Bombas migrated for site stability, and is also saving $108,000 a year in platform costs
Fashion and apparel
Comfort-performance socks maker Bombas was founded in 2013 with a mission. Socks are the most requested item in homeless shelters, which is why the company’s founders insisted that, for every pair of socks it sold, Bombas would donate another pair to those in need.
It did not hurt that Bombas also happened to make a great product. But when the altruistic brand landed a deal on “Shark Tank,” imagine the frustration that followed when its ecommerce site crashed—twice. Now, after switching to Shopify Plus, Bombas has enjoyed:
- Savings of $108,000 in platform costs each year
- Stability, even during Black Friday Cyber Monday
- $17.2 million in sales its first year after migration
Legendarily comfy socks, a meaningful cause, and high-profile media attention catapulted Bombas to success, growing from $300,000 in revenue in 2013 to $4.7 million in 2015.
Unfortunately, what should have been its brightest moment that year turned into one of the darkest. When Bombas’ founders David and Andrew Heath swung a deal with investor Daymond John on “Shark Tank,” their online store fell apart. Not just once when the episode premiered, but a second time when the episode re-ran.
Product images were broken, customers couldn’t check out, and losses totaled $15,000 in just a few minutes. “Even worse, I wasn’t one bit surprised,” David Heath says. “We were getting major press, and our site couldn’t scale on demand like we needed it to.”
Updating the site to manage the jump from 500 transactions a day to 4,000 would be time-intensive, not to mention costly: about $150,000. On top of that, Bombas began paying thousands of dollars each month in server maintenance fees to stave off future crashes.
The company knew that, as “Shark Tank” propelled its popularity forward, there were going to be two instances when its site handled a rush of consumer traffic Bombas needed to serve.
The first: anytime its “Shark Tank” episode re-aired on television. The second: Black Friday Cyber Monday (BFCM).
Bombas needed a reliable solution. It needed a site that would be there when it mattered most.
The bigger the buggy we built, the more horses we needed, and the more expensive it got just to keep from crashing.David HeathCo-Founder, Bombas
Bombas turned to Shopify Plus to support its long-term growth.
With Shopify Plus, Bombas found that scaling is seamless. The company can perform mass product uploads quickly, across multiple ecommerce channels, using a back-end system that’s clean and easy to operate.
Perhaps more important than anything, for a company that had been burned so precipitously by downtime, was stability.
Bombas would use the rush of its first post-migration BFCM as a stress-test. The company pulls in as much as 60% of its annual revenue over the fourth quarter of any year, so it reasoned that if its site could stand-up to the holiday craze, doing so during its “Shank Tank” re-airs would be a breeze.
From an infrastructure standpoint, Shopify Plus has our back. We feel incredibly comfortable that, as we continue to scale, our website’s going to be up and running. As an IT function, that allows us to really focus on the things that we do best.Adam WeinstockCTO, Bombas
Bombas’ first BFCM after migrating to Shopify Plus went off without a hitch. Its site never crashed. The platform suffered no glitches. It all seemed so... comfortable.
The customer experience was better, but so was the business experience for Bombas. Not only had its site not crashed despite “numerous live and repeat [“Shark Tank”] airings,” Weinstock says, but the switch to Shopify Plus saved the company $108,000 in platform costs its first year alone.
Even with data migration and replatforming costs, Bombas saw positive investment return almost immediately.
Shopify Plus has also enabled Bombas to expand its business. Since migrating, growth has surged. The result is more innovative offerings for their customers, more socks donated to those in need, $17.2 million in sales its first full year after replatforming, and 300% year-over-year growth.
But the numbers aren’t all. Bombas stands for more than its balance sheet, and for a brand with a company mission as tied to its business as Bombas, having to think less about site crashes and more about the impact it can have on the world was a welcome reprieve.
Whether we’re doing 500 or 5,000 orders a day, Shopify Plus automatically scales with us, without us having to do anything extra. Stability is key, and it’s better to be up all of the time, and that’s the peace of mind Shopify brings us.David HeathCo-Founder, Bombas