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The ecommerce platform on which you decide to scale your business is an important decision. In the past couple years alone, the industry has seen two major platforms go dark: eBay ProStores and Amazon Webstores. For the thousands of online stores hosted on those platforms, a switch wasn’t only imminent, it was absolutely necessary in order to continue doing business.
Now, the actual process of migrating your store from one ecommerce technology to another isn’t often the most difficult aspect for many small and mid-size business owners. Many companies have data migration processes in place and platforms like Bigcommerce even offer the service free of charge. The ability to do this well, without risking breach, exposure or loss of any kind, is an industry non-negotiable.
What is challenging, however, is the process of choosing which platform to go with in order to meet your business needs both now as well as in the future. This was the exact issue facing online store Sportbike Track Gear in 2014.
“We were on ProStores, an eBay owned company, and we got a notice in July 2014 that it was going to go dark in February 2015,” said Brian Van, founder and owner of Sportbike Track Gear. “We had 420,000 SKUs. We looked at Magento and Bigcommerce as our other options.”
Sportbike Track Gear’s Bigcommerce site, October 2015.
Van knew his company had custom needs, and was looking to balance those needs with a more efficient backend. After all, with ProStores closing, Sportbike Track Gear didn’t have an option in needing to migrate. This time around, Van wanted to ensure that this migration would be his last –– and that the new platform would be as cost-effective as it was intuitive and efficient.
“Bigcommerce showed a lot of long-term potential. They have a really great roadmap with some features already in place, and others that were planned for the future, i.e. custom search filtering,” said Van. “I also really liked the image system they have in place. For product images, you’re able to upload one image and it creates all of the other versions you need. And, the backend is clean, not clunky. That has added some efficiencies to our system. The other one was clunky. It was an eBay company; so is Magento.”
This backend efficiency resulted in the lowering of overhead for Sportbike Track Gear, as well. Van was able to scale his team down four people. Easy integrations into the ecommerce backend with industry-leading partners did the trick: “Reductions were from order processing and Salesforce teams. Less sales people to do the same work,” said Van.
Indeed, built-in partnership capabilities and regular updating of the product were high closure considerations for Van. Beyond integrating more seamlessly with Salesforce, Sportbike Track Gear was able to work with eBridge Connections, a company which had already built a Netsuite integration for Bigcommerce, essentially mapping fields back and forth in 15 minute intervals.
“As you can imagine, that takes order processing to the next level,” said Van.
With an increase in efficiency saving the company time and downsizing their need for additional resources, one last aspect important to Van’s final decision came into play: total cost of ownership. Beyond deployment, which is 1/8 the cost on a SaaS platform versus an on-premise solution, the new site needed to maintain the brand’s identity without an unaffordable price tag.
“We’ve had a fair amount of customization done,” said Van. “With development and design, we’ve invested $20,000, which is nothing when compared to estimates with Magento that were $100,000 to 200,000 for basically the same thing.”
In all, Sportbike Track Gear saved hundreds of thousands in deployment, go to market and maintenance costs by choosing SaaS over on-premise. So, what do they do with all the time and money saved? Channel that energy and those dollars into customer experience optimization.
“Before, we’d come in on a Monday and there would be 300-400 orders beginning of the day. Oftentimes, we couldn’t even catch up until Wednesday,” said Van. “Now, there’s not a day where we’re not caught up immediately. That allows the staff to focus on orders that are above and beyond a standard online order. This allows us to give our customers the maximum online love.”
Conversion rates for the brand are up, now, as well, regularly hitting 2% and peaking to 3% during traffic spikes. When on ProStores, Sportbike Track Gear conversion rates held steady in the 1.5% range.
“What it really comes down to is efficiency –– for myself, business and customers,” said Van. “The process is simpler than it’s ever been. We’re doing business with less people, less time with less mistakes than we ever have in the history of our company.”
Click here for more information regarding Sportbike Track Gear’s success on Bigcommerce.
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