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Plums Lingerie balances form and function with new ecommerce platform and fresh design

How a luxury lingerie brand increased conversion and found the right level of support with BigCommerce


83%71%11%
increase in 
revenue
increase in 
conversion rate
increase in
average order value

The Plums Lingerie success story

Katherine Salt had difficulty finding lingerie and loungewear on her tiny island of Jersey and often traveled to the United Kingdom to do her shopping. Utilizing her previous marketing, web, and product marketing experience, she decided to start her own lingerie company to provide a local option to women in her community.

Plums Lingerie opened as a brick-and-mortar business in 2006 as a partnership between mother and daughter, Tricia Rees and Katherine Salt. Today, from the small island of Jersey in the British Isles, Plums Lingerie sells a vast collection of lingerie, nightgowns, swimwear, hosiery, and accessories to customers across the United Kingdom.

In 2018, after years of technical challenges on the Magento platform, Plums revamped its ecommerce presence by migrating to BigCommerce, re-launching in July with a fresh look and improved customer experience.


Overcoming coding complexity and broken inventory management

As told to BigCommerce by Katherine Salt, Co-Owner, plumslingerie.com

During the beginning of our online store, we wanted to have a website completely custom-built. We bought an off-the-shelf product that was based on Zen Cart. It was solid enough, but we needed it to do more as we grew.

At that point, we went to Magento because I wanted to make sure that we could do inventory management properly.  At the time, it was difficult for us to keep track of merchandise we'd sell in the store because we would have to take it off the website manually, which was a complete pain and not scalable. Additionally, our CRM was only compatible with Magento, so we felt stuck with it.

The root cause of our issues was that our core website wasn’t built on a solid foundation due to a number of different developers who did not have the necessary expertise in Magento. On top of that, we found Magento’s backend to be overly complicated. By the time we made the decision to look for a new ecommerce platform, our Magento site was a comedy of errors.

The root cause of our issues was that our core website wasn’t built on a solid foundation due to a number of different developers who did not have the necessary expertise in Magento. On top of that, we found Magento’s backend to be overly complicated.
Katherine Salt, Co-Owner, plumslingerie.com
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Finding a platform built for big catalogs

As told to BigCommerce by Katherine Salt, Co-Owner, plumslingerie.com

When evaluating alternative platforms, we looked at several, including Shopify. Right away, we knew it was not appropriate for us due to Shopify’s limits on the number of variants you can have for products. Some of our best products have over 400 variants, so we needed a platform that would allow us to build the catalog structure we wanted for our site, and we didn’t like that with Shopify replicating this would require spending a significant amount on third-party apps or investing in customizations. It was going to be very expensive and in the end not provide the right solution for our small business.

Around this time, I decided to trial BigCommerce. In a matter of a few days, I created a basic theme, set up my store to validate that it would do what I needed it to do, and set out to find an agency partner to design the site for me.


Delivering the right customer experience with an assist from ecommerce agency 5874

As told to BigCommerce by Katherine Salt, Co-Owner, plumslingerie.com

For the new site, my number one priority was that it was functional. Luckily, the agency we contracted to build the store, 5874, really understood what we wanted.

I think ecommerce websites often prioritize design at the expense of customer experience. Our customer demographic is 45 years old and above, so it’s vital our website is clear, easy to read and simple to navigate.

I’ve worked with a lot of web developers over the years, and 5874 is the best by a country mile.


Conversion rate surges with new website launch

As told to BigCommerce by Katherine Salt, Co-Owner, plumslingerie.com

The first weekend we launched our BigCommerce site our conversion rate was off the scale.

To promote the launch, we ran an offer that was only sent to our existing customers. We're a very small business, and I was expecting to be pulling in somewhere close to $6,000. But our conversion rate far exceeded expectations at roughly 15%. Given the difficulties customers experienced with our previous website, this was incredible for us.

BigCommerce really makes it easy for our customers to navigate to the point of purchase. We particularly like BigCommerce’s optimized one-page checkout feature, which has significantly improved our conversion rate, which has remained high since we migrated to the platform.


Finding reliable support with BigCommerce

As told to BigCommerce by Katherine Salt, Co-Owner, plumslingerie.com

I’ve found BigCommerce to be extremely reliable. As soon as we launched our BigCommerce site, our Google Domain authority went up three points within the first week. BigCommerce also offers 24-hour support, which has been an absolute godsend for our small team.

The most important priority for any new ecommerce venture is to get your products available on the site, get your site live, and make sure people can buy items from you. BigCommerce has all of the features and functionality needed to launch and grow an online business; however, until you start using it, it's like moving into a new house - you don't realize how it works and what you need until you start living in it.


BigCommerce really makes it easy for our customers to navigate to the point of purchase. We particularly like BigCommerce’s optimized one-page checkout feature, which has significantly improved our conversion rate, which has remained high since we migrated to the platform.
Katherine Salt, Co-Owner, plumslingerie.com 

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