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Community forms the foundation of human connectivity, and in business, it is often what propels one brand or idea above another. Two heads are better than one, after all.
BigCommerce has long believed that collaboration is an important tool in any retailer’s toolkit, which is why we set out to address the usability issues around our former forum.
Over the last few years, we’ve received tons of feedback from our customers and one thing has become very clear:
It wasn’t that there was a lack of community, it’s that the ability to effectively participate in it while managing both a burgeoning business and a personal life was simply not time efficient.
That violated a core value for BigCommerce –– our promise to help all of our customers sell more. So, we began working on a solution, something that addressed the current frustrations of our customers as well as their needs into the future.
Today, we are proud to announce the launch of our new BigCommerce community. You’ll notice we are no longer calling it a forum. This is for a good reason –– navigate to the page and you’ll see that you find much more than a forum. We have upgraded our platform to Salesforce Communities, a best in class solution for modern online communities. It allows us upgraded search functionality, easy usability, multiple media formats and alerts to ensure that no comment or important conversation go unnoticed.
Let’s review everything that’s changed and the new built-in functionality.
The New BigCommerce Community
The new community isn’t just about new features –– though there are tons of them. We also wanted to make sure that all customers had easy access to the most relevant information for their business. So, we started with the navigation.
The first three navigation channels are Answers, Discussions and Ideas.
The Answers section is where you can go to post your how to questions about the BigCommerce platform –– or give answers if you’re an expert and willing to help out.
Next, the Discussions section is where you can join groups on topics relevant and important to you. You can join industry specific groups and learn how others in your space are growing their brands. Or, you can look for groups of like-minded people. For instance, suggest a group for young entrepreneurs or female executives. An community manager will approve relevant groups for the community.
Finally, the Ideas section is your place to be heard. This is where you can drop in platform requests, ideas for the BigCommerce team and more. Each post can be voted on by the community, and once a post reaches a threshold, it will be reviewed by the BigCommerce team. An update will be provided on all posts to let you know where the update stands: if it still needs more votes, if it is under consideration, if it isn’t something we are planning in 2016, or if it is something that is already on the product roadmap and for which you should be keeping an eye out.
We’ve also made it easier for you to keep up with all the work we are doing via release notes and town halls.
We have long produced release notes for our customers, written by Kei Tang, BigCommerce’s Head of Quality Engineering. We’ve decided to make these even more accessible for all merchants. Now, you can find them in your Community navigation.
The monthly Town Halls hosted by Community Manager Lauren and Bigcommerce CEO Brent are now easily accessible from the Community’s top navigation. Town Halls are a good way for customers to hear about what we are releasing next to help your business grow and to voice any questions or concerns directly to our CEO.
“Our new Community is no longer just a forum. We’ve added a bunch of functionality and made older, useful sections much easier to find. This will bring more ecommerce expertise and thought leadership to everyone in the BigCommerce Community,” said Paul Vaillancourt, Senior Vice President, Customer Success. “It is intended to be a collaborative place where professionals can interact positively, constructively, and help each other sell more. No bull allowed –– this is where you come to learn and then get down to business.”
What Active Community Members Have to Say
Of course, this new Community wouldn’t be such a great thing if customers didn’t like the design or functionality. This is why we allowed select merchants and active members in early, to browse and test the site. We wanted to make sure that everything they already loved about the forums remained intact. In fact, we learned that most of our customers were already calling the BigCommerce forum the “Community,” so we just properly renamed it.
Here’s just some of the feedback we’ve received:
Norman Doyle, Ruby Claire Boutique
“To me having the BigCommerce Community is like having hundreds of resources available to assist me 24/7. The community is such a great place to share ideas, get help, find tips and tricks and the perfect place to learn how to customize my website. The BigCommerce Community is one of the major reasons we choose BigCommerce and continues to be a big part of the reason we have stayed with BigCommerce for over four years.”
Warren Dent, ZenPro Audio
“It can be scary out here in ecommerce land, so having the opportunity to interact with other business owners on a personal level is key. The BigCommerce Community is a good one, people helping people. When I first built my BigCommerce site, I reached out to learn. Now that I know the system, I am happy to be the teacher wherever I can lend a hand. It doesn’t have to be lonely out here!”
Alan Poulton, Kuseno Comfort Products
“I like using the BigCommerce Community because it gives me a way to connect with BigCommerce Staff, other store owners, and developers. Thanks to people asking questions about how to add features or make changes to their stores, I’ve been able to make my store better too. Everyone is so helpful and giving with their advice that it really feels like … a community!”
Andrew St. Hilaire, SwingSetMall.com
“The Bigcommerce Community has become an incredibly valuable resource for me in running our online stores. Whether I am looking for answers about the platform, or talking shop with other store owners, it is the first place I go for all things related to Bigcommerce and online selling. It is also a place where you can help shape the future of the platform, where Bigcommerce staff are listening to ideas and feedback!”
Patrick Sullivan Jr., Jigsaw Health
“To quote Frank Sinatra, ‘Everybody needs somebody, sometimes.’ Enter the BigCommerce Support and Community site.”
Time to Get Started
Head on over to the Community now to check everything out, even if you aren’t a BigCommerce customer. Partners and BigCommerce merchants can immediately jump into conversations or post their own questions to begin discussions. For everyone else, you are more than welcome to browse the Community and learn from other ecommerce experts.
If you have any questions or concerns, please leave them in the comments below –– or just use the new Community and begin networking with other like-minded professionals.
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