Behind The Doors of BVAccel
Written by Franco Varriano.
What do RedBull, Daymond John, Kylie Jenner and MVMT Watches have in common? They all worked with a San Diego based eCommerce agency BVAccel to bring their online store vision to life. Their known within the ecommerce ecosystem as Shopify Plus experts, the number one destination for premium brands looking to enhance their eCommerce activity. Today, we have Nikki Johnson, Agency Marketing Manager at BVAccel, where she leads all internal branding/marketing efforts and hosts events and Kenny Rosenberg the VP of Design/Development where he leads the charge on all things Shopify. We will give you a behind the scene look into ecommerce hottest during this chat, let’s get started.
2. The Interview
Taylor: Many people have heard of BVAccel but know very little about the people behind it. Can you introduce yourself and the core team behind BVAccel?
Nikki: Absolutely! I am the Agency Marketing Manager for BVAccel, I do all internal branding and marketing for the agency itself. Kenny is also sitting with me, he is the VP of Design/Development at BVAccel, he’s our unicorn, he’s one of the best Shopify experts around — He was one of the OG employees here at BVAccel. And we’re both here because of Dylan, who is the CEO and Annie the COO.
Taylor: You guys are one of the top design agencies on Shopify Plus. How did you get there?
Nikki: I think this is a question best suited for Kenny…
Kenny: This is simple — We’ve been blessed with talent who love to take big leaps and catch each other when they fall. We’re a team!
Taylor: BVAccel’s website has a strong emphasis on the culture. Why is culture so important to business success, especially BVA?
Nikki: Culture is what defines us at BVAccel…culture meaning the people — Like Kenny said, we have a lot of talent that works really hard, so we have to make it a fun place to be. We want people to look forward to coming to work every day. The catered lunches, unlimited PTO and team events are some of the great perks that we have but, we do those things because we want to constantly remind the team how proud we are of the hard work they put in, and the beautiful webstores that they consistently put out. If people aren’t proud of where they work, they won’t be proud of the projects they produce, and what’s the point in that?
Taylor: Can you walk us through the design process at BVAccel. Assuming a Fortune 500 reach out to you for a new online store, what happens next?
Kenny: Every project begins with a thorough discovery to identify high-level business objectives and shopper needs. Internally, it’s critical to maintain alignment of client expectations throughout every phase of the project launch: Discovery, Design, Development, QA. Assuming this Fortune 500 business already has an online store, our Design & Development collaborate to identify user-facing data points that require migration from the legacy platform as well as prepare functionality requirements for retaining crucial user patterns. Utilizing style guide-driven development, our team ideates & prototype essential components that begin to form a remarkable visual language that solves user problems.
Taylor: In a world where BVAccel achieve its mission, how is the ecommerce landscape?
Kenny: BVAccel will never fully achieve its original mission. Because of the exponential growth in technology, it’s imperative we constantly adapt our strategies, offerings and proficiencies to keep rolling on this wild ride called eCommerce. Every year, major advancements are made in commerce that can create or improve merchant revenue streams – personalization, digital wallets, bots, VR, AR, you name it etc. We stay ravenous and have fun doing it.
Taylor: In one paragraph, why is Shopify Plus your ecommerce platform of choice?
Kenny: I could answer this 100 different ways – I appreciate the one paragraph limit. But at the core of why they have become and will remain my platform of choice is this: the culture behind Shopify genuinely strives to open up possibilities for all of their customers. Out of all platforms, they give a shit the most about customer service, future-proofing businesses, and providing tools for a thriving community to create. To Shopify, it’s not about World domination or the promise of billions – it’s about seeing people like me and you succeed. Look at where we’re at now.
Taylor: Based on what you’ve learned so far working at BVA, what are the top 3 key to success for online stores?
Trust the experts — trust that the team you hired is going to produce great work. Without trust, you’ve really got nothing.
Shopify really is the way to go, I came from a Magento agency, I saw how things operated, I know how much work and cost goes into developing a Magento store. And now that I am on the other side, I see just how beautiful a Shopify webstore can be at a fraction of the price.
Kenny, do you want to take the last one, from a execution team standpoint?
Brand Loyalty is the most important factor for a successful online store. If you’re not driving repeat buyers and maximizing customer retention, you’re going out of business.
Taylor: How is your team able to handle so many different high profile clients at the same time?
Nikki: We operate in an agile Project management workflow. So we work in 2 week sprints. These sprints give our clients transparency into their project, and gives us the ability to prioritize everything. So when we sign new clients, we are able to place them with the appropriate agile team that we know has capacity. Each of our clients knows exactly who they are dealing with every day, and they know who is managing their project.
Taylor: Your team has significantly grown over the last year, tell us more about that.
Nikki: I feel like this is an understatement. When I started last September, I was #14. Today, we are reaching 50 — With no plans of slowing down any time soon. We are easily able to grow, because of our agile environment. We used to have 1 larger agile team and as we’ve continued to grow, we’ve broken out into 4 separate agile teams, each with their own developers, project manager, account manager and lead designer. Dylan has big dreams of reaching the 100 employee marker…and we are ready for it. The thought of growing and continually striving to be the #1 Shopify Plus partner, is what energizes us and keeps us wanting more.
Taylor: What do you think sets you apart from the growing Shopify ecosystem?
Nikki: The BVAccel team. I have never, met such an incredible group of individuals. We work together to make every project beautiful — it’s all teamwork. It’s not unusual for our developers to hold lunch and learns, to grow their department or for someone to jump in on a project to help in any capacity. Taylor you’ve had the opportunity to work with us at our First Shopify Meetup we hosted in SD…you’ve gotten to see this first hand…When the keg didn’t work, we had half a dozen employees run to grab beer and solve the problem, without even being asked. Why?? Because we love what we do and where we work and it’s how we are as a team. We are all passionate, thoughtful and innovative, and we’re ready to crush, every project.
Kenny from a process standpoint do you have anything to add…
Kenny: Process is where our value truly lies. BVAccel cultivates long-term relationships because our organizational process consistently delivers desired outcomes to our clients. We’ve all heard the horror stories of agencies or freelancers not meeting expectations, ultimately resulting in higher costs and even higher waste of time…that doesn’t happen here.
Just like that, the doors close as the team goes back to work…
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