B-Wear Sportswear Finds Ecommerce Fit with BigCommerce

B-Wear Sportswear

Getting Active with Ecommerce

Having over 400 embroidery heads, 8 automatic screen print presses, a 240,000 square-foot facility, and more than 300 employees, 5B’s Inc., an embroidery and screenprint company, had everything it needed to step into the traditional retail space. With the launch of B-Wear Sportswear, 5B’s added another stitch to expand the fabric of its business. B-Wear Sportswear provides a fun and practical clothing for people and pets alike.

B-Wear Sportswear

Prior to 2018, B-Wear had never done anything online. At that time, the company had no eCommerce presence, only small brick-and-mortar stores in two Ohio cities: Zanesville and Newark. While the retail stores did very well, Shane Biles, marketing manager at B-Wear, witnessed the rapid growth of eCommerce and felt it could expand B-Wear’s reach. He realized the potential of B-Wear to be successful online and decided that rolling out an online store was a great opportunity before establishing 10 more brick-and-mortar stores. With that decision made, Shane began the search for the perfect platform.

Though he didn’t know it at the time, the decision to invest online would prove to be a godsend amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.

Big Commerce, the Best Platform to Suit B-Wear’s Needs

As told to BigCommerce by Shane Biles, B-Wear Sportswear Marketing Manager.

I did a lot of research, weighing pros and cons of popular platforms and looking for some of the big players in the industry. I had many onboarding calls and initial conversations with three or four different companies, including Shopify and WooCommerce. Price is always an important factor to consider, and BigCommerce offered a fair price. We also felt that BigCommerce offered good out-of-the-box credit card processing options—and the fact that there were no transactional per order fees was a big plus. 

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In thinking about what kind of ecommerce platform would best suit our business, I wanted something that was visually appealing and user-friendly from the customers’ point of view as well as internally. I really liked BigCommerce’s back-end operational view of things—how it works and how it’s laid out. It’s modern and easy to navigate while still offering a lot of options to grow into. It felt sophisticated, yet didn’t threaten to overwhelm some of our less experienced employees.

We found essentially all of the things we were initially looking for in BigCommerce. Ecommerce was a new endeavor for us, and BigCommerce helped make the transition as smooth as possible.

We were confident that BigCommerce wasn’t a platform we would need to change in two or three years. We went into this with very lofty goals to hit some high revenue markers. Even though the first year was a fraction of what we’ll do this year, it just goes to show that things were working perfectly then, and we’ve since continued to expand and grow. BigCommerce was and is still a phenomenal partner for all of these reasons and more.

Sophisticated Integrations For a Unique Customer Experience

As told to BigCommerce by Shane Biles, B-Wear Sportswear Marketing Manager.

We want to have a place where customers can chat with customer service representatives at a moment’s notice, so we’ve been using the live chat feature for quite a while. That’s something we keep on during work hours, as it helps speed up the purchasing process for customers and cuts down on the amount of email traffic and larger-scale customer service issues we receive. We also like that we can provide a simple and straightforward way for customers to interact with us, since our customer base is typically between 30 and 50 years old, and they’re not the most tech-savvy. 

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Sumo is what we use for the site entry popup. Since we’ve launched BigCommerce, our big site entry pitch has been “enter your email for a chance to win a free T-shirt.” Ever since we started our first full year in 2018, we’ve given away one free T-shirt every single day. In doing so, we’ve built an email list of over 200,000 people in basically two years.

We also use Trustpilot, which helps us harbor product and service reviews. Their widgets plug into our site nicely and can be easily found by customers, so it’s very convenient. Trustpilot has been impactful for us because it really shows legitimacy as a business—it’s helped us generate over 12,000 five-star reviews in about a year and a half. We’re actually rated overall a 4.9 out of five, making B-Wear the highest-rated activewear brand on Trustpilot.

Rapid Growth With Facebook Marketing

As told to BigCommerce by Shane Biles, B-Wear Sportswear Marketing Manager.

Our most profitable marketing channel is definitely Facebook, which is where the majority of our marketing budget goes. While it was fairly expensive to acquire customers initially, we front-loaded the customer base and put a lot of money into that initially. It’s been paying dividends now and has helped us grow at a rapid pace. I think it’s one of the big reasons we were able to double our growth from 2018 to 2019, and very likely will do so again this year.

We’ve put a lot of effort into the Facebook side of things. The fact that BigCommerce is on the cutting edge of the Facebook shop is something that we’re excited about implementing to make the purchasing process even more seamless. It flows right into BigCommerce and keeps the fulfillment side consistent.

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