increase in users
increase in sessions
increase in page views
(Performance metrics compare March 2021 over March 2020.)
Ballard Industrial has come a long way since its humble beginnings in Seattle. Since opening its doors in 1952, the supplier of industrial products and services has expanded into a 45,000-square foot warehouse, serving marine, manufacturing, and industrial customers across the country.
However, Ballard Industrial doesn’t only supply high-quality products — the business also works to supply tangible solutions for its B2B and DTC audiences. Driven by “a deliberate intention to resolve and respond to our customer's problems,” Ballard Industrial knew it needed an ecommerce platform that would do the same for them.
From an online catalog to a functional ecommerce site.
Prior to launching on BigCommerce, Ballard Industrial’s previous ecommerce platform was largely non-transactional.
Ballard’s previous site only displayed inventory — but no pricing — which meant a representative had to call each customer to confirm order details and process payments over the phone. But with B2B buyers increasingly seeking B2C-like shopping experiences, Ballard knew it needed a functional ecommerce site to cater to a modern audience.
Turning to Groove Commerce, a full-service ecommerce agency and Elite BigCommerce Partner Agency, Ballard was determined to find the right ecommerce platform for the job.
“Given the unique requirements that they had and the goal to shift their B2B selling operations to have an commerce component, BigCommerce ended up being the right choice.”
Drew Blais creative director, Groove commerce
Serving B2B audiences with BigCommerce and Groove Commerce.
Considering the need for a functional ecommerce site with support for a B2B audience, Groove Commerce ultimately recommended BigCommerce to Ballard Industrial.
“Given the unique requirements that they had and the goal to shift their B2B selling operations to have an commerce component, BigCommerce ended up being the right choice,” said Drew Blais, Creative Director at Groove Commerce.
Using BigCommerce B2B Edition, the team found the out-of-the-box functionality to provide buyers a pathway to purchase directly online. One native feature that was particularly valuable was the ability to offer speciality B2B pricing, which, for Ballard, is based on customer tiers and quantities purchased. Thus, Groove Commerce was able to automate pricing rules, as well as assign membership roles inside of BigCommerce to each B2B customer account.
“Ballard Industrial has different pricing for different customers, so they really wanted a way to control buyers and have that quick order functionality that's built into B2B Edition,” explained Justin Bright, Director of Technology and DevOps Engineering at Groove Commerce. “B2B Edition checked a lot of the boxes that they wanted.”
Customizing content with Page Builder.
With a large product catalog, Ballard also hoped to promote specific product categories and services on its new ecommerce site. While some products were already high-selling, high-traffic items, the team wanted to increase consumer awareness of other products and services, such as its high-pressure hydraulics portfolio, safety equipment, and gas detection.
In order to do this, Ballard originally wanted to use HubSpot to customize its web content. But after seeing the customizability and simplicity of the BigCommerce Page Builder, the team decided to create and manage its page content with the native tool.
“They wanted the ability to swap out these homepage widgets for whatever product they wanted to promote that month or that week,” said Flaherty.
With the help of Groove Commerce, the team was able to build custom widgets throughout its homepage, which they can now easily edit on their own — without developer intervention.
“On the homepage, they can add, remove, and change things, which they do frequently. So it gave them a level of control that they didn't have before with their old site,” said Bright.
Offering real-time pricing with BisTrack.
As an industrial supplies business, Ballard also had to navigate the issue of ever-changing pricing of industrial materials. With raw material prices changing on a daily basis depending upon raw material cost, the team needed a way to automatically update their own pricing on the website in order to retain a fair profit margin on goods sold.
In response, Groove Commerce assisted in the integration of BisTrack — a custom middleware that tracks the price of raw materials, populates that information onto the Ballard website, and adjusts customer pricing accordingly.
“When customers add products to their cart and check out, all those items are verified through Ballard’s ERP in a real-time call,” explained Bright. “Let's say pricing changes — it goes up a penny or goes down at 10 cents. When a customer adds something to the cart, that update is checked and adjusted before they check out.”
Shipping and fulfillment: Advanced Shipping Manager
Tax automation: Avalara
B2B/wholesale: TradeCentric (formerly PunchOut2Go)
Cart saver: Save Cart
Customer Success Manager
“We get business from around the country that we normally wouldn’t have gotten. Plus, the site has proven to be a really solid source of product info for account customers and our sales team.”
Chris Gubbels web producer, ballard industrial
“Ballard Industrial has different pricing for different customers, so they really wanted a way to control buyers and have that quick order functionality that's built into B2B Edition. B2B Edition checked a lot of the boxes that they wanted.”
JUSTIN BRIGHT DIRECTOR OF TECHNOLOGY AND DEVOPS ENGINEERING, GROOVE COMMERCE
Updating an outdated B2B site.
While the brand itself may be over 70 years old, Ballard Industrial’s new website is far from outdated. With the support of Groove Commerce and BigCommerce, Ballard Industrial achieved a successful migration and revamp of its site — which now supports the modern online experience its B2B buyers expect.
“We get business from around the country that we normally wouldn’t have gotten. Plus the site has proven to be a really solid source of product info for account customers and our sales team,” said Chris Gubbels, Web Producer at Ballard Industrial. “When our account customers use the website to order, it does save a lot of time for our sales team over having to enter the order by hand.”
With the BigCommerce platform, the team has found a powerful ecommerce foundation that provides the customizability, scalability, and flexibility needed to stay ahead of the competition.
“It has great uptime and performance,” said Gubbels. “We like that it’s modular with a solid core that we don’t need to pay someone to maintain.”
Undoubtedly, Ballard Industrial has already reaped the rewards. In 2022, Ballard Industrial was awarded Gold in the Business to Business MarCom Awards and Gold in the Business to Business AVA Digital Awards. When comparing March 2021 to March 2020, Ballard Industrial saw an 83% increase in users, a 79% increase in sessions, and a 45% increase in page views.
“BigCommerce has great uptime and performance. We like that it’s modular with a solid core that we don’t need to pay someone to maintain.”
Chris Gubbels web producer, ballard industrial
Continuing to streamline the shopping experience.
What’s on the horizon for Ballard Industrial? According to the team, it’s all about continued growth.
“We will continue our efforts to drive both existing and new business to our website,” said Gubbels. “We’re also looking forward to streamlining how our site works as the BigCommerce B2B Edition grows and our ERP’s APIs improve.”
As for its agency partnership, Groove Commerce will continue to assist the team with managed services and web support.
“Business has been great for them since they’ve been on BigCommerce. Overall it's just a totally easier experience for their customers,” explained Alex Carroll, Client Success Manager at Groove Commerce. “They're very pleased with how things have gone — no complaints from them.”
Published: November 2023
“Business has been great for them since they’ve been on BigCommerce. Overall it's just a totally easier experience for their customers.”
Alex Carroll Client Success Manager, Groove commerce
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