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09/23/2022

Build-A-Bear transforms e-commerce with mobile-first site

Dan Berthiaume
Senior Editor, Technology
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Build-A-Bear Workshop  logo
Build-A-Bear Workshop is relaunching its website.

Build-A-Bear Workshop Inc. is relaunching its e-commerce website and enhancing its omnichannel, marketing and loyalty capabilities.

The specialty retailer is undergoing a multifaceted digital transformation that includes revamps to its e-commerce, loyalty and marketing offerings. Following are highlights from each area of Build-A-Bear’s enterprise upgrade.

[Read more: Exclusive Q&A: Build-A-Bear adapts digital transformation to pandemic]

E-commerce
In recent months, Build-A-Bear has been making improvements to its site experience and infrastructure, while launching new features. The company is rolling out its new mobile-first (meaning the site is built for mobile devices and then modifies its engagement for desktop and laptop devices) e-commerce site design on Salesforce Commerce Cloud, which it has been using as its e-commerce platform since 2017.

Supported by Deloitte Digital, upgrades include enhancements to storytelling, product showcasing, and event and promotion sharing. The new site also features faster and more seamless checkout and payment processes, and offers an improved Bear Builder 3D Workshop experience, including buy-online-pickup-in-store.

In addition, with the site's enhancements, Build-A-Bear expects to soon be able to show product availability specific to store locations.

"Working with Deloitte Digital, we have been able to reimagine our online experience on Build-A-Bear's website,” said Jenn Kretchmar, Build-A-Bear Workshop chief digital and merchandising officer.We want our guests to get the same ‘wow’ factor they do when they walk into a retail store as when they engage with the brand online.”

Marketing
Build-A-Bear is investing in marketing solutions including ABTasty, Cartful, Pimberly, Contentsquare, and Google Analytics 4 360, in a strategic move to expand its digital capabilities and customer personalization efforts. The company seeks to streamline the customer journey to ensure a seamless experience across channels.

Loyalty
Build-A-Bear recently launched the Salesforce Loyalty Cloud. The loyalty module provides tools that leverage information regarding purchases from the millions of members in its Bonus Club loyalty program. The retailer intends to grow customer lifetime value with the delivery of enhanced benefits and perks to shoppers.

"We love having customers in our retail stores, and we want to ensure when a customer leaves the store they continue to have a path of engagement and increased loyalty with our brand, so having the tools to capture first-party data enables us to reengage and stay connected, offer personalization for shopping and gifting occasions and create a lasting friendship with our customers," said Kretchmar.

"While we celebrate the first 25 years of success at Build-A-Bear with our silver anniversary in 2022, we remain focused on the future and our continued expansion,” said Sharon Price John, Build-A-Bear Workshop president and CEO. “At the center of these plans are two of our strategic pillars designed to deliver sustained profitable growth: accelerating a comprehensive digital transformation and continuing to evolve our retail experience including expanding our omnichannel capabilities. With a multi-year cadenced digital transformation, we can provide our guests multiple options to connect with our brand on a personal level, in store and in the digital space."

As of July 30, 2022, Build-A-Bear had 346 corporately-managed stores. Through the Company’s third-party retail business model, there were 65 locations with relationships that include Carnival Cruise Lines, Great Wolf Lodge Resorts, Landry’s and Beaches Family Resorts. The company’s international franchisees operated 62 locations at the end of the fiscal 2022 second quarter.