E165: Sam Jackson

Globalisation and International Expansion: Key Considerations and Strategies for Success

Sam jackson black and white headshot portrait

Podcast Overview

Are you currently stuck? Got a million and one plugins and a disjointed tech stack? If the answer is yes, this podcast will help you.

BigCommerce is simplifying eCommerce growth for enterprise brands. Helping them scale and deliver a unified customer experience across all of their digital channels. 

Not only does Sam touch on B2C commerce, but the future and essentials of B2B too. You don’t want to miss this one to hear actual insights from somebody who lives and breathes eCom. 

eCom@One Presents:

Sam Jackson

In this episode, Sam Jackson joins Richard to take a deep dive into the capabilities of one of the biggest eCommerce platforms in the world, BigCommerce. As the Associate Partner Growth Manager at this tech software, Sam has years of experience and insights in the world of eCommerce that he shares on this podcast. 

Listen to find out the importance of global expansion and ways you can navigate this change to minimise the risks and reap the rewards.Sam also shares how to know when it’s right to replatform, the challenges and how to choose the right platform for your growth plans. 

It’s time to stop burning money with your Google Shopping Ads and use a data management tool, such as Feedonomics, to utilise custom labels and optimisations to improve your return. Sam shares insights into optimising your UX, utilising the efficiency of AI and the exciting developments in BigCommerce’s roadmap. 

Get ready for an episode full of insight from a human with a passion for the world of eCommerce, who works at a tech business that services thousands of eCommerce brands to scale their business. Tips, expertise and advice. Enjoy listening to the eCom@One With Richard Hill Podcast. 

Topics Covered

01:49 – Sam’s career journey that led him to work at BigCommerce 

03:42 – How Sam develops partnerships for growth and fosters collaboration without competition

09:42 – Time to take AI seriously when budgets get tight 

12:23 – Go-to-market 

15:09 – Reducing manual work with automated product descriptions 

17:44 – Common identifiers for considering replatforming in terms of growth and your eCommerce journey

22:22 – Examining various factors: time frame, store vs website focus, expansion into multiple countries, technology partnerships, and presence on Amazon.

25:30 – The importance of seeking advice from experienced individuals and attending industry events for professional growth

28:54 – Global expansion and how BigCommerce helps with this 

34:37 – Utilising Feed management softwares, Feedonomics, to save time and improve the performance of your Ads 

39:27 – Adding Custom labels in Merchant Center for a competitive advantage 

41:51 – Meeting consumer demands with the UX of your website for B2B success 

46:28 – Growing eCommerce success, seamless offline-online transition with BigCommerce 

49:32 – Composable commerce empowers brands to decouple backend and frontend, making it accessible and attractive for merchants. Exciting developments coming soon.

51:58 – Book recommendation 

Richard Hill [00:00:04]:

Hi there. I'm Richard Hill, the host of eCom@One. And welcome to episode 165. Absolute cracker for you, this one. Sam Jackson, associate partner growth manager at BigCommerce. Now Sam's somebody I've known for getting on for a couple of years, An absolute wealth of knowledge when it comes to platforms and replatforming and the different platform sort of requirements Depending on where you are in your growth journey as an ecom store. Now it could be quite challenging whether you're doing moving from 10 orders to a 1000 orders a day and everything in between. You know, when is the right time to replatform? The sort of things that you need to consider around shipping abroad, globalization, tax, delivery, etcetera, etcetera.

Richard Hill [00:00:45]:

A lot of things to think about. And we talk a lot about feeds as well. That's another thing that, You know, when you're picking a platform and also a feed technology partner, the things that you need to consider when you're trying to push Thousands of SKUs around the world on different marketplaces and different platforms. Now there's so much more in this episode, an absolute cracker. If you enjoyed this episode, please hit A subscribe or follow button wherever you are listening to this podcast now. Let's head over to this fantastic episode. Well, welcome to the Ecomo World Podcast. Sam, how are you doing? Very well.

Richard Hill [00:01:18]:

Thank you. How are you? I'm very good. I'm looking forward to this one. Now Sam is somebody that's, been to see us a few times from Bigcom, BigCommerce, so I'm really looking forward to stepping through, a lot of things today, but I think before we do that, it'll be great for you to step through your journey, how you got into ecommerce, and how you got the role

Sam Jackson [00:01:37]:

at, BigCommerce. Yes. It's an interesting one. I think I started off weirdly in recruitment of all places, and I was in life sciences recruitment. Straight out of university, it was the

Richard Hill [00:01:48]:

1st job that I got.

Sam Jackson [00:01:49]:

I got the job before I finished university because I was just desperate to get into work. And I wanted to be around people as much as possible. Went through it, realized recruitment maybe wasn't for me in certain scenarios, and Moved into SDRN, so sales development for a PPC software company Yeah. Which is a little bit of a flirtation into ecommerce, a wider element. Then went from that during COVID into another role with a search and merch company that was based out of Austria and started working with them, and that's how I kind of really fell into ecommerce properly and started understanding that there was more to life than just pure direct sales as well, and that's where the partnership tournament came into it as well. And then naturally from that, I was at shop talk with, the partner manager from BigCommerce at the time said, oh, yeah. We're hiring. We saw that you might be interested, all of that kind of stuff.

Sam Jackson [00:02:43]:

Oh, yeah. Of course. Next thing you know, I was going through the interview process and started off with BigCommerce, what, now a year and a half ago, basically, and, have loved it From the moment that I joined to this moment right now so far, it's such an amazing company to be a part of such a wide variety of things that you can do, and you can work with amazing partners like you guys, making various other ones as well.

Richard Hill [00:03:05]:

Other partners are available.

Sam Jackson [00:03:06]:

Yeah. Other partners are available on request.

Richard Hill [00:03:09]:

Well, thanks for that. I think it's always nice to sort of step through that that that journey. Obviously, recruitment, you see a lot of things, don't you, in recruitment? And and and sort of, Deal with the quite intense environment normally in recruitment, which I think is, good good training ground for, obviously, building relationships, ultimately, which is quite often pretty much the focus Sort of a of a partner role. Yeah. So, obviously, you've been at Bigcom for, coming up to 18 months, I believe. Yeah. Give or take. So, you know, if I say to you, you know, what What are you intending to achieve in your tenure there? What what would you say to that?

Sam Jackson [00:03:42]:

It's a good question. I think that I I came into the role new to partnerships and Not really realizing kind of the level of communication and the level of openness of the community that partnerships can entail. I think I work across all of our UK partners now from a growth perspective of making them work a little bit closer with BigCommerce, making us part of the conversation and, first in line for various different things, but then also working a lot more with our European partners as well and understanding kind of What have people in the Netherlands done that people have done in the UK slightly differently and vice versa as well? The same applies to the Nordics as well where BigCommerce in both of those regions is growing at crazy, crazy rates and working with some really exciting big partners, but also Some really exciting new partners as well. So I think the goal from my perspective, and it applies to a lot of us in the partnerships team at BigCommerce, is just Working with all these partners and creating a real exciting community that they want to be a part of, and it doesn't feel like every single partner is competing with one another All of the time, it feels like we have partners that are in deals together that if one of them wins and one of them loses, they'll maybe connect and talk a little bit about that. And I think that's Yeah. Bit of partnerships that people don't really kind of, go into as much and realize that we're all Doing the same thing at the end of the day. We don't need to compete with everyone Yeah. All of the time.

Sam Jackson [00:05:07]:

And I think my goal within the work I'm doing at the moment is really ensuring that all of our partners are collaborative as much as possible. They feel like they're part of a community as well. I think that's something that Platforms across the board have done well and done not so well in the past, and it's something that we wanna ensure that everyone's getting Yeah. Obviously, we we were at your, partner event Of course.

Richard Hill [00:05:32]:

2 months ago, and I think we you you had Circa 800 ish people in the room. You know, we we meet, obviously, meeting people from all around the world or, you know, particularly Europe, partner wise. And I think that partner piece quite often It gets missed, doesn't it? When when, you know, quite often people can be quite sort of narrow minded, let's be fair, around, oh, no. We're not working with them, and we're not gonna. But, you know, the the guys that we see doing really, really well, you know, in the in in the sort of market are the ones that are very open Reminded that I'm having different conversations and, you know, the reality is not every potential partner, if we're talking about a development partner, for example, can do What the next one can do, or they've got a very specific specialism, you know, they're they're they've got, you know, a lot of insights into the marketing Inside more, but then they also have a big development side that might be useful if you're big on PPC or, you know, if you if you're really looking to push the b to b side, You know, all the internationalization side, different partners can complement each other Yeah. Rather than, oh, no. We we you know, We can do it all that, but really, maybe you can't do all that as a as a potential tech partner or as a potential, ecom developer. Yeah.

Richard Hill [00:06:42]:

So I think, you know, what I think is very nice about your, ecosphere, you know, the people that we've met, just the real openness, you know. Obviously, we we work with a lot of your different partners, So, you know, we have a lot of conversations and a lot of, I guess, nights out as well with you guys, but where where we meet a lot of different people, But, I think that partner bit, that networking thing, side of things, you know, I think a lot of, businesses miss. Yeah. Definitely.

Sam Jackson [00:07:07]:

I think that's like, there's 2 points on that that I think really resonate in that we one of the first things that I speak to partners about is I don't want you to just do BigCommerce or just do

Richard Hill [00:07:18]:


Sam Jackson [00:07:18]:

Other tech providers. Like, actually, I think you as a partner is more respected when you've got a Slightly wide and not too wide. Like you say, you can't do everything. No one can do everything. Yeah. But if you're working with a couple of platforms and it it Allows you as a partner from a system integrator perspective, for example, if you're doing the development, it gives you that opportunity to say, We work with these platforms. Yeah. We think, personally, this is probably gonna be the best fit for you, but here's our unbiased view.

Sam Jackson [00:07:45]:

Yeah. And they're the most successful partners in our ecosystem.

Richard Hill [00:07:48]:

Give them the menu sort of thing and your insight into the, you know, this this main course. Maybe you'll like this if you're doing

Sam Jackson [00:07:56]:

Super super day. If

Richard Hill [00:07:57]:

you're thinking of doing b To be further down the line or internationalization, if you've got more than x amount of countries, then you might wanna try this starter and, you know, speak to these people and, Yeah. Let them know what's available. 100%. Yeah. This is very much how we work. You know? Well, we obviously, the majority of the clients that we work with and Are approached by you know, ultimately, there's 9 times out of 10, a conversation about replatforming along the way depending on sort of what It's here they're out or plateau they're about to hit in on their growth journey. Now and, you know, there's a then there's an array really of of, development companies that we would recommend. Obviously, we put them in contact with the likes of yourself, etcetera, to then make those decisions as well.

Richard Hill [00:08:36]:

But, yeah, brilliant. So Trends. So, obviously, you just come back from the Nordics a few couple of weeks ago, a lot of this last week. Obviously, last time we had a conversation. I know you have a lot of travel going on, you know, going to the various, you know, skipping around Europe. But what are the sort of would you say if you were To distill the sort of top couple of trends right now that you're seeing with, are doing well for merchants.

Sam Jackson [00:09:01]:

I think the interesting thing about it that I didn't realize when I was starting to spend a bit more time in the Netherlands, in in the Nordics, that kind of thing is that the trends across Europe We're very similar across the board. Obviously, we can't go through a podcast. We can't go through anything without talking about some kind of AI. Everyone's talking about it. It's completely fair. The thing I like about it that not really enough people are talking about from a trend perspective is that AI is now People forget that it's not just come about in the last 6 months even though with chat g p t, with other things like that, it's it's appeared. But AI has been around for years years years. What people are realizing now is that there are technologies out there.

Sam Jackson [00:09:42]:

There are people out there. There are various different things that said they did AI When they didn't really do it in the past, now there's a lot more scrutiny into what it's gonna support for us, and I think that's a big trend and a Positive from all the conversation and through all the, to be honest, noise. Yeah? Because not all of it is, proper And and worthwhile to a lot of merchants, but merchants are really taking more decision making into it and looking into it in more detail and taking it seriously. I think the other element of that that comes onto the end of it is that just in general where we are at the moment, everyone is spending time taking decisions and really understanding what is right for their business, which I think a salesperson might say but that's not a good thing because they want to close business and all of that kind of stuff. But I actually really like it. I think it showcases that we've got a lot more merchants if they're in the market some SEO work. If they're in the market for a replatform conversation, they're not just having a look around for the sake of looking around anymore. Budgets are tight.

Sam Jackson [00:10:46]:

They want to ensure that they're getting the best out of their money that they're investing into these kinds of things because it's a lot of money, and they're taking so much more Time to assess that than not what they were 5 years ago, for example. Mhmm. And I think that's actually a benefit because it means more serious buyers in the market, And it means more serious implementations moving forward that people can really, really get into as well. So Yeah. That's a real nice thing from a trend in terms of just the decision making of everything. People are taking everything a lot more seriously, especially in the times that we're in, which is really good. And then I think the final point on that just from a general perspective is that comes into their digital marketing. People are really making sure that they're doing the right things at the right time, Whether it's their feed management, whether it's anything from an advertising perspective, there's so much regulation around it now, for example, from a Google perspective of them changing what You need to do every 5 minutes

Richard Hill [00:11:39]:


Sam Jackson [00:11:40]:

That pushes it around the corner to, help support and Get in the right direction, but then people are, again, spending more time there in employing agencies for the right reasons, which is really exciting. And I think the trends are positive as much as what we hear around Yeah. That might suggest it otherwise, really. No.

Richard Hill [00:11:59]:

I agree. I think, We're, like, in terms of you, what you're saying about, people taking their time. A 100% we're seeing the same, but it's a more serious conversation. It's a more thought out. It's not just a flipping r I b two b platform. Oh, yeah. Well, hang on a minute. Have you really had deeper conversations around, you know, the the next 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 years and and and speaking to a few different providers as well.

Richard Hill [00:12:23]:

I think he's always good even when people come to us and approach us, you know, sort of, You know, this this is us, but, you know, feel free to, you know, you know, go to the market and and see what's what, you know, and You know? And I think that, like, speaking to the people you're gonna be dealing with on a day to day basis, I think quite often, you know, when you're having these conversations about, you know, if we're talking about replatforming or, You know, you're you're gonna speak to the sales guy, you know, it's inevitable, you know, someone's gotta do the sales at every business. That's, you know, sort of where the how the world keeps spinning sort of thing in in business, you know, that things have to be sold, but, ultimately, when the sales are done and the x amount of Percent deposit's been transferred. You know, you've gotta work with a team of you know, whether it's developers, whether it's fee managers, whether it's account managers. So meeting that team, I think it's really key, but that takes time. It can take time, can't it? Especially, you know, when we're talking about some internationalization and meeting people, you know, so it can take a bit more time. Mhmm. For the AI side, you know, we can't really not do an episode at the moment, I don't think, without mentioning AI. But specifically with BigCommerce then, Is there a is there maybe a couple of features that are out already that are lesser known around the AI side?

Sam Jackson [00:13:30]:

Yes. So we've We've done a couple of things. I think the caveat from a BigCommerce perspective is that we don't wanna lead and push merchants down to use AI, In my opinion, for the sake of using it, there are a couple of quick wins that are really successful to some of our merchants. One of the things that we have announced just this week is product, descriptions. So somebody can download an app in the BigCommerce control panel now There's a prompt element that you can put in, and this is all based on Google's AI framework Mhmm. Where they can put a couple of prompts in. That will generate a product description for the product that they wanna generate, and then they can bulk do all of those kinds of artificial intelligence Yeah. Product recommend, recommendations and, descriptions on that kind of thing.

Sam Jackson [00:14:16]:

The other element that we're hoping to do kind of more towards the end of the year is kind of in and around those recommendations side of things. But I think what we'll lean on very much is the partner ecosystem from a BigCommerce perspective in the tech partnerships in terms of They're the ones that are doing AI. We want those kinds of exciting firms to come in and have something that's gonna have a benefit to plug into the platform and allow us to be our ecommerce platform. We're an ecommerce platform. We're not gonna do AR. We're not gonna do payout. Like Yeah. I think if we can maintain the core and give through the openness that we're trying to bring.

Sam Jackson [00:14:52]:

That's the core of any kind of new product that we try and do at BigCommerce. It's to elevate and Maximize the openness and the SaaS element of our business. That's the areas I think that will allow third parties to be able to come in and properly vet it, Really pushed that story on it, which is exciting.

Richard Hill [00:15:09]:

Exciting times, isn't it? I think just they're mentioned in product descriptions, for example. You know? Tip I would say a typical listener's got, You know, thousands of SKUs to sit there manually changing those. You know, it's a very common but basic requirement of any ecom store really. But be able to to be able to use the AI that's inbuilt, but obviously then step forward a few months when there's different tech partners that are the AI specialists to really, If you like, in the simplest form, crank up those prompts even more and more and more by grabbing data from different sources, different APIs. It's very exciting. Something we're exploring quite heavily or very heavily, should I say. Nice. Because ultimately, you know, we're we're probably managing, you know, 50,000,000 SKUs as a company in somewhere in that region to sit there and ask somebody to manually write the script you know, which we we do have people that do that, less so now because we're using AI.

Richard Hill [00:15:59]:

But, yeah, it's very exciting, very Exciting. I was sort of one of the I think I saw what I did. I saw that demoed at the partner Yeah. Conference a couple of months ago, it's been very exciting. You know? I know a lot of a lot of the platforms are obviously, as they should be, looking at the AI side. But let's just jump back to replatforming. Mhmm. You know? I think that's sort of on most store owners and marketers' list of You know, what but it it can vary on the timeline when they're gonna do it.

Richard Hill [00:16:28]:

But, you know, when it when somebody's listed now and they're thinking, yeah, We need to be thinking about replatforming. What would you say to them? A winner, when is usually sort of a certain threshold or timeline or plateau or that they should be thinking about replatforming. And then when they are ready and hitting that sort of timeline, you

Sam Jackson [00:16:48]:

know, why should they think about using Bigcom? Yeah? Good question. I'll get my get my sales pitch idea ready at the end of it. I think the weird thing that I will say at the start is is that I don't think that there is a perfect time to replatform your business because it is a stressful thing to do, and it is sometimes an expensive thing to do. But I think there are signs, with what you're doing at the moment or what you're looking to do in the future that make you question that that probably is better suited for you in another area. Perfect example of it is a business that started off doing maybe half of what they're now doing online, for example, in terms of, oh, we needed to get a site Up and running because we were putting through some online orders, but now we're an actual online business. There's so many of those kinds of Yeah. Burn is out there. Common.

Sam Jackson [00:17:44]:

So, so common. And they're the elements of when you're starting to do things that we just talked about, right, in terms of manually putting your product into or even manually adding products into whatever you've got going on at the moment. They're the kind of identifiers from a growth perspective that I think made me think, Should I be utilizing 1, an agency to support me in looking for another platform that maybe caters to those growth needs? And then also actually going through that replatforming process, I think, it's looking to think about what's not What's gonna be the the least short term drops in terms of going through that process? Because it's gonna be, On average, a 3 to 6 month process to do that replatform the conversation if you're a decent sized business. What's gonna set me up for the next 5 to 10 years of my ecommerce journey? And that's the kind of, I think, framework and mindset firms should be thinking about when they're even e considering the idea of Thinking that whatever they're using at the moment isn't quite right, but that

Richard Hill [00:18:45]:

can inherently be quite challenging. Yeah? Because you don't know what you don't know as a As the merchant, they all you know, if you may be thinking a year ahead, what we're doing you know, we started doing 1 order a day. Now we're doing 100 orders a day. Yeah. But how what yeah. How are we gonna get to? They might be thinking 200 orders a day, but the reality is if things can just go in Ten thousand orders a day. I mean, that's an extreme example, but 10,000 orders a month, you know, is, you know, obviously very common. So it's like Then having those bright conversations with a partner network or, you know, development agency to sort of get that out of The merchant about their aspirations, their plans, and they go, well, actually, didn't realize that we could do click click click and we're in 50 countries.

Sam Jackson [00:19:31]:

You know? It's not quite that simple, Perfect exact like, so true. And I think that's the big thing that I would always really recommend to a merchant when they're even considering it of just Getting some external advice, whether it's people that you know in the industry that have gone through those kinds of things, that have done replatforms, that have done aggressive growth. What's the goals for your business, like you say, in the next couple of years, but what do you feel like is going to be the things that come up? We can't predict the future, but We can have focuses like, are you going to open up more brands within your business? So you're gonna need more than 1 storefront, for example. Yeah. He's quite nicely into the pitch in the moment. Yeah. It's it's it's those things like how much are you selling online? Where are you selling? Are you selling marketplaces? Do you need You're flying and buy now Pick A Beer Store elements, those kinds of stuff. Yeah.

Sam Jackson [00:20:21]:

I think being able to utilize a platform like BigCommerce to be able to seamlessly integrate those kinds of things and just we're Going into the idea of ensuring that enterprise ecommerce is simplified for as many merchants as possible in All kinds of spaces. We've always said that we've got the facilities and the ability to support a merchant on any stage of their ecommerce growth. And I think To come into the point of why BigCommerce, it's very much the case of if you want to grow your business, if you need something that is easy to use on a back end, but also Can do some really exciting and impactful things to your online business and connect the dots between loads of different things Through something like Feedonomics, but through something like Yeah. The buy now, pick up in store features that we've got. We've got the buy and buy with Prime elements that you could bring into your business. All of that can be easy controllable through the back end that is good for day to day users of the business.

Richard Hill [00:21:19]:


Sam Jackson [00:21:20]:

But if someone wanted to go really complicated from those side things and go really open, go into, say, a composable framework that we can go into. We can support those kinds of merchants as well. So I think The idea of BigCommerce is that we're not gonna be a one size fits all solution for everyone, but what we will be is a solution that people Feel like they can tailor to the key areas of the business that they want to work with. I think that's the key element of when you're considering BigCommerce when you're starting to look at that Platforming conversation is, what else do I wanna bring in from a online experience perspective to support this and have BigCommerce at the center Do I need a customer experience engagement kind of, solution? Do I need merchandising? Do I need all of this to come in? That's something that I think we can sit as the center of being able to facilitate and support around. That is key reasons as to why merchants tend to choose us over When we're talking with over rounds or when we're upscaling or even when they wanna build something custom, for example.

Richard Hill [00:22:22]:

I think you can see we're stepping through all the different things to Thinking about why, you know, you say 3 to 6 months and and and companies are maybe taking a bit longer than the norm. You know, when you start thinking about, well, Will we how many stores might we have? Or will we still have stores? Will we will we tone down the store focus? You know, we're spending, You know, a 1,000,000 quid on each store that we're launching, but, you know, a 1,000,000 quid on the website, actually, is maybe foreign to some people, but it's Very normal in the conversations that obviously well, fairly normal in the conversations that you you'll be having. And, you know, are we gonna go into France, hang on a minute. It's a big world out there. That's 1 country. What what tech and the right can the right tech go into, you know, the 40 countries that we've now got on that list? But to then have those conversations internally will take time as a as a company, but then to have those conversations with, you know, 1, 2, 3 potential development partners. And then you start looking at the feed technology. You know? Oh, we're we're on Amazon.

Richard Hill [00:23:22]:

Oh, but there's there's obviously Google Merchant Center. There is There's all these, oh, in America, there's, you know, there's Target. There's this. Oh, hang on a minute. We've now took our 50 SKUs to The 20 of the marketplaces, you know, 50,000 SKUs. Sorry. We and now we've got a 1,000,000 20 times 50,000. We've got a 1,000,000 Products out there on 20 other oh, and then, you know, so some big decisions to make, isn't there? But, obviously, some of those decisions It's just understanding what the tech can do.

Richard Hill [00:23:50]:

You might not do it all now, you know, but you wanna know that there's there's capability there to be able to list on x y zed in x y zed country that you're not in now, but in 8 months, 12 months, 24 months, you wanna be in that.

Sam Jackson [00:24:04]:

Yes. That's Such a good point in the sense of there's so much opportunity, and I think it comes back to what we were saying a minute ago of do your research. If you're serious about this and that's what firms are doing a lot more and that's what the most successful firms are doing, they are heavily researching into the areas that they Potentially want to go into a business. It's also okay to say that's probably too much for us right now. Mhmm. Let's maybe hold back on that. Let us Spend some time developing something in the UK to really take things to a real high level, and then maybe consider adding one of Those 10 things that we've talked about that's an exciting thing that you can do as a business. Like, it's very much a case of 1 business Need and desires is gonna be completely different to another business.

Sam Jackson [00:24:50]:

And utilizing the research that you've got internally of just what's right for you, but then also Supporting that with external networking, with talking to a couple of agencies. If you get to the end of that discussion and it's, oh, Maybe not quite right. Mhmm. Like, I don't think people should feel forced into doing it for the sake of doing it because they think it might work out. Like, It's something that is okay to be, we'll stick with what we've got for now and see how he knows kind of thing. Like, that's why it's such a the the point comes back to There's never a right time to do it. There's always gonna be that leap of faith moment. It's just making sure that the leap isn't as big as what it would be if you were totally unprepared for it.

Richard Hill [00:25:30]:

I think the point about, you know, chatting to people that have they've been there, done it, you know, or, you know, or in that process or so far down that implementation. You know, when you you know, what I would do is, you know, is look at the sort of firms, you know, if you've any got those free in your example, BigCommerce, go to the go to your sort of news section, your page, and sort of look at some of the, You know, the Diamonds Direct, BMW's, you know, sort of retail side. MCAM, I think, is Yeah. MCAM. Wasn't supplied. And, obviously, those firms will be at the different industry events, the people that are responsible for those, you know, those transitions in from wherever they were to to BigCommerce and, you know, and have a conversation. You know, if if that's an industry you're in and you're listening to this, you're in Those industries, but ultimately your industry will have, as every industry does, you know, people that are doing 5 times what you're doing as an industry. It doesn't matter who you are.

Richard Hill [00:26:19]:

There's always somebody out there doing Which is great, you know, you get some ideas from those guys, but, obviously, if they've then gone with a certain platform, you know, I, BigCommerce, You could get a feel by chatting to those and get as we say a lot, and we really sort of push a lot of our listeners to get out there to these conferences, to these industry events, meet people that are, You know, just a chance conversation. Oh, yeah. We've we've moved platform with x y zed. It was a bloody nightmare. Oh, okay. What was that about? You know? And then, You know, all that was really good. We thought this through. We dealt with you know, because there's a lot of it's a minefield, isn't it? I think that's the scary bit.

Richard Hill [00:26:50]:

You know, we've got a, We've got a client that springs to mind that, you know, they're doing, you know, they're doing about 30,000,000 a year, and they're looking to replatform, you know, and it's a Big thing for them. You know? It's obviously a big you know, it's, you know, big big revenue for them. Mhmm. Yeah. But it's not a decision. I think the decision is gonna be about 12 months Plus in the making, you know, and and there's a lot to consider. You know, they've got very specific focuses, but again, you know, I know that they're looking at, You know, what can be the the the 1, 3, 5 year plan with different areas and different countries specifically. Yeah.

Richard Hill [00:27:23]:

So getting out there in events, but let's Step into globalization. I think, obviously, you touched on that there as that sort of shopping list of potential requirements on a platform, but I think, a lot of people think, oh, we'll just turn some ads on in in the US, and the US is a lot bigger than, let's say, the UK. We're good at 50 x the business. Well, the reality of life. Easy peasy. It's not quite like that, is this? So in terms of, maybe the top 3 things that our listeners should be thinking about, around globalization and globalizing their ecommerce business. If they're maybe just in 1 or 2 countries at

Sam Jackson [00:27:57]:

the moment. Good question. I think The the key thing that comes back to basically the same kind of philosophy when you're looking at replatforming, when you're looking at anything My goodness. Do your research. Yeah. Is is your product is the service that you're offering relatable In the region that you're looking to go into, what's the competition like? It's it's very basic things to say that everyone's thinking about, but There's so much opportunity, especially through, for example, if they were working with BigCommerce at the time and they were looking to move into and open a couple of additional storefronts. Like, We have great networks over there that we can introduce to similar kind of brands or similar agencies that have real good niches, especially across America. A lot of our agencies in America are particularly focused on the specific industry that they're working in, which is really, really good to have to be able to look into in a little bit more.

Sam Jackson [00:28:54]:

I think that's like a a massive impact on it. But, also, What's the reason that you want to go into those kinds of markets? Is it just like you say, or we can make a bit more revenue if we just turn on some ads in America? Or are you looking to actually expand into that area? Are you looking to open fulfillment? Are you actually looking to maybe do some stores if you've got kind of stuff? I think that element of it is something that the reason behind has to drive the decision in the sense of this is a business decision of us looking long term, but Trying to gain a a global presence as opposed to just trying to maybe make an extra few bucks over somewhere else as a boost to the place that you're looking for. And the key thing that comes into that from an online perspective as a kind of third point is is the system that you're using right now The same system that you can use and replicate in America, in France, in Germany. There are different fulfillment and tax regulations, for example, across various different, EU areas, especially also in America where you can have a different tax code on the same street, for example. Have you got those kind of processes set up so that when you do decide to go live in one of those regions. Your ecommerce system in general, not just your BigCommerce side of things, but also, Your tactics. As I mentioned, your logistics, that is so important to get right straight away. And I think that is an element where BigCommerce from our perspective, we've got a lot of globalized, applications that can replicate that experience.

Sam Jackson [00:30:30]:

Yeah. But it's always gonna be ever so slightly different into the areas that you're going into, and I think that consideration of you can't really just pick up what you've got in one area and replicate it in another. It has to be Personalized and translated even, for example, in certain situations for your multi storefront setup that you can implement from the various platforms that you're working with. That's the area, I think, that is the biggest thing that people miss when they decide to just do another platform or do another, do another, location in their business. It's not a copy and paste situation. I think get it right in the area that Steve wants to go into.

Richard Hill [00:31:10]:

Things, isn't there, with each each, geographical location. Yeah. So maybe just step through them. So we've got the delivery of the customer. Custom. Yeah. And I think quite often, you know, they think, as you say, they can just launch a site. You've got the SEO element, yeah, which is absolutely key.

Richard Hill [00:31:26]:

You know, just I will just use the same, you know, URL structure and the same, domain. Mhmm.

Sam Jackson [00:31:30]:

You know,

Richard Hill [00:31:31]:

so how are you gonna structure that? I know that BigCommerce does that very well. But there's logistics, you know, as we sort of touched on there, but, you know, you're gonna have a fulfillment fulfillment in that country. You probably gotta get to a certain level before you do that or not certain level of investment, isn't it? Germany is

Sam Jackson [00:31:45]:

a great example from a logistics perspective of pretty much making sure that you need something hidden around on the ground in Germany because that's how you want to do things from that perspective. Then as we were saying a 2nd ago, tax is such an important element from that side of things. Yeah. Especially if you're going into the US, you need a tax wider that is higher level than what your standard. BigCommerce has strong tax capabilities, so do the other platforms, but Using something like an Avalara to really kind of take that in and support you in automating those kinds of procedures. The same street in the US Might have different tax Yeah. Codes and charges from that side of things. It's it's unbelievable.

Richard Hill [00:32:24]:

And then that leads us into feed management. Yeah. So you've got, feeds, Obviously, in your core country, but then when you think about launching into 1, 2, 10, 20 countries, having, the fact that your feed will work and be approved in the various countries. I just wanted to introduce you very quickly to our sponsors, Prisync. Now Prisync is a competitive price tracking and monitoring software that can dynamically change a product's prices on all sales channels. They work with brands such as Samsung, Sony, Suzuki to increase their online revenue. Now if you run Google Shopping, which I know a lot of you absolutely do, this software is absolutely key to accelerating profits. One of the reasons I recommend pricing to my clients is because you can Find out your competitors' pricing and stock availability all in one simple to understand dashboard giving you a huge competitive advantage.

Richard Hill [00:33:13]:

Now if you have Any inquiries and questions about this software or you're ready to get cracking, we have worked out a very, very special deal for our listeners where you can A 3 months trial and then 25% off for the 1st 3 months. Head to econone.compricing and complete the inquiry form, and we will connect our listeners to the pricing team. Right. Let's head straight back to the episode. So with potentially going into multiple new countries and multiple new markets, We must talk about feeds and obviously your or not your personal acquisition of Feedonomics, but BigCommerce's, Feedonomics acquisition. It seems like not that long ago, but it's actually a couple of years now, isn't it, coming coming into?

Sam Jackson [00:33:52]:

Yeah. I think it was, it was it was kind of the start of 2020, I think. Yeah. In around the last couple of years, obviously, they all merge into 1 for all of us, don't they? But it's it feels like the Feedomics has very much been a part of BigCommerce, Oh, for a long time, but all of a sudden straight away as well.

Richard Hill [00:34:08]:

And feeds is something, you know, here at our agency and our sort of most of our team, I would say, you know, it's been our sort of big lever for us, you know, in in getting a big advantage in in the in most industries. Because I think a lot of people Look at their feed. Oh, feed's working. You know? And then they're just focused on but the feeds now, I think, you know, are more important than ever. You know? What would you say to merchants that are sort of, maybe dabbling with their feed, but they're not really focusing on it.

Sam Jackson [00:34:37]:

I think it's a it's a great Question because, you had Caitlin from Feednomics on a couple of weeks or months ago, who touched on this in a little bit of a American viewpoint of it, But there's also an element of things that is it's just you can dabble in those kinds of things, but, Realistically, are you going to get the return on ad spend that you really need if you're just gonna do it half heartedly? Are you going to Go full in with those kinds of stuff, or are you going to kind of just keep it managing? And I think there's such an amazing opportunity now, Especially with the idea of social commerce coming into a lot of things, that is the opportunity that people just can't miss out on at the moment in terms of Looking at the current, but also looking at the future. And, I think, utilizing a feed management platform like Feednomix to help you do it properly, but not give you kind of as much time on it as well, is super, super vital, I think. We looked at some stats, A couple of weeks ago on the Feednomics benefits and, for an agency, so also for a merchant if they were gonna handle their feeds themselves, Typically, when agencies were working with prior to Feednomics, they were spending about 50 hours a month on feed management. Yeah. Working with Feednomics, they cut it down to 40 hours. So they save themselves 10 hours a month, which they could be doing optimizing campaigns in other areas, Adding more products in, getting a bit more creative elements on that side, that's a merchant and an agency thing that could be really utilized. I think that Understanding that you can have a platform that is a managed service like Feedonomics that you can send your feed data to and push it out to Google, Amazon, Meta, TikTok as well, which is obviously coming into things a lot more as, from that side. That's the Tune in in multiple countries.

Sam Jackson [00:36:30]:

In multiple countries. And people don't realize, I think, that you can go into somewhere and You've got your feed. You've got it says that you're wearing a white trainer in size 8. You send that data to Google from your, If it's a Ted Baker, for example, Ted Baker don't need to put that it's a Ted Baker shoe on their website. They don't need to do that. It's you know it's Ted Baker. Google doesn't know that. Facebook doesn't know that.

Sam Jackson [00:36:57]:

TikTok doesn't. So you have to go into each one and slightly change depending on which Twon it is.

Richard Hill [00:37:02]:

The word Ted Baker.

Sam Jackson [00:37:03]:

Slight at the way Ted Baker, but then Facebook want it in a slightly different format to what Google wants it because it wouldn't be fun if it wasn't difficult. And that's the kind of thing that takes the time. Yeah. And I think everyone forgets about that. And if you wanna spend time really Propelling your business into these areas using something like Feednomics when you've got large queue counts, when you're gonna spend a lot of money doing it is, For me, a no brainer in being able to push it into the various platforms. But like you say, various countries in in Spanish, It might come across slightly different to what it will come across in French, so the feed has to

Richard Hill [00:37:40]:

be set up in the right way for the various different languages as well. I think it's it's still so surprising that, you know, we talked about AI, you know, 20 minutes ago, but, yeah, AI and PPC, You know, everyone is is using really, you know, AI driven campaigns. Yeah. So how are you gonna get an advantage? You know, if you're if you're going, oh, there's 2 of your sons, Ted Baker. We talk about shoes. 2 of your sons have Baker shoes. You both run-in, you know, Pmax type campaigns as just an example. Mhmm.

Richard Hill [00:38:06]:

So So where you get a big advantage is a few things, but, obviously, in the feed, if your feed is then completely, you know, absolutely everything is filled in as it should, you're using product Times, the right categories. You've got custom labels that have got, you know, price break. There's obviously all different things around margin profitability and the line trying to clear stock out of the warehouse and different other custom labels. If you're doing things like that and maybe working on profit focused campaigns, the advantage you're gonna get. Alright? You know, it's a big thing for us. We're, like Yeah. Obsessed with it. You know, we got our whole team.

Richard Hill [00:38:37]:

But for the guys that are listening, they want to Potentially have an audit on their feeds. I know, we work with you guys on the Feedonomics side, and we can now get a feed, audit done. Yep. So, feel free to reach out to us, and we'll link that up in the show notes as well so you can get a a feed audit via Feedonomics and some of our team as well. Mhmm.

Sam Jackson [00:38:55]:

And I think a big point of that to point out is that It's something that can be actioned yourself. It's not something that I think a lot of people hear free audit, and they think, oh, we're gonna try and sell you something at the end of it. Not at all. We wanna ensure that the actions that the feed audit provides. Mhmm. Yes. It's gonna be easier to do that through Feedonomics because it's something that we do, But it is something that someone can take away and really look at their business and and support. So it's, a conversation starter, and It it helps with the benefits, but, yeah, there's an element to it I aim to consider.

Richard Hill [00:39:27]:

I think I've maybe set a challenge to the guys that are listening now. You know, have a look at your feed and you think more you know, some of you will be more, savvy than others in terms of looking at it, but you can obviously you can look at it in your Merchant Center and see the different variables. And those variables were made up of, like, categories, product descriptions, you know, prize, things like that. But I would go and have a look and see what is in what is known as custom labels because you've got various custom labels. I would say at least 50% of you listening right now won't have many or any custom labels. Well, those custom labels are there to give you an advantage to tell Google to drive the bidding or to categorize things in a certain way and bid on things in a certain way based on whether that's profit, based on whether it's low margin, high margin, and directing it with these custom labels. If those custom labels aren't there and your other competitor has got the custom labels, they're gonna be paying less than you for clicks potentially or for conversions. It's gonna be a smarter bidding algorithm that has got a better input than your input.

Richard Hill [00:40:24]:

So go and have a look at those custom labels. Have a look at that. But, obviously, we we can also, work with you guys to to do an audit as well. And then, obviously, you can do what you will with that. You know, we can obviously have a further conversation or you can crack on and have a have a, you know, have a look at it yourself. But, so I think, b two b, you know, obviously, we were at, you know, it's a it's it's huge for for a lot of companies. And and I think, When it comes to sort of b to b commerce, there's also some it's got some different new nuances, hasn't it? You know, different things whether that's around put you know, having purchase orders, having from Price and Structures. And for the guys that are are maybe, you know, looking at that as an opportunity now, you know, and they maybe don't do b to b now.

Richard Hill [00:41:08]:

Is quite often the way around. They do b to b and then they go to d to c sort of thing. But for the guys that are looking at layering in and adding in b to b, what would you say to those guys?

Sam Jackson [00:41:17]:

Yeah. I think there's kinda 2 ways that historically people have done b to b when they're going online. Right? They're purely selling b to b. They just need an order form that people log in to. Yeah. And then they've got that b to c element already that they need to add it in. Is that exactly what you say? And I think, Historically, up until the last maybe 2, 3 years, people didn't realize that merchants and the customers that they're working with actually want a b to b experience that is the same as their b to c experience online. It want they want things to look Exciting.

Sam Jackson [00:41:51]:

They want things to be easy to use. They wanna be able to find the products in the right way. They don't want just put in a product SKU Her product ID and then add to cart. It needs to be engaging. One of the biggest things we did at b two b buyer report, About a year ago or so, at the start of this year, I think it was, and one of the key things that we asked, customers coming into b two b solutions was What would make you continue working with this business? And one of the top answers from all of the merchants that we spoke to was They need to have a strong UX on their website to get me to come back. It was the website ease of use and the and the UX, and it was what they were familiar with when they're going on their phone and they're buying from ASOS or they're buying from Nike.com, for example. They the b to b user has higher demands now than they have ever had when it comes to their online experience. So You need to ensure that you're delivering that, whether you're gonna add that to your business or whether you are just a pure b to b player.

Sam Jackson [00:42:51]:

Like, you mentioned MKM building supplies to, EarlyRun, which is a huge b to b manufacturer that has gone on BigCommerce and and made a significant investment in their online experience, which is Paying off dividends now, but that's something that they didn't have a number of years ago. And I think the digital maturity of all of those b to b brands is A lot less than what our standard d two c, customers that we've all been working with for years years are, And they're all coming into play now over the next couple of years, so there's a huge opportunity to ensure that your site and your experience is Properly up to speed because otherwise, there's a real chance that you're gonna be left behind in this space, I think. That's the that's the big, big, big element and opportunity that brands can have.

Richard Hill [00:43:35]:

I'm getting flashbacks because my my sort of first foray into ecommerce was closing on 20 years ago, and my business was a, distribution b to b selling computer components. And then it was like, well, we've got a one off price. Got a 5 on price. We've got a 20 on price. So that was, like, our first sort of that was one of my very first businesses, about online 20 years ago. It's building out in the price and structure. Obviously, very archaic compared with today's, you know, functionality and their things like Say it's more of, they want an amazing it's not just about price breaks, notice orders. You know, things have moved on, haven't they, considerably considerably.

Richard Hill [00:44:16]:

But I think as an opportunity, you know, it's a huge opportunity that I think it does get missed on the b to b side.

Sam Jackson [00:44:20]:

Yeah. And, like, taking so many b to b merchants that have a really good offline experience, you've got a sales rep. The company can order up and do bulk ordering for you, all of that kind of stuff. That needs to be replicated online, and I hate, Like, there's so many opportunities through really advanced price listing that you can do with, with, with BigCommerce, but also with, anything else that you're building, but something that you can Consider making sure that you've got customer logins, but have various different, permissions for the customers that are logging in so that A standard junior person in the company can't come in and order a 1,000,000 pounds worth of, worth of product on this side. All of 5,500.

Richard Hill [00:45:00]:

So I pressed 1 too many zeroes there, guys. I think that's the kind

Sam Jackson [00:45:05]:

of things that you can very easily set up. I think it's scary for some people that are gonna have to do that Digital transformation in the next couple of months or years. And I think those kinds of things are happening, but they're super simple things to be able to set up and safeguard yourself so that you're delivering the online experience that offline your customers have been used to and loved from your company over however many years that you've been practicing.

Richard Hill [00:45:30]:

So we've covered a lot of ground, Sam. Yes. A lot of ground. You know, a lot of sort of positive talk about investing in this and this and thinking about this and, you know, giving the guys a lot to think about. So I always like to finish, Sam, with a bit of a crystal ball moment. So Nice. We're sitting here in 12 months. What advice would you give to our listeners and viewers around what they should potentially be focusing on this next 12 months, what you think is the future of ecommerce in the next 12 months.

Sam Jackson [00:45:56]:

Yeah. Great question. I think I was thinking about this on the way here of thinking that I'd love for us to look back in 12 months' time and say that ecommerce became really Open and accessible to firms of all of those kinds of sciences, and it wasn't a scary thing that I think the the c word of COVID taught us that everyone needed to get online, and I think a lot of people assumed that that acceleration We continue and continue and continue. It hasn't, and I think that's probably a good thing.

Richard Hill [00:46:28]:


Sam Jackson [00:46:28]:

But it is still gonna grow. And I think the goal that, Especially from a BigCommerce perspective is that we wanna open up as much as possible so that the brands that wanna be successful doing it is available. Obviously, we'll we'll continue to talk about the AI side of things. I don't wanna go on about that anymore because, I'm sure your listeners, as much as myself, Sick of it, but it's always something that you've gotta consider. And I think that it would be nice to look back in 12 months' time and see Merchants that were scared about going online and scared to make the decision, take that leap of faith. Be really successful in doing it. And I think There's gonna be advancements, on on various things of having that opportunity to connect your offline and your online experiences because Also think that people are going out a lot more and are wanting what they had from an offline perspective as much as they want the online. They want The the transition to be as seamless as possible.

Sam Jackson [00:47:23]:

And, hang on. That is the thing that both merchants need to get right, Rams need to get right, and also kind of the the the merchants that we're working with and, and the businesses, Platforms in that need to make sure that that connection between your offline and your online experience is the best it possibly can be.

Richard Hill [00:47:41]:

Yep. No. Completely with you on that. So, Obviously, we've mentioned a couple of times I was at the conference part of the conference a couple of months back, and obviously I was privy to a few things that are coming down the pipeline. But If you were to share maybe a couple of things that you're allowed to share in terms of, like, the road map, Bigcom in the next 12 months, Well, a couple a couple of other things that you're really excited for, specifically.

Sam Jackson [00:48:04]:

I was thinking about this on the way of what I can say and what I can't say as well, and I didn't check with So, you know, who knows? But, we're making a lot of advancements in ensuring that the experience, we talked about it Earlier from a globalization perspective is the best that it possibly can be that a platform can provide. So we've already made huge announcements, and steps in our multi storefront capabilities, and that is something that is incredibly strong for firms that want to sell across multiple brands.

Richard Hill [00:48:35]:


Sam Jackson [00:48:35]:

It's something that's gonna be as strong moving forward when firms want to sell in multi regions from that perspective as well. Now there's a lot of things that we've speaking about previously that you need to do in order to top up. Ecommerce wanna take away some of those kind of hassles and make it really easy to kind of brands that are in multiple locations to be able to work that. So a lot of our road map is going into that at moment, but then a lot of it is doubling down on the success that we've already had in the sense of All of our platform is really well optimized. It's really well set up. We wanna ensure and double down that it's completely set, the next 5, 10 years from that side of things. So we're making a lot of advancements in there. And then not really touched on it all that much, across across this session, but making composable a lot more attractive and achievable for, brands across the board.

Sam Jackson [00:49:32]:

I think, for those, the listeners that that don't quite know, composable commerce is something that's really come to the forefront at the moment through ensuring that you've got a headless architecture in your platform. So decouple your back end and your front end. That was seen of something that only the Ted Bakers, the Legos, and the huge, huge brands of the world could do that properly from a a a best of breed approach. We wanna make that something that any brand who has the investment and wants to do it Kundu. So we're working very closely with a lot of our technology partners to be able to build something really exciting that I think will Come to fruition publicly in the next couple of months or into the new year, which would be super, super cool. And I think it's giving the opportunity for people who have maybe heard about Headless, feel like it might be a good thing for their business, wanna go a bit more composable, but were scared and, Thinking about the cost element of it was gonna be too much. We're looking to ensure that that is a lot more attractive for merchants as well, but I'm all excited. Feel like feel like someone that's, like, when an actor is talking about the plot For a movie, unless saying, I can't say much at the moment.

Sam Jackson [00:50:46]:

So that Yeah.

Richard Hill [00:50:48]:

No. I think that's that's quite generous of you. I think Sam's sharing sharing those 2 sort of key areas and key focuses. So, I always like to end with a book recommendation. Do you have a book that you Come in

Sam Jackson [00:50:59]:

to our listeners. I do. Yes. It's one of my favorite kind of, kind of sales, but kind of not, that I read Start of last year, I think it was, it's called Never Split the Difference by Chris Voss. And Chris Voss was a FBI negotiator For a number of years, the lead FBI negotiator. And in the book, he talks about the key elements of never split the difference. Always life is always a negotiation, but I love it because he refers his experience back to everyday kind of conversations. That's the element of it I've I've Really enjoyed.

Sam Jackson [00:51:32]:

I've read it, like, twice now, stupidly for some reason, but that side of things, I think, is a is a great takeaway that you start using Naturally, without even trying the things that he's spoken about in that book, in your everyday life, and you pick up and say, oh, of course. It's like The one he always uses is, negotiating dinner time with his children and that kind of thing, which is always something that I think a lot of people will go back and go, oh, of course.

Richard Hill [00:51:58]:

That is a great choice. It's 1, that I we have bought several copies for team members over the last year or so. Very fair. And on our in certain positions of the business when it comes to negotiating, things. So a great choice. Would recommend that To everybody that's listening because ultimately, if you're running a business, you're negotiating or you should be, maybe I'm getting a good deal on on on that negotiation. Well, thanks, Sam, for coming on the podcast. For those who wanna find out and reach out to yourself directly and and find out more about BigCommerce, what's the best way to do that?

Sam Jackson [00:52:29]:

Absolutely. You can find me on Tin, as I'm sure, everyone else can. But if you wanna drop me an email at sam.jackson@bigcommerce.com, Always happy to have a chat and schedule a call and, introduce you to other people in the business as well that are beneficial and Support making everyone as successful as possible. Brilliant. Thanks for coming on the show. Thank you for having me. Cheers.

Richard Hill [00:52:56]:

If you enjoyed this episode, hit the subscribe or follow button wherever you are listening to this podcast. You're always the 1st to know when a new episode is released. Have a fantastic day, and I'll see you on the next one.

Discover New Opportunities To Unlock Hidden Revenue Discover New Opportunities To Unlock Hidden Revenue