Cd18 Laptop@1X

Passion Planner achieves ambitious goals with elevated ecommerce solution

How the brand created the ultimate personal organizational tool and utilized BigCommerce to sell its millionth planner

1M20%12%

planners
sold


revenue
generated
by PayPal

decrease
in ecommerce
costs


The Passion Planner Success Story

After graduating from UCLA in 2012 with a major in art, Angelia Trinidad moved back home to live with her parents and find a job. 

She wasn’t sure what her next step should be and felt anxious about what she wanted in a career, but she knew she had always wanted to run her own business. She tested her first entrepreneurial endeavor with a business called The Macaron Studio in which she baked and sold French macarons. After one week, she realized she hated baking, but continued to bake for nine more months and eventually slipped into a depression. While she was on vacation in Hawaii with her parents and siblings, she felt so relieved to have a break from baking and quit her macaron business as soon as she returned home. 

Feeling determined to take advantage of a fresh start, Angelia sat down and wrote down everything she hoped to accomplish in life on a piece of paper. She began to notice a pattern. One of the recurring themes was that she wanted to help people, and she started brainstorming business ideas that would further that mission. She thought about products that made a difference throughout her life, and her planner came to mind instantly. She researched planners in the market, but when she couldn’t find any that allowed for both dreaming big and actionable planning, she decided to create her own. 

She thought back to the more than 150 self-help and coaching books she’d read at UCLA and incorporated the most helpful ideas she’d learned into her planner concept. From there, Passion Planner was born - bringing to life a personal organizer to help people who want to focus on what matters most to them. With pages made for detailed plans, blank pages for creativity, and room for reflection and inspirational quotes, Passion Planners are structured to help customers determine their dreams and take action on them every day. 

After its initial launch in 2013, Passion Planner grew over the next year into a worldwide community of dreamers, planners, and achievers. In 2014, the company achieved online sales of $2.4M and quickly experienced growing pains using Squarespace to sell online.


Outgrowing Squarespaces’s Ecommerce Capabilities

As told to BigCommerce by Jamie Santos, Marketing Director, passionplanner.com

Since our CEO had previously built websites on Squarespace for small business owners while she was in college, she initially launched the Passion Planner website on that platform. 

On Squarespace, I would spend my days working on very tedious tasks such as editing and saving product prices for our frequent sales and manually running a referral program via Google Docs. I was disappointed by its lack of SEO capabilities, limited design features and development functionality, as well as limited email marketing capabilities. 

We had ambitious business goals, and we needed a new ecommerce solution that would help strengthen and automate processes such as bulk ordering, built-in promotions, discounts and coupons and email marketing. 

Because 75% of our online sales come through our website, it was imperative for us to have a reliable platform that would grow with us and enable us to focus on more innovative projects, rather than focusing solely on the details of day-to-day ecommerce operations. 

Compared to other platforms like Shopify, BigCommerce provided more out-of-the-box features we could use, so we wouldn’t have to worry about paying for and managing all these other apps. We felt BigCommerce’s built-in features offered everything we needed to meet our goals, without adding unforeseen added costs. 

To migrate and design our new store, we needed to seek outside help to launch our new website. We visited the BigCommerce Partner Marketplace to find a reputable and experienced agency partner. 

Each agency partner listing in the marketplace showcases an overview of the agency, services provided, customer reviews, and a portfolio of the agency’s work. 

Working with our agency partner, we were able to get our new website launched within three months in July 2018.

We’re now set up for the future because we can focus on the big picture, not tedious daily tasks. Within five months of migrating from Squarespace, we doubled international sales. There are endless possibilities for Passion Planner now. We’re currently focused on direct-to-consumer sales, but I’d like to see us expand our B2B channel, which we can do because we’ve chosen BigCommerce as our ecommerce solution.

PayPal provides secure and seamless customer shopping experience

As told to BigCommerce by Angelia Trinidad, CEO, passionplanner.com

With BigCommerce, we have the freedom to offer customers multiple payment options at checkout. One of our preferred payment solutions is PayPal. Customers can create a secure PayPal account without a credit card, so they don’t have to reach for their payment information or input personal information every time they want to order a new planner. Thanks to its global reach, PayPal has also been our gateway to international markets.

Currently, 20% of our revenue is generated with PayPal. I think if we didn’t offer PayPal as a payment option, it would possibly deter people from buying our product, which would sidetrack our vision of getting a Passion Planner into as many hands as possible.


Streamlining shipping and fulfillment with ShipperHQ and ShipStation

As told to BigCommerce by Francis Ventura, Director of Operations, passionplanner.com

As the Director of Operations at Passion Planner, I oversee strategic sales, logistics, and shipping and fulfillment. There are two main hurdles in ecommerce - marketing and fulfillment: how you sell your product, and how you get that product to your customers. 

For selling our product, BigCommerce’s built-in promotions and discount tools give us the ability to plan and automate big sale events in advance, whether it be days, weeks, or months. Knowing I have the sale ready to go in the backend in gives me peace of mind and the ability to focus on the next project.

One of the other BigCommerce features I really like is its ability to integrate directly with our shipping partners. Our shipping management system, ShipperHQ, provides accurate, real-time shipping quotes to customers. It also determines the most efficient packaging sizes, from small parcels to large, crate sized shipments, to help us give customers the best shipping prices.

Our other shipping partner, ShipStation, helps us manage orders, especially during our busy season. With ShipStation, we’re able to import, manage, and ship our orders automatically, which helps us focus on the actual fulfillment.

Currently, 20% of our revenue is generated with PayPal. I think if we didn't offer PayPal as a payment option, it would possibly deter people from buying our product, which would sidetrack our vision of getting a Passion Planner into as many hands as possible.

Angelia Trinidad, CEO, passionplanner.com


It’s our fifth year in business we've been able to accomplish things we never thought were possible. We were able to surpass $1,000,000 in revenue by investing in our community, our biggest asset, the #PashFam.Angelia Trinidad, CEO, passionplanner.com
Compared to other platforms like Shopify, BigCommerce provided more out-of-the-box features we could use, so we wouldn’t have to worry about paying for and managing all these other apps. We felt BigCommerce’s built-in features offered everything we needed to meet our goals, without adding unforeseen added costs.Jamie Santos, Marketing Director, passionplanner.com
Cd18 Tablet@1X

Swell Rewards automates referral program and Yotpo positively impacts business with reviews

As told to BigCommerce by Jamie Santos, Marketing Director, passionplanner.com

Our loyalty program, powered by Swell Rewards, has completely changed our ambassador and referral programs. Swell Rewards offers management for rewards, referrals, influencers, and email acquisition in one app.

Before we switched to BigCommerce, I was running an ambassador program manually, managing over 300 ambassadors and their payments on a Google spreadsheet. 

Swell, which integrates directly with BigCommerce, now handles all of this. With just a click of a button, I’m able to to pay ambassadors from our PayPal account automatically instead of manually making sure all 300 people are paid properly. 

In addition, the Yotpo integration has been such a great experience because we get to feature customer reviews right on our website. This gives us another opportunity to interact with customers by asking them for reviews and sharing their great experiences with their Passion Planners with others. We’ve aggregated over 6,000 reviews on our website in just the past year.

By automating these important initiatives, I can really focus on the big picture and come up with more strategies to generate additional revenue.

Final Word

As told to BigCommerce by Jamie Santos, Marketing Director, passionplanner.com

It’s our fifth year in business we've been able to accomplish things we never thought were possible. We were able to surpass $1,000,000 in revenue by investing in our community, our biggest asset, the #PashFam

Our #PashFam blog showcases real people who strive for growth and are passionate about helping those around them. We truly believe in these people and who they are. We feel lucky to support them by providing the resources they need to create the lives they've always wanted. 

For these reasons, we launched the Get One, Give One initiative in 2015 to help people live purposeful, passionate lives no matter who they are. Our customers’ purchases make a direct impact on someone else’s life. The #PashFam has delivered over 400,000 planners to people all over the world. We’ve also partnered with nonprofit organizations to support causes from education to preserving the planet. Whenever we choose to partner with a company, we evaluate the company based on whether or not they have a strong track record, if our mission and values are aligned, and if they are passionate about what they do. This is why we partnered with BigCommerce. We’re looking forward to setting even more ambitious goals and achieving them - together.

Because 75% of our online sales come through our website, it was imperative for us to have a reliable platform that would grow with us and enable us to focus on more innovative projects, rather than focusing solely on the details of day-to-day ecommerce operations. .Jamie Santos, Marketing Director, passionplanner.com

More Stories of Success

Skullcandy Inc.

Skullcandy Inc.

Read their story
CuttingBoard

CuttingBoard

Read their story
Scooter Hut

Scooter Hut

Read their story

Bigger than you need right now? Start with BigCommerce Essentials.     Get The Essentials

Bigger than you need right now? Start with BigCommerce Essentials.

Get The Essentials