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商业 - 科技

下一个电商巨头:Bigcommerce?

Heather Clancy 2014年08月20日

到2018年,美国电子商务市场的规模预计将达到4,140亿美元。无论是业界领导企业,还是新生力量,意欲从中分一杯羹的科技公司不在少数。一家诞生于澳大利亚,名不见经传的电商平台正在悄无声息地改变市场观念,不断斩获市场份额。它究竟采用了怎样的取胜之道?

Bigcommerce的联合创始人米奇•哈勃(左)和艾迪•马查拉尼

    随着美国电子商务交易接近零售总额的10%,越来越多的商家开始寻找既好用又能帮他们快速卖出商品的电商平台。

    从eBay的Magento电子商务系统、IBM和NetSuite等知名企业到规模较小的Shopify和Volusion等,很多科技公司都希望从中分一杯羹。但相对冷门的Bigcommerce正在悄悄引发关注并窃取市场份额。它吸引了超过7,500万美元的风投资本,其中4,000万美元来自企业家史蒂夫•凯斯的Revolution Growth公司。

    仅过去6个月,这家诞生于澳大利亚的公司不断从亚马逊(Amazon)、贝宝(PayPal)、谷歌(Google)和Twitter挖角,其高管团队的实力由此大大增强。同时,它还与行业领导者Magento公司签署了一项备受关注的协议,后者承诺将为该公司引入数以千计的新客户。它最近撤销了旧金山新办公室的租约,由于人员扩张非常快,如今公司需要的办公空间已是当初预期的3倍。

    “有些诡异的是,这跟马克•贝尼奥夫创立Salesforce.com时的情形非常相似,这点地方根本不够从事客户关系管理(CRM)使用,”米奇•哈珀表示。他与联席CEO艾迪•马查拉尼在2009年创立了这家公司。

    根据弗雷斯特研究公司(Forrester Research)的预测,今年美国网络商店的销售额将达到2,940亿美元,约为全国零售总额的9%。据弗雷斯特预计,到2018年,电子商务将占到全美零售总额的11%,约4,140亿美元,其中通过平板电脑和智能手机进行的交易约占线上销售额的20%。

    迄今为止,Bigcommerce同名技术的吸引力就在于其简单性,以及与商户同步成长的能力。史蒂夫•凯斯说,“对于一些人来说,成败即系于此。”凯斯以公司董事的身份为Bigcommerce提供美国创业趋势方面的建议。“就在五年前,如果要打造一家有吸引力的网店,你需要花费几十万美元。如今,几个小时就可以搞定,每月成本还不到100美元。”

    Bigcommerce在年销售额100万到200万美元的小零售商中大受欢迎。如今年销售额2,000万到3,000万美元的零售商群体也在迅速加入Bigcommerce。它大约70%的现有客户同时拥有线下实体店。过去一年,Bigcommerce大力开发可同时应用于移动平台和桌面电脑的自适应店铺模板(Bigcommerce认为,设计是小型电子商户的头等考量),并积极拓展“相邻”云服务的合作伙伴关系,比如会计、支付、客户关系管理和薪酬管理领域。

    With U.S. e-commerce activity approaching 10% of all retail sales, more merchants are shopping around for easy-to-use platforms that get them selling online quickly.

    Plenty of technology companies are angling for a piece of the action, from established players such eBay’s Magento , IBM , and NetSuite to smaller developers including Shopify and Volusion. But relative underdog Bigcommerce is stealing mindshare and market share, fueled by more than $75 million in venture capital, including $40 million from entrepreneur Steve Case’s Revolution Growth firm.

    In the past six months alone, the Australian-born company fortified its senior executive ranks with high-profile hires from Amazon, PayPal, Google, and Twitter. It brokered a high-profile deal with Magento, the market leader, that promises to bring thousands of new customers to it. And it broke the lease on its new San Francisco office because it is hiring so quickly that it now needs triple the space it originally anticipated.

    “It’s eerie how similar this space is to CRM when Marc Benioff launched Salesforce.com,” said Mitch Harper, who co-founded the company in 2009 with co-CEO Eddie Machaalani. “The parallels are uncanny.”

    This year, online storefronts will generate an estimated $294 billion, or approximately 9% of all U.S. retail sales, according to forecasts by Forrester Research. By 2018, e-commerce will account for more than 11% of the total, or approximately $414 billion, with transactions made with tablets and smartphones accounting for about 20% of the online total, Forrester projects.

    Until now, the appeal of Bigcommerce’s eponymous technology has been simplicity and its ability to scale along with merchants as they grow. “To some, this will mean the difference between success and failure,” said Steve Case, who as a board member advises Bigcommerce on U.S. entrepreneurial trends. “Even just five years ago, if you wanted to create a compelling offering, it could cost hundreds of thousands of dollars. Now, you can get up and running in hours for less than $100 per month.”

    Bigcommerce does particularly well among small retailers generating $1 million to $2 million in annual revenue, although its following with those in the $20 million to $30 million range is growing quickly. Roughly 70% of its existing customer base also runs a bricks-and-mortar store. For the past year, the developer has worked hard on responsive storefront templates that work equally well on mobile platforms and desktops—design is the number-one consideration for small e-commerce merchants, it says—and on relationships with partners of “adjacent” cloud services from the accounting, payments, customer relationship management, and payroll management worlds.

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