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Ordnance Survey

Putting Ordnance Survey back on the map with BigCommerce

The Challenge

Ordnance Survey have been a client of Space 48 for eight years while platformed on Magento 1. This is a classic tale of needing a site migration because of end of life looming for Magento 1. Ordnance Survey needed support to source a new platform that had an attractive cost of ownership, a wealth of out-of-the-box features and that was better suited to their in-house teams needs for content management.

The Brand

Ordnance Survey (OS) is Great Britain’s national mapping agency. As a 225-year old company, OS is relied upon by the Government, businesses, and adventurers to provide accurate, detailed geographical insight on the UK landscape.

Choosing BigCommerce as the new home for Ordnance Survey



From the offset, BigCommerce was selected as the desired platform as we could lean on the SaaS-driven methodology.

This was no lift and shift job. After extensive user testing, countless discoveries, and engineering proposals, we were given the green light to build from the ground up. Adopting Ordnance Survey’s designs, it was clear that there was an opportunity to leverage the functionality of BigCommerce to improve the impact of the OS website. Trusting our knowledge with the platform, we introduced a ‘value-first’ methodology – whereby we engineered beyond the brief – maximising the value of BigCommerce features, and proactively iterating on the designs without compromising on time, cost or deadline. 

BigCommerce offered the best developer experience. With quick access to a dev-store, pre-production site, automated testing store and the live production site, our developers were able to commit more time progressing through the merchant’s requirements over losing precious days building out the infrastructure. We were able to test the tech sooner, accelerating the speed of launch all-the-while reducing risk. Regularly consulting with OS on our choices, the team was delighted to see their website come to life with the ambition and longevity they required for serious, sustainable revenue.

The comprehensiveness of the BigCommerce APIs allowed us to achieve customisation in many areas too. Very swiftly, we could customise OS’s checkout by making use of BigCommerce’s checkout SDK. This approach was attractive for OS as they’d gone through an extensive sector analysis and they knew exactly how they wanted their checkout to feel and behave. OS now have complete control over their processes which they can adapt and amend to best serve them in the future. 

Integrating BigCommerce’s APIs with Contentful

A standout success story is how we made best use of BigCommerce’s APIs to give more creative control back to the in-house teams. As we began work on the build, OS required enriched, customisable PDPs – beyond the limits of BigCommerce’s page builder at the time.

What’s more, the Solution Architect at BigCommerce reviewed and supplied feedback on our planned approach. After recognising an opportunity for optimisation, he scheduled and deployed changes to the widget API to make the Contentful integration far simpler. 

Integrating our third party partner, Contentful, through the widget API, OS teams are now able to manage and optimise universally across the site. Now, with greater ownership over the tools, OS have been able to achieve their vision in enhancing the page experience and telling their brand story across the site.

Swipe to see the before and after!

Ordnance Survey Case Study

The results are in

The customer experience we have created shines through the site. Creating a secure replatform from Magento to BigCommerce, improving processes and logic along the way, and implementing a new architecture that focuses on delivering the best experience for the in-house teams and their valuable customers. Space 48 is pleased to continue its relationship with Ordnance Survey in its new and exciting phase of growth with BigCommerce and the results speak for themselves.

decrease in page load time
increase in conversion rate
increase in AOV
increase in revenue

The Project Implementation Team has been fantastic for us. Space 48 has been totally reliable in keeping the teams coordinated and ensuring we’re up to date on a daily basis. We can’t overstate how important that is for us and it has made it easy to transition into working from home as a business at our end. We think we have a great working relationship across the team and have been really impressed with their diligence and commitment to helping us see the project through in addition to working alongside our partners to troubleshoot and spec out key pieces of work. We appreciate the efforts they have all made.”

Ordnance Survey Logo Tom Brown
Ecommerce Manager, Ordnance Survey

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