In its early years, BigCommerce established itself as a B2C solution tailored for small to medium-sized businesses (SMBs). However, in 2019, the company made a strategic move to expand into the B2B market, making it a relatively new entrant in the B2B eCommerce niche. This expansion was achieved through partnerships with six e-commerce technology providers: Apruve, Brightpearl, Bundle B2B, Nextopia, PunchOut2Go, and ShipperHQ. BigCommerce further enhanced its B2B capabilities by acquiring Ninja B2B in 2021 and Bundle B2B in 2022.
BigCommerce B2B Numbers
By Q1 of 2022, BigCommerce had accumulated roughly 13K accounts with an annual contract value exceeding $2,000. Yet only 19% of these accounts were using BigCommerce for B2B sales.
Among these customers, some found their B2B needs met with out-of-the-box BigCommerce features, while others filled in the gaps with third-party applications that came with additional costs.
"Some customers expressed concern about limits to BigCommerce’s out of the box B2B functionality and a user’s ability to create and modify B2B workflows, as well as the solution’s underpowered Product Information Management (PIM) and Order Management System (OMS)."
Paradigm Research, July 2022
The fact that only 19% of accounts use BigCommerce B2B highlights an ongoing challenge for the platform. Despite their strategic moves, acquisitions, and the launch of various B2B features, BigCommerce still lacks critical ‘out-of-the box’ B2B functionality and remains predominantly oriented towards serving B2C merchants. A significant portion of its $279M revenue still comes from B2C merchants, indicating that B2C remains the core focus of the company's business.
“BigCommerce’s customers are primarily in the SMB market, and the platform doesn’t have many proven enterprise deployments. BigCommerce only has a small number of customers with a GMV over $50 million. Large/enterprise companies will need to ask for reference customers that suit their use cases.”
Gartner Magic Quadrant for Digital Commerce, 2021
“BigCommerce mostly sells to small and midsize organizations with an annual gross merchandise value (GMV) of less than $10M.
Gartner Magic Quadrant for Digital Commerce, Aug. 2023
Why Should B2C Businesses Seek Purpose-Built B2B Commerce Vendors?
The rationale behind B2C businesses choosing the same vendor for their B2B operations is somewhat unclear. The main benefit of doing this is the convenience of having a shared product catalog. However, it's not about sticking with your current B2C vendor just because they added a few B2B features.
Instead, it's essential to consider purpose-built B2B commerce vendors that demonstrate a deep understanding of the unique needs and requirements of B2B businesses and can meet the specific needs of different B2B stakeholders like sales reps, buyers, van sales and customer support.
Key B2B eCommerce Features Comparison
Let’s take a closer look at BigCommerce B2B and Pepperi’s Unified B2B Commerce platform and compare features across 15+ parameters:
Why Distributors Choose Pepperi B2B Commerce Platform?
In this comparison, it becomes clear that Pepperi is built with B2B requirements in mind and emerges as a strong B2B eCommerce contender, with the following unique strengths that distinguish it from BigCommerce’s B2B offering.
Unlike BigCommerce that is centered around user roles with basic permissions, Pepperi uses Profiles to assign different functionalities, workflows and form layouts to groups of users. For example, a "Rep" profile for order-taking, a "Merchandiser" profile that only performs stocktaking and fills visit reports, a self-service ordering "Buyer" profile on Pepperi’s mobile Storefront, or a "Back-Office" profile for a user who only takes inbound sales calls. One can also create language-associated profiles, such as an "English Rep" profile and "Spanish Rep" profile.
Profiles give the admin the option to control the data and the functionality exposed to user profiles with different responsibilities and advanced permissions in the organization. For example:
- Manager profile can edit pricing on orders, while Rep profile can not.
- Display Item names and descriptions in different languages to Reps in multiple countries
- Rep profile can view an "Abandoned Carts" report for all their customers, while Buyers of those customers can not view such a report.
“Some OOTB features are insufficient for large enterprises, such as granular roles and permissions, complex catalog management, search merchandising, personalization, and unified commerce. These gaps can be narrowed by third-party integrations at extra cost.”
Gartner Magic Quadrant for Digital Commerce, Aug. 2023
Unlike BigCommerce, in Pepperi, the pricing is fixed and isn't tied to any variables. In BigCommerce, cost is tied to the company’s sales revenue and USD even if the business is not US-based. In this scenario, even if sales are flat, the subscription cost will increase automatically and by a substantial amount if the exchange rate rises and the sales volume surpasses the billing threshold.
Business Rules Engine
Pepperi boasts a powerful Business Rules Engine, enabling businesses to establish incredibly adaptable workflows, automate tasks, and enforce business-specific logic. Be it intricate pricing models, discount rules, or order approval processes, Pepperi's Business Rules Engine excels in managing them effortlessly and remains adaptable to evolving business requirements.
BigCommerce B2B falls short when compared to Pepperi's flexibility in its support for intricate business rules and workflows. To attain similar capabilities, BigCommerce B2B customers need to fill in the gaps with third-party applications that of course incur extra costs.
Native Mobile and Web Apps
Unlike BigCommerce which primarily relies on responsive web design, Pepperi provides native mobile and web apps for both sales reps and eCommerce buyers. This ‘native’ approach ensures a seamless and consistent experience across various devices, allowing sales reps to take orders in the field, and buyers to place orders online with ease. The native app offers offline access, ensuring that sales orders can be taken and access vital information provided even in areas with poor connectivity.
Sales Rep App
Unlike BigCommerce B2B which lacks a dedicated ordering portal for sales reps, Pepperi provides comprehensive solutions for both sales reps and B2B eCommerce buyers. Sales reps can use the platform to place and manage orders, access account data, and conduct in-person or virtual sales meetings effectively.
Single Back Office for Sales Reps and B2B eCommerce
Pepperi's ‘unified’ platform creates a seamless convergence point for both buyers and sales reps, all within a single, integrated solution. This means that businesses can consolidate their back-office operations into a single hub, with a single business logic, simplifying the process of managing and connecting various sales channels.
BigCommerce ventured into the B2B space in 2019, primarily targeting small and midsize organizations with an annual gross merchandise value (GMV) of less than $10 million. However, it appears that BigCommerce's B2B offerings often fall short in meeting the needs of pure B2B businesses, especially mid-size companies and enterprises with complex B2B requirements.
A notable drawback with BigCommerce is its reliance on third-party apps for essential B2B functions and features, rather than having these features as an integral part of their platform. This can create challenges for businesses, as it requires adjustments to their product strategy to work around these limitations. Additionally, integrating these third-party apps often comes with additional costs.
In contrast, Pepperi is designed specifically for the B2B market and provides a broader range of B2B features. With its powerful business rules engine, native mobile and web apps, a dedicated sales rep app, and a unified back office for B2B eCommerce, sales reps, van sales and inside sales, Pepperi offers a compelling solution for companies transitioning their B2B operations online.
While BigCommerce may suit smaller B2B businesses with simpler needs, Pepperi's comprehensive B2B capabilities and unified approach make it a stronger choice for companies seeking a more robust and unified solution for their B2B Commerce requirements.
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