Bigcommerce is a service that merchants can sign up for to create their own online store — and now it has rolled out an integrated app store that allows them to add capabilities to their respective stores via third-party apps in a single click.

This means merchants can add apps without leaving Bigcommerce. For example, they can easily add Point Of Sale capabilities by installing the Zing Checkout app or social incentives by installing the JustUno app. “Think of it as iTunes for commerce,” Mitchell Harper, the co-founder and co-CEO of Bigcommerce, says.

Screen shot 2014 02 27 at PM 08.27.18 730x348 Bigcommerce wants to be an iTunes for commerce with its new integrated app store for merchants

The integrated app store forms part of Bigcommerce Next, a new offering launched by the company that adds over 20 new features to its platform, with a focus on helping merchants increase conversion rates. The features released include a new theme store with dozens of designs so merchants can make their online sites visually appealing, as well as a new blogging engine which makes it easy to publish a blog post optimized for search engines.

Another interesting addition to Bigcommerce is the introduction of ‘Bigcommerce University’ — a video-based learning experience that teaches merchants how to sell more using Bigcommerce and online marketing. It seems like the company is keen to stand out from its competition not only by making it more convenient for its merchants, but also by providing value in terms of education.

Bigcommerce lets the 50,000 retailers on its platform launch online stores in just a few hours. It also allows them to process orders, manage inventory, and market their stores on Google, eBay, Facebook and other sites. Other features include reporting, email accounts, a CRM system, domain name, and more. Last year, Bigcommerce added support for Stripe payments on its platform as well.

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