Enter the mid-market

Choosing the right platform is no small task. You might think a new commerce platform pops up every month or so (...and you may not be far off). We went from long list to short list and ultimately, after careful deliberation, we landed with BigCommerce as the e-commerce platform of choice.

BigCommerce will help us serve the mid-market segment with a pay-as-you-grow formula that heavily focuses on creating unique customer experiences. BigCommerce perfectly complements our composable strategy as it easily integrates with the tools we know inside and out, such as Algolia, Contentful, and others.

The Launch Event

To celebrate this new partnership we wanted to go beyond a regular announcement. So, we set out to spread the word in a more creative and fun way. A couple of brainstorming sessions later we decided the best idea was to plan an event supported by a web app created on top of BigCommerce.

What's the purpose?

  1. Launch the partnership internally and to the world

  2. Get familiar with the BigCommerce platform, its features, and APIs

  3. Integrate it with some of our favourite technologies

  4. Treat our colleagues to a little something, just because.

Design and ideation

We used Miro as a whiteboard for ideation and Figma to create an intuitive UI.

Eventually, we decided it would be a great idea to create a microsite/pop-up site in which our colleagues could order one of four free smoothie bowls. Once we all agreed on the solution and user experience, we started the development.

The backend

What better way of getting familiar with BigCommerce than actually working with it? BigCommerce offers well-documented GraphQL and REST APIs, purposely designed for headless commerce. We opted for the REST interface.

I'm starting to like these API's - Wesley, front-end enthousiast

We were impressed by the ease of setup in BigCommerce and were set up in no time. Even configuring the order status update e-mails was a breeze and immediately worked out of the box.

The frontend

Our preferred tech stack for frontend development includes Vercel for builds, deployments, and infrastructure/hosting, with Next.js as our chosen JavaScript framework. Since timeslots are not "a thing" in BigCommerce, we spun up a Supabase Postgres SQL database to manage the slots outside of BigCommerce. This is a pragmatic way of extending functionalities outside of the platform.

From start to finish

A few days into the development, we already had a functional skeleton: a user could view all smoothie bowls, select their bowl of choice, select a timeslot, and place an order into BigCommerce. A couple of iterations later and we improved the user experience, implemented extra validations, made the app secure, added a privacy disclaimer and some dietary guidance.

After dotting the i's on the app over the next couple of weeks, we even built an admin portal that allowed the smoothie bowl vendor to manage all incoming orders efficiently.

The event

Kicking off early in the morning, anyone lucky enough to be at the office found conveniently placed QR codes. Scanning the QR code triggered a redirect to the landing page. From there, a smoothie bowl could be selected, together with a timeslot between 10h00 and 15h00. In total 111 bowls were ordered, prepared, picked up, and enjoyed.

...It was my first smoothie bowl but I will remember it forever - Stijn, foodie

Anyone who placed an order received an e-mail when their smoothie bowl was ready for pickup. All orders were managed through the admin portal and processed in BigCommerce. This ensured there were no queues or wait times. And, the cherry top, everyone seemed to love the flavourful bowls!

... A super handy app that allowed us to work very efficiently! We had clear overview of all orders and, with the click of a button, we could easily mark orders as ready for pick-up. No long queues, wasted time, or impatient customers.

Melissa  - Alaise Bowls

Looking ahead

Each of our bowls had a meaningful name: Generous Brownie, Clever Cream, Authentic Adventure, and Curious Coconut. These names refer to our core values. We're committed to injecting our values into everything we do, and this partnership is no exception. We're excited for what lies ahead and eager to introduce this solution to the market!

Feel the vibes

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