How Crane Stationery Created a Unified Commerce Experience

One of the world's oldest stationery companies, Crane Stationery, created an eCommerce solution for tomorrow.
eCommerce - Crane
+54.26% Conversion Rate
+28.73% Revenue
+115% Mobile Conversion Rate

A historical brand plans for the future

Crane Stationery is a 218-year-old manufacturer of luxury-quality paper products with three distinctive brands: Crane, William Arthur, and Vera Wang Papers. Founded in 1801, Crane has come to be recognized for the quality of its papers, on which banknotes, government proclamations, stocks, and bonds have all been printed, and for its exquisite craftsmanship. Over the past two centuries the company has become part of the fabric of American history, as well as the stationery of choice of presidents, royalty, and discerning customers of fine stationery the world over.

eCommerce - Crane

Today, Crane’s collections include boxed products such as thank you notes, greetings cards, notebooks, and personalized products including wedding invitations, personal stationery, business, and holiday cards. From playful greeting cards to formal wedding invitations, they represent best-in-class printing, including master quality engraving, letterpress, thermography and digital printing. Crane’s clients include an extensive, independent retailer community; corporate customers seeking communication pieces that express their values, brides looking for one-of-a-kind wedding invitations; and individuals seeking meaningfully personal gifts or self-expressive personal correspondence.

In addition to offering their products through independent retailers and direct-to-consumer through their eCommerce site, Crane also manufacturers products for third-parties. As a company with strong B2C and B2B operations, Crane asked their solution partner, Blue Acorn iCi to help them transition from a home-brewed eCommerce platform to a solution more geared to future growth. For their B2C customers, Crane needed to drive sales, brand awareness, and purchase intent, but they also wanted to create a special B2B portal to simplify ordering and reordering for retail buyers alike. Crane discovered there are many eCommerce solutions out there, but few cater to both B2C and B2B customers. Then they discovered Magento Commerce. 

One platform: Two channels.

First, Blue Acorn built a lightning fast Magento Commerce 2 site for Crane’s B2C customers (the brides and gift-givers) while creating an exclusive retailer portal for B2B users. The portal offers simplified ordering and re-ordering of boxed stationery and access to reseller support downloads. It integrates with JD Edwards, Crane’s ERP system, for inventory management and sales order processing of the boxed line, providing inventory status, order submission, and ship notification for total order visibility.The B2B portal also supports proofing for customized orders through an integration with ProofHQ, an online PDF-annotation system.

ProofHQ can show a user their design for personalized note paper or a business card, in full-screen mode. Users can mark up any changes, add comments, and send the new proof back into their dashboard. Emails with updates to the proof are generated and sent to Crane and the retailer, keeping everyone in the loop. Users can also download the proof and email it directly to their potential customer for approval. Retailers can easily upload files such as artwork or electronic order forms, which are run against a quality check and routed to the right place. For example, a retailer can upload their logo and associate it with an order for a box of thank you notes.

With the new B2B portal, ordering new products takes place on a customized shopping cart page with an embedded search bar for greater efficiency. Regular customers can search for a SKU or a keyword, instead of having to browse product and category pages. The eCommerce site also allows retailers to add products straight from the search suggestions (provided by Algolia) into their cart. Once an item is added, the site uses a quick view feature to conjure a short description. After the order is built, retailers go straight to the standard Magento Commerce 2 checkout, and, thanks to stored addresses, checkout is a breeze.

eCommerce - Crane

Various extensions helped to make the new Crane site easier than ever: Amasty’s Improved Sorting module provides dynamic sorting abilities and helps users find the products they are looking for more quickly and easily. Avalara calculates and reports taxes by utilizing address validation, to reduce manual effort. Meanwhile, the Criteo M2 Module increases revenue through marketing activities, while accurately attributing sales to the appropriate channels. Crane also installed, designed, and customized the Braintree Payment Gateway with credit card tokenization, fraud protection, and additional payment methods including Apple Pay.

Finally, Blue Acorn integrated Crane’s Connection, an application for the personalization of stationery. The service is a multi-tenant app that is integrated to Crane.com and other eCommerce sites offering Crane products. Personalized products drive about 70 percent of B2C revenue through the eCommerce site, so it was critical that this revenue base remained strong at go-live. Now Crane customers can log on and experiment with their dream wedding invitation, making everything perfect.

A delightful, personal customer journey.

Crane’s new, unified customer experience launched on April 10, 2018. As both B2C and B2B customer experiences are built on Magento Commerce, Crane can support more than one business model in one solution. The reduction in technical overhead from unifying this fragmented processes not only saves money, it also allows Crane to focus on marketing initiatives that grow revenue. The results of the upgrade speak for themselves: Crane’s conversion rate has risen by 54 percent; mobile conversion has more than doubled; and overall revenue has increased by over 28 percent.

eCommerce - Crane

Today, Crane stands above their competitors in connecting and creating personal experiences for its customers. Whether the customer is a bride purchasing invitations for the most important day in her life or a retail buyer buying product to dress a shop window, all customers enjoy a delightful, personal, and reliable journey because the Crane customer experience is built on Magento Commerce.