Canadian e-commerce sales for the spring season at Roots Canada Ltd. increased 220% from the 2008 season after the retailer implemented rich media features and new site search functionality, says James Connell, senior director of e-commerce.
Katie Evans , Managing Editor, International Research
Canadian e-commerce sales for the spring season at Roots Canada Ltd. increased 220% from the previous year after the multichannel clothing retailer implemented rich media features and new site search functionality, says James Connell, senior director of e-commerce, digital marketing and new media. Canadian conversion rates for the spring season rose from 0.76% to over 2%.
Roots used e-commerce technology vendor PFSweb’s End2End e-commerce system and technology from Demandware to add features on the product detail pages that make the shopping experience more user-friendly, Connell says. Roots implemented PFSweb’s technology in August 2008.
For example, Roots added inventory updates so that a customer can know if an item is in stock, in the desired color and size, before placing it in the shopping cart, Connell says.
Users also can access drop-down menus for categories on the home page by mousing over the department name, for example women’s clothing. “There’s an Ajax player that drops down and actually gives you the opportunity to go into an individual product category, which we didn’t have before,” he says.
In addition, Roots replaced a home-grown site-search system with one that enables shoppers to refine searches by such criteria as color, price range, and category. The retailer also has added ratings and reviews using Bazaarvoice.
To further engage customers, the web site is posting videos about individual products, and is using social media such as Facebook and Twitter, Connell says. Roots posts information about products, items and new promotions on its Facebook page, along with comments from customers. On Twitter, the retailer sends out messages about product updates and promotions. Customers can access both the Facebook and Twitter sites from the Roots home page.
“PFS has been involved in almost all of the initiatives and helped us implement as well as optimize the features,” Connell says.
Additionally, Roots Canada this week entered into an agreement with iCongo Inc., a provider of cross-channel systems. Using iCongo technology, Roots will be offering its entire stock of inventory through stores across Canada and the U.S. and online channels, regardless of the location of the customer.
Before, inventory for each individual store and for the online channel was available only through that store or through the e-commerce site. Now, Roots will have what it calls "universal product availability," which will allow it to fulfill a customer`s order from any location.
iCongo technology will enable Roots to collect analytics for strategic assortment planning and replenishment, and create a higher level of integration between its e-commerce web site and its back-office system, says Don Green, Roots co-founder.
“This will allow us to have a much more consumer-centric approach when serving customers,” Green says. “It will also allow us to turn inventory faster, achieve higher revenue both in our stores and online, gain better customer satisfaction, and increase brand loyalty.”