Case study

Björn Borg bets on headless ecommerce

Björn Borg is a Swedish fashion clothing and accessories brand named after the legendary tennis player. The brand’s products include sports and casual clothing, accessories, shoes, and underwear.

Björn Borg is a Swedish fashion clothing and accessories brand named after the legendary tennis player. The brand’s products are chosen by bold, dynamic and fashionable people who want to become the best versions of themselves. They include sports and casual clothing, accessories, shoes, and underwear.

Björn Borg prides itself on sustainability and commitment to producing high-quality products that can be used for years to come.

A brand refresh, a tech refresh

In 2022, Björn Borg partnered with the Swedish branding, design and ecommerce agency Grebban for a major brand refresh. The now-classic Swedish clothing brand wanted to adopt a new sports fashion brand identity operating under the motto: "We want to inspire people to be more through our belief that sport can make our minds, souls and bodies become something more than what they are today, and that anyone can be anything."

Among other changes, the Grebban collaboration involved migrating to a new, headless ecommerce platform. With the Centra headless ecommerce platform at the heart of the stack, Storyblok as the headless CMS, and Grebban's new ecommerce package offering GrebCommerce, Björn Borg is now boldly stepping into the future.

However, the company’s road to success was a bumpy one. This is how it all happened.

Facing the early growing pains 

When Robin Salazar joined the company in 2017 as the global ecommerce director, Björn Borg had just migrated from Magento 1 to Magento 2 (now Adobe Commerce). The launch of the then-new platform was a rough ride for the whole team – they spent a whole year fixing everything to make sure the store worked as expected. Instead of developing new features and improving the customer experience, they spent time on plugin development black holes and struggled with various bugs plaguing the tech stack. 

Björn Borg learned the shortcomings of Magento the hard way — while it’s a big and advanced platform, it was not built to handle the complex business logic of fashion products. 

The Björn Borg team struggled with platform and system updates, and in the end paid big money to get agencies to complete these for them. At the same time, they couldn’t touch the front end and build a truly on-brand experience for their shoppers. 

At the same time, Robin spent hours on calls with their previous payment gateway's customer support team to solve their problems. 

As if that wasn’t enough, the site speed was terrible, and they faced a lot of downtime, impacting their bottom line. None of this boded well for the business side of things.

A new way forward

It quickly became clear that the new platform didn’t cut the mustard for Björn Borg, and their attempts to fix it were unsustainable. However, because they had spent so much money migrating, they decided to stick with Magento 2 for a few more years before they started looking at alternatives and kicking the wheels of different platforms. 

Choosing Centra was the right decision for Björn Borg, and it quickly translated into a more streamlined store operation and a healthier bottom line. 

  • In a recent press release, the company said that their net ecommerce sales increased 18 percent to 27 million Swedish krona.

  • They now use Adyen to serve 14 markets with five different languages through a single storefront localized to every customer. 

  • Before launching on Centra, they were focused on fixing everything. Now Björn Borg can stop worrying about the site and start growing their business. 

On Adyen, it now takes the team just 30 minutes to add a new, local payment method. Previously, it would take weeks.

Global Ecommerce Director @ Björn Borg AB
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Björn Borg’s original tech stack on Magento 2
• Search and product discovery: Klevu • Promotions: Yotpo • Personalization: Nosto • A/B testing: VWO • Payment gateway: Klarna • Exit-Intent Popups & Cart Abandonment Solution: Socital • Customer analytics: Hotjar • PIM: InRiver • ERP: Navision • Loyalty: Voyado

Björn Borg's current ecommerce tech-stack on Centra:

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Ecommerce platformCentra
Front-end partnerGrebban
Front-end frameworkGatsby
Payment methodAdyen
Returns managementReturnado
Email automation and loyaltyVoyado

The future ahead

Grebban’s overhaul of the brand and the store has prepared Björn Borg for the future ahead while allowing the brand to stay true to its identity and remain attractive in the world of sports and fashion. 

With a new platform, Björn Borg can finally offer a cohesive on-brand experience for all customer segments. This is possible due to Centra’s industry-specific features and a complete storefront redesign. Björn Borg significantly simplified the shopping experience on both ends — for their customers and for themselves.

Migrating to a headless, flexible platform enabled them to take advantage of customization and native features such as displays. Now, the brand can present one product in numerous ways, showing it in different contexts, with different models, body types, ethnicities and accessories –  depending on the market. Such an approach enables Björn Borg to be more inclusive and grow its fan base faster. 

To recap, among the results and improvements launching on the new stack with Centra are:

  • Net sales for company-owned ecommerce and e-tailers of 143.7 million Swedish krona, an increase of 8.3%

  • Net sales for company-owned ecommerce of 52.2 million Swedish krona, an increase of 11%

  • Improved page speed

  • Improved organic traffic

  • The ability to add a new payment method in 30 minutes

18%increase in company-owned ecommerce sales
UptimeConsistent uptime in peak seasons
Speedfor faster page loads
Only 30 minto add a new payment method

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