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Space48
May 17, 2021

#15: BigCommerce Apps with Tom Robertshaw

In this episode, we discuss the wonderful world of BigCommerce Apps with our Innovation Director Tom Robertshaw.

We discuss the BigCommerce platform and how the app ecosystem works within the Open-SaaS approach to e-commerce plus all the learnings along the way. We compare and contrast the process of building apps and extensions on other platforms Vs BigCommerce as well as sharing more about our future plans.

You can follow Tom’s BigCommerce apps journey on Space 48 blog where he posts regular updates, as well as on his LinkedIn and Twitter.

Episode content

  • Why BigCommerce Apps?
  • How we have approached the app development process
  • A round up of our Space 48 Hack day for BC apps
  • Launching our Automated Categories App on the BC app market
  • Key learnings and takeaways
  • Future roadmap for Space 48 Apps

Presented by Paul Casey, Digital Commerce Consultant at Space 48.

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Transcript

Paul Casey: [00:00:00] Welcome to the Space Bar podcast. I’m your host, Paul Casey. I’m a Digital Commerce Consultant here at Space 48. And I’m joined today by Tom Robertshaw, who is the Innovation Director at Space 48. How are you doing? 

[00:00:14]Tom Robertshaw: [00:00:14] Doing very well, how about yourself? 

[00:00:16]Paul Casey: [00:00:16] very good. Thank you. Today we’re going to be talking all about BigCommerce apps.

[00:00:21] So we’ve delved into the world of BigCommerce apps, we’ve been working with the BigCommerce platform for a couple of years now. And Tom, you’re leading this project internally. So, you know, best person to talk to about it. Talk about what we’ve been getting on with some challenges 

[00:00:37] I’d have been disappointed if I didn’t get the invite. 

[00:00:39] Yeah. I certainly have been able to hold a full episode together without us, without you, but yeah.

[00:00:45] I think what we want to do today really is just talk about what you’ve been getting up to. Some of the challenges that you’ve been facing, you know, what have we learned through the process and how we approached it? Because we are, you know, we’ve, we’ve got our first app out there in the market, which we’ll touch on a little bit later which is really exciting obviously it’s a kind of a big moment for us to actually get one out there.

[00:01:08] And yeah, we want to talk about that entire process, you know, for our kind of BigCommerce clients. And also for any of app developers and people that are out there in the market, trying to, you know, trying to create apps for big commerce. So should we start out with a, quite a broad question? You know, why, why BigCommerce apps?

[00:01:25]

[00:01:25] Sure thing. 

[00:01:27] Tom Robertshaw: [00:01:27] I think, and immediately is two questions is why BigCommerce? And then, then why apps? There’s certainly the Space 48 view, but there’s also the journey that I’m personally on as well. So as many of you will know if you’ve listened in the past, like I come from a background of agency and ecommerce life for about a decade and a large portion of that was with Magento.

[00:01:49] But as sort of like time, times change. And as I say, I’ve been on the journey and over the last couple of years, looking at other e-commerce platforms so the likes of Shopware I’ve had experience with Shopify as well. I’ve recognizing the opportunity with BigCommerce as it focuses more on sort of the mid-market to enterprise- size merchants, sort of replacing what Magento 1 used to be used to be targeted, targeted at. It was a very good replacement for, for that. With also the move towards SaaS. Like I’ve had a decade worth of pains managing infrastructure and managing like servers and installation of Magento.

[00:02:36] Getting a little older, I’d want to have to worry about less things that have been solved problems. So moving towards like the open-SaaS approach that BigCommerce push forward where the core e-commerce functionality is taken care of, but you still have the freedom to modify and the commerce experience as much as you like and, and modify the way that the e-commerce platform works and how it integrates into the rest of your IT infrastructure. That really appealed to me. I don’t have to get the calls at 10 o’clock at night that the website’s gone down. And I don’t need, we don’t need to worry about sysadmins. So that’s the kind of BigCommerce and it’s, it’s both a personal, as I say, a personal choice as well as make sense for the company.

[00:03:22] The app side of it is again having been in the agency-world and built many, many e-commerce websites now it was, I was also looking for a new challenge. There’s a little bit of a running joke internally that every week I have a new job title, having kind of gone from running an agency to being an e-commerce consultant, to being excited that with Nick Jones over the last year, moving into the Technical Director role within Space.

[00:03:50] I joined him as Head of Engineering and was excited to get closer to the technology again. But I also recognize it towards kind of the end of last year that I, you know, I was looking for a slightly larger challenge and while we have an exciting challenges going on in terms of growing the team, like we’re growing at a fantastic rate and that’s an incredible journey,

[00:04:09] it wasn’t something that I felt like particularly drawn to. It’s exciting to see going on, but that’s not what I’m passionate about. I know I have had an itch, as it’s been described, for products and worked in the Magento space and released Magento extensions. And so it seemed like the stars were aligning.

[00:04:29] There was a good opportunity to work in the BigCommerce app space providing additional pieces of functionality. So either help merchants save time or ultimately earn more revenue from their customers. And that’s something that I was really passionate about. It’s probably fair to say that it’s exciting that it’s almost like a small startup within a business as well.

[00:04:50] So I get the joy of coding as well as worrying about what’s the kind of go to market strategy and and, and everything in between.

[00:05:00]Paul Casey: [00:05:00] It’s like a full 360 role really,isn’t it as well. You know, you’ve got essentially, like you said, running it as a startup. So almost like a product startup business, right?

[00:05:08]Tom Robertshaw: [00:05:08] Yeah. right now, it’s, it’s very scrappy. So uh, getting back into, into code. I’m sure if, you know, if this is successful and a mark of success is that we’ll have other developers that are on the team that are are looking forward to throwing away my code.

[00:05:22]Paul Casey: [00:05:22] Yeah. I mean, a lot of the a lot of the things that I’ve learnt recently, obviously from finding out about what you’ve been getting on with and, and what we did on the hack day, et cetera. I think, you know, there’s clearly a lot of enthusiasm behind this within the agency, because we’re essentially finding all the common problems that we have with clients and we’re trying to solve them.

[00:05:42] And I think the BigCommerce, correct me if I’m wrong, but I think the BigCommerce app ecosystem is probably not as advanced as the extension ecosystem in Magento or the app ecosystem in Shopify. I don’t know if you agree, but it’s kind of just a feeling that I got from the clients that I’ve worked with and the projects that I’ve been on.

[00:05:59]Tom Robertshaw: [00:05:59] Yeah. I would think that’s fair to say. They have a lot of the big name kind of brands and integrators out there, but there’s not much kind of in terms of smaller players that you might expect to see. Certainly if you’re familiar with other markets,

[00:06:13]Paul Casey: [00:06:13] and I I’ve heard you describe your kind of main mission here being that you want to be everyone’s favorite – second favorite developer. Is that an appropriate title that, that you’ve, you know, you’ve really worked hard in your entire career to work towards.

[00:06:32]Tom Robertshaw: [00:06:32] Yeah, it’s the pinnacle that I’m aiming for. It’s really come out of the – I’m not looking to compete with our partners, obviously as an agency, we have many tech partners. There’s a lot of amazing technology out there for e-commerce merchants now. But it’s also recognizing that while we, as an agency, we’re always going to recommend the best of breed, whether that’s Nosto from a kind of personalization point of view or Klevu from a search point of view, we’re always going to recommend those.

[00:07:00] But every merchant has a budget. And you know, they can’t afford to have best of breed in every single area ,they certainly wouldn’t have the time to manage that unless you’re a large, a large business and kind of get the most out of every platform. So this is just like recognizing that there’s an opportunity that I guess it, yeah, in the market to have some slightly not as good options. And obviously I want to create high quality products and create things that are useful. But I guess it’s a little bit disruptive in the sense that these products are always going to be increasing the amount of functionality they have and kind of going up market with their customers.

[00:07:40] And so, you know, the rest of the merchants need something that just kind of gets the job done. Increases, adds functionality compared to maybe the core platform. And it fills some, fill some gaps there. But is sort of an in between, so yes, it doesn’t sound necessarily very, audacious in that respect.

[00:07:59] But I feel like from working in particularly the Magento ecosystem in the past, like, projects don’t go live without these kinds of providers. And they’re incredibly valuable to the ecosystem. And that’s kind of the space that I want to work in and, and maybe something, you know, amazing will come out of it in the sense of, we find something that it could spin out into its own product, but that’s something that could happen down the down the line right now is it’s recognizing there’s a, as you described it, there’s a space and an opportunity in the market.  I want to kind of help people and help the BigCommerce ecosystem along the way.

[00:08:36]Paul Casey: [00:08:36] I think during the process, you’ve obviously also you’ve done a lot of research into like how the apps are made, you know, like how BigCommerce works, like really getting to grips with how BigCommerce works, whether that’s BigDesign or, you know, the other aspects, you know, Page Builder or, or anything else, but it’s already impacted some of our clients and how we’re approaching implementation for existing clients, Right? So not necessarily the app output of what we’re doing. Obviously we’ve only just launched our first app but I think the learnings that you’ve been doing, you know, with the Page Builder, with the widgets and a couple of other things as well, it’s enabled us to actually add value to existing BigCommerce projects or existing BigCommerce retained clients where we can take the learnings that you’ve been doing, you know, gone in this journey to then implement into existing projects. Right?

[00:09:22]Tom Robertshaw: [00:09:22] Yes. Yeah, exactly. I mean, I guess it’s I’m working on it on the app side and there’s teams that are working on kind of building the stores themselves, but ultimately we’ve got this mini BigCommerce within the company and we’re sharing knowledge so that, I learned about kind of their pain points and things that I might be able to, to solve.

[00:09:41] Like when we find, you know, every project that comes across our doorstep is asking for a certain feature. That’s good guidance for me. But also anything that I learned from, as you say, in the weeds, with BigCommerce APIs and apps, what can I learn and feed back to it towards, towards project teams.

[00:09:58] And that will add to our shared Confluence that we have in terms of sharing information about how BigCommerce works and what you can, what you can do with it. 

[00:10:07]Paul Casey: [00:10:07] Obviously, I’m not a developer, as you know when, when we’re looking at like how do you approach actually building an app? You know what, what’s the process? What’s the at a very high level, obviously in terms of the audience that are listening to this, you know, it’s probably more like e-commerce managers, people who work in e-commerce, but there will be some depths, but at a very high level, you know, how are you going about building the actual apps themselves.

[00:10:32]Tom Robertshaw: [00:10:32] Yeah. I mean again at a very high level, it’s, there’s not anything very special with it. It’s an app in the sense is just a website. The difference with it being a BigCommerce app is that it’s listed on the BigCommerce marketplace, their app store and there’s a certain level of expectation in terms of features that you would have to provide the main one being supporting login so that you can click a button and it immediately gets installed on your store.

[00:11:03] What’s happening under the hood. There is, is essentially just an authentication process so that my website gets an API key so that I can make BigCommerce requests. And there’s, there’s not much more to it than that. On BigCommerce’s side it means that once you’ve installed an app in the admin area, you’ll get a nice little icon and a link to the app that then opens within your BigCommerce admin.

[00:11:25] So, so you don’t actually have to kind of go to their website directly or anything it’s, it’s kind of within your BigCommerce admin area, but that everything else is then kind of up to me in terms of billing or adding the functionality and all the business logic, as you would expect.

[00:11:40] It’s kinda just like any other website. But that BigCommerce appcomponent is just the authentication, so you don’t have to worry about providing API keys or anything like that. And once you’ve uninstalled it, the app can no longer make requests. 

[00:11:56]Paul Casey: [00:11:56] Right. Okay. So, yeah, so it’s very, very similar to how we might work on other platforms or in more traditional development kind of life cycles. There isn’t anything particularly special apart from maybe following guidelines and trying to get things through the app store, et cetera. You know, like I was following a different QA process and feedback from BigCommerce, the product team themselves.

[00:12:16] Right?

[00:12:17]Tom Robertshaw: [00:12:17] Yes. So there is a approval process that you have to go through once you submit an app obviously once they install it, you have to provide a test plan. So they’ll go through that and give you, give you feedback and legitimize it somewhat.

[00:12:32]Paul Casey: [00:12:32] So we obviously when, when, when you’ve been developing the app and what you’ve been working in, and not just this singular app that we’ve obviously got live down more to come, but when you’ve been developing ideas, I know we’ve been discussed in some of the ideas around. You know, what could you, what future opportunities are there?

[00:12:50] And, you know, there’s going to be some, some, you know, other things that we bring out into the market. One of the things that you ran internally, which I found amazing, because it was my first one was the hack day. So do you want to, do you want to talk us through how, what, how we did that and also what was that amazing, amazing piece of software that we use that basically turned it into a video game while we were, while we were talking about different subjects, because that was amazing.

[00:13:15]Tom Robertshaw: [00:13:15] Yeah. that was gather.room.  So it reminded me of like the pokemon style universe where it’s, your zoom, but you’re a character in this universe and you get to walk into different rooms and it’s almost  like you’re Zoom breakout rooms so that people can initially just have a call.

[00:13:33] And we started off just of all in the conference room on a call. But then you can break out into separate offices move between them and kind of chip into conversations. So yeah, it was, it made it a lot of fun. The feedback was positive. So I think we’ll use it for other sort of special events like that.

[00:13:50] I think people had a lot of fun with it. 

[00:13:51]

[00:13:51] Paul Casey: [00:13:51] The Hack Day itself, what did you aim cause it was actually just focused on quite a specific subject matter. Wasn’t it? What, what was that? What did we look to get out of it? And what do you think we actually came away from? Because I think we came away from it with quite a lot.

[00:14:07] Right?

[00:14:07]Tom Robertshaw: [00:14:07] Yes. Yeah. So a bit of, a bit of context is that while it’s just me working full time on this initiative right now we’re going through a process, as we’ve kind of entered into the new financial year, of setting company objectives. And we’ve wanted to go about that this year being kind of more bottom up than ever, so that as a leadership team, we’re sort of setting the direction we want to go in, but then allowing people to sort of vote with their feet in terms of where they want to get involved and how they want to get involved. And so BigCommerce apps and this initiative being, you know, an objective of, of its own we let people move towards this. And we now have a BigCommerce apps team. But obviously if they’re not working full time, it’s more of a part-time contribution. For some that’s, you know, very directed. So when it’s people like yourself, Paul, the go to market strategy, we’re going to have ad hoc calls.

[00:14:57] But for developers, we wanted to have another way of, of getting involved. And many are, as you say, working with the BigCommerce platform already, but this was a great opportunity to give them exposure to creating a BigCommerce app that they then might be able to work on in sort of downtime between projects opportunities for like other, other projects that might come up in terms of BigCommerce app builds for other integration partners.

[00:15:21] So it felt like a really good opportunity to kind of do this sort of initial onboarding and exposure to BigCommerce apps. So, it’s been a long time since I’ve run a hack day and certainly my first remote one. So that’s why you tried out that gather.room as a, as a tool for getting started.

[00:15:38] And then we set the topic and specifically around, Page Builder because it’s something that the teams are really excited with the development of Page Builder in BigCommerce for managing content without having sort of go outside of the platform. And so they’re finding it critical to allowing merchants to customize their page. But it’s still very early days for Page Builder. I think it was released, the first version last year. But it’s extendable, so you can add a more different kind of widget types as they call them. So out of the box, you might have like a carousel that you can kind of drop in or product galleries and things like that.

[00:16:17] You can create custom ones and so project teams are already doing that as part of their builds, but it seemed like a great opportunity to sort of merge the two and maybe we can look at building an app that will allow a merchant to kind of install and add additional widget types. So things that we were looking into with things like store locators, USP banners, or even like custom layouts.

[00:16:43] So if you’ve got specific design of a content block, so we were experimenting with grids, so you can have multiple columns of texts and maybe a call-out hero image and different layouts that you sort of predesigned for you. That’s, you know, useful for our, as I said before, for our projects where we’ve got a design system already.

[00:17:05] And so we just want to allow the merchant to consume it, but we figured that there’s, n opportunity there in the BigCommerce app space as well. So, so yeah, it was, you know, there’s only so much you can get done in a day, but it felt great to do something different given, you know,the last year, anyway. So that was fun and yeah more to come hopefully.

[00:17:26]Paul Casey: [00:17:26] Yeah. And obviously I think a lot of the features that come out of Page Builder are almost you know, like, cause there’s a lot of CMSs out there with a couple of different CMSs on BigCommerce haven’t we I’m not sure if use Shogun, Styla and maybe Contentful, I think that probably some of the key ones that we’ve used, but every CMS has its limitation and it’s, you know, the actual core page builder in BC, you can do a lot, can’t you?

[00:17:52] I think it’s more just stretching it to its maximum capabilities. And I know they’ve done some recent updates on their side, so. Be interesting to see how that one progresses. But I know from working with the clients that I work with, you know, the projects that I’m working on currently with the BigCommerce clients you know, the replatform clients about what you can actually do in the page builder and the widgets that we can create do actually create a lot freedom, flexibility for good editorial content, you know, not use standard e-commerce layouts, which everyone’s trying to move away from because it’s all very like everything looks like boxes in like a square responsive grid. So we need to kind of break that and maybe, you know, try some more creative layouts for merchants. But yeah, no, it was a fascinating day, obviously as usual, I only really contributed words and a few bad jokes, but yeah, it was good.

[00:18:42] It was good to be a part of actually, and I definitely want to be involved in the next one 

[00:18:45]Tom Robertshaw: [00:18:45] That’s all right. I just, I just felt like a project manager dipping into the team calls saying

[00:18:50] “Hey, how are you doing? Need any help?”

[00:18:53] Paul Casey: [00:18:53] ” Yeah, you do realize it’s nearly four o’clock and you’ve not submitted your code yet.”

[00:18:58] Tom Robertshaw: [00:18:58] ” Yeah, just a reminder. “

[00:19:00]Paul Casey: [00:19:00] Those really like passive aggressive Slack messages that actually I’m really sweating over here, so I really need to get it. 

[00:19:08] So actually like, let’s talk about the app that we’ve got out in the market. Because obviously, you know, that that’s a big step forward. I know you did try and release one initially and that didn’t quite work out.

[00:19:18] Don’t know if you want to talk about it, but

[00:19:25]Tom Robertshaw: [00:19:25] Yeah, the first one I tried was for it was, I guess it was more of an experiment initially, but trying to do page transitions. So speed up page loads. There’s some web technology that allows you to preload the next page. If you know what it’s going to be. And so I thought , well, let’s experiment with that.

[00:19:45] But unfortunately I kind of  got so far kind of reached some limitations that meant from a technical point of view, it wasn’t going to work out. So yeah, luckily it was only a week or so worth of time, but it was a case of like, Oh, this is what my first app is going to be. And then it’s like, Oh, okay. It didn’t work. 

[00:20:01] Yeah. 

[00:20:02] So it was a learning experience. We always tell people to from a project perspective to kind of look at the high risk areas first. And there’s certainly been times where I’ve checked myself in this process already where I probably didn’t follow my own advice. So, so yeah, it’s, it’s a lot easier to learn when you make your own mistakes.

[00:20:20]Paul Casey: [00:20:20] Well, we’ve, we’ve eventually got there though, haven’t we, and obviously automated categories, the Automated Categories app by Space 48 in the app store available today. So talk us through it, talk us through the thought process about, you know, why that app, and then also, what does the actual app do and, you know, what, what could the future look like in terms of that specific app, you know, for what, how you see it working.

[00:20:43]Tom Robertshaw: [00:20:43] Yeah, sure. I mean, kind of moving on from the first failed experiment we generated a list of different ideas, obviously with many of the team working in the space for a long time. There’s so many different directions we could go in. And that’s one of the reasons why it’s so exciting. I hope we can kind of, I hope we can create an app for all of them.

[00:21:02] But practically speaking, it was a case of, we got to pick one to be our first. And we wanted to pick one that was going to be obviously is going to be useful to merchants. It’s going to provide value, but we also recognize that the first app is likely to take the longest because you know, you’re doing everything for the first time and there’s an awful lot of learning.

[00:21:21] So we don’t want to kind of bite off more than we can chew. So we picked an app that was useful in the functionality it provides, but not too large it was going to take us 12 months to get there. So Automated Categories we chose because in BigCommerce when you assign products to categories, you can either do it when you’re editing a product.

[00:21:40] And they’ve got a sort of bulk edit view where you can edit multiple products at once and get them to categories, or you can do it by import and export. I’m familiar with, with other platforms that provide you a way of defining the rules for your categories. So you can say maybe you have a sale category and say, I want any product that is on sale or has a sale price to be in the sale category, meaning that you you’d never have to sort of make a mistake when you come to the end of a sale period or miss a product and just, you know, set it and forget it. So you can do that with Sale categories and a New In category based on data created, brand categories. I’ve already seen people do it based on SKU formats and naming conventions of products and things like that.

[00:22:23] And so that, that seemed like a great opportunity to provide, provide value in terms of saving merchants time while it was also reasonably small in terms of scope 

[00:22:36]Paul Casey: [00:22:36] Yeah. So it’s always good to get the first one actually out there in the market place and, you know, do all the things that we need to do as a, as like an app provider, you know, not just an agency, but app provider to actually get one over the line, get it out there. Hopefully obviously, you know, learning through the process and going through the kind of pain barrier and I think it’s a, it’s a good time-saving app.

[00:22:59] It’s one of those things that for, for merchants that go on to BigCommerce for the first time that, you know, they might find quite challenging if they’ve got, particularly a lot of SKUs or, you know, a lot of variations in the product. So it will actually be quite a good time-saver. What would you say, you know, are the kind of main learnings that you’ve had of actually getting one out there now, you know, and, and the things that you’ve learned through the process, just cause it’s been, I dunno, when did you start it?

[00:23:25] It was like back end of 2020 or was it partway through 2020?

[00:23:30] Tom Robertshaw: [00:23:30] That’s when that’s when the new role started. I think this app started January 1st. So as we came back from the New Year is when I started the first app. So it’s taken them a little time and to get it live. There’s as you say, there’s things around the app building process, learnings, whether it be writing terms and conditions and privacy policy or, you know, all the things I was really looking forward to kind of getting started, this wasn’t even contemplating having to do that.

[00:23:57] As coming up to this week where we we’ve released it in terms of a free trial, but now I’m kind of going into, into billing. So not only how do we want to manage subscriptions and take payment? But, what tax rates do we need to charge and things like that. And so that’s basically the finance director tomorrow to see if I’ve done it right. So, yeah,  there’s lots of things. You know, w we might talk about that one piece of functionality but there’s a lot of things around that that are needed in order to get live and, you know, the approval process and knowing what makes a good app and iterating on, on the feedback that the BigCommerce team gave you.

[00:24:33] So I guess there’s learnings, so many learnings already in terms of what it takes to launch an app. The learning of doing the high risk things first, before you’ve spent three days building all the skeleton to realize that that’s not going to be worth it. I think the other learning for me is we’ve actually started a second app for, again, in a similar space in terms of managing categories, but for visual merchandising. So again, you can order products by like setting a sort order on each one, but we wanted to provide a nicer interface to merchants to be able to do that. So you can drag and drop and reorder products. So again, something we see as very valuable for other platforms and we wanted to bring it to BigCommerce.

[00:25:17] That one isn’t live yet. But I think the learning there is that I got excited about it. And I’ll admit, I kind of, once I got an MVP of the first product, the automatic categories, I moved very quickly onto this one. Then I recognized that it was, it was a bit of a distraction for too long, I kind of moved onto it because I had a customer who has already said that they’ll pay for it.

[00:25:39] So that’s obviously as starting a new business, that’s very exciting when you’ve got someone that says they’ll actually give you money for something that you build. But I feel like in retrospect I moved too quickly onto the second app. When I could’ve iterated a bit first on the first app implemented billing earlier, get revenue a bit quicker.

[00:25:57] So I guess I’m fortunate enough that I kind of can make that mistake when you’re working within a larger business. But it’s only one that I’ve reflected on already that I could have, could have done it better if I I’d focused on the first gone further with it and then move to the second app.

[00:26:12] But yeah, now I’m in a position that we have one app live, second that is in sort of a private beta. And, I’ve now gone back to the first app to to iterate on it and add billing.

[00:26:24]Paul Casey: [00:26:24] It’s good, because  you’ve been documenting the journey as you’ve been going along haven’t you. So you’ve got the Space 48 apps, YouTube channel, where you literally post the videos and being real, like. I’ll be honest with you, I’m surprised how much you’re actually giving away you know, on some of the videos that you’ve done.

[00:26:39] So you’ve given away a lot of information in there, and obviously there’s a lot of learnings that, you know, that, that you posted almost not real time, but, you know, week by week or whatever. So documenting the journey I think is brilliant, you know, and it’s, it’s great for someone, to kind of pick up that thread and to see what the journey is.

[00:26:56] Because it’s obviously going to continue. Just on that note, you know, what, what do you see the kind of future being within the BigCommerce app space for Space 48?

[00:27:05]Tom Robertshaw: [00:27:05] I guess I’m biased, but I feel like it’s got a bright, bright future. I’m really excited about the platform. I feel like it’s resonating with the set of merchants that we’re expecting it to resonate with. And, you know, since we started working with it, we’re seeing more and more brands move to it.

[00:27:25] So I’m feeling really, really positive about the platform. And then from an apps perspective, like you say, there’s so many opportunities in terms of the space right now. I feel like I can’t get apps out quick enough. In terms of Space 48, I really hope that, you know, we’ve got a set of objectives that we’ve set internally  together. And I think, I think we sat for five paid apps by the end of this financial year, which is given that we’ve got one, it feels like there’s an awful long way to go. But you know, if this is successful, we’ll have built a library of BigCommerce apps  that people can just go to and just to kind of pick and choose from, or maybe even have a subscription to all of them.

[00:28:06] And so that, you know, if you’re starting a new BigCommerce project you can go to the Space 48 and have, you know a whole load of features that you can rely on. They’re going to be compatible with each other. Sort of provide that extra, extra foundation level on top of the, the core platform.

[00:28:24] As well as then the team to support that, you know, This, I’m not expecting this to be just me for and by myself for the long-term. Certainly as we increase the amount of apps, I’m not gonna be able to support them as well as creating new versions, so, you know, success and what that looks like will be having a team around me, whether it be from a customer support perspective, as well as additional developers full time that maybe are maybe their working full-time on new apps and new new features or maybe a portion of their time is on building official apps for third parties that want to have a BigCommerce integration and we can kind of reuse our expertise and and proficiencies in building apps for other people as well is a potential route of, you know, it’s always difficult blending a product with service, but that might be one route that we go. 

[00:29:18]Paul Casey: [00:29:18] Good. Well, I’m hoping that you can come back on the podcast in a couple of weeks time you know, or maybe even a couple of months to give you more breathing space, but I think it’d be really good to just keep capturing the journey, you know, seeing how you getting on, see what’s next. And if people want to kind of find out what’s going on, is it probably best to find you on LinkedIn in terms of, you know, updates on progress, et cetera?

[00:29:42]Tom Robertshaw: [00:29:42] Yeah, LinkedIn or @bobbyshaw  on Twitter, and the Space 48 website has all the updates in our, in our blog as well. I post all those sort of major, major milestones in the BigCommerce apps blog, too. 

[00:29:55]Paul Casey: [00:29:55] Cool. Well then, yeah, thanks very much Tom. I think that was really good. A good run through for kind of anybody that, that isn’t aware and wants to kind of catch up on where we’re up to. So thank you very much. 

[00:30:05]Tom Robertshaw: [00:30:05] I appreciate it. 

[00:30:07]Paul Casey: [00:30:07] And then, yeah, I’ll just stand on, obviously. Thanks for, thanks a lot for listening to the podcast.

[00:30:12] We’re obviously trying to grow as as many people as we can in the audience for our kind of e-commerce content ongoing. So, you know, make sure that you subscribe, make sure you leave a review, share it with your friends, and then hopefully we can grow the community around this podcast. So, yeah. Thanks Tom and we’ll speak to you soon.