- After appointing new digital leaders, Build-A-Bear Workshop, Inc. has redesigned its website with improved checkout, payment and product visualization features, the company announced on Thursday.
- The company enhanced the Bear Builder 3D Workshop tool to guide shoppers through the bear building experience, from stuffing their bears to finalizing their design. Shoppers can also choose from a wide selection of clothes and accessories to customize their bears, the company said.
- The company added a buy online, pick up and store option to allow customers to pick up their bears at a local workshop. Deloitte Digital also helped the company modernize its website to improve how it showcases its products, shares events and promotions with shoppers and view the site across various mobile devices.
Build-A-Bear Workshop said it invested in marketing technology to provide a personalized experience for its customers. Jenn Kretchmar, the company’s chief digital and merchandising officer, said in a statement that it had grown its digital demand by 180% for the first half of 2022, up from the first half of 2019.
“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,” Kretchmar said in a statement. “Our website plays a critical role in the guest experience, from pre-shopping before visiting a Workshop location, to building and personalizing a furry friend online for home delivery. With the site’s enhancements, we will soon be able to show product availability specific to store locations, making same day delivery or in-store pick up gift-giving options even more seamless.”
In addition to modernizing its website, the company has also shaken up its leadership to steer its digital direction. In November 2021, the company hired Char Nicanor-Kimball to serve as its vice president of e-commerce. The company also promoted Art Huggard from the director of e-commerce development to vice president of digital technology.
After suffering steep losses early in the pandemic, the company reported a 28.4% increase in Q1 2022 revenue to $117.7 million. The next quarter, it reported a 17.1% increase in total revenues to 218.3 million, the highest in the first half of the company’s history, according to its Q2 2022 earnings report.
“We continue to make progress on our strategic initiatives including accelerating a broad-reaching and comprehensive digital transformation, continuing to evolve our retail experience and footprint while optimizing our expanded omnichannel capabilities, and leveraging our solid financial position to invest in initiatives intended to drive growth and return value to our shareholders,” Sharon Price John, Build-A-Bear Workshop president and CEO, said in a Q2 earnings statement.
Alongside its digital investments, the company has been attracting in-store shoppers again. In an investor presentation, the company said that less than 60% of store visits are planned, and the top reason for visiting its stores is birthday celebrations. The company also noted in the presentation that it plans to add about 20 stores in North America this year and celebrate its 25th anniversary with exclusive events and products.