Premier Hydro is a successful business in the hydroponics supply space. They are based out of suburban Detroit Michigan. The owner has been running a successful retail operation for over a decade and online sales for the last five years. The merchant has successfully developed a clientele of consumers and businesses. The retail store is located in a high traffic location and together with its online sales this is a successful regional omnichannel business. However the owner found that online sales were not growing as rapidly as retail even during the pandemic. His original online store was set up with Magento before Accorin became involved. After performing a routine technical audit of the basic configurations we worked with the merchant to identify ways we could make the site easier to use for the customers and easier to manage for the merchant. Our analysis pointed us in the direction of overall simplification. So in the case of Premier Hydro we felt that Magento Commerce (Cloud) was not the best fit.
Together we decided that given the simplicity of the business and the minimal number of price rules in the catalog, it would be best to move the merchant from Magento to BigCommerce. The merchant was not using nearly as many of the discrete features and functionalities that Magento offered and that were originally installed. As the business had grown it had become more simple with less reliance on different pricing features and different types of promotional functionalities. It was essentially a B2C business with a simple catalog and some customer-specific prices. Also, considering the variety of people and skills working on both retail and online we felt that a move to a SaaS platform with an simpler admin interface would be better. The migration only took 5-6 weeks during the holidays and the business is now beginning to grow. The merchant now also feels like they have control of the e-commerce operation. Here’s why:
BigCommerce is a SaaS Platform
The merchant does not need to worry about hosting infrastructure and security. The merchant does not need to worry about a roadmap for e-commerce development. The merchant doesn’t need to worry about performance. The operation is consistent and given the overall simplicity of the business, BigCommerce is a great match. That doesn’t mean that the merchant feels locked into simplicity, they know that with BigCommerce’s API-first architecture they have the flexibility to connect apps and 3rd party software easily if and when they need to add functionality in the future.
The business and the catalog are relatively simple. Although there are B2B buyers using the site with some specific purchasing needs the pricing rules related to those customers are simple and there isn’t a need for the more robust b2b features that come with Magento Commerce. If needed, simple rules relating to price tiers for B2B sales can be handled easily by BigCommerce. Premier Hydro can also implement Accorin’s Big Commerce app, Group Auto Assign, which would take care of a number of the quasi-B2B use cases that the merchant needs to solve for.
Easy to Use Admin within BigCommerce
The Magento admin interface is extremely powerful and has a lot of features but the merchant was using very few of them. The simplicity and usability of the BigCommerce admin interface allows a number of different employees with different skills who work both retail and online to make changes to the website as needed and to fulfill orders that come in with very basic training. BigCommerce may have fewer out of the box B2B features than Magento Commerce but for this merchant those are distant requirements in light of the simplicity the company currently needs in their operation.
Easy International Expansion
The business is located a few miles from Canada, so the merchant has sights set on cross-border growth – which is common in the border corridor of this part of Michigan. BigCommerce makes that easy — accepting payments globally from more than 65 payment gateways, including Amazon Pay, PayPal and Square, and support for international payment providers and native language support
Social Media-Driven Sales
Given its local nature, the merchant is planning to leverage social media to grow sales and since BigCommerce offers relatively easy integration of features that allow selling on social channels (Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, etc.), Premier Hydro plans on taking advantage of that very quickly. The “Omni Channel” channel management feature will also allow them to relatively easily integrate sales with marketplaces beyond Amazon, including Google Shopping and eBay.
The Bottom Line
BigCommerce is a great for a regional omnichannel company that is expanding beyond a retail presence but doesn’t have the resources, staff or budget to scale from $50K in online sales to $5mm overnight. They are growing using their existing team and given the simplicity of the business, BigCommerce is a great fit for this stage of expansion and growth – there is a lot that Premier Hydro no longer needs to worry about and that is going to help them achieve their goals. For this merchant the reason for the move from Magento to BigCommerce is captured in one word: simplicity.
At Accorin, we evaluate the needs of the company before recommending a platform. For Premier Hydro, after deep consideration of all the requirements, BigCommerce was by far the best solution.