Katie Eaton | 15 September 2023 |

BigCommerce – Partners, Profit And Position.

BigCommerce Partner World Connect Header

Over the past 48 hours, I had the privilege of diving headfirst into the dynamic world of BigCommerce at their 2023 Partner Summit. It’s clear that BigCommerce is on a mission to reshape how the market perceives them. In the coming year, they aim to assert themselves as frontrunners in the enterprise commerce landscape, with a strategic focus on Partners, Profit, and Market Positioning. Join me as we explore their ambitious plans and the hurdles they must overcome to achieve these goals.

Partners: Building Bridges to Success

Mark Adams, Senior VP and GM for EMEA, proudly reflected on his journey since taking the helm in 2018. During this time, BigCommerce has evolved from a small, tight-knit group of around 60 people at the initial EMEA summit to a thriving community of over 600 registered delegates. A significant portion of this growth stems from recognising the power of partnerships with both agency and tech collaborators.

EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa), serving as the growth engine, has consistently achieved an impressive average year-on-year growth rate of over 30% for the past five years. This growth is heavily partner-driven, making it a strategic move to continue expanding the number of agency partners. In the last 12 months, BigCommerce welcomed over 88 new agencies into its fold.

The shift from catering primarily to SMBs to focusing on the mid-market and enterprise clientele necessitates a careful selection of agencies with the right expertise, processes, tools, and commitment to training. BigCommerce’s drive to increase the number of technical certifications across EMEA by fivefold in the next year reflects their commitment to ensuring top-notch quality control. As a certified BigCommerce partner this is something we wholeheartedly support. It demonstrates a maturing of the partnership programme

In the past year, BigCommerce onboarded 118 new enterprise clients, boasting an impressive average go-live time of under six months. Given the critical role go-live times play in purchase decisions, this swift implementation sets BigCommerce apart from competitors like SAP Commerce (Hybris), Adobe Commerce (Magento), and Salesforce Commerce Cloud.

Profit: Navigating the Path to Financial Success

In response to Wall Street’s call for profitability in commerce companies, BigCommerce has had to pivot rapidly. CEO Brent Bellm announced a commitment to achieving EBITDA profitability by the end of Q4, and they seem to be on track. The last quarter marked a significant milestone as it recorded the first-ever quarter with a positive free cash flow of $14 million, a remarkable feat relative to revenue. Additionally, it was the first time in history that BigCommerce achieved an EBITDA profitable month, signaling the transition from a growth-centric approach to a profit-focused strategy.

The pursuit of profitability involved a thorough review of the company’s investments. Last year, BigCommerce made the strategic decision to exclusively concentrate its sales and marketing efforts on midmarket and enterprise growth, effectively discontinuing its focus on SMBs. This transition is now nearing completion.

Notably, BigCommerce has bolstered its team with former Demandware senior executives, including Steven Chung, who played a pivotal role in leading Demandware’s enterprise expansion from 2013 onward. This move underscores their determination to replicate a successful formula.

Market Positioning: Crafting a Unique Identity

Historically, BigCommerce’s market position closely resembled that of other platform vendors. However, a transformational shift occurred just a few months ago. Brent Bellm articulated that the previous message, “E-commerce for a new era,” had become outdated and lacked a distinct identity.

In February, a new core theme emerged: “Enterprise commerce, simplified.” This phrase encapsulates BigCommerce’s new direction and competitive edge, clearly defining their target customer and emphasising the word “simplified.” It’s a subtle jab at the perceived complexity of other enterprise platforms.

Beyond this core positioning, BigCommerce has established five pillars to set them apart from other platform vendors:

Engagement: Empowering merchants and agency partners to create captivating user experiences that breathe life into brands and engage customers.

Attraction: Leveraging their 2021 acquisition of Feedonmics, BigCommerce focuses on attracting and engaging visitors effectively.

Conversion: With a one-page optimised native checkout boasting a claimed 62% conversion rate, they’re all about closing the deal.

Expansion: BigCommerce enables the addition of brands, geographies, and new segments, capitalising on their multi-storefront capabilities.

Operations: BigCommerce places a strong emphasis on providing lower-cost options compared to their enterprise competition, boasting a 90% reduction in development costs and a 30% reduction in operating costs. This focus on cost management becomes a crucial factor for merchants evaluating their options.

As BigCommerce redefines its strategy around these three pillars—Partners, Profit, and Market Positioning—their journey to reshape the enterprise commerce landscape promises to be an exciting one. Stay tuned for the transformations and innovations that will undoubtedly shape the future of commerce.


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