Noissue is a platform that offers sustainable and custom packaging for businesses of all sizes. New Zealand based Co-Founders, Augie Gruar and Josh Bowden, came up with the idea while in the midst of another venture. “We had started a sustainable eyewear brand making frames from waste materials, and when it came to doing the packaging it obviously had to be sustainable as well to be on-brand,” Bowden tells us. “We ended up sourcing the packaging ourselves and it turned out our eyewear stockists, who were small retailers, were just as interested in the packaging as they were the eyewear! After a bit of research, we realised there were very few places small businesses could go to get sustainable packaging that showcased their brand, so noissue was created to service this need.”
There are a few core beliefs that noissue prides itself on when it comes to its business, all of which stem from a desire for customer satisfaction. When the pandemic hit in 2020, many businesses were concerned about navigating through the tough and uncertain times. So noissue released a manual to help guide small businesses, filled with helpful hints, resources and actionable tips they could immediately implement for a more robust future. “We’ve always been a human-centric, customer-driven business, and adding value and providing resources has always been important for our community,” says Bowden.
The pandemic has transformed businesses in more ways than is imaginable. For noissue, this was no exception. Stay at home orders spurred the launch of many small businesses worldwide, which resulted in a massive uptake in noissue’s e-commerce packaging range.
“It was interesting to see demand occur on a geographical scale with the movement of different countries in and out of lockdowns!” says Bowden. He explains that noissue has continued to work towards localising its core markets, and building good relationships with business partners along the way. “This has helped us get ahead of any potential disruptions in production and shipping, enabling a good customer experience,” he shares.
Before noissue was able to tackle the challenges of creating the perfect customer experience, it had to enable a better, more reliable and agile storefront. That’s where BigCommerce came in. “Moving from self-hosted to SaaS lets us focus on the problems unique to our business, while BigCommerce works behind the scenes for us on scaling, security and e-commerce features,” shared Kevin Clark, the Platform Director at noissue.
Moving from one platform to BigCommerce was fast and easy, Clark tells us. “We were able to prove the concept within a week using the Next.js Commerce template project and were able to roll out the migrated store to the first region within a few months,” he says.
“BigCommerce allowed us to move a completely modern development stack and greatly simplify our operations. We have built our store with a headless Next.js/React frontend which allows us to keep up with all the emerging frontend trends. We have leveraged the BigCommerce webhook APIs to power an event-driven architecture on the backend, which hooks into our complex network of suppliers for near real-time updates,” Clark explains.
Once fully migrated to the BigCommerce platform, noissue was able to continue focussing on its customer-centric philosophy.
Kevin Clark, Platform Director at noissue
Noissue released a series of new products that were suggested and recommended by its clients. “Our product range is built to flex to our customer needs, and we’re really proud of that from a sustainability standpoint,” Bowden explains. “It’s easy for our customers to purchase what they need with our low minimums, and adjust their packaging when they have a greater need or are taking that next step!”
Noissue prides itself on being a sustainable brand, but for many businesses, this term holds various meanings. So, what does sustainability mean to the noissue team? It’s all about behaving in a way that protects the world’s resources and the people who live in it, Bowden tells Power Retail.
“For noissue specifically, we obviously have our products, but I think in the wider sense of our business it is about making decisions with a long term view in mind. This means we think about what our business will look like in five years and translate this back into a vision, which then guides us in our thinking and actions. Acting for the long term automatically sets you up to make decisions that result in a more sustainable business.”
Looking at its five-year vision, the team at noissue had to be sure the platf0ork they used was able to grow alongside them. “BigCommerce really understands the needs of headless storefronts and is built from the ground up to support this use case,” says Clark. “They provide excellent documentation and examples for headless builds and we never ran into problems where some features might only be available to hosted pages. We leveraged the hosted BigCommerce Optimized One-Page Checkout to reduce our time to market, allowing us to launch the store quickly with a fully functional checkout experience while still having the option to replace this later with a custom headless checkout.”
Retail, in general, is a highly tumultuous industry when it comes to sustainability. As producers of mass waste, single use plastic packaging and much more, there has been a movement to increase awareness of eco-friendly efforts. Noissue is taking notice, too. “We’ve seen a lot of demand with the switch to e-commerce/online purchases, and the rise of the creator/solopreneur economy,” says Bowden. “Many started new businesses, and we saw a lot gain very good traction with the shop small, shop local movement we saw at the height of global lockdowns.”
It’s not just businesses, but it’s consumers as well. Shoppers in Australia and worldwide have expressed that they’d be happy to walk away from a retailer if they don’t reflect their own values. “We’ve been hearing that customers are ‘voting with their wallets’ and that very much remains true,” Bowden tells us. “Retailers are listening to what their customers want to see from them, from new products, partnerships, and packaging. Many are listening to their customers on social platforms, review sites, and providing choices at checkout like the option to choose more sustainable packaging.”
There has been a big shift to support businesses that are aligned with their personal values, and the pandemic accelerated these points of view. A combination of acutely focussed sustainable efforts, and the added strain of supply chains have forced many consumers to look local. “The collective community has been really powerful to witness, along with the creativity of these new businesses, and the adaptability and resilience of retailers who needed to flex to ‘new normals’,” he says.
Rapidly evolving to the challenges faced by the pandemic are some of the biggest issues facing retailers right now, the team at noissue explain. “With Covid disruptions to in-store shopping, and supply chain issues impacting e-commerce globally, retailers need to be prepared to drive sales and ensure supply amidst these changes,” says Bowden. What advice does he give to retailers and businesses aiming to navigate the ever-changing landscape? Simply put, it’s about communication and community.
“Retailers should be in communication with their suppliers so they can have a heads up on any delays or shortages, have the tech in-place to flex product offering, so consumers aren’t shopping for something out of stock or delayed, and they should be building community with their consumers,” he says. “Community is a great way to drive loyalty and consumer love, which creates understanding if you do go through any disruptions.”
Avoiding disruptions is a benefit that all retailers aim for, which is why the BigCommerce platform was such a blessing for noissue. What’s the favourite part of the platform, according to Clark? “Really, it’s how little we have to think about it,” he says. “It’s great when the platform “just works” and we are not constantly worrying about the basics of transacting. All of our time is spent on the unique aspects of noissue’s website that really matter, such as providing great customisable design tools. When it comes to purchasing, the platform just does its thing without fuss.”
Looking forward, noissue plans to continue doing its business sustainably, as well as offering more consumer requested products, of which are all made with circular materials. “We also want to drive more community-led initiatives, and enable our customers to create those moments of excitement and joy with their packaging. We’re creative and ambitious as a business and are really passionate about inspiring consumers and businesses to reimagine what packaging should be,” Bowden explains.
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