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Burrow Gets Cozy With New Ecommerce Platform


30%4%50%
increased conversion
rate in 2 months
increase in AOVincrease in site speed & performance

Two Ordinary College Students With An Extraordinary Vision

When Kabeer Chopra and Stephen Kuhl had to buy furniture for their homes at business school, they were stuck with a common dilemma: do they choose inexpensive disposable furniture, or do they revert to a traditional furniture store that guaranteed good quality but could take up to 12 weeks to receive items?

This all-too-common situation highlighted the challenge of buying furniture, sparking a conversation for the pair of students — “What if we just put a sofa in a box to simplify the shipping experience?” Kabeer and Stephen saw an opportunity to improve the end-to-end furniture-buying experience by creating a modular product (one that could be made bigger or smaller by adding or subtracting pieces) that could be easily shipped in boxes, and done so affordably.

From there, Burrow was born.

Kabeer and Stephen had a simple vision for Burrow: to eliminate the hassle of furniture shopping. Their model simplifies that very issue: When the user goes online to buy a Burrow sofa, they start with choosing the size. From there, an innovative configurator lets them modify the color of the sofa, the height of the arms and legs, and additional add-ons. Beyond the purchasing process itself, this modular product gives Burrow the ability to minimize the number of SKUs available while still providing extensive customer choice.

After fully launching, Burrow ended 2017 with $3 million in sales and $4.3 million in seed funding.

The Burrow brand took off with consumers, and with an increasing number of purchases, it quickly became apparent that the site’s current ecommerce platform wouldn’t cut it. Stephen and Kabeer knew they needed an ecommerce solution whose capabilities were more readily available outside of existing product templates to create a truly unique experience for their customers.

Burrow Chose BigCommerce For Customization, Affordability, and Flexible Feature Integrations

As told to BigCommerce by Kabeer Chopra, Burrow Co-Founder and CPO.

Since our launch on BigCommerce in July 2019, Burrow has evolved from a single product, single channel, single vendor business to a multi-product, multi-channel, multi-vendor business, and our previous ecommerce platform just wasn't capable of handling those changes. Even from a marketing standpoint, we lacked the promotional capabilities and flexibility to create bundles, tiers, or cart discounts as well as many of the basic features that you get in non-headless implementations.

Along with that, as a multi-product and multi-vendor business, we now had orders that were split across multiple warehouses, arriving at different times. We needed a platform that could support multiple fulfillments and shipments, associate those back to orders, and communicate shipping terms (item list and expected delivery) appropriately to customers.

It’s hard for a company our size to make a financial commitment to larger tools because the business can't support that type of investment. On the other hand, we need to prioritize platforms that offer a rich enough feature set. We believe BigCommerce does a nice job of landing in the middle — it’s really affordable for growth companies starting off on the BigCommerce platform yet offers much of the functionality offered by some of the bigger headless ecommerce platforms.

We considered other ecommerce platforms but ultimately chose BigCommerce because we believed it would be the best headless solution for Burrow while allowing us to maintain flexibility and configurability of the shopping experience.


BigCommerce Guides, Supports and Provides Solution Framework From the Get-Go

As told to BigCommerce by Kabeer Chopra, Burrow Co-Founder and CPO.

Many of the larger ecommerce providers either implement themselves and build the frameworks for you using your business logic, or they ask you to work with authorized third-party development teams. In our case, we have a pretty sophisticated engineering team, and also want to maintain a lean budget, so we prefer doing things ourselves. Working with the technology leads at BigCommerce, we were able to get a comprehensive architectural and systems integration document focused on APIs and how we could achieve the functionality we have today. This allowed our engineering team to ramp up quickly; in fact, we went live with BigCommerce in six weeks, which was very quick and seamless.

BigCommerce is a reliable platform; since launching, we haven’t had to do much maintenance, which frees up time to make improvements to our online store.

The onboarding process and even the pre-sales process were pretty thorough in investigating our requirements and identifying actual solutions to them. Across the spectrum, representatives from the other platforms we spoke to didn't invest nearly as much time into coming up with a framework or solution that would work for our business, but instead tried to fit our business into their framework. Truly, the flexibility that BigCommerce has offered in terms of guidance, support and solutioning has been immense.

 

"BigCommerce is a reliable platform; since launching, we haven’t had to do much maintenance, which frees up time to make improvements to our online store."Kabeer Chopra, Burrow Co-Founder and CPO
...The other platforms we spoke to didn't invest nearly as much time into coming up with a framework or solution that would work for our business, but instead tried to fit our business into their framework. Truly, the flexibility that BigCommerce has offered in terms of guidance, support and solutioning has been immense.Kabeer Chopra, Burrow Co-Founder and CPO
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Rich Feature Set Optimizes Order Management, Shipping and More

As told to BigCommerce by Kabeer Chopra, Burrow Co-Founder and CPO.

We are now integrated with our order management system, which allows us to take an order, parse it into fulfillment and then split it to warehouses. When we get shipment notifications from those warehouses, the OMS feeds that information back into BigCommerce and updates orders accordingly. For those updates, BigCommerce’s integration with AfterShip sends out web hooks whenever a shipment has been updated so that we can inform our customers in real time.

Aside from orders and shipment, we use Unboxed for collecting product recommendations, which will become more important to us as we expand our product portfolio and will enable us to capture more wallet share. We also utilize a few smaller tools such as Coupon Manager for bulk uploads of coupon codes.

These features allow us to provide a great experience for customers while making it a lot easier for us on the backend so we can focus on growth.


Headless Commerce = Greater Flexibility

As told to BigCommerce by Kabeer Chopra, Burrow Co-Founder and CPO.

The value of the BigCommerce headless solution has been huge for Burrow, specifically in enabling us to craft a unique shopping experience. In the early days, we did a lot of research on using out-of-the-box solutions. Ultimately, we just weren't able to find the flexibility we needed to create and maintain the kind of shopping experience we wanted our customers to have.

In addition, our team felt it necessary from a logistics and operations standpoint, to be able to offer our customers access to many things that you don't typically find in non-standardized checkout experiences, including the ability to delay orders and have signature on delivery. Controlling that was really important to us, and were our top two requirements from a headless standpoint. Fortunately, BigCommerce offers both of those capabilities.

Along with operational functions, being headless has empowered us creatively as well; we use a headless CMS to drive modernization of our platform and to create a great digital experience across multiple channels. This headless commerce integration gives us the power of content and commerce together. The ability to integrate with a content management system in addition to the logistical aspect gives us the best of both worlds.

"The value of the BigCommerce headless solution has been huge for Burrow, specifically in enabling us to craft a unique shopping experience."Kabeer Chopra, Burrow Co-Founder and CPO

Delivering On the Future

As told to BigCommerce by Kabeer Chopra, Burrow Co-Founder and CPO.

Looking ahead, Burrow will be expanding into additional product categories around the home. We recently launched rugs and coffee tables — and plan to roll out a handful of exciting home items in 2020. And thanks to BigCommerce, we’re able to launch products a lot faster than ever before. Now, we can launch products back to back — as quickly as just two weeks after a previous launch.   

BigCommerce has helped turn our business school idea into a sophisticated business and seamless shopping experience for furniture buyers. We’ve already accomplished so much with BigCommerce, and we’re excited to see all the great future developments come to fruition.

"Thanks to BigCommerce, we’re able to launch products a lot faster than ever before."Kabeer Chopra, Burrow Co-Founder and CPO

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