Savannah Bee Company: Representing a passion for bees, beekeeping, and honey though eCommerce.

About Our Partner

Savannah Bee Company is the result of a deep passion for bees and a love for all things beekeeping. Founder and CEO Ted Dennard started the business as a sole beekeeper selling honey in a few local shops in Savannah, GA. Since then, he and his team have created an engaging and attractive brand. Their products are healthy, delicious, and good for the earth. Savannah Bee Company is a truly authentic brand with fantastic products and a noble vision.

Project Details

  • Client On-site Project Kickoff
  • Detailed Project Planning
  • Zendesk Integration
  • MailChimp/Mandrill Email Marketing Integration
  • SEO & User Experience Tracking
  • Sales Representative Integration for In-Store Associates
  • Responsive, Mobile-Friendly Design & Development
  • Custom Responsive WordPress Blog
  • Magento Enterprise Edition 1.13.1
  • Custom Joyent Cloud Hosting Architecture
  • Optimized for Magento
  • Fulfillment Integration with Shipping & Quickbooks

Project Story

When we met Savannah Bee Company, they already had a solid base of business-to-business customers. Retailers like Whole Foods, EarthFare, and boutique vendors were reselling their products across the US. They were ready to focus on direct sales and needed a site to support that growth.

Their local shops offer an amazing in-store experience. Savannah Bee links their high-quality products with an educational message about bees and their role in nature. This message has positioned Savannah Bee as an apiary authority and advocate. It really connects with their customers.

Their team wanted to recreate the brick-and-mortar experience through digital channels, but their system simply couldn’t support that goal. So Gauge and Savannah Bee partnered to create a new site that would feel like shopping in their retail stores.

First, we moved them to the Magento Enterprise Edition for a reliable foundation. Then we built a mobile-friendly design that would adapt to a range of devices. We had two main goals: (1) Educate customers on the importance of bees within our world. (2) Promote new products, categories, and the brand itself to grow their eCommerce sales. To do this, we used a strategic blend of bold imagery, educational videos, and clean design.

Planning the Change

Savannah Bee was a success in the digital and local markets. Their business was growing in every aspect: Bigger team. Increased sales. More orders. Bigger warehouse. More complex challenges.

They came to us because they wanted to invest in eCommerce growth. Savannah Bee is fiercely popular with tourists in Savannah and other destination cities. Ted and his team recognized a promising opportunity: With their eCommerce store, they could turn one-time purchasers into a loyal customer base. A tourist may buy once from a fun and funky boutique. If you give them high-quality products and recreate the experience online, they’ll return again and again. They’ll shop in person for the experience, and then they’ll shop online for the product and memories.

This was a complex project. To get it right, we needed a thorough understanding of their current realities. So our first step was to dig into the details. For this project, we had the pleasure of easy and frequent access to their team. Because we’re in the same city, our team could fully immerse in the Savannah Bee culture, mission, and identity. We got to know their entire operation, and then put that insight to work with a comprehensive plan. We worked hand-in-hand with their team to identify what they needed, plan the new eCommerce system’s architecture, and create a detailed timeline.

This investment paid off. Our research allowed for an accurate price and timeline. We also identified and avoided some major potential pitfalls. A thorough plan gave their team peace of mind and clarified the project details, so they could invest their time and money with confidence.


Expanding eCommerce

After the planning stage we focused on three main objectives:

  1. Dramatically enhancing the look, feel, and brand presence of Savannah Bee Company
  2. Creating a mobile-friendly store for easy shopping on every device
  3. Connecting their back-end systems to simplify operations and reduce re-work


Building Their Brand

Savannah Bee Company has been an authentic brand from Day One. But their eCommerce site had been neglected. Capturing the eCommerce market took an entirely fresh perspective. A crucial moment was when their team realized that their site is more than a storefront—it’s a channel to connect the world with their brand.

For the new site, we helped them move the design to the forefront. The goal was to make every page drip with their brand essence and really stick with the customer. The end result is a site that truly represents who Savannah Bee Company is. Visiting their online store replicates the feeling of walking into a Savannah Bee boutique for the first time. It communicates their values and amplifies their message.


Building an easy to use store, especially for mobile shoppers

Savannah Bee could see a sharp rise in their mobile visitors. A mobile-friendly, easy to use design could make a real impact on their bottom line. We created a simple design that would highlight engaging content like blog posts and bee facts. Seamless custom content and eCommerce functionality created a streamlined experience on any device.


Effective Back-End System Integration

The front-end got a lot of love during this project, but we were careful to make sure to give equal attention to all of the gears and cogs which powered this business day to day. We took a careful look at every existing system which ran the eCommerce, wholesale, and retail businesses to find areas for improvement without disrupting business in retail and wholesale.

The result was an integration with quickbooks that fit within their current workflow and even allowed us to clean up their process to save time and headaches. We installed ShipStation to power their pick, pack and ship process all while the internal SBC shipping team completely reconfigured their warehouse to take advantage of new flow racks and further optimize their warehouse space while dramatically reducing the time it took to pack each box.

Key Results

All told, Savannah Bee saw an intense change in how their brand was portrayed and they were able to build a strong foundation to support eCommerce growth for years to come.

  • Revenue up 22%
  • Transactions up 16%
  • Avg. Order Value up 5.34%
  • Pageviews up 36%
  • Mobile Conversion Rate up 47%
  • Mobile Revenue up 149%