Shopify Plus


No bounce, no game.

Taking the Bouncewear feeling of urban basketball to an online platform. We focused on creating a UX concept that shows their premium products. We created a design that takes out all things unnecessary and focuses on conversion.

Performance issues in a custom e-commerce platform

The company needs the right resources to achieve such an ambition. That is where things went wrong in the past. The e-commerce platform used for online sales, a custom PHP solution, was not up to the challenges of Bouncewear. “Our market is much smaller than you might think at first glance,” explains brand manager Jeroen Bijnens, “yet, its reach is also far more international. For example, we sell a lot of limited editions and regularly hold a so-called ‘hyped sneaker release’. Music to the ears of sneakerheads, who do not want to miss out on such drops and are increasingly using sneaker bots to get their limited edition items. Whenever we organize such a raffle, we attract the attention of a lot of bots, which in turn puts the website under huge pressure. In the past, those high peak times invariably caused our website to crash. Resulting in no sales and a lot of dissatisfied customers.”

Those performance issues prompted Bouncewear to approach Radikal, the Antwerp Shopify agency. Radikal had previously completed a successful UX exercise and redesign for Bouncewear. Given Radikal’s expertise, shifting up a gear to a new, far-reaching collaboration was the obvious next step. “The previous collaboration with Karel and his team was very positive. We were a match at many levels. Since we knew early on that we wanted to switch to Shopify, it was only logical that we would work with Radikal again. We were already familiar with their working methods. More importantly, their references showed that they had all the expertise and experience to properly tackle our complex situation. In this respect, one of the challenges was the integration of the existing Becosoft POS system, for example. Since the Tomorrowland webshop uses the same software, we knew Radikal had experience with that too, because they created it.”

Flexibility and scalability with Shopify

It was therefore clear to Bouncewear, even before they contacted Radikal, that Shopify was the ideal online sales platform for them. Above all, the stable hosting during peak times and the flexibility and scalability of the system had won Bouncewear over. The company was also aware that a lot of technical expertise would be needed to make everything run smoothly. “That was our job,” says Karel Cardinaels of Radikal. “We didn’t have to convince Bouncewear of the benefits of Shopify.

We had to make it work. We had to help them move to the next level. From the outset, we knew that Bouncewear’s situation is complex and that we shouldn’t underestimate the project. The fact that we started from an existing webshop did mean that discovery tracks were unnecessary in our process. Everything was there and had to be recreated in Shopify. The biggest challenge was to align all systems. It required a lot of creativity and out-of-the-box thinking.”

Tailor-made for a multi-store environment


Achieving live synchronization of the stock was one of the big challenges in the Bouncewear project. The company does not have a central storage facility from which online orders are dispatched. Instead, all the items are shipped out of the various stores, which means that keeping stock data up-to-date is a major challenge in itself. Let alone also having to associate the correct shipping label with an online sale. “A complex system,” admits Karel. “We thought long and hard about ways to tackle this challenge. At first, we had to fully understand the cash register system that includes the inventory.

Only when we had mapped out all systems and visualized all flows could we work on a solution. We first explored the possibilities of Shopify, but soon realized that they were not sufficient. Not even in the Shopify Plus plan, which does offer a lot more perspectives. We therefore had to write a custom application to make Shopify work with Becosoft’s ERP system. Incidentally, the communication between the two systems had to run smoothly right away. How could we integrate existing orders and customers? How could we transfer the complex internal business logic to Shopify? How did we ensure that everything was ship shape immediately after launch?

The answer was simple: by working well together. We developed some of it independently, Becosoft did the same and adapted the existing ERP system to the needs of Shopify. And after much consultation and testing, we managed a perfect match.” Creating the shipping labels was also quite a challenge, because the native integration of Shopify turned out to be insufficient. Ultimately, Radikal wrote a custom link to the Sendcloud API. Shipping labels could be processed automatically as a result. Same thing for the gift voucher system: thanks to the custom gift card API, gift vouchers can be used in both the high street stores and online store.

Initially, a custom raffle app was created for the popular hype sales. Not so much to absorb the high visitor numbers – after all, Shopify is stable and can handle the large numbers of visitors effortlessly – but to manage the various campaigns and ensure that no one has to press the launch button at midnight. “The custom app is no longer needed,” says Cardinaels. “Bouncewear has since switched to Shopify Plus, which offers a lot more possibilities in terms of scheduling and automation. For Bouncewear, we now use Klaviyo, the leading e-mail marketing tool for Shopify Plus.”

Shopify Plus

From the outset in the project, it was clear that Bouncewear needed a platform that was as ambitious as their own plans. “All the more reasons to decide to choose Shopify: its flexibility, its scalability and stability. Yet, we needed that little bit extra,” Bijnens explains. “I also felt it was important for our platform not to be a shielded system. Personally, I have an IT background and, if necessary, I want to be able to tackle the Shopify syntax myself. Or at least have the opportunity to do so.” This is how Bouncewear became one of Radikal’s first Shopify Plus customers. “The possibilities are so much greater,” adds Cardinaels, “and a growing company like Bouncewear really needs that.

Shopify Plus offers more API bandwidth, more flexibility and greater scalability options. There are more possibilities when it comes to automation, more safeguards to prevent something from going wrong. And it is possible to write custom Shopify scripts, something that is important to us. This was necessary in order to translate Bouncewear’s complex business logic to the platform. We want to help Bouncewear grow and are proud of the role we have played in their current success.”

More visitors and growing turnover in spite of the pandemic


It is clear that, even during these disruptive COVID-19 times, the move to Shopify has been beneficial for Bouncewear. The new platform was launched at the beginning of August 2019 and almost all visitor and sales figures have increased since. “Actually, we shouldn’t look at the figures until next year, because the pandemic has thrown a spanner in the works just about everywhere. About 70% of our turnover comes from performance basketball. The lifestyle share of our sales is only 30%. This means that we are heavily dependent on the basketball season. Due to COVID-19, the games have been cancelled completely in many venues and at most levels. While the launch was planned in August on purpose – not a busy period for us because it’s basketball off-season – everything that came after was unexpected.

Like many other companies, the lockdown impacted us negatively, to say the least. Yet, our results since the launch have been very positive: 34% more pages have been visited on our website and the time visitors spend on our website is also increasing. The average time spent on page has increased by 95%. Not the best yardstick, I know, but still. More importantly, the page value has increased by 15%, and conversion has risen by 7%. It may not seem like much, but, given the context, it certainly is. I wonder what those results will be next year, when hopefully we will have a normal basketball season.”

Since the move to Shopify Plus Bouncewear has made a big step forward on the European market. Where initially 85% of the turnover was generated in Belgium, the foreign market became much more important. 30% of the turnover is coming from abroad. Online sales in Europe has risen by 50%. In France, Bouncewear saw sales rising with 60% in online numbers. This is partly because of our ambitious vision and a well-balanced marketing strategy, but without a doubt also the new way of working.

+ 50%
Online sales in EU

+ 60%
Online sales in FR

+ 7%
Conversie (ondanks Corona)

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