CEO Sharon Price John says Build-A-Bear’s old e-commerce system is a big reason for disappointing online sales in December.
Retailers seek value when shopping for a new e-commerce platform, according to the first-ever Internet Retailer Quintessential Guide to E-Commerce Platforms, but most say they go over budget when implementing a new website. Find out how Mad Dogg Athletics avoided this pitfall.
Value for the price is a top priority in an e-commerce platform, cited by 59% of respondents, in an Internet Retailer-exclusive survey of nearly 100 e-retailers featured in the first Internet Retailer Quintessential Guide to E-Commerce Platforms. However, most retailers also said they went over budget with their most recent e-commerce site. 51% said it cost “somewhat more” than estimated and 19% said their last platform cost “a great deal more” than estimated.
But Mad Dogg Athletics avoided those potential pitfalls and actually saved money when it switched recently to SaaS e-commerce platform BigCommerce Pty. Ltd., says Stuart Guest-Smith, vice president of digital and strategy for the retailer, which sells spinning, Pilates and other fitness gear, equipment and instruction materials via Spinning.com, CrossCore.com and PeakPilates.com. Mad Dogg late last year moved to BigCommerce from a 6-year-old on-premise system. That system was costly to maintain, in part because of previous custom projects that added new features, and adding services was expensive and time consuming, Guest-Smith says.
After making the switch, Mad Dogg’s sites posted a 50% reduction in bounce rate, he says.
The new sites also whittled the checkout process to about four steps from nine, he says. But perhaps the biggest payoff for Guest-Smith is the reduced cost to maintain Mad Dogg’s sites. The retailer nearly halved its infrastructure fees, cutting the cost to run its sites by about 48%, he says.
“Before, just to add a coupon code would require the work of two to three overseas developers,” Guest-Smith says. “Now it takes minutes and is handled by our marketing team. Before if we wanted to make a change to our shopping cart it took days. Now it takes five minutes.”
BigCommerce’s storefront editor tool also lets retailers change the look of their sites without coding. Also, developers can use BigCommerce to create custom online stores using HTML, CSS or other popular code libraries, BigCommerce CEO Brent Bellm says.
“We wanted to be able to add flash sales and deals of the day and with our old site, we just didn’t have the capability to do that,” Guest-Smith says. “Now we can be agile to meet the needs of the consumer.”
Guest-Smith says it took about six months to launch the sites, which Mad Dogg made a priority to get up and running before 2017. Mad Dogg considered about eight SaaS platforms over two months and chose BigCommerce in part because it could support several languages and currencies, Guest-Smith says. The retailer offers its sites in 13 languages, including Spanish and German.
In the Internet Retailer 2016 Top 1000, nine retailers use BigCommerce as their e-commerce platform provider. Retailers include Our Pampered Home (No. 588), apparel site Nine Line Apparel (No. 849) and Champions On Display (No. 991).
More details on Mad Dogg’s new platform, as well as in-depth interviews with technology providers, experts and other merchants that have recently switched platforms, are available in the Internet Retailer Quintessential Guide to E-Commerce Platforms.
Also included in the $199 report are the following:
- Detailed profiles of the Top 10 e-commerce platform companies powering the country’s leading retail websites
- A directory of 50 North American-based platform vendors
- In-depth analysis article on current trends in platform technology
- Exclusive survey results of e-retailers’ platform spending plans
- Five must-have features for a competitive e-commerce platform
- A list of the Top 500 merchants’ current platform partners
- Tips on how to vet your next platform provider