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Rugged Books, Inc. Creates a B2B Machine with BigCommerce

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Chances are you’ve never heard of a rugged laptop or tablet, but these powerful machines are used across a variety of industries to keep up with the harsh conditions and technological needs of users like firefighters, police officers, machinists and plenty more.  

Rugged Books, Inc., located in scenic Niagra-on-the-Coast in Ontario, Canada, specializes in selling certified-refurbished rugged laptops and tablets. They work to provide a wide range of business tools that meet their specific needs in an environmentally-conscious way.

Rugged Books, Inc. is R2 Certified, and ensures that their devices are responsibly recycled at the end of their life, protecting the environment and promoting sustainable practices. 

In addition to providing customers with a great product, Rugged Books has created a customer-centric B2B ecommerce experience that has helped improve and grow their business.

Looking to Grow

Rugged Books began selling their products in 2016 on third-party marketplaces like eBay, Amazon and Newegg. When they began evaluating their growth potential, they decided to enter into the ecommerce space with their own website. 

They started their search with a number of options: Wix, Squarespace and Shopify topped the list. But when Ahmad Nahle, Marketing Manager for Rugged Books, found BigCommerce, he knew he had found the perfect platform to match up with Rugged Books’ growth mindset. 

“I have a background in computer science and web development, so I was pretty comfortable with the BigCommerce backend,” Nahle explained. “We’re currently using a pre-built theme, but are modifying it to fit our needs.” 

Nahle knew that with his coding background and the tools provided by BigCommerce, he could create a customer-centric B2B ecommerce website that could capture new audiences and turn prospects into customers. 

B2C User Experience with B2B Workflows

Ninety percent  of B2B buyers expect a similar experience buying on a B2B site as they do on a B2C one. That means creating a user-centric experience is imperative when creating your B2B website. 

Your site needs to be fast, have an efficient search function and a smooth checkout process — all things a B2C customer expects — but also allow for specific B2B workflows that business buyers expect, like bulk ordering, buying on credit and the ability to connect with a sales representative easily if necessary. 

When Rugged Books set out to create a user-centric ecommerce experience on BigCommerce, they began combing through our myriad of tools and integrations that could help them achieve the functionality they needed.

Nahle found these tools to help create the B2C-like experience that would keep their customers coming back for more:

  • Shogun:  This page building and testing tool allows them to A/B test specific product page components to see what works best and how they can improve as they create more vertical-specific pages for their products.

  • Klaviyo:  Nahle knew their customer base really responded well to email, so using Klaviyo, their team is able to connect with customers about industry updates, promotions, new products and more.

  • Zendesk: Adding chat boxes to their site gives the sales team the opportunity to interact directly with customers, helping them find the best products to meet their needs. 

  • Shipstation:  Using Shipstation, Rugged Books can access carriers throughout North America, manage and ship orders with ease, and provide real-time shipping information to customers at checkout. 

In order to make their product and inventory management even more efficient, the Rugged Books team created their own management software, RBMS, or Rugged Books Management System. 

“We couldn’t find a management system that did exactly what we wanted, so we created one ourselves. It allows us to scan new inventory, put it into our system, and then our sales and ecommerce departments can start making new listings,” Nahle explained.

This kind of integration wouldn’t be possible if it wasn’t for the 95% of the BigCommerce backend that’s exposed via APIs. Our open-SaaS platform makes building and programming integrations easy, so if you don’t find a functionality that’s native to our platform or built by one of our 800+ technology partners.

The Final Word 

As Rugged Books expands, they see the vast opportunity available on BigCommerce, and anticipate using the platform to help them continue to grow. 

“One thing we’ve been doing is collecting data through Shogun on what’s really working when it comes to specific groups. We will use this data to start creating industry-specific product pages that we then can test and optimize even more,” Nahle said. “BigCommerce makes that kind of stuff easy.” 

Wherever Rugged Books goes in the future, they know that there is a flexible B2B and B2C platform at their disposal ready to grow and scale with them.

Reed Hartman avatar

Reed Hartman is a Content Marketing Manager at BigCommerce, where he uses his years of research, writing and marketing experience to help inform and educate business owners on all things ecommerce.