The Covid-19 global pandemic has brought forward the growth of the online world by years.

Online retail is now accounting for on average up to 30% of a business’s total sales, and an ecommerce platform's scalability has become more crucial than ever before.

BigCommerce’s reliability and scalability has been a topic of interest for many online retailers when it comes to selecting an ecommerce platform. Out of the numerous considerations that go into making this decision, the ability to scale on the platform in question should be high up on the list.   

For most ecommerce companies, their long-term and short-term goals are all in a way linked to scaling up and expansion both online and in-store. They need to ensure that they have an ecommerce platform ready and capable to grow online fast and support offline areas of the business, as the opportunity arises. 

Consumer behaviours and demands are constantly changing in the world of online shopping. Online retailers will generally be aware of the regular key seasonal peaks whether that be Christmas, Black Friday, or a new product launch that is accompanied by an advertising drive that will create those increases in demands.   We know only too well from recent events that external forces can also play a huge role in creating unprecedented peaks in demand, literally overnight. Over the past few months, retailers have dealt with extenuating circumstances leading to the rapid dial-up in online growth, because of the global pandemic caused by the Covid-19 virus 

The online retailers that have managed to keep pace with this demand, amongst coping with product supply chains, will have invested appropriately some time before, in their technology stack and be working with technical partners capable of responding rapidly to changing retail dynamics and shopping habits. The importance of choosing a platform that has the ability to successfully scale to cope with new demands, capable of entering new markets and be fit for purpose for aggressive growth ambitions online cannot be underestimated. 

In this blog, we take a look at Big Commerce, with a focus on the platform's scalability. As a BigCommerce Elite Partner, we have launched several websites using the platform and have seen successes, so we thought we had let our audience know a bit more about BigCommerce and the benefits of using the platform when scaling. 

BigCommerce is a Software as a Service (SaaS) ecommerce platform that is attractive to online retailers because of its enterprise grade capabilities, lower total cost of ownership, all round flexibility and huge range of features available to merchants. But does it cope well with scalability? Before we dive in, let us explore exactly what is meant by ‘scaling up’ and ‘scalability’ in the world of ecommerce. 

What is scalability?

Imagine your business has just invested thousands in a digital and print media advertising campaign which has successfully resulted in a huge volume of traffic to the website. Then, the unthinkable occurs and your website falls over unable to cope with the demand, leaving customers either frustrated with a slow website or unable to connect to your site at all.  These issues defeat the whole point of the exercise to create positive brand awareness, drive new acquisitions and new revenue opportunities. 

Ecommerce scalability is the ability of the website to handle steady uplifts in online traffic and to also be able to cope in sudden bursts of traffic, without any detrimental impact to user experience in any way. A highly scalable ecommerce website is ready to respond to changes and spikes in demand. It provides businesses with the flexibility to capitalise on new trends and can adjust to new innovations, with a highly reliable ecommerce platform as the foundation for future success. 

How capable is BigCommerce when it comes to scalability?

BigCommerce has a variety of features that offers strong scalability and is one of the key reasons BigCommerce is chosen by multinational retailers like Start-Rite Shoes and Gill. We look at some of the features that makes BigCommerce a perfect platform when considering scaling up. 

The benefits of a SaaS platform

BigCommerce is one of the leading Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) ecommerce platforms available to you. The process of scaling up an online business involves much more than adding to your product offering and then making your consumers aware. You need to ensure your website is maintained in the right way and the required upgrades are implemented so it performs to meet your expectations. This brings security risks if upgrades are not implemented in a timely fashion and can be costly and time-consuming. 

However, with a SaaS Solution such as BigCommerce, these costs are covered, and upgrades are left to the professionals at BigCommerce to deal with. This means no security risks and downtime for your website. As your business grows you simply have the option of upgrading your plan and BigCommerce, being a fully hosted solution, supports you on the technical aspects. This is important in ensuring that both you and your customers can count on your website to perform at any given time. As a certified BigCommerce Elite Partner in the UK, we work with our clients and ensure we still have the control and technical ability to create an entirely customised user experience journey for customer bases. 

What is also important to note is that as BigCommerce is a SaaS solution, the platform includes the hosting, upgrades, patches, and the tools for the infrastructure. The BigCommerce licence fee covers everything and is very clear for your total cost of ownership. 

BigCommerce Integrations

Whilst the ecommerce platform itself is the foundations to scale up, it is not the only piece of technology that is required to successfully scale up your business. Integrations with other software play just as an important role. The integrations you choose and implement will often dictate your process in scaling up. For example, your ERP, PIM, CRM and other systems are critically important as this can cover data like categories, products, meta content, pricing, customers, order and tracking information and much more.  

With BigCommerce, their powerful API’s allow for seamless integrations. BigCommerce comes with pre-built integrations including tools you rely on to run the everyday process of your business, but with a single click, it is possible to connect to marketing automation solutions that streamline aspects of your business to support your efforts of scaling up. From shipping solutions that automate your shipping process, to ERP integrations that streamline your operations, using BigCommerce to scale your business is ideal as the platform has an array of industry-leading integrations available to you.  

Here are some other reasons why the BigCommerce API is top of the class:  

  • Open Architecture with the RESTful API 
  • Over 400 requests per second 
  • Choice of coding language 
  • Robust documentation for maximum flexibility 
  • No disruptions from the platform or API

Cross-Channel Commerce – eBay and Amazon

In the modern-day, there is no doubting the power and presence of eBay and Amazon in the world of online shopping. With eBay having 174million active buyers in Q1 of 2020, and Amazon having over 2 billion visits in February 2020 alone, these platforms provide ecommerce merchants with endless opportunities to diversify and grow their product and consumer base. 

BigCommerce has an out of the box integration with eBay. To integrate with Amazon, your BigCommerce developer can recommend either an application or a feed management tool. We have a strong partnership with Channable, which is a specialist feed management and PPC automation solutions tool. Listing your product offerings on these marketplaces is a streamlined process. A centralised and synced inventory management saves the manual effort of making updates. Branching out to trade on these marketplaces is of the most popular ways to scale up. You can reach new audiences and increase your brand awareness. The ease with which this can be achieved on BigCommerce, is another demonstration of how scaling up is encouraged. Why not start a conversion with us, a Certified BigCommerce Elite Partner to find out how we can help you scale your business using BigCommerce with other shopping channels? 

Going Global

During the scale-up process, selling internationally, if you do not already, is bound to be a consideration for most ecommerce retailers. With globalisation making the world smaller, consumers have now come to expect international shipping as a given for most online retailers. The ability to reach potential consumers all over the globe is difficult to achieve and not possible on some platforms. Using a platform such as BigCommerce, that is built to help take your business global when you are ready, is a huge boost in order to achieve this. 

Of course, before making this decision you will have to do all the due diligence of what markets to target and what your approach and strategy will be. Once that has been done BigCommerce offers various features and integrations that make the process less complicated. 

On BigCommerce you find there is a range of payment integrations for international trading. These integrations with leading payment providers such as PayPal and Worldpay, and BigCommerce’s multi-currency functionality, will allow you to trade in different currencies and display prices on your website in local currencies. What is also great is BigCommerce integrates with Klarna, a “buy now pay later” solution that has taken ecommerce by storm recently and changed the way shopping is conducted. There are also integrations that allow you to ship worldwide, with leading shipping providers, and present your online store in any language of your choice. A further tool and application option could be a VAT and country requirements tool, which supports you to configure the correct country setting for their laws and expectations. This is highly essential as it helps you in delivering the right terms to the customer based on their geographical location.

Final words

We hope this blog has given you some indication of the scalability features of BigCommerce. We would need a separate blog for each feature to fully cover all the aspects of BigCommerce that supports scalability. However, one key component into successfully scaling up we have not mentioned yet is having the right partner. 

Being a certified BigCommerce partner, at Williams Commerce our team has vast experience and knowledge in successfully helping businesses scale up online on BigCommerce, and a range of other ecommerce platforms. Whether it is supporting you in devising your scale up strategy, taking care of your digital marketing efforts, supporting with the software integrations or all of the above, by being a full stacked agency we have experience across the board and are happy to help.  

Our unique process of understanding your requirements helps you feel secure in knowing your project is in safe hands. Simply get in touch with us today and release the true potential of your online business.