Platform change and omnichannel: Accent Group's online store upgrade case



How omnichannel marketing and online store upgrades increased the profits of an Australian shoe company tenfold in 10 months.

  • How Accent Group “came” to digitalize business
  • Not an easy task: what needed to be changed
  • Online store upgrade: what improvements have been achieved
  • Sales increased by 10 times and more. The results of digitalization
  • Is it easy to sell famous brand shoes to a young audience? Not at all! The new generation buys in a new way: they want vivid emotions when buying. The product is no longer as important as the experience of the process. Plus, they're online all the time, and every day there are new tech features that you need to keep an eye on both.

    Let's look at an interesting case study of how Accent Group increased shoe sales by 10 times with the help of modern IT solutions.

    How Accent Group “came” to digitalize business

    Accent Group Limited has been operating in Australia and New Zealand since 1981. They distribute shoes from well-known brands: Timberland, The Athlete's Foot, Platypus, Hype DC, Skechers and others. The group owns 430 stores. Each of the ten brands Accent Group works with has its own character, from laid-back Vans to rebellious Dr. Martens to the iconic Sperry Top-Sider.

    In 2016, the company seriously thought about digital transformation. Online trading was gaining popularity, with competitors increasing sales through their own online stores, social networks, and marketplaces like eBay. Although Accent Group already had an online store, it needed to upgrade it to meet modern requirements and maintain its market share.

    Customer behavior has also changed. Accent Group has noticed that attention is now shifting from products and goods to services and user experience. It was necessary to improve the quality of service at every point of contact and make the interaction with the brand as pleasant as possible.

    A big digital experiment began with a deep understanding of the needs of the target audience and general trends in trading.

    Platypus, the No. 1 Australian multi-brand shoe retailer, was the first to switch to new online platforms. After the success of the project, The Athlete's Foot, Australia's largest retailer of sports shoes, also joined the project.

    Read also: Global experience in migrating projects to Magento 2

    Not an easy task: what needed to be changed

    Until 2016, online sales were conducted on an old static site. A static site consists of immutable (static) HTML pages. Its main drawback is the difficulty of making any changes: filling it with fresh content, changing the structure, etc. When the load on such a site increases, it becomes difficult to monitor the quality of the code and maintain the integrity of the project.

    Accent Group was planning to scale, and developers needed to migrate the old online store to a platform that was flexible enough to support business growth.

    At the same time, most of the traffic came from mobile phones and tablets. It was very important to take this into account: adapt the UX design, add appropriate features, and make pages load as fast as possible.

    It was very difficult to maintain inventory records in a network of 430 offline stores and online stores. The amount of data is large, and records could also be kept in different information systems. And for normal order service, you need to see the balances for each item in real time. Omni-channel user interactions needed to be digitized to easily collect and analyze data from all sources.

    This was meant to improve operational efficiency. When data from each outlet, as well as from the website, email, and all other sources, are integrated into one software package with CRM, ERP, BPM, the company has all the maps in its hands to reduce costs and increase sales.

    In parallel with digitalization, Accent Group has begun to rethink the role of its retail stores. Instead of viewing stores as separate outlets, they have begun to think of them as distribution centers. It was decided to implement the click & collect system (online ordering with pick-up from an offline location), and the software should have supported this option.

    While large-scale changes were being prepared, it was important to preserve the main thing — the authenticity of each brand. An online store should convey the same emotions and values as an offline store.

    With such an impressive list of tasks, the developers got to work.

    Online store upgrade: what improvements have been achieved

    The platform on which Accent Group posted its online store was Magento Commerce 2. She attracted them to her open source, as well as flexibility and scalability. In addition, Magento is the most popular CMS system for e-commerce projects in the world! This is an entire global ecosystem — there are more than 4,800 extensions (apps) available from the Magento admin user interface, including: WCM/DXP, PIM, CPQ, reviews and ratings, marketing center, and analytics.

    All data from the old static site was transferred to Magento Commerce 2.

    This migration is a rather complicated process, but a competent vendor can complete a smooth, seamless transition in an average of 2-3 months.

    The process of migrating from other CMS to Magento usually consists of the following steps: collecting business requirements; evaluating current functionality; data transfer; design; development; integrations.

    The needs of mobile device users were taken into account.

    Especially for them, the developers deeply integrated the site with Instagram and created a theme similar to a mobile app.

    You can manage orders in the online store via your mobile device: virtual shopping has become more pleasant and easier.

    The click & collect system was implemented and expanded to click & dispatch.

    In less than a year since the use of the click & collect methodology (online ordering with pickup), the share of such sales has increased to 20% of the total volume of online transactions.

    This idea has been expanded to include click & dispatch — delivering online orders directly to customers, providing 30-50% of digital sales since its launch.

    Data from all channels of interaction with users were combined.

    All physical sales channels have been integrated with online channels.

    We have developed several key integrations to support the brand's omni-channel strategy, including the introduction of Apparel ERP and Temando Fulfillment. Magento now both simplifies inventory management and helps with logistics.

    Several key integrations were developed to support the brand's omni-channel strategy, including the introduction of Apparel ERP and Temando Fulfillment.

    The goal was to transfer the physical experience of customers online when trying on shoes as usual.

    As a result, we created an integrated system consisting of MyFit devices in stores (with a pressure sensor and motion analysis), as well as an online application and a MyFit module.

    This has taken customer service to a new level.

    Is your project developed in Magento 1? Learn more about the benefits and features of Magento 2.

    Sales increased by 10 times and more. The results of digitalization

    1. Footwear sales have increased record: by 10 times in 10 months.

    This success gave the company confidence. They have recently created a digital hub in Melbourne, where cutting-edge IT developments for Accent Group are concentrated.

    2. The site's conversion rate has doubled.

    People who visit the site make purchases at the updated online store twice as often as before the upgrade.

    3. We managed to launch click & collect sales.

    We implemented the click & collect system (online order with pickup), supplemented it with click & dispatch, and increased such sales to 30-50% of the company's total turnover.

    4. We have implemented omnichannel support.

    “Now all data is integrated and easier to analyze, which makes operational management more efficient.”

    Mark Saemensen

    Accent Group Chief Digital Officer

    You can see this and other cases about implementing the Magento platform, supporting omni-channel marketing, creating B2B portals and solving other problems in software development hereto.

    Got any questions? KT.Team specialists will be happy to answer them. To do this, request a call back or leave a request here.

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