Catalyst: The New Tool from BigCommerce

13/05/2024 Author: Arizbé Ken 11 min de lectura

In February of this year, BigCommerce launched its new tool, Catalyst, which serves as a starting point for customization, SEO usage, and performance. Additionally, it offers the possibility to create unique user experiences or journeys and provides excellent performance.

BigCommerce is a leading open and composable Software as a Service (SaaS) eCommerce platform that enables brands of all sizes to build, innovate, and grow their online businesses.

Catalyst is part of the headless solutions offered by BigCommerce. This Headless Commerce architecture has introduced a significant change by allowing greater flexibility and scalability so that companies can personalize the customer experience without being limited by a specific platform structure.

"Brands and retailers need choice and flexibility to leverage new innovations and meet the changing expectations of customers." - Everett Zufelt, Vice President of Products and Partnerships at Orium.

Furthermore, BigCommerce's headless solutions enable eCommerce businesses to quickly adapt to changing market needs and offer personalized and engaging experiences to their customers while maintaining backend stability and scalability.

Learn more about this new tool on our blog.

What is Catalyst?

"Catalyst is the solution to empower developers looking to quickly create incredible storefronts. Our collective goal with Catalyst is to lower the barrier to entry and allow merchants, large and small, to build and launch fast, composable storefronts that convert." - Guillermo Rauch, Founder and CEO of Vercel and creator of Next.js

Catalyst is the composable and fully customizable framework for headless eCommerce stores using BigCommerce. Created specifically for the needs of mid-sized and enterprise-level B2C and B2B brands and retailers.

It is designed to provide a simplified starting point for BigCommerce customers, eCommerce developers, and agency partners to build online stores easily and quickly using a composable architecture.

Most importantly, it combines popular, recommended, and proven headless technologies based on over 4,000 existing headless implementations.

“Catalyst allows brands and retailers to create incredible customer experiences faster, and we look forward to helping customers drastically reduce their time to market with this new set of tools." - Alan Pledger, co-founder of Makeswift.

Catalyst Integrations

This new tool was created with technology and platforms that cater to the needs of each business. Among them are:

  • Makeswift: Used to edit design and content, and create engaging shopping experiences, utilizing content from your existing systems.

  • Vercel: Vercel's front-end cloud provides the infrastructure to create, scale, and secure faster and more personalized sites.

  • Tailwind CSS: Uses predefined styles from Tailwind CSS to quickly start customizing and speed up development.

  • BigCommerce: Powered by this eCommerce platform, it offers catalog, customer, and payment experiences, backed by cutting-edge APIs.

  • Contentful: Integrated with this tool to incorporate structured, multi-channel content that generates compelling stories.

  • Next.js: Enables extremely fast and scalable website experiences using React.

  • Algolia: Used for advanced product searches and helps buyers find what they need quickly.

By using Catalyst, you can create a fully functional eCommerce and start working without having to build eCommerce components from scratch. Catalyst is designed to handle the essentials so you can focus on building your brand and adding those special features that take stores to the next level.

eCommerce Functionality

Catalyst includes a production-ready eCommerce funnel, which includes the following features:

  • Home page.

  • Faceted search on product listing pages (PLPs), dynamically created for each category and brand.

  • Full-text search.

  • Product detail pages (PDPs), dynamically created for each product and published on the Catalyst store channel.

  • Shopping cart.

  • Secure and redirected checkout page with Headless architecture, which can be customized to match the style of the main Catalyst store.

Catalyst has the following capabilities that you can use to build your store:

  • For Brands or Retailers

Platform Features Support: Changes made by users from the BigCommerce store control panel or via APIs appear in the store as expected.

Support for Complex Catalogs: Catalyst supports product catalogs of any size, complexity, or update frequency.

  • For Developers

Scalable GraphQL Implementation: Catalyst features a scalable implementation of the GraphQL Storefront API.

Minimal Infrastructure Dependencies: Catalyst can be deployed on any hosting provider that supports Node.js.

Leverages Modern Features of Next.js: Catalyst uses React server components and Suspense boundaries in preparation for partial prerendering.

Components: Catalyst provides fully functional eCommerce components and a site architecture pre-optimized for performance, SEO, and accessibility.

Non-restrictive Visual Design: Visually, Catalyst is a "blank slate" ready to be transformed into an exceptional eCommerce brand. Catalyst components use Tailwind CSS to speed up development.

  • For Shoppers

Optimized Shopping Experiences: Catalyst offers an optimized guest shopping experience and supports dynamic experiences important for account customers.

Secure Checkout: Catalyst uses an optimized, single-page redirected checkout process in the BigCommerce SaaS environment, hosted to simplify PCI compliance. By default, your Headless store never collects or transmits personally identifiable information (PII) such as credit card numbers.

8 Benefits of Using Catalyst

The Catalyst tool from BigCommerce offers a variety of benefits for companies looking to build and operate eCommerce stores more quickly and flexibly. Here are 8 of the main benefits of using it:

  1. Development and Launch Speed: It allows developers to create fully functional online stores in less time, thanks to its composable architecture and the ease of use of tools like the CLI (Command Line Interface). This enables faster store launches with less effort.

  2. Flexibility and Customization: It is designed to be fully customizable, allowing businesses to adjust the appearance and functionalities of their stores according to their needs. You can use custom components and themes, and add unique features to differentiate your store from the competition.

  3. Optimization for SEO, Accessibility, and Performance: It offers an optimized structure for search engines (SEO), with components designed to be accessible and high-performing. This is key to ensuring your store is visible in searches and works well for all users.

  4. Compatibility with Modern Technologies: It uses Next.js as the default framework, which means it benefits from the speed and scalability of React. Additionally, the headless architecture allows flexibility to integrate with other modern technologies and services.

  5. Integration with Third-Party Tools: It facilitates integration with a wide range of third-party tools and services, such as content management systems (CMS), advanced search engines like Algolia, and payment platforms. This allows you to create a complete ecosystem for your online store.

  6. Omnichannel Experiences: You can create consistent experiences across multiple channels, which is essential for modern eCommerce. You can integrate your store with mobile apps, social networks, and other customer touchpoints.

  7. Security and Simplified Management: It has advanced security features to protect customer data and ensure secure transactions. Additionally, its user-friendly interface and management tools simplify the administration of the store and content.

  8. Support and Community: Being part of the BigCommerce platform, it has access to an active community of developers and technical support. This provides resources and assistance to solve problems and continuously improve your eCommerce.

Catalyst is a powerful tool for eCommerce businesses seeking speed, flexibility, and a modern approach to creating and managing their online stores. Its features allow businesses to focus on customer experience and business growth, rather than worrying about technical infrastructure.

Let's make composability better, together.

Te recomendamos leer...