BigCommerce Updates and B2B Industry News

Major happenings have been taking place in Q2 2024 when it comes to BigCommerce, their commitment to B2B eCommerce, as well as the B2B eCommerce landscape itself.

BigCommerce Updates

BigCommerce B2B in 2024

Two years ago, as the world was emerging from the COVID pandemic that dealt a serious blow to the global economy, BigCommerce began making huge strides in fortifying their B2B efforts. In February 2022, the Austin, TX-based eCommerce software provider acquired B2B Ninja, coinciding with the launch of their revamped BigCommerce B2B Edition. Then in April of the same year, BundleB2B became part of BigCommerce’s portfolio of B2B-centric tools and features. As B2B eCommerce was growing in popularity, partially due to the demand brought upon by the pandemic, BigCommerce decided to reorganize their strategies from small-medium B2C businesses and focus their efforts on enterprise-level corporate accounts and B2B.

This year, as B2B continues to gain greater presence over the Internet, BigCommerce is doubling down on B2B and Q2 2024 already saw some considerable advances.

The Next Big Thing

In April, BigCommerce unveiled 100 all-new platform enhancements they referred to as ‘The Next Big Thing’. Among these features included global selling, the launch of their new Catalyst storefront for Headless Commerce, AI-enhanced shopping experiences with BigAI for BigCommerce, and further improvements to their acclaimed BigCommerce B2B Edition.

BigCommerce B2B Edition Open Source Buyer Portal

BigCommerce B2B Open Source Buyer Portal

Businesses looking to enhance their online customer experience will benefit from BigCommerce B2B Edition, which offers a wide variety of essential B2B features to improve the self-service experience for both customers and store owners. Features include managing corporate accounts, masquerading as sales reps, quoting, sharing shopping lists, displaying customer order history, controlling the visibility of payment methods, buying again, quick order pads, invoice portals, and managing company address books. B2B operations run more smoothly thanks to wholesale customer approval and trade professional applications.

Combined with BigCommerce’s B2B edition, BigCommerce’s Open Source Buyer Portal provides B2B customers of all sizes with a suite of out-of-the-box B2B functionalities that collectively work together to provide a B2B solution that transforms legacy B2B practices into a modern, agile, nimble digital operation with a scalable foundation.

The B2B Edition Buyer Portal offers localized buyer experiences including language, content, pricing and promotions across single and multi-storefronts, and is available both out-of-the-box and open source, giving enterprise and midmarket B2B customers next-level B2B functionality in one place. The B2B Edition Buyer Portal automates administrative processes while streamlining buyer-seller relationships to facilitate better order management, quote management, and workflow management that reduce operational costs and improve customer loyalty.

With this release, BigCommerce B2B Edition is the only enterprise-focused, open-source B2B buyer portal application backed by a robust set of SaaS APIs. Optimized to deliver the utmost performance and flexibility, enterprise brands now have a solid foundation that can shave weeks off development and the full control they desire, without the burden of building from the ground up to create a buyer/seller experience that hits the mark.

Lance Owide
BigCommerce B2B General Manager
May 5th, 2024

New Features of the Open Source B2B Buyer Portal

  • A single backend user experience offers customized purchasing based on the buyer’s specific region and industry vertical.
  • Buyers can configure pricing and quotes (CPQ) for purchases with preset prices and shopping lists.
  • Reordering is easier, with the ability to view past orders, quotes, and lists in one place and upload orders in bulk via a quick order pad.
  • Stencil integration with any BigCommerce storefront, or even with headless platforms like CMS.
  • An enhanced mobile-friendly buyer portal.

BigCommerce B2B Core Features

  • Sales Representative Masquerade and Quoting
    • Representatives can log into a company’s account, access shopping lists created by buyers, add items to their carts, and complete orders on behalf of the company.
    • For tracking purposes, sales representatives can create quotes for customers they are assigned to. They can offer extra discounts on top of pre-arranged pricing.
  • Shared Shopping Lists
    • Multiple shopping lists can be managed and saved within the app, allowing customers to retrieve them for future use and seamlessly purchase previously saved products.
    • A shopping list can be created by any user; Junior Buyers are the only ones who require approval before they can make purchases as they do not have user permissions.
    • Shopping lists may be approved by Senior Buyers or Company Administrators.
  • Corporate Account Management
    • Establish multiple tiers of buyers with different roles and permissions for the corporate account.
    • The Company Administrator manages all aspects of the company, addresses, and users, approves shopping lists, makes purchases and tracks company orders.
    • The Senior Buyer approves shopping lists, makes purchases, and reviews the company’s order history.
    • The Junior Buyer is responsible for creating shopping lists and viewing the company’s order history.
  • Invoice Portal
    • Allow customers to view, track, and pay for their B2B invoices online.
    • Payments can be made via credit card, ACH transfer, purchase order, or other means.
    • Easily view and pay B2B invoices from one central location, filtering by status, date, and other criteria.
    • Make payments on multiple invoices at once, pay in full, or make partial payments.
  • Company Address Book Management
    • Set up pre-approved Billing and Shipping addresses.
    • Reduce risk of mistakes in open-keying addresses.
    • The Company Administrator and Sales Rep can both modify addresses if they are granted permission to do so.

With B2B Edition, B2B brands can create buying experiences that help them sell more, convert at a higher rate, and influence repeat purchasing and loyalty.

Lance Owide
BigCommerce B2B General Manager
May 5th, 2024

Learn more about BigCommerce B2B Edition here: BigCommerce B2B Edition

B2B Success at BigCommerce

BigCommerce’s reinvigorated emphasis on B2B eCommerce paid off well for the company in Q1 2024. The company’s first-quarter results showed an uptick in revenue, with more than $80 million in revenue, and a net loss shrinking by more than two-thirds.

CEO Brent Bellm said on a Q1 earnings call (transcripted by Seeking Alpha and reported by Digital Commerce 360), “Q1 results reflected a good start to the year to our top and bottom line plans.” He noted that EBITDA earnings reached $4.18 million versus $5.48 million in EBITDA losses from a year ago.

But if that wasn’t enough incentive for future encouragement, Bellm said that B2B eCommerce technology was in high demand. Bellm considers B2B to be a “very healthy segment” for BigCommerce and that they will be moving forward with even more B2B product investment and development as part of a renewed strategy against direct competition (such as Shopify) and to produce targeted gains in both financial health and market share.

New Leadership at BigCommerce

May 6th, 2024: BigCommerce announced the arrival of eCommerce industry veteran and former Accenture executive Travis Hess as their new company president.

The company announced that it has appointed former Accenture managing director Travis Hess as company president in order to oversee its development plans, including AI-powered product recommendations for its ecommerce platform. Previously, Hess led Accenture’s direct-to-consumer commerce practice. Mr. Hess follows outgoing president Steven Chung, who left BigCommerce last February to join Starburst (not the candymaker), a data lake company that supports businesses and government agencies with artificial intelligence, machine learning, and analytics.

In a press release, BigCommerce states that Hess will “lead BigCommerce’s global strategic and operational expansion with full responsibility for operations that market, sell and service the company’s ecommerce platform, professional services and agency partner relationships.”

A senior leader in several top commerce agencies and consultancies for over 15 years, Travis Hess is an eCommerce industry veteran. In 2022, Signifyd named him one of the 30 Most Influential in eCommerce for serving on partner advisory boards of Shopify, Klaviyo, SAP/Hybris and Rackspace. His most recent position was as a managing director at Accenture, where he led the company’s direct-to-consumer commerce strategy and direct-to-consumer offerings. His previous position was executive vice president at The Stable, a leading omnichannel commerce agency that Accenture acquired in August 2022. In addition, he managed Accenture’s Shopify partnership globally. In December 2021, The Stable acquired BVA, a widely recognized DTC and Shopify agency where he served as chief commercial officer and chief executive officer. Hess previously held senior leadership roles at LiveArea, a global commerce agency now part of Dentsu/Merkle, and Amplifi Commerce.

Having spent nearly two decades in the enterprise ecommerce ecosystem, I’ve long admired BigCommerce’s open platform and product strategy. I’m genuinely thrilled to contribute to our differentiation, capture market share and establish ourselves as the frontrunner in the upcoming era of enterprise eCommerce.

Travis Hess
BigCommerce Company President
May 6th, 2024

Additionally, BigCommerce also officially named fellow industry veteran Thom Armstrong as Vice President of Americas Enterprise Sales. Armstrong joins BigCommerce from Stylistics, the digital merchandising technology firm where he served as Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing. Stylistics was Armstrong’s first employer. Before joining Stylistics, he worked for Fast, Amplience, Salesforce, and Demandware, which was merged into Salesforce Commerce Cloud in 2016. Over the past two decades, Armstrong has led enterprise sales teams in highly competitive environments and pushed significant business growth.

“Over the past five years, I’ve had the pleasure of being a technology partner with BigCommerce. There’s something special about the DNA of BigCommerce, and I’m excited to bring my strategic insight, leadership and positive energy to drive the next phase of BigCommerce’s growth in enterprise sales in the Americas.”

Thom Armstrong
Vice President of Americas Enterprise Sales at BigCommerce
May 6th, 2024

B2B Industry Updates

Alibaba Launches New B2B-Focused Marketplace Solution

Alibaba Guaranteed

June 6th, 2024: The Alibaba International Digital Commerce Group has announced the official launch of Alibaba Guaranteed, a global business-to-business eCommerce platform. This platform will simplify global sourcing and create a more flexible, reliable supply chain for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

Alibaba.com serves more than 48 million SMEs and more than 200,000 suppliers worldwide. Because Alibaba Guaranteed offers products at fixed prices with shipping fees included, guarantees dispatch within 72 hours, and guarantees delivery by the expected date, buyers will be more confident when sourcing. Buyers can also return defective items for free locally as well as get a quick money back in the event of order issues.

This new solution will enable Alibaba.com to fulfill products purchased through the platform, protecting buyers’ orders. Furthermore, the platform will handle finance, including escrows, payment terms, and after-sales services, allowing buyers to focus on their products.

OneRail Acquires Orderbot

OneRail acquires Orderbot

June 5th, 2024: An acquisition of Vancouver-based Orderbot has been announced by British Columbia’s OneRail, a last mile delivery fulfillment solution with a smart network of 12 million drivers across North America. Market-leading brands including Staples Canada, Petsense, and Red Hat among others use Orderbot for enterprise inventory and distributed order management (DOM) solutions. OneRail’s extensive OmniPoint® cloud-based last mile operating system and delivery network are combined with Orderbot’s sophisticated inventory and order management capabilities in this strategic acquisition, resulting in a comprehensive end-to-end fulfillment solution that streamlines fulfillment processes, reduces costs, improves order accuracy and improves customer satisfaction.

Retailers and product distributors face a universal challenge: identifying the optimal fulfillment location to minimize costs and maximize order accuracy. Integrating Orderbot into OneRail provides our clients with a unified solution, which optimizes every step of the fulfillment process, whether eCommerce order shipping from a warehouse or DC, a localized delivery from a store or warehouse, or other store fulfillment options, including ship from store and buy online/pick up in store.

Bill Catania
OneRail Founder and CEO
June 5th, 2024

By acquiring Orderbot, OneRail aims to unlock greater value for retailers and product distributors by combining forces. The desired effect is generating greater value together than either company could create by themselves. Benefits of the acquisition include the following:

  • Cost Savings and Efficiency Gains
    • A reduction in out-of-stock and split shipments ensures that customers receive their orders on time and accurately.
    • Optimization of delivery matching to carriers (based on order data, historical performance, and cost) to maximize savings and speed.
  • Enhanced Customer Experience
    • End-to-end visibility, from shelf to doorstop.
    • A wider range of delivery options, such as BOPIS (Buy Online, Pick Up In Store), Same-Day or Next-Day.
  • Improved Order and Delivery Accuracy
    • Advanced algorithms determine the best fulfillment location, shipping methods, and delivery route for improving order accuracy and on-time delivery.
    • From product information management to last mile delivery, unified data is used throughout the fulfillment process.

A New B2B Marketplace for Truckers

Flexport acquires Convoy

June 4th, 2024: San Francisco, CA-based logistics corporation Flexport is launching a brand new user class on their Convoy B2B marketplace. Flexport unveiled Convoy back in February of this year. Convoy’s purpose is to offer global shippers access to a trucking capacity marketplace of small carriers and owner-operators. Flexport had previously acquired Convoy’s existing technology and intellectual properties in November 2023.

According to Flexport, the US trucking market comprises nearly 30,000 brokers and over 750,000 carriers. Only 4% operate with 10 trucks or more. Through opening Convoy to brokers, Flexport intends on generating new revenue by giving the freight hauling and trucking industry more options to book loads.

Shippers benefit from real-time pricing, shipment tracking, and on-time performance metrics provided by Convoy, which is available for both carriers and brokers on the Convoy app. Brokers can maximize their carrier operations with Convoy B2B marketplace, including:

  • Carrier negotiation vetting.
  • Load status updates
  • Document management
  • Payment

The U.S. trucking market has undergone a massive transformation since the pandemic and technology has empowered a new wave of small carriers who manage their business through their phone. We see a tremendous opportunity to connect that capacity to brokers, simplifying operations and lowering costs, while expanding opportunities for small carriers.

Bill Driegert
Executive Vice President and Head of Trucking at Flexport
June 4th, 2024

Learn more about Flexport’s Convoy platform here: Convoy

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