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Why engaging the 'multichannel shopper' is so important for growing online retailers

Bigcommerce founders & CEOs Mitchell Harper and Eddie Machaalani.

Australian fintech startup Bigcommerce last week announced a new deal with eBay that will allow their sellers to list and manage inventory through eBayLINK.

The deal is a first of its kind between the two companies, providing strong sales growth opportunities for Bigcommerce with over eight million Australians visiting eBay every month. It also potentially adds a substantial amount of new sellers for eBay. Beta testers are reporting a 50% sales increase when using the platform, so the incentive is definitely there.

“It’s been a smooth ride, eBay is wonderful partner, they’re willing to get great products out the door but they’re always thinking about the long term too,” Tim Schulz, former Google executive and now chief product officer of Bigcommerce told Business Insider.

“We want to keep innovating, and so do they.”

Bigcommerce’s star recruit, former Google exec Tim Schulz.

Schulz said that in today’s market, having your products across multiple platforms, like eBay, is crucial due to the modern shopper no longer being satisfied with the first price they find.

“With today’s multichannel shopper, it’s harder to engage them and get people into your own catalogue.

“So for us, we’re partnering with some of the largest brands in the world to make it a very easy streamlined experience [for merchants]. With a click of the button you can get your catalogue online with any of the biggest shopping places in the world.”

Bigcommerce, which has now expanded heavily into international waters with offices worldwide, is moving its headquarters to Austin from Sydney.

They’ve raised over $125 million in funding since they were founded in 2009, including a $40 million round led by former AOL chief executive Steve Case. Their confidence isn’t lacking either, claiming in the past that Amazon should be very worried.

“There’s a tonne of demand out there for what we’re doing,” Schulz said.

“There’s a tonne of demand for unique products and Bigcommerce has tens of millions of things that you don’t find on traditional marketplaces. We’re bringing very unique inventory onto eBay and other platforms and the merchants are benefitting from it.

“I liken it to why people subscribe to Netflix.”

The scariest part for competitors is just how fast Bigcommerce is developing, with the company adding over 130 features in 2015, which they want to make look like a “small year” in 2016.

“We recently launched Stencil in the last week, which we are already seeing hundreds of beautiful themes.

“We’re also putting a huge bet on omnichannel, but we also have announced partnerships with Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter which have all launched in the US and will roll out to Australia when they push retail features here.”

And the improvements and features are just going to keep on coming, because Schulz and Bigcommerce don’t plan on coming second.

“Bigcommerce wants to be the leading e-commerce platform on the planet,” he said.

“We want to be one of the most successful startup stories in this space and we will get there by helping e-commerce merchants sell more products than they would with any other option on the planet.”

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