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Canadian outdoor retailer meets digital expectations with hybris

BY Dan Berthiaume

Calgary – When the concept of things changing at “Internet speed” is discussed, often overlooked is the fact that the Internet itself changes at Internet speed. E-commerce websites must offer functionality and overall shopping experience on par with the latest online consumer expectations. Canadian specialty outdoor retailer Wholesale Sports Outdoor Outfitters, which operates 13 stores in western Canada as well as a website, has had to face this issue.

“Our original site was not meeting consumer demand for current capabilities,” said Adam Dorval, manager of e-commerce and digital strategy at Wholesale Sports parent company UFA Co-operative Ltd. “We decided to start site redesign with the platform.”

So in 2013, Wholesale Sports submitted an RFP for a new e-commerce platform. The retailer ultimately selected the B2C Commerce platform from

hybris Software, an SAP company, due to its features and functionality.
Wholesale Sports also based the selection on the ease of integrating the hybris solution with existing internal systems such as ExactTarget marketing automation, PowerReviews and LiveChat customer engagement, and Warehouse Mobile Solutions inventoWy management system.

“hybris allowed us to post dynamic content based on customer behavior and purchase history,” explained Dorval. “Also they were new to the North American market, and it was nice to be on the forefront after being behind all those years.”

After selecting hybris B2C Commerce, Wholesale Sports then selected Thinkwrap Commerce as an integration partner and Cult Collective as branding and digital agency. The four companies spent two months going through a discovery process, followed by an eight-month development process that used a hybrid approach of the agile and waterfall development models.

Wholesale Sports went live with B2C Commerce in January 2015. Since then, the retailer has experienced a 27% jump in year-over-year conversions, as well as a 35% increase in year-over-year transactions, all while reducing marketing spend. With hybris, Wholesale Sports continues to roll out new, enhanced functionality each month, with a focus on personalization.
“We now have filtered user navigation and intelligent search,” commented Doeval. “Customers can identify themselves as a hunter, angler or camper when they create a user profile, and we moved legacy customers into profiles. Customers are taken to a different home page depending on their interests”

Wholesale Sports plans to continue its e-commerce personalization efforts by providing an individually tailored online customer experience based on customer behavior and history, rather than offering a prepared experience based on self-selected attributes.

The retailer is also taking a decidedly omnichannel approach to e-commerce with plans to tie the site more closely to the store experience.

Ultimately, Wholesale Sports is basing its hopes for growth in the competitive Canadian e-commerce market on the success of the hybris platform.

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Allen Edmonds’ ‘Gone in Seconds’ online promotion

BY Marianne Wilson

Port Washington, Wis. — Allen Edmonds, the 93-year-old premium men’s shoe brand, is embracing the digital age.

The company is offering its first-ever “Factory Seconds” flash sale on its web site. The seven-day-long sale starts June 26 and ends on July 2.

“Our quality standards are incredibly high; and because over 100 craftspeople touch every shoe as it’s being cut, sewn, lasted, soled, burnished and finished — we have a small percentage of shoes that don’t meet our exacting standards but come very close,” said Jim Kass, head of manufacturing. “At Allen Edmonds, we refer to these blemishes as ‘Factory Seconds’, or F2s.”

The flash sale will include a range of styles, although sizes, colors and inventory amounts are limited. Prices will be offered at a discount of almost 50% off first quality pricing and substantially below standard outlet pricing.

“The pricing makes these shoes affordable to everyone including men starting their careers or in need of their first pair of interview shoes,” said Colin Hall, chief marketing officer. “At these prices, we fully expect the shoes to sell-through quickly, which is why we branded it the “Gone in Seconds Sale.”

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Nielsen navigating new package design territory

BY CSA STAFF

Nielsen knows what makes brand marketing effective and now the company is applying its consumer communications expertise to the world of packaging.

Nielsen Design Navigator is the name of a new creative enablement tool the company contends helps marketers improve the in-market effectiveness of package design.

Nielsen is known as a leader in marketing effectiveness, innovation forecasting and in-market success but the introduction of the Design Navigator is new territory. Why the company has made the move is understandable.

According to industry data cited by Nielsen, as much as 90% of new package designs fail to deliver a measurable sales increase – and 50% of in-market designs actually hurt brand equity.

“Design is one of the most underleveraged marketing tools because of the uncertainty built into the process and absence of metrics to track results,” said Andrew Somosi, executive vice president of product leadership at Nielsen. “Solutions such as Nielsen Design Navigator have the power to change the design packaging game by empowering CMOs to view their package design work like they do advertising or social media – as a marketing investment with a clear and measurable financial return.”

Nielsen’s Design Navigator draws on patented technologies developed by recently acquired Affinnova to solve the central issues of the current design process. It does that by enabling brands and designers to explore a much broader range of early stage design concepts and objectively asses them based on visual stand out, consumer preference and brand equity.

These consumer-driven analytics provide unprecedented clarity for marketers, helping them identify design routes that will have the largest brand and financial impact, according to Nielsen. The bottom line for brand marketers and designers is they can more reliably and consistently launch more effective package designs for new products or re-launched brands.

The launch of Nielsen Design Navigator was announced at Nielsen’s annual Consumer 360 Conference which was recently held in Washington D.C.

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