Welly: How a headless store is bringing steel production back to the Steel City

Welly offers highly functional and fashionable drinkware that helps the environment, gives clean water to people in need, and promotes healthy lifestyles. Made with premium-grade 18/8 steel, Welly is bringing steel production back to its hometown of Pittsburgh. While Pittsburgh was formerly the epicenter of steel production, the steel industry has declined as companies outsourced lower-priced production. Welly has funded a steel factory in Pittsburgh through equity and grant funding and will be the first US-based manufacturing facility for insulated steel drinkware. With a headless site built y a Pittsburgh-based company and locally-sourced steel production, Welly’s mission to support businesses in their hometown is clear.

When we decided to move to a headless approach, it was crucial for us to have clear, reliable data to evaluate the investment. The bl!nk team helped us achieve a seamless site migration and delivered on our need for clean data. With the results we saw, we knew that switching to a headless architecture was the right move for our business.
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Headless Commerce CMS Architecture Metafield Assignment Hosting Analytics + Reporting Technical SEO Audit

Unique variant URLs

Welly takes the fashion and function of their drinkware seriously. Their travelers, tumblers, cups, and mugs come in different colors and designs so that all of their customers can find a bottle design that speaks to them. With their color variants, though, came a bit of frustration — the Welly team had no way of creating unique URLs for each color variant on their Shopify site without adding each individual variant as its own standalone product or outsourcing intense custom development. 

When building Welly’s site on bl!nk, we created unique URL paths for each product variant without adding new products to their site. Now, with this solution, as customers browse through Welly’s product options, they are able to experience the same product page, even though it is actively loading a new page with each swatch click.. Ultimately, this helped Welly in two ways: to unlock SEO potential and streamline marketing efforts — all while keeping product management simple. Through their new permalink structure, search algorithms can now index and rank Welly’s individual color options, increasing their overall search visibility. In their marketing efforts, the Welly team can now pull unique URLs for individual colors to better personalize their sales tactics.

No-Code engraving preview

Taking personalization one step further, the Welly team wanted to introduce a custom engraving feature. Ideally, a user would be able to select the color of their bottle and preview how their text would look on the bottle of their choice. Before Welly went headless, this type of feature would have taken days to design and at least a week to develop—not to mention thousands of dollars. With bl!nk, the custom engraving preview feature was built in one hour without writing a single line of code.

1:1 migration

When the Welly team initially opted to go headless, understanding the change in analytics was a top priority. Because changing too many elements on their site would compromise any comparisons to a traditional vs headless analytics test, together we decided to migrate their website design 1:1 to bl!nk so their test results were pure. After launch, the Welly team noticed a drastic difference in engagement on their site, leading to a 11% bump in conversion rate.  

The bl!nk team is now working on an implementing an overhaul to the existing site’s structure with a new design and brand to support Welly’s sustainable, steel-focused vision.

Switching to bl!nk has opened opportunities for our business beyond what we originally anticipated. The unique URLs were a feature we didn’t even know would be possible, and now we’re able to offer an incredible level of personalization to our customers we’ve never been able to do before. Because our site is so easy to manage, our team can spend less time updating the site and more time focusing on how we can utilize all of these new features.
before bl!nk
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Integrations we used -

Google Analytics

Web analytics service offered by Google that tracks and reports website traffic.

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Google Tag Manager

Tag management system (TMS) that allows you to quickly and easily update measurement codes and related code fragments collectively known as tags on your website or mobile app.

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Facebook Pixel

Lets you measure, optimize & retarget audiences for your ad campaigns on Facebook & Instagram.

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An ecommerce marketing automation platform for email and sms, with a built-in CDP.

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Get access to all the Email, Conversion, and SMS tools you need to increase sales at each stage of your customers' journey.

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Ecomm marketing platform that helps brands with reviews, SMS marketing, loyalty and referrals, subscriptions, and visual UGC.

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Use Heatmaps, Recordings, Surveys, Feedback & User Testing To Understand Your Customers.

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