increase in orders
increase in revenue
increase in AOV
Performance metrics compare January 1, 2021 – December 31, 2021 to January 1, 2022 – December 31, 2022.
Toolstop has come a long way since 1965. In its early days, Toolstop began as a small hardware store in the UK, but after launching its first ecommerce site in 2007, the company quickly grew across the UK and overseas.
Although Toolstop began in the B2C market, the business also had many customers reselling its products, not to mention strong relationships with many of the main power tool suppliers, including Makita, DeWalt and Bosch. With growing demand for wholesale, Toolstop soon launched a new brand, Toolsaver, to support its B2B operations.
Although, at the time, B2B orders were processed manually over the phone or by email, Neil Bruce, Toolsaver’s ecommerce manager, had a vision for a unique B2B site built on a sophisticated platform — which is where BigCommerce steps in.
Since launching Toolsaver on BigCommerce — and Toolstop soon after — the family business has gone from strength to strength, providing the highest-quality service to tool dealers across the UK.
Functionality gaps with Magento.
After launching its B2C site, Toolstop, first on Joomla with the help of a developer agency, Bruce and his team decided to replatform to Magento. However, not only was the build an extremely long process, but the company also found that Magento had some unnecessary complexities and limitations in functionality. As a result of these gaps, Toolstop took a dip in organic traffic, direct traffic and revenue after they went live in 2017.
Needless to say, moving to Magento meant too many compromises, and within a few months, Toolstop decided it was time to search for a platform that better suited its business.
“We wanted to be more in control of our site and bring in our own developers so that we weren't solely reliant on outside agencies,” said Bruce.
Toolsaver finds openness with BigCommerce.
Luckily, at the time, Bruce and his team were involved in the Scotland ecommerce community and had spoken to several merchants who were using BigCommerce for wholesaling. Although Toolstop had also considered Shopify, the team found that BigCommerce offered the ease of use and B2B functionality it needed to go digital with the B2B side of its business, Toolsaver. So, having some time on hands during Christmas of 2018, Bruce built the Toolsaver website on BigCommerce, exported Toolstop products onto it and, in a matter of days, had a website that could easily begin transacting.
“As soon as we started building the site, we realised that it was such an easy platform to use,” said Bruce.
Soon after testing the waters with Toolsaver, the company ultimately decided to launch Toolstop on BigCommerce as well.
“One of the big factors was that BigCommerce had such an open API architecture. It allowed us to bring people in-house that would be able to develop systems that would integrate seamlessly with the BigCommerce platform,” said Bruce.
With the openness and connectivity of the platform, Toolsaver was able to build SKUPAL, an in-house product that acts as a PIM but also manages deals and promotions. Additionally, the company launched its warehouse management system, which integrates directly with BigCommerce and Toolsaver’s ERP system, Sage 200. Thus, when customers place orders through either the Toolstop or Toolsaver website, those orders feed into the ERP and are sent to handheld scanners on the warehouse floor. This way, warehouse employees can ensure that every order is scanned and shipped accurately, helping to eliminate mispicks and returns.
Reaching more customers with omnichannel selling.
In addition to the platform’s open API architecture, Toolsaver also turned to BigCommerce’s app marketplace to find the right tools to power its website’s capabilities. One of the apps that has been most profitable for Toolsaver and Toolstop has been Feedonomics, a full-service data feed management platform.
“Feedonomics has been a great tool for us in terms of feeding out product information to the likes of Google Shopping and Facebook,” explained Bruce. “It's far more joined up and connected, so it's a lot easier to pull the data out of your commerce site and then transform that data for whatever needs you have.”
Plus, with roughly a third of its orders coming through marketplaces, such as Amazon or eBay, Toolstop also utilises Codisto for omnichannel management. Not only does the app allow Toolstop to feed products onto Amazon and eBay and set different prices than those on its own site, but it also allows Toolstop to handle every order the same — no matter where it comes from.
“Once an order is placed on a marketplace, that order comes directly back into the BigCommerce admin. And, as I mentioned earlier, anything that comes into the BigCommerce admin automatically feeds into Sage 200 and the warehouse management system,” said Bruce. “So it means that every order is managed and handled in exactly the same fashion.”
ERP: Sage 200
Order Management: Duoplane
Customer Reviews: TrustPilot
Product Zoom: Magic Zoom Plus
Catalog & Order Management: InStockNotify
Email Marketing: Klaviyo
Page Builder: Shogun
Customer Service: eDesk
“Feedonomics has been a great tool for us in terms of feeding out product information to the likes of Google Shopping and Facebook.”
Neil bruce ecommerce manager, toolsaver
“One of the big factors was that BigCommerce had such an open API architecture. It allowed us to bring people in-house that would be able to develop systems that would integrate seamlessly with the BigCommerce platform.”
Neil Bruce Ecommerce Manager, Toolsaver
A flexible platform that powers B2C and B2B.
Since switching over to BigCommerce in 2019, Toolsaver and Toolstop have only seen success. With BigCommerce powering both its B2C and B2B brands, the tool company has found the flexibility to manage all its business operations under one roof.
“The Toolsaver website is making sales of about £700K a month now, and that's only a small proportion of our B2B business,” said Bruce. “Three years down the line, and it's been quite a steady growth.”
Indeed, when comparing 2022 performance metrics over and 2021, the company has experienced a 19.9% increase in orders, a 23.5% increase in revenue and a 3% increase in AOV.
“As soon as we started building the site, we realised that BigCommerce was such an easy platform to use.”
Neil bruce ecommerce manager, toolsaver
Building a national presence.
So what’s next for Toolstop and Toolsaver?
According to Bruce and his team, their main goal is to grow the wholesale side of their business.
“Retail is still a massive part of our business, but it's more competitive, it's cutthroat, it makes a lot less money and it's more expensive to advertise your products now,” explained Bruce. “We’ve touched the local hardware stores, but we also supply big online retailers as well, letting them take the hassle of retailing the products, and we'll just sell wholesale to them.”
In growing their wholesale business, Toolsaver aims to target more national merchants, particularly those with over 50 branches.
“Getting into these national companies, it’s a quick and easy way of growing the business rather than dealing with independents who will buy hand-to-mouth,” said Bruce. “These guys are buying to stock up their shelves and they're able to spend more money.”
So as Toolsaver powers forward, BigCommerce will continue to provide the openness, connectivity, and flexibility to support the company in its national endeavors.
Published: February 2023
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