This is a comprehensive discussion on the current state of the union in e-commerce with the CEO of one of the most popular platforms on which thousands of e-commerce sites are built. The outlook is somewhat scary with Amazon dominating at an alarming scale. But democratization is also on the horizon. Very interesting conversation, and a must-read for everyone who is involved in the e-commerce space.
Sramana Mitra: Let’s start by introducing yourself as well as Magento.
Mark Lavelle: I’m the CEO of Magento Commerce. We are the largest global platform for digital commerce in the world. We recently spun out of eBay when eBay and PayPal split up about a year ago. We have 26% global market share of all sites that run transactions according to Alexa database. We are the number one leader in commerce according to Internet Retailer for both B2B and B2C. We help large, medium, and small companies digitize their business by providing web and mobile applications on our platform in cloud-based formats. We also provide order management and business analytics software.
Sramana Mitra: Magento has been a major player in the e-commerce platform space for a long time now. If you want, you could put things in perspective of where we come from and where we are now in terms of trends.
Mark Lavelle: We’re in a very exciting trend that is just starting to occur. When you think about when e-commerce started in the early part of the century, it was very entrepreneurial and very developer-centric. Magento came to life around 2008. If you wanted to build a website, there weren’t a whole lot of tools other than developing it yourself. There were not a lot of products out there that allowed an entrepreneur to get started and developed.
Magento just tipped the timing exactly right. It was an open source product. It grew virally across the world. Developers and agencies sprang up to support a massive growth of SMB e-commerce activity all over the world. What we’re seeing today is that the vibrancy still exists. Entrepreneurs are able to bring products to market in a global way using the Magento platform. It’s more mainstream now.
A lot of our newer clients are established businesses that have been selling offline or manufacturing products. They are realizing that every part of the customer interaction that they have needs to be digital. We have this heritage of being a very powerful open platform that allows you to develop online experiences. Now we are seeing ourselves where we’re developing for a future where every business has a digital experience component to it. It’s exciting to think about how big that market is.