KangaROOS Shoes Kicks Off a Comeback with New Ecommerce Site Powered by Volusion
, Managing Editor
Fans of Vintage-Style Sneakers with Pockets Popularized in 80s Flock to www.kangaROOSusa.com in Record Numbers; New Volusion-Powered Ecommerce Site Monetizes Web Traffic, Increasing Sales by 75 Percent Week after Week
AUSTIN, Texas--KangaROOS (www.kangaROOSusa.com), creator of sneakers with pockets popularized by Walter “Sweetness” Payton in the 80s, recently launched an ecommerce website with Volusion’s award-winning shopping cart platform to make a wider selection of the vintage-style sneakers available for direct purchase by US consumers. After only three weeks of launching the online store, KangaROOS generated more revenue than its brick and mortar store attracted in three months. Additionally, web traffic has increased by 10 percent and first month’s sales have increased by 75 percent week after week.
“Prior to launching a site with ecommerce capabilities, we had solid, steady web traffic, but had no way to monetize that traffic”
Prior to launching the ecommerce site, KangaROOS began engaging with customers through Facebook. This new interaction acts as a forum for the company to reunite fans with the brand they love, as well as provide insight into a previously untapped customer base. Loyal ROOS fans often ask to find special models they remember wearing as kids and the page helps ROOS connect with their nostalgic followers. After the launch of the new ROOS site, 10 percent of initial online sales resulted directly from Facebook.
- Previously, KangaROOS shoes were only sold through the company’s wholesale retail partners, including Zappos.com, DSW, Journeys and Finish Line, but the ROOS product selection was inherently limited by shelf space taken by larger competitors like Nike, Saucony and Puma.
- Jared Carver, President of KangaROOS USA, wanted to offer customers a broader selection that was easy to find and browse, something that wasn’t possible through wholesale partners.
- After conducting market research and collecting anecdotes from store customers and people who contacted the company, Carver knew customer demand was not only out there, but pent up.
- The company opened a pop-up storefront in Boston on Newbury Street, the highest-trafficked retail area in the city, to test-market a brick and mortar store, learn more about end consumers and drive incremental sales. The store was open for three months, and while the company was pleased with the results, there was concern about the high ongoing costs associated with operating a retail location. For this reason, the company decided to forego a lease extension and instead invest in an online store.
The Right Platform
The KangaROOS marketing team investigated developing an ecommerce site through traditional agencies, but costs were in the six figure range. After extensive research, they found Volusion’s reasonable price structure, scalability, integration with social networking tools and customer service keys for their business model.
Volusion offered the following features and benefits that were critical to the success of the project:
- Customer Service – 24x7 customer service allowed the marketing team to call for help at any time of day.
- Social Store Builder and AddThis Integration – Enables ROOS to sell shoes on Facebook as well as share products across hundreds of social media networks and news sources.
- Integrated SEO – Site is easily search engine optimized, resulting in top Google ranking for target keywords without third party SEO programs.
- Custom Design – Volusion worked with ROOS to adapt its graphical elements into a consistent, intuitive web site design template that provides the constant feel and personality of the site, regardless of which page customers are on.
- Product Zoom – Enhanced merchandizing feature allows ROOS customers to instantly magnify product details.
- Integrated CRM – With an advanced ticketing system and all-in-one admin area, ROOS can manage the entire order process and customer experience from a single area of the store.
- Unlimited Scalability – The easily-scalable architecture with advanced load balancing & dynamic resourcing helped ROOS meet its demanding spikes in traffic garnered from national media coverage.
- Mission Critical Hosting – With 100 percent redundancy, virtualized hardware-independent systems, and continuous data backups with data clustering, Volusion offered ROOS the same technology infrastructure that powers systems for financial institutions.
- Stringent Security – Data is secured against theft or manipulation with integrated IP blocking, 24x7 surveillance and advanced encryption. PCI/CISP certification also ensures maximum protection of card-holder data. Volusion provides ROOS with a guarantee that its customers’ credit card information is securely collected, protected and stored.
- Email System and Newsletter Features – Built-in email system allows ROOS to easily build newsletters and communicate with customers in one central location.
“With Volusion, I can build my business without worrying about moving data if I grow to a certain level,” said Jared Carver, President of KangaROOS USA. “I also liked the social applications – particularly Facebook. We knew that to reinvigorate the ROOS brand, we needed to have a powerful social media presence and Volusion made that easier for us.”
“Prior to launching a site with ecommerce capabilities, we had solid, steady web traffic, but had no way to monetize that traffic,” continued Carver. “Now, we’re converting traffic into sales while driving new customers to the site.”
“With online sales capabilities, we now have a reason to more actively communicate with our customers. Our Facebook fans have increased 10x since we launched the site and now we can service them directly instead of working through other retailers,” said Carver. “In this way, the site has allowed to increase and improve our interactions with customers, creating an avid and loyal customer base.”
“To date, sales at our online store have far exceeded our expectations,” added Carver. “I can’t believe that with thousands of customers, our team can call Volusion and get superior, one-on-one customer service.”
- “As a cultural icon with huge potential for ecommerce growth, KangaROOS is the ideal customer for Volusion and we’re honored to be working with them,” said Clay Olivier, COO and CMO of Volusion. “As the brand continues to grow in popularity, we’ll be working hand-in-hand with ROOS to help them meet the customer demand that’s sure to follow.”
KangaROOS Through the Years
- 1979: As a jogging and running craze swept the nation, architect Bob Gamm set out on another 10k run. Gamm needed a place to store his house key and a small amount of money during his daily run. And thus, KangaROOS was born.
- 1980s: ROOS featured sport-specific products endorsed by professional athletes Walter Payton, Clyde Drexler and Ozzie Smith. In the mid-1980s Gamm partnered with footwear consultants and NASA to develop Dynacoil, a patented energy release system that many shoe manufacturers would later incorporate into their shoes` designs.
- 1990s: ROOS continued to develop a following in the 1990s, especially throughout Europe. But as the brand became increasingly popular overseas, it lost some of its stateside luster. Nonetheless the brands’ ambassadors on the other side of the pond widened the product lineup to include apparel and other sport-lifestyle accessories.
- 2007-Present: One7 Holdings LLC of Boston, MA, acquired the rights to design, market and distribute ROOS in their native land. In 2009, ROOS launched an exclusive Walter Payton Limited Edition Collection featuring updated styles reminiscent of ROOS first professional sports endorser, Walter "Sweetness" Payton. Today, ROOS continues to gain momentum in the States and around the world.
Volusion is a leader in ecommerce solutions for online businesses. Over the last ten years, thousands of companies have used Volusion to succeed online, including market leaders such as Disney, Motorola, Chicago Tribune, Michigan State University and Crutchfield. For more information about Volusion, please visit http://www.volusion.com.
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Olga Kazakova, 1-800-646-3517