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CASE STUDY How Toolden scaled from local seller to global retailer

ToolDen: from strength to strength

If you need it, Toolden has it. The company has been selling all types of tools and accessories offline to businesses and everyday consumers for nearly 30 years. The company got its start supplying the citizenry of North East Scotland at trade shows, through direct selling and telesales.

From power tools, hand tools and gardening equipment, to nails, adhesives, lighting and even automotive tools and supplies, Toolden is fast becoming a global one-stop shop.

The 2020 COVID-19 lockdown was the catalyst for taking a new approach to business. Although Toolden experienced an immediate dip in sales, it was able to counter it with sound business strategy. More products, competitive pricing and new financing options quickly turned things around.

Toolden went from offering 10,000 products to 30,000 products and as head of ecommerce and digital, Eddie Grovu explains: “Sales went through the roof and now we’re just reaping the rewards on a monthly basis.”

Tired of lacklustre results

In 2016, Toolden launched into the digital space of ecommerce by first selling on eBay and Amazon. It didn’t take long before leadership realised that a website would be the catalyst to expand its operation globally and maximise growth.

A customised ecommerce website was built, but delivered lacklustre results. The platform wasn’t giving the company the growth or operational ease it hoped for so the decision was made to switch to a platform that could. 

“At first we tried a custom website, but the management of it was a nightmare so we had to find a solution that was sustainable moving forward. This is how we came across BigCommerce,” Grovu says.

Connecting to integrations to drive the business

“BigCommerce has allowed us to grow from a small, local operation to serving a global audience,” says Grovu. “The native functionality of the platform and having a seamless integration to our ERP is a game changer for us.

He continues: “The most important tool being used is BigCommerce’s API because it allows us to link to most of the applications the company uses, including Google Shopping by Sales and Order for product feed management, Springbot for email marketing and Trustpilot for customer reviews.”

Toolden also uses a native Facebook connector that allows products to be promoted and selected for purchase on the social media platform with checkout seamlessly done from Toolden’s website.

Xtensive Web Design & Marketing is the agency that did our website redesign. They are a BigCommerce certified partner that we are really pleased with. Our partnership with them has gone so well that we continue to use them for website enhancements and maintenance,” adds Grovu.

Success is in the culture and the platform

In its nearly 30-year history, January 2021 turned out to be a record month for Toolden in sales. The company increased its January YoY revenue by nearly 170% (169.4%). And February 2021 was on track to beat that.

In comparing 2020 results to 2019, Toolden experienced a 94% increase in sales and is forecasting a 133% increase in sales for 2021 results over 2020.

“Success is embedded into our culture. We set high standards and align ourselves with vendors and resources, like BigCommerce, that help us grow and reach greater heights,” says Grovu. “We’re reaching for the moon and hope to reach the stars.”

Looking ahead: prioritising customers and growth

Customers are Toolden’s main priority and as such the company plans to continually look for ways it can improve their experience by enhancing the site’s functionality to increase future growth.

“We are on a mission to become one of the biggest suppliers in the UK,” Grovu adds.

Toolden plans to add eBay back into the marketplace mix. And, in addition to growing its online presence, Toolden is growing its offline presence as well as with the opening of a new office in Edinburgh, Scotland.

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