Introducing Commerce Blocks

For the last two weeks, the BigCommerce apps team at Space 48 have joined the BigCommerce hackathon. It’s the first hackathon that they’ve done which is super exciting and is set over two weeks for teams that come up with something novel on the platform, push the boundaries of what’s been done before make something better than, than perhaps what is out there on the, on the app store right now.

Let’s dive into what we’ve been working on.

eCommerce in 2022 is still pretty restrictive and boxed-in. Leaders in the space, talk about content and commerce, weaving commerce into your content to make it more natural. Being able to tell the brand story at the same time. But most eCommerce experiences end up feeling quite transactional.

You’re kind of stuck with your eCommerce templates your eCommerce themes, or you have to go headless, which is the complete other opposite extreme. So we feel like this is a problem worth solving. Why is there no in-between, particularly when, you know, it’s hard to be great at everything. Ecommerce platforms are notoriously not that great at CMS, compared to CMS platforms.

But what if there was another choice, a more pragmatic. One that doesn’t involve all this technology transformation. So our vision for this is that you should be able to sell your products anywhere. And BigCommerce has the BigCommerce buy button, which is an inkling of, of what’s possible here, where you can create a sort of a product card or a button that would link off to the product, or perhaps even adding a product to basket.

As part of the BigCommerce Hackathon we created Commerce Blocks – a way of adding a commerce experience to any website, powered by BigCommerce.

Introducing Commerce Blocks

Commerce Blocks allows you to create a browsable shopping experience on any website with a drop-in code snippet.

Featured Products Carousel

The first kind of experience you can create is a product carousel, powered by your BigCommerce store. It includes a quick view to show more information about the product and even an add to basket. The products shown can be configured through our BigCommerce app and then the carousel is placed with a small code snippet.

Featured Product Grid

Carousels were just the starting point. We then moved on to replicating a category-page-list experience by way of a product grid Commerce Block. Displaying products along with the ability to filter, sort and paginate.

And so everything we would typically expect to have on our storefront is now available anywhere.

Use on your BigCommerce store too

The benefits of this kind of functionality shouldn’t be exclusive to third-party websites. You can also use Commerce Blocks on your BigCommerce store. Add them in-line to any blog post to feature products (see our example), or use our PageBuilder widget to create a content page that weaves in commerce.

With further development, this could support more of the purchasing & checkout journey. Perhaps one day you’ll be able to add to cart or even complete checkout all without redirecting to your BigCommerce storefront. We also want to add analytics so that revenue generated from each block can be reported. Watch this space!

Tom Robertshaw
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