Our Support Ninjas Will Be On Hand From 8am to 6pm for the 4th of July Holiday

Hi everyone. Just a quick note regarding support coverage for the 4th of July holiday this coming Monday. From our end there will be no changes and we will be staffed from 8AM to 6PM CT as per usual for phone, ticket and chat support.

I hope you have a great holiday weekend and if by chance you’ll be spending part of your long holiday weekend working on your BigCommerce store then our support portal is a great place to start. You’ll find useful tutorials, videos and links to our forum and Facebook page as well as our phone number and chat link if you need us!

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Announcing Our New Marketing Site for Small Business, ChiliFries.com

Guess what – we’ve been working on a new content website for the last few months and today is launch day!

The new site is called ChiliFries.com and it was created to help you become an expert at Internet marketing, search engine optimization (SEO) and e-commerce!

Our new website is updated regularly with fresh content and will teach you:

  • Search engine optimization
  • Search engine marketing
  • Social media marketing
  • E-Commerce strategy
  • On-site merchandising
  • Public relations
  • Conversion optimization

… and lots of other tips, tricks, strategies and ideas which you can use to either start a new e-commerce business or grow your existing e-commerce business faster than you thought possible.

Go to ChiliFries.com

View the press release here

P.S. Really important – make sure you like ChiliFries on Facebook and follow ChiliFries on Twitter so you don’t miss a post!

P.P.S. Become part of the ChiliFries community by leaving comments on a few posts you like. It’s fast, easy and is a great way to meet like-minded business owners.

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[Video] Dropshipping & E-Commerce 101 From Our Friends At Ordoro

If you’re just getting started with e-commerce, then dropshopping can help you source and sell thousands of products – without ever having to store or buy your own inventory. In this video Naruby from Ordoro (a great multi-channel dropshipping solution that, of course, integrates with BigCommerce) does a great job explaining the basics of dropshipping.

She explains the 3 simple steps involved in setting up your own online store with full dropshipping capabilities using BigCommerce and Ordoro. Definitely worth watching if you’re more interested in making (lots of) sales than buying, storing and shipping your own products.

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Action Required By July 1st: TLS Support Being Disabled for BigCommerce Email Accounts – Here’s How to Switch to SSL

The changes below are required for all BigCommerce email accounts by July 1st 2011.

Hi all. As of July 1st we will be discontinuing support for TLS security on BigCommerce email accounts and instead switching to SSL-only support. If any of your BigCommerce email accounts are currently using TLS security then you’ll need to update your settings to use SSL by July 1st, but don’t worry – it’s a very simple process and takes under a minute to do.

To switch your email account from TLS security to SSL, just follow this step-by-step guide. It includes screenshots and is easy to understand. You will need to make these changes for each and every BigCommerce email account you have. Again, you’ll need to make these changes before July 1st, otherwise you may not receive your emails.

Why the changes you might ask? Well, we’re currently making some changes to our technology stack in preparation for even more growth over the coming months and SSL email security is the standard when it comes to email. It’s used by Google and most of the world’s popular ISPs and allows our operations team to handle security in a simple and more streamlined way.

An email is on its way out to all clients with instructions on how to switch from TLS to SSL.

Click here for step-by-step instructions to update your email settings

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[Photos] Our New Office + Phone Support Unavailable Friday 24th & Saturday 25th While We Move

Hi all! It’s an exciting time for us in the Austin, Texas office. We’re moving into our new office this Friday and Saturday. We’ll double our seating capacity and will be able to hold around 80 to 90 people in our new digs. As a result of the move,  there will be a small period of time when phone support will be unavailable. Of course, ticket and live chat support will be fully staffed during the move, so we’ve still got you covered.

Here’s a summary of what you need to know

  • From 12pm CDT this Friday, June 24th we will have support via ticket and live chat only
  • Ticket and live chat support will be available this Saturday from 9:30am to 2:30PM CDT
  • Phone support will resume on Monday morning at the latest

We’ll do our best to resume phone support on Saturday, but if that isn’t the case then our entire team of ninjas will still be available on live chat and via our ticketing system.

If you’re interested in our move, then I’ve included a few photos of the new office below. We’ll be at 2711 West Anderson Lane (here it is in street view) which is the former office of job search behemoth Indeed.com.

Oh, and our recruiting manager Steve also wants me to mention that we’re hiring like crazy. In fact we have several roles open at the moment and are looking to hire 30+ people across sales, support, engineering, QA and more so take a look at our careers page if you want to join us in our new digs.

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Photos From IRCE 2011 in San Diego

We had a huge turn out for IRCE 2011 which was held last week in San Diego. A huge thank you to all of our partners, staff, clients and everyone else who helped man the booth, strike up new partnerships and share our vision with the attendees. I’ve included a few photos below. You can see the rest on our Facebook page.

A big thank you to our partners who attended, specifically the guys from Ordoro, Roseanne from Redhead Web Development, Mike Tschirret from iContact and Gregg and Bryan from New Dynamx.

See more photos on our Facebook page

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Celebrating 15,000 Clients in Under 20 Months (Plus Future Plans And Our 12 Month Outlook)

A few weeks ago we hit a pretty important milestone – 15,000 paying clients using BigCommerce in under 20 months since launch. There are a few reasons why that’s important:

  1. We are (still) the fastest growing SaaS e-commerce platform in the world
  2. What we’re doing matters and is being recognized and adopted FAST
  3. Our constant releases have been fixing real pain points for our clients
  4. We’ve released more features than anyone else in this space, period
  5. We’re well on our way to being the standard when it comes to e-commerce
  6. Economies of scale mean more partnerships that give our clients better deals
  7. Most importantly, we’re living by our mission statement and  changing people’s lives

Of course hitting 15,000 clients is just one metric of dozens that we track and strive to improve daily and we’re nowhere near done – if anything we’re ramping faster so we can help you be even more successful. Our goal from day one has to change what e-commerce means to millions of people, but what does that really mean anyway?

To us it means that e-commerce is no longer about having a vanilla site and a basic shopping cart/checkout process. Today and more importantly, moving forwards, e-commerce is about:

  • Marketing – E-commerce used to be just about getting your online store open for business, but without traffic you won’t survive. We’ve already built 22 traffic-driving tools into BigCommerce (including SocialShop, our free Facebook application, the ability to list products and sell on eBay, hardcore SEO optimization and one-click Google AdWords campaign creation) and we’ll be releasing dozens more over the coming months. There’s a reason we call BigCommerce an e-commerce marketing platform – and it’s not just to differentiate ourselves.
  • Customizability – Customizing your store should be easy and powerful regardless of if you’re a web designer or a non-technical business owner. Finding the right balance between point-and-click and HTML/CSS customization is important and as well as our existing functionality (drag and drop layout+text customization, full HTML/CSS access, file diff’ing, etc) we’re working on a few innovative ideas to make this even better.
  • Mobile Commerce – BigCommerce has the best mobile commerce offering of all platforms, and that’s no accident. We looked at what the world’s top online retailers such as Amazon and Zappos were doing and we made sure our mobile commerce offering did all of that – and more. To view any BigCommerce store on your iPhone, iPad, Android phone/tablet or Blackberry, just go to the store’s URL in your mobile browser. That’s it. No apps to install, nothing extra to pay and no customization required. And that’s the way we like it.
  • F-Commerce – Our free Facebook application, SocialShop, is used by 90% of our clients. This tells us that Facebook is important to them and their customers. While F-Commerce is in its infancy at the moment, we’re betting that Facebook will continue to play a huge rule in the online payments (Facebook Credits) and e-commerce world, and we’re working on SocialShop v2 right now to make sure you have the tools in place to drive sales from Facebook as they continue to increase.
  • Integrations – Our existing API is used by dozens of partners for integration with everything from email marketing software to analytics, order management and accounting platforms. Moving forwards we’ll be releasing a beautiful RESTful API which will make even more integrations possible. E-commerce is such a unique requirement for different businesses and we don’t believe we can get everything done ourselves – but a more open API sure helps our partners and third party developers fill in the gaps.
  • Platform – What Facebook have done to social media and what SalesForce did to CRM, we’re doing to e-commerce. What if BigCommerce was considered the canvas upon which to build whatever you wanted, whether it was an online store, a content-driven website or even a bunch of widgets you could share with friends?

What’s Coming Next?

We’re never done and will never stop innovating and improving. Our goal is the be the undisputed number one e-commerce platform in the world and we understand what’s required to make that a reality. We’ve grown (and continue to grow) faster than anyone else in this space and that brings lots of challenges as well as huge opportunity.

Here’s a very high level look at just a few of the dozens of things we’re currently working on:

  • Two-way expanded RESTful API with full access to all important BigCommerce resources (API v2)
  • Over 20 additional partnerships and integrations that go beyond basic functionality
  • 24/7/365 support teams (we currently have 7am-7pm Mon to Fri and 9am-2pm Sat)
  • More marketing tools to drive huge amounts of traffic to your store for free/low cost
  • Additional integrations to order management, marketing, analytics and social media tools
  • Improved templating system with advanced customizations and automatic upgrades
  • Deeper Facebook integration and tools to share content anywhere (SocialShop v2)
  • Dozens more templates focused on specific industries and verticals
  • An amazing development platform, not just e-commerce software

On top of this we’ll end this year with around 115 awesome employees across both our Sydney and Austin offices (we’re hiring 30+ people at the moment!). We grew our client count 680% in 2010 and close to tripled our internal head count, so growth is happening in all the right places. Our client ratings for product functionality and technical support continue to climb and we won’t stop improving until every survey comes back with a 100% satisfaction rating. Seriously.

If you’re an existing client then thanks for choosing BigCommerce. If you think we’ve put out a lot of features to date then you ain’t seen nothin’ yet. If you’re thinking about selling online then now’s a great time to join us on the path to becoming the standard in e-commerce.

Thanks for reading and watch this space. We’ve got a lot to show you over the coming months and I hope you’ll be impressed.

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[Screenshot] 6 New Apparel Store Designs Coming Soon

Here’s a preview of some new apparel store designs we’ll be releasing over the next few weeks:

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New Webinar Series: How to Use Facebook, eBay, SEO and Free Tools to Skyrocket Your Traffic

Overview: New advanced webinar series
Title: How to Use Facebook, eBay, SEO and Free Tools to Skyrocket Your Traffic
When? 1pm CDT on Thursday, June 9th (See this in your time zone)
Register: Click here to register (limited spots available)

We already run regular webinars that teach the basics of e-commerce and BigCommerce, but today I’m happy to announce that we’re adding a third series to our already popular webinars.

Lead by certified BigCommerce design partner and e-commerce experts Madwire MediaHow to Use Facebook, eBay, SEO and Free Tools to Skyrocket Your Traffic is our latest webinar series and the first webinar kicks off at 1pm CDT on Thursday, June 9th (see this in your time zone).

So, what will you learn during this free webinar? Here’s a taste:

  • Easy SEO strategies to dominate your competition on Google
  • How to use Facebook to drive traffic and sales
  • How to generate and submit your sitemap to Google
  • How to push your products to eBay as auction or BIN
  • How to drive huge traffic using Google Product feeds
  • How to improve your SERPs using Google and Bing webmaster tools
  • How to track your marketing using Google Analytics
  • Tools to increase your search engine ranking and traffic

Click here to register (limited spots available)

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New, More Flexible Product/Option/SKU/Rule Import/Export System Now Live

Hi all. Just a quick post to let you know that our new import/export system, for products, options, SKUs and rules is now live. All version 7 stores will be upgraded automatically over the next few days and all stores running version 6.x.x will have the option to upgrade from your control panel.

The new import/export spreadsheet format is extremely powerful and also really flexible. You can manage your entire product and inventory data from a single spreadsheet which you can easily export, bulk update in Excel or Google Docs and then re-import in a few clicks. This release rounds out the final changes we’ve been working on around product options and moving forwards we’ll be putting out some pretty slick new features which I’ll announce shortly.

If you’re on BigCommerce 7.0.0 or above, just look at the text in the bottom of your control panel to see if your store’s been upgraded. If your version is 7.0.4 or above then this new import/export functionality is already part of your control panel.

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