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increase in orders
increase in site visits
increase in revenue
Performance metrics compare April 2022 through July 2022.
Sam McGee and his team at Green Egg Design had been creating branded drinkware for Hard Rock Cafe’s outside casino in Las Vegas, but when the Hartford Yard Goats, a minor league baseball team, opened shop just outside of his Hartford, Conn., office, he got a new inspiration that led to an entirely new business - one that has become a huge hit throughout the baseball world.
“So I thought about it and did some research. What I learned is that the baseball park seats about 8,000 people, and everybody is drinking, 48% drink beer, and the other 42% are drinking non-alcoholic beverages,” said Sam McGee, president of The Beer Bat.
Sam landed a meeting with the team’s owner, pitched the concept of a uniquely shaped souvenir cup and went back later with 32 concepts for the owner’s consideration. Quite naturally, the hollowed-out baseball bat option was selected, and that’s how The Beer Bat, a branded drinkware company built on customization and creativity, got started.
WooCommerce strikes out
The company went from producing a bat-shaped souvenir drink container for one minor league baseball team to receiving orders from 27 Minor League Baseball teams across the country. In 2021 they added several Major League Baseball teams including the Atlanta Braves and San Diego Padres. In 2022, the company added more MLB teams and expanded internationally as well as in Canada, Mexico, Japan and South Korea.
As demand for The Beer Bat increased so did the need for a scalable, user-friendly platform because the company outgrew its first ecommerce provider, WooCommerce. “Not only did we outgrow the platform, we didn’t like that a developer was needed to build out our functionality. We didn’t need a developer, per se, we needed a solution that was easy to set up and delivered speed,” Sam said.
“Things were different with BigCommerce. In our first interview you all had some ideas for us, presented the platform and walked us through it."
BigCommerce knocks it out the park
“An out-of-the-box experience to launch as soon as possible was key for us. A fast, reliable platform capable of supporting both B2B and B2C commerce was what we were looking for and found in BigCommerce,” said Derrick Johnson, operations manager at The Beer Bat. “BigCommerce provided us with an easy and well documented setup experience to enable us to soft-launch in less than two months, as well as the features needed to support our future growth in any direction.”
BigCommerce outshined Magento, Salesforce Commerce Cloud, Shopify Plus, Dynamics and Opencart. And not only did the platform impress, so did the people.
“Things were different with BigCommerce. In our first interview you all had some ideas for us, presented the platform and walked us through it. BigCommerce gave us a more realistic view for a company our size, knowing that the numbers were there and we had the potential to grow into a multi-million-dollar company rather quickly,” said Sam.
The Beer Bat runs a pretty lean business. There aren’t hundreds of employees making products, fulfilling orders or answering sales calls. Less than a dozen employees make up The Beer Bat team, which provides even more reason to operate its business on a platform that makes it easy to integrate apps that help streamline, extend and scale growth.
One such app is BundleB2B, which provides next-level B2B functionality to better simplify The Beer Bat’s customer ordering process and streamline operations. “By going into the portal customers can point, click, customize and ship their orders. There’s no figuring out pricing over the phone with an account executive. Customers access the portal and all the information is there. It designs their bats, which builds their pricing and gives them the shipping quote,” Sam said. “A phone call should be a celebration or it's on fire. Anything else, just goes through the portal. Today, I don't hear from anybody anymore. I just watch the portal. I can't tell you enough how scalable it is.”
Operating in countries like Japan, Mexico and South Korea brings the need for translation to the forefront. The app Weglot Translate provides The Beer Bat with multi-language functionality to translate the content of its BigCommerce website to the countries it sells in, thus increasing sales and reaching new customers.
The Beer Bat enhances its customers’ shopping experience with its use of Doogma. This app adds interactive product customization and personalization into its BigCommerce website. Before placing their orders, customers can visualize their custom artwork or logos, different colors, fonts and views of products without leaving the site.
“An out-of-the-box experience to launch as soon as possible was key for us. A fast, reliable platform capable of supporting both B2B and B2C commerce was what we were looking for and found in BigCommerce.”
"It's in your name. You call yourselves BigCommerce. You make a small company like us look super big."
Playing in the big leagues
For The Beer Bat, switching to BigCommerce was a decision to switch to greater growth and revenue on an international scale. Our out-of-the-box tools and features, coupled with vetted, ready-to-integrate apps are helping a small and lean company build enduring strength to power through the 9th inning stretch to celebrate winning and a game well played.
“It’s in your name. You call yourselves BigCommerce. You make a small company like us look super big,” said Sam.
The Beer Bat is big in the names of the MLB teams and MiLB stadiums that order from the company, and big in the numbers as well. From the start of the baseball season in April through July 2022, the company experienced a 115% increase in revenue, a 98% increase in site visits and a 71% increase in orders, all while on the BigCommerce platform.
Growing the team
Focusing on the expansion of its B2C efforts to support its newly acquired MLB license to sell direct to consumers is top of mind for the company right now. However, The Beer Bat has some interesting plans up its sleeve related to adding a new sport to its stable of offerings. BigCommerce can’t wait to learn more about those plans and work with The Beer Bat to make this new endeavor another ecommerce success story.
Published: September 2022