As digital technologies continue to advance, growing eTailers are demanding more seamless and reliable web commerce platforms.
To keep pace with strong and consistent online growth, American Apparel has replaced an internally-built infrastructure with Oracle ATG Web Commerce, “to get the scalability we need,” stated Stacey Shulman, CIO of American Apparel, “as well as an agile platform for providing better service to our customers.” The retailer also sought a solution to improve site speed and performance and better meet online demand.
Since going live with the new U.S. American Apparel e-Commerce storefront in September 2012, the retailer has improved online sales by 38% over 2011, according to a company press release. Moreover,
December sales increased by more than 59% over last year, representing the highest sales month in the history of the on-line business. This increase “largely is due to our new ability to operate multiple integrated e-Commerce sites for a variety of different customer groups and geographic locations,” Shulman explained in an interview with Retail TouchPoints.
The clothing manufacturer, wholesaler and retailer also is transitioning 20 of its international e-Commerce sites to operate with Oracle ATG Web Commerce, according to Shulman. The entire process is expected to be complete by April 2013. Also during 2013, American Apparel will work towards replacing its wholesale and B2B business sites with the Oracle commerce platform.
Focused on a younger, teen and twenty-something demographic, typically accustomed to technology, American Apparel is laser-focused on making browsing and buying as easy as possible. While the look and feel of the e-Commerce sites will not change, “customers have access to a much faster site,” Shulman said, “and has a ‘my account’ option for a more streamlined checkout process.”
Site Updates Contribute To Uptick In Online Holiday Sales
These refined features especially were beneficial to the U.S. site during the holiday season: American Apparel experienced a 125% year-over-year increase in sales on Cyber Monday 2012 and the day after.
During Q2 2013, in addition to completing the international roll-out, American Apparel will focus more closely on improving content management, promotions and search functionality, and customizing each based on individual customer data. However, site speed and agility will always be paramount, according to Shulman. “I can’t wait to see how much more engaged our consumers will be once we implement the additional features,” she said. “But site speed really is where we’re getting most of our success.”
Keeping quality customer service top-of-mind, American Apparel will leverage the Oracle platform to help integrate in-store and e-Commerce operations, as well as improve cross-channel marketing strategies.
“We have always considered ourselves as a customer-focused organization,” explained Shulman, “but know we can’t rest on previous achievements. We have to keep improving our strategies as people continue to redefine what they want out of customer service. We’ll continue to focus on email marketing and other targeted programs that improve customer service, and continue to connect with brand fans through social media, one of our ongoing strengths.”