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Performance metrics compare YoY for 2021 over 2020. (Exception: Performance metrics for revenue compare YoY Feb. 2021-Nov. 2021 over Feb. 2020-Nov. 2020.)
More than 165 years ago, in 1855, the NZ Post became the official issuer of postage stamps for the nation. These stamps were originally designed in Britain, but in 1873 things changed. That’s when New Zealand began designing its own postage stamps called sidefaces because the stamps portrayed the side of Queen Victoria’s face. How’s that for a bit of history?
Today, the NZ Post is not just a place where people go to purchase stamps for postage, it’s where they go to collect stamps, commemorative coins and other quality collectables as well.
From stamps that display historic 19th-century New Zealand ships to collector coins that tell Maori stories or commemorate the 20th anniversary of The Lord of the Rings, NZ Post sells collectable products to people from all around the world. As such, it also found itself needing a platform that could manage the diverse ecommerce demands that would meet its needs and that of its customers.
Letting go of an ecommerce carrier that didn’t deliver
NZ Post’s collectables website is separate from its main operations website. Prior to February 2021, the website was transacting business on a very old system that operated on an unsupported platform. It was during this time the NZ Post Collectables team decided to take on the major job of migrating its entire infrastructure onto the cloud, including its ecommerce website.
“We were on Drupal and we wanted better access to tools that would help us grow our business and reach new customers internationally. It was important to us to have ownership over the website and be able to do things ourselves without having to rely on a vendor all the time,” said NZ Post Business Analyst and Project Specialist Kelly Doull.
The team knew it wanted an out-of-the-box ecommerce solution, even though 70% of its business is transacted offline. “Because of this and a few other reasons, we needed a solution that would integrate with our old back-end system,” said NZ Post Head of Stamps and Collectables Antony Harris.
“It was important to us to have ownership over the website and be able to do things ourselves without having to rely on a vendor all the time”
BigCommerce gets stamp of approval
The flexibility of the BigCommerce platform enables NZ Post to operate its business beyond normal ecommerce capabilities.
NZ Post vetted several ecommerce providers, including BigCommerce, Shopify, Drupal, Salesforce and Magento. Shopify and BigCommerce made the team’s shortlist. However, BigCommerce was the only platform NZ Post chose to prototype. Based on its testing of the platform and on the recommendation of its development agency, Goose, BigCommerce was the platform that best met NZ Post’s requirements.
Goose is a certified BigCommerce partner agency that did a complete overhaul of the NZ Post website. “We originally had one website with two customer-facing front ends. One was for stamps and the other for coins. The work the agency did for us was brilliant. Goose completely overhauled our information architecture, how we present our products and how we integrate our ERP into the cloud,” said Doull.
“The ERP system we use is called Dynamic 3i. Our development agency, SDC, heavily customized it for us to cover the bulk of our business functions outside of ecommerce. Examples would be functions like our order management system and customer relationship management system,” said NZ Post Service Center Manager Christine Lovett.
NZ Post also took advantage of BigCommerce’s SEO audit service. “Website SEO wasn't something on our radar for the previous 10 years. But, it’s something we’re actively trying to do now following the SEO audit BigCommerce performed for us, which was really good. We’re learning lots of things since we went live with our new website,” Doull said.
With its out-of-box system delivery, NZ Post realized it didn’t need much beyond the platform itself. However, one app it integrated into its system was Klaviyo for email marketing. It is making a significant impact on the business by making it easier to stay in touch and in front of customers. “I think we are doing things to engage new customers through marketing our new products, but there's a lot more that we want to do, and this is where Klaviyo comes in. It will allow us to segment our customer base and decide how we are going to engage with them,” said Harris.
“Website SEO wasn't something on our radar for the previous 10 years. But, it’s something we’re actively trying to do now following the SEO audit BigCommerce performed for us, which was really good.”
Let the numbers speak for themselves
Since launching on BigCommerce things have become upwardly mobile and much brighter for NZ Post. Take a look at these impressive numbers comparing YoY 2021 over 2020 performance metrics (Exception: Performance metrics for revenue compare YoY Feb. 2021-Nov. 2021 over Feb. 2020-Nov. 2020).
“What’s caused this growth? My personal opinion is that having a website built on a platform like BigCommerce has helped. Yes, having new products and our marketing efforts collectively play a role in our online success, but implementing sound website strategies like backlinks and SEO best practices is moving us up in the search engines and putting us in front of customers who are interested in stamp and coin collecting,” said Harris.
“What’s caused this growth? My personal opinion is that having a website built on a platform like BigCommerce has helped”
Omnichannel marketing may very well be in NZ Post’s future. “We are certainly looking at publishing our product catalog to Facebook and seeing what we can do on Pinterest and Instagram to drive people from our social media channels to the website,” said Doull. “I'm even keen to see what Google Pay and Google Shopping can do for us as well as channels like eBay, Amazon and Trade Me, which is a local domestic auction website for New Zealand.”
NZ Post is also looking into how it can capitalize on making alternative payment methods available to help convert shoppers. “Research seems to indicate that having multiple payment methods make it more likely that you’ll convert a shopper because they prefer to use their favorite payment method. So we’re starting to explore payment processors like PayPal, Google Pay and Apple Pay,” Doull said.
Published: March 2022