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Thought Leaders in E-Commerce: Jimmy Duvall, Chief Product Officer of BigCommerce (Part 2)

Posted on Wednesday, Jul 24th 2019

Jimmy Duvall: It’s a very interesting time in the industry because you have a consolidation of the high-end players. Adobe acquired Magento, Salesforce owns what used to be DemandWare, and Oracle has its own enterprise suite.

All of that is pulling the price point way up. There are a lot of the hosting-oriented vendors operating down at the lower-end of the segment. That mid area is just so ripe right now. With Magento going through their transition to Magento 2, there’s a huge base of companies that are meaning to re-platform as well as the continual updraft of companies.

How do you sell direct to electronic manufacturers? One of our greatest customers started on Salesforce. After they grew to a decent size as a startup, they went to Salesforce to think of scaling. We help them transition. It was just way too much cost and complexity for their business. They needed a lot of flexibility. We have a lot of those types of stories.

Sramana Mitra: What is the primary reason why people are moving from Salesforce or Magento to BigCommerce? Is it cost?

Jimmy Duvall: One is value. With Salesforce platform, it’s very expensive. Outside of that, the complexity that is necessary to do even the more simple operational things just doesn’t make sense from an ROI standpoint. Our platform is incredibly flexible and it’s open.

You hit on this in our pre-interview talk. The openness of a platform gives you the value of SaaS. The value of SaaS is you can scale infinitely and it’s a price point that works. Years ago, SaaS limited your flexibility. You couldn’t make it your own. You wanted to customize this piece or that piece. You were restricted to do so. You had to go down a path of a custom platform.

Magento is a great example. Or you have to go up to what was ultimately a very enterprise solution. That dynamic has shifted. The flexibility of our platform allows you to have a unique offering and a unique storefront where we can provide an e-commerce platform to GE that’s providing B2B solutions to Ben & Jerrys.

That flexibility is driving this shift from, “Do I need to spend millions of dollars on an enterprise platform, do I need to own the software, or can I let somebody else who knows how to do that effectively do so at scale?”

When my business grows to that next point where you go from ten packages a day to a hundred a day, how does that scale? We may not have some of the capabilities built-in, but we have this ecosystem that is tightly integrated that allows you to have the flexibility to grow as you scale your business.

Sramana Mitra: Double-click on that.

Jimmy Duvall: There’s something really interesting about our product strategy. It needs to be simple and easy from the get-go. The consumerization of software is real. People know how to use technology and they expect it to be easy. Easy doesn’t have to mean that it doesn’t grow with you and it’s not configurable to meet your business.

The smallest of businesses adopt our model. They adopt because of how the catalog works or how the inventory works. They may utilize very simple and straightforward mechanisms to do shipping discounts. As that business grows, the complexity grows.

You may want to provide separate pricing to different groups of customers. You may need to have checkout configured in a different way than all of your peers. Usually that hurdle requires them to go custom. It requires them to go off of a standard platform. Our product strategy is that we allow you to be configurable.

If you’re large enough to have your own ERP system where you’ve got a backend world that is unique to you, great. Integrate it easily with our partner ecosystem. Push the order from our system into it and you still get to leverage all the value of a robust e-commerce platform while very easily integrating it with your backend systems.

This segment is part 2 in the series : Thought Leaders in E-Commerce: Jimmy Duvall, Chief Product Officer of BigCommerce
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