Sports brand Quiksilver has seen a 65% increase in revenue after expanding its cloud-based e-commerce platform.
The outdoor sportswear company switched from an on-premise system to Demandware’s cloud platform in Europe and is now slowly rolling out the platform globally to integrate all of its systems into one.
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Speaking to Computer Weekly, Quiksilver global digital senior vice-president Nicolas Foulet says when he took over the retailer’s e-commerce journey for Europe in 2011, the company was growing online but at a slow rate when compared with competitors' e-commerce expansions.
The company had a marketing platform and an online shop at the time, but Foulet suggested the two should merge to make it easier for customers to connect Quiksilver storytelling with its products.
“We are dealing with brands,” he says. “And to be successful we need to tell stories on our website. And they should drive people to our product in the end.”
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After Quiksilver decided to bridge the gap between the storytelling and the purchasing journey, it soon realised its platform – Microsoft Commerce Server – was old-fashioned and out of date, so it chose Demandware to start afresh.
It took four-and-a-half months to deploy and integrate the marketing platform, content management system and e-commerce application – with most of the time taken up by managing product numbers.
Now, detailed product information, reviews, rich imagery and videos are used on the new platform to help consolidate the brand experience. Elsewhere, the Quiksilver and Roxy blogs provide surf and snow stories, how-tos and tips with action images and videos, while also providing quick links to purchase products.
Globally, however, different regions were working on different e-commerce platforms – Asia Pacific on Magento and the US on ATG.
“We had very little global alignment,” says Foulet. “Basically only the logo, brands and some of our key kit was global – everything else was local.”
Aligning technologies to globalise the business
But over the past couple of years Quiksilver has globalised the company by beginning to align its technologies. Starting with Europe it consolidated almost 60 websites, before extending Demandware into Russia, the US and Canada.
Plans for 2015 include extending the platform to South America, as well as adding international shipping from the US to the region. Quiksilver also plans to roll out Demandware in the Asia-Pacific region in 2016-2017.
“We could have stayed with ATG and Magento, but as we’re globalising the company and products the same marketing is aligned. We decided to align the technology so we could save on effort and resources and make this channel of distribution more profitable,” says Foulet.
He adds that the other benefit of having a single global platform is there is only one code base. The US and EU use the same code for general changes, and then only really local changes have specific code, making it easier to scale and make widespread alterations.
“When we develop a feature functionality or experience, it’s deployed for everyone around the world,” Foulet says. “That’s why we took this approach.”
Only the beginning of multi-channel journey
But it’s still only the beginning of the journey, according to Foulet. “We still have a lot to do,” he says.
We talk a lot about multi-channel and omnichannel, but this does not only require having the right e-commerce platform
Nicolas Foulet, Quiksilver
“We talk a lot about multi-channel and omnichannel, but this does not only require having the right e-commerce platform, but also the right order management system (OMS) and all of those pieces coming together.
"We want that to be the same across the world – to simply processes and expose inventory in store and do click and collect, and stuff like that.
“A lot of people say if you have the right e-commerce platform you can do it, but that’s not true – you need the right OMS and enterprise resource planning tool, and to link that to the point of sale in the stores as well as your e-commerce platform. It’s an overall ecosystem, which is pretty complex.”
But the first step on this journey was choosing Demandware and getting rid of surplus infrastructure and update systems, followed by getting the front-end and customer experience together with the products.
“We don’t have to think about it anymore,” he says. “It’s a no-brainer.”