Retailer Evolves Business with Ecommerce Strategy, Roadmap, and Experience

The Client

This retailer got its start in the catalog business and expanded through indirect retailers, eventually moving into direct retail including physical and online stores.

The Challenge

When the company launched its website, the site’s primary purpose was to serve as an online catalog for indirect retailers, whose sales happened elsewhere through the direct sales channel. Later, as the retailer’s sales model changed, the website was “converted” to a consumer sales channel; however, the ecommerce results were lagging industry norms and declining at a faster pace than the retailer’s other sales channels.

The Solution

The company needed help developing strategies, tactics, and work back plans to close competitive gaps. Our goal was to close an immediate gap but also to work directly with the team, agencies, vendors, and other strategic consultants to help evolve the current digital state by adopting best practices in ecommerce, marketing communications, and customer experience design.

To develop a digital strategy for the retailer, we focused on four primary areas: ecommerce strategy and optimization; brand and marketing optimization; Customer Experience Design (CED); and long­term web/digital strategic roadmap development.

The first thing we had to develop was a clear understanding of the current state of ecommerce, marketing communications, and customer experience within the site. We then developed day­by day optimization plans for each of those areas as well as for email and branded social sites. We also developed stakeholder engagement and process improvement plans. From there we developed a short­term optimization plan (three months out) as well as an evolution plan (three years out).

We established a strong partnership with the existing consultant and identified the retailer’s current challenges through an initial discovery process, which included stakeholder and subject matter expert (SME) interviews. Through our work we were able to document declining sales, identify marketing communication gaps, isolate IT gaps, map the customer experience, and determine customer and stakeholder frustrations. We also identified a lack of digital Key Performance Indicators (KPI).

We addressed each of these concerns by establishing an approach that would work within the retailer’s culture and its current digital ecosystem.

The Impact

The retailer’s board of directors approved the three­year digital ecosystem evolution plan, which the client is in the process of completing. That three­year digital ecosystem framework we developed also remains a useful tool for understanding the client’s ecommerce strategy and its retail priorities.

We established a baseline of customer satisfaction using Foresee Customer Satisfaction Measure prior to starting our work, and recently the client was asked to speak at a partner conference about how it uses customer insights to improve the customer experience across the ecommerce ecosystem. Today, KPI provide a yardstick by which to measure success.