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Chinese Laundry’s omnichannel approach drives 54pc jump in mcommerce sales

Footwear brand Chinese Laundry has seen a 54 percent increase in mobile commerce sales, among several other achievements, since its integration of a new point-of-sale retail management platform with Celerant, a retail technology provider.

The new software powers both Web and mobile versions of and its bricks-and-mortar boutiques. As mobile evolves as a more prominent channel for shopping, brands and retailers are quickly seeing benefits from incorporating mobile in their marketing strategies.

“Modern shoppers do not view channels as singular experiences,” said Michele Salerno, marketing director at Celerant Technology. “That is to say, they don’t think in terms of interacting with bricks-and-mortar, commerce, or mobile commerce; to them, it’s all simply interacting with a retail brand.

“This means that they expect experiences that are consistent at every touchpoint, regardless of channel,” she said. “At the same time, shopping journeys have become non-linear, offering opportunities for research, engagement and conversion at every touchpoint.

“Of course, the reverse is also true; a failure at any touchpoint can cause consumers to exit the sales funnel, so the importance of consistent experiences across all of them can not be overemphasized.”

Stomping the competition
Since integrating the software, Chinese Laundry has also experienced a 31 percent increase in electronic conversions, 50 percent more productive search pages and an 18 percent boost to page load times.

Chinese Laundry first collaborated with Celerant in 2013 after the brand decided that full integration between all of its retail channels was the best way to gain control of merchandising changes and inventory levels.

The brand wanted to drive ecommerce by making merchandising and navigation changes without spending time making changes to the platform’s code, which is a form of flexibility that Celerant attempts to provide.

The company then saw an explosive growth of mobile commerce and wanted a solution that could quickly produce mobile-friendly experiences that would facilitate conversions from smartphone and tablet users. Celerant and Chinese Laundry worked together to develop a mobile commerce site with a simple path to checkout, and the brand is seeing traffic numbers originating from smartphones grow larger than that of computers.

Through the Celerant platform, Chinese Laundry can see where a purchase comes from, whether it be from a computer, smartphone or store, and can instantly update its inventory and maintain consistency in pricing and merchandising across all of its channels. Sales data is also visible across all locations and channels, which aims to simplify distribution of inventory to the stores and fulfillment centers where it is most needed. 

Chinese Laundry is a women’s footwear brand that originally launched in 1981, while Celerant Technology is a retail technology provider offering multichannel integration to retailers across all industries since 1999.

Driving mobile sales
Other brands are redirecting their marketing approaches to incorporate and prioritize mobile.

For example, fashion label Calvin Klein recently initiated a global ecommerce expansion strategy, for which mobile and social play significant roles in providing a seamless customer experience.

The fashion label is seeing increasing traffic and sales volumes via mobile, prompting a redesign. Closing in on customization, the new site aims to best accommodate the customer through their journey while exemplifying the brand’s image (see story).

Similarly, supported by an in-store QR code campaign, shoe manufacturer Rockport drove a 350 percent mcommerce increase between Black Friday and Cyber Monday this year compared to last year.

The new site was designed to drive revenue, transactions and average order volume. Further intended to eliminate friction and provide a better experience for mobile users, the site, built by Unbound Commerce, is powered by an API-based integration with its Demandware ecommerce platform rather than responsive design (see story).

These efforts represent an evolving role that the mobile channel plays.

“In the not too distant past, even just a couple of years ago, mobile was considered primarily a research tool,” Ms. Salerno said. “It is still an important part of the shopping journey, but conversions on mobile channels were not as common as they are today.

“Through a combination of events like better commerce interfaces and a generation that has grown up attached to mobile devices the same way the previous generation was attached to their desktops, mobile has become an expected channel for both research and conversion by consumers,” she said. “Further, consumers expect to be able to have full service consistency across channels, meaning they expect their gift cards to work on mobile devices, pricing to be consistent across all channels, and inventory availability to be reflected in real-time.

“You can imagine the complexity of managing this if disparate platforms are driving POS, ecommerce, and mcommerce channels – it becomes frustrating at best, but often it is simply impossible. Integration between channel platforms using a single solution is the best way to guarantee consistency in consumer experience on the front end and warehousing, inventory, and accounting on the back end.”

Final Take
Caitlyn Bohannon is an editorial assistant on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York