Laying a Foundation for the Future with Cedar House and BigCommerce

Discover how customisable, cost-effective and reliable BigCommerce is and why we built it that way.


increase in revenue


increase in transactions


increase in average order value

Performance metrics compare January - May 2021 to January - May 2020.

Catholic creations made for everyone

Homemade hot sauce. Handcrafted candles. Luxurious bath bombs. Preserves made by Trappist monks. What do all of these things have in common? While some might struggle to find a connection, those in the know will tell you that you could find these products at Cedar House

Cedar House is an ecommerce company that caters to a unique niche, selling small-batch products handcrafted by Catholic artisans and creators. Over the years, Cedar House has come to add 47 different brands to its website. With growth like that, it’s clear the operation would need a platform that could quickly adapt to ever-changing needs.


Growing brand needs a scalable platform

In the beginning, Cedar House was using Spree Commerce as its ecommerce platform. It gave the brand immense customisation options, and allowed it to create the store it wanted. 

Then the growing pains started. As Cedar House began expanding the brands and products offered on its site, the company was finding it challenging to keep up with the level of excellence it created with its initial site. “We couldn't maintain a sense of professional curiosity [for our brands] by trying different things, and really looking to iterate and find the next tool and technique that we were going to use to push our business forward,” says Steven Duran, Director of Ecommerce at 5 Stones and Cedar House. “It would just be so lengthy and such a heavy lift to try anything new, even front-end website changes were near impossible.” 

That level of customisation was all the more important in 2020, when Cedar House was undergoing a rebrand. Its team realised that it would just take too many resources away from its core to create the kind of site it needed using SpreeCommerce. The platform was holding the brand back. Cedar House needed an Open SaaS solution that would give it the ability to customise its store with tools and integrations that could fit its unique needs. 

The search began for the perfect platform, but before scouring the web, the Cedar House team made a list of must-have features for its new ecommerce solution. Key features included: 

  • Scalability

  • Robust marketplace of apps and add-ons

  • Sophisticated shipping options

  • Pre-built payment authorisation

  • Mobile-friendly right out of the box

With a list in hand, the Cedar House team was ready to narrow its search, and found two platforms that checked all the boxes, Shopify and BigCommerce, but the advantages of BigCommerce’s open SaaS platform helped it stand apart from the competition. Cedar House immediately got to work creating its store on the BigCommerce platform.


Redefining ecommerce

For the next six months, the Cedar House team worked diligently to ensure its store was set up just the way it wanted. First, the team set to work creating unique designs that could reflect its new brand. Because a team of developers wasn’t needed to code, the design team was able to create and implement layouts with ease. Next, it was time to set up individual brand pages. This involved more design and layout work, but also uploading 1,200+ SKUs to its site. 

The framework was there and the products were uploaded, but Cedar House still needed to find ways to create the core functionality that would give it an edge on the competition. For that, they turned to BigCommerce’s extensive library of tools and add-ons. 

For B2B sales, Cedar House used its in-house development team to create an API integration with Xero and BigCommerce on the backend. In a continued search of the library Cedar House found a number of other tools that would meet its needs and create the backbone that operates its site, including the highlighted apps below: 

Highlighted Applications:

  • Shogun, an easy-to-use page builder and editor that allows users to A/B test pages, create templates for easy site building, analytics tools, and more.

  • MailChimp, a powerful sales-driven marketing tool that allows for better customer engagement and relationship building.

  • ReferralCandy, a simple solution for giving teams full control over affiliate program rewards, incentives, and more.

  • OptinMonster, a conversion optimisation tool that allows users to easily create forms and popups.

  • ShipperHQ, a shipping integration that provides simple solutions for both B2B and B2C businesses.

“BigCommerce truly is the backbone of what we're able to do. As long as that backbone continues to get stronger, we're going to get stronger.”

Steve Duran Director of Ecommerce, 5 Stones and Cedar House

Case study device tablet cedar house


From launch and beyond

After launching its site, Cedar House knew BigCommerce was the right choice of platform. Not only is the brand more nimble and efficient, but it’s also able to take chances and try new tools to add functionality to its site. This has given Cedar House the ability to scale its business at a comfortable rate. 

Additionally, BigCommerce’s ease of use enables the in-house design team to have more of a direct hand in the development process without worrying about heavy code lifts to add new brands to its ever-growing list of brands. “We could not have launched Cedar House without BigCommerce. It would have been impossible,” Duran commented.

Looking Ahead

An omnichannel view of the future

As Cedar House grows, so too will the number and types of platforms they sell on. They are currently taking advantage of BigCommerce’s social selling integrations like Facebook and Instagram, and seeing immense success integrating with Etsy. In the near future they hope to expand into new markets like Ebay, Wish, Walmart, and Amazon. They also plan to utilise native BigCommerce features for a blog and community forum integration. 

Whatever the future holds, Steven Duran is confident that BigCommerce will be there to provide a solid foundation for growth. “BigCommerce truly is the backbone of what we're able to do,” says Duran. “As long as that backbone continues to get stronger, we're going to get stronger.”

Published: December 2021

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