Product News – The BigCommerce Blog Ecommerce Blog delivering news, strategy and success stories to power 2x growth for scaling brands. Fri, 15 Jun 2018 16:19:41 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Product News – The BigCommerce Blog 32 32 Announcing Early Access Beta for BigCommerce WordPress Integration: Marrying Scalable Content and Commerce Tue, 05 Jun 2018 14:57:54 +0000 Today, we are excited to announce our early access developer beta BigCommerce for WordPress plugin. The app foundation, built by…]]>

Today, we are excited to announce our early access developer beta BigCommerce for WordPress plugin.

The plugin will be a full-featured integration that combines the flexibility of the WordPress platform with BigCommerce’s robust commerce engine, empowering the millions of merchants using WordPress to grow and customize their stores like never before.

The app foundation, built by Modern Tribe, is now open for early access beta for developers.

“Together with BigCommerce, we are excited to deliver a world-class, scalable commerce solution to the WordPress community,” said Travis Totz, director of new projects at Modern Tribe.

“With BigCommerce for WordPress built the WordPress way and Gutenberg ready, developers can now easily leverage a modern SaaS ecommerce engine to power WordPress projects of all sizes.”

In addition to our WordPress effort, we have launch a new, API-driven Commerce-as-a-Service initiative to allow brands to seamlessly deliver commerce experiences through custom and commercial content management systems while centrally managing catalog, customer and order data through BigCommerce.

“WordPress powers the web presence of millions of businesses around the world, allowing them to bring their brands and content to life. Our WordPress integration enables retailers to combine the world’s most popular content management system with the world’s best cloud commerce platform,” said Jimmy Duvall, chief product officer for BigCommerce.

“Through our Commerce-as-a-Service offering, we are further demonstrating to customers our commitment to delivering the industry’s most open SaaS ecommerce platform.”

Why WordPress

bigcommerce for wordpress ecommerce management

In total, 30% of all websites are powered by WordPress, making it the most widely-used content management system globally.

Through the BigCommerce WordPress integration, content-first brands and their developers will gain the ability to build and manage commerce experiences directly on the WordPress platform through a single plug-in, improving storefront performance and streamlining storefront management tasks.

“We love WordPress. It empowers us to customize our website in ways that match our brand values, and it enables us to tell compelling stories alongside our retail partners,” said Chris Grow, global marketing manager at Firewire Surfboards.

“With BigCommerce for WordPress we’ll have what we’ve always wanted – a laboratory for experimenting with ecommerce experiences that both bring value to Firewire retailers and enable more surfers to find our surfboards who previously couldn’t access them.”

Benefits for Retailers

bigcommerce for wordpress benefits for retailers

  • Seamless content-and-commerce experiences. BigCommerce for WordPress gives merchants access to the industry-leading ecommerce capabilities necessary to grow an online business at scale without compromising site content or user experiences.
  • Industry-leading ecommerce scalability. By transferring the commerce elements from the WordPress admin to BigCommerce, merchants can enjoy a more efficient experience that is not impeded by back-end bloat and can quickly scale ecommerce functionality as the need arises.
  • Out-of-the-box commerce functionality. WordPress developers can quickly integrate end-to-end commerce capabilities to an existing site experience using BigCommerce’s large robust ecosystem of apps and sizable catalog of fully-integrated payment and shipping methods to build an ecommerce offering that tailored to their business needs.
  • Enhanced ecommerce security and peace of mind. BigCommerce guarantees a secure, PCI compliant checkout, enabling merchants to deliver a superior website experience without the added concern of managing and maintaining PCI compliance.

Benefits for Developers

bigcommerce for wordpress benefits for developers

  • Made the WordPress Way: From the beginning, we set out to build our integration the WordPress Way: deliver value to the community, build it with WordPress experts, make something developers can make their own. We know what matters to the community, and our integration reflects the WordPress culture of empowerment, inclusion, and individuality.
  • Made to make your own: No iFrames necessary — get full catalog data access within WordPress so you can do what you want. The BigCommerce integration allows you to port over a copy of the product catalog with a robust commerce feature set. Simply hook into our plugin to build whatever you need for your storefront experience.
  • Unrestricted access to key plugin files: Have a highly customized theme and site? We’ve got you covered. Our plugin supports WordPress’ standard method of overriding template files so you can modify out-of-the-box designs. Customize your product cards, lists, and cart without risking plugin updates that will undo your changes.

Get in on the Ground Floor

Let us handle PCI compliance, catalog management and the challenges of commerce. You build the most beautiful, engaging website in WordPress history.

The power is at your fingertips.

Get started now.

Explore BigCommerce Documentation & Learn More

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Investment in BigCommerce, Our Customers and Our Partners Wed, 25 Apr 2018 14:00:13 +0000 Today BigCommerce announced that Goldman Sachs has led a $64 million growth equity investment, with backing from current investors General…]]>

Today BigCommerce announced that Goldman Sachs has led a $64 million growth equity investment, with backing from current investors General Catalyst, GGV Capital, and Tenaya Capital.

The implications for our customers, partners, and industry will be profound, and our entire team is thrilled to partner with Goldman Sachs, a world-class firm and global financial services leader.

As I near my third anniversary since joining the company, I wanted to share some perspectives on where we’re headed and how this major investment accelerates our path to get there.

Join the Ecommerce Growth Summit

This half-day pre-IRCE event on June 5 is limited to only 250 attendees and includes speaking tracks from:

  • Jennifer Fleiss, Co-founder of Rent the Runway
  • Ken Natori, President of The Natori Company
  • Jenny Buchar, Senior Manager, Digital Operations at SkullCandy
  • and others!

Food and drinks are complimentary – as are Q&A sessions with the speakers on how they grew to $100M, launched wholesale and direct to consumer channels, migrated from Demandware and Magento and so much more.

Reserve your spot now

BigCommerce History  

BigCommerce’s founders, Eddie Machaalani and Mitch Harper, launched the company in 2009 after meeting in an online chat room while living in Sydney.

They shared a mutual passion for small businesses and believed that selling online shouldn’t require $100,000+ in up-front development work.

The software-as-a-service (SaaS) ecommerce platform they built achieved near instant, widespread success among a global base of small and medium-sized businesses.

In comparison to the legacy model of downloaded shopping cart software, Eddie and Mitch gave merchants a complete solution delivered through the cloud.

Even in 2009, the platform offered comprehensive store set-up functionality, customizable design themes, hosting, catalog management, order management, and an ecosystem of related solutions for payments, shipping, marketing, etc. Industry-leading site performance, security, and bug fixing were part of the package. All this was sold for as little as $30/month – no engineering required.

We’ve grown rapidly since those early days.

Today, BigCommerce ranks as the world’s #2 SaaS platform after Shopify, which launched 6 years before we did.  

Building for Scale and Enterprise

In 2015, we realized our platform was increasingly being used by global brands selling in the millions online, and that these customers requested a different set of capabilities, expected a different level of service, and required flexibility in how they operate their businesses.

That summer I joined as CEO, an opportunity I was thrilled to pursue given the immense market opportunity and my career passion for ecommerce. (I’ve worked in ecommerce since the late 1990s, including at Escalate, one of the first-ever SaaS platforms.)

Before joining the company, I recognized there was no leading SaaS platform focused specifically on mid-market sites selling $1 million to $50 million online.

Shopify was serving small brands, while Demandware (now Salesforce Commerce Cloud) was primarily focused on large retailers selling north of $50 million per year. To effectively serve the mid-market, we started investing heavily in our Enterprise product and service to compete head-to-head with the on-premise incumbents like Magento, Oracle, and IBM.

BigCommerce is now the SaaS leader serving enterprise-level, mid-market sites.

Internet Retailer recently rated us the fastest-growing platform serving the top 1000 B2C stores in North America. In terms of total number of IR1000 sites served in that report, we’re the fifth-largest after Magento, Oracle, Salesforce, and IBM. Notably, of the top-10 platforms, all of the on-premise ones  —including Magento— are declining in market share.

Share is shifting definitively to SaaS, led by the three market leaders: Salesforce (large enterprise), BigCommerce (mid-market), and Shopify (SMB). By the way, we’re also a leading platform for B2B sites, ranking #2 SaaS on the Internet Retailer B2B 300 list.

How do we reconcile serving both large enterprises and small to medium sites?

Our mission as a company is to build the world’s best ecommerce platform for growing and established businesses.

Because of our multi-tenant SaaS architecture, we can power success at every stage of a business’s growth. Our dozens of  Fortune 1000 customers use the same technology and platform as our SMBs. That means that SMBs who start with BigCommerce make a great choice, since they will not outgrow us.

Even our Enterprise customers don’t outgrow us, as evidenced by a monthly retention rate well above 99.5%.

Importantly, we pour all of our company resources into the key capabilities, performance, and scalability of this core platform. Unlike Shopify, we aren’t distracted by ancillary businesses like proprietary payments, shipping, POS, and lending.

BigCommerce partners, and integrates seamlessly, with the market leaders in each of those categories, thereby delivering better solutions – and freedom of choice – for our customers while keeping our company 100% focused on our core platform.  

Investing in Our Customers’ Success

The most common funding-related question founders / CEOs receive after announcing new capital is, “How will you use the funds?” Platform investment will constitute the number one use of proceeds from our growth capital.

Particular investment will go toward platform openness, including the APIs and SDKs that let our merchants and their design/solution partners customize and integrate on top of our platform.

Open SaaS

Historically, Magento’s greatest advantage against SaaS competitors was their openness and customizability. Those days are over.

We now deliver better openness and customizability than any other SaaS platform in the world, and you no longer need to own and manage software in order to have flexibility. If we can deliver the functionality and flexibility that 90%+ of the market needs, then much of the market will migrate from on-premise to SaaS for years to come.

90% of the capabilities at 20% of the total cost of ownership, not to mention far better performance and security – that’s the proposition we make to the enterprise market.

The “90% capabilities” part gets better as every month passes, since we keep releasing new features and performance upgrades to our merchants.

With the growth capital, we will further invest in strategic priorities including:

  • Platform APIs and SDKs.
  • Industry-best speed.
  • Enhanced storefront design and visual merchandising.
  • Headless commerce (integration with leading content management applications).
  • Enhanced point-of-sale integration capabilities.
  • International and cross-border tools to help merchants better sell worldwide.
  • Capabilities for complex businesses (multiple stores, warehouses, currencies, etc.).
  • Omnichannel integrations with leading marketplaces, social networks, content and advertising platforms.

International Expansion

In addition to platform investment, international expansion will be a second major area of investment.

We already serve merchants in 150+ countries, and merchants outside of the United States (where we’re headquartered) are almost 25% of our customer base.

Since inception, we’ve had a strong technology and business presence in Australia. With our growth round, we will now expand further in Europe, where we already serve many thousands of customers. This means opening a regional headquarters office and hiring European sales, marketing, partner, and service personnel.

We plan to compete across Europe in the years to come, delivering the best product and service available on the continent.

Having once led PayPal Europe (2005-2009) and overseen all of HomeAway’s global sites and offices (across Europe, South America, ANZ, and Asia), I’m personally very excited about this. Meanwhile, we’re already competing in China in conjunction with a valued partner and plan for further Asian expansion in the future.

Long-term Financial Strength

A final, major, use of growth capital is simply “balance sheet strength.” To be clear, we need no additional capital to execute on our vision.  

Merchants and partners can have confidence that we’re the best-capitalized private ecommerce platform in the world.

Over time, we’d love to follow in the footsteps of Demandware, which coincidentally was also backed by our Series A investors at General Catalyst and had a very successful run as an independent public company prior to its acquisition.

To Our Merchants and Partners

To our merchants and partners, what matters most is that we’re investing for the long term in the growth of our platform and its service to you.

Your businesses, and your success, are what motivate us.

We plan to make you more successful on BigCommerce than you could be on any other platform in the world. Thank you for the trust placed in us to date.

You have helped us to get where we are. And now with this growth round, you can count on us to help you achieve your highest online aspirations for years to come.

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BigCommerce Brings AMP to Ecommerce Sites Worldwide Tue, 03 Apr 2018 13:01:50 +0000 BigCommerce has the first native ecommerce integration for accelerated mobile pages  –– i.e. AMP. This integration simplifies category and product detail…]]>

BigCommerce has the first native ecommerce integration for accelerated mobile pages  –– i.e. AMP.

This integration simplifies category and product detail pages, improving mobile site speed and click-through for online sellers.

“Mobile has become the primary shopping method for many online consumers, and ecommerce brands are increasingly realizing that their mobile sites need greater prioritization,” said Brian Dhatt, chief technology officer for BigCommerce.

“AMP effectively removes extraneous details that distract from the shopping experience, allowing shoppers to quickly access catalog and product pages, find the information that is most relevant to their purchase decision and proceed to checkout without the typical friction often associated with mobile shopping.”

What is AMP?

AMP is an open-source framework launched by Google, aimed at making the mobile web a faster, more beautiful experience.

Higher performance and engagement

Web pages and ads published in the AMP open-source format load near instantly, giving users a smooth, more engaging experience on mobile and desktop.

In a closed beta conducted in mid-2017, BigCommerce merchants that utilized AMP on category pages saw, on average, a 20% improvement in click-through rate.

Additional benefits include:

  • Increased page load speed: AMP alleviates heavy design elements that slow down page load speed. On average, a 100-millisecond delay in site load time drops conversion by seven percent, and by simplifying a site’s content on mobile devices, AMP helps to decrease the time to first byte.
  • Optimized search engine visibility: BigCommerce’s native support designates your site as AMP-enabled in Google search results. According to a 2017 survey, the majority of consumers are more inclined to click on an AMP-enabled link than one that is not.
  • Staying on the cutting edge: By enabling AMP support in the control panel, BigCommerce is the first ecommerce platform to natively offer all customers AMP-enabled product and category pages out of the box — without the need for custom coding or costly third-party apps — providing merchants a competitive advantage.

“Until now, many ecommerce brands have been unable to adopt AMP into their stores due to excessive coding requirements and lack of costly development resources,” said Ben Moore, CEO at Pixel Union, a leading ecommerce design agency and BigCommerce partner since 2015.

“Today, we are thrilled to be partnering with BigCommerce to offer AMP-enabled ecommerce themes across our entire Pixel Union catalog, giving online merchants a game-changing solution for harnessing the growth of mobile commerce and the power of world-class mobile design.”

AMP-Ready Themes

Out-of-the-box mobile-readiness so you can focus on marketing, not the technology.

Get your AMP optimized theme.

This added support for AMP follows BigCommerce’s release of Akamai Image Manager in January 2018, which gave BigCommerce merchants the ability to automatically optimize website imagery across all device types, resulting in faster page load times and higher conversion rates.

These ongoing efforts to increase page load speed, especially on mobile, follow the company’s close partnership with Google and recent Google’s announcement of the “Mobile Speed Update.”

The Mobile Speed Update is a new ranking algorithm for mobile search which will use mobile page load speeds as a ranking factor. This will affect all sites by July 2018.

This means that faster loading sites will benefit from improved visibility (Google started using site speed in desktop web search rankings in 2010).

Test Drive a Powerful Mobile Commerce Experience

Launch your 15-day free sandbox store to trial run AMP-optimized themes, automatic Akamai image manager, one-page checkout with Apple Pay, Amazon Pay and more. 

This is mobile commerce for the future. 

Your mobile commerce sandbox store.

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Shopping on Instagram Now Available to International Brands and Accounts Tue, 20 Mar 2018 06:03:12 +0000 In fall 2017, Instagram and BigCommerce enabled shopping on Instagram for U.S. merchants through shop on Facebook. This feature allowed…]]>

In fall 2017, Instagram and BigCommerce enabled shopping on Instagram for U.S. merchants through shop on Facebook.

This feature allowed businesses to tag products in Instagram posts, making it easier for consumers to learn more about a product with a single tap, and streamlined the path to purchase.

In beta, participating stores like Natori saw up to a 1,417% increase in traffic and sales from Instagram.

Since the end of beta, BigCommerce merchants using shopping on Instagram have seen a 50% increase in Instagram referral traffic to their site.

Such high impact can be attributed to the fact that:

  • More than 500 million people are active on Instagram every day
  • 60% of users say they discover new products on Instagram

Those two stats make Instagram a de facto sales channel for brands both in the U.S. and globally.

Today, we are excited to announce that shopping on Instagram is expanding to online sellers outside of the U.S.

All supported territories for shopping on Instagram now include:

  1. Australia.
  2. Brazil.
  3. Canada.
  4. France.
  5. Germany.
  6. Italy.
  7. Spain.
  8. United Kingdom.
  9. United States.
  10. Sweden.
  11. Netherlands.
  12. Argentina.
  13. Mexico.
  14. New Zealand.
  15. Switzerland.
  16. Puerto Rico.
  17. Ireland.
  18. South Africa.
  19. Belgium.
  20. Austria.
  21. Peru.
  22. Uruguay.
  23. Paraguay.
  24. Malta.
  25. Ecuador.
  26. Panama.
  27. Portugal.
  28. Poland.
  29. Greece.
  30. Cyprus.
  31. Denmark.
  32. Czech Republic.
  33. Romania.
  34. Norway.
  35. Hungary.
  36. Bulgaria.
  37. Croatia.
  38. Finland.
  39. Latvia.
  40. Lithuania.
  41. Slovenia.
  42. Luxembourg.
  43. Dominican Republic.
  44. Belize.

“While Instagram has given us the ability to connect our brand personality with our audience, social media conversation is most effective for businesses when based around product; we’ve always felt the experience would be stronger with an added commerce element,” said Rohan Moore, managing director at Olive Clothing Limited.

“Shopping on Instagram offers us an elegant and intuitive way to bridge the gap between creative content and a shoppable catalogue, allowing us to increasingly position our merchandising in the social space.

In an ecommerce market crowded with digital solutions promising high returns, this feature stands out as a uniquely powerful tool to leverage one of our brand’s most valuable assets.”

80 Shopping on Instagram Examples

You don’t have to go digging around the internet for Shopping on Instagram examples. So, we did it for you.

You’ll get to:

  • Explore more than 80 real examples of Instagram Shopping in the wild, no more stalking to see who is doing what
  • Draw inspiration to educate your own posts and your own strategy. Some folks are seeing as much as a 1,416% increase in sales and traffic!

Request your examples.

How to Get Shopping on Instagram for Your Store

To sell on Instagram, the first step is to get your store approved by Facebook Shop.

You can then tag products in your Facebook Shop on your Instagram posts.

Facebook allows merchants who sell physical goods in select product categories that comply with their Commerce Policy to push products over to the platform.

For BigCommerce stores, simply use the Facebook integration in Channel Manager to bulk sync your catalog with Facebook Shop.

How to sync your catalog with Facebook.

Once your catalog is approved by Facebook and connected to an Instagram business account, your account will be reviewed for shopping on Instagram.

If your account is approved, you will see Shopping in Business Settings within your Instagram app.

Tapping it will guide you to connect your Facebook Product Catalog to enable product tagging on your Instagram posts.

The review process for shopping on Instagram typically takes a few days, but sometimes accounts need to be reviewed in more detail, which can take longer.

How Shopping on Instagram Works

Through shopping on Instagram, your brand can tag products in Instagram posts, making contextual information such as pricing and product descriptions accessible with a single tap, enriching product discovery without the need to leave the app.

When ready to make a purchase, product tags quickly and conveniently direct shoppers to the associated product page on the your store, streamlining the checkout experience.

Market to 800M Customers

“We’ve seen a 12.61% increase in Instagram traffic and an 8% lift in purchases attributable to Instagram Shopping. The integration has been seamless. It is easy to tag products and drive customers directly to the product page right from Instagram.”

– John Lott, CFO/CCO of Spearmint Love

Launch Shopping on Instagram.

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Automating Image Optimization: Akamai Image Manager Now Available for BigCommerce Merchants Tue, 30 Jan 2018 14:00:09 +0000 If you’re selling online, you already know that when it comes to page load times — speed kills.   In…]]>

If you’re selling online, you already know that when it comes to page load times — speed kills.  

In fact, just last week Google announced a new ranking algorithm for mobile search —dubbed the “Speed Update”— which will use mobile page load speeds as a ranking factor.

This means that faster loading sites will benefit from improved visibility (Google started using site speed in desktop web search rankings in 2010).

Meanwhile, in recent years ecommerce websites have become more complex with retailers incorporating more functionality and higher-quality, immersive imagery in an effort to engage shoppers.

So how do brands create beautiful, immersive websites while also ensuring fast page load times for shoppers?

Introducing Akamai Image Manager

Today, we’re excited to announce Akamai Image Manager is now available for all Stencil stores worldwide.

What’s Akamai Image Manager?

Akamai Image Manager is an automated image optimizer for device size to help your site load faster no matter the browser’s origin.

This is free for BigCommerce customers – and available at cost for online stores across the web.

BigCommerce merchants using Akamai Image Manager as part of a closed beta for the past several months saw as much as 70% improvement in site load times.

Beginning today, we’ll be automatically enabling Akamai Image Manager for all eligible stores.

BigCommerce has already optimized all images on our CDN, meaning there’s no additional work for you to take advantage of Akamai’s image optimization capabilities, widely regarded as the best in the industry.

Best yet — there is no additional cost to use the feature and it is available across all plan types.

Improving Page Performance Without Compromising Customer Experience

Images play a critical role in ecommerce, addressing one of the inherent issues with shopping online — consumers’ inability to touch, feel or experience the product in person prior to making a purchase.

78% of U.S. consumers also say they expect compelling product images when shopping online.

To combat this, ecommerce brands have spent years looking for opportunities to make products more tangible, both through video and high-quality images, which are prominently featured across their websites.

As a result, the average website page size eclipsed 3MB in 2017, up from less than 1MB in 2011.

The graph below depicts how much ‘page weight’ is contributed by images.


See It in Action

If you’re using the Chrome browser, this handy tool will show you exactly how Akamai Image Manager is helping to optimize your site.

Get the tool now.

With websites becoming more reliant on imagery, ensuring a fast-loading shopping experience has become a more complicated challenge.

This is especially difficult on mobile where brands have to contend with a fractured mobile landscape with thousands of devices — each with different specs, browsers and screen sizes — making it necessary to convert images to a multitude of sizes and resolutions in order to optimize for each.

With Akamai Image Manager, BigCommerce merchants no longer need to worry about manually managing or resizing images to ensure shoppers get the best possible performance.

Starting today, all BigCommerce stores will benefit from:

  • Automatic image conversion. Detect and instantly convert online images to software-specific image formats to capitalize on advanced levels of compression  provided through WebP, JPEG-XR and JPEG 2000 native to popular operating systems and browsers.
  • Intelligent image delivery across devices. Automatically deliver resized, mobile-optimized images to mobile shoppers, reducing large files that slow site performance and significantly decreasing the amount of time spent personalizing image variants.
  • Faster page load speeds. Using Akamai’s perceptual quality algorithm, Image Manager lightens the weight of digital images while maintaining the improved gains in performance, especially when viewing sites from a mobile device. Additionally, better performance leads to higher mobile usage and increased conversion rates.

More information about Akamai Image Manager

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Using BigCommerce to Sell on Amazon Wed, 13 Dec 2017 12:00:05 +0000 Now that you know how to sell on Amazon, fully understand the vast potential of tapping into Amazon’s 304 million…]]>

Now that you know how to sell on Amazon, fully understand the vast potential of tapping into Amazon’s 304 million (and growing) active user base and you know how to successfully market products to drive growth for your business.

The why isn’t in question.

The only issue remaining is how to make it work as part of your day-to-day business operations from an actual implementation and technical perspective.

Improving efficiency and output for our customers is what makes us so excited to showcase our seamless solution for selling on Amazon directly from BigCommerce.

With multi-channel retailing, one of the most common issues has always been the logistics — keeping track of orders and inventory across multiple touchpoints without bouncing between Excel and different software programs — all while trying to optimize each channel.

Maintaining this kind of incompatible system is a major drain on your finite time and bandwidth.

Beyond the inefficiencies, there are serious consequences when this patchwork solution inevitably fails or introduces unnecessary errors.

BigCommerce has built a solution so you can simultaneously scale your Amazon sales and ecommerce shop from one central hub.

Our seamless integration with Amazon allows you to list products directly from your BigCommerce Control Panel without the aforementioned copying, pasting and merging of Excel spreadsheets and data exports across your entire company.

Plus, with our two-way inventory sync, you’ll always have an accurate snapshot of your entire inventory database — which updates in real-time.

Pro tip: With Channel Manager, you can manage product listings for your online store, Amazon, Facebook, Google Shopping and Pinterest.

Take This Book With You

This full guide (all +17 chapters and +50 experts and their insights) is more than 35,000 words. That’s a lot to read on a screen.

So don’t! Download the guide below to print it out, take it with you, and start selling more on Amazon.

Download Now

Selling on Amazon with BigCommerce

Here is exactly how BigCommerce stores can be easily configured for selling on Amazon today.



Our requirements are broken out in 3 different subsections:

  • Merchant Settings
  • Store Settings
  • Product Settings

Merchant Setting Requirements

To use our Amazon Integration within Channel Manager, you must:

  • Have an Amazon Seller account on a Professional Selling plan. If you don’t have one, sign up at Amazon Seller Central.
  • Have a unique identifier (MPN or other standard ID) for products not already available in Amazon’s catalog.
  • Have at least one image per product. The primary image of your product is called the “MAIN” image.
  • Enable Track Inventory by Product and have a stock level greater than zero in order to initially list. Amazon listings that run out of stock will show as “Out of Stock” on Amazon.

Store Setting Requirements

Product Setting Requirements

Currently, products can be listed only in these Amazon categories. Additional categories will be available in future updates.

Selling on Amazon Product Categories

  • Arts, Crafts & Sewing
  • Beauty & Personal Care
  • Clothing, Shoes & Jewelry (requires approval)
  • Electronics
  • Grocery & Gourmet Food (requires approval)
  • Health & Household
  • Home & Kitchen
  • Patio, Lawn & Garden
  • Pet Supplies
  • Sports & Outdoors
  • Tools & Home Improvement

Pro Tip

For a full list of requirements, visit our Knowledge Base article about Selling on Amazon.

How to Sell on Amazon with BigCommerce

1. The new product list.

Pick and choose which products are listed on your storefront and which are listed on Amazon.

You can also manage product listings for all your other channels, like:

  • Facebook
  • eBay
  • Instagram
  • WordPress

new product list amazon bigcommerce integration

The new product list features a Listed On column that shows you which channels a product is included on, its current status (e.g. visible, pending or rejected), and any errors that may be preventing the product from being included on a particular channel.


When you check one or more products, the Bulk Actions menu appears in the top right of the product list, allowing you to edit, export, list, delete or hide products en masse.

  • Bulk edit selected
  • Export selected
  • List products on channels
  • Hide products on channels
  • Delete selected

how to sell on amazon

2. Managing listings.

How to create Amazon Listings:

  1. Go to Products › View and click Storefront › Create Listing next to the product you want to list on Amazon.
  2. Channels will set to Amazon. Select a Product Listing Category.
  3. By default, your new Amazon product listing will use the same name, description, brand and price details your product has in your BigCommerce store.
  4. Optionally, you can override these to be specific to Amazon. These edits are only reflected on – not on your BigCommerce store or other marketplace listings.
  5. Save your changes. Once saved, your product will show an Amazon status of Pending. After your product has been successfully listed, its listing status will change from Pending to Active.

amazon listing active

New and updated listings can take up to 30 minutes to appear on Amazon. Images can take up to 24 hours to appear on Amazon.

How to hide Amazon Listings:

  1. To hide a product from Amazon, check the box next to it and select Hide products on channels from the Bulk Actions drop-down.
  2. Check the box next to Amazon, then click Hide products.


3. Checking orders from Amazon.

Orders received from Amazon are listed on your Orders screen with an Amazon icon.

fulfillment by amazon

Since billing is handled by Amazon, orders from Amazon come into your BigCommerce control panel with the shipping address also listed as the billing address when looking at the expanded order details.

Amazon does not include the real email address of the customer.

Instead, they share an automatically generated anonymous email address.

Per Amazon’s policy, this address may not be used for marketing purposes.

amazon fba shipping

Partial shipments for orders from Amazon are not supported, so you won’t be able to modify the quantity shipped when creating shipments for Amazon orders.

Full and partial refunds are managed from your Amazon Seller Central dashboard.

4. Customer experience on Amazon.

Once your products are listed on Amazon, the browsing and checkout flows are controlled by Amazon.

If your offering is featured in the Buy Box, your business is listed as the shipper and seller.

win the amazon buy box

If your offering is not featured in the Buy Box, you may be listed as an “Other Seller.”

When a customer purchases one of your products, they will receive an email confirmation from Amazon. All order emails are handled by Amazon.

Your new Amazon order is brought into your BigCommerce control panel, and they’re shipped the same as you would any other order that comes in through your storefront.

BigCommerce will update the order’s status on Amazon when you create a shipment or change the order status.

Visit our Knowledge Base article about Selling on Amazon for Frequently Asked Questions and a complete breakdown of how to manage your Amazon listing.


Are you one of our many customers selling on Amazon with BigCommerce? If so, please share some of your stories and successes below!

Want more insights like this?

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Cyber Week 2017: Black Friday Stats, Cyber Monday Trends + 25 Brands Reveal The Secrets to Their Success Tue, 28 Nov 2017 20:30:57 +0000 Cyber Week is officially over. Black Friday and Cyber Monday –– the two largest online selling days of the year…]]>

Cyber Week is officially over. Black Friday and Cyber Monday –– the two largest online selling days of the year — are in the books.

Now, it’s time to pick, pack, ship and take a look at your marketing campaigns to see which won, which lost and what that may mean for your 2018 marketing initiatives.

It’s also time to check out what happened at large in the ecommerce industry during Cyber Week 2017. Here are some top level findings.

Cyber Week 2017 Trends

  • Thanksgiving Day saw the highest YoY increase in overall GMV; however, Cyber Monday remained the most popular day for making purchases over the five-day period.
  • Automotive retailers saw the highest average order value ($235.10), followed by retailers within the Sports & Outdoors ($143.50) and Home & Garden ($103.60) categories
  • Consumers in California, Texas, Florida, New York and Pennsylvania made the most purchases for the second consecutive year
  • iPhone users spent 7.1% more during Cyber 5 than Android users

While those stats may help to inform your 2018 direction, benchmarking yourself against the industry and specifically against your vertical is the best bet to understand your success.

That’s why below you’ll find aggregated data across tens of thousands of online brands that shows:

  • Year over year same-store sales and orders data
  • Year over year device breakdown (desktop v. mobile and iOS v. Android)
  • Average order value by vertical

And you’ll get all of this information broken out in aggregate across Cyber Week and in individual days, including:

  • Thanksgiving
  • Black Friday
  • Small Business Saturday
  • Sunday
  • Cyber Monday

You’ll also hear from 25 of this year’s most successful brands on which channels worked and what they did to grow sales more than 500% in each of their respective verticals.

Most Successful Cyber Week 2017 Tactics

  • Selling on Amazon
  • Content + Commerce Integration
  • Facebook Advertising Optimization
  • Niche PPC Strategies
  • Site UX & Checkout Optimization
  • Inventory Preparation
  • Influencer Marketing & Social Media Engagement
  • Showcasing User Generated Content
  • Focusing on Video Marketing

Without further ado, let’s take a long, hard look at what 2017’s Cyber Week had in store for online sellers.

Want to Sell More Online? Your Platform Matters

Each year, BigCommerce looks at same-store sales to determine the real increase in revenue and orders data year over year for ecommerce brands on the platform.

This means we have excluded brands from the data set that joined BigCommerce prior to Cyber Week 2016.

This allows us to dig past a “big, pretty number” and get to the meat of the event: how much did sales really increase this season?

And for brands on BigCommerce, on average, sales increased 21%. The industry average for Cyber Week 2017 was 17%, on average.

That means brands on BigCommerce saw 4% more revenue than those not using the platform.

Let’s look at how each day broke down.

Cyber Week 2017 GMV Increase

  • Thanksgiving: +24.18%
  • Black Friday: +22.22%
  • Small Business Saturday: +22.79%
  • Sunday: +22.02%
  • Cyber Monday: +17.84%
  • Cyber Week: +21.17%

Online Shopping is the Newest Thanksgiving Tradition

In our survey of brand holiday preparedness prior to Cyber Week, BigCommerce found that 39% of brands that start planning for their holiday campaigns in January make more than $1,000,000 in annual revenue.

Yep, that means that early planning and making millions in revenue is correlated.

It also probably means that those brands start their Cyber Week campaigns even before Thanksgiving. And in fact, the biggest increase in orders and sales in 2017 over 2016 was on Thanksgiving itself.

Turns out, Thanksgiving is for turkey, football and online shopping.

See How 1,018 Brands Prepared for Cyber Week 2017

When did brands start planning? Which channels did they invest most in? How much were they expecting to grow? Get everything you’d want to know about how brands mentally prepared for Cyber Week 2017.

Get The Data Now

Mobile Orders Surpass 50%

It has officially happened.

Mobile orders have surpassed desktop orders on all Cyber Week days except for Cyber Monday.

In 2016, excluding Cyber Monday –– when more consumers shop from desktops at their offices –– 54% of orders were on desktop devices and 46% were from mobile devices. In 2017, 47% of orders were from desktop devices while 53% were from mobile devices –– almost the exact inverse!

Interestingly, however, apart from Fashion & Jewelry merchants, desktop purchases accounted for a higher percentage of overall revenue across industries, despite making up a lower percentage of orders.

This suggests that users are more likely to purchase more expensive items on their desktop devices compared to mobile.

Including Cyber Monday data into the mix puts desktop and mobile neck and neck –– 50% desktop orders and 50% mobile orders.

Here’s how that broke down over Cyber Week.

Cyber Week 2017 Mobile v. Desktop Orders

  • Thanksgiving:
    • Mobile: 54%
    • Desktop: 46%
  • Black Friday:
    • Mobile: 54%
    • Desktop: 46%
  • Small Business Saturday:
    • Mobile: 55%
    • Desktop: 45%
  • Sunday:
    • Mobile: 53%
    • Desktop: 47%
  • Cyber Monday:
    • Mobile: 43%
    • Desktop: 57%
  • Cyber Week:
    • Mobile: 50%
    • Desktop: 50%

Desktop Still Rules for Revenue

As mentioned above, apart from Fashion & Jewelry merchants, desktop purchases accounted for a higher percentage of overall revenue across industries, despite making up a lower percentage of orders.

This suggests that users are more likely to purchase more expensive items on their desktop devices compared to mobile.

Cyber Week 2017 Mobile v. Desktop GMV

  • Thanksgiving:
    • Mobile: 46%
    • Desktop: 54%
  • Black Friday:
    • Mobile: 45%
    • Desktop: 55%
  • Small Business Saturday:
    • Mobile: 47%
    • Desktop: 53%
  • Sunday:
    • Mobile: 46%
    • Desktop: 54%
  • Cyber Monday:
    • Mobile: 32%
    • Desktop: 68%
  • Cyber Week:
    • Mobile: 42%
    • Desktop: 58%

Phone-In Orders Have Highest Conversion Rate

In total, manual and phone-in orders made up less than 1% of total orders over Cyber Week 2017.

Cyber Monday had the largest percentage of phone-in orders at 2% of total orders.

Pro Tip

Add your phone number to your site and staff the phone lines. Customers calling in for personalized orders are highly likely to purchase, and at a higher price point, too.

Find more insights like this in BigCommerce’s Facebook User Group.

Biggest Buyers by State

Looking to drive up sales through targeted segmenting and advertising? Your best bets are probably the following 10 states.

They have spent the most online over Cyber Week for the past 2 consecutive years.

The only difference in this list between 2017 and 2016 is that Georgia and New Jersey have switched places.

  1. California
  2. Texas
  3. Florida
  4. New York
  5. Pennsylvania
  6. Illinois
  7. Virginia
  8. Ohio
  9. Georgia
  10. New Jersey

Vertical Specific Trends: AOV, Device Purchasing and More

In 2017 on Thanksgiving and Black Friday, significantly more orders were made on mobile devices for the Automotive (+10%), Fashion & Jewelry (65.41%) and Health & Beauty (18.22%) merchants.

Significantly less orders were made on mobile for Home & Garden (-12.75%) and Toys & Games (-16.08%) merchants.

For the automotive industry, average order value came in at $230.79 for Cyber Week. For Fashion & Jewlery, average order value was significantly less at $79.40.

However, Fashion & Jewelry accounted for 37% of total sales and Automotive less than 5%.

What does all of this mean?

That no two verticals should be held to the same standards.

Consumer shopping expectations and preferences alter between industries based on information needed and price point requested.

So that you can better benchmark your results, here are the top industries broken down for you.

1. Automotive

Automotive merchants on BigCommerce made 40.23% more in 2017 than 2016 during Cyber Week.

Here is how it broke down.

Automotive Cyber Week 2017 YoY GMV

  • Thanksgiving: +51.38%
  • Black Friday: +34.9%
  • Small Business Saturday: +37.47%
  • Sunday: +42.61%
  • Cyber Monday: +41.76%
  • Cyber Week: +40.23%

Automotive Cyber Week 2017 Average Order Value

  • Thanksgiving: $226.47
  • Black Friday: $263.88
  • Small Business Saturday: $223.58
  • Sunday: $198.68
  • Cyber Monday: $241.35
  • Cyber Week: $230.79

Automotive Cyber Week 2017 Mobile v. Desktop Orders

  • Thanksgiving:
    • Mobile: 56%
    • Desktop: 44%
  • Black Friday:
    • Mobile: 54%
    • Desktop: 46%
  • Small Business Saturday:
    • Mobile: 55%
    • Desktop: 45%
  • Sunday:
    • Mobile: 54%
    • Desktop: 46%
  • Cyber Monday:
    • Mobile: 46%
    • Desktop: 54%
  • Cyber Week:
    • Mobile: 53%
    • Desktop: 47%

2. Fashion & Jewelry

Fashion & Jewelry merchants on BigCommerce made 16% more in 2017 than 2016 during Cyber Week.

Here is how it broke down.

Fashion & Jewelry Cyber Week 2017 YoY GMV

  • Thanksgiving: +17.98%
  • Black Friday: +18.37%
  • Small Business Saturday: +26.58%
  • Sunday: +16.27%
  • Cyber Monday: +5.91%
  • Cyber Week: +16%

Fashion & Jewelry Cyber Week 2017 Average Order Value

  • Thanksgiving: $83.45
  • Black Friday: $80.36
  • Small Business Saturday: $77.23
  • Sunday: $77.27
  • Cyber Monday: $78.69
  • Cyber Week: $79.40

Fashion & Jewelry Cyber Week 2017 Mobile v. Desktop Orders

  • Thanksgiving:
    • Mobile: 63%
    • Desktop: 37%
  • Black Friday:
    • Mobile: 62%
    • Desktop: 38%
  • Small Business Saturday:
    • Mobile: 63%
    • Desktop: 37%
  • Sunday:
    • Mobile: 63%
    • Desktop: 37%
  • Cyber Monday:
    • Mobile: 51%
    • Desktop: 49%
  • Cyber Week:
    • Mobile: 60%
    • Desktop: 40%

3. Food & Beverage

Food & beverage merchants on BigCommerce made 6.5% more in 2017 than 2016 during Cyber Week.

Here is how it broke down.

Food & Beverage Cyber Week 2017 YoY GMV

  • Thanksgiving: +2.62%
  • Black Friday: +6.71%
  • Small Business Saturday: +7.14%
  • Sunday: +25.4%
  • Cyber Monday: -0.2%
  • Cyber Week: +6.5%

Food & Beverage Cyber Week 2017 Average Order Value

  • Thanksgiving: $91.67
  • Black Friday: $83.41
  • Small Business Saturday: $83.16
  • Sunday: $85.57
  • Cyber Monday: $97.16
  • Cyber Week: $88.19

Food & Beverage Cyber Week 2017 Mobile v. Desktop Orders

  • Thanksgiving:
    • Mobile: 50%
    • Desktop: 50%
  • Black Friday:
    • Mobile: 51%
    • Desktop: 49%
  • Small Business Saturday:
    • Mobile: 52%
    • Desktop: 48%
  • Sunday:
    • Mobile: 50%
    • Desktop: 50%
  • Cyber Monday:
    • Mobile: 38%
    • Desktop: 62%
  • Cyber Week:
    • Mobile: 48%
    • Desktop: 52%

4. Health & Beauty

Health & beauty merchants on BigCommerce made 18.69% more in 2017 than 2016 during Cyber Week.

Here is how it broke down.

Health & Beauty Cyber Week 2017 YoY GMV

  • Thanksgiving: +39.11%
  • Black Friday: +16.12%
  • Small Business Saturday: +13.42%
  • Sunday: +11.64%
  • Cyber Monday: +20%
  • Cyber Week: +18.69%

Health & Beauty Cyber Week 2017 Average Order Value

  • Thanksgiving: $81.61
  • Black Friday: $78.64
  • Small Business Saturday: $73.53
  • Sunday: $70.87
  • Cyber Monday: $87.95
  • Cyber Week: $78.52

Health & Beauty Cyber Week 2017 Mobile v. Desktop Orders

  • Thanksgiving:
    • Mobile: 57%
    • Desktop: 43%
  • Black Friday:
    • Mobile: 55%
    • Desktop: 45%
  • Small Business Saturday:
    • Mobile: 56%
    • Desktop: 44%
  • Sunday:
    • Mobile: 54%
    • Desktop: 46%
  • Cyber Monday:
    • Mobile: 46%
    • Desktop: 54%
  • Cyber Week:
    • Mobile: 54%
    • Desktop: 46%

5. Home & Garden

Home & Garden merchants on BigCommerce made 20.19% more in 2017 than 2016 during Cyber Week.

Here is how it broke down.

Home & Garden Cyber Week 2017 YoY GMV

  • Thanksgiving: +23.64%
  • Black Friday: +24.23%
  • Small Business Saturday: +19.14%
  • Sunday: +23.78%
  • Cyber Monday: +15%
  • Cyber Week: +20.19%

Home & Garden Cyber Week 2017 Average Order Value

  • Thanksgiving: $112.29
  • Black Friday: $114.25
  • Small Business Saturday: $86.68
  • Sunday: $89.63
  • Cyber Monday: $113.83
  • Cyber Week: $103.34

Home & Garden Cyber Week 2017 Mobile v. Desktop Orders

  • Thanksgiving:
    • Mobile: 49%
    • Desktop: 51%
  • Black Friday:
    • Mobile: 49%
    • Desktop: 51%
  • Small Business Saturday:
    • Mobile: 57%
    • Desktop: 43%
  • Sunday:
    • Mobile: 51%
    • Desktop: 49%
  • Cyber Monday:
    • Mobile: 43%
    • Desktop: 57%
  • Cyber Week:
    • Mobile: 50%
    • Desktop: 50%

6. Sports & Outdoors

Sports & Outdoors merchants on BigCommerce made 22.42% more in 2017 than 2016 during Cyber Week.

Here is how it broke down.

Sports & Outdoors Cyber Week 2017 YoY GMV

  • Thanksgiving: +12.71%
  • Black Friday: +34.59%
  • Small Business Saturday: +27.36%
  • Sunday: +19.64%
  • Cyber Monday: +14.38%
  • Cyber Week: +22.42%

Sports & Outdoors Cyber Week 2017 Average Order Value

  • Thanksgiving: $144.55
  • Black Friday: $148.91
  • Small Business Saturday: $136.95
  • Sunday: $132.98
  • Cyber Monday: $147.91
  • Cyber Week: $142.26

Sports & Outdoors Cyber Week 2017 Mobile v. Desktop Orders

  • Thanksgiving:
    • Mobile: 52%
    • Desktop: 48%
  • Black Friday:
    • Mobile: 51%
    • Desktop: 49%
  • Small Business Saturday:
    • Mobile: 52%
    • Desktop: 48%
  • Sunday:
    • Mobile: 50%
    • Desktop: 50%
  • Cyber Monday:
    • Mobile: 40%
    • Desktop: 60%
  • Cyber Week:
    • Mobile: 49%
    • Desktop: 51%

7. Toys & Games

Toys & Games merchants on BigCommerce made 24.66% more in 2017 than 2016 during Cyber Week.

Here is how it broke down.

Toys & Games Cyber Week 2017 YoY GMV

  • Thanksgiving: +41%
  • Black Friday: +39.56%
  • Small Business Saturday: +28.11%
  • Sunday: +12%
  • Cyber Monday: +8.2%
  • Cyber Week: +24.66%

Toys & Games Cyber Week 2017 Average Order Value

  • Thanksgiving: $94.53
  • Black Friday: $100.32
  • Small Business Saturday: $85.62
  • Sunday: $78.13
  • Cyber Monday: $89.35
  • Cyber Week: $89.59

Toys & Games Cyber Week 2017 Mobile v. Desktop Orders

  • Thanksgiving:
    • Mobile: 52%
    • Desktop: 48%
  • Black Friday:
    • Mobile: 49%
    • Desktop: 51%
  • Small Business Saturday:
    • Mobile: 51%
    • Desktop: 49%
  • Sunday:
    • Mobile: 50%
    • Desktop: 50%
  • Cyber Monday:
    • Mobile: 44%
    • Desktop: 56%
  • Cyber Week:
    • Mobile: 49%
    • Desktop: 51%

How 25 Brands Conquered Aggressive Cyber Week Goals

Facebook Advertising, Amazon, eBay, PPC and Buy Buttons were the most successful channels for online brands this year.

So, we reached out to some of the most successful ones, based on the data, to ask what they did to ensure they’d increase sales through their hard work.

Here is what they had to say.

Cyber Week 2017 Most Successful Ecommerce Brands

1. Olive Clothing

In the lead-up to the winter buying season, we allocated resources to migrate our site from Blueprint to Stencil, initially to enable hi-res product images in the carousel and in the hope of speeding-up the site experience over mobile, while being mindful of the wider benefits of the platform modernization.

To enable access to the Optimized One-Page Checkout, we migrated our payment gateway from Realex to for low-cost transaction fees and added a second payment option through Stripe to facilitate ApplePay, anticipating continued growth in site access via mobile.

Having invested in Facebook Ads engagement with a wide spread of international territories throughout 2017, we shortlisted our key international territories, and added localized currency conversions for them on our store.

We also undertook a radical review of our shipping terms and implemented a sophisticated matrix of shipping options via ShipperHQ — with prices and free shipping customized in line with terms we’d negotiated with our shipping providers. Prior to the review, we’d seen increased shipping costs as we entered new international territories.

In the lead-up to Black Friday and throughout Black Friday, we reallocated much of our Facebook ‘awareness’ tier ad budget into the ‘consideration’ tier across our key territories and strengthened our Dynamic Product Ads (DPA)  budget — leveraging the Facebook/BigCommerce catalogue integration for DPA.

We rolled out a series of MailChimp campaign emails, commencing at 8:00am GMT on Black Friday, which have proven to be great for driving traffic — and we keep those site visitors engaged with DPA throughout the sale period.

With the exception of our email marketing, 100% of our marketing efforts was executed via the Facebook ecosystem.

That means Facebook posts, Instagram posts, Facebook & Instagram ads, including the recently released Facebook Messenger placement.

We didn’t pay a penny on SEO or Google — not for AdWords, Display Marketing, or Google Shopping. We’re still considering some experiments with Google’s products, but our ROI from the Facebook ecosystem has been so strong we’ve allocated 100% of our growth ad budget to our existing campaign framework with Facebook.

— Rohan Moore, Managing Director, Olive Clothing Limited

2. Goose Creek Candle

This is our first year with BigCommerce and we experienced a 68% growth in sales during Black Friday weekend. Because of our incredible growth over the past 3-4 years, we struggled to find an ecommerce platform solution to support us.

Since our launch date, we have yet to experience any downtime or inconsistencies in service. The BigCommerce team has been all about supporting our business.

The robust platform and its applications have helped us successfully reach our sales goals month after month.

— Jordan Meece, Brand Executive, Goose Creek Home Fragrance

3. Dorco

Proper planning for every moment of the big sale days of the year, making sure all MARCOM is in total sync to drive traffic, and leveraging as well as maximizing customer data are the top three tools we use to guarantee great results.

— Ken Hill, CEO, Dorco USA.

4. Pink Lily

This year we definitely focused our efforts on two main things for this holiday season.  

First, inventory preparation.

We spent months making sure we had enough inventory on hand to fill our customers’ needs.  The team focused on a lot of holiday themed items, such as graphic tees and pajama pants, as well as our bestselling boutique items.  

Black Friday discounts were offered on these items as ‘doorbusters’ to entice shoppers to come to the website early.

We knew demand would be high so we made sure we had 100s in stock of each item.  

And second, social media engagement.

We scheduled over 70 influencers to do sponsored posts for us on Black Friday, showcasing our items and advertising our sales.  

This led to a huge increase in traffic, as potential customers were being directed to from many different channels.  

Our marketing team also did live videos on Facebook all day to advertise the promotions and different items.  

We had contests, giveaways and a $1,000 gift card for one lucky winner.

Our customers and followers really enjoy participating, as it enhances their experience and promotes engagement.  

We had over 75,000 visits to our website on Black Friday alone.  

At the end of the day all this preparation really served us well. We did over $500,000 dollars in sales in just three days!  

We owe a big thanks to our entire team for working so hard to get ready for this busy season.

— Chris Gerbig, Co-Founder/President, The Pink Lily Boutique

5. Nickel & Suede

Facebook is a sales generator year round for Nickel & Suede, especially on holidays, because our customers are trained to purchase through our links there.

Our Facebook page is one of the first places we update with promotions, coupons, new products and other news. We post consistently to Facebook every day and make sure to post great content, including links to products, on key sale days like Black Friday.

We frequently boost posts that are doing well on our page and always have Facebook ads running.

Another key strategy is that we plan posts that include answers to frequently asked questions and recommend best sellers to make purchase decisions easier for customers. We also work with influencers who have a strong presence on Facebook. This year we gave them extra coupon codes to share on their pages over the holiday shopping week.

— Kilee Nickels, Co-Owner, Nickel & Suede


The single most important thing we do during Black Friday week and Cyber Monday is engage openly and honestly with our customers.

We’re transparent about why certain products go on sale (or not) and we explain pricing as best we can.

We’ve even started sharing inventory levels right on the product pages for all our gear and apparel.

Overall, we’ve found that leading with transparency results in a genuinely receptive audience and a sales season that’s as good for our customers as it is for our business.

Here are some examples of this type of engagement from the past few days:

  1. Real Time Sales Update: Posted the weekend between Black Friday and Cyber Monday
  2. Why GR1 is NOT on Sale: Posted Thanksgiving Week
  3. Black Friday livestream: Originally posted via Facebook live on Black Friday
  4. GORUCK subreddit: Our CEO is active daily
  5. We also post regularly on our private Facebook group reserved for GORUCK event finishers only. These are our VIPs.

— Andy Nelson, Senior Content Director, GORUCK

7. Aran Sweater Market

We maintain our focus on offering an online shopping experience that is customer-focused on

This enables our customers to easily and quickly shop our broad range of quality, authentic Irish Aran knitwear which is key to our strategy at this time of year.

— Patrick Kelly, Head of Digital & eCommerce, Aran Sweater Market

8. Spearmint LOVE

Part of our Black Friday marketing strategy was focused on using native features from Facebook and BigCommerce; most notably the Facebook Shop, product catalog integration and dynamic product ads.  

Together, these products enable us to deliver a highly personal marketing campaign to our rapidly growing audience.

— Shari Lott, Founder and CEO, Spearmint Love

9. Grace & Lace

We strive to hone in on what our customers like and what they want. We spend a lot of time learning about our customers by following their purchasing behavioral patterns and considering their feedback regarding what items they like, what items they shop and what items they buy again.

We geared our Black Friday sales to really target them based on these findings. We position ourselves to capitalize on the offer from the bottom line. In addition, broadening our marketing reach and several other factors gave us stellar Black Friday results.

— Melissa Hinnant, Owner and Designer, Grace & Lace

10. NaturallyCurly

I was so excited when BigCommerce launched Buy Buttons. I knew it was the perfect way to help integrate commerce into our content site,, which is hosted on a separate platform from our eCommerce site, SHOP NaturallyCurly.

We started with adding Buy Button links on some of our landing pages.

Then, just in time for Black Friday, we added the Buy Buttons to the bottom of our articles so customers can shop the article.

It was much faster and easier than building out a product widget or carousel, and now we know exactly where the revenue is coming from.

— Jacqueline Cheney, VP Ecommerce, Texture Media LLC l NaturallyCurly

11. Scooter Hut

Over the years, we have found our customers prefer consistency over the Black Friday-Cyber Monday weekend. This is our process:

  • Decide on a promotion (this year it was 20% off storewide)
  • Start the promotion on the Thursday afternoon before Black Friday
  • Run it through until Tuesday midday

By not changing the promotion during the weekend, our customers know they can purchase anytime over the five days without the risk of “losing out” on a bigger discount as the weekend passes.

Building this kind of trust with our customers over the years has resulted in us more than doubling our Black Friday sale figures every year. I’d say this is the biggest factor to our regular success on Black Friday-Cyber Monday.

— Scott Mackintosh, CEO, Scooter Hut

12. Newport Vessels

In the past, Black Friday really wasn’t a big revenue day for us. But this year, we focused on creating high-quality marketing content the month leading up to Black Friday.

We’ve always had high-quality products, but we feel the difference this year was that our new style of fun marketing videos and images really resonated with our target customers.  

We gave them a strong and concise call-to-action, and it worked!

–– Patrick Dean, President, Newport Vessels

13. Petra Gems

When it comes to maximizing sales during peak traffic times like Black Friday and Cyber Monday, preparation is everything.

As a merchant, it is imperative to plan for such events at least a month or two in advance. In addition, you want to prepare your customers for the event by marketing to them well in advance.

Building your campaigns on Google and Facebook can take anywhere between two to three weeks at a minimum. Again, planning and timing are critical in addition to having excellent landing pages and ensuring everything is properly optimized.

I would also note that for any high-value merchant to be successful, they have to have a stellar reputation and walk their talk. Otherwise, having success online will be extremely difficult.

Over time, I have learned that it is also equally important to be consistent and focus on the long term instead of burning all your advertising budget in a short period.

Therefore, it is also important to be realistic about your expectations from peak events because everyone else, especially the big guys, are also competing against us and will outbid us in any advertising campaigns.

For us, we have focused on finding a narrow niche in terms of advertising and leveraging that everywhere.

Final advice: study first, and then test and analyze your advertising campaigns every day!

— Sharif Azami, Owner, Petra Gems

14. Paul’s Home Fashions

Our website mostly caters to people outfitting entire rooms and homes with one or several bedding collections that we carry.

We try to feature luxurious products that we know our shoppers will love, and we offer the the most competitive prices with exceptional customer service.

As for Amazon, we rely on quantity and focus on everyday items and holiday specific items within our listings.

— Gerry Reyelts, Vice President of Operations, Paul’s Home Fashions

15. Rosenthal USA

In order to prepare for Black Friday, Cyber Monday and the entire holiday season, we hired a great agency –– factor-a, based out of Cologne, Germany –– to take a closer look at our Amazon marketplace listings.

They took 16 SKUs and optimized them in terms of keywords and overall content.

In addition, they placed sponsored product ads and headline search ads (now also available for seller accounts).

Those changes for only a fraction of our product range really did the trick. Our seller ranking improved tremendously and we started selling more.

Now, the majority of our Amazon growth stems from the products that were part of factor-a’s initial portfolio.

We are really happy with those guys and will now move forward with optimizing even more products to hopefully amplify the success.

— Marc Osenberg, eBusiness Manager, Rosenthal

16. My Minimo

This year, we shifted the focus from the Minimo Bath & Body brand to highlighting our customers.

We utilized customer-generated content (photos, videos and reviews) from Rivet Works, one of the apps BigCommerce provides, and promoted that content through Facebook and Instagram advertising.

With the abundance of real customer experiences on our website, rather than influencer-generated content, new visitors feel more comfortable purchasing.

— Mary Ware, Founder & CEO, My Minimo

17. Big Star Lights

More people are finding out that commercial-grade Christmas lighting products are much better than big-box store Christmas lighting products. And people find us mostly through organic search and through word of mouth.

A lot of our clients are professional Christmas light installers who are insanely busy this time of year.

We provide a quick and easy way for people to order, as well as help people with choosing the right product by phone or by using online chat.

We also hired a 3rd party SEO company and about 1 week ago we started an Adwords campaign. Other than SEO work, we’ve never advertised before last week –– ever.

So, we expected big results from that!

— Daniel Cowan, Holiday Lighting Expert, Big Star Lights

18. Vent Covers Unlimited

We have incorporated a multifaceted approach on Amazon, including Prime, Seller Fulfilled Prime and Merchant Fulfilled Prime. We have also utilized headline advertising and standard keyword advertising.

But the one thing that has really boosted our sales has been the elevating of the quality of our Amazon listings to meet or exceed that of what we have on our BigCommerce site.

Specifically, the enhanced brand content, brand website and the ability for us to quickly add and group new products to the Amazon platform has led to consistent growth.

— Tim Dye, Owner, Vent Covers Unlimited

19. Marmalade Mercantile

First of all, we made sure we were well stocked for all of our best selling merchandise. We stocked up on seasonal merchandise, too.

This year, we decided to try Facebook Product Ads to drive sales.

The BigCommerce Facebook ads extension makes them super easy to set up and we are very happy with the results!

Another thing we did this year was to rewrite our abandoned cart emails. We made them more personal and tried to directly address reasons why people may have left their carts without checking out. This improved our conversion rate dramatically!

— Ken &  Deb Moree McKinney, Owners, Marmalade Mercantile

20. Magical Butter

Magical Butter creates viral, mouthwatering seasonal recipe videos that crush it on Facebook!

Advice for my contemporaries is to shoot compelling content and add depth to your social communities. Your followers will become incredible brand ambassadors!

— Garyn Angel, CEO, Magical Butter

21. Hippie Butter

I added Bigcommerce Buy Buttons to my blog posts to make it easier for people to find the products they’re reading about.

Adding Buy Buttons to my blog and email increased both the conversion rate and SEO ranking.

— Brad Irvin, Founder, Hippie Butter

22. Southern Straws

We have focused a great deal on social media marketing and driving customers to our website.  

We also listened to our customers and offered products and combo packages on our website that customers were asking for, i.e. gift tins in 3 sizes for any occasion and holidays.  

— Margaret Amos, Co-Founder, Southern Straws

23. The Edinburgh Casting Studio

We primed our Facebook audience the weeks before Black Friday by launching a brand new product which we promoted using short videos with a lovely Christmas-y feel.

In the days leading up to Black Friday, we put boosts on existing content with strong engagement and introduced free shipping for orders over £100.

At midnight on Thursday, we put up Black Friday banners on our Facebook page and online shop. Then, across the weekend, we boosted a selection of existing videos to maintain engagement, each promoting the Black Friday offer but focusing on different products from our range.

First thing on Monday morning, we added a Cyber Monday banner to our Facebook page and website, then boosted our newest video with a “LAST CHANCE! Offer Ends Midnight!” message.

— Alison Martin, Commercial Director, The Edinburgh Casting Studio

24. Hogies Online

It is all about having a great team behind our store and having everyone add input into how we can strive to improve​. In particular, we focused on three areas.

Our Shop

  • First, we changed our shop to a fully responsive​ theme  and worked on customizing our store to reflect what our customers wanted.​
  • We made sure that all our products had great information and high-quality images to ensure our customers could have all the information at their fingertips.
  • We tested our checkout thoroughly to ensure customers were not left confused and frustrated.
  • With growth in mobile/cellphone orders, we ensured that our site was optimized to give our customers the very best experience.


  • We made use of the customers we already had and marketed to them with email campaigns tailored to their previous sales from Black Friday 2016.
  • We built awareness of Black Friday on our social media sites and promoted to engage with groups of potential customers.
  • We used apps such as Justuno and sent coupon codes to abandoned carts and various other marketing.
  • We hired a marketing company to help promote our shop with enticing and eye-catching banners.
  • We encouraged our customers to leave product reviews by offering them a coupon code.


The most important part of all the above is having a great team behind the store.

Every single one of us are passionate and determined to show our customers what we have to offer and to offer the very best customer service.

And it goes without saying that we made use of the help and support from BigCommerce by visiting BigCommerce University and getting valuable support from the BigCommerce chat lines.

— Laura Godfrey, Sales & Marketing Manager, Hogies Online

25. DealBeds

The most important thing our business does that helps with sales for Black Friday and Cyber Monday are our merchandising and visual descriptions of sales being offered.

This helps lead customers in the right direction to purchase. Also, we have super friendly staff ready to answer any and all questions throughout the day via phone, email and chat.

— Abe Issa, Manager,

26. FunStuff

For Black Friday we took two specific actions.

First, we ran a competition a month before Black Friday to end on Black Friday to win a ride on jeep.

We asked our customers to pick their favorite colour and comment, like and share which generated a lot of traction and got people talking.

This is a photo I took myself of the jeeps we sell in my front garden and feel it looks very natural and appealing to customers.

This generated over 26,000 of a reach and over 1,000 clicks.

Second, we doubled our retargeting campaign to anybody engaged with Facebook and our website for the last 60 days, the week before Black Friday and pushed out specific Black Friday coupon codes.

Even prior to Black Friday gave away the codes to any interested customers that phoned us up looking for Black Friday deals.

— Gerard Mullane, Founder of FunStuff. 

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Tell Your Innovation Story for a Chance to Win up to $20,000 in Cash + Prizes Mon, 18 Sep 2017 15:53:54 +0000 Today, BigCommerce launches our 2nd annual Innovation Awards. These awards honor today’s most creative online retailers pushing the ecommerce industry…]]>

Today, BigCommerce launches our 2nd annual Innovation Awards.

These awards honor today’s most creative online retailers pushing the ecommerce industry forward through visionary developments that drive new growth opportunities and deliver outstanding customer experiences above and beyond traditional online retail.

BigCommerce customers and partners in the U.S., U.K., Canada and Australia are qualified to win.

What Can I Win?

Glad you asked.

One grand prize winner will win $20,000 and 3 category winners will win $3,000 each to grow their businesses even further.

A panel of expert judges will evaluate submissions based on scope, technological achievement, business impact and creative implementation of the BigCommerce platform.

Full prizes include:

  • 1 Grand Prize: Prize package valued at more than $20,000 including a $10,000 cash grant from PayPal and BigCommerce and 2 passes and travel accommodations to a 2018 retail conference of your choice (in your country).
  • 3 Category Prizes: $3,000 cash prize and recognition as an Innovation Award winner throughout our coverage of the awards.
  • 1 Agency Innovation Award: $3,000 cash prize and recognition as the BigCommerce Agency Innovator of the Year (open to BigCommerce partners only).
  • Finalists: Featured placement on the BigCommerce website, blog and social channels.

Ready to Submit Your Innovation?

Let us know how your vision came to life and grew the business.

Sign up to win $20,000 right here.

Who Are The Judges?

Another great question.

Let’s look at the 9 judges that make up our panel and who will be determining the winners of the 2nd annual Innovation Awards.

They are:

Jimmy Duvall, Chief Product Officer, BigCommerce

Jimmy Duvall is the Chief Product Officer for BigCommerce and leads all aspects of Product Strategy, Product Management, Marketing and Product Design and the Program Management Office.

Prior to joining BigCommerce, he served as Vice President of Product for Hootsuite, the world’s most widely used platform for managing social media, where he lead Product Management, Product Design and Product Strategy.

Additionally, Jimmy spent more than 10+ years in leading product roles shaping the ecommerce platform industry growing both Fortune 100 brands and hundreds of thousands of small-to-medium-sized business at eBay/Magento, GSI Commerce and Yahoo!.

Jill Rose, PayPal Sr. Dr. Mid Market, North America

With more than a decade of experience in payments and ecommerce, Jill Rose brings extensive knowledge of the industry and the issues that merchants face. Her business unit is one of the largest contributors to the overall company performance.

Prior to PayPal, Jill came to Bill Me Later in 2006. At Bill Me Later Jill lead sales operations, product marketing and sales strategy.

Bill Me Later was created as an alternative payment model that would analyze risk more accurately than existing credit card providers, while offering lower fees for merchants and greater convenience for consumers. Jill joined PayPal in 2008 after PayPal acquired Bill Me Later in a deal worth nearly $1 billion.

Prior to 2005, Jill spent 5 years at MBNA in various functions including risk and collections.

Michael Leff, VP of Technology, (2016 Innovation Awards Winner)

As the Chief Technology Officer for StoreYourBoard, and the 2016 Innovation Award overall winner, Michael is responsible for all-things-tech that keep the business running and growing. He built and maintains the store’s theme and developed various integrations with the BigCommerce store, including their custom-built reviews system.

Michael has spent most of his career in the technology industry. Before joining StoreYourBoard he worked as an Implementation Consultant for AppNexus, an ad-tech company based in New York City.

Join the #EcommInnovation Chat for a Judge AMA

On Tuesday, Oct. 3, BigCommerce will host the #EcommInnovation Tweet Chat, where we’ll have an AMA with Michael Leff of StoreYourBoard, 2016’s Innovation Award winner, and giveaway for Bryan Eisenberg’s book, “Be Like Amazon.”

Join us! Follow BigCommerce on Twitter to get started.

Noah Kagan, Chief Sumo, Sumo Group

Noah Kagan was employee #30 at Facebook, #4 at Mint and has since created four multi-million-dollar businesses.

His latest obsession is (free marketing tools for small businesses to become big). He founded (daily deals for entrepreneurs) and has a popular podcast on business, Noah Kagan Presents.

Bryan Eisenberg, Keynote Speaker & Bestselling Author

Bryan Eisenberg is the co-founder of BuyerLegends, an internationally recognized authority and pioneer in online marketing, improving conversion rates and helping organizations improve their customer experiences.

He is the co-author of the Wall Street Journal, Business Week, USA Today and New York Times bestselling books “Call to Action,” “Waiting For Your Cat to Bark?,” “Always Be Testing,”  “Buyer Legends” and the recently released “Be Like Amazon: Even a Lemonade Stand Can Do It.”

Bryan has been recognized by eConsultancy members as one of the top 10 User Experience Gurus and by LinkedIn as a Retail Influencer. He is also an IBM Futurist and was selected as one of the inaugural iMedia Top 25 Marketers and as a Marketing Edge Rising Star Award winner.

Sujan Patel, Co-founder, Web Profits

Sujan is the leading expert in digital marketing. He is a hard-working & high-energy individual fueled by his passion to help people and solve problems. He is the co-founder of Web Profits, a growth marketing agency, and a partner in a handful of software companies including Mailshake, Narrow, Quuu and

Between his consulting practice and his software companies, Sujan’s goal is to help entrepreneurs and marketers scale their businesses.

Shane BarkerFounder,

Shane Barker is a digital strategist who specializes in SEO, growth hacking and internet marketing. He has a proven track record in developing and executing long-term online digital marketing strategies and social media campaigns.

One of the last start-up ventures that he founded was valued at over 25 million dollars in less than 2 years. He loves business development and has a passion for giving back to the community.

He has consulted with Fortune 500 companies, influencers with digital products and a number of A-list celebrities.

Drew Sanocki, Founding Partner, Empire Growth Group

Drew is a New York-based online retail veteran. He founded his first company, Design Public, after receiving his M.B.A. from Stanford, and grew it into one of the premier online design retailers. After 8 profitable years, he sold the company to private investors.

Today, Drew runs Empire Growth Group, a hybrid consulting agency, services provider and investment vehicle. Through Empire, he provides digital growth advice and services to investment firms and their portfolio companies.

Formerly, he was the CMO of, taking the company from bankruptcy to break-even over 9 months. His marketing automation and customer segmentation rules drove over $100 million in transactions in 2015 alone. You can learn more from Drew by reading his blog, Nerd Marketing.

Ryan Deiss, CEO of DigitalMarketer

Ryan Deiss (pronounced “Dice”) is cofounder and CEO of, the leading provider of digital marketing training and certifications to small and mid-sized businesses. Ryan is also the founder and host of the Traffic & Conversion Summit, the largest digital marketing conversion conference in North America, and the creator of the “Customer Value Optimization” methodology.

Ryan’s online business endeavors began at age 19 when he launched his first website from his freshman dorm room so he could make some extra money to buy an engagement ring for his college sweetheart. It worked! Not only did the girl say “Yes,” but this one little website ballooned into over 500, and a hobby had grown into a real business.

All 9 of these folks have built incredible careers and success through hard work, creative thinking and using technology to make dreams and passions come to life.

You may know many of them based on the content you read, the apps you use and the technology that powers your business and gets you paid. They are indeed the folks powering your ecommerce business experience.

What Is Innovation?

You are ultimately the one who is powering your own customer’s online shopping experience.

Technology plays a huge role in how you do that –– but your own vision is what brings new funnels, flows and UX to life.

It is you who pioneers new customer experiences that are resulting in significant operational gains, increased customer loyalty and higher sales.

Facing an overwhelming amount of demands, it is retailers which are pushing the boundaries of what is possible to drive new growth and create engaging customer experiences.

The 2017 BigCommerce Innovation Awards celebrates you –– all of you –– the ecommerce visionaries.

Our panel of experts will evaluate submissions based on:

  • Project scope
  • Technological achievement
  • Business impact
  • Creative implementation of the BigCommerce platform.

How Can I Submit?

Submissions are open from Sept. 18, 2017 through Oct. 8, 2017 to BigCommerce customers and partners in the U.S., U.K., Canada and Australia.

To be eligible to win, you will need to complete a form to tell us how your company has defied ecommerce obstacles with innovative problem-solving.

Winners for all categories will be notified by November 13, 2017 –– adding a little extra goodness to your holiday sales season.

Ready to Submit Your Innovation?

Let us know how your vision came to life and grew the business.

Sign up to win $20,000 right here.

2016 Innovation Award Winners

We know that submitting for something as ambiguous as “innovation” can be hard. Innovation can include anything and everything from:

  • Technical implementations that affect conversions, UX, site search and more.
  • Site designs that WOW at an experience level –– far beyond that of regular online experiences.
  • App integrations to streamline your workflow, saving you time and money to focus on what matters most to you.

The world is your oyster in this regard.

But remember – your judges are folks who have been there and done that. They know innovation when they see it.

Most of us do.

It’s what tugs at your gut. It’s what makes you say, “Wait –– that’s cool.” It’s the weird project at work you try to explain to your kids before bed –– that actually impresses instead of bores.

That is innovation.

And much like the silence surrounding the day and time when Voyager 1 left the Milky Way for galaxies and learnings far beyond any human understanding –– innovation is often unnoticed and hard to pinpoint.

So, here are last year’s winners to show you what we are looking for and what innovation might look like for your brand.

2016 Grand Prize Winner: StoreYourBoard

  • What won them the prize: Product page customization that out-Amazons Amazon, and ranks #1 on Google.

StoreYourBoard’s transformation of product pages into living landing pages complete with FAQs, customer photos and an entire community rallying around products in a review system unparalleled even to Amazon’s won them the 2016 Innovation Awards Grand Prize.

All questions and product reviews are generated by our customers, managed by us from our custom-built administrative control panel. Best of all, all of the content is crawl-able by search engines.

The Success

  • 60 questions submitted per product in the “Ask a Question” section
  • 1,300 user-submitted answers to FAQs across the site
  • 2,000 product reviews
  • 10% customer response rate for reviews
  • 20% of submitted reviews include photos
  • 25% of customers who submit a question end up purchasing

The Secret’s in the API

“Thanks to BigCommerce’s robust APIs and customizable template files, we were able to build an FAQ and review system on our product pages to address these questions,” says Michael Leff, Vice President of Technology at StoreYourBoard.

“All of the questions and product reviews are generated by our customers, managed by us from our custom-built administrative control panel, and with a push of a button, set live on the product page in the store. Best of all, the content is crawl-able by search engines.”

READ MORE: Get the technological backstory and how they solved for it here.

Join the #EcommInnovation Chat for a Judge AMA

On Tuesday, Oct. 3, BigCommerce will host the #EcommInnovation Tweet Chat, where we’ll have an AMA with Michael Leff of StoreYourBoard, 2016’s Innovation Award winner, and giveaway for Bryan Eisenberg’s book, “Be Like Amazon.”

Join us! Follow BigCommerce on Twitter to get started.

2016 People’s Choice Winner: The Knobs Co

  • What won them the prize: Visual search more powerful than Pinterest.

The Knobs Co’s custom image-search functionality allows customers to upload an image of any doorknob –– from anywhere –– resulting in an exact or near exact match from 50,000 SKUs in less than a minute.

Our search-by-image feature has brought on-site search time down 100 fold. What used to be done manually can now be done automatically.

The Success

  • 20% increase in conversion rate
  • 100% increase in revenue
  • 100x faster ecommerce site-search capabilities for product-specific searches
  • Solidifying company status as customer experience leader in the space

A Powerful Combination of API + Category Organization

“The BigCommerce API allowed us to easily connect all of our products to the image search feature, enabling the entire feature to work,” says David Mason, CEO at The Knobs Company.

“It has brought the search time down 100 fold for these specific search times, which used to be done manually and now can be done automatically.”

READ MORE: Get the technological backstory and how they solved for it here.

2016 Innovation Award Winner: Awesome GTI

  • What won them the prize: A data clean-up of a lifetime, and one employee’s powerful Board presentation.

Awesome GTI was in a rough place, with 50,000 SKUs on an outdated platform, each poorly aligned to data sources created by an ex-employee no one could understand. With investors holding their feet to the fire, the company has figured out a way to do a 180 in less than 6 months.

The whole project showcased a level of innovation in our marketplace above and beyond what the customer base is used to seeing.

The Success

  • Migrated 50,000 products from Magento to BigCommerce
  • Average order value increased 40%
  • Abandoned cart rate down 75%
  • Mobile traffic increase of 24%

Imitation is the Sincerest Form of Flattery

“For our industry, the whole project showcased a level of innovation in our marketplace above and beyond what the customer base is used to seeing,” says Wayne Ainsworth, Operations at Awesome GTI.

“In the U.S., there are now some big corporations that utilize a lot of the features we have brought to market on our site, all of which wouldn’t have been possible without the BigCommerce platform.”

READ MORE: Get the technological backstory and how they solved for it here.

2016 Innovation Award Winner: Man Crates

  • What won them the prize: An engineering feat never seen before (hint: lasers included).

Man Crates’ automated laser-etching system spans two warehouses and thousands of orders per day –– getting customized orders ready only four minutes after checkout and on their way to the customer for next-day delivery.

Shipping with ludicrous speed as our volumes have increased took as much innovation and collaboration as anything else we’ve ever had to do as a business.

The Success

  • Custom orders account for more than 10,000 orders on Man Crates, and without the automated process, they’d have to shutter that side of the business
  • 4000% growth in 4 years
  • $21M in revenue
  • 20-25% of business comes from the custom-order business
  • #4 fastest growing retailer in the U.S. according to the 2016 Inc. 5000

Personalization + Convenience in a 2-Day Turnaround

“No joke, you can order a completely original, monogrammed Whiskey Appreciation Man Crate at 4 p.m. on a Monday and have it delivered to San Francisco or New York by Wednesday,” says Sam Gong.

“And that’s with ground shipping.”

READ MORE: Get the technological backstory and how they solved for it here.

2016 Innovation Awards Finalists

  • Fit Online: Launched home-grown multi-product comparison tool for fitness fanatics, increasing site engagement 50%
  • Hydro Empire: Integrated curated product page bundling options, increasing AOV 30%
  • ICHIBAN Toys: Improved product quality by moving from U.S. to Japan, increasing B2C conversion 100%
  • Built a world-class model for running a lean international business, increasing global presence 100%
  • Wire N Cable: Brought offline B2B business to ecommerce, increasing revenue from $0 to $1M in less than 1 year

Get more information about the Innovation Awards and apply to win $20,000 today.

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]]> 0
The Complete Omni-Channel Retail Report: What Brands Need to Know About Modern Consumer Shopping Habits in 2018 Wed, 13 Sep 2017 14:42:52 +0000 No single formula, algorithm or crystal ball can tell you for sure when and why each individual customer will make…]]>

No single formula, algorithm or crystal ball can tell you for sure when and why each individual customer will make a purchase.

A senior citizen looking to buy a smartwatch might be texted a recommendation by a grandchild, then walk into a physical store to purchase. That same grandchild, on the other hand, might spend weeks parsing smartwatch reviews, adding, then abandoning items in their cart on both mobile and desktop, before finally purchasing because of an enticing email offer.

It’s a complex process, and it’s why omni-channel selling is so important.

Both BigCommerce and Square exist to make shopping easier and more enjoyable for both sellers and customers, whatever the platform. There are no crystal balls, but there are strategies, and we’ve teamed up to bring you the most up-to-date statistics on when and how Americans shop online.

First things first…

Free Download

Get this entire report in a PDF version for further reading, research and action. It’s free and a quick download away.

Get your free comprehensive omnichannel report now.

What is omni-channel retail?

Omni-channel retail is a modern approach to commerce that focuses on designing a cohesive user experience for customers at every touchpoint. This differs from traditional marketing, where individual channels were optimized without necessarily taking the whole experience into mind.

That’s one textbook definition. Here’s how other marketing leaders define omni channel:

  • Square defines it as: “Meeting people on the channels where they are shopping and buying, whether it’s in a physical store or an online store or on social media, and connecting the dots between those channels. The purpose is to keep customers moving around within the brand ecosystem, with each channel working in harmony to nurture more sales and engagement.”
  • Hubspot defines it as: “the ability to deliver a seamless and consistent experience across channels, while factoring in the different devices that consumers are using to interact with your business.”
  • Google defines it as: “ensuring [retailer] marketing strategies are geared toward enabling customers to convert on any channel.”
  • At BigCommerce, we internally define it as: “Stores selling both online and offline — likely also selling through multiple online channels (i.e. on Amazon, eBay, Facebook, B2B). We’ve also been referencing the importance of listing your product wherever consumers are already spending their time. This is increasingly known as contextual commerce, a more strategic take on the overarching omni-channel term.”

Typically, omni-channel retailers aren’t startups. They also aren’t web-only shops, which means they have the capital to put some feet on the ground. That much is clear. What isn’t, is the idea of seamlessness and retailer sophistication. From that perspective, few retailers today are successfully executing on all of their omni-channel initiatives.

This is because with the momentum toward integrating commerce across channels, there’s one big piece of the puzzle missing: what the consumer wants [infographic].

Many retailers are just guessing.

Sure, they have proprietary data on how consumers are using their own channels, but ‘omni’ has Latin roots in the omniscient realm, meaning perceiving all things — not just what is happening on your own channel.

Omni-channel marketing, then, becomes more about providing an experience — the omni-channel customer experience — transcending any one medium and simply providing shoppers what they want, when they want.

To date, no one has decoded exactly how, when and why the modern American makes a purchase. What we do know though is that nobody today shops exclusively through a single medium. Consumers buy online, in store and on marketplaces, from legacy retailers and independent brands alike.

One consequence of this — albeit a happy one — is that cash flows in from different sources and different devices. That understanding has been crucial to the development of Square for click-and-mortar businesses, including its POS integration with BigCommerce.

With this in mind, we’ve launched a new study analyzing modern, omni-channel consumer behavior. This data uncovers the details on how, when, where and why Americans buy, educating the entire commerce industry on today’s consumer shopping preferences.

You’ll see the results of our study in the following chapters and gain insight into:

  • How Americans shop across an omni-channel environment: what they buy, how much they spend and what’s stopping them from checking out more often
  • What products retailers should feature on various channels to maximize sales
  • How to increase conversion rates on all your selling channels
  • How omni-channel fulfillment is a necessary extension of merging channels
  • The ins and outs of your audience and their motivation for purchasing
  • Which channels businesses sell through — based on a survey of over 1,100 businesses — and what effect it has on profits

This is what retailers need to know to implement a data-driven, omni-channel strategy today.

First, a quick note from the editor

This information only tells you what the customer is doing. The fundamental mistake to avoid is assuming that we’re actually asking the customer, “What do you want?” If you ask a question like this, you can’t be surprised by what you’ll hear: solutions and convenience. And requests for solutions will almost always be disappointing for companies that are trying to innovate.

According to Harvard Business Review: “Customers only know what they have experienced. They cannot imagine what they don’t know about emergent technologies, new materials, and the like. What customer, for example, would have asked for the microwave oven, Velcro or Post-It Notes? At the time the transistor was being developed, radio and television manufacturers were still requesting improved vacuum tubes.”

We offer these survey results as important data in furthering the understanding of the modern consumer, which can then be used to distill the omni-channel customer experience down to recognizable touchpoints. Providing this experience permeates every aspect of your organization, from inventory management to multi-channel marketing campaigns.

Read about our methodology here. What innovations occur next is up to the retailers.

Without further ado, let’s dive into the data.

Who shops online

At a high level, that’s an easy question to answer: almost everyone.

96% of Americans with internet access have made an online purchase at some point in their lives, and four in five (80%) have done so in the last month alone.

Online shopping is now just as popular as in-store, with 51% of Americans citing online as their preferred way to shop.

This goes hand in hand with data from the National Retail Federation for the 2015 holiday season. For the first time ever, more Americans shopped online for holiday items — but it was a narrow win. The NRF’s survey found that an estimated 151 million people shopped either in stores, online or both over the weekend.

Of those, 103 million said they shopped online, and nearly 102 million headed to stores.

As you’ll see later on, having an online presence on multiple channels can pay off big time profit-wise.

Millennials vs. Gen X vs. Baby Boomers

Americans as a whole are split when it comes to a preference for online or in-store shopping. But when broken out by demographic, it is clear that the younger generations will continue to drive shopping to the digital front.

The survey revealed that 67% of Millennials and 56% of Gen Xers prefer to search and purchase on ecommerce sites rather than in-store.

Only 41% of Baby Boomers and 28% of Seniors will click to purchase.

Given their preference for online shopping, it makes sense that Millennials and Gen Xers would also spend nearly 50% more time shopping online each week (six hours) than their older counterparts (four hours).

Reduce Fear for All Buyer Types

Resistance around purchasing online is often fear-based. A flexible return policy, free return shipping and even a pre-printed return label can work wonders for a store’s conversion rate.

Stevie Huval, Solution Engineer at BigCommerce

Parents vs. non-parents

When it comes to shopping, there is one major difference between parents and non-parents: convenience.

You’ll see this trend pop up throughout the study. Yes, all online shoppers are influenced by the convenience factor, but no group values ease of purchase like parents.

In fact, nearly half (49%) of parents surveyed stated that they couldn’t live without online shopping — and they spend 61% more online per year than non-parents ($1,071 vs. $664).

Parents also spend more of their budget online in comparison to non-parents (40% vs. 34%), and spend 75% more time shopping online each week (seven hours vs. four hours).

Optimize for Convenience

Consider that different products (or sets of products) in your overall range might produce different financial results through the same channels; for example, bulky/heavy items are often best sold through a store/outlet, while you may be able to charge a premium price for a high-value, easily deliverable item through your website in exchange for the convenience of this channel.

— James Brown, Client Engagement Manager, RANDEM

Men vs. Women

This demographic breakdown is nothing revolutionary; American men and women shop rather similarly across all channels.

The one key callout is that men reported spending 28% more online than women over the last year.

Metropolitan vs. suburban vs. rural

Americans shop differently depending on where they live.

For instance, although they have more physical stores nearby, shoppers in metropolitan areas spend more online annually on average ($853) than suburban shoppers ($768) or those in rural areas ($684).

They also spend the most time shopping online out of the three groups.

What’s stopping those in suburban or rural areas from shopping or spending more online?

More than half (63%) of suburban shoppers cited shipping costs as their least favorite part of online shopping, and 38% of rural shoppers cited strong concerns about online privacy — a concern Square aims to tackle with its PCI-compliant systems.

Capture Regional Shoppers on Various Marketplaces

Omnichannel means selling through as many avenues as possible, and one of the first steps of that strategy is setting up shop on a marketplace like Amazon, Walmart, or eBay to reach a broad amount of consumers.

That said, each marketplace will have its ups and downs that should be considered before hopping aboard.

Take your product, for instance. If it’s a unique, handmade item, Etsy, a marketplace for crafted goods, is a solid option. Or if you’re focused on dropshipping, you may want to try selling on Amazon so you don’t have to worry as much about branding.

— Harrison Dromgoole, Content Creator, Ordoro

Where Americans spend online

Shopping online has never been easier or more omnipresent in America. Yet, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, ecommerce accounted for only 7.5% of total retail sales in the fourth quarter of 2015.

Our data shows a similar, though significantly higher, trend:

Online shoppers spend 64% of their shopping budget in store, and 36% online.

These numbers, though, are expected to increase. Between Q3 and Q4 of 2015, ecommerce sales grew 32%. In total, 2015 ecommerce sales were 14% higher than in 2014. Experts have predicted that by 2020, ecommerce sales will hit $523 billion — a 56% increase from the $335 billion achieved in 2015.

In order for those predictions to come true, ecommerce sales need only increase 9.32% annually. If last year’s numbers are any indication, we are well on our way to surpassing the estimates.

Map the Customer Journey to Win the Most $$$

When you do omnichannel marketing, your customer journey is key because you need to know how all your channels can work together. Start by mapping your entire customer journey.

  • What happens after a potential customer has visited your website?
  • What are all the possible journeys they can take to become a paying customer?

Once you’ve mapped the entire customer journey, you can focus on creating a strategy where your channels support each other in converting people into customers.

For example, if your product is expensive, your potential customers will likely not make a purchase the first time they are introduced to it. This means you’ll have to target them continuously across channels with information that could answer any questions and eliminate the reservations they might have before purchasing.

On the other hand, if your product is cheaper, you can push sales more aggressively and more often.

— Emil Kristensen, Co-founder & CMO, Sleeknote.

Of course, Americans aren’t shopping at all online retailers in the same way.

The majority begin a search for items on marketplaces, while some go to their tried-and-true local boutique’s website, and others look for traditional brand name stores. There are multiple factors that contribute to a final purchasing decision, much of which will be covered later.

Below you will find data on exactly where Americans are spending their money.

Find the Channel That Produces The Biggest Results First

I think the trick is to find the channel that gives you the biggest results first and then stack on other channels once you’ve gained traction in your initial channels.

Alternatively, you could test multiple channels at once and find that first big lever.

In the case of most ecommerce, I find that first BIG channel to be Facebook. In terms of stacking, there are other no-brainer campaigns such as Google Shopping Ads, branded search keywords, product based search keywords, and display retargeting.

— Eric Carlson, Co-Founder, 10X Factory

Online vs. in store

The in-store draw is still an important one for many merchants. In fact, many of the most successful retailers are omni-channel commerce businesses, meaning they have both online and brick-and-mortar stores — making them ‘click-and-mortar’ stores.

Americans are almost evenly split on which channel they prefer:

51% think shopping online is best, while 49% prefer shopping in store.

There’s a more distinct difference in how much they spend on each channel, though: those surveyed spent 64% of their shopping budget in store, and 36% online.

Even if you prefer online shopping, chances are you’ll spend more when you buy in store. Of course, this changes based on your demographics.

See the breakout below on how Americans in various demographic groups spend online vs. in store.

Note: Everyone surveyed reports spending more in brick-and-mortars.


A great omni-channel experience feels familiar to the customer, regardless of the channel. Inject your brand’s voice into every communication, and be consistent with pricing policies, offers and rules so that potential buyers don’t get confused.

— Christina Dam, Product Marketing Lead, Square

Webstore vs. large retailer vs. marketplace

There are thousands of online shopping options for consumers, and few shoppers are loyal to just one.

Survey data revealed that 74% of Americans have shopped at large retailers, 54% on ecommerce marketplaces, 44% at webstores and 36% at category-specific online retailers.

This modern consumer behavior has led to a rise in two industry terms

  1. Multi-channel: Multi-channel retailing means a company sells in multiple online channels (e.g. a web store, marketplaces and social media)
  2. Omni-channel: Omni-channel refers to retailers with both a physical and digital presence.

Retailers can be both or neither, though the most successful merchants are typically multi-channel and growing to become omni in the near future. That’s because consumers generally shop wherever is the most convenient.

Nearly half of all online product searches (48%) begin on marketplaces like Amazon, for instance. In comparison, 31% of Americans first turn to larger retailers, 12% to category-specific retailers, and 7% to webstores.

If you sell through a webstore without using Amazon as part of a multi-channel strategy, you’re missing out on a huge amount of searches and potential conversions.

Square’s 2017 survey of over 1,100 business owners, for instance, revealed that just 16% were selling via Amazon.

In fact, in the last year, online shoppers have spent the most with ecommerce marketplaces ($488), closely followed by large retailers such as Nordstrom or Best Buy ($409).

Product discoverability is the name of the game for online retailers, even big brands. Here’s how each retailer type fares in consumer visibility and conversion.

No 2 Channels Have The Same Strategy

You should start by figuring out what’s working for you currently. Are you crushing it on Google Shopping? Maybe you should consider Amazon as your next channel since the two are very similar (product discovery via keywords, price, etc). Don’t go into any channel with the exact same strategy you had on the other channel — but DO use it as a guideline so you aren’t starting from scratch.

— William Harris, Ecommerce Consultant, Elumynt

When Americans spend online

Now that mobile devices are always on hand, there is no limit to where and when people shop online. And they do so frequently, with 80% making purchases at least once a month — and 30% purchasing at least once per week.

The charts below detail exactly how often different demographics are clicking the buy button, and from where they are doing it.

Online shopping frequency

Shopping online is now almost ubiquitous, with 93% of Americans having done so in the last year. For many, online shopping has become habitual: 80% cite purchasing something online monthly, 30% weekly and 5% daily.

Online shopping takes up a good chunk of our time, too. Respondents spend five hours per week on average shopping online, and those with kids spend an additional two per week.

Let’s put that in terms of dollars. Using the current federal minimum wage of $7.25 an hour, Americans could make an additional $36 a week putting those hours toward income generation.

That’s more than $1,500 a year on minimum wage alone.

For those in states making a $15 hourly minimum wage, that’s $3,600 a year spent online shopping.


Most of the visitors to your site are not immediately ready to purchase. Pre-transactional conversion opportunities let you trade something site visitors find valuable (content like a style guide or recipe book) for something you find valuable (their contact information and interests). It’s an opportunity to gather contact information from a prospective buyer on your site so you can engage with them in a thoughtful and valuable way.

Susannah Morris, Ecommerce Marketing Manager at HubSpot

Purchase location and time

So we know Americans shop online often, but let’s drill down another layer. During which times and from which locations do they find it most convenient to do so? You might be surprised.

A 2015 InReality study found that 75% of shoppers have used their mobile device while in a physical store. Our survey took things even further, confirming that 25% of Americans have actually made an online purchase while standing in a brick-and-mortar store.

Consumers do their online shopping from a variety of locations — wherever it’s most convenient. Almost half (43%) of Americans who have shopped online have made a purchase from bed; Millennials and Gen Xers are 3x more likely to do so than Baby Boomers and Seniors (59% vs. 21%).

Of those surveyed, 23% have made a purchase from work; 29% of Millennials and Gen Xers have done so, and 15% of Baby Boomers and Seniors.

Another 20% admit to purchasing from the bathroom or while in the car.

Millennials and Gen Xers report the highest incidences of bathroom shopping; they’re 5x more likely to have made an online purchase from the bathroom than Baby Boomers or Seniors (31% vs. 6%).

It’s not just where Americans are shopping, though, that’s of interest. It’s also in what state of mind.

One in ten shoppers admitted to buying something online after drinking alcohol.

Men are more than twice as likely to drink and shop compared with women (14% to 6%), and younger generations are 5x more likely to do so than older (15% to 3%). Parents are over two times more likely than non-parents to have made an online purchase after drinking (15% vs. 7%).

It will be very interesting to see how marketers incorporate this insight into their omni-channel strategy!

Script Out Your Omnichannel Purchase Story

For brands looking to grow using an omnichannel strategy I think it’s really important to think about everything from the perspective of a customer. I like to try to think of every touchpoint in the an omnichannel approach as part of a longer story.

When thinking about omnichannel strategy, try to think of it as scripting the customers’ purchase story.

Customers may have come to the site and then they saw retargeting ads, then they may have even seen your product referenced in an article online, and finally came back to the site again and purchased.

These are all things that happen, but I think it’s important to remember that each detail or touchpoint is part of a narrative that defines the customer’s view and trust of the brand.

I find it really useful to make an ideal customer journey sheet that outlines exactly how I imagine the each type of customer interacting with the store (all the touchpoints) before making a purchase.

— Daniel Wallock, Marketing Strategist, Wallock Media

What Americans are buying

It’s clear that Americans are shopping both online and in store. Yet what they buy at each type of retailer varies — and also overlaps.

Our study further proves that the modern buyer journey is multi-channel. Few Americans have bought items only through one or even two channels. Most purchase items through a variety of retailer types, likely whichever is the most convenient or cost-effective at the time of purchase.

See the chart below for a more thorough breakdown of which items consumers are buying at which retailers. Here are a few takeaways:

  • Clothing, shoes and accessories: 44% of shoppers have purchased from marketplaces (e.g. Amazon, eBay, Etsy), 47% from large retailers (e.g. Walmart, Costco), 27% from webstores (e.g. TJ Maxx) and 30% from category-specific online stores (e.g. Apple, Timberland).
  • Electronics: 34% of shoppers have purchased from marketplaces, 32% from large retailers, 10% from webstores and 19% from category-specific online stores
  • Beauty and personal care items: 29% of shoppers have purchased from marketplaces, 24% from large retailers, 18% from webstores and 17% from category-specific online stores
  • Books, music and movies: 44% of shoppers bought from marketplaces, 28% from large retailers, 15% from webstores and 21% from category-specific online stores
  • Flowers and gifts: 14% of consumers bought on marketplaces, 14% from large retailers, 15% from webstores and 19% from category-specific online stores.

Be Relentless In Understanding Motivations

When brands think about omnichannel marketing, they should always start with their target customer and audience in mind. Don’t just think about how to reach your audience through Facebook ads and Google ads either.

Spend time thinking about the communities they’re a part of online. The Facebook groups they rely on for their news. The influencers they follow on Instagram. The podcasts they listen to while on their commute to work.

And be relentless at ensuring that you understand their motivations and the channels they use on a daily basis.

— Ross Simmonds, Founder, Foundation Marketing

What influences the American shopper to purchase

Convenience and price are the two most important influences on a purchasing decision. Have a low enough price, though, and convenience takes a back seat.

Likely as a result of the recent recession and slower-than-expected return to stability, Americans are most persuaded to buy when the price is right. But price comes into play in multiple ways.

Shipping, taxes, fees, returns, coupons, discounts and giveaways all matter to consumers.

For retailers, especially independent boutiques and webstores, perks like “free shipping” are being more frequently offered and considered a marketing expense.

For larger chains like Amazon, the net loss is worth the increase in brand reputation. Either way, most retailers are struggling to keep up.

Price, however, is not the only factor that can sway a consumer to purchase. In this section, we’ll explore what exactly closes the deal for today’s shopper.

You’ve Already Done 85% of the Work

Having more than one sales channel is critical to success in today’s ecommerce environment. We sell through several online marketplaces as well as our own site, and doing so helps us mitigate big changes to a specific channel that could negatively affect sales.

My advice would be to identify online marketplaces that have similar customer demographics to your own customers, and then find a feed manager software solution that can can easily pull from your site’s product database.

You’ve already done 85% of the work for your own site, including product descriptions, shipping weight data, etc. so leverage that work in order to get in front of other people’s customers as well.

— Jason Boyce, Co-founder & CEO, Dazadi

Most important influencing factors

The top three factors Americans rank as “very” or “extremely” influential in determining where they shop are:

  1. Price (87%)
  2. Shipping cost and speed (80%)
  3. Discount offers (71%)

Seniors are an outlier to the pricing trifecta, as they are less influenced by discount offers than other generations (47% to 74%).

Almost a quarter of online shoppers (23%) are influenced by social media recommendations, and 42% find recommendations from friends and family influential — twice the number who cite advertisements as influential.

Interestingly, younger generations self-report as more receptive to advertising; Millennials and Gen Xers are nearly twice as likely as older generations to find advertising influential.

Surprised? We’ll dive into that in more detail later.


Customers place more value in the overall experience they have with your brand, than in merely getting the lowest price. Service, shipping, convenience and ease-of-use are all essential to turning customers into repeat customers.

— Christina Dam, Product Marketing Lead at Square

Reviews vs. advertisements vs. friends and family

There is something shifting among generations as to how reviews, advertisements, and friends and family influence a purchasing decision.

42% of online shoppers find recommendations from friends and family influential, 23% are influenced by social media recommendations and reviews, and 21% cite advertisements as influential.

Although advertisements were rated the least influential purchasing factor, the data showed that younger generations are more receptive to advertising than older ones. Millennials and Gen Xers fare nearly twice as likely as Baby Boomers and Seniors to find ads influential (27% vs. 14%). This may be due to the constantly shifting nature of online advertising.

Identify Synonyms in Channel Opportunities

Brands should begin their omnichannel strategy by first identifying similarities of audience makeup, then identifying synonyms in the channel opportunities.

Similar audiences between the brands existing marketing and sales strategies and those of the new channel opportunity will allow them to be more cost effective on marketing efforts, customer service and support, fulfillment, accounting, etc.

Synonyms in channel opportunities means certain channels have similar requirements to one another to maintain successful outcomes in. For instance, certain channels will need more UGC or technical collateral. Others will need more social promotion or email efforts.

Finding those similarities allows the brands to keep costs down as they’re deploying across channels which can be key for success.

— Jordan Brannon, President and COO, Coalition Technologies

Conversion killers and online pain points — what makes consumers abandon cart

At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter how much traffic an online store receives — if no one actually buys, the business will perish.

The average ecommerce conversion rate for a U.S. online store is between 2-3%. So, for every 100 visitors a site receives, less than four people will purchase an item. This creates an ROI issue. Advertising is expensive, and so is creating a quality customer experience that generates reviews or word of mouth to drive more sales.

Abandoned carts continue to be an issue for retailers of all sizes, with the average abandoned cart rate at 69%.

What’s stopping consumers from buying once they add to cart? Cost is a big issue.

Our data shows that 66% of Americans have decided not to buy an item because of shipping costs: that’s 72% of women and 59% of men.

After cost, the natural limitations of buying online are the leading causes of abandoned carts.

Nearly half of respondents (49%) cited not being able to touch, feel or try a product as one of their least favorite aspects of online shopping. Another 34% said difficult-to-return items and long delivery estimates were also a pain.

Finally, site design also matters:

21% of Americans state that unattractive or hard-to-navigate websites are frustrating when buying online.

A well-designed store is essential to decreasing abandonment and increasing sales.

Opportunities Can Be Distracting

It’s easy to get distracted by the many channels that are available to you, but start simple by selling through eBay, Amazon and your own website. You can move on to further channels as soon as you understand more about your products and what sells.

It’s also important not to forget about traditional sales methods, like with a brick-and-mortar store, with BigCommerce’s Square integration, running an EPOS system within a shop or at a show and event is easy.

Just remember that not everything has to be listed everywhere.

— Rupert Cross, Digital Director, 5874

What Americans want more of from online stores

Shoppers appreciate stores that recreate the in-person buying experience using:

  • images (78%)
  • reviews (69%)
  • comparisons (46%)
  • testimonials (42%)
  • video (30%)

These immersive features help alleviate the fact that 49% of online shoppers dislike not being able to touch, feel or try out a product.

Here is what Americans would like to see more of from online stores.


Not being able to interact with a product before buying can be a turn-off. Encourage customers who have bought to post reviews. Few tactics are more effective than social proof.

— Christina Dam, Product Marketing Lead at Square

How Americans feel about online shopping

Online shopping is more convenient than ever, and many Americans admit to purchasing from absolutely anywhere — and occasionally in an altered state of mind. So it stands to reason that not all purchases are home runs.

In our study, 42% of online shoppers said they’ve made a purchase they later regret, and 21% have accidentally bought something they didn’t want.

Omnichannel is a Mindset

Once you’ve established your brand in that channel, use that relationship and authority to bring people over to other channels.

Omnichannel is as much a mindset as a toolset.

A company can achieve dramatic, company-wide success with omnichannel retail. However, a successful omnichannel strategy starts with an innovative culture – one that focuses on how customers shop today, how they buy, and then makes that entire commerce experience seamless for them across all channels.

Know your customers and relentlessly pursue them based on your knowledge.

— Donald Pettit, Sales & Partners Manager, SalesWarp

Shopping regret

As mentioned above, 42% of Americans have made a purchase they later regret. Millennials are the most likely to experience buyer’s regret than any other generation (51% v 37%). Here’s how it breaks down.

Listen to Your Customers

As on online retailer, we obviously want to grow our primary brand which accounts for 90% of our revenue. One cornerstone to our success has been putting the customer first. We offer industry leading support but realize it doesn’t stop there.

Start by listening to the customers and work to enhance their experience. While we think it through from our perspective, we need to put on the customer’s shoes and view the shopping experience from their perspective.

— Bill Bailey CEO Bill Bailey LLC, Nodal Ninja


Nearly half of online shoppers (48%) reported overspending on a purchase. Millennials and Gen Xers lead overspending at 55%, followed by 38% of Baby Boomers and Seniors.


Include additional costs such as shipping and taxes upfront, throughout the buying process, to reduce cart abandonment. And offer options — while some customers prefer to wait and save a few dollars, others will happily pay for faster delivery.

— Christina Dam, Product Marketing Lead at Square

How important is online shopping?

For many Americans, online shopping is an indispensable part of life. In fact, 40% of those surveyed said they couldn’t live without it.

Seniors are the least digital-dependent among us; Millennials, Gen Xers and Baby Boomers were more than twice as likely to say they couldn’t live without online shopping (43% to 20%).

What would consumers give up before online shopping? Turns out, quite a bit!

Respondents were nearly twice as likely to say they could not live without online shopping compared to streaming music (40% to 21%). And they were 8x as likely to say they could not live without online shopping compared to dating apps (40% to 5%).

When it comes to priorities, Americans favor shopping over first dates and music.

You Can’t Do This Alone

Ask yourself if you have the man-power to maintain both a physical and online site. It is so important to have a dedicated “shop” person as well as someone handling and maintaining your online and social media presence.

You cannot do it alone.

Choose a software that will integrate inventory with your online store as well as your physical location. This is the most important aspect of having a dual presence.

The worst case scenario is selling the “last one” in shop only to find out that someone placed an online order for the exact item.

It happens more often than not. It costs you extra money, makes the online customer upset and causes stress and anxiety you don’t need. Go through the financial pros and cons of opening a physical location; building, rent, utilities, security, inventory, equipment, salary, marketing, taxes and time.

— Suzanne Moore, Narrator, All About Suzy

Where do retailers fit into the equation?

Running alongside the study you’ve been reading was another study of 1,164 U.S. business owners conducted by Square and Mercury Analytics. They wanted to know which channels businesses sell through, to determine how many of them were either multi-channel or omni-channel sellers.

Of those surveyed, 56% had a physical store, while 21% have either a pop-up store, or do pop-up stalls at events.

Only 34% sold through their own website (using a website building platform), 25% through Facebook (40% on social media as a whole, including Instagram and Pinterest).

One of the most shocking stats, however, is that just 16% of those surveyed sold through Amazon — not great considering how almost half of purchases begin on these kind of platforms.

With reference to how customers prefer to pay, 76% of respondents accept credit cards in person, while only 42% accept them online (a statistic that could become a non-issue with the implementation of Square).

What does this mean for merchants in terms of profits? The average annual processing volume for Square ecommerce merchants is 47% higher than the average annual processing volume for Square merchants who don’t use Square’s ecommerce API.

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How do all of these statistics relate?

In short: Retailers need to be doing more to meet the needs and behaviors of customers wherever they are, be that on mobile, desktop, in-store while browsing or within apps and on social.

The buying habits of individuals are somewhat fickle, but they are not impossible to influence.

Setting up an online store and then waiting for the money to roll in simply won’t work like you think. Omni-channel selling is about being proactive in getting in front of customers when and where they’re likely to make a purchase.

If you want that money, then like sales pros of old, you’d better be willing to go where the customer is.

Ready to Do Omnichannel?

If you’re ready to open up another channel for sales it’s really important to remember this is a NEW channel so it needs its own unique marketing strategy!

Here’s a quick outline to kickstart your new channel strategy:

  • Define your ideal customer: Who is your target demographic for your new channel? For example, if you’re noticing a purchase pattern with a millennial age group, perhaps Instagram could be a good channel for you. If so, define who you will target on Instagram. You can gain insight into who a popular target demo would be by revisiting your buyer personas and coupling that with analysis of your purchase funnel — who is buying what? This is a good starting point.
  • Define your goals: Don’t go into a new channel with zero goals! Nailing down a goal prior to your new channel launch is crucial so you can measure your ROI. If the goal is email signups — define it. If the goal is increased sales of a particular product — define it. Outlining this at the beginning will save you a lot of headaches later down the road.
  • Define your acquisition funnel: Pencil out your acquisition funnel: attract, acquire, nurture, convert and retain. Know what you’re going to do for each step.
  • Know your metrics & track (almost) everything from day one: You should begin tracking everything immediately so that you can start gathering data around your customer behavior. Making early changes in any step of your funnel that is low-performing can be a good way to pivot and re-route you to a successful omnichannel experience.

— Erik Christiansen, CEO, Justuno

Developing your omni-channel strategy

Technology has wholly disrupted the retail industry. Consumers are no longer loyal to a single brand or type of shopping. They now shop in an omni-channel fashion, sometimes buying on a mobile device while in a brick-and-mortar store, or browsing a marketplace before heading to a category-specific site.

It’s imperative for brands to truly understand their target customer, then dig deep on how that persona purchases.

For instance, webstores and category-specific online stores have a leg up on selling gifts and flowers. However, if you’re a webstore selling clothing, shoes and accessories, you’ll also want to list on a marketplace or go the wholesale route to get your items in a large retailer like Nordstrom.

After all, most consumers looking for those items begin their search on and eventually purchase from one of those platforms. If you aren’t there, they won’t be buying from you.

We’ll be following up over the next few weeks with additional deep dives into various aspects of the data and trends uncovered by our study. Stay tuned!

In the meantime, do you have any feedback, questions, concerns or insights you’d like to share? Drop them in the comments below.

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Hurricane Harvey Relief Efforts Thu, 31 Aug 2017 17:08:31 +0000 Our hearts go out to all of those in Houston and the Gulf Coast impacted by Hurricane Harvey and severe flooding in the area. It’s clear that there will be many difficult months ahead for those on the front lines of this unprecedented storm. We’re an Austin-based company that feels a personal connection to those of you who have struggled through the rain and its aftermath. Here’s what we’re doing to help:

BigCommerce is coordinating employee donations to the American Red Cross, and we are matching their contributions.

We are encouraging our Austin-based employees, who are able and willing, to volunteer to host displaced BigCommerce customers and their families. My family has already hosted 9 evacuees since Saturday, and we are committed to helping as many of you as we can.

If you or your family have been displaced by the storm and are currently seeking temporary housing, or you need a place to work and connect to the internet, we encourage you to email us at A member of our team will contact you to discuss ways we can offer assistance. We will help until we run out of capacity to do so.

As a company, we are individually and collectively committed to assisting those of you whose lives and businesses have been impacted.

Best wishes as we rebuild together,

Brent Bellm
BigCommerce CEO

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