How Heist Went from Underwear Experts to Ecommerce Masterminds

It’s almost a crime to be this good at providing women with high-quality underwear — a feat Heist could not have achieved without the right ecommerce platform.

When your technology doesn’t suit your ambitions anymore

Heist stole our hearts back when they launched in 2015 with their ambition to put the comfort of women first. The UK-based company started with redesigning and selling tights online but quickly expanded by launching shapewear and underwear collections. Daniela Nardelli, their Digital Marketing Manager, said to us: “We design our products with a type of reverence that women deserve for something they wear next to their skin every single day.”

If this wasn’t enough to get us hooked, Heist also strives to provide their customers with a smart product investment that will last in the long term. And a smart, long-term investment is exactly what they had in mind when they decided to move to a platform that will support and adjust with their growing business needs.

“We had been doing our best to use our in-house, self-made platform, but we had outgrown it a long time ago, Daniela said. It was pretty impossible to get anything done, so we took a look at several platforms.”

Finding the right ecommerce platform

Once Heist decided to replatform, they had to take into consideration many elements specific to their business model. What they needed most was an easy-to-use platform — one that was easy enough for those who don’t have a web or product management background. A platform enabling true multi-currency product pricing was also non-negotiable to accommodate their large and highly engaged customer base across the US, Germany and the Nordics. Finally, support through replatforming and onboarding on the new solution was another key point in their decision-making process.

It was a mix of personnel research, trusted evaluations and network pieces of advice that led them to narrow the field down to BigCommerce, Shopify Plus and Magento. They eliminated the last quickly, as they would have had to manage the infrastructure the platform would run on, something incompatible with their need for a solution accessible to non-tech experts. So it ended in a face-off between Shopify Plus and Bigcommerce. They chose to partner with BigCommerce when they realised the flexible, easy-to-use platform matched all of their original requirements.

What Heist’s alliance with BigCommerce allowed them to achieve

One thing BigCommerce is proud of is how easy using our platform is. Since the shift, Daniela has been able to seamlessly pick up launching products, running promotions, building coupon codes, and the like pretty quickly. No more front-end developers on their team. Their designer — who has UI and UX experience — manages the front end job herself.

In addition, Heist now uses a few apps and integrations to help run their business much more smoothly. They choose Shogun for building and loading pages such as their FAQ so their designer can do it all herself without any sort of help from an agency or tech support.

InStockNotify allows them to save both time and sales when products are out of stock — a great enabler for customer engagement as it automatically sends emails to customers when inventory is replenished. So when their most popular product of 2020, The Bralette, was sold out, over 2,000 women signed up to be notified when it was back in stock.

Heist also uses Coupon Importer to easily create multiple coupon codes whenever affiliate partners require 500 upwards to 1,000 unique codes. For email marketing, they choose Klaviyo so they can build segments through the app based on actions in BigCommerce.
The BigCommerce platform also helped Heist face some of the challenges of last year. According to Daniela, “Since the start of the pandemic, we have run more promotions just to buoy us up a bit. It was something I hadn’t ever run point on before, but the fact that I was able to pick it up or ask our Enterprise Account Manager, Karolina, questions here and there made all the difference in the world. But for the most part, just to be able to get on with it and do it all myself quite easily, has been really powerful.”

Outstanding results now and for the future

Heist is a customer-centric brand, so it was essential for them that their clients feel recognised and important wherever they’re shopping. “Because BigCommerce enables us to offer a multi-currency option to our customers, we’ve seen increases in the conversion rates for both Germany, our largest European market, and the United States, our second-largest market,” says Daniela.

Overall, the platform seems to have met her expectations in a way that she can now focus on the next steps: “Where in the past we needed dedicated front and backend engineers to make any small change, we are hoping to move to a model where I can fully manage our site with the support of our designer and copy experts. I am excited to sink my teeth into Page Builder and continue to improve what is already a great site with the help of BigCommerce. It might seem odd for me to say this, but the ease BigCommerce has brought to our day to day operations and the impact it’s had on our team has, in my eye, outweighed the gains in revenue and traffic so far.”

This is a lot to say when metrics compared from June 2018–May 2019 (pre-BigCommerce) to June 2019-May 2020 (post-BigCommerce) are already so good with a 14.55% increase in organic/brand/direct search conversion rate and 12.3% increase in average order value (AOV).

No doubt Heist’s team is on in the right direction to become a one-of-kind leader within the underwear industry and BigCommerce is glad to be a trustful accomplice in their journey.

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Post Author: Adam Jacob

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