BigCommerce, an e-commerce platform for midsize brands, has hired a new chief product officer who aims to guide merchants through what he calls “the second phase of technology.”
Jimmy Duvall will oversee all aspects of product management, design and strategy and will report to BigCommerce chief executive officer Brent Bellm. Duvall was previously vice president of product at social network manager Hootsuite, but for most of his career, has worked in e-commerce at organizations such as Magento — a competitor to BigCommerce — in addition to eBay, GSI Commerce and Yahoo.
His purview at this new role, he said, is “overseeing all the features and functions that allow merchants to build and represent their brand online.”
He said e-commerce is in a unique place — that second phase — in which retailers don’t need to worry about the technology. With BigCommerce products, he said, “Merchants can be merchants and not have to worry about being the IT staff and the technologist.”
That distinction is the major difference he sees from what BigCommerce is doing compared to competitors such as Magento, which he said requires the merchant to own the technology.
“Jimmy has an unrivaled appreciation for what large and growing retailers expect from a commerce platform provider,” said Bellm, who is also chairman of the board. “His background has provided him with a keen understanding of what works and what doesn’t in this space.”
Duvall will be based in San Francisco; BigCommerce is based in Austin but has offices in San Francisco and in Sydney. Its cloud-based e-commerce platform works with merchants including Saint Heron, Martha Stewart and Gibson.
Duvall acknowledges that being an online retailer is no longer simply a matter of having a web site, with the need for a mobile presence “not even a question mark anymore.”
He added that going forward, he anticipates BigCommerce working a lot in the payment space, with mobile payment services such as Apple Pay and PayPal, as payment alternatives have typically been a barrier for retailers.
“A retailer shouldn’t have to worry if their buyer is on any specific device, let alone the omnichannel space — whether on Amazon, eBay, Facebook or wherever,” he said. “From a tech standpoint, that has been really challenging for them. I think my vision here is helping the merchant focus on being the merchant and merchandising correctly.”
In the past year, BigCommerce has introduced products with companies including eBay, Facebook, PayPal, Pinterest, NetSuite, Square, Xero and ShipperHQ. It recently introduced Channel Manager, which provided merchants the ability to list and sell products on their party sales channels within the BigCommerce platform. In May, the company received $30 million in Series E financing.