965 Cd 2020 March Case Study Images Toolsaver Laptop Mt@2X

Toolsaver Brings B2B Experience Online With BigCommerce In Its Tech Toolkit

How a family-run hardware store successfully launched two B2C and B2B ecommerce stores and created a more efficient online shopping experience.


9.2%400%1,966%
conversion rateincrease in ordersincrease in site traffic


Metrics reflect online sales from May 2019–May 2020.


From A Small Hardware Shop, to Ebay, to Ecommerce

Noel Kegg spent years working for a hardware store on a small main street in Scotland; that is, until he opened up his own shop selling hardware, hand tools, and consumables in 1965. To grow his customer base, Noel regularly approached his previous employer's customers during his lunch break to see if he could supply them. As his small shop gained traction and acquired more customers, Noel took on more staff and moved to a new warehouse in the Scottish town Hamilton in 1970.

In 1990, Noel’s son Calum joined the business—and then became managing director when Noel retired in 2000. A few years into his new career, Calum began listing company products on eBay. Recognizing the value of ecommerce early on and seeing how lucrative selling online could be, Calum wanted to continue the practice separate from eBay, which charged commissions and fees on orders. Thus, Toolstop was launched in 2007 on Joomla and quickly grew in the UK market and then overseas.

At that same time, Toolstop had customers reselling its products, not to mention strong relationships with many of the main power tool suppliers including Makita, DeWalt, and Bosch. To appeal to those audiences, Toolstop launched the wholesale side of its business, which ended up growing at a faster rate than the original B2C site. The team then created a new brand, Toolsaver, to support its growing B2B audience.

At the time, B2B orders were being processed over the phone or by email, which was very manual and tedious. Neil Bruce, who had been the company’s ecommerce manager since 2006, had a vision for a unique B2B site built on a sophisticated platform. Towards the end of 2018, Neil was researching various ecommerce providers and was introduced to BigCommerce after speaking to a supplier he knew. The supplier had built an entire BigCommerce site himself, and it was performing remarkably well. With that in mind, Neil explored BigCommerce and built his own website while he had some downtime during Christmastime, exported Toolstop products onto it, and in a matter of days had a website that could easily begin transacting. He decided right then that BigCommerce was the ideal platform to launch the Toolsaver site.

Toolsaver Turns to BigCommerce After Toolstop Magento Blunder

As told to BigCommerce by Neil Bruce, Toolsaver Ecommerce Manager.

Our B2C site Toolstop was customized on Joomla with a developer agency we had been working with for a number of years. However, come 2016, it was getting too creaky and we felt we needed to re-platform. Many of the new sites the agency was building were on Magento, so we decided to go with Magento as well. Looking back, it was an extremely long process, initially in build for over a year and without a launch date in sight.

In the end, we moved to Space 48 who were able to complete the Magento build in six months. However, the limitations of Magento and the unnecessary complexities that arose from building within the platform and trying to match what we'd had in Joomla meant that a lot of functionality that supported how we worked wasn't possible. Those gaps meant that after we were live, we took a dip in organic traffic, direct traffic and revenue. Moving to Magento had meant too many compromises, and within a few months we decided it wasn’t the right platform for what we initially envisioned.

We wanted to be more in control of our site and bring in our own developers so that we weren't solely reliant on outside agencies, and BigCommerce offered us that opportunity. We worked out a plan with Space 48 whereby we collaboratively built the Toolstop site ensuring all along that we'd be able to support the platform, if necessary, in house. 

We decided that BigCommerce was the best platform for both the Toolstop and Toolsaver sites; it’s very user-friendly, easy to navigate within the admin panel, and—one of my favorite things about it—you can’t touch the core. On BigCommerce, you're working with scripts, plug-ins, and APIs, so you can't really break anything. That flexibility and security was one of the big factors that made us decide to build the Toolsaver site on BigCommerce.


“Transitioning Toolstop to BigCommerce and enabling them to manage the platform through their in-house team is something which Space 48 are extremely proud.”JAKE SMITH, OPERATIONS DIRECTOR, SPACE 48


Big Savings, Even Bigger Revenue

As told to BigCommerce by Neil Bruce, Toolsaver Ecommerce Manager.

With BigCommerce, we’re able to utilize a variety of tools and apps to make our store run smoothly. One of these is Skupal, a built-in-house product that is a PIM but also manages deals and promotions. We’re also able to use it for things outside of BigCommerce like producing posters for Toolsaver customers to put up in their store windows or on their walls. 

We also use dotdigital Engagement Cloud, which has quite a clean connection to BigCommerce. It enables us to automatically import contact, subscriber, product and order data into our account to boost our omnichannel marketing. The Engagement Cloud also helps us better target our customers with segmentation and set up automations, which streamlines our outreach. Another tool, StoreMapper, has been helpful for our customers to easily find their nearest Toolsaver depot. 

It’s incredible how much we’re able to do on BigCommerce at such a reasonable price point. We’ve really saved a fortune with development, license, and hosting costs. We’re continually improving on both savings and revenue every day, and much of that is due to the BigCommerce platform.

“On BigCommerce, you're working with scripts, plug-ins, and APIs, so you can't really break anything. That flexibility and security was one of the big factors that made us decide to build the Toolsaver site on BigCommerce.”Neil Bruce, Ecommerce Manager, Toolsaver
I think the most important element is that we are on the same platform for both sites. We’ve found that BigCommerce is highly flexible for both B2C and B2B, and this was the biggest reason we wanted both sites on the platform.Neil Bruce, Ecommerce Manager, Toolsaver
965 Cd 2020 March Case Study Images Toolsaver Tablet Mt@2X

Flexible Platform for B2C and B2B

As told to BigCommerce by Neil Bruce, Toolsaver Ecommerce Manager.

BigCommerce has fit nicely into our business model by supporting both our B2C and B2B efforts. I think the most important element is that we are on the same platform for both sites. We’ve found that BigCommerce is highly flexible for both B2C and B2B, and this was the biggest reason we wanted both sites on the platform. B2B with Toolsaver is the main growth area of our business at the moment, and BigCommerce makes it so simple for us to run a B2B site because it’s easy to customize things by using the APIs and the custom script functionality.


Powerful Results With the Help of BigCommerce

As told to BigCommerce by Neil Bruce, Toolsaver Ecommerce Manager.

The most exciting thing for me about the company is coming in and getting a buzz every day from seeing our sales numbers going up. Toolsaver has grown from zero this time last year to about $300K or so a month, and it’s been wonderful to witness this all come together. I'm constantly looking at metrics, and seeing that growth is really exciting for me. The Toolsaver site is performing very well, and we certainly could not have done it without BigCommerce.

“The Toolsaver site is performing very well, and we certainly could not have done it without BigCommerce.”Neil Bruce, Ecommerce Manager, Toolsaver

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