The way we shop online has changed dramatically, and to keep up with this change, many ecommerce brands are now opting to revamp their technology to create unique digital experiences for their consumers. The overall technology scenario has also witnessed a massive explosion over the last 5-10 years. There are a plethora of technology choices – different plugins available for different solutions. Retailers need to be technologically conversant to make customisations with the right integrations or plugins to their ecommerce store. But wait, shouldn’t retailers focus on innovating their product range and the customer experience side of the business rather than solve plumbing issues related to technology?
Here’s where headless commerce solutions come to the rescue. Working on APIs,they are fully customisable and can be implemented faster, without going through common tech pains.
“We are trying to address all your programming problems with technology, and encapsulate it to give you a simple way to just build on your customer experience. Do not worry about anything underlying. We will handle all the complexity at our end. That is what we’re trying to solve,” said Vikram Saxena, Founder and CEO, BetterCommerce, in an exclusive interaction with YourStory.
A veteran in the headless commerce space, Vikram shares with us his incredible journey and some valuable lessons that he learnt during the process of building BetterCommerce and while expanding to new geographies.
The story so far
“I’ve now been writing codes for almost 25 years, but I’m not an engineer by qualification. Back in the 90s, when I started coding, people said, if you’re not an engineer, we will not give you a script-writing or program writing job. So that’s how I taught myself coding. I started my career as a Microsoft Office trainer. Gradually, after working in the corporate world for 10 years, I had that creative itch to build something of my own,” he shared.
After building large-scale enterprise applications, Vikram realised the need to simplify them and make them more cost-effective for mid-market retailers. “Instead of doing it for others, we decided to build a product of our own. Based on our experience of doing bespoke ecommerce websites, building large scale systems, amalgamating all those experiences together, we decided to build BetterCommerce,” Vikram said.
A strong believer of leading by example, Vikram writes a lot of code even now despite a strong team. “I spend 25-30 percent of my time writing a lot of code and designing solutions. That also conveys a message to everyone in the team that everybody has to write code, and it has to be top notch,” he said.
Comparing the UK and India market
Now that BetterCommerce is a major player in the UK market, it has now turned its attention to India. Talking about the differences in both markets, Vikram observes that while the UK is an extremely mature market from a tech adoption perspective, the Indian market is more people-oriented and process-dependent. Furthermore, the India technology market has not matured or evolved. Headless and composable are relatively very new concepts for India. And they are literally in their infancy stages.
“Businesses which have got a slightly technical bent of mind, and are focussed on customer experience, are showing very keen interest in this approach. Legacy retailers are still in the learning phase, they’re still trying to find their feet and trying to see exactly how they are going to solve it,” he revealed.
“COVID has also been the trigger point for us to launch BetterCommerce in India. Our initial plan was to bring it to at around 2024-25. But then the pandemic accelerated the whole ecommerce adoption by almost three to five years. And that’s when we realised that this could be a good time to get into the Indian space,” he added.
On the anvil
Revealing his game plan for the next three years, Vikram said, “In the next 2-3 years, we are looking to get the right kind of customers in India, which will give us a good leeway to establish ourselves within the mid-market space, which is where we want to focus. We are aiming to potentially grow to about $8-10 million ARR by 2025. And we are also planning to expand into Nordics and potentially in the Australia region.”