Blade HQ sharpens its ecommerce to rapid growth
When their fast-growing business reached the limitations of their homegrown platform, they started seeking an ecommerce platform that would sustain and accelerate their growth. Making the most out of their newly scalable platform and rolling twice as much traffic on mobile than on desktop, Blade HQ is riding an escalating curve to success.
The launch of their new website with VTEX is set for the coming months, allowing for better order management, native marketplace and powerful commerce capabilities to maximize the potential of their business. In the meantime, the brick-and-mortar store is open again for business as of March 1st.
“VTEX impressed us with their extraordinary out-of-the-box features and innovative low-code development platform. The teams from VTEX and Pivotree won us over with their dedication and commitment to supporting us as partners as we aim to double our business in the next few years.”Mark Christensen, CEO, Blade HQ
The idea guy and the implementation guy
Blade HQ is the go-to source for knives, tools, and gear for the knife enthusiast. Since 2003, the company has grown into an ironclad business with around 90 employees and is the premier online knife retailer. With one physical location in Utah and distribution centers in Utah and Virginia, Blade HQ provides a personal touch to the community of outdoor tools and hunting gear. Nonetheless, what is now a top niche seller started from the idea of two very young and passionate people—the “idea guy” and the “implementation guy”—Cameron Hughes and Jim Brown, respectively.
Jim and Cam knew each other from high school and decided they wanted to start something that lasts. With the continuous expansion in sight, the business of Blade HQ has surpassed the idea and implementation guys’ dream. After they launched their first ecommerce in 2008, Jesse Hunsaker, their IT director, designed their mobile experience in 2010. One of the reasons they’ve been able to grow is because of the company’s social media presence. Blade HQ has a YouTube channel where they advertise their products, announce new intakes and present to their customers a little know-how on categories of knives and their use.
“I think that’s pretty evident that we want our community to be excited, we want to serve them as best as we can.”Jesse Hunsaker, Director of IT, Blade HQ
Scaling the business
Blade HQ operates its own DTC ecommerce store and sells on Amazon marketplace. They also have one brick-and-mortar store that is reopened for business as of March 1st. Since Blade HQ sells knives and blades of all shapes and sizes, more and less fancy, even handmade collectible items and unique pieces, their marketing strategy is rather complex.
In order to keep the business on track for rapid growth, it was important for Blade HQ to find a platform that could continue to support their SEO-rich structure and massive social presence, reaching tens of millions of consumers on a monthly basis. Behind the company’s growth strategy is the urge to modernize, to provide their customers with a better experience. Especially when there is a new large drop of products that needs to be added to the catalog.
“We want to make sure that people are able to find the best knife for their use case, whether that be using them daily or collecting them.”Jesse Hunsaker, Director of IT, Blade HQ
Change comes from the inside
For Blade HQ, cloud architecture is the icing on the cake. For a platform that has never seen diminishing demand, only growth and expansion at astonishing rates, you always have to be one step ahead of the competition, but first of all, you have to anticipate your next move in advance. When asked about what the main factor of decision is regarding this move, Jesse replied “we scale with our people” and he referred to both Blade HQ’s employees and clientele.
Change comes from the inside and success is built bottom-up. This is why their product and marketing team has worked closely with VTEX’s development team. Front-end, back-end, warehousing, multiple locations, the entirety of a digital presence is worth investing in when you have the right feedback from your audience. When the platform goes live, we are ready to witness great results and to offer a community of knife enthusiasts the efficiency they deserve.