ITS Finds the Right Tool in BigCommerce

Discover how customizable, cost-effective and reliable
BigCommerce is and why we built it that way.

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Case study device laptop its 1 5x
21%

increase in visits

21%

increase in orders

23%

increase in revenue

Performance metrics compare April 2022 to September 2022.

 

A pioneer of customer online experience

Starting out in a humble 150 square-foot shop in 1979, Industrial Tool Supplies, or ITS, has since grown into a family-owned enterprise, now selling more than 30,000 products nationally from its online store and four branch shops. As one of the first in its industry to go online, ITS has widely expanded its ecommerce offering over the last two decades, working to provide the best hardware for the some of the most highly skilled tradespeople in the UK — from carpenters and builders to more specialised niches such as electricians, plumbers and landscapers.

And as the enterprise company continued to expand its online reach, ITS held fast to the same vision: putting the customer first.

“From the shop to now, we’ve always put the customer first and tried to maintain that in-store retail experience,” said Richard Hughes, Ecommerce and Marketing Manager at ITS. “We wanted to get our catalog in as many hands as we could and treat them — no matter whether they were in Birmingham, Manchester or Edinburgh — the same way that we were treating our core audience that we knew by name and by face.”

CHALLENGE

Less focus on developing, more focus on selling

Maintaining that customer-first approach meant having the right platform to power ITS’s ecommerce backend. However, after launching a customized website on .NET in the early 2000s, ITS quickly outgrew the old technology and found themselves in need of a new and improved platform.

In their search for a new platform, ITS found that open-source solutions were too vast and complex for their business needs, while software-as-a-service (SaaS) solutions were too limiting and often geared toward smaller merchants — they needed a best-of-both-worlds, an Open SaaS solution.

Plus, with a team of both technical and non-technical users, ITS needed a platform that would allow them to focus on their main goal: growing and improving their business.

“Our team really wanted to focus on selling — that's why we're here, that's what we're good at,” said Hughes. “We want to understand our products, understand our customers and focus on them. We don't really want to deal with the minutiae of servers and keeping the lights on, keeping the technology going.”

“BigCommerce suits how we want to work by giving us the tools to effectively sell to people without worrying too much about managing the technology.”

Richard Hughes Ecommerce and Marketing Manager, ITS

SOLUTION

Freedom of choice and the right support make all the difference

For Hughes, going in with BigCommerce meant ITS could spend more time focusing on its top priorities – customers and selling. “BigCommerce suits how we want to work by giving us the tools to effectively sell to people without worrying too much about managing the technology,” said Hughes.

Integrating in-person and online customer comments into its build was one way ITS and E2X, its BigCommerce-certified development agency, were able to customize the website. “We did not want our website to look like a template or like someone else's website. E2X’s development expertise allowed us to create an end-to-end user journey that was uniquely our own,” explained Hughes.

“Because we specialize in creating user experiences and choosing the right technologies, a foundation for future innovation can be laid,” said Serge Albohayre, Head of Partnerships from E2X. “We helped ITS in this regard. Not only did we do the heavy lifting in replatforming them to BigCommerce, we synched all their required integrations to ensure the website performed optimally and as expected.” Today, E2X continues to provide value to ITS by advising on the best technology strategy for current and future business success.

Several apps from BigCommerce’s marketplace are part of that strategy. “The ability to pick and choose the apps and the add-ons that work for our business is one of my favourite things about BigCommerce. If our competition is doing something better than we are, it’s pretty much just tapping into BigCommerce’s app store, adding the right tech solution and we’re back to leading the industry and pleasing our customers,” stated Hughes.

    Agency partner: E2X

    Notable Applications:

      BigCommerce Services:

      • Implementation Project Manager
      • Customer Success Manager


      “If our competition is doing something better than we are, it’s pretty much just tapping into BigCommerce’s app store, adding the right tech solution and we’re back to leading the industry and pleasing our customers.”

      Richard Hughes Ecommerce and Marketing Manager, ITS

      “BigCommerce allows us to do what all businesses dream of doing: stay focused on customers.”

      Richard Hughes Ecommerce and Marketing Manager, ITS
      Case study device tablet its 1 5x

      RESULTS

      Focus on customer service to boost revenue and growth

      The ITS sales team transitioned from being catalog-searching order takers to professionals focused on customer service and enhancing the customer experience. Nowadays, customers do their own product searches and purchases, and primarily contact ITS’s sales team to confirm if a particular product is right for them.

      The intuitive nature of BigCommerce’s backend makes it easy for the ITS marketing team to merchandise and update the website without needing to rely on a development team. “BigCommerce allows us to do what all businesses dream of doing: stay focused on customers,” said Hughes. “By providing great customer service and online merchandising that makes sense, we can sell more.”

      That ability to focus on customer experience is reflected in ITS’s growth since replatforming to BigCommerce. Comparing the site performance from April 2022 to September 2022, ITS saw a 21% increase in visits, 21% increase in orders and 23% increase in revenue.

      LOOKING AHEAD

      A solid technical foundation enables future innovation

      “Now that we have our website infrastructure in place, we can better shift and adjust to the changing industry and technology. We'll be a bit more personal using social media and creating virtual experiences,” Richard stated. “From an ecommerce perspective, It will be exciting to see what the future holds for ITS, and comforting to know BigCommerce will be with us every step of the way.”


      Published: January 2023

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