Taking on the surfing establishment, dude.
The Natural Necessity website grew out of a bricks and mortar independent surf store on the NSW south coast. At just 18 years old, Forrest Ladkin, son of the store owner, had the vision to take on the surfing industry’s most established and well funded players.
At an average of 7 feet long, surfboards are bigger than most products people purchase online, making accurate and cost effective shipping a key commercial issue.
Standard eCommerce systems were also unable to cope with online customisation and visualisation of skateboard products (e.g. being able to create and see the combination of different colour wheels, decks, bolts and trucks / frames), limiting what Natural Necessity was able to sell online.
Alliance selected Interspire (now Big Commerce) as the eCommerce platform for the project as it offered both a deep feature set as well as the capacity for additional programming to customise as required.
Forrest is a talented graphic designer, so we worked with him to identify an effective site structure and provided feedback on his designs.
Forrest also negotiated a range of shipping deals based on geography and board size and the shipping price calculator was modified to reflect this. The capacity for users to build a customised skateboard was also added as a custom addition to the Interspire platform.
While we’re proud to be the developers of the site and to have been able to provide strategic input at key points in the process, the credit for the commercial success of the project lies with Forrest’s tireless promotional efforts.
The Natural Necessity website is a significant commercial success, with annual revenues above 1 million and growing.
We’ve now become one of the top grossing independent surf websites in Australia and the top seller in some of our key categories. We couldn’t have done it without the Alliance guys.