Finding flexibility with BigCommerce’s headless solution.
In hopes of finding a more flexible ecommerce solution, Black Diamond turned to developer agency and BigCommerce 2021 Headless Award Winner, The ZaneRay Group. The mountain gear brand wanted to create a clear buyer journey from homepage to checkout, weaving its brand content (from full-page images to ambassador adventure films) throughout the customer experience.
To help meet Black Diamond’s needs, ZaneRay determined that the best approach would be an API-forward headless ecommerce framework, which would decouple its front-end presentation layer from its back-end server-side layer. Thus, they recommended BigCommerce to support Black Diamond in its ecommerce goals, as it provided the headless architecture and open APIs to quickly create custom integrations and functionality.
“BigCommerce was a great choice for Black Diamond, primarily because it gave them a more flexible platform,” said Porterfield. “Headless was very new, but BigCommerce was already in the API-first game.”
With the flexibility of BigCommerce’s headless framework, Black Diamond also achieved an independent, yet cohesive administration of Black Diamond’s EU site while leveraging common product data, a single CMS instance and other key services. Black Diamond was able to house its US and EU site under one ecommerce roof and uniquely serve its customers across various markets.
“Black Diamond was able to work with different payment processors and offer some of the merchandizing a little bit differently. Things like that are really important to different types of markets,” said Porterfield. “BigCommerce really gave them an ecosystem to work globally.”
Together with a flexible, new CMS, BigCommerce gave Black Diamond the freedom to execute on its vision without a heavy dependance on developers. With the freedom to manage its site directly, Black Diamond was able to leverage its technical team to integrate a PIM setup as well as an ERP system.
“Working with just APIs, it was very straightforward to connect their ERP system, and they were able to do that for both Europe and the US,” said Porterfield. “BigCommerce allows merchants to leverage the resources and the talent that they have and put their money where it's best utilized in other places.”
In addition, ZaneRay helped the Black Diamond team build out its ecommerce ecosystem with Prismic CMS, a third-party search platform, migration of reviews, a new ESP and, most notably, a custom Pro Program.
“Black Diamond wanted the Pro Program to be integrated and branded as if it's seamless into the entire experience,” said Porterfield. “Pros are very important to them — they’re the people who are really representing and excited about their brand.”
Blending the brand and shopping experiences.
Working with some of the top photographers in the world, Black Diamond was investing significantly in content prior to launching its new headless site on BigCommerce. However, this content was largely housed on the brand’s social media channels, as the team felt limited in how it could represent the content on its old platform.
But after switching to BigCommerce, Black Diamond knew it needed to make a change in how it displayed its content online. Knowing that its customers were not only visiting its site to shop, but also to get inspired by other customer stories, Black Diamond decided to include both “Shop” and “Experience” tabs in its site navigation. This way, if a customer is looking to simply watch videos and read through content, there is a dedicated space just for them.
“But there are still product loops being woven throughout that experience section of the site, and vice versa, too,” explained Cornelius. “When customers go to shop, Black Diamond is also able to pull those ambassador stories into the actual product pages. So it really allowed us to seamlessly integrate the shopping experience along with that brand experience throughout the site.”
“BigCommerce really gave them an ecosystem to work globally.”
penny porterfield vice president of business development, the zaneray group