetration into new markets. For these businesses, BigCommerce offers an out-of-the-box front-end, Stencil, a customisable theme engine that can enable merchants to sell their products via a BigCommerce storefront on any device - a kind of hybrid quasi headless approach.
2. Omnichannel is a journey
BigCommerce visualise the headless maturity journey in three distinct steps from simplistic to sophisticated:
(Level 1) Single channel - Where a merchant is selling their products online via one channel - for example, a D2C website supported by digital ads, and utilising a single fulfilment location to manage product distribution. Simple transactions are conducted at this stage and require low complexity with off the shelf shopping rates offered to customers.
(Level 2) Multi-channel - This is where online and offline channels are seamlessly integrated and often involves two to five distinct channels to include marketplaces such as Ebay and Amazon. It’s likely at this stage an ERP system would be used as a system of record, and there would be a third-party logistics supplier involved and custom shipping rates available.
(Level 3) Global omnichannel - Finally at the most sophisticated level, true omnichannel maturity involves many channels from D2C and marketplaces to ads and social selling, and may involve both B2C and B2B offerings. When a company is highly mature in this area, they will have a unified inventory and order routing across all channels and have the capability to offer superlative customer services such as two-day delivery to all major global markets.
The key takeaway here is that through the BigCommerce platform and its network of partners, there are solutions for merchants at each of these maturity stages, whether that’s to get live quickly, swap out the elements in your ecosystem you’re not getting value from or to build out the functionality your business is ready to use.
3. A strong product roadmap lies ahead
While many elements of the product roadmap are still embargoed, it was great to hear that BigCommerce genuinely considers feedback from its customers, agency partners and technology partners to feed into their future product. A good example of this is the recent launch of multi-storefronts, enabling businesses to trade in new regions, across customer segments and launch unique brands - and manage all of this in one place.
Last year’s acquisition of Feedonomics and omnichannel selling is to be fully integrated into the platform, meaning that BigCommerce merchants will be able to seamlessly connect, transform and optimise their product data across hundreds of global channels and product feeds.
A platform for innovation and growth
If you’re interested to find out more about how Candyspace helps ambitious organisations unlock the potential of BigCommerce to rapidly grow online revenue more efficiently and cost effectively, book a consultation.