Mothercare upgrades websites as it prepares to expand overseas

Mothercare is upgrading its website technology as it gears up to expand its e-commerce operations internationally.

Mothercare is upgrading its website technology as it gears up to expand its e-commerce operations internationally.

The retail group, which has franchises in 52 countries, will begin rolling out websites overseas next year.

Mothercare is preparing for the move by upgrading the content management systems behind its Mothercare and Early Learning Centre (ELC) websites.

The company, which is investing in a data management system from Stibo Systems, expects to recoup its costs within a year.

Global expansion

"We are a global enterprise. The product data has been there a good few years, and grew up with the UK company," said Vic Watson, head of direct IT at Mothercare. "We are looking for something much more multi-country and multi-currency."

Mothercare, which has franchises in Europe, the Far East and the Middle East, plans to begin its international roll-out in November, with a non-transactional website. An overseas ELC website will follow in February 2010, with the first transactional website in March.

The new system will replace Mothercare's home-grown Range Planner content management system and the third-party content management system used by ELC.

It will allow the retailer to store descriptions of products in a range of languages, and free up time for marketing staff from data entry to focus on selling products online.

Increasing efficiency

"The current processes and systems we use are inefficient. The inefficiency is time-consuming and uses more resources, double keying, and not a great deal of validation," said Watson.

The company plans to integrate Stibo's Master Data Management system into its JDA CRM system, which holds details of the products sold in its stores.

Marketing staff will be able to add further details, such as photographs, product descriptions and prices to the platform.

Mothercare began looking for a solution last summer. It cut a short-list of potential suppliers down from 12 to three in February this year, before selecting Stibo.

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