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BigCommerce is a public technology company that provides a SaaS e-commerce platform. The company was founded in 2009 by Australians – Eddie Machaalani and Mitchell Harper – and has since grown to 600+ employees with headquarters in Austin, Texas. In July 2020, BigCommerce successfully launched on the stock market, by way of an IPO.
The company’s website markets it as “one platform to run your online business” that can help retailers to “save time and money with a platform designed for the functionality that SME & Enterprise businesses need. With more built-in features than other leading platforms, BigCommerce gives you the power to grow your business from day one.”
In the next of our live Instagram Overdose & Chill interviews, our CEO Todd Welling talks with Dan Fertig, Head of Partnerships at BigCommerce about his background, the BigCommerce journey to IPO, and what the future of SaaS Commerce looks like from the platform side.
Dan believes that there is a real market opportunity to get e-commerce users to believe in software as a service, by developing relationships and building trust with merchants who are already thinking about how to maximise product mix, back-office processes, market places and channels, and the need for online stores to complement their bricks and mortar offering.
Brent Bellm, CEO BigCommerce had a vision of developing the company’s product for more sophisticated mid-market customers and realised that they would need to build strong and successful partnerships to do so.
The combination of market opportunity and a belief in CEO Brent Bellm’s future strategy appealed to Dan’s “challenger mindset” and he moved from Oracle to BigCommerce 4 years ago, relocating from New York to Austin in the process.
Launching as a public company on the stock market is not a decision to be taken lightly and BigCommerce prudently delayed their event until the initial effects of Covid-19 on the e-commerce market could be established. It transpired that while retailers were definitely struggling with maintaining their bricks and mortar stores, there was a realisation that Covid wasn’t going away anytime soon and an exponential growth in the use of e-commerce during lockdown which no doubt contributed to a very successful launch.
The BigCommerce philosophy is to be different from others, to do better and to be better, and aware that they now need to meet their shareholders’ expectations, they plan to further invest in three key areas:
- Product – they want to enable their merchants to able to sell to customers anywhere in the world, on any device and any screen
- People – they plan to continue investing in the best people to carry out their research and development
- Partners – they plan to increase their technology and delivery partners, who are an essential part of their business model
When it comes to testing the feasibility of entering new marketplaces, Dan outlines the main criteria used by the company as:
- Market size and opportunity – what does it look like?
- Product fit – are we product ready and if not, what do we need to do to get there?
- Partners – is the right mix of technology & delivery partners available locally?
- Marketing – who are our target market and how can we localise our message?
Following on from their success in the United Kingdom and with increasing traction in north Europe, the wider European marketplace may well be where BigCommerce plans its next expansion. They are “super deliberate” in everything they do, ensuring that they have an established customer base that is supported by the right partners, before opening an office in any location.
There is no doubt that the IPO has increased the company’s profile in the software marketplace. With increased global awareness of their brand and their free product trial period, more potential customers will now be able to try before they buy which is certainly an innovative USP for this industry. It is also a very powerful organic market research tool that can be utilised to identify where market demand sits at any given point in time.
Trends to follow
Dan predicts continued growth for B2B commerce, particularly for Millennials; headless solutions that can provide connective retail experiences by using voice commerce (Imagine ordering a new filter for your machine via the product hardware itself!); social influence & transaction software that is seamless and lower in cost; and smart brands that emphasize real time customer support at the front end.
Overdose x BigCommerce
BigCommerce is the latest platform addition to the Overdose technology suite, and seeing positive traction in the platform adoption across all regions. Adopted in 2018, Overdose has already earned Elite Partner status, with multiple complex enterprise builds already launched. We have leveraged our existing broad capabilities across the Commerce product lifecycle, and invested in a dedicated development team for BigCommerce. We are actively looking to maintain our early-mover advantage in this space as BigCommerce quickly becomes a key global player.