Allparts Saves Thousands, Logs 2 Million Monthly Page Views After Switching to Shift4Shop

Allparts Music Corporation has provided guitar and bass parts to manufacturers, wholesalers, musicians, luthiers, retail stores and guitar repair shops all over the world since 1982. With more than 5,000 products in its Houston, TX warehouse, the company is the world’s largest distributor of guitar, bass and amplifier parts, featuring distribution across six continents.

Retail Business Is the Sum of Its Parts

A rich history of wholesale success stemming back to 1982 makes Allparts no stranger to the world of ecommerce. In fact, the distributor first got online in the mid-90s with an old shopping cart platform that many might consider rudimentary by today’s standards. At the time, it did the job.

Over the years, Allparts has developed a unique business structure, splitting sales between business and consumer audiences.

• B2B: Wholesale purchases by manufacturers and shops make up the bulk of the company’s business.

• B2C: Allparts sells to end-users who prefer to buy direct at non-discounted retail pricing.

Volusion Plucks One Too Many Sour Notes

Fast-forward to 2009. Dean Peckenpaugh, Allparts’ IT director, saw the need for a new software platform. A few years prior, he’d worked with Volusion and had a strong experience. But after the transition, Dean began to notice something didn’t feel right.

“Volusion had undergone a huge migration, moving all of its content off of Rackspace and onto in-house servers,” Dean explains. “Soon after, the company started experiencing problems with uptime for its stores. That problem continues today.”

To make matters worse, working with Volusion threatened Allparts’ unique business model. Segmenting customers with Volusion required an enormous amount of custom code that Dean had to continually evaluate and update. “Every time Volusion changed something, we were concerned about how it might affect the site,” says Dean.

“There were actually times when things suddenly broke. It made us feel vulnerable as a business.” Consistent, astronomical bandwidth overage charges were the final straw. Every month without fail, Allparts paid three times its core rate in fees.

About a year after the transition, Dean knew that Volusion couldn’t be a long-term solution. He began the tough task of evaluating other options.

Shift4Shop and Allparts Find Harmony

Dean’s search initially led him to Magento, but he quickly decided the platform would require a dedicated team of people to run. That would cost too much. “I’m the one-man show running our software platform,” he says. “I’m not a developer or a designer. We didn’t have the budget to hire on extra specialists, so Magento was clearly out.”

Dean spent time asking questions in independent e-commerce forums, where Shift4Shop CTO Jimmy Rodriguez is a frequent contributor. He invited Dean to demo Shift4Shop, and a new relationship was quickly born. Allparts decided to make the transition.

“Not only do we pay lower fees with Shift4Shop—it’s also a slimmer platform that consumes less bandwidth than Volusion to perform the same actions,” Dean explains. “We get more bandwidth with Shift4Shop and use less. Even if we went over our core package, which we rarely do, it wouldn’t cost us half as much as Volusion pricing.” Price was only part of the equation. Three other core strengths within Shift4Shop helped sway Dean.

Ease of Use

Shift4Shop requires no custom code or design. Dean is able to configure frontend presentation and backend settings with very little hassle.

Customer Segmentation

Segmenting businesses and individuals is a simple process. Shipping and payment specifications automatically adjust based on different sign-in or checkout criteria.

Simple Customization

Product and category page access was a huge bonus for Dean. He also cites Shift4Shop’s 50+ email templates as extremely helpful features.

Allparts Sees a Nearly 33 Percent Increase in Page Views

Allparts launched with Shift4Shop in October 2012. The new software platform drove immediate results, including:

• 25 percent reduction in site response time

• 20 percent increase in page views

• Around 33 percent increase in per-visit page views

• 3 percent decrease in bounce rate

• An extra 600 visitors a day

• 2 million monthly page views

• 150,000 unique monthly visitors

On the financial side, Allparts saves tens of thousands of dollars using Shift4Shop over Volusion. According to Dean, the results since the switch have been enormous—and it’s only the beginning.

“In our industry, Allparts is recognized as a brand that sets the standard for quality, price and customer service,” Dean adds. “If we want to keep that status, we need a reliable, excellent software partner. Shift4Shop fulfills that need.”

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