Lands’ End has changed its European e-commerce strategy as it seeks to provide more compelling e-commerce sites and more consistent branding in each country where it sells, chief information officer Steve Chetney says.
“Our overall business goal is to create a consistent, updated e-commerce platform across the European countries we have business operations in, as well as have a model in place for future brand expansion,” he says.
Lands’ End, a Sears Holdings Corp. brand and retailer of apparel, home furnishings, luggage and other items, entered the Swedish market last fall on an Internet-based software-as-a-service technology platform from Demandware Corp. The new site, se.landsend.com, debuted last October after a three-month implementation period, Chetney says.
The launch of the Swedish site marked the first appearance of Lands’ End on a vendor-hosted, software-as-a-service platform, which so far has proven to provide the level of functionality and performance consistency that Lands’ End wants to have in the relaunch of its existing e-commerce sites that serve Austria, Germany, France and the United Kingdom, Chetney says. Those other sites are operated by Lands’ End on its own servers, using software it licenses.
Chetney says Lands’ End reviewed the performance of the new SaaS platform—testing overall site performance, including page load times, ease of checkout and site search—before deciding to continue using the platform across other European sites. “Adopting the cloud model was a new opportunity for Lands’ End, and there was a learning curve in being comfortable and confident with a new platform,” he says.
The SaaS or cloud model—terms used to describe how a vendor provides software technology to a client through the Internet—will let Lands’ End operate with a single technology platform across its multiple European sites, Chetney says. This will enable the retailer to more easily integrate each site with product and marketing information in a central office network, which will ease technology maintenance and support consistent brand marketing across its multiple markets, he adds.
Lands’ End has not said when it expects to relaunch its other European sites or launch new ones, but its new Demandware platform will enable the retailer to quickly deploy new and relaunched sites, Chetney says.
Sears Holdings is No. 7 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide.