Aldo Shoes, a Canadian retailer that was among the first in its market years ago to support e-commerce transactions, has conducted a major makeover of it website with a new checkout process and integration of social media features that launched this spring, Ad Age reports.
The company has also transformed its site into more of an engaging marketing site that is less focused on transactions, a feat accomplished by a company that last month eliminated its chief marketing officer position in favor integrating marketing functions throughout all of its corporate departments.
E-commerce reportedly represents about 20% of the retailer’s estimated annual sales of around $2 billion, and about half of its e-commerce sales come from mobile commerce transactions. It also has more than 2,000 brick-and-mortar stores, 25% of which are in the U.S.
For a brick-and-mortar retailer, Aldo Shoes came early to e-commerce — about a dozen years ago, according to Ad Age, and it also came early to Instagram, where it tried to set itself apart with some interesting marketing approaches once Instagram became crowded with other apparel and footwear brands.
It's early work on Instagram was very likely a major factor in its ability to grow mobile commerce to a point where it now represents about $200 million revenue yearly.
Now, the company is moving to a site design that reportedly emphasizes marketing engagement over the transaction process. That might seem like a sharp left turn at a time when many other brands are still trying to figure out how to find the success that Aldo has already achieved with e-commerce and mobile commerce. However, the retailer may have figured out something during its experience — that its site should be more about engaging customers than leading them down a path to a completed transaction.
This might be one of the most significant things to recognize as retail goes omnichannel. We are moving into an era where the store, whether it's in a mall or on a laptop computer or on a phone, is a venue for engaging customers and providing them with positive experiences. Customers recognize they can make purchases while in each of these venues. When and where they make those purchase is more up to them than it has ever been. So, the best thing retailers can do reinforce that notion and optimize the experience.