Ecommerce Technology

What Agencies Need to Know About Commerce-as-a-Service

Caroline Lim / 4 min read

Commerce-as-a-Service (CaaS) allows your customers to avoid having to choose between their rich content and a robust ecommerce platform.

This allows more flexibility in content management and delivery, user experience, and SEO.

In particular, CaaS:

  • Gives you the freedom to work with customers on what you do best: building robust ecommerce solutions.
  • Allows your customers to choose between the top content platforms available without sacrificing ecommerce performance.
  • Provides the flexibility, speed, and intuitive design to power stunning online experiences.

Let’s dive into how ecommerce agencies, in particular, can use a CaaS model to grow their own agency and their clients’ revenues.

Blazing New Paths to Purchase

Content matters.

Brands are ditching catalog-style websites in favor of experience-rich sites.

They are cobbling multiple paths to purchase.

Where you once built a website that worked on a desktop, now consumers buy on their phones, they buy from social posts, or they might visit a showroom and build their product at a kiosk.

But most commerce platforms haven’t caught up.

The commerce engine drives the site and content is secondary.

At BigCommerce, we’re doing things differently.

We are investing in Commerce-as-a-Service (CaaS) — an approach that encompasses the decoupled, headless and microservices revolution.

CaaS opens up a world of possibilities for merchants, as well as BigCommerce partners.

For our partners, this means access to cutting-edge commerce.

A perfect example of this is our release of BigCommerce for WordPress.

This integration allows agencies to build content-first sites while still having a powerful commerce engine on the back-end.

Let’s explore how this CaaS commitment can help you drive more revenue.

Monoliths, WordPress, and The Rise of Content

As agencies, you know that monolithic, full-stack systems were the only option when ecommerce first arrived.

It was that or build the store yourself.

But monolithic options present challenges; they are built for commerce, not content.

Their code bases are typically not open and integrating with innovative apps can be difficult, if not downright impossible.

They don’t adapt easily to new ways of buying products.

What about for brands, retailers, and organizations that place a premium on content?

You’ve historically had two choices:

  1. Pick a platform associated with your content provider.
  2. Or pay for a clunky integration that commonly has synchronization issues.

This seems backward.

After all, 30% of the world’s businesses create their sites on WordPress.

The content platform scales wonderfully, which is one of the reasons so many Fortune 1000 companies use it as either their primary or secondary content management system.

But the one ecommerce platform most closely integrated into WordPress does not scale.

The CaaS approach solves the scalability issue by offering a fully-decoupled commerce platform that aligns with the content management or digital experience platform of your customer’s choice.

CaaS uses APIs to allow customization of every pixel so you have what you need to build the perfect store.

With fewer integration challenges, you can focus on creating a better customer experience.

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The Beginnings of Commerce-as-a-Service and BigCommerce

BigCommerce committed to CaaS in 2016 when we opened our SaaS shopping cart and checkout via APIs to allow enterprise merchants to integrate a custom front end.

The first company to try it out is one of the world’s largest industrial brands.

They built a website with interactive, 3D modeling showing train models over the decades.

Customers could visually drill into the models to find parts and subparts.

BigCommerce powered the cart, checkout, and commerce functionality.

The synchronization issues of linking the content to the commerce disappeared.

More content-rich enterprise projects followed and before long, there was a need for highly-scalable commerce platforms that play well with WordPress, other content management systems, and a variety of best-in-breed commerce solutions.

Content Outside-the-Box

Commerce-as-a-Service supports innovative commerce.

With CaaS, BigCommerce merchants and partners can integrate commerce into places like never before.

From embedding API and checkout functionality into videos, or building an iPad kiosk app that allows customers to browse the site in-store, businesses are using CaaS to reach shoppers in entirely new ways.

BigCommerce allows you and your clients to extend the platform as far as you need to through opening as many endpoints as possible.

It gives your clients options beyond the static catalog-style template to impress more shoppers.

With CaaS, you can:

  • Update the front end without touching the business infrastructure in the back end. Marketers are freed from requiring developer help when a change is needed to the website’s front end.
  • Maintain site speed when testing and changing elements. A/B and multivariate testing can sometimes slow down a site’s performance. Decoupling prevents this problem.
  • Empower your clients to spend money on exactly what they need. Monolithic stacks often include software your customers don’t need or want, compromising budget for best-in-breed alternatives.
  • Offer your developers an open source platform. You can allocate more budget for the creative side as you won’t need to charge for costly integrations and workarounds.
  • Move quickly. When you don’t have to port content or create custom integrations, the time it takes to move the customer onto a more robust commerce platform shrinks dramatically.
  • Provide support. The BigCommerce plugin for WordPress is built so that it doesn’t force other plugins to be re-engineered, and we offer support to your development teams and customers.

Which Types of Customers Benefit the Most?

The CaaS approach is an option for clients that are using or exploring more content-driven methods of selling products (such as through blog posts, social, and videos).

It works well for clients with a portfolio of websites, and those selling internationally.

Online companies using WordPress are making the switch.

When a B2B/B2C office supply specialty company with multiple sites was experiencing scalability issues under their old commerce provider, they turned to BigCommerce to keep their WordPress development intact.

A specialty sporting goods company wanting to sell its highly-customized product direct to consumers needed to launch multiple global sites.

They knew they wanted WordPress for the CMS, iPad Kiosks in-store, and flexibility between the two systems. BigCommerce’s CaaS functionality paved the way.

The BigCommerce Commitment

BigCommerce is committed to powering an open source platform with highly-scalable APIs — not trying to recreate the impressive prowess of content management systems.

That’s what makes combining a world-class commerce solution with WordPress a major advantage for online sellers.

BigCommerce offers commerce in a way that unlocks your agency and client’s creativity.

You have the content. We’ll bring the commerce.

Become a BigCommerce Partner

Find out how CaaS can help your clients today.

JOIN TODAY

Want more insights like this?

We’re on a mission to provide businesses like yours marketing and sales tips, tricks and industry leading knowledge to build the next house-hold name brand. Don’t miss a post. Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

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