Magento Commerce Fuels RXBAR’s B2B2C Omnichannel Experience
We all know the odds: only about half of small businesses make it past the five-year mark. So, in 2013 when Peter Rahal made the first RXBAR in his parents’ basement with his cofounder Jared Smith, neither of the CrossFit buffs imagined that just four short years later, their company would be valued at $600 million, or that consumer packaged goods giant Kellogg would purchase it.
In those early days, Rahal and Smith primarily sold the protein bars to businesses like gyms and coffee shops. The bars became mainstays on the CrossFit circuit because customers appreciated the transparency in ingredients: RXBAR labels make it clear what the bars are made from, showcasing ingredients like “3 Egg Whites, 6 Almonds, 4 Cashews, 2 Dates” right on the front of the packaging.
This transparency helped RXBAR break through to a broader community of health and fitness aficionados. People began to reach out directly to the company to find out how they could get their hands on the products. This was the impetus for a sophisticated e-commerce platform that would not only help RXBAR scale, but also allow the company to stay connected to their customers and offer a shopping experience that felt authentic to the brand. That’s when RXBAR’s exploration of Adobe’s Magento Commerce solution began.
“Magento Commerce really provided us with a robust solution that enabled us to manage an omnichannel selling experience,” said Katie Ehrhardt, Director of E-commerce, RXBAR. “In those early days, we sold to businesses, and we were starting to see significant demand and opportunity within the direct-to-consumer space so we needed a platform that could support that. As we began evaluating service providers, we knew that we would eventually want to scale into becoming a global organization. So, the capabilities to manage multiple countries and currencies in one backend was important to us for easy maintenance and customization.”
In addition, Ehrhardt said that Magento Commerce had a nice mix of easy-to-implement, out-of-the-box features as well as downloadable extensions that allowed RXBAR to customize the platform for its specific business nuances. Another plus, she said, is that Magento Commerce is easy to manage with a small in-house team and RXBAR’s Solutions Partner Gorilla Group.
“We are still a very small e-commerce team, relative to the size of our business,” Ehrhardt said. “We wanted a platform that would streamline things like page building and product merchandising, while still offering capabilities for customization.”
Today, RXBAR manages multiple, dynamic storefronts with different pricing tiers, offering one set of products and web experiences to wholesalers and a totally different online experience for direct-to-consumer fulfillment. Not only does RXBAR have the two different storefronts—it actually has different sales tools that it makes available within its wholesale portal to different customer types.
“We have segmented our wholesale business into different customer groups based on the type of business they run,” Ehrhardt said. “And then we have different displays or banners—varying sales tools—that we make available to various types of wholesalers.” From a direct-to-consumer standpoint, RXBAR bundles some of its top selling products together to increase average order value and cart size. There are also a number of trial packs that are available on the website that are not available anywhere else, offering a differentiated experience for customers.
In addition, Magento Commerce allows for custom integrations with RXBAR’s CRM system and other platforms within the company’s tech stack. It empowers RXBAR’s marketing team to customize their communications based on user behavior on their site, giving them a holistic view of how customers are interacting with communications pushed out to them.
The Magento-powered RXBAR website, Ehrhardt said, continues to be an important part of the brand’s overall sales strategy. RXBAR uses the site to sell, but also to launch new products, build its brand through stories, and establish direct relationships with its loyal customers.
“We are one of a small segment of consumer packaged goods (CPG) food brands that sell directly to consumers, and that’s a strategic advantage for us,” she said. “Being able to have that two-way dialogue with our customers is crucial for us—whether it’s through the email signups, gaining feedback via on-site product reviews or live chats with our customer support team. That’s all valuable information that we wouldn’t have if we just sold through traditional retail means, and it is another way for us to be transparent with our customers.”
And according to Ehrhardt, since expanding into the direct-to-consumer market via Magento Commerce, B2C now accounts for nearly 75% of RXBAR’s online revenue.
Empowering smarter business decisions
Today, RXBAR uses its online sales data to uncover insights that empower success across all areas of the business. For example, e-commerce data is informing product development (think flavors, product extensions and formula improvements).
“We launched RX Nut Butters last year, and it was our first new product form outside of our bars that we released on our website before tapping into our retail outlets,” Ehrhardt said. The strategic reasoning was to gain as much insight as possible from its core customer base, to inform which of the three RX Nut Butter flavors would best resonate with them. Answer: while peanut butter flavors have traditionally fared well in their stores, vanilla almond butter proved to be the most popular, and continues to be one of the top performing SKUs within the RX Nut Butter collection.
RXBAR has also relied on its e-commerce data to guide its go-to-market strategy in other countries. In fact, since launching in the United States in 2013, RXBAR has expanded into over 20 countries. The company is supporting some of its biggest markets with dedicated storefronts because of the ability to set up multiple websites on the Magento Commerce platform. Additionally, the RXBAR product catalog has grown from 6 SKUs to almost 200 SKUs since the adoption of Magento Commerce.
What’s on the horizon for RXBAR? 2020 is due to be a big year for innovation at RXBAR and ecommerce will have an instrumental role in the success of new launches and gathering insights on consumer preferences to best tailor those innovations. The company just signed an agreement to move forward with Adobe Commerce Cloud to further scale its business and support these initiatives.
“It unlocks capabilities for us to have access to a VPN, and we have a more traditional hosting model that we can update,” Ehrhardt said. “Another thing [that drove us to Adobe Commerce Cloud] is more flexibility for development partners and streamlining their ability to access our site for implementations and additional workflows.”