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Toronto eCommerce Event June 2015 – Recap

Toronto, ON – Canada  // June 18, 2015

On June 16th, 2015, along with our partners; Bigcommerce, Nextopia Software Corporation, and Jackson Wynne Brand Consultants, we hosted a joint-case study presentation and social mixer event.  It was held at the Brassaii, in trendy King West district of Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

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Photo Credit: Emily Kuske – Nextopia Software

The theme for the evening was: Learn how a SaaS platform performs on the Enterprise stage.  One delegate from each respective partner organization provided a brief overview of its teams involvement in transforming a previously flat online business into an incredible success story.  The group spoke to an attentive audience of; clients, valued partners & local eCommerce enthusiasts alike.

The case study involved one of our beloved mutual clients, a legendary retail brick and mortar music store founded in 1958 in Washington, DC:  Chuck Levin’s Washington Music Center.   A single store that had become the largest independently owned retail music establishment in the United States, largely on account of its reputation for exceptional customer service and dedication to helping musicians attain exactly the right equipment for the right price.

With the advent of Internet technology, while the retail store itself enjoyed healthy annual sales, its online channel (www.chucklevins.com) was greatly suffering from a wholesale under-investment in design and technology.  The site was hosted atop an antiquated eCommerce platform and had a poor aesthetic, it performed slowly and was difficult to navigate.  What’s more, low consumer shopping confidence hindered checkout conversions and created (at best) a very poor product look-book experience, contributing very little to in-store sales as well.

Not only did consumers not want to shop online via the previous website, they weren’t much compelled to come into the store on account of it either.

In 2014, Jasper Studios was engaged to provide a cohesive, end to end solution to increase sales conversions and boost consumer shopping confidence.  This endeavour required the help of some of our amazing partners (listed below), whose contributions were essential in the development of a robust enterprise solution for Chuck’s new online store.

 

Bigcommerce Enterprise

After having undergone a full diligence in testing its API for merchant-ability by prototyping and connecting our PIM [product information management] system to it, we elected Bigcommerce as our best-of-breed SaaS platform of choice and it was the backbone to the entire enterprise offering.

The differentiating factors of Bigcommerce for us was; a quality, responsive, technically adept support team, a commitment to an impressive 99.999% of uptime SLA (service level agreement) and a fast and robust product API for enterprise integration purposes.  In short, Bigcommerce was always up, it was responsive, and functioned as designed seamlessly throughout its first critical months of launch (just prior to Black Friday/Cyber Monday, 2014).

Bigcommerce also fulfilled the need for us to connect a legacy ERP system (i.e. Inventory Management and Accounting platform) to our product management tool allowing us to utilize a sophisticated publication engine that powers the automated creation of products to the new ChuckLevins.com storefront.

Jackson Wynne Brand Consultants (www.jacksonwynne.com)

Our strategic design partner of record, Jackson Wynne, rose to the challenge in taking this dynastic, legendary, and time honoured brand for Chuck Levin’s and modernized its identity while paying respectful homage to a very near-and-dear sentiment amongst key stakeholders, many of whom have been there for decades.

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As Chuck’s is an established, family owned organization, and its founder Chuck Levin was a reverend gentleman loved by any and all whom he encountered, coming up with a suitable icon to meet everyone’s acceptance was no trivial feat.

Jackson Wynne is credited not only with producing a gorgeous responsive theme in Bigcommerce and executing a clean and highly usable new online shopping experience, but also with producing related quality print collateral (i.e. business cards, t-shirts, letterhead, stickers. etc) and generating a creative brand guide that provided direction for the Chuck Levin’s internal design team.

Nextopia Software Corporation (www.nextopia.com)

An incredibly talented and passionate Canadian company, Nextopia proudly powers the product grid and site search capability for ChuckLevins.com.  It’s an invaluable tool in our arsenal for bringing world class enterprise solutions to clients.

What makes their service so reliable is a robust, tried-and-true technology platform with an uptime performance record that’s second to none. For enterprise clients, partner up time and performance integrity are essential to creating a reliable solution and keeping customers shopping with confidence.

Nextopia’s advanced faceting and auto complete search capability allows customers to find products quickly and intuitively, which was essential in helping increase sales conversion by a factor of 500% in just a few short months after launch.

Nextopia supplements the built in product faceting and search auto-complete capability of Bigcommerce and is therefore a highly recommended enhancement to the platform.


Ortery Technologies (www.ortery.com)

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As our proud HD and 360° product photography partner, Ortery Technologies has been working with Jasper Studios since 2012 and has supplied equipment to our clients that has been running for years without fail.  In a record case, producing more than 14,000 quality HD product photos and 3D panoramic views on a single piece of equipment.

Ortery provides a range of product photography solutions to suit many needs and its equipment is robust, works effortlessly and is easy to train staff on how to operate and maintain.

Ortery was elected to power photo automation for Chuck Levin’s, bringing rich media and adding excitement to their product catalog.

 

The results speak for themselves.

Having a grid powered by Nextopia with lightning fast keyword searches, backed by Bigcommerce’s solid SaaS commerce platform filled with gorgeous & consistent product imagery transformed the old and under-performing online channel into a thriving new business.  In just three short months after its launch, the new online store realized a 5x increase in conversions and began trending towards a 3x projected annual increase in gross sales.

Our engineering team was able to bring a respectable, enterprise solution to market (not including prototyping time) through Bigcommerce in only 6 short weeks, easily the fastest integration time we’d ever encountered with any other commerce platform.

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With the blending of these amazing partnerships, consumer shopping confidence was effectively restored.  Not only could customers now readily find what they were after, they also now had the confidence to shop online and the new high quality imagery and robust search capability was absolutely critical in helping them make noteable in-store sales as well.

Folks would phone into the store at Chuck Levin’s and comment to sales staff about how they saw a beautiful new Paul Reed Smith electric guitar on the website in full panoramic detail for example, and indicated that they wanted to come into the store to try it out.  Ultimately this increased look-booking through the new website and has now resulted in increased in-store retail sales as well.

The key to our success was the election of amazing partners, and that said, I’d like to publicly acknowledge each of them listed here.  After getting to know many of the executives and account team members from each organization, I can confidently praise them all for having an; amazing corporate culture, an excellent approach and attitude towards customer service, in being graceful and classy and utterly refreshing to work with, despite any challenge encountered and any deadline presented.

Thanks to the event organizers, our partners, clients & all attendees for making this mixer a great success!

We sincerely hope you enjoyed the evening, were inspired by the success of this case study, and we look forward to any feedback about your experience at the event.

We’d love to hear from you!  Cheers!  ^_^

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 Photo Credit: Emily Kuske – Nextopia Software