As online merchants look for faster and more customizable alternatives to monolithic ecommerce platforms like Shopify, BigCommerce, and Magento, headless commerce has emerged as a popular solution. However, for many merchants, the adoption of headless commerce can be daunting and expensive, as it typically requires developer involvement. That's where bl!nk steps in.
bl!nk is on a mission to provide full freedom to marketers and designers over their digital storefront with a headless ecommerce platform that lets them effortlessly curate content while increasing site speed and conversions.
Back in 2021, the team at bl!nk was working on an MVP for a headless ecommerce platform that would simplify adoption of headless commerce, and make it accessible for non-technical merchants to build, maintain, and make updates to their Shopify sites with ease.
The team had a set of core product goals to create the best headless ecommerce platform for their clients:
Before discovering Plasmic, Bryan, CEO, and Nikush, CTO, initially built out their design system in the fashion of a traditional CMS, with pre-structured content types and toggles. However, this presented a few challenges.
The initial version of the design system blocked bl!nk from being able to deliver on its promise of granting users the flexibility and autonomy to manage and make changes to their own website.
Nikush, the CTO at bl!nk, originally wanted to create a visual editor to simplify website iteration for their clients, but there was no space to add it to the roadmap at the time. Eventually, the team sought out other interim options, leading them to Plasmic.
Bryan and Nikush embarked on a search for an open-source visual page builder that would meet their specific requirements, including:
They explored several options, including Builder.io, another visual CMS. However, upon discovering Plasmic, they were swayed by its unmatched capabilities.
Aside from being able to integrate Plasmic with any framework, the platform allows developers to build code components and non-developers to fetch data from within those components, which reduces the burden on engineering. Designers can quickly and easily drop data onto a statically generated page without involving a developer.
Additionally, the team was impressed with "content creator mode," which simplifies the interface for marketers and designers, making it easier for them to make changes without feeling overwhelmed by complex toggles and controls. The experience of building websites on Plasmic also felt very similar to working with Figma.
Bryan and Nikush decided not to go the route of building their own visual editor, and instead, chose to white label Plasmic.
After adopting Plasmic, bl!nk was able to deliver against their core product goals:
Ease of use
Plasmic's visual editor makes it easy for designers on the client side to create new pages or make changes to their websites, without needing to code.
Reduce need for developers
Plasmic allows the team to build custom logic into their e-commerce framework via code components. bl!nk can create unique features that are tailored to the specific needs of their clients, removing the need for a developer to create new UI components.
Support for third-party integrations
Using Plasmic, bl!nk can seamlessly incorporate third-party experiences and load scripts in the best way possible for performance and UX. Clients don’t have to worry about the technical details of integrating different tools and services.
Subsecond load times
Because Plasmic integrates with any codebase, bl!nk clients get the benefits of a much faster web experience with Next.js, while still being able to manage their site without coding.
The ability to deliver on product goals has resulted in more success stories for bl!nk. One example of how Plasmic helped bl!nk empower clients is with a customer who needed to update their entire website for a holiday promotion. Prior to using Plasmic, this task would have taken the customer two weeks to complete and required the involvement of an outside agency or developer. However, with the visual editor provided by Plasmic, the customer was able to make all of the necessary changes themselves in just 30 minutes, with no coding knowledge required.
As a result of using Plasmic’s visual editor, clients are able to take advantage of easy maintenance and faster speed times, which improves revenue and website conversions. Designers, marketers, and content writers, have the autonomy to make their own changes to their website with the bl!nk platform. Since adopting Plasmic, bl!nk is continuing to onboard new clients and helping them unlock new revenue potential with their storefronts.