Bigcommerce, Square partnership offers omnichannel to SMBs

The two tech startups are connecting their platforms to enable brick-and-mortar merchants using Square's payment services to create a branded online store via tools from Bigcommerce.

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Australian-born e-commerce player Bigcommerce announced Wednesday a partnership with Square that could help bring more small businesses into the world of omnichannel.

The two tech startups are connecting their platforms to enable brick-and-mortar merchants using Square's payment services to create a branded online store via tools from Bigcommerce -- all the while tying together the transactions from both the physical and online stores.

"When a Square merchant launches an online store, they will be able to sign up for Bigcommerce and unify payments across online and offline," said Bigcommerce's newly minted chief product officer Tim Schulz.

The partnership stems from a strategy Bigcommerce began last year, where it partners with leading POS players to offer small- and mid-sized brick-and-mortar retailers the ability to connect customer, inventory and transaction data across all sales channels. In addition to Square, Bigcommerce connects to the NCR Silver, Poynt and LightSpeed POS systems.

According to Schulz, the Square deal was a year in the making. But it was worth the wait, as he said Square's user base is the ideal target for the e-commerce capabilities of Bigcommerce. Square has a wide variety of merchants on their platform, but the sweet spot -- the SMBs bringing in under $2 million in sales - jives perfectly with offerings of Bigcommerce.

But the larger goal with all of the partnerships, Schulz added, was to democratize the market to enable the nearly 6 million SMBs not online to finally make that transition.

"Today it is really interesting with retailers," Schulz said. "In some ways they get punished by their success." Meaning that, as a small merchant grows, the more balls they have to juggle in terms of technology, sales, marketing and social media -- tasks that ultimately pull the business owner away from their core objective.

"Our philosophy is to make technology invisible," Schulz continued. "We help connect merchants with their customers and their brands and make them feel like they aren't getting punished by success."

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