Cultivating eCommerce Growth for America’s Top Rare Seed Source
Cultivating eCommerce Growth for America’s Top Rare Seed Source

Cultivating eCommerce Growth for America’s Top Rare Seed Source

Published March 9, 2022 in Client Story
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“Everyone should have access to nutrient-dense, delicious food, season after season.”

– Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds‘ Philosophy

In today’s all-digital world, your website’s ability to scale along with the size of your business is crucial to your success. If your website can’t grow, then neither can your brand. 

When Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds realized the eCommerce solutions they were using had become a huge obstacle to their growth, they decided to do something about it. 

BAKERSVILLE AND A SUSTAINABLE MISSION

Down a quiet, almost unassuming scenic farm road in Mansfield, Missouri, you may be surprised to discover somewhat of an oasis for farmers and hobby gardeners. There, tucked in among the fields of wildflowers, you’ll find Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds Farm and Village. 

Founder Jere Gettle started Baker Creek Heirloom Seed Co. in 1998 as a hobby, and though it has since grown into North America’s largest heirloom seed company, they’ve never lost their passion for growing and sharing heirloom seed varieties.

In fact, the Gettle family is so passionate about their mission to preserve heirloom seed varieties, they’ve made sustainable farming a lifestyle. Bakersville, as their property is known, sits on the historical farmland of the longest-lasting homestead in Missouri, where the original owners traded with the Osage Indians, and cared for soldiers during the Civil War.

Now, the land is populated with a beautiful farm and an entire pioneer-style village, featuring a restaurant, old-time mercantile, herbal apothecary, blacksmith shop, and more, standing as a testament to the Baker Creek mission: to create community through honoring our agricultural past. 

While the Gettle family’s dedication to their mission has never been uncertain, at some point, the progress of their eCommerce goals definitely became a question. 

REAPING WHAT A SMALL AGENCY SOWS

Baker Creek’s Adobe Commerce (Magento) website was built and maintained by a great Solutions Integrator that was simply limited in what they could do for the brand. Because of their small staff, there was only so much attention they could give Baker Creek and once the company decided to pursue a serious growth strategy, they realized they’d need to find a new partner that could get them where they wanted to go. 

In addition, the continual addition of product and new functionality to the Baker Creek Adobe Commerce site created a backlog of known issues in coding and functionality their previous agency wasn’t equipped to mitigate. 

Because of the Baker Creek dedication to work with local companies and fostering community, the discovery of Classy Llama in their virtual backyard made it clear that our companies were a natural fit. Just an hour away from Bakersville, our eCommerce agency would understand how to balance the historical context of the Baker Creek brand while also looking to the future. 

CULTIVATING GROWTH WITH A NEW PARTNER

Given that Baker Creek’s main goal for their eCommerce presentation was growth, Classy Llama proposed a Full-Service Retainer with our agency, giving their team access to our entire suite of dedicated experts, from website development to marketing services. 

Rather than providing one-time solutions for Baker Creek, this kind of ongoing relationship meant that Classy Llama was able to be a true partner in their brand’s growth, continually tooling their website and providing strategic recommendations for growth in every aspect of eCommerce. 

A Technical and Strategic Road Map

As part of our kickoff with Baker Creek, Classy Llama began a process of auditing various aspects of their eCommerce operations and website so that we can discover what the problems and possible solutions are. During that phase, we’ve been able to provide them with Core Web Vitals and SEO Audits, in order to highlight what can be done to improve their loading times and Google search rankings. 

Email Marketing: Dedication and Action 

One big problem Baker Creek was facing when they came to Classy Llama was their email platform, Bronto, was approaching end of life. Their team would need to find a new solution for their over-a-million-contacts long email list, or risk losing a huge source of revenue. The Baker Creek team was also passionate about the potential to automate as much of their email marketing as possible. 

Karl Brown, our former Digital Marketing Strategist, recommended a migration to Klaviyo, a robust email service provider that offers a variety of solutions, including support for Baker Creek’s automation goals. Since implementing our solution, Baker Creek has experienced significant email marketing growth, including an incident where a single email drove so much traffic and sales to their website, they experienced a temporary outage. Of course, thanks to the ongoing retainer relationship with Baker Creek, Classy Llama was able to resolve the outage quickly, and create a win in the form of boosted revenue from the higher traffic. 

Not only that, but when Baker Creek was recently faced with some issues around their marketing automation goals, Karl was able to step in and provide direct support. Rather than just waiting for the situation to resolve itself or have a third party solve the problem, Karl dedicated his time to create a manual email send to make sure their new product items were available to customers.

“When no one else could help, I stepped in. I wasn’t going to leave our client hanging, that’s just not what we do at Classy Llama,” Karl said.

This direct support led to the highest grossing email send in the history of the Baker Creek brand, bringing in more than twice the revenue of their previous record. 

PLOWING AHEAD INTO THE FUTURE

When they came to Classy Llama, Baker Creek wasn’t sure how they could best pursue growth through eCommerce. Now, their company has benefited from entire suite of experts, able to step in and provide direct support for their needs, as well as take a high level overview of their brand’s current obstacles and how they can turn them into opportunities and wins, creating a future characterized by growth. 

Instead of just an eCommerce agency, Baker Creek was able to enjoy a a full-fledged eCommerce partner dedicated to cultivating the kind of ongoing relationship that will ensure their eCommerce presentation will no longer be an obstacle to their growth. 

Now Baker Creek can keep their eyes on the prize: creating a community of farmers and gardeners that can preserve seed diversity and food security for generations to come.

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