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To say that the last four years have been a roller coaster ride would be a major understatement.
In 2009, we launched Bigcommerce with a vision to enable every retailer in the world to sell online. In the 4 short years since, we’ve seen billions of dollars in sales flow through our platform (the number we’re proudest of because it shows the impact we can have for retailers) and grown to well over 50,000 clients and 300 people across three offices.
When we launched Bigcommerce, the “shopping cart software” space (as it was called back then) was very crowded. We were a tiny team of less than 20 people, mostly engineers. We spent a huge amount of time interacting with our clients daily in forums, over email and on the phone. Those relationships helped us really identify what we could do better to help make our clients successful.
We realized early on that we’re in the business of helping our clients generate revenue — not just enabling them to build an online store. It’s how our tagline “Dream Big, Sell More” came to fruition. It’s the reason we launched our Success Squad. It’s also the reason why our clients generate twice as much revenue, on average, as our nearest competition.
We focussed heavily on helping drive demand for our merchants. Search engine optimization for their stores became critical. Advanced features and functionality and enabling our merchants to do things they couldn’t on other platforms became top of mind for us. We quickly became known as a highly customizable, powerful commerce platform — but, and that’s a big but, we left behind what made us and our clients successful to begin with: ease of use and beauty.
Over the last 12 months, there’s been a lot happening in the background at Bigcommerce. We’ve spent a great amount of time building out our APIs and platform, launching the first ever Single Click App Store for commerce, allowing developers to enhance Bigcommerce and extend our platform’s functionality. We also spent a great deal of time getting to know you, our clients, at a deeper level again.
We recently looked at every single blog post or review that had ever been posted about Bigcommerce online. Yes, every single one. We also conducted a Net Promoter Score (NPS) survey with our clients and collected over 2,500 comments as part of the survey. You told us what you like about Bigcommerce, but also where we can improve.
There was a clear and consistent message in every review and communication from our merchants: Bigcommerce was powerful, and it was customizable, but our themes and the look-and-feel of the product were letting us down.
Our product, design and engineering teams (we’re hiring in Sydney and San Francisco!) took this feedback very seriously and went to work with a renewed focus on what you said matters to you the most: beautiful design and ease of use.
Today, we’re excited to announce the release of Bigcommerce Next — the perfect combination of beauty, brawn and brains that will help you sell more and grow your business faster.
So how did we build Bigcommerce Next? Good question.
First, we took the “brawn” behind Bigcommerce — the advanced features, customizability, APIs and platform — and added even more powerful features, including our Single Click App Store, OAuth integration and a portal for our developers, one-click payments setup, mobile apps for iOS and Android and built-in blogging.
Then, we upped the “beauty” side of things with our new theme store, packed with dozens of new free and premium themes. They’re all extremely customizable and most are responsive, meaning they automatically look great on desktops, tablets and smart phones.
Finally, we improved the “brains” of Bigcommerce. We’ve always had an amazing support team and knowledge base. In fact, our customer satisfaction rating, or CSAT, sits at around 90 percent consistently. However, we wanted to add to our support offering and give you some great self-service tools.
With Bigcommerce University, we’ve created a series of tutorials that will teach you everything you need to launch your store, attract shoppers, create buyers and build loyalty. All in a fun and friendly video series led by members of our Success Squad.
On the marketing side, we’ve built Traffic Engine, which is a step-by-step marketing wizard available in the Bigcommerce control panel (under the Marketing menu). It takes you by the hand and walks you through a series of marketing tasks that help get you ranked in the search engines and start driving shoppers to your store. If you can invest 15 minutes a day, then you’ll start driving shoppers and getting your first few orders in no time.
Let’s take a quick look at each of the features in Bigcommerce Next.
Wow shoppers with beautiful themes from our new theme store
Our new theme store allows you to choose from dozens of free and premium themes that have all been optimized for conversion and that work across desktops, tablets and smart phones. In our theme store you’ll find a combination of beautiful free themes we’ve designed, as well as premium themes designed by some of our partners. Each theme follows best practices for e-commerce design, conversion optimization, search engine optimization and merchandising.
Rank highly in search engines with your own blog
One of the most requested features (and rightfully so) by our clients is blogging. We’ve scrapped our news items feature and have replaced it with blogging. It’s quick to create posts that are automatically optimized for search engines. Your visitors can comment on each post and easily share them across the various social networks. Building a content-rich blog that ranks in search engines is one of the smartest ways to continuously drive free traffic to your store.
Get even more out of Bigcommerce with Single Click Apps
Gone are the days of managing a multitude of sites and logins to integrate different apps with your Bigcommerce store. Our new Single Click App Store makes it easy to integrate your Bigcommerce store with the other software you already use to run your business. From marketing to store management to shipping to analytics — there are dozens of apps to choose from, both free and paid.
For developers, we’ve built a beautiful developer portal which not only contains code samples and API documentation, but also makes it easy to submit your apps to our app store, view stats on usage, see how much your apps are making (all developers receive 70% of revenue generated from their apps) and much more.
Accept payments without the headache
Traditionally, getting set up to accept credit cards has been one of the hardest parts of starting an online store. You could spend days filling out forms and waiting for replies from payment gateway companies. Now with Bigcommerce, you can have payments set up and be taking orders in minutes using Stripe, Simplify Commerce by MasterCard or PayPal.
Drive more visitors to your store with Traffic Engine
A first for e-commerce, Traffic Engine is a simple marketing wizard that will take you by the hand and help you complete various marketing tasks to set your store up for success and help you start getting orders. First you set the goals you want for your store. Then the Traffic Engine wizard will walk you through the necessary steps to achieve your goals — from email marketing to social media, search engine optimization, advertising and more.
Learn how to sell (a lot) more with Bigcommerce University
As part of our mission to empower online merchants to sell more, we’ve developed Bigcommerce University. This series of in-depth marketing videos (hosted by Katey and James from our Success Squad) will teach you the secrets to building a successful online store and rapidly growing your sales using proven marketing strategies and the best ideas from thousands of our successful clients.
Improve credibility and sell more with Google Trusted Stores
In keeping with our mission of helping you sell more, we’ve integrated Google Trusted Stores for our high volume merchants. The benefits of having a Google Trusted Stores badge on your site can be huge: increasing your credibility with shoppers ultimately leads to more sales. But the process isn’t easy — it requires merchants to add code to their site and submit feeds on shipping and cancellations.
Now we take care of the hardest parts by incorporating them as a simple wizard right inside Bigcommerce.
Rolling out Bigcommerce Next
Some of the features in Bigcommerce Next have already been rolled out over the last few weeks, while others are launching today — and still more are coming over the next week or so. If you don’t see a particular feature available in your store just yet, please be patient and give it a few days.
Thanks for reading and we really hope you’ll love using Bigcommerce Next as much as we loved building it for you. We appreciate the time and effort you’ve put into providing feedback about the product and what’s important for your business. We’ve got a whole lot more in the pipeline as well, so stay tuned — we’re listening and will continue to do so.
Finally, we’d love to hear your thoughts on Bigcommerce Next. Please continue to provide feedback via comments (below), Twitter, Facebook, our forum and also to us directly via email: firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com. After all, we’re doing this to help you dream big and sell more!
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