BigCommerce wants to help the little guy.
The decade-old ecommerce software provider is encouraging small sellers to give its service a shot, promising a stress-free platform that handles all the back-end processes, enabling sellers to focus on building their businesses.
“Our objective for you is, if you’re selling a handful of things or hundreds of things, it should be simple for you,” Meghan Stabler, BigCommerce’s Vice President of Global Product Marketing and Communications, said in an interview.
Sellers, Stabler said, “shouldn’t have to get involved with the technical aspects of selling things online.”
BigCommerce sets a low barrier for entry. The firm invites small sellers to launch a free one-month trial, after which they can sign up for the basic plan with a fee of $29.95 a month. It scales up from there, with a tiered pricing model that ranges up to an enterprise level geared for sellers handling millions of sales per month. The firm also offers business-to-business ecommerce services.
But for smaller sellers, BigCommerce’s pitch is that it will handle all of the technical aspects of running an online store – cybersecurity, PCI compliance, SEO, etc. – so that they can concentrate on putting products in front of shoppers.
“That’s what you should be focusing on – not the technology stack,” Stabler said.
BigCommerce has staked out its position in a crowded market of ecommerce software vendors through a range of integrations with various marketplace and payments providers, with promises of more announcements to come this year.
“We’re going to be adding on additional marketplaces onto the platform,” Stabler said.
Already, BigCommerce has integrations with major shopping channels like Google Shopping and Facebook, and offers support for hundreds of apps to help sellers with things like order management, customer service and marketing.
BigCommerce continually adds new apps and features to its platform, but, in keeping with its pitch of a hassle-free experience, promises to make the integrations easy for sellers.
“We manage the environment for you, any time we come out with a feature or upgrade, that’s on us,” Stabler said. “You don’t have to touch it.”
Like many in the ecommerce world, Stabler has seen the trend toward online shopping that was long underway accelerate greatly amid the coronavirus pandemic. The shuttering of physical retail stores sent shoppers online in ever-greater numbers, a powerful argument for what BigCommerce calls an “omni” strategy, which aims to extend sellers’ presence across the spectrum of sites where potential customers are shopping.
“Covid has adjusted how consumers want to get things, so as a merchant when you’re selling handmade goods or if you’re selling manufactured goods – you’ve got to find the consumer where they are,” Stabler said.
She also has a simple rule for sellers regarding customer service, one amplified by the disruptions in shipping and supply lines that many sellers experienced throughout the pandemic, particularly in the holiday season:
“Be transparent with your shoppers,” Stabler said. “If there’s going to be a delay in shipping, let them know. If there’s going to be a delay in supply, let them know.”
BigCommerce went public last summer in an initial public offering that closed in August. Though she would not comment on any forthcoming company announcements, Stabler indicated that 2021 will see BigCommerce expand its partnerships and integrations with other players in the ecommerce world, while continually adding new features to its software-as-a-service platform.
She is more adamant about the direction that the company will not take. Amid speculation that a service provider like Shopify might roll out a full-fledged marketplace that would compete directly with the likes of Amazon and eBay, Stabler said that’s not in the cards for BigCommerce.
“We will never be a marketplace. We’re relentlessly focused on continuing to be a leading ecommerce platform,” Stabler said. “Our ultimate aim is to make sure that selling is made simple.”