How ClearBags Became an eCommerce-First B2B Company
ClearBags joined Magento at the very start
ClearBags has an unusual origin story. When the company was founded in 1992, their four staff sold only posters. Customers were so impressed with the clear plastic packaging that protected the artwork, that soon they started making special requests for it. The company transitioned into a leader of flexible packaging, supplying plastic solutions for photographers, artists, foodies, stationers, crafters, healthcare specialists, and retail businesses. After 26 years of growth, today they sell more than 5,000 products from 300,000 square-feet of warehouse space on both coasts of the United States.
Before Magento, their customers had to flip through a physical catalog then pick up the phone to speak with a customer service representative. In the halcyon days of the internet, ClearBags started their eCommerce journey with a home-brewed website created using HTML. Then, in 2007, they built their first dedicated eCommerce store. They chose a brand new open source platform, named Magento. “We started on Magento Community Edition and as we grew, we shifted to Magento Commerce to better support our growing needs,” said Logan Dunn, Marketing Director of Clearbags.com. “We’ve stayed on Magento ever since because we feel that it’s the only commerce platform out there with B2B buyers as the main focus.”
Now, ten years later, approximately half their revenue runs through their Magento eCommerce website. Their aim was to create a compelling, smooth purchasing experience that is easy for customers to complete, without the need to speak to a salesperson. ClearBags customers also need to visualize the flexible packaging and see it in a video before immediately making an order. “B2B customers are increasingly looking to shop like consumers. For us, many of our smaller business customers are acting exactly like B2C consumers.” For ClearBags, their business goal was to become an eCommerce-first company.
“Magento did a lot of what we needed so that we could focus on driving traffic with paid ads, SEO, and email marketing.”Logan Dunn
Marketing Director, ClearBags.com
The ultimate B2B eCommerce platform
ClearBags’ solution partner, Creatuity, built their webstore using a popular Magento theme. “Out-of-the-box, the site is very effective for our customers,” said Dunn. That’s not to say ClearBags didn’t tweak their web store with various extensions. “We use Bronto, we have a mega menu, improved layered navigation, search, review, labels, related products, and a couple more I can't think of now,” Dunn said. What they can’t find, they can build in-house. “The whole ecosystem is part of why we stay with Magento. We go to Imagine each year to see what more we can do with the platform.”
“We like what Magento is doing for B2B right now,” said Dunn. “One of the biggest things for us is advanced pricing, since we manufacture and sell with volume breaks. Again, getting that feature out-of-the-box is a good example of how Magento is catering to the needs of B2B companies, so we don't need to custom-build these features.” On their product pages and even category pages, ClearBags can clearly indicate volume discounts, enticing customers to buy in greater volumes. Meanwhile, the seamless way that Magento connects to their Email Service Provider (ESP), their ERP, and Business Intelligence tools is priceless. “Probably the biggest factor of all is performance,” said Dunn. “We couple Magento with Lexiconn [hosting] and get a quick and secure site.”
While ClearBags is focused on B2B, they do sell to ‘end consumers’ too. “Some B2B customers are Etsy shop owners, who are attracted to us because we have no minimums, and our products are perfect for them,” said Dunn. “We use a range of Magento B2B features like requisition lists, quick order forms, and we use the advanced pricing extensively. We have incorporated bulk pricing discount visibility into category pages as well as the cart and checkout process. One thing that we really like about Magento is that we didn’t NEED to do too much. Magento did a lot of what we needed so that we could focus on driving traffic with paid ads, SEO, and email marketing.”
Traffic and conversion rates through the roof
ClearBags upgraded to Magento Commerce 2 in March 2017, and were one of the earliest converts. They have now been on the platform longer than most other merchants, and have a remarkable growth story to tell: Revenue has increased each year from 7.1 percent in 2016, to 10.3 percent in 2017. “Year-on-year our transactions are growing by 20 percent online,” said Dunn. “Traffic is up, and we have an insane conversion rate of roughly 6.5 percent. Customers are extremely positive about us and our website. What else can we say? Web growth outpaces normal growth, both of which are great!” In the 12,000 reviews on TrustPilot with an average score of 9.6, ClearBags customers often wax lyrical about their easy-to-use webstore. “Magento allows us to compete at the top tier without having a fully in-house solution,” said Dunn.
We go to Imagine each year to see what more we can do with the platform.Logan Dunn
Marketing Director, ClearBags.com