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months to launch the UK site
countries they sell in
A Finnish company with a global footprint, HMD Global (HMD) is a manufacturer and seller of electronic devices and the exclusive licensee of the Nokia brand for phones and tablets. First launching in 2016, the company quickly established 50 offices within its first year. Today, HMD has 345,000 retail outlets across eight regions and is the largest 4G feature phone vendor in the world.
Not only does HMD continue to expand its Nokia portfolio with feature phones, reborn classics, connectivity services, accessories and more, HMD also maintains a strong commitment to sustainability. In fact, the brand was awarded Platinum status in 2022 by the sustainability rating agency EcoVadis, putting HMD in the top 1% in their industry for its commitment to sustainable practices.
While HMD began online primarily to gain visibility, the brand soon found that ecommerce was an essential component to remaining competitive and thriving globally — and it needed the right enterprise ecommerce platform to help execute its online strategy.
Slowed down by development costs.
After first launching on a cloud-based solution, HMD soon found that it needed more out of its ecommerce platform. With the inability to make site changes quickly and the extra costs of development, the company felt hindered in its innovation and freedom to grow. Thus, HMD decided it needed a solution with better performance, greater end-to-end control and faster time-to-market.
“We wanted to go faster. Going through a third-party company meant that every time we wanted to do something new, we had little control over the development timelines and costs,” explained Bertrand Dupuis, HMD’s GM of Europe Ecommerce and Marketing. “In the long term, it's cheaper to have our own platform. Strategic ecommerce is becoming a super important channel in the industry.”
In hopes of lower development time and costs, HMD decided to search for a leading SaaS solution — one that would fit its business requirements and give the team control over all aspects of its website, explained Jenni Schneider, HMD’s Director of Sales and Marketing Capabilities.
“We wanted to make sure that we have a solution that really allows us to have that seamless consumer experience that is integrated into our existing web presence,” said Schneider.
After evaluating several platforms, HMD launched its website on BigCommerce in November 2020.
“We wanted to make sure that we have a solution that really allows us to have that seamless consumer experience that is integrated into our existing web presence.”
A modular approach for seamless shopping experiences.
For HMD, switching to BigCommerce brought two major benefits: a more seamless customer experience and the ability to easily integrate with its existing systems.
“We looked at multiple alternatives, and BigCommerce was the best fit,” said Schneider. “It has really extensive API capabilities that were key to us creating an end-to-end architecture and seamless consumer experience — which integrated into our existing web presence — from purchase to delivery. The platform's flexibility with the multiple add-ons and the marketplace applications also allowed us to expand into other channels and integrate multiple payment gateway options.”
Using BigCommerce’s Checkout SDK, HMD has made extensive use of the open APIs to build unique experiences in each of its locations. While the company remains consistent in its branding and themes, each of its 10 online stores has its own unique checkout, payment solutions and other locale-specific differences.
“We have one main payment gateway that we're using across all of our stores and we can then configure it for each store. We ask ourselves, ‘What are the payment methods that we want to offer in each store?’ Because not everybody has Google Pay, and not every market needs Google Pay,” explained Schneider. “There are some European markets that have very specific local payment methods that are supported by the payment gateway provider, so we can offer that as part of the checkout. It's really easy to set that up between BigCommerce and the payment gateway provider.”
On top of checkout and payments, HMD has also had to consider taxes. Leveraging BigCommerce’s native capabilities, the global brand is able to manage taxation rules, and even in the US — where tax rules can be a bit more complicated — HMD was able to integrate with Avalara, a third-party sales tax automation tool.
To boost its omnichannel presence, HMD also leverages plugins for Marketplace connectors. Using Feedonomics in the US, the brand integrates with Walmart and is looking to soon begin selling on eBay in the UK.
The API-first architecture also allows the HMD team to develop its own capabilities that integrate with its brand positioning, which focuses on providing durable, reliable and sustainable devices. Indeed, HMD launched a trading offer that allows users to sell their old Nokia phones back to the brand in exchange for a discount on a new device. All this is possible directly online, thanks to capabilities the HMD team built leveraging the BigCommerce APIs.
A trusted team of ecommerce experts.
Finding a trusted partner in BigCommerce, HMD has been able to confidently grow and innovate as a global enterprise, knowing they have expert support every step of the way. With personalized services to mold to the brand’s needs, BigCommerce has enabled HMD to build the optimal solution for its business.
“We have a lot of components from the website side — our CMS, PIM, CRM, ERP, all of those integrating together. It's a big machine. And it was all new to us because we were building it ourselves,” said Schneider. “It was key that we had assigned individuals to support us in our journey, because BigCommerce is the centre of our ecommerce architecture.”
Before its launch, the company worked closely with a Solution Architect and Implementation Manager. “In the ramp up phase, our Solution Architect was really great at giving us insights to help us design our implementation while our Implementation Manager made sure we were in touch with the right people and had access to the information we needed in a timely manner,” said Schneider.
Since launching, HMD has worked with a Technical Account Manager and Customer Success Manager to ensure its continued success on the BigCommerce platform.
“Now that we are up and running, our Technical Account Manager provides support and offers solutions when we have new requirements or want to implement development initiatives,” said Schneider. “Our Customer Success Manager is key for helping us with the bigger picture, keeping us informed on roadmap updates, advocating for us, and bringing forward initiatives that we may not have thought of ourselves.”
“There are some European markets that have very specific local payment methods that are supported by the payment gateway provider, so we can offer that as part of the checkout. It's really easy to set that up between BigCommerce and the payment gateway provider.”
“Now that we are up and running, our Technical Account Manager provides support and offers solutions when we have new requirements or want to implement development initiatives. Our Customer Success Manager is key for helping us with the bigger picture, keeping us informed on roadmap updates, advocating for us, and bringing forward initiatives that we may not have thought of ourselves.”
Record launches with no loss on performance.
HMD broke records when it launched its first ecommerce store on BigCommerce in the UK on November 8, 2020 — only three months after it signed on the new platform. And that was only the first of many successes.
“Within a span of approximately eight months from signing, we were live with 10 stores across 15 different markets,” said Schneider. “BigCommerce enabled that. It's one part of the overall architecture. This was known from the beginning that it was a very ambitious timeline to target, but where there's a will, there's a way.”
Dupuis confirmed this accelerated launch quickly led to great performances: “Since we could open into so many different markets in less than six months, of course, the growth was spectacular in terms of traffic on the websites and sales.”
And this growth all starts with having an ecommerce platform you can trust. Without having to worry about its site maintenance, security or functionality, the HMD team has had the freedom to focus on what matters most: growing their global business.
“The solution itself is stable and reliable, and that's a key thing for an ecommerce solution,” said Schneider. “The platform itself — there are no complaints. It has been very, very reliable in the two plus years that we've been live with our stores.”
“Within a span of approximately eight months from signing, we were live with 10 stores across 15 different markets. BigCommerce enabled that. It's one part of the overall architecture. This was known from the beginning that it was a very ambitious timeline to target, but where there's a will, there's a way.”
Relationships made to last.
As a global manufacturer, HMD has found the capabilities it needs to not only maintain its existing web presence but, more importantly, innovate without limits. Just like the Nokia devices it sells, HMD’s website will continue to thrive and improve along with the growth of the brand.
With the openness and flexibility of BigCommerce, the mobile device manufacturer will be able to continue creating unique and seamless user experiences and building strong relationships with customers — the trademark of the brand.
Published: March 2023