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Performance metrics compare April - August 2022 to April - August 2023.
The Magic Soaring Behind Baseball’s Brightest Heroes
Since the ‘90s, Louisville Slugger Museum & Factory has cemented itself as “one of the greatest sports museums in the world;” so says Forbes.com among over six million guests who’ve walked through the museum doors — captivated by legendary eras gleaming inside. Louisville Slugger Museum & Factory is the first to tell you: every bat has a story.
Right outside some of the most iconic moments in baseball history towers the Biggest Bat on earth — soaring 120 feet high into the swirl of bright downtown Louisville’s open skies. Decades later, the beautifully renovated museum continues to cheer for that singular aha moment: the spark of generations connecting with the heat of fastball stories. How it all blazes to life before their wonder-struck eyes.
There’s only one Louisville Slugger Museum & Factory; and there’s a reason guests adventure from near and far; all to feel the thrill of history, floating electric in their palms. It’s palpable — how “special and unique personalized Louisville Slugger bats are to everyone who receives one,” says Andrew Soliday, Marketing Director at the museum. Winding up its ecommerce platform pitched an eye-catching “opportunity — to really focus on how we build that experience; how we create that excitement on the online level.”
In April 2023, Louisville Slugger Museum & Factory unveiled a triumphant reveal: invigorating the gallery with its first renovations in almost 15 years. Famed player sculptures race across the newly remodeled museum, inviting guests to interact with the unforgettable: starry-eyed experiences and lifelong memories in the making. A guest-favorite, the hallowed Bat Vault glinting with thousands of original bat models, now stretches to a whopping 638 square feet — almost twice its initial size.
Opening new space to showcase the riveting history behind baseball’s greatest all-stars, it was time for another transformation: Louisville Slugger Museum & Factory’s “first major website overhaul since 2016,” shares Soliday. The museum turned to BigCommerce agency partner, Hatfield Media, requesting a powerhouse website redesign. To deliver on this endeavor, Hatfield Media set out to revamp the museum’s ecommerce system, inside and out. This called for a complete headless build and a dynamic custom integration with NetSuite.
When working with Louisville Slugger & Museum Factory’s NetSuite team, Hatfield Media knew upleveling the existing apps would be a game-changer; flipping limitations mid-air to allow for a sleeker, more user-friendly visual experience. For a system that had not been digitally “remodeled” in seven years, the museum’s previous site design felt overwhelming to manage. This modern revamp would call for a platform that could handle epic customization. The museum needed a high-level system ready to deliver real time data; poised to tap into lightning rod capabilities — without the constraints of any theme; without the limitations of shifting third party dependencies.
Hatfield Media wanted to deliver on phenomenal efficiency, sharper inventory management, and spot-on financial reporting; slicing any chance human errors could run rampant to protect this brand's space to flex unparalleled customization. The museum was missing scalability in its online platform. Louisville Museum & Factory sought a redesign fit to streamline accelerated operations. Hatfield Media's team understood that to take customization features into a different stratosphere, the choice was clear: the bones of this old ecommerce structure needed the kind of juice only BigCommerce could offer — to help this brand usher in their prized customer experience into an entirely new league.
“Trying to build an ecommerce engine from scratch would be like trying to compete with Porsche to build a better motor, and all you've got to start with is a bar of steel,” explains Ray Tri, Director of Business Development at Hatfield Media. “Instead, we decided to partner with BigCommerce to not only keep build costs reasonable (which we can then pass those savings on to our clients), but because of their commitment to continued innovation, their support and maintenance teams, and the truly fantastic service they have built.”
Back-End Developer at Hatfield Media, Mark Russ, notes that through extensive conversations with the museum’s team, a brand-savvy game plan started to spin in motion. “Understanding these crucial details, from what they sell to the time it takes to fulfill it, empowered us to facilitate smooth integration.” It would take creative solutions to tackle a redesign ready to “support new features Hatfield is bringing to BigCommerce,” says Russ.
A joint collaboration edged across the diamond field — bringing together the museum’s NetSuite team, Hatfield Media, and BigCommerce; all to ensure: “the museum would land a home run.”
“Trying to build an ecommerce engine from scratch would be like trying to compete with Porsche to build a better motor, and all you've got to start with is a bar of steel.”
RAY TRI DIRECTOR OF BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT, HATFIELD MEDIA
Each day at the museum and factory, a living spark of magic zooms fresh into a guest’s hands. This is the moment they’ve been waiting for; the instant they get to feel the exhilaration of history made personal — holding onto their very own baseball bat. It’s this sense of capturing the unforgettable; like the kinetic whirl of that personalized souvenir bat crackle, sizzling next to coveted baseball bats made for today’s Major Leaguers: this is what Hatfield Media sought to fire up on Louisville Slugger & Museum Factory’s digital platform.
“We needed to build a design that could bring users the benefits of a simple, intuitive, and familiar experience. However, we didn’t want to sacrifice on providing the powerful tools and functionality needed to showcase the incredible custom bat selection that the Slugger Museum has to offer. This meant getting clever to conjure an outside the box solution capable of delivering both,” explains Senior Graphic Designer at Hatfield Media, Kaen Blevins.
Game-changing innovation and scalability.
After unleashing the power of BigCommerce, Slugger Gifts has opened its remodeled online doors to users — now able to champion state-of-the-art options. The BigCommerce difference: revolutionizing possibilities for flexibility and innovation, a user is able to make their own mark. Versatility that was never before possible now places an abundance of possibilities — pitched right to a user’s hands.
“Compared to our previous site, this gives the user all options available in terms of different handle colors, barrel colors, and the fact you can zoom in, zoom out; you can change the center brand color. The number of combinations are just endless,” cheers Soliday. For Louisville Slugger Museum & Factory, this means users get to unlock edge-of-the-seat potential — where anyone can truly “create exactly what they want” the way they want it. Baseball enthusiasts anywhere can customize their very own souvenir bats directly on Slugger Gifts; a feature that feels “really remarkable,” affirms Soliday.
Technical Features & Advantages:
- Netsuite ERP implementation
Integrating Louisville Slugger & Museum Factory’s ERP with their ecommerce website, Slugger Gifts, now facilitates:
The ability to generate data in real time — transforming efficiency, inventory management, and the accuracy of financial reporting.
Utilizing the BigCommerce ecommerce engine allows the museum to seamlessly run and scale operations; quickly and effectively.
Full headless wrapper around the BigCommerce API
The key advantage of a headless implementation: Hatfield Media’s team of web developers and graphic designers could customize the new site without the barriers presented by themes or a slew of third party dependencies.
Louisville Slugger & Museum Factory’s platform can unlock new levels of:
The internet’s most advanced real-time bat customizer
BigCommerce’s thoughtfully tailored app marketplace ensures: the museum can use existing applications in a headless manner wherever needed.
Louisville Slugger & Museum Factory can leverage solutions such as TaxJar for rapid-fire tax calculations.
The museum benefits from a sharp one-two punch: between Hatfield Media’s advanced CMS, primed for 100,000 visitor page views per second, and BigCommerce’s unlimited API plans for enterprise, Louisville Slugger Museum & Factory can sell an abundance of baseball bats.
BigCommerce’s commitment to providing a secure ecommerce platform empowers the museum with a multi-layered security approach. These proactive measures give Louisville Slugger & Museum Factory regular system updates, 24/7 monitoring, as well as advanced threat detection technologies.
Because BigCommerce is PCI DSS compliant, all of the museum’s transactions on Slugger Gifts can be handled in a reliable environment. For security infrastructure this robust, top-tier security is a must.
Agency Partner: Hatfield Media
“The number of combinations are just endless.”
ANDREW SOLIDAY MARKETING DIRECTOR, LOUISVILLE SLUGGER MUSEUM & FACTORY
Winding a full headless wrapper around the BigCommerce API.
Teaming up with BigCommerce, Hatfield Media equipped the museum with revamped digital resources — bringing forth the most advanced real-time bat customizer on the internet. “Partnering with BigCommerce allows us to marry our bleeding-edge content management and marketing technology to BigCommerce's world class eCommerce engine,” says Tri. “None of this partnership and integration would have been possible without BigCommerce's developer support and their API.”
Hatfield Media built Louisville Slugger Museum & Factory’s site on a headless multi-store version of BigCommerce; complete with a frontend, custom CMS; beautifully designed to curate a captivating user experience. Now, the museum is able to leverage ease of content and marketing management paired with BigCommerce’s powerhouse ecommerce foundation. This then allows the museum’s team to push key data from BigCommerce over to NetSuite: a trifecta of cutting-edge resources in play.
A league of collaborative partnership to let customization fly.
“The amount of flexibility afforded by their system, and some brilliant developers from the Hatfield Media team, are the reason that we were able to couple our platforms together so completely. We built our CMS with flexibility in mind, as our clients range from small mom and pops to massive and established corporations, so we need to be able to appeal to a broad range of clients, an ethos we share with BigCommerce,” highlights Tri.
Soliday notes, “We’re really looking at this on the ecomm side of things; as a way to keep people on our pages, on our website; increasing that conversation rate and the positive experience that a customer feels when they receive their custom bat.”
The value of a website at its mightiest: a resonant space like the Louisville Slugger Museum & Factory can evoke the magic of its brand, striking lightning through the screen. Each day, guests walk in just to feel the glory of history as if it’s swooshing steps away. This is what it means to be immersed in the Louisville Museum & Factory experience. It’s about turning timber into someone’s very own souvenir bat. It’s about connecting guests with that dazzling clang of legendary stories; where these very baseball bats helped superstars lay claim to home on diamond fields.
Through BigCommerce’s leading-edge resources and Hatfield Media’s strategic management and implementation, Louisville Slugger Museum & Factory offers unprecedented user marvel: the most mind-bending bat customizer the internet has ever seen. “This opens up our ability to market what is essentially a whole new product for us. Never before have we had the ability to give total customization to our customers,” explains Soliday.
With an adrenaline-charged revamped online presence, Louisville Slugger Museum & Factory’s website elevates the customer experience — capturing the true magic that calls guests from all over the world; just to feel that can’t-beat-it swing of nostalgia. Harnessing BigCommerce’s high-flying resources and drawing on Hatfield Media’s UI/UX consulting, the museum has magnetized a 50% spike in page views — from April to August alone compared to this time last year. Louisville Museum Slugger & Factory has experienced a 32% jump in revenue, a 16% boost in orders, and a 15% rise in average order value.
“Never before have we had the ability to give total customization to our customers.”
ANDREW SOLIDAY MARKETING DIRECTOR, LOUISVILLE SLUGGER MUSEUM & FACTORY
Flying quantum leaps in enhanced user experience.
With an invigorating new site, even before they arrive, guests are able to already step their feet up to the plate — where the museum’s brand-savvy platform extends anticipation for a next visit; a celebration of history cast in a whole new light. The reanimated potential feels like a fastball on the move; velocity unbound. The “ease of accessibility now that Slugger Gifts exists on the same website, having that all under one URL is going to show people from front to back what we’re all about at the Louisville Slugger Museum,” asserts Soliday.
Drawing on BigCommerce’s tremendous malleability, Hatfield Media rose to the occasion; custom-building a site that captures the museum and factory’s sense of memories bright in the making. Tri notes, “The flexibility up and down the line is what allowed us to create a website where the inputs from the customer's personalized bat never need to be touched by humans — it's a straight shot from the website input to the engraving and CNC machines on the factory floor. Flexibility means we can apply this model for any modern company who has digitized business systems.”
Consider that “the new Louisville Slugger Museum & Factory website is the largest collaborative development project we have undertaken as an agency,” notes Tri; compelling innovation all made possible through BigCommerce’s headless eCommerce engine as a service. As such, he feels eager to witness just where this supernova partnership can lead. “We were able to work with the museum’s team to build a new website, on our modern content management and marketing system, that is natively integrated with BigCommerce's best-in-breed ecommerce platform,” shares Tri.
With an authentic 2D image featuring the silhouette of a real baseball bat, Hatfield Media was able to unveil a magnetic standout for the museum. BigCommerce gave Hatfield Media the chops to achieve new innovative heights, upleveling Louisville Slugger Museum & Factory’s authenticity as a beloved brand — a hallmark that beckons visitors from baseball aficionados to curious passersby, spellbound by the intrigue that awaits them indoors. Tri imagines, “The possibilities this opens up for both the museum and Hatfield Media in terms of future capabilities is phenomenal.”