Every day, more and more Yahoo Small Business merchants are leaving for BigCommerce. We’ll explain why.
A lot has changed since the very first documented online retail transaction took place in 1994. CompuServe and Prodigy were the top service providers. Connection speeds averaged around 6.1 kbits/s. Only a little over 2,000 live websites existed (expanded to 10,000 by year’s end) and Amazon was king during the embryonic stage of eCommerce. Okay, so maybe that last one didn’t change all that much in 26 years but the world of computers and Internet technology was pretty much an entirely different galaxy away from where we are at the present date. Like a piece of untouched, uncharted territory developing into a neon-laden ‘Blade Runner’-esque cityscape practically overnight.
Unlike the small handful of startups in the mid-1990s (minus Amazon, obviously), today’s eCommerce field is chock full of specialists, service providers, and software platforms that cater to and compete against each other in the online retail industry. In this head-to-head comparison piece, we’ll compare one of the oldest and longest-tenured names in Internet history to one of the newest and fastest-growing eCommerce brands on the current market.
Yahoo Small Business
Once upon a time, before a certain nonsensical word beginning with the letter ‘G’ became the world’s largest and #1 most-used search engine, Yahoo was the eminent source of instant information on the web. Yahoo was born in January of 1994 as a directory of other websites, thus laying the foundations for what would eventually become the modern search engine. The Yahoo brand expanded rapidly during the mid-1990s. Various services such as EMail, advertising, fantasy sports, and social media were added incrementally to the original Yahoo web portal and one such service was the Yahoo Small Business Directory. The Yahoo Small Business Directory was an index of websites chosen by Yahoo themselves based on specific topics. Users could be easily directed to websites and resources to suit their respective needs but not all took to this service as Yahoo had hoped. At the same time, it was also quickly gaining a dubious reputation for spam and shady Black Hat SEO tactics. Yahoo’s once-unbreakable stranglehold on the Internet was loosening its grip and other companies had eaten into their market share. By the late 2000s, Yahoo was just a shell of their former self and many of the services and assets they had acquired during their halcyon days were shuttered and discontinued. One of the last Yahoo properties to still be in their control prior to the 2017 Verizon buyout was the Yahoo Small Business Directory, which was rebranded in 2014 as Aabaco Small Business. Under the Aabaco name, new services were added to the previous Yahoo Small Business Directory such as hosting, domains, business EMail, custom website development, and eCommerce assistance. The Aabaco name was dissolved in 2017 and reverted back to Yahoo Small Business, but retained the former’s additional eCommerce services.
BigCommerce entered the eCommerce market in 2009 by Eddie Machaalani and Mitchell Harper out of a chance meeting in a chatroom 6 years prior. Originally launched as a hosted version of the Interspire Shopping Cart, BigCommerce became its own brand after Eddie and Mitchell took notice of the lack of products geared toward novice eCommerce companies and business owners with limited technical expertise. In that same year, BigCommerce relocated from their home in Sydney, Australia and opened their first United States office in Austin, Texas. Just 2 years later, they received $15 million in Series A funding from General Catalyst which kickstarted their rapid expansion from unknown newcomers to online commerce giants who were now suddenly thrust into the eCommerce gladiator arena against heavyweight hitters such as Shopify and Magento. 2013 saw the launch of the BigCommerce Partner Program which allowed for qualified developers to sign on and become exclusive, preferred providers under the BigCommerce brand name. In 2015, BigCommerce acquired Zing.co, which led to the creation of their current omnichannel product offering services. The company had also launched the BigCommerce Enterprise program to meet the demands of high-volume retailers. Then, throughout the next 5 years, BigCommerce had added integration services with Amazon and eBay, social media integration, raised a $64 million Series F investment led by Goldman Sachs, launched the BigCommerce Headless Commerce initiative, expanded beyond the United States by opening additional offices in Europe and Asia, and filed for an IPO in July 2020. There are currently over 90,000 live websites using the BigCommerce SaaS platform.
Comparing BigCommerce VS. Yahoo
Despite being ousted by Google as the world’s top search engine, Yahoo is still one of the most widely-recognized Internet brands today. But the reasons for Yahoo’s fall from grace during the late 2000s are also the same for their inability to be valid competitors in the modern eCommerce space. A random look through various forums, review sites online, and search engine results (you can even use Yahoo for this) brings up slews of complaints towards the Yahoo Small Business service. You will even notice a few commonalities within the criticism; the technology is archaic and obsolete, their customer service is unacceptable, the platform just isn’t competitive with the market leaders. These are the most cited reasons for merchants to leave Yahoo in favor of other, more up-to-date providers. However, some online businesses still prefer to use their products. The negatives do outweigh the positives, but there are positives to be had.
- Inexpensive startup costs and cheap monthly subscription pricing
- Fully-customizable backend
- Public awareness through Yahoo’s brand recognition
- May be suitable for very small local businesses or personal side jobs
- Archaic, unsophisticated platform
- Control panels are not intuitive
- Very slow server response time
- Limited product listings
- Poor SEO capabilities
- Revolving door of management, policy changes, etc.
- Unsecure; prone to hacking, security breaches, and other cyberattacks
- Developer support is extremely rare and very hard to come by
- Mobile use is not a priority
- Scarce availability of 3rd party apps and integration
- Atrocious customer service
- Virtually non-existent potential for business growth
BigCommerce may not yet have the overall brand recognition of Yahoo, but what they’ve managed to accomplish in just 11 years of life is undeniable proof of their devotion to their customers and their optimistic outlook towards the future by staying modern and evolving with the times. Through listening to the requests of their users and paying close attention to the demands of the eCommerce landscape, BigCommerce provides a thoroughly modern SaaS platform for eCommerce that’s engineered to accommodate the needs of all businesses; from the newly-formed to the well-established enterprise. BigCommerce has also taken notice of the top players in the industry (namely, Shopify) and modeled themselves to not only adopt but improve upon the services offered by their most direct competition. As such, they’re one of the fastest-growing Internet companies in existence today and there are no signs of slowing down anytime soon.
- Modern, easy to use interface
- Ample list of standard features and improved functionality versus competitors’ products
- Fully-customizable templates and themes
- Vast app and add-on integration options from industry leading business systems
- Constant internal upgrading with automatic software updates
- Fast server response time
- Comprehensive product and inventory management tools
- Unlimited listings
- Solid SEO and marketing features
- Strong community of users and 3rd party developers
- Available 24/7 customer support
- Easy access to supplemental product training materials
- Multi-tier pricing system
- Designed for businesses of all sizes
- Unlimited potential for business growth
- Initial startup cost, while low, is still higher than Yahoo’s and other providers
- In-depth customization requires a fair bit of advanced programming knowledge
- Availability of free themes, free apps, free add-ons, etc. is more limited than others
- The BigCommerce brand isn’t as well-known as their competitors…for now
For small business owners or those with a personal side gig, perhaps Yahoo Small Business is good enough. But isn’t ‘good enough’ just a compromise? Isn’t ‘good enough’ just settling on inferior options when there are better choices out there? When it comes to eCommerce, BigCommerce is that better choice. Everything listed above are all clear and justifiable reasons as to why so many online retailers and merchants are steering towards alternatives to Yahoo Small Business such as BigCommerce. If you are among those who have given serious consideration into migrating from Yahoo, let us be of assistance. We at Diztinct are true eCommerce experts. With over 12 years of eCommerce web design and marketplace experience to our credit, we can handle every aspect of the migration process. Plus, as BigCommerce Certified Design Partners, we work closely with BigCommerce to ensure that your custom-made website takes full advantage of BigCommerce’s sales and marketing power, as well as keep you immediately up to date with the platform’s latest features, software and security updates. Your BigCommerce-powered website or marketplace will attract more visits, convert more customers, sell more product, and earn more income. Go beyond the limited confines of Yahoo Small Business and get the Diztinct advantage with BigCommerce.