How Carhartt WIP Gets Content and Commerce Right


In summer 2014, Carhartt WIP decided to consolidate its online presence and tap into new sales channels. The aim was to eliminate the separation of the brand website on the one hand and the web shop on the other to offer customers a uniform presence as part of a content-commerce strategy. Moreover, an analysis of the existing on-premise solution indicated that the strategic goals could only be achieved by replacing it with more up-to-date systems.

There were several key reasons for this:
1. Cost: It was going to be very expensive to migrate to a newer version of the existing e-commerce solution. Furthermore, it was foreseeable that the planned growth could only be supported by additional license fees and investment in additional hardware.

2. Flexibility: The company expressed a desire for more flexibility when implementing its own functionalities. This was particularly relevant in terms of merging the content and e-commerce elements to create a uniform customer experience, optimize the branding and make the online sales process more efficient.

3. Omnichannel: The fashion label made the strategic decision to follow an omnichannel strategy in the longer term, with the change of technical platform paving the way. Medium-term plans include POS integration for the worldwide Carhartt WIP stores or the establishment of new mobile channels in order to strengthen the customer experience and brand development.

4. Scalability: Cloud technology was chosen as providing an innovative, future-proof solution with sufficient scalability in the face of rising
revenues and visitor numbers.

5. Internationalization: Carhartt WIP sells its products worldwide and keeps opening up new markets: The collections are currently offered in 26 countries, in five languages and in eight currencies.

In order to refect these customer requirements in the best possible way, the company opted for the "E-Commerce" and "Product Information Management" modules from the commercetools™ cloud platform with Hippo™ as the content management system.

The commercetools platform offered an innovative, API-based approach, which allows for a lot of flexibility in the integration of third-party systems. This made it easy to integrate systems such as Payone™ for payment and Microsoft Dynamics AX™ (Navision) as an ERP system, as well as Amplience™ for digital asset management and epoq™ as a recommendation engine. Another crucial factor for Carhartt WIP was the fact that as a cloud-based system commercetools, unlike the existing monolithic SAP hybris™ system, is constantly updated and automatically scales up at no additional cost.

The particular advantage of Hippo™ was the ability to create and control personalized content. For both systems, commercetools already provides a standard connector that can be used by the customer with very few modifcations required.

The most important decision in planning the project was how Carhartt WIP could create and control the content of the new web presence going forward to meet the high requirements of its brand communications. The company therefore decided on a content-frst strategy with the CMS as the leading system: All pages, from the so-called lookbooks to the product detail pages, are centrally managed by Carhartt WIP using the CMS, and then presented to customers. In the background, the commercetools platform administers all the e-commerce processes and supplies the CMS with all the necessary data via a bi-directional connector.

The project
The implementation project, supported also by the commercetools partner agency kultwerk from Freiburg, was carried out in several stages by all
involved parties.

Phase 1:
The frontend implementation and the design were conceptualized in this phase. The team also defned the necessary interfaces and the data model for the products.

Phase 2:
The relaunch was subsequently implemented with the support of a team consisting of up to ten people representing the various project parties. In addition to the purely technical issues, there were also organizational changes: For example, the processes for generating and enriching content and for image production were optimized to enable customers to access a high-quality customer experience on both desktop and mobile devices.

Phase 3:
At the end of the project, there was a comprehensive test phase and the launch of the new e-commerce website in June 2016.

Following the relaunch, Carhartt WIP now has a modern, mobile-enabled (responsive) website, which provides a perfect showcase for the brand, inviting customers to shop online. In addition to its clear user guidance, the online shop particularly impresses with its convenient product variety handling and its clear checkout. Features such as multi-selective filters and infinite scrolling guarantee that the visitor will enjoy an intuitive and fast shopping experience.

In the "journal" section, the articles and looks mentioned in the blogs and shown in the film sequences can be ordered directly online using the Quick Shop function. The customer can find additional inspiration in the "lookbooks," where the current collections are presented and are also immediately available for purchase. On the homepage, the brand is presented through large-scale teaser images, links to the relevant product areas and teasers that lead to the journal. Visitors can also get an overview of the store with one simple click.

The company stores present themselves with high-quality pictures and useful additional information. It is also possible to search for trading partners using a map application. Just a few months after the launch, the fashion label noted the following:

Cost reduction: The licensing and operating costs of the new platform are substantially lower than those that would have been incurred for the continuation of the previous on-premise solution.
Higher average stay: After the relaunch and the merging of the marketing website and the web shop, the stay time on the individual pages rose sharply.

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