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Aug 12, 2021

bValue invests in Shopstory

bValue supports Shopstory in headless commerce (r)evolution

E-commerce technology is shaping how customers shop online more than ever before. A constant struggle in page load times and conversion rates requires improvements in how e-commerce sites are built and maintained. Currently, headless commerce is becoming the new standard for implementing these improvements. 

What is headless commerce? 

Headless commerce is a modern approach to building e-commerce stores using multiple state-of-the-art tech stack elements addressing the needs of the most demanding customers. That kind of modern architecture is used across great direct to consumer brands such as Away, Nike, Warby Parker or Under Armour. The most known headless commerce solutions include Commercetools and Contentful or Amplience for headless CMS, Algolia and Syte.ai for search and recommendation engines. Stripe and Braintree for payment services and countless more microservices.

The world before headless commerce

Back in the early days of e-commerce, big brands went online mainly through dedicated integrated projects with selected software partners. Later on, this playbook was standardised when Magento released its open-source platform to speed up and automate the process of web development. For some time it was “the ultimate choice” of online brands. However, in time more sophisticated customers noticed gaps in the Magento ecosystem. The main problems were lack of flexibility and slow store response rates.  

Time for headless

Over time more and more solutions appeared addressing each of the problems the stores encountered by providing best-in-class solutions. It’s decoupled back-end functionalities with front-end looks. For most demanding customers a predefined front end coupled with the back end became a no-go. That is how e-commerce became headless, as the head (storefront) became independent from the backend.

Brand new commerce world

New headless platforms such as Commercetools, Commerce Layer or Polish Saleor (recently invested by Cherry Ventures) offer the infrastructure for the new types of e-commerce stores. They serve as the middlemen between front and back ends. E-commerce tech-stack became crowded with headless content management systems (CMS) to deliver content to customers in a seamless way, enabling a/b testing and conversion analysis offered in Saas model. New tools appeared supporting the front end construction such as Shogun, Frontastic or Polish open-source Vue Storefront. However, despite so many fantastic tools, most demanding clients still need to rely on custom development. 

Custom automation

Custom development gives endless possibilities to developers, but as soon as developed, it becomes a nightmare. Above all each minor change, section movement, font size, colour or shape change, everything requires a time of designers, marketers but most importantly scarce developers time to implement. This costs a lot and discourages marketers initiative… Why don’t we have a no-code solution that would allow us to implement all these changes in custom developed storefronts directly in your favourite CMS? 

Shopstory – release your creativity!

Here it comes! Shopstory offers you to build and edit your beautiful storefronts with no developer interaction. This reduces the time to market for your store from weeks to hours. You can easily build content pages using the library of hundreds of the content blocks already styled with your branding identity (fonts, colours, spacings etc.) Flexibility for marketers and less work for developers, this is a win-win for e-commerce brands. The more demanding the website, the bigger the opportunity. The initial feedback shows the need for such a solution is enormous.

Andrzej Dąbrowski, Szymon Węsierski and Marcin Nogal founded shopstory.app based on their previous experience of building e-commerce sites for super demanding global brands. Some of them are Oura, Hunter Boots, Blackroll, Rolex and Magda Butrym among others. Founder’s balanced skillset, energy, dedication and valuable experience in working for top global brands made the decision to invest in Shopstory quite easy. Even though this is by far the earliest stage we have invested in so far.

Right now Shopstory is on the fast track to market, testing and getting feedback from headless commerce leaders and large brands. Shopstory is a great adventure on a headless commerce journey. So if you would like to join the team please check the open positions here.   

bValue is a Polish seed and pre-seed stage VC investing in CEE based startups. We invest between $100k – $1m in companies from e-commerce, b2b saas and marketplaces with great founders and innovative products. If you are working on an innovative project please contact us directly!

Shopstory is a no-code page builder for headless CMS focused on e-commerce. It allows content editors to build visually pages or parts of the pages within minutes without developers.

Author:

Marcel Animucki

Investment Manager at bValue VC

If you are looking for VC funding, visit our website bvalue.vc and write to me directly at marcel.animucki@bvalue.vc We invest from EUR 100K to EUR 1M, mainly in SaaS and marketplace with global potential.