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BigCommerce customers can now sell on Walmart's online marketplace

Alex Wilhelm
·3 min read

BigCommerce has partnered with Walmart to allow its customers to sell on the Bentonville, Arkansas-based retailer's e-commerce marketplace, it announced this morning. Shares of Austin-based BigCommerce rose sharply in pre-market trading after the news, gaining around 10% before the bell.

Walmart, best-known for in-person shopping, has proven an e-commerce success story in recent years. For example, in its most recent quarter while Walmart as a whole grew 7.3%, its e-commerce sales advanced 69%.

BigCommerce has also reported strong growth in recent quarters, supported in part by partnerships similar to the one that it announced today. The e-commerce SaaS provider rolled out an integration with Wish last year, for example.

In a call concerning its earnings, which were announced before the Walmart news was announced, BigCommerce CEO Brent Bellm told TechCrunch that his company had been impressed with customer uptake of the Wish integration. Regarding the Walmart partnership, in a second interview Bellm told TechCrunch that it was overdue on the BigCommerce side; given the historical success of the Wish deal, it will be curious to dig into how many of the e-commerce platform's customers opt to sell on Walmart, and how quickly they do so.

TechCrunch also spoke with Walmart exec Jeff Clementz about the arrangement. He stressed Walmart's online customer monthly-actives -- 120 million, per his company -- and the breadth of their demand; BigCommerce customers selling on Walmart could expand its product diversity, helping the traditionally physical retailer possible continue its rapid growth.

The two companies are incentivizing adoption of the deal amongst BigCommerce customers by waiving certain fees for a month for retailers that sign up to sell on Walmart; Clementz described it as the first time that his company had offered a "new-seller discount."

TechCrunch has had its eye on BigCommerce for some quarters now, thanks in part to its 2020 IPO. But the company is also interesting as its regular earnings results provide a lens into the world of e-commerce growth amongst independent digital retailers. Shopify, a chief BigCommerce rival, provides a similar view into the e-commerce world.

Shopify previously integrated with Walmart in the middle of 2020.

Looking ahead, it will be interesting to see if the Walmart partnership helps BigCommerce continue its improving revenue growth. The company is in a market share race with Shopify. But while BigCommerce's rival has posted impressive growth from its integrated solutions, like its payments service, the Austin-based company stresses what it calls a more open model. Shopify charges many customers a percentage of their transaction volume for using a third-party payment solution over its own, for example, which Bellm described as a "tax" during an interview.

"Merchant Solutions" revenue at Shopify, which it generates "principally" from "payment processing fees from Shopify Payments," grew 116% in 2020 to a little over $2 billion.

So with BigCommerce collecting a partnership with Walmart to match Shopify's own, we're seeing not merely two e-commerce platforms go toe-to-toe on providing their customers with as much market access as they can, but two different business philosophies compete. Akin to Microsoft Teams and Slack, it's a competition to spectate.