With an eye on future, The Buckner Group digitally transforms its business to support global brands with Adobe Commerce.
orders fulfill via shop fronts in just 12 months
Continue to digitally transform a traditional business model to create richer, more memorable customer experiences
Enable B2B ecommerce shop fronts to be launched faster to align with growth
Reduce front- and back-end friction to reduce operational costs
Onboarded over 3,500 individual sites and 15M new accounts by building customer loyalty
Powers 25 branded customer shop fronts to date, with 15 more in the pipeline
Doubles operational throughput and enables technical talent to re-focus on growth initiatives
When Edward Buckner founded The Buckner Group in Brisbane, Australia in 1926, he was passionate about creating bespoke printed material. Nearly a century later, Buckner’s descendants hold true to his vision in a business that has evolved considerably: The Buckner Group today is an independent marketing services firm that provides high-quality communications solutions to B2B customers across Australia.
Branded collateral has long been an effective way to promote a company, product, service or event and generate brand awareness and loyalty. And, if the goods in question—be it caps, t-shirts, coffee mugs or pens—are of high-quality, they stand an even higher chance of repeat use, increasing their value further. The Buckner Group has experience in product streams ranging from critical products and classified government documents, to branded plush toys and wrapped motorcycles.
With its reputation, quality is an operating hallmark of the Buckner family business, along with customisation, customer service and a historical dedication to technology innovation. Whereas The Buckner Group previously made products for customers on premises by hand or machine, it now offers them products and solutions gathered from best-of-breed global suppliers, sold through their own custom branded ecommerce shop fronts.
“It’s a contemporary twist on a familiar business model,” explains James Buckner, General Manager - IT of The Buckner Group. “To bring our vision to life, we needed to identify the right ecommerce platform.”
The Buckner Group used a customised ecommerce solution, developed in-house, that had served the company well for many years. However, to simplify and accelerate site development, improve system integration and create richer, more dynamic customer experiences, The Buckner Group decided to migrate to the latest cloud version of Adobe Commerce, part of Adobe Experience Cloud.
The solutions flexibility and scalability would also enable shop fronts to be set up and launched faster in line with growth plans. To perform the migration, The Buckner Group enlisted the support of ecommerce solution provider and longtime Adobe partner Balance Internet, which worked on the project during the COVID-19 lockdown in Australia.
One of the team’s first tasks was to ensure the seamless integration of products, pricing, customer information, manufacturing and fulfillment partners and existing business systems. For example, The Buckner Group’s customised product and price catalogue became web-ready when it was merged into Commerce.
“Systems integration was arguably the most important aspect of the project, because without it, maintaining our product line-up, keeping pricing up to date and processing customer orders would have involved a lot of manual work,” says Buckner. “In the end, Balance Internet created a fully integrated platform that saves us time and money and enables us to focus more on the big picture.”
The integration also supported one of the unique features of The Buckner Group’s shop fronts: the ability for customers to customise products further by switching or modifying logos or altering fonts or colours. The solution removes manual touchpoints for management teams, streamlines employee experiences and empowers brand conformance across customer networks, that are often geographically dispersed. Now customised orders are entirely managed, executed and delivered through automated workflows.
General Manager - IT, The Buckner Group
Balance Internet also migrated the formerly bespoke front-end, which required skilled software engineering resource to maintain, using Page Builder to facilitate site and content updates as well as self-service account management and tiered pricing based on roles and permissions.
“With Adobe Commerce, we no longer worry about maintaining ecommerce infrastructure and gain a constant flow of new features and capabilities that we don’t have to design and engineer ourselves,” says Buckner. “As a result, we doubled our throughput and re-deployed skilled technical resources into activities tied to growth.”
The site’s payment capabilities were also extended by adding new payment methods. Customers can now pay on account or via credit card and set credit limits and authorisation levels for different levels of spend. For instance, if an order exceeds a certain value, it is automatically sent via a workflow to a designated approver, such as a purchasing officer.
With the enhanced payment capabilities was strengthened security. Buckner explains, “We work with brands of all sizes for whom security is paramount. Adobe Commerce protects them on all fronts, from more secure payment transactions to robust firewall protection. When a customer enters one of our shop fronts, they can do so with confidence.”
Meanwhile, the Buckner team use Adobe Commerce Business Intelligence to create dashboards to track customer orders, revenue and business trends; and to create reports for clients that allow them to monitor activity and spend within their shop fronts.
Since its deployment during the COVID-19 pandemic, the solution is now used to support 25 branded customer shop fronts, with more on the way. In the same timeframe, The Buckner Group onboarded over 3,516 individual sites to the platform; registered 15,140,000 new accounts; and fulfill 22,000 orders. In the past 12 months alone, The Buckner Group sold 467,800 units through its Commerce shop fronts.
“Since launching the platform, we’ve seen significant year-over-year growth,” says Buckner. “Adobe Commerce reinforced our traditional strengths of customer service, customisation and quality while giving us an offering that stands out in the market.”
He adds, “Customers love the simplicity and efficiency of being able to browse and buy from our shop fronts. That’s enabled us to build loyalty and in quite a few situations, avoid competitive tenders.”
Buckner credits their collaborative partnership with Balance Internet with much of the project’s success. In particular, he cites Balance Internet’s deep expertise in Commerce and creativity in solving business and technical challenges that were presented thanks to the unique requirements of The Buckner Group’s offering.
General Manager - IT, The Buckner Group
Buckner and Balance Internet are now putting the finishing touches on 15 new branded shop fronts for customers, significantly increasing the company’s revenue potential. The management team is also looking at expanding physical operations into New Zealand where there are natural synergies with the Australian market; and a potential foray into the B2C space.
Reflecting on the implementation, Buckner says: “Adobe Commerce has given us the means and confidence to grow in new directions. Whatever we want to do, we’ve got the technology to support it.”