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increase in customers
increase in orders
increase in conversion rate
Performance metrics compare Jan. 1 - Aug. 15, 2020 through Jan. 1 - Aug. 15, 2022.
As the saying goes, curiosity is the mother of invention, and Bill Wilson can attest to this. The retired co-founder of Wilcom International, global commercial embroidery software leaders based in Sydney, Australia, used his master’s degree research project on computer-controlled embroidery machines to launch the concept of computerized embroidery.
The software Bill helped develop is creative, mathematically precise and reduces embroidery design creation from days to hours — and in some cases minutes. These are some of many reasons tool and embroidery machine manufacturers like Toyota, Tajima, Barudan, Bernina and Janome trust Willcom to produce software for them.
Today, Wilcom sells its embroidery software to both B2C enthusiasts and B2B wholesalers in over 100 countries and more than a dozen languages. BigCommerce is the platform helping Wilcom sell its B2C product through its primary store, Hatch Embroidery, and a B2B product through its secondary store, WilcomWorkspace.
Open source: Functional, but not optimal
“Our in-house development team launched our first ecommerce site in February 2016 on DotNetNuke, an open source solution, with Hotcakes for the ecommerce,” said Richard Wienburg, CMO at Wilcom. “It was a low-cost solution that was functional, but not necessarily optimal.”
At that time, Wilcom wanted to grow and improve its conversion rates for Hatch Embroidery. As an international company, multi-currency was key to making it happen. “Approximately 80-85% of our customers are in the US, and then the rest are scattered around the world. As such, one of the key things we needed was multi-currency functionality. It’s something we did not have with DotNetNuke,” Richard stated.
BigCommerce came up gold
When Wilcom began its search for a new ecommerce provider, BigCommerce’s multi-currency feature was still 6-12 months away from availability, so they researched other platforms, including Magento and Shopify Plus. Yet, despite the lack of immediate availability of multi-currency, Wilcom still chose BigCommerce over the others.
According to Richard, Wilcom’s research revealed Shopify Plus wasn't conducive to the size of business it hoped to grow into in the short- to medium-term. The possibility of needing to replatform again in two or three years was not in the least bit appealing. As for Magento, Wilcom determined it would be too costly to maintain, and hiring additional developers was not a route the company wanted to take.
“We took a gamble. We had to rely on BigCommerce to deliver on time and to the specifications we discussed months in advance,” said Richard. “You always run the risk of specs and functionality changing. We had to put our trust in the BigCommerce team and I’m happy to say everything paid off and we are happy with the outcome.”
Richard and the Wilcom development team wanted to find just the right type of ecommerce partner, one they could work with to help build the new store, and then easily take over future development work once the job was completed. Convert Digital, a BigCommerce certified partner, built the first iteration of Wilcom’s Hatch Embroidery website, and assisted in migrating data from its old platform.
“We were exceptionally thorough and quite in-tune with what our needs were. So it was easy to see if a provider ticked the boxes on our checklist. We prioritized the list into gold, silver and bronze, highlighting the features that were most important and which were showstoppers. For us, BigCommerce came up gold,” Richard asserted.
Finding peace of mind
Hatch Embroidery launched on BigCommerce in December 2019, and the Wilcom team got everything it was looking for, including:
“On our previous platform we experienced security issues that forced us to take our systems offline for approximately one week. It was very costly to rectify. Thankfully, we caught it early enough and our data was secure, but the experience was jarring. It’s one of the reasons why it was important for us to build on a SaaS platform, something we knew was maintained and up-to-date,” Richard commented. “BigCommerce is better than an open source platform where it's all left in the hands of the user to plug all the holes. BigCommerce delivers peace of mind.”
Getting things done with APIs and integrations
“We do quite a lot of work with APIs. So having our own developers in-house is a real plus here because we are able to look and ask ourselves, ‘What do we want to squeeze out of the website?, and in turn, develop and use APIs around that,’" Richard said.
Single sign-on via Amazon’s Cognito is one thing Wilcom squeezed out of its Hatch Embroidery website to improve its user experience. It’s a complex process that is completely done on the back-end using API calls. It eliminates the need for customers and subscribers to manage multiple logins and passwords to access the software or training they purchased.
“Our learning center uses a solution called Thinkific, and utilizes APIs with our BigCommerce store. We've used it quite successfully to manage the licensing needs across all our solutions. Data is also pushed through to our CRM giving us more powerful segmentation for targeting,” Richard said.
When it comes to apps, Dotdigital is a feather in Richard’s cap. “I really enjoy using the platform. We use it to send out our registration welcome campaign, trial campaigns and much more.” Richard said. “I like that it is simple and is easy to use, yet powerful with the opportunity for complex targeting. And as an added bonus, the company is local and they've done a lot of work with BigCommerce, and we like that.”
In June 2022, Hatch Embroidery went through its third major website refresh and this time deployed Shogun Page Builder. “Our goal is to put as much of the development in the hands of the marketing team and not the development team, and this does the trick for us,” Richard said.
Then there is Rewind Backups. This app is integrated into the website as a retrieve and restore fail-safe ensuring important store data is always available to the company.
Dotdigital is a customer marketing automation tool that enables customer and subscriber engagement across email, SMS, social, push notifications and live chat.
Shogun Page Builder is a drag-and-drop page builder and visual content management system that integrates seamlessly with BigCommerce.
Rewind Backups automatically backups store data such as product details, orders and images on a daily basis.
“BigCommerce is better than an open source platform where it's all left in the hands of the user to plug all the holes. BigCommerce delivers peace of mind.”
“We were exceptionally thorough and quite in-tune with what our needs were. So it was easy to see if a provider ticked the boxes on our checklist. We prioritized the list into gold, silver and bronze, highlighting the features that were most important and which were showstoppers. For us, BigCommerce came up gold.”
Positive in. Positive out.
“BigCommerce is our first venture in selling online with a proper ecommerce platform, and it's been successful for us,” said Richard. “The experience with BigCommerce has been very positive. We've enjoyed working with the platform and the various BigCommerce team members. They are super responsive, highly capable and enjoyable to work with.”
That positive sentiment is reflected in Hatch Embroidery’s positive year-over-year performance metrics. Comparing Jan. 1 – Aug. 15, 2020 through Jan. 1 – Aug 15, 2022, the embroidery company realized an 82% increase in revenue, a 121% increase in customers, a 124% increase in orders and a 220% increase in conversion rate.
“We've enjoyed working with the platform and the various BigCommerce team members. They are super responsive, highly capable and enjoyable to work with.”
Growth and improvement
Wilcom International, as a company, has the potential launch of a new commercial website on its mind these days. The parent company of Hatch Embroidery is looking to continue its growth in both the ecommerce and subscription space, and has set its sight on these goals.
As for Hatch Embroidery, the team will continue to tweak the site to improve the user experience, its content and content delivery system, and to enable its customers to own their own online experiences.
Published: January 2023