Kelty Elevates its Success with BigCommerce


Digital Design Coordinator
  • 1952
    Year Founded
  • 48%
    Increase in Online Orders
  • 02
    Years with BigCommerce
  • 41%
    Lift in Conversion After 1 Year with BigCommerce

The Great Outdoors

Kelty was founded in the garage of Asher “Dick” Kelty in 1952. Dick, an avid outdoorsman, noticed there was a lack of functional backpacks that were also comfortable. To fix this problem, he created the first external frame backpack.

By using padded shoulder and waist straps, the backpack took weight off your shoulders and re-distributed it on your hips.

From those humble beginnings, his pack became a big success as word spread among hiking enthusiasts, helping spur on the hiking and backpacking craze around the country. Dick Kelty’s legacy of creating quality camping gear still lives on through his company.

Today, Kelty has a wide appeal and audience, serving both enthusiasts who’ve hiked their entire lives, as well as those who are just beginning to explore the outdoors.

“Kelty is very passionate about the outdoors and getting outside,” says Chloe Lewis, a visual designer for the brand. “We strive everyday to deliver great products to our customers so they can do the things they want to do. We love hearing stories that 50 years later our customers are still using our tents or backpacks and creating memories with friends and family outdoors.”

As a visual designer for Exxel Outdoors, the parent company of Kelty, Chloe is hands on with the day-to-day responsibilities of design and upkeep for their ten branded websites. Some of her responsibilities include updating product imagery, creating campaign assets, as well as promotion across all Exxel Outdoors brands.

“We’re constantly changing the content on our homepages and creating product selections based off of different guides or seasons,” says Chloe. “Kelty prides itself on making camping gear built to last at a reasonable price point.”


    Kelty packs were used on the first-ever ascent of the Western Ridge of Mt. Everest.

Navigating the Terrain of Ecommerce

However, handling that many successful brands under one roof comes with its own set of ecommerce challenges.

“With the high volume of products and work that is coming in from the specific brand teams, we are constantly working really fast to try and get things done quickly and efficiently.”

Each Kelty brand has its own website, DNA, and story. “Exxel Outdoors needed a platform that would cater to the specific needs of each brand, was user friendly and intuitive. BigCommerce was the answer,” says Chloe.

Exxel knew that it had many options at its disposal, but the company wanted to find the perfect platform that would best cater to the individual needs of not just one, but all of its distinct brands.

“BigCommerce was a really great cost-efficient way to do everything we needed to do on one platform — and also not skimp out on any of the features that we needed.”

Exxel Outdoors needed a platform that would cater to the specific needs of each brand…BigCommerce was the answer.

Chloe Lewis

Hiking to the Summit with BigCommerce

Each of the Exxel Outdoors brands have a distinct look and feel with complimentary photos, lifestyle content, and products. In addition, each brand has an dedicated website with different design needs for user experience, campaigns, and product pages. This presented an interesting set of problems for Chloe and her colleagues at Exxel, leading them to choose BigCommerce as their solution provider.

“Each site that we have is hosted in one place, which is super easy, on the BigCommerce platform,” says Chloe. “Each one has its own set of brand stories, and each has their own photos and lifestyles and videos. We’re able to really easily meet the brand’s needs, specifically what it need in their season for its prospective product lines.”

“With the BigCommerce platform, it is really easy to upload new products and update old products. We can quickly do a mass creation of new product pages. It’s super simple, time efficient, and makes the whole process efficient.”

Because of the challenges of managing multiple brand websites, it’s crucial that Chloe and her team of designers at Exxel be able to test new features without impacting what shoppers experience on any of their websites they are responsible for managing.

“As a designer, being able to have the option of a sandbox store to work on, that doesn’t actually affect your live store, and also be able to test on to make sure everything is working right before you take it to these huge audiences is crucial.”

With a small team in a fast-paced environment, BigCommerce helps Kelty stay efficient. And in the event Chloe’s team runs into any technical issues, the helpful and easy-to-reach support team immediately helps with their specific questions and needs.

“I really enjoy working with BigCommerce. It allows me to do things quickly which is important, especially in a small team and a fast moving environment.”

By handling the technical aspects of the Exxel websites, BigCommerce has enabled them to focus on what is important — keeping Dick Kelty’s mission alive by getting more people outside and enjoying the great outdoors.

BigCommerce and Kelty Make Adventure Big

Since being on BigCommerce, Kelty has seen double-digit growth in multiple categories, including a 43% increase in ecommerce revenue, 48% increase in transactions, and 41% improvement in cart conversion.

“No matter how big we get, BigCommerce is there to make it bigger. Knowing that BigCommerce has our back, it enables us to keep moving in the right direction. At Kelty, there is no limit to our growth with BigCommerce.”

By enabling Chloe’s team to operate at peak efficiency and focus of the important aspects of their brand, BigCommerce helped Kelty Make it Big.

No matter how big we get, BigCommerce is there to make it bigger.

Chloe Lewis