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#007 : BigCommerce is a public technology company that provides a SaaS ecommerce 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 there is a real market opportunity to get ecommerce 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 he expresses the ever-important need for businesses to develop online stores to complement their brick-and-mortar offerings.
Brent Bellm, CEO of BigCommerce had a vision of developing BigCommerce’s product to cater to more sophisticated, mid-market customers and soon realised that it would need to build strong and successful partnerships in order 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 its event until the initial effects of Covid-19 on the ecommerce market could be established. It transpired that while retailers were definitely struggling with maintaining their brick-and-mortar stores, there was a realisation that Covid wasn’t going away anytime soon. BigCommerce realised the opportunity that came along with exponential growth in the use of e-commerce during the lockdown, which no doubt contributed to its very successful launch.
The BigCommerce philosophy is to be different from others, to do better, and to be better. Aware that it now needs to meet its shareholders’ expectations, BigCommerce plans to further invest in three key areas:
- Product – it wants to enable its merchants to able to sell to customers anywhere in the world, on any device and any screen.
- People – it plans to continue investing in the best people to carry out its research and development.
- Partners – it plans to increase its technology and delivery partners, who are an essential part of its 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 is our target market and how can we localize our message?
Following on from its success in the United Kingdom and with increasing traction in northern Europe, the wider European marketplace may well be where BigCommerce plans its next expansion. BigCommerce is “super deliberate” in everything it does, ensuring that it retains its established customer base 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 the brand and its 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 utilized 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 emphasie 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 enterprises 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.