Saddleback Church expands reach with Shopify WordPress collaboration

Rick Warren speaking at Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, is the main content hub for Saddleback Resources, the publishing arm of Pastor Rick Warren’s Saddleback Church, one of the most influential Christian ministries in the United States. The organization is quickly becoming one of the largest online distributors of Christian books, sermons, and ministry materials. To amplify their reach, needed a partner who undertood their unique business model and could provide easy to implement cost-saving solutions.

By collaborating with FastPivot’s team of e-commerce and content marketing experts, is now able to achieve new phases of expansion in digital and print content by providing an interactive user experience.

One size does not fit all…

Prior to partnering with FastPivot, struggled to marry the two main elements of their online ministry, e-commerce and blog content. With independently operated websites and inconsistent design across platforms, their set-up offered little cross promotion between brands.

In addition, the platform on which their online store was constructed proved difficult to manage internally. Many times, seemingly small changes to accommodate new products or promotions required hiring expensive outside developers, increasing the cost of operations. Nadim Najm, Director of Product Development recognized the serious limitations of their platform and knew they had to find a better solution to allow for growth in their online ministry.

“We needed something that wasn’t patched and held together with band-aids. We needed a scaleable solution that not only provided an easy and intuitive user experience, but also something that allowed us to streamline our behind the scenes activity and make our processes more efficient.”

“FastPivot’s expertise and consultation during this process has been invaluable.  

Chaos to clarity…

FastPivot analyzed’s complete online ministry operations and determined the integration requirements to meet their expansion goals. They produced a solution that would provide a better user experience while streamlining the back-end management. The recommendation was made to transfer their shopping platform to Shopify Plus, an easily customizable and interactive e-commerce solution for small and medium sized businesses.

The transition would allow FastPivot’s design team to seamlessly incorporate the blog content with the storefront through the development of a custom WordPress theme. The coordination of branding elements in the Shopify WordPress integration as well as the simplified functionality provided more opportunities for outreach and engagement with customers.

Building relationships…

With a new platform and solid expansion plan in place, Kyle Rutenbar, Director of Operations recognizes the effect of the transition on the front end of their online ministry.

“Shopify helps give our customers a more seamless experience, while also allowing us to more efficiently market our resources to them and follow up.”

With exceptional out-of-the-box functionality and easy to implement applications and plug-ins, can actively present their products while focusing on the main purpose of their website.

“We’re spending less time on web issues and customizations, and more time with our customers, more time making product, and more time figuring out how to grow our business…not just sustaining. FastPivot’s expertise and consultation during this process has been invaluable.”


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