increase in conversions
increase in engagement rate
increase in engagement sessions per user
(Performance metrics compare June 1 – July 31, 2023 to January 1 – February 28, 2023.)
Few clothing brands can say one of their products helped someone reach the peak of Mount Everest — but Rohan can.
For over 50 years, the outdoor and travel clothing brand has been on a mission to innovate and design clothing that meets customer needs “from home to the hills.” With a clothing range consisting of everything from jackets, suits, and trousers to skirts, jeans and waterproofs, Rohan’s designs are simple in style yet packed with technical features.
“The whole foundation of the brand was around finding technical fabrics and designs of clothing,” explained Alex Rose, Head of Brand for Rohan. “Everything that our product design team does is based around creating clothing that is functional and durable, but still looks really simple.”
But while its products have remained “functional, yet simple”, Rohan wanted an online store that held the same sentiment. Just like the clothing it makes, Rohan needed an ecommerce platform that would last them a lifetime of journeys.
Updating an outdated ecommerce experience.
Before making the switch to BigCommerce, Rohan originally built and managed its ecommerce site entirely in-house. On top of that, much of its technology was outdated, making it difficult to stay agile and scale with the business.
While managing its site internally worked for Rohan for a period of time, the team eventually ran into issues in the back-end.
“Back-end wise, it was very antiquated,” said Jane Coulthard, Ecommerce Sales and Marketing at Rohan. “Launching new products was very time-consuming, and at go live with a new product, there were lots of cache issues.”
Adding to that, Michael Gray, Head of IT at Rohan, explained, “We were bumping into issues around recruitment and resources and developing things that were out-of-the box with certain solutions — which would then require us to spend three months in testing and everything that goes with that.”
Knowing that customers form an opinion of a website in just milliseconds, Rohan knew it needed to move quickly to improve its online store. With the goal of replatforming to a SaaS solution, the team began its search and ultimately landed on BigCommerce.
Mitigating the risks of replatforming.
While Rohan had found a promising solution in BigCommerce, the team still had two apprehensions about replatforming: maintaining conversions and a strong brand identity.
“The website is very public, so you have to manage the expectations of the business,” said Michael. “Because if you're making a new website, you want it to enhance what you had before — but if it's too different, then that risks conversion.”
As a company with a strong brand identity, Rohan needed to ensure that this identity remained consistent across its new site and provided its customers with a seamless user experience.
“We needed to try to make the transition from the old platform to the new platform simple for customers,” said Jane. “They shouldn't have to see or know too much has changed. Our hope was that they would look at the new website and think that it’s amazing — but other than that they should be unaware that we've replatformed.”
“One of the things that drew us toward BigCommerce was how open it was with its APIs. We were able to get test versions of our website up and running without interacting with anyone, even a salesperson.”
Michael Gray head of it, rohan
Leveraging BigCommerce’s powerful APIs.
Turning to Rusty Monkey, a creative agency based in Nottingham, Rohan found the ideal partner to help launch its new site on BigCommerce. Having previously done all of its development in-house, Rohan was able to confidently share the load with Rusty Monkey, knowing that the agency was on their side.
“Rusty Monkey enabled us to have a happy medium where there was a clear definition of who was responsible for what,” said Michael. “We were involved in a lot of the data integration, because that’s the area we know best. Whereas the more visual, customer-centric side we were happy to give to Rusty Monkey, because that's their area of expertise. It became a real collaboration on making that end-to-end work.”
And with its new site on BigCommerce, Rohan found the openness, speed, and flexibility to tailor its shopping experience specifically to its audience.
“One of the things that drew us toward BigCommerce was how open it was with its APIs,” said Michael. “We were able to get test versions of our website up and running without interacting with anyone, even a salesperson.”
As a result, the team is able to quickly make updates to the site, without being bogged down by legacy systems. Whether they’re adding or removing products, updating content, or integrating new features, the team can make site changes within seconds — a major improvement from its bespoke website.
“For me and the ecommerce team, it's the things that we can suddenly do that we couldn't do before,” said Jane. “In the long term, my team is going to have actual time to optimize a website rather than just constantly churning out admin.”
Launching a custom pickup experience on BigCommerce.
In its migration to BigCommerce, Rohan, supported by Rusty Monkey, decided to launch a custom Click and Collect — also referred to as Buy Online, Pick Up in Store (BOPIS) — experience. Using BigCommerce APIs, Rohan wanted to create a BOPIS integration that was specific to its checkout experience.
“I think we're one of the first companies in the country to get BOPIS working on the One-Page Checkout on BigCommerce, and Rohan wanted a very specific type of integration,” explained Matt Burton, Creative Director at Rusty Monkey.
With a shop locator and “Delivery to Store” information displayed on its home page, Rohan makes it simple for customers to navigate the BOPIS process. The shop locator map lays out the nearest shops based on your zip code or city, as well as shop details, directions, contact information, and open hours. In addition, the delivery information page clearly details each step in the pickup process, including typical wait times, pricing, and any necessary information needed during pickup.
Customer Success Manager
Implementation Project Manager
“For me and the ecommerce team, it's the things that we can suddenly do that we couldn't do before. In the long term, my team is going to have actual time to optimize a website rather than just constantly churning out admin.”
Jane coulthard ecommerce sales and marketing, rohan
“From an IT perspective, the project has allowed us to step back slightly from worrying about day-to-day ecommerce trading, because before, we were handling every element of the technology stack. Launching on BigCommerce has allowed the ecommerce department to focus on what they should be focusing on: selling.”
MICHAEL GRAY HEAD OF IT, ROHAN
A strong partnership. A successful launch.
While the brand itself may be over 50 years old, Rohan’s new website is far from outdated. With the support of Rusty Monkey and BigCommerce, Rohan achieved a successful migration and redesign of its site — an update that Jane said was “long overdue.”
“From an IT perspective, the project has allowed us to step back slightly from worrying about day-to-day ecommerce trading, because before, we were handling every element of the technology stack,” explained Michael. “Launching on BigCommerce has allowed the ecommerce department to focus on what they should be focusing on: selling.”
According to Matt, the ultimate success of the project was the strong partnership between Rohan, Rusty Monkey, and BigCommerce. While the migration was under a tight deadline, having the right people for the job made it all the more seamless.
“Getting the project delivered in that time scale was always going to be a challenge, and there's no way Rusty Monkey could have done that on our own,” said Matt. “It was only through the amazing reactive work of Rohan and BigCommerce.”
Since making the switch to BigCommerce, Rohan has seen a 1,218% increase in conversions, a 28% increase in engagement rate, and a 77% increase in engagement sessions per user.
“Getting the project delivered in that time scale was always going to be a challenge, and there's no way Rusty Monkey could have done that on our own. It was only through the amazing reactive work of Rohan and BigCommerce.”
matt burton creative director, rusty monkey
Engaging existing customers and reaching new ones.
So what’s next for Rohan? According to Alex, it’s all about continuing to engage with loyal customers and adapting to acquire new ones.
“We know for sure that some customers have been shopping with us for the last 30 years at least, but I think it's going to be looking at how we engage and acquire the new Rohan customer,” said Alex.
Ultimately, the goal for Rohan is to continue growing with its audience, wherever it takes them.
Published: November 2023
“We know for sure that some customers have been shopping with us for the last 30 years at least, but I think it's going to be looking at how we engage and acquire the new Rohan customer.”
Alex rose head of brand, rohan
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