Discover the latest trends for fashion ecommerce: Fashion Lookbook

Boost your Home & Garden ecommerce strategy: Home, Garden & DIY Lookbook

Discover the latest trends for fashion ecommerce: Fashion Lookbook

Boost your Home & Garden ecommerce strategy: Home, Garden & DIY Lookbook

Home Partners Blubolt


blubolt logo

Since 2006, we’ve been trailblazers for beautiful, bold, and technically brilliant e-commerce stores powered by our own platform, bluCommerce. Having helped some of the UK’s best-loved brands grow exponentially, we now channel our expertise into Shopify Plus. We deliver stunning new websites, data-driven optimisation, innovative app development, and a clear path for growth with our bluprint for success program.

We caught up with Iestyn Keyes, CEO at Blubolt to find out what sets them apart from other digital agencies, advice for retailers looking to replatform and what they are most excited about for the future of ecommerce.

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Tell us about Blubolt

We are a people-first business, and that means we look after our clients as well as our own people. We also aspire to treat our clients’ businesses as our own, and as such, we really strive to add value at every opportunity.

What sets you apart from other digital agencies?

Essentially, we help extract maximum value from their eCommerce investment. As eCommerce is still in its mid-20s, mass adoption below early enterprise only took place during COVID-19, and innovation has been a critical driver for that growth. For example, just look at the meteoric rise of Shopify. But for every success story, there are countless tales of woe regarding flawed technology and poor investment. It’s a daunting landscape to navigate: what to invest in and when, how to future-proof, and what order to do things, etc. So, we want to go beyond the immediate implementation piece and help businesses achieve a healthy ROI.

When it goes badly, everyone from the management to marketing to technology to the customer and, ultimately, the business’s bottom line is affected. The recent Royal Mail/Horizon scandal is a stark reminder of how things can go very wrong – arguably because a misinformed buyer took the cheapest available option because they had no other context on which to base their decision. 

At blubolt, we stubbornly seek the definition of value for our clients – what are they trying to achieve as a business beyond simply ‘we need an eCommerce website’? What does success look like in Years 2-5? Launching the site is only beginning. Once we have a clear picture of this, we can make informed recommendations on where to invest in what order and which features and technologies to prioritise. This is all about creating the opportunity for sustainable value generation versus a millstone of tech debt.

What would you say to someone looking to replatform?

It’s a hugely complex area, but to build on the answers given above, the two fundamental questions that must be answered BEFORE deciding to replatform are as follows; 

  • What do we want to achieve?
  • What is the financial value of that achievement?  

Answering the first question facilitates the establishment of feature and functional priorities, answering the second question provides a sound basis for making investment decisions.

There are inevitably going to be compromises and trade-offs along the way, but without answering those two fundamental questions up front, it’s very easy to default to costs and timings as indicators of success, which may not result in the right end product.

What is your biggest accomplishment so far?

Probably pivoting from our own proprietary eCommerce platform, ‘bluCommerce’, which we maintained and ran for 16 years, to Shopify and becoming a certified Shopify Plus partner within a few months of doing so.

Why do you think product discovery is important to your client base?

Product discovery is vital because it both replicates the behaviour of browsing in a brick-and-mortar store and allows retailers to quickly and meaningfully personalise that experience.

Why did you decide to partner with Klevu?

Quite simply, we know that Klevu will help improve AOV and CLV for our clients. 

What are you most excited about for the future of eCommerce?

At blubolt, we find tackling and simplifying complexity in order to unlock value exciting. The world of retail is an ever more complex place, and for both brands and consumers, huge value lies in simplifying and de-risking that complexity.

If your agency had a theme tune, what would it be? 

Anything by the Chemical Brothers.