eCommerce Marketing

Courtenay Adams Posted by Courtenay Adams on September 26, 2018

Creating Effective, Custom & UX-Friendly Online Stores with BigCommerce

Creating Effective, Custom & UX-Friendly Online Stores with BigCommerce

As BigCommerce Elite-Tier Partners, We Never Have to Choose Between Design and Function When Building Best-in-Class eCommerce Websites

At efelle creative, we’ve been making eCommerce websites since 2005. We’re so nuts about helping our clients bring their products to market that we even developed, maintained, and supported our own custom eCommerce content management system for over a decade.

Over the last year, we’ve been completing more projects on dedicated eCommerce platforms like BigCommerce. We established an official relationship with BigCommerce at the end of 2016 and are currently Elite-tier partners.

More than 20 projects later, we’ve found it’s a match made in heaven. Care to know why we’re so stoked on our partnership with BigCommerce and why we transitioned away from building and maintaining our own eCommerce platform? Read on!

Why Do We Love BigCommerce? Let Us Count the Ways

1. Custom Everything

While many eCommerce platforms will let you customize elements here and there, BigCommerce gives our team free rein on designing and developing fully custom websites that are appropriate and unique to each and every eCommerce client we bring on board.

What’s our secret?

We use BigCommerce to power the eCommerce portion of our stores, building category and product pages directly onto its platform. As for the rest of the website pages—from the homepage to about pages to utility pages and more—we build these on our own proprietary content management system, FusionCMS. Fusion allows us infinite customization and was designed to be more user friendly than competing platforms on the market.

We employ reverse proxies to connect everything under the same banner, creating one seamless visitor experience; as the cherry on top, BigCommerce allows us to incorporate product imagery and information onto non-store pages of our websites via API. In other words, our designs can feature sophisticated calls to action and product spotlights anywhere on any page while our clients’ teams only have to update that product data once—in the BigCommerce backend.

We also have the flexibility to get extra creative with bonus features. As an example, for women’s golf wear company KINONA, we designed product detail descriptions to sit sticky on the right-hand side of the screen; the images to the left scroll up as the user scrolls down.

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The Lindsay Phillips Mix & Match page is even more fun; here users can build their own flip flops, with the left-hand image swapping out to reflect each exact strap and shoe choice as the user clicks through each swatch.

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And the BigCommerce customizations just keep getting better. Over the past few months, BigCommerce has been rolling out Checkout SDK, giving our design and development teams the chance to get granular even in the checkout area. You should also ask us about customizing the look and feel of customer communications sent from your BigCommerce store—we can get those dialed in for you, too.

Not having to compromise on either form or function? We’re here for that.

2. Best-in-Class Security

BigCommerce is PCI compliant—in other words, it conforms to some of the strictest security measures out there to protect the credit card data of all of its users.

The importance of security when it comes to eCommerce should go without saying, and yet competing systems like Magento continue to get targeted for security hacks due to known vulnerabilities in how the platform is deployed.

In addition to getting top marks in credit card security, BigCommerce also promises a 99.99% uptime, offers protection against DDoS attacks (wherein hackers attempt to flood servers with traffic and cause site downtime as a result), and continues to work with other organizations to investigate and make eCommerce shopping more secure than ever.

3. That Functionality, Though

BigCommerce is a powerful eCommerce engine with a stunning array of out-of-the-box features that blow the competition away. Some of our favorite features include custom abandoned cart recovery programs and the ability to implement a complex array of coupon codes and cart-level discounts—together, features like these can help kickstart even the most nascent of marketing programs.

In addition to its out-of-the-box functionality, the BigCommerce marketplace features hundreds of plugins and apps that can help make your business run more efficiently than ever. From credit card vaulting and subscription platforms like Rebillia to shipping management apps like ShipperHQ to analytics programs and POS integration options, BigCommerce’s toolbox has the potential to tackle pretty much any eCommerce-related task.

If you can dream it, BigCommerce will most likely allow you to do it.

4. A SaaS Platform that Works Hard so You Don’t Have To

BigCommerce is proud to be a leading SaaS—or software as a service—eCommerce platform. In other words, BigCommerce does the heavy lifting when it comes to building, maintaining, supporting, and hosting its eCommerce engine. All that’s left for our team is theme design, development, and customization—aka, the fun stuff.

Open-source solutions—like Magento—can be great if you have a large, dedicated team of developers on hand to own every line of your eCommerce code and manage your store’s servers. On the plus side, open-source systems are super flexible. But the price of this flexibility is clear: You’ll spend at least as much time and money—if not more—maintaining your eCommerce system as you will actually growing your business.

By delegating eCommerce platform development to the specialists, you get to focus on what you do best—running your business.

5. The Personal Connection

Over the past few years, our rep over at BigCommerce has gone out of her way to support our team and help answer any questions we’ve sent her way. She’s even crossed the country to meet with us on more than one occasion, and has made herself available via email, direct message, and phone call to ensure we have all the tools and info we need to move forward in providing our clients with a top-notch customer experience.

BigCommerce is also known for throwing a pretty awesome party—especially if you’re a marketing nerd (like our CEO Fred). Last June, we were invited to attend the exclusive BigCommerce Growth Summit in Chicago, IL. During this and other events that were a part of BigCommerce’s Internet Retailer Conference & Exhibition, our team learned a ton, reconnected with some our favorite BigCommerce teammates, and developed a number of new connections with BigCommerce partner organizations. Through these connections we’ve discovered even more applications, integrations, and opportunities to level up our eCommerce project deliveries.

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A Few Examples of a Partnership Gone Right (AKA Case Studies)

See Kai Run

SKR has been a long-time efelle client. After experiencing a huge amount of growth over the past several years, we knew we needed a new solution to address some of the footwear company’s emerging eCommerce-related growing pains. Enter BigCommerce.

We were able to design and develop a streamlined version of the SKR store in just a few month’s time. Transferring SKR’s impressive catalog of children’s shoes to a BigCommerce store was a breeze, and since the store launched on BigCommerce, SKR’s ascension in the children’s footwear realm has not only continued, the company has also started realizing the benefits of running a custom abandoned cart recovery program.

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Read the full case study here.

SODO Apparel

SODO is a popular men’s fitness wear brand based out of Seattle, WA. When we partnered up with them again in 2017, we decided to both revamp their design and give them an eCommerce platform upgrade. The redesigned site is not only loaded with stunning visuals, it offers an intuitive user journey throughout the store pages and a stellar glance into the quality of each and every SODO product.

The switch over to BigCommerce has helped the SODO team get better insights into customer behavior while also cranking up a number of their key performance indicators. We call this a perfect fit.

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Read the full case study here.

Kasala

Local home furnishings company Kasala decided to get in on the eCommerce game in 2018. Though they’ve always offered stellar customer service to in-store patrons, they wanted a way to better replicate that experience in the online realm. Our design team leveraged the UX-friendly categorization model offered in BigCommerce to design and build not only one store of Kasala, but two (they have an Outlet site in addition to their main brand site).

BigCommerce made it easy to replicate and tweak designs for both sites, and the improved KPIs reflect this.

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Read the full case study here.

What the Future Holds for Our eCommerce Service Offerings

Partnering with BigCommerce allows us to focus on what we do best: designing and developing stunning, high-functioning custom eCommerce websites.

As BigCommerce continues to hammer out amazing functionality, and as we make our own FusionCMS even more customizable and badass than ever before, we’ll continue to deliver projects that look good, work great, and make it easier for our clients to run their businesses.

Here’s a humble glimpse into the near future: We’re stepping up our processes for adding custom features to the BigCommerce checkout, improving BigCommerce/Fusion integrations, and increasing opportunities for leveraging the BigCommerce/Amazon connection with our dedicated eCommerce digital strategist team. We’re building strong partnerships to take advantage of all the SEO features BigCommerce has to offer and improving our recommendations for store reporting with game-changing analytics software like Glew. Finally, we’re growing our team to ensure we’re always offering our clients the very best in customer service; with a year and a half of BigCommerce experience under our belt, we’re rolling out fully custom projects faster than ever before and we ain’t stopping now.

tl;dr: There’s never been a better time to partner with our team to design and develop your company’s online store. Call us today at 206.384.4909 or reach out via our online contact form and let’s start making eCommerce magic.