BBWheelsOnline.com Upgrades from BigCommerce Blueprint to Stencil [Case Study]
Located in Albany, Minnesota, BB Wheels is a small family owned business. They specialize in the sale of quality tires, wheels and other vehicle accessories. Their mission is to provide car lovers with top quality products at affordable prices. Over the years, they have become a leading supplier in the tire and wheel industry. Their wide selection of products ensures that there is a perfect match for every enthusiast out there.
Once their ecommerce business began to expand, they realized that they were in need of a few improvements. In 2015, BB Wheels found IntuitSolutions and together they worked towards reaching their goals.
The Problem: BigCommerce Blueprint
The initial interaction between BB Wheels and IntuitSolutions was intended to help BB Wheels update their website categories in bulk. After being pleased with the results they stuck around for a few more integrations and decided they were ready for a new site and an upgraded framework.
BigCommerce launched a new theme engine called Stencil to replace the original engine, Blueprint. Since all stores were on the previous engine, including BB Wheels, they realized this would be a great opportunity to develop their online business even more by upgrading their theme engine.
“ [Stencil] incorporates industry best practices in technology, design standards, SEO, and allows developers to build a stunning storefront that engages shoppers and encourages checkouts on any device.” – BigCommerce
The Solution: A Custom BigCommerce Stencil Website with Advanced Search Functionality
Since Stencil offers many improvements and updates, there was no debate that switching over was the best solution for BB Wheels, especially with BigCommerce encouraging merchants to migrate over to Stencil. IntuitSolutions proposed a custom Stencil Website with various customizations and integrations incorporated with a Stencil upgrade package.
Stencil vs Blueprint
Blueprint was BigCommerce’s original theme engine that powered all the stores on the platform up until 2016. Just as all technology advances, BigCommerce made a new and improved theme engine – Stencil, which made them one of the top SaaS ecommerce platforms available today.
Stencil offers a wide range of improved features including:
- Fully responsive themes across all devices
- Increased page load speed
- SEO best practices applied to the code
- And more!
Navigating 3rd Party Apps and Integrations
Since BB Wheels has been around for a while, they’ve found a slew of apps and integrations to help their online business succeed. Because of this, IntuitSolutions was challenged to constantly test their work with these third party apps and integrations to ensure they worked as planned. Setting up a workflow and stream of communication between IntuitSolutions and these third party vendors proved to help the process run smoothly. This extra testing and communication with vendors did take more time to complete the project, but it was worth it to maintain the features provided by these vendors.
Make, Model & Year
BB Wheels’ previous site had a very basic vehicle make, model, and year search integration from Search Spring. They wanted to keep this on their new BigCommerce site, however, it needed some enhancements.
While working with IntuitSolutions, we came up with the idea to include various make, model and year type searches since not every customer is searching for the same exact thing. IntuitSolutions incorporated this idea into their designs to keep the same look throughout the website. We also added custom icons to the search sections to help customers get a better visualization of which part they may be searching for in that section. Make, model, and year searches work similarly to a faceted search, but it is controlled by organized categories that the company uploads in the back office of BigCommerce.
Custom Quick Search
As previously mentioned, BB Wheels offers an extensive inventory of products and they use the Search Spring integration to filter search results. IntuitSolutions was able to help integrate the Search Spring quick search to flow with the rest of their site. We were able to design the integration to match color schemes and styles of the rest of the site instead of leaving it with its basic default stylings.
Menus are one of the most important sections on a website. Since BB Wheels really wanted to focus on their core products and draw attention away from their contact section, gear, and visualizer, IntuitSolutions designed a custom menu to emphasize these categories. As you can see, that section of the menu is enlarged, is a different color with more contrast, and includes icons to focus the customer’s attention on those categories. This minimizes the customers distractions and helps funnel them to the core products.
Product Page Enhancements
With customers being unable to physically handle a product before purchase, IntuitSolutions decided it would be a good idea to increase the product image size so customers can more easily see the product. The standard image size is 400px by 400px and we increased it to 500px by 500px. 100px may seem small, but it can make a drastic difference. This allows the customers to see fine details, like treads and bolt patterns, without needing to zoom in – saving the customer time and providing a much more seamless shopping experience.
Other customizations on the product page include:
- Custom product description tabs to minimize the amount of text initially shown to the customer.
- Yotpo reviews integration with user generated photos so customers can show off their new product and vehicle.
- Custom trust badges to help increase customer engagement by encouraging a level of trust that many other companies do not.
After the launch of BB Wheels’ new BigCommerce Stencil website they continue to work with IntuitSolutions to further optimize their SEO. Upgrading to Stencil has been one of the best transitions they have made so far for their ecommerce business and we’re excited to follow and support BB Wheels as they continue to grow and evolve.
BigCommerce has been phasing out their Blueprint framework since the launch of their new theme engine, Stencil, in 2016. There is no set date yet, but 2020 is part of the plan. If you haven’t already, now is the time to upgrade your BigCommerce site to Stencil – before it’s too late and your store experiences larger issues. IntuitSolutions is an Elite BigCommerce Partner that has been working solely on the BigCommerce platform for about a decade. If you would like to continue to grow your business, similar to BB Wheels, or are in need of an upgrade, contact us or give our team a call at 1-866-901-4650!
Working With Us
Ready to get started? Reach out to us to open a work order or get a free consultation on how you can optimize your site. Once you reach out to us, one of our BigCommerce experts will get back to you within 24 hours to learn about your business and consult with you on the best solution for your needs.