Developing the website that helped Cabela’s take Canada

Cabela’s is famous for its strong brand and world-renowned reputation for delivering quality merchandise, value and legendary customer service. The retailer carries thousands of products for hunting, fishing, camping, hiking, boating and wildlife-watching gear, as well as outdoor clothing and outdoor-themed gifts and furnishings.

The Opportunity

To launch their expansion into Canada, Cabela’s purchased Winnipeg’s S.I.R. Sports Store in 2007 and made it the headquarters for their Canadian operations. At the same time, they asked Think Shift to develop the first version of the website. We had previously developed the S.I.R. website, and Cabela’s now wanted to enhance the site so it would integrate with the Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system they used to manage inventory, orders and payments.

Cabela’s anticipated rapid growth in Canada, so Think Shift needed to develop a future-proof website that would not just keep-up with growth but help drive it.

The Approach

In 2007, Think Shift developed the original website to facilitate two-way integration with the site and the retailer’s Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system. When Cabela’s made a sale on the website, it automatically updated the ERP inventory system.

And that was just the start. In 2013, we rebuilt using ASP.Net programming (the cool kid of web frameworks) so the website would be ready to scale into a mobile-friendly page.

Two years later, we designed a responsive rollout for, so people who were browsing the site on their smartphone or tablet would have the same great experience as desktop computer users. Instead of retrofitting the desktop site, we took a mobile-first approach. This rollout was very new to the retail industry as most organizations still supported two separate websites (a desktop version and a mobile version).

Cabela’s website introduced store-to-door online shopping to enhance the buying experience. Instead of relying on warehouse stock, the website also considers store inventory and will ship directly to the consumer from the retail store.

On top of this, Think Shift used best practices in programming and code development to make sure users and their transactions are always secure. We also introduced tools to quickly review and block fraudulent orders, saving the Cabela’s staff time and headaches.