|increase in site visits||increase in customers||increase in orders|
Performance metrics compare January-December 2020 to January-December 2019.
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The saying, “Go big or go home”, has no relevance to people like Martin and Nadine. They are about one thing when it comes to business — and that’s making everything Mega. It should be no surprise, then, that It’s a Mega Thing is the name they gave to their growing Australian-based ecommerce office supply company.
“When we say ‘It’s a Mega Thing' we are talking about more than just the products we sell. It also refers to the refreshing shopping experience we work hard to give our customers. From any device to any door, we are very much focused on delivering a ‘wow’ [experience] throughout the entire customer journey,” said Martin Bate, Director and Co-Owner of Mega Thing.
Martin is no stranger to this type of business as he worked in his parents’ office supplies stores while he pursued a nursing degree in college. After about five years working as a healthcare professional, Martin decided he wanted to pursue a different career path. That’s when his father told him of a little run down store that would be ideal for his first office supplies store. Then Martin’s father spoke 10 words to him that would change his life: “If you want to get into it, get into it.”
And get into it he did. In 2005, Martin opened a traditional brick and mortar store, and in 2006, had to open a new premise larger than where he was. Then, in 2009, he delved into the world of digital by launching his first online store on BigCommerce.
Martin enjoyed the ease of building an ecommerce store on BigCommerce, so much so that he built another one, and another one, and another one — until there were 17!
The need to consolidate
“I just started niching out different types of websites until we had 17 of them all on BigCommerce. And, that was the problem,” said Bate. “Managing 17 different control panels and trying to keep customers up to date just wasn't working.”
In 2017, Nadine had become a part of the operation, and she and Martin came to the consensus that something had to change to make things more manageable. The two set out to find a solution that would allow them to manage multiple stores from a single control panel.
Scaling back to grow big
“We said we're not going to handle all these control panels. We're going to handle just one and that is Mega. So now, since selling off the two brick-and-mortar stores, Mega Thing is a pure play online store,” Bate stated. “For the 17 online stores it was always BigCommerce. It remains BigCommerce even after we consolidated everything into three online stores all managed by Mega’s control panel.”
“I considered looking at Shopify, but I was like, ‘No, BigCommerce works and it's good.’ I like the fact that you can do what you want with products to present them or edit them. And, I love the integrations that are going on with the apps. It’s all good,” said Bate.
As for Nadine, she experienced the benefits of BigCommerce not only as a user, but also as a store customer. “As a customer of Mega Thing, I love the layout, the feel, the personalisation of the colors and the workflow through images, videos and text. I think it's a really nice feel,” said Nadine Harnack, CEO of Mega Thing. “From a user point of view, there's so many smart things behind the product page that really dominate other applications I’ve seen. It’s such a powerful tool. I have to say it’s my favorite too.”
A couple of apps and a native feature help to enhance the customer experience as well. B2B Ninja Quote (formerly Quote Ninja) allows customers to build professional quotes right from the website. Google Shopping by Sales & Orders enables merchants to easily configure and generate product data feeds for Google Shopping as well as automatically optimise Google Adwords campaigns directly within the BigCommerce control panel — saving merchants time, optimising ad spend and improving sales and conversion rates. Then there is BigCommerce's abandoned cart saver. This built-in feature sends emails to shoppers inviting them to purchase items they placed in their shopping carts but did not purchase.
Choosing Randem wasn’t random at all
Martin and Nadine both agree that BigCommerce makes things easier by being flexible and simple enough for them to do some site development work themselves. However, they leave the more complex work to Randem Group, the brand’s ecommerce consulting agency. Randem has been helping Mega Thing grow and enhance its site performance and functionality for more than seven years.
“You are only as strong as your team, and Randem makes Mega Thing stronger. We handle the easy stuff, but in terms of deploying communications through channels or electronic direct mail (EDM), the Randem team takes care of that for us,” said Bate.
Highlighted Apps & Integrations:
“I considered looking at Shopify, but I was like, ‘No, BigCommerce works and it's good.’ I like the fact that you can do what you want with products to present them or edit them. And, I love the integrations that are going on with the apps. It’s all good,”Martin Bate, Director and Co-Owner, Mega Thing
Putting it all on the platform
BigCommerce has and continues to provide a differentiated ecommerce experience, which has enabled Mega Thing to realise YoY (2020 to 2019) a 107% increase in site visits, a 62% increase in customers and a 58% increase in orders. These increases positioned the brand to realise a 55% increase in revenue for the same time period.
Mega Thing manages a lot of moving parts to keep its B2B, B2C and B2G (government) customers happy. BigCommerce’s flexibility, stability and performance helps to make the job easier by supporting the company’s promotional outreach activities.
“We create short product videos and upload them to the website. Our customers appreciate having the videos available to learn more about the products and how to use them. BigCommerce gives us the ability to do this in volume without the platform glitching or slowing down,” Harnack said. “BigCommerce is also helping us with promotions. We're doing joint ventures with other companies at the moment and BigCommerce made it a simple process to create coupon codes for these initiatives. It's a really nice feature the platform provides.”
“Also, in conjunction with BigCommerce’s abandoned cart feature, we’ve created quite a unique abandoned cart video, and we’re getting good recovery results because of it. From January 1 through September 30, 2021, we recovered 2,158 abandoned carts that brought in more than $455,000 in additional revenue.” said Bate. “My mantra in terms of online shopping is: Give the customer no reason at all to ask a question by having everything they need online, and make the process as simple as possible.”
And, before you move on, go ahead and watch Mega Thing’s abandoned cart video. It will put a smile on your face and a chuckle in your belly.
“BigCommerce is also helping us with promotions. We're doing joint ventures with other companies at the moment and BigCommerce made it a simple process to create coupon codes for these initiatives. It's a really nice feature the platform provides.”Nadine Harnack, CEO, Mega Thing
Keeping its eyes on the customer
Never wanting to lose the personal touch for a strictly digital one, Mega Thing will continue to celebrate its customers by spreading a bit of cheer and appreciation through its employees creatively decorating the packages they ship and including a personalised card and lollipops.
“We take photos of these packages before we ship them and share them on social media: Google Business, Facebook, Instagram, Tumbler, TikTok and LinkedIn,” Harnack said. “From an individual consumer to a business or government customer, this is our way of letting them know how much we appreciate their business.”
Going into the future, Mega Thing is also eyeing international expansion into Europe and/or the US. “We really want to test things out in bigger markets. I would love to do something in Europe because of Nadine's background, and the fact that she knows five different languages is a huge advantage for us,” Bate stated. “There's a great opportunity there to do that and also expand into the US. It would be a fun experience with the help of BigCommerce.”
“The brands we deal in, like 3M and Avery, are known worldwide so the awareness and the content for translation is already there. By providing more details and adding videos, we can present products in a much more consumer-friendly way — a Mega Thing way. BigCommerce is strong in the product merchandising space. That’s why I feel quite comfortable rolling this out in different countries on the platform,” Harnack added.
Published: November 2021
“BigCommerce is strong in the product merchandising space. That’s why I feel quite comfortable rolling this out in different countries on the platform.”Nadine Harnack, CEO, Mega Thing