Two years ago, Neil Bruce, head of online for Scottish hardware retailer Toolstop, was unhappy with the Adobe-run e-commerce software service he had been using and wanted to find a new platform to host Toolstop’s website. After searching around, he boiled down the choice to either Shopify of Canada, which has become the go-to site for mom and pop merchants going online, or BigCommerce, an Austin, Texas–based firm used by many mid-sized retailers.
In the end, Bruce decided on BigCommerce, partly because it allowed him to pick the payment software he wanted to use without having to pay extra. Most of Shopify’s merchants use its payment software, Shop Pay, and customers wanting to use outside providers have to pay an additional fee. BigCommerce’s success in signing Toolstop highlights why BigCommerce was such a hit with investors last summer, when its stock soared nearly 500% in the three weeks after its initial public offering in early August.