In 2006, Austin Bazaar was born in the live music capital of the world. Suman had climbed to the top of the corporate ladder as a computer engineer but wanted to do something on his own. After an unhelpful visit to a local music shop, he saw a need to serve beginner musicians in Austin, TX. Within the first year of their doors being open, they sold over $1 million.
With their store booming, Suman built his own custom website to sell products online. He soon realized it was taking up a lot of his time. “We realized we’re spending more and more of our time developing our software than talking to musicians.” To focus on his mission, Suman began to look for eCommerce platforms to fit their needs. “We started looking at solutions that would make it easier for us to make our products available to musicians.” Soon after, they discovered BigCommerce.
Designing a Sound Web Store
“We wanted to make our brand known,” says Joseph, Customer Relations Manager. “When we found BigCommerce it was so easy to use. We didn’t have to worry about hiring this big web development team or having to figure all these gadgets out.” They chose BigCommerce because of their ability to scale with the platform. As they began to offer more products, BigCommerce made it easy to keep their site updated. “BigCommerce has so many different layouts and they make it easier for you to just get in there and set your stuff, start selling and it’s that easy.”
Suman’s mission to reach beginner musicians gave way to selling on multiple selling channels. They began selling on Amazon, eBay, and Reverb to make their products more available. This omnichannel system presented a challenge when it came to order fulfillment. Thousands of orders would come from every direction. The warehouse team began to suffer without the right tools at hand. They found ShipStation and never looked back.
The Warehouse Rockstars
“Before ShipStation, our shipping process was a nightmare,” says Stuart, their Warehouse Manager. On a regular day, some orders go to Amazon FBA and thousands get picked, packed, and shipped in-house. Stuart says that ShipStation was the perfect solution because he was able to fulfill all of these orders in a single platform. Even better, he was able to delegate orders and products from marketplaces to specific team members. “We use the assign feature, “ says Stuart, “and they can click on their assignee and go down the list from there.”
When orders import into ShipStation from BigCommerce and Amazon, Stuart says that tags help them process orders fast. “Tags help us put on a tag for back-orders, drop-ship processed, and any kind of notes that customer service needs to see.” The service they offer to their customers is as important as the quality product they offer. That’s why Joseph says that they use the new Returns Portal feature in ShipStation. It helps them offer a fast and friendly returns process to their customers. The portal tracks return reasons, helping them spot trends to improve their products.
Operational cost was an important metric for Stuart to track as the company grew. “I would have to dig through paperwork,” Stuart says, to find things like average shipping costs. With the Insights page, Stuart can easily locate everything all in one dashboard. Custom reports help him track his team’s progress and export data to their accounting team. “With ShipStation I go in, select my dates that I want to see, and collect the data from there.”
The Perfect Harmony
“BigCommerce support has been something else,” says Joseph, “they’ve been able to help us to get issues resolved if we ever do need help.” He says that the integration with ShipStation is seamless and easy to set up. Suman says they chose to sell on BigCommerce because it’s one of the most solid platforms out there. “We’ve been on the platform for a few years now,” says Suman, “and we found it to be a really good platform.” For Suman, it’s been a great platform to grow with.
Austin Bazaar Music sells on BigCommerce and ships with ShipStation because they work so well together. Suman says, “If you’re selling online, there’s a lot of tools available. You don’t need to recreate all of them or any of them.” Thanks to BigCommerce + ShipStation, they’ve saved a lot of time and money. “In the past, to build a website would take thousands and thousands of dollars.” Suman says, “now if you have basic skills, you can do it overnight.”
Even as Austin Bazaar grows, they will always have time for their core mission. They can focus on their passion to serve beginner musicians. Suman says that only 6% of the US call themselves musicians and that they aim to “cater to the 94% and make them musicians.” He says, “if you have a passion for it and if you have a product, then definitely go ahead and do it. Let nobody stop you, saying that it’s been done because it can be done differently.”