Share this on
BetterCommerce, an end-to-end digital commerce platform with an API-first approach, is on a mission to make the lives of mid-level retailers easy. Read on to know their founding story
Many mid-level businesses today find themselves at a threshold - they take the right steps, and yet find it hard to scale up. There are eCommerce platforms that provide a host of features such as product listing, managing sales leads, analytics, customer support, and so on. However, most of these solutions are point solutions solving a very small part of the problem and are limited in their scope requiring businesses to integrate more than 30-40 different small plugins for making a basic ecommerce store deliver decent customer experience.
This is where BetterCommerce steps in. Taking the API-first approach, the digital commerce platform empowers retailers to achieve unified shopping experiences across all customer touchpoints, and puts them in control of their customer experience. As a result, retailers achieve consistency of promotions, content, sales, operations, and growth across all channels
Laying the foundations of BetterCommerce
BetterCommerce Founder Vikram Saxena, a Commerce Graduate from Delhi University and an MBA dropout from Amity Business School, began his career with IIS Infotech as a Corporate Trainer on Microsoft Office 97 where he developed the fancy to learn programming and pursue it as a career. Buying his 1st computer from the insurance claim of his stolen bike, he started coding and found his first job as a software engineer at Trident Information System and went on to spend 10 years of his career working with companies such as HCL, and Satyam.
In 2004, while working with a leading distribution company, he moved to Germany in a Solution Architect’s role where he designed and developed a B2B commerce portal used across all the countries in Europe. Excited by the clients’ positive response and the impact on the users, Saxena delved deeper into the eCommerce domain. In 2007, Saxena finally left the corporate world to focus on creating superior technology solutions for businesses, and founded Axtrum Solutions.
However, it was only in 2011 that the big break finally came in. Saxena’s team was doing small bespoke development projects for clients in the US, and Europe. They successfully built the ESD [Electronic Software Delivery] platform for Tech Data in 2011. The platform revolutionized the software distribution industry and got Tech Data ‘Best Software Distributor Award’ by Microsoft for three years in a row.
The platform was rolled out across 17 countries in Europe, the US, and Canada as well. The platform is used by the likes of PCWorld for the fulfillment of any software license orders. The digital vault integrates with some of the biggest software vendors in the world, i.e., Microsoft, Adobe, Symantec and many more and stores more than 10mn software license keys as of date.
Taking the first steps
Inspired by the scale of the ESD platform, and the business growth the platform delivered, Saxena’s team got a significant boost in confidence. They decided to build their own platform from scratch addressing the complexities of the technology landscape, and making it quicker and easier for small to medium businesses to go online. It was the end of 2015 when the team began building an omnichannel, and a unified commerce platform that would give the power of large-scale enterprises to mid-size companies. And thus, was formed OmniCX, which is branded as BetterCommerce today.
“I learned that eCommerce platform providers were either focused on big enterprises or small businesses with basic needs. The mid-market segment was not being catered to and that’s where BetterCommerce decided to play its part. It started with a thought to provide mid-market retailers with enterprise-grade solution at affordable costs and lesser complexity,” shares Saxena about his vision.
Why Headless eCommerce?
The team at BetterCommerce also realized that many eCommerce platforms don’t allow users to customize as they please, leaving them dissatisfied with how much they can do with their online store to enhance the customer experience. Therefore, BetterCommerce was made headless and composable along with an API-first approach providing customers with flexible and powerful solutions.
“BetterCommerce is a value or purpose-based eCommerce platform. We are not meant for brands looking for generic solutions or are just starting off their business from scratch. We only target companies who have evolved their business to a certain scale and want technology to be at the heart of their growing scale,” he adds.
Victories amid challenges
Coming from a technology background, Saxena’s biggest reservation or challenge was how to generate sales. “I tried a lot of different approaches with a lot of failures and steadily moved forward in evolving the solution,” shares Saxena.
In addition, COVID-19 too made it difficult to launch any new strategies to take the product to market. However, in the last eighteen months, BetterCommerce has emerged with the right team and GTM strategies to address these challenges. The company has shifted its focus towards building an ecosystem of partners and customers which earlier was only on the building the right product. It has now stepped into new markets and has partnered with companies like ClickPost, Simpl, Adyogi, MTC & LAB group to keep its GTM strategies aligned to achieve its goals. The efforts now are inclined towards building the ecosystem and marketing it to the right set of retailers and brands who want to adopt to modern commerce stack which is meant for scale. Having Gartner mention their name in its PIM guide, has proved to be another milestone achieved by BetterCommerce.
The future for the company is undoubtedly bright as Vikram said “We have built a great product, now it's time to build a great company”.
A bootstrapped company, BetterCommerce has been able to achieve 28.5% CAGR Y-o-Y. “This year we launched headless CMS as well as Loyalty and Wallet as per our out-of-the-box module. We are planning to even launch a marketplace module very soon with a lot of power in subscriptions and membership to help retailers achieve higher CLTV,” he adds.
Saxena believes ‘context is the king’ and has plans of making BetterCommerce a leader in technology innovation in terms of eCommerce capabilities for customers.