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BigCommerce Puts Rock Bottom Golf in the Zone


22%27%16%
increase in
AOV
increase in
new users
increase in site visits



Performance metrics compare January 1-November 30, 2019 to January 1-November 30, 2020.


Diving for Dollars

There are those adventurous types who like to go deep water diving to search for hidden treasures. Some dive for precious jewels and others for ancient coins. And then there are those, like Tom Rath, who go to unknown depths to recover the ever elusive golf ball.

It may sound funny, but early in Tom’s life he recognized the value of these golf course pearls. As a youth, he turned diving for golf balls into diving for dollars. He would clean them up to sell on eBay and to local golfers. As the years passed he began selling golf clubs on eBay as well. Somewhere in the middle of it all a business was born. You see, Tom Rath is the Founder and CEO of Rock Bottom Golf.

First Tee

As told by Brian Schwank, Director of Marketing, Rock Bottom Golf.

Selling on eBay is where things began for Rock Bottom Golf. It was eBay only for the first couple of years and then we launched a website on Yahoo Stores. After that, we built an integration for Amazon and started selling there as well. That’s pretty much how we got our start.

We stayed on Yahoo for a long time. It was stable and did what we needed it to do, except for one important thing and that was to scale with us. At the time our business model was very much discount- and outlet-focused, but we outgrew the platform’s capabilities and features and that led us to search for a new platform.


Moving Beyond the Hackers

As told by Brian Schwank, Director of Marketing, Rock Bottom Golf.

In addition to BigCommerce, we looked at Shopify, Demandware and Magento. Shopify wasn’t a good fit because BigCommerce had better integrations with our key partners at the time. Demandware was too expensive and Magento lacked ease of use and had the potential to become expensive very quickly. With Magento it just seemed like we would need two or three in-house developers just to manage the platform.

On the other hand, BigCommerce opened the door to possibilities for us. We came onboard about the time BigCommerce released its Stencil theme, which was a big attraction for us. The platform [BigCommerce] proved to be a big step up from Yahoo. It offered better promotions and an easier way to manage the catalogue and the website in general. It was when we migrated to BigCommerce that we started to add a bit more complexity to our website.

“It was when we migrated to BigCommerce that we started to add a bit more complexity to our website.”

Brian Schwank, Rock Bottom Golf, Director of Marketing.


Hitting a Hole in One

As told by Brian Schwank, Director of Marketing, Rock Bottom Golf.

We’ve been on BigCommerce since 2015. For the first few years we just took advantage of features that were natively built into BigCommerce. Now we’re more about integrating apps and even building our own through the open API to enhance our product offering through personalisation and customisation.

For instance, since we launched on BigCommerce, customers have been able to personalise their golf balls and even customise club sets right online and checkout with them. Kevin, our Chief Technology Officer, worked a lot on the Cash for Clubs trade-in functionality and I know that's integrated into BigCommerce.

As told by Brian Schwank, Director of Marketing, Rock Bottom Golf.

Being able to use the API for various integrations that we have with other third-party systems and our own internal apps has been a huge plus for us. The openness of the platform has given us new avenues and new revenue channels.

“Now we’re more about integrating apps and even building our own through the open API to enhance our product offering through personalisation and customisation.”Brian Schwank, Rock Bottom Golf, Director of Marketing Manager



“The openness of the platform has given us new avenues and new revenue channels.”Kevin Reester, Rock Bottom Golf, Chief Technology Officer
The platform [BigCommerce] proved to be a big step up from Yahoo. It offered better promotions and an easier way to manage the catalogue and the website in general.Brian Schwank, Rock Bottom Golf, Director of Marketing
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Meet the Team that’s on the Green

As told by Brian Schwank, Director of Marketing, Rock Bottom Golf.

One of the top apps we’re using right now is ShipperHQ. It’s been a huge help by allowing us to modify our shipping rates exactly how we need to. Another is our loyalty and rewards program built by Practical Data. It allows customers to earn points on purchases and leave product reviews.

Our Cash for Club program is run by an easy little app where a customer can choose what club to trade-in, add it to the cart and from there it's just like a normal checkout process. We've actually put some new marketing efforts around it where we guarantee the best price and quicker payment. From time to time we'll give a bonus when a customer selects store credit over a cash payout, which sends even more traffic to our website.


As told by Kevin Reester, Chief Technology Officer, Rock Bottom Golf.

Also, we’re using Avalara to automate our sales tax processing and Braintree as our payment processor. Braintree allows us to bring fraud detection tools online. This is a huge benefit for our service team because they used to do all of the fraud checks manually. So having that in our suite of tools has been a great benefit on the customer service side.

Our website is the biggest marketplace for us followed by Amazon and eBay. We have a big social presence out there. And of course, when you talk about Google Shopping or Google AdWords, we do all that as well as display advertising and retargeting. Also, during certain times in the year, affiliate and newsletter marketing is huge for us.


Advancing Our “A” Game

As told by Brian Schwank, Director of Marketing, Rock Bottom Golf.

Moving forward Rock Bottom Golf is focused on customisation and bringing more of the different areas of our websites together so they sync better. Earning rewards points on trade-ins and golf bag personalisation are a couple of ideas we will continue to expand on.

We’ll be looking to implement innovative strategies to increase average order on purchases and getting the most from our current, and potentially future, Golf Channel television commercials.

I know I mentioned earlier, we were kind of the discount guys growing up and the discount website for golf. And now, that kind of inventory is just not available anymore. So having a trade-in where we can take in pre-owned equipment and put that through the process of shining it up, restoring it and then reselling it, is what I see as our discount merchandise these days.

Being on BigCommerce, an open SaaS, open API platform, which enables us to build our own apps, have an online trade-in program, the ability to personalise golf balls and customise clubs, has and will be great for us in the years to come.

“Our website is the biggest marketplace for us followed by Amazon and eBay.”Kevin Reester, Rock Bottom Golf, Chief Technology Officer Manager

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