“It comes down to answering these questions: how do you continue to iterate the platform, how do you continue to augment the team, and how do you build a tapestry of alliances with partners that will accelerate your growth?” Case said.
As of mid-July, there were about 50,000 stores running on Bigcommerce, which have collectively sold close to $4 billon using the platform. The developer has typically added new customers one-by-one. However, a deal it struck in early July with eBay positions its service as the preferred migration path for two Magento products that will be discontinued in February 2015, Go and ProStores. Bigcommerce previously migrated more than 5,000 merchants off ProStores, and the deal could potentially bring up to 10,000 more.
Although the timing is purely a coincidence, it can’t hurt that Magento’s first product manager, Tim Schulz, just joined Bigcommerce as senior vice president of product management. Most recently a strategic partnership and business development executive for Google for services such as Shopping Express and Wallet, Schulz will be sharply focused on ensuring Bigcommerce offers an integrated experience that better straddles the e-commerce and physical retail worlds. “Consumers just want a seamless experience,” he said.
For co-founder Harper, a top priority for the next 12 months is shoring up Bigcommerce’s internal technical talent and creating services that help merchants build closer customer relationships. One example is offering data that helps store managers track “abandoned carts” and offer deals that help turn browsers into buyers. This can help merchants quickly add 15% to their monthly sales, he said.
“If we can identify someone who buys in both places, there is huge value there. You know who they are, what they bought, what they spent,” Harper added. “You can give them a more personalized experience.”
Entrepreneur Pat Crowley, the hydrologist who invented the Chapul cricket protein bar, used Bigcommerce to validate early interest in his products and build the momentum to negotiate deals with health food stores and supermarkets. The team recently recommitted toBigcommerce, despite a compelling opportunity to switch to the Shopify platform for far less money. “We don’t think we will outgrow them anytime soon,” he said.