Platform globally, analyse data locally

For its global expansion, Boody needed to make informed decisions about local markets worldwide. The answer was a mixed-ownership model, made simple.

Retailer Boody
Industry Fashion
Case Study Banner

After launching in 2012 selling high-quality underwear basics within Australian pharmacies – a novel concept in and of itself – apparel brand Boody has upped its offer substantially in recent years. Not only does the brand champion ethical design and manufacturing principles, as well as being recognised as B Corp certified, Boody also has grown exponentially into new channels and markets. 

Now available across six major markets, Boody has evolved beyond its initial wholesale-only model into a direct-to-consumer brand, and delivers its signature styles to customers around the world. 

Much of its growth has come by way of successful expansion into overseas markets, but any retailer knows this can be an expensive, laborious and risky venture. To mitigate the risk, Boody leveraged the strengths and features of the Shopify platform to power its international expansion efficiently.

Here, Boody’s managing director Shaun Greenblo explains how the business managed to minimise the risk of expanding into new markets with the help of Shopify and international partners. 


At first, Boody operated solely within Australia and, soon after, New Zealand, and achieved immense growth from a push into direct-to-consumer e-commerce through Shopify. In order to continue its growth journey, it became clear that Boody would need to expand globally.

At the time, the business didn’t have the data or market knowledge to make that jump with confidence, and its previous e-commerce solution wasn’t making it easy for the brand to expand and test new ideas.

Boody needed a platform to deliver consistent, cohesive customer experiences, which is why it re-platformed to Shopify. The team was also able to automate several processes, such as emails and security checks, without writing a single line of code.  

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We’re data obsessed. Boody uses data to drive almost every decision in the business, because we really believe commerce is a balance of art and science. Shaun Greenblo, Managing Director, Boody

Then, the team’s challenge was to find a way to test and learn effectively by dipping their toes into different markets without a large capital expense, and collect data to make informed choices about when, where and how to expand.

Being an Australian business can have its perks, but being based in a geographically isolated market also comes with downsides. Boody decided the best way to learn about each potential new market was to partner with local distributors on the ground, start small, and focus on gathering as much data as possible.

The plan: mixed ownership

The solution was to set up a mixed-ownership model with external distributors, in which Boody would retain the rights to the brand and provide products and marketing support, but each regional distributor would handle local operations.

The first step, Greenblo said, was to partner with distributors in the US and Canada. To ensure a clean line of market data back to the Australia-based Boody team, the team built bespoke websites within Boody’s Shopify account that could be accessed and managed by their international partners.

This would mean that each distributor could sell Boody’s products in its own individual markets using an official online store, and Boody itself would get information on its international customers’ purchasing and shopping behaviours. This approach also allowed Boody to benefit from the experience of local sellers, which better understood the nuances of each markets’ distribution channels and customer behaviours. 

“The advantages of this approach are two-fold,” Greenblo explained. 

“Firstly, it maintains a level of brand consistency across each market, and it provides us a level of control and insight across each of our distributors. Secondly, our distributors have access to the capabilities of our Shopify Plus account, allowing them to keep their own costs down, so it’s as hugely advantageous for them as it is for us.”

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The Aussie Shopify Plus team is here to help your business sell more, scale faster and simplify your tech stack Get in touch

Shopify’s sub-accounts

Managing multiple satellite websites was something that came effortlessly to the Boody team, thanks to Shopify’s expansion and sub-account feature, which allows a master account to create sub-accounts and manage individual verticals within its portfolio.

The team simply had to build a localised version of its Australian website using Shopify’s tools, then create a sub-account for each distributor. 

These distributors were then given access to their respective websites and could begin the process of managing the local brand presence, while Boody itself retained overall control and access of all processes and data. 

“That’s been a huge advantage of using Shopify,” Greenblo said. 

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As the brand owner, we have the Shopify Plus account, but our distributors are empowered to run their individual websites. Shaun Greenblo, Managing Director, Boody

While this approach has led to a more robust system in the backend of Boody’s operations, Greenblo shared that Shopify’s systems have helped Boody keep its business operations streamlined and simplified where possible; for example, being able to manage its inventory accurately across multiple distributors and markets from a single, overarching platform. 

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Efficiency brings success

2xgrowth in international customers

70 %of Boody’s total revenue comes from e-commerce

As far as Greenblo is concerned, the results speak for themselves: Boody’s international customers have more than doubled, year on year, and its global e-commerce business represents 70 per cent of its total revenue. 

Working with its regional distributors by using Shopify’s sub-account feature has given the business the tools that have led to its hypergrowth, Greenblo said.

The test-and-learn approach gave Boody access to region-specific data that helped it ascertain potential avenues of expansion and growth outside of its home-base of ANZ.

After the model proved itself, Boody did the same thing in its expansions into Europe, South Africa and Japan: partnering with distributors that understood the market, and gathering as much data as possible. 

Operating a blended ‘owned-store and distributor model’ has allowed the business to manage multiple markets efficiently, Boody explained, and maintain brand consistency and customer experience across a global operation.

The system worked so well that it prompted the company to purchase several of the international distributors it worked with, after the market had proved itself, giving Boody full control of the international operations, while maintaining the knowledge of the local team. 

“Having these distribution partners and a global presence has allowed us to really understand our data on a regional level, but then also on a global level,” Greenblo said. 

Better customer experiences worldwide

Finding its own way to test new markets has been a major boon for Boody, Greenblo explained, and played a key role in helping the business grow beyond its initial aim of selling quality underwear in Australian pharmacies. 

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I’m obsessed with creating best-in-class experiences of discovering our product, buying it, receiving it, then coming back for more. Shaun Greenblo, Managing Director, Boody

Thanks to its partnership with Shopify, Boody has been able to create top-notch shopping experiences in new and exciting markets, and reach a slew of new customers – both directly, and through wholesale channels.