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BigCommerce Annual Report: A Letter From CEO Brent Bellm

BigCommerce was founded to help merchants sell online. We seek to lead a new era of commerce by offering a comprehensive software-as-a-service (SaaS) platform that empowers businesses to turn digital transformation into a competitive advantage.

Never has that been more essential than in 2020. In a year of unprecedented disruption to physical-world commerce, we enabled businesses to rapidly respond to the crisis, transition offline sales to online, and in many cases, grow. Experts suggest that the pandemic accelerated the shift to ecommerce by five years. We both facilitated that shift in 2020 and prepared to support further ecommerce adoption in the years ahead.

2020 was a landmark year for BigCommerce. In August, we became a public company by listing on the Nasdaq under the symbol BIGC. Over a decade in the making, this milestone rewarded the hard work put in by our employees and the ongoing trust placed in us by our partners and customers.

In my first Shareholder Letter, I am privileged to walk you through the highlights that contributed to the success we saw in 2020, and provide some insight into the plans we have for the coming year.

Doubling Down on Customers First

One of our core company values is Customers First, and 2020 stretched the limits of what it means to relentlessly focus on the needs of the customer. As stores around the world closed their doors and merchants scrambled to move business online, BigCommerce worked diligently to ensure that existing customers saw no negative impact to site performance and new customers could get up and running on the platform quickly and affordably.

Through our #EcommStrong campaign, our teams provided educational, financial and motivational resources to help our merchants weather the pandemic storm, all while enhancing the core platform through a packed product roadmap.

Over the course of the past year, BigCommerce launched a number of new updates and features designed to improve the platform experience for our merchants and their customers. 2020 also brought marked advances in international expansion through the launch of new country-specific websites in France, Italy, the Netherlands, and more recently in Mexico, Germany and Spain, with more to come. As BigCommerce continues to invest in our global presence, offering native-language web experiences further strengthens our ability to serve customers in each region.

Expanding the Partner Ecosystem

Philosophically, BigCommerce’s Open SaaS strategy is fundamentally partner-centric. We focus our efforts on building the world’s best SaaS platform, and we partner with best-of-breed specialists in the many technology and service categories adjacent to ecommerce. Unlike our closest competitors, BigCommerce does not aspire to dip our toes into verticals well-served by our partners, nor do we have any desire to invest in the development of anything other than our ecommerce platform.

We do, however, aim to offer our merchants freedom of choice. This means that, rather than building our own verticalized ecosystem, we seek partnerships with the best and most promising third-party providers in complementary industries.

Growing Industry-Wide Recognition

Mid-market and enterprise businesses lean on the coverage, analysis and commentary of industry analysts when making technology purchasing decisions. This year marked significant progress in creating ongoing relationships with the analyst community, including recognition from Forrester, Gartner, IDC and Paradigm B2B.

As a company that intentionally pursues disruptive innovation by moving up market after first building success and scale serving small and medium businesses, BigCommerce benefits from this industry recognition for our enterprise capabilities. It highlights the scalability and flexibility of our platform, which is agile enough to meet the needs of businesses of varying sizes, use cases and levels of complexity.

Building Long-Term Shareholder Value

Ongoing investment in our product, merchants and partnerships bolsters our ability to deliver long-term growth and returns for our shareholders. The continued growth of ecommerce and omnichannel shopping provides a tremendous opportunity to invest in and grow our business for years to come. BigCommerce’s financial results in 2020 reflect both industry growth and our progress toward becoming one of the world’s leading ecommerce companies.

Looking Ahead to 2021

While delivering against our financial objectives, BigCommerce seeks to lead the ecommerce industry in innovation and growth. Fundamental to both is our focus on customer success, which we consider the prerequisite of all components of our growth strategy.

Our product team has outlined an ambitious roadmap that extends and strengthens our Open SaaS platform capabilities, and our partner team is pursuing new technology integrations and service relationships that deliver competitive advantage to our customers.

This year, we will continue to invest aggressively in our repeatable growth playbook, which prioritizes the growth of existing merchants; acquisition of new small business, mid-market and enterprise customers; development of partner and service revenue on top of our SaaS subscription revenues; and the replication and expansion of this model around the world, including in continental Europe, Asia, and Latin America.

I’ll end by saying thank you. We couldn’t have reached this point without the dedication of our employees who faced a challenging year with both grace and fortitude, as well as the ongoing trust placed in us by our customers, partners and shareholders.

2020 marked an historic year for BigCommerce, but for us it’s just the beginning. We will continue to identify opportunities to invest in our company, our community and our customers, and I look forward to continuing on this journey to lead a new era of ecommerce for many years to come.

Brent Bellm avatar

Brent is the Chief Executive Officer of BigCommerce. A retail and ecommerce veteran of 20 years, Brent has served in a variety of executive leadership positions, successfully growing industry-leading companies including HomeAway and PayPal.