We selected Elastic Path because we believe in the same thing; innovating our business together. Having a partner who truly believes in what you are looking to create is the best partner out there.
Who They Are
Pella Windows and Doors is a leader in the window and door industry; designing, manufacturing, distributing, and installing quality windows and doors for residential and commercial projects since 1925.
Windows and doors are a highly considered purchase. In fact, the average person will only purchase a window once or twice in their lifetime. Innovators in their industry, Pella sought to bring the window and door purchasing experience into the 21st century by enabling consumers to configure, design, and purchase their custom windows and doors entirely online.
The Forefront of Digital
Aware of shifting consumer expectations and the early adoption of digital channels across industries, Pella knew they wanted to not only create a direct-to-consumer channel (DTC), but they wanted to be the first in their industry to do it entirely online.
To start the process, Pella mapped out the experience they wanted to create, after all, building a window is complex. A lot of variables need to be accounted for, from materials to color finishes, and even the type of glass based on the region's altitude. All of these elements would require educating the consumer on their path to purchase. They also knew they needed a robust platform in place to handle the complexities that come with a custom-configured purchasing experience, and so began their digital commerce journey.
We're at the foothills of great change across verticals. The demand is shifting, and players that are getting involved now will be the ones who succeed. It's imperative now more than ever to be hyper aware of the continued angles that you can push your business to drive innovation. I'm excited for Pella to be at the frontier with Elastic Path, it’s a great place to be.Rebecca Hicks, eCommerce Product Manager, Pella Windows & Doors
Roadblocks and Solutioning for Today’s Buying Journey
Being a leader in innovation for your industry is never easy, and Pella was met with their own set of challenges to overcome, including:
Understanding the Consumer: Before they could offer custom-configured windows online, Pella needed to understand their consumer and what goes into making a purchase. They knew they needed to create an experience that allowed the consumer to self-educate before configuring and ultimately purchasing their custom windows.
SKU Variations: A highly complex use case, Pella does not have SKU-based products - consumers build out their custom products by configuring parts to create their unique window and subsequent SKU. With this in mind, Pella knew they needed to find a solution that had the flexibility to manage a robust catalog that would support their unique octillion product variations and a cart that could handle complex checkouts.
Selecting the right approach: Pella knew right away that a monolithic platform would not meet their requirements to commerce-enable their site. They needed an API-driven, modern approach with the flexibility to move quickly, and the ability to integrate with their existing systems to run the rest of the business.
“Taking a monolithic approach limits your flexibility and ability to be agile and refine as you go. It’s a more arduous tech stack. Taking a Composable Commerce approach with Elastic Path will allow us to tap into legacy systems with ease but also have the flexibility to integrate with other best-in-class software as our business evolves.”
- Rebecca Hicks, eCommerce Product Manager, Pella Windows & Doors
Embracing Composable Commerce
We have a complex and dynamic business, so embracing Composable Commerce will be key to our ability to achieve our digital commerce vision in a way that enables us to move fast, support our unique business requirements, and delight our customers and partners.Rebecca Hicks, eCommerce Product Manager, Pella Windows & Doors
Sold on the flexibility, Pella selected a Composable Commerce approach with Elastic Path as their commerce partner. The modular architecture allowed them to move quickly by plugging into their existing ecosystem. It also gave them the opportunity to easily integrate other best in class vendors as the needs of the business evolved, starting with the integration of Algolia for personalized embedded search.
On a mission to empower the customer to feel confident in making a highly considered purchase online, the team put together a wealth of information on their site for the customer to self-educate. Everything from tips & tricks, in-depth blog posts, virtual and in-person consultations to customer testimonials and much more, the customer is left feeling empowered and confident about the decisions they are making to their home.
The customer experience is further supported by the robust catalog that has been put in place. The team can now manage their complex catalog with ease through EP Product Experience Manager (PXM). Creating unique catalogs with thousands of variations in seconds. This gives the team the ability to assign rules to the catalog so they are dynamically surfaced to the correct customer across every route to market.
Starting small, their DTC initiative honed in on a specific persona, the Savvy DIYer. In a constant loop with the customer, they focused on their shopping habits, self-education journey and ultimately, how they converted. A composable approach has allowed Pella to take these learnings and fine-tune the experience based on the wants and needs of their customer with refinements to filtering, navigation, and dynamic bundling.
A Composable Future
Digital is a game of speed. You want to be supported, you want to be risk-averse, and you want to be able to make change quickly. The win with Elastic Path is that we can act with speed.Rebecca Hicks, eCommerce Product Manager, Pella Windows & Doors
Success for Pella is nuanced, factors like traffic and engagement will always play a role in how they optimize and evolve their digital experience, but at the end of the day, like any business, ultimate success will be measured by revenue.
Customer learning will also be a factor for future success. By understanding the customer journey, they can continue to innovate new solutions and product offerings to create customer loyalty in an industry that is typically a one-time purchase and create recurring revenue streams. With innovations like the purchase of replacement parts. An intuitive process for customers to purchase window and door replacement parts entirely online. Knowing not everyone is a master craftsman, this step-by-step process guides consumers to ensure they are getting the replacement parts needed.
From a roadmap perspective, the potential for digital across verticals is limitless, but Pella is most excited about venturing into the world of Buy Now, Pay Later. Expanding into this offering will open up a whole new revenue stream and market of potential customers. In addition, it’s also an exciting opportunity for the consumer, opening up the possibility to make that highly considered purchase without the need for financing.
We’re in constant communication, from building out the roadmap to development to support. There's not a time that we don't send an email and get a prompt reply, and it's not the canned 'thank you for sending an email we'll reply in 48 hours’, they're really there. I feel like they're a part of the team.Rebecca Hicks, eCommerce Product Manager, Pella Windows & Doors
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