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Kettlebell Kings lifts revenue and conversions with BigCommerce

How a growing sports equipment retailer strengthened its brand and doubled sales every year


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The Kettlebell Kings success story

Jay Perkins learned about the ecommerce industry while working in sales and spending hours per day helping other business owners select the right ecommerce tools to grow their businesses.

Through hundreds of conversations, Jay noticed a pattern emerge. Many of the fastest-growing businesses he was advising were selling a niche product and had a narrow focus on the customer segments they were trying to reach.

This caused him to start brainstorming ideas to start an online store with his business partners, examining the markets of many different products. After months of research, they eventually settled on kettlebells, a type of weightlifting equipment becoming increasingly popular with the rise of high impact interval training.

Capitalizing on the rise of fitness-conscious shopping, in 2013, Jay and his partners launched Kettlebell Kings, which caters to consumers through its high-quality equipment and unique educational content.


Growing a business easily with BigCommerce

As told to BigCommerce by Jay Perkins, Owner, kettlebellkings.com

I believe innovative technology and the ability to adapt quickly are incredibly advantageous for an ecommerce business.

I compare BigCommerce to LeBron James. BigCommerce does a lot of things really well, like provide great site loading times, easy checkout, URL structure, and built-in SEO tools. LeBron shoots well, he can defend, and is one of the best athletes of all time. BigCommerce is the LeBron of ecommerce platforms.

When you can create a great experience for people who visit your online store because of the technology you’re using, you have an outsized opportunity to grow your market share and stand out from the competition.

When you can create a great experience for people who visit your online store because of the technology you’re using, you have an outsized opportunity to grow your market share and stand out from the competition.
Jay Perkins, Owner, kettlebellkings.com
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Crafting a compelling brand story with BigCommerce

As told to BigCommerce by Jay Perkins, Owner, kettlebellkings.com

While working in sales, I learned quite a bit about the features and functionality of the various ecommerce platforms. My sales experience was really helpful as I started my own company because when we launched this store, I was able to put my knowledge directly into practice.

We've always tried to position our product as a higher-end item with a strong brand behind it. Bringing customers directly to our website allows us to more effectively craft the cohesive and consistent brand story that we want to present to customers, which we can’t do on Amazon.  

Our revenue growth over the past several years has proved our hypothesis since our BigCommerce website is still our primary sales channel.


BigCommerce analytics enhances inventory management

As told to BigCommerce by Jay Perkins, Owner, kettlebellkings.com

We use BigCommerce Insights to understand aspects such as what our busiest times of the year are and what products we need to have in stock most often.

Our sales have at least doubled every year that we've been in business, and our biggest struggle is having enough inventory to reach our potential.

We've used the data available to us in the BigCommerce control panel to figure out how we can be smarter about ordering products. Now that we have three years of solid data, we understand what products we definitely need to have in stock, because those products sell more by significant margins in comparison to other products.

Our sales are now ahead of last year's pace and we should hit two million in sales this year.


Modern website design doubles conversion rate

As told to BigCommerce by Jay Perkins, Owner, kettlebellkings.com

A year ago, we made the switch to BigCommerce’s Stencil design framework and saw a pretty significant increase in conversion right away. Our conversion rate more than doubled after we made the switch, from 1.2% to around 2.5%, which has made a material impact on revenue.

Now we’re using the newest version of the Stencil framework, called 2.0, which has some pretty significant advancements.

The accelerated mobile pages (AMP), which load incredibly fast, have been very effective in helping us increase SEO and convert mobile shoppers. That’s beneficial because we have a fairly strong social media presence and nearly 50% of our traffic is from mobile devices.


Integrated apps automate workflows and improve margins

As told to BigCommerce by Jay Perkins, Owner, kettlebellkings.com

When we first started, all kettlebell companies were charging for shipping. You'd pay $100 for a kettlebell, but you have to pay another $50 for the shipping because it's so heavy.

We decided very early on that we'd build our business around free shipping and be aggressive with our shipping negotiations in order to constantly improve our margin.

We just started using SKULabs, which has been a savior for where we're at in the business. Now, we have three employees who are fulfilling shipments for us, and SKULabs is helping us control inventory, utilize barcode-scanning for order accuracy, and ship out products. SKULabs has greatly simplified our shipping process because allows us to very quickly, easy, and inexpensively implement a barcode scanning system.


Google Reviews and consumer-generated photos drives awareness and customer loyalty

As told to BigCommerce by Jay Perkins, Owner, kettlebellkings.com

We have Google Reviews set up through BigCommerce. We currently have more Google reviews than anyone in our state, and we showcase that on our website.

Google Reviews are displayed in the bottom right corner on all the product pages, which is enabled through BigCommerce.

The reason we do that is because if someone is new to kettlebells or not familiar with our brand is going to view a kettlebell as a commodity. Showcasing reviews through Google, which is obviously a trusted source, helps set us apart.

In addition, we encourage our customers to share their photos using their kettlebells on social media. We always thank them for sharing their candid photos which encourages more people to share their own and also drives customers on the path to purchase.


Delivering a content-rich shopping experience throughout the purchase experience

As told to BigCommerce by Jay Perkins, Owner, kettlebellkings.com

Content is the name of the game when growing your business. We’ve always had a lot of helpful content on our blog, most of which is intended to show people how to properly use our products. We give our customers workout ideas. We discuss what makes a good kettlebell. This has not only helped us with SEO and also reduces returns by setting expectations upfront with the customer about what they are about to buy.

We use AfterShip to deliver customers text message notifications about the status of their order, which serves as an additional opportunity to serve our customers more content. They'll get a text that says, “Hey, your order has shipped. Here's an article with a new workout idea for your new kettlebell that's coming soon,” for example. This helps build your brand as the authority; you're not just selling them a product, you're positioning yourself as the authority on how to use the product.

We also study our abandoned carts, and rather than simply giving someone a discount offer, we provide helpful content in it. Our abandoned cart emails ask questions like, “Did you not know which weight you needed to use?”, “Did you not know which type of kettlebell you needed?” and “Here are some guides to help you determine what you need.”

We've always been heavily content-driven. We know that if we create genuinely helpful content and provide it to enough people, the sales are going to drive themselves.


I compare BigCommerce to LeBron James. BigCommerce does a lot of things really well, like provide great site loading times, easy checkout, URL structure, and built-in SEO tools. LeBron shoots well, he can defend, and is one of the best athletes of all time. BigCommerce is the LeBron of ecommerce platforms.
Jay Perkins, Owner, kettlebellkings.com 

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