Fashion, Apparel & Accessories
Sell Clothes Online: Mr Price Group Steps Out in Style with Magento
To sell clothes online, the giant South African fashion value retailer needed a flexible and cost effective fashion eCommerce platform.
Mr Price Group is one of the fastest-growing fashion retailers in South Africa. It comprises six apparel, homeware, sportswear and financial services brands: MRP, MRP Home, MRP Sport, Sheet Street, Miladys and MRP Money. Since it was founded in 1986, the group’s main revenue source has been in-store cash sales—which today spans a 1,200+ retail store footprint. In 2012, Mr Price Group broke into the fashion eCommerce market with the launch of their first shop to sell clothes online, mrp.co.za. By 2013, they had launched a global site for MRP and online stores for three other Mr Price Group brands.
Mr Price Group was soon considered to be one of the top three eCommerce merchants in South Africa. Then in 2015, with an eye toward greater growth, the group decided to look for a more flexible and cost-effective enterprise eCommerce platform. They chose Magento Commerce.
Mr Price Group and Vaimo created an enhanced shopping experience, just in time for peak season to sell clothes online.
Beyond the positive bottom line impact that Magento offered, the group was impressed by the list of leading retailers and brands on the platform, and its industry-leading time-to-market, including lightning-fast development and release times. They were also interested in a platform that offered a rich set of capabilities designed specifically for growing retail businesses in fashion eCommerce. One of their main goals was to enhance the shopping experience for its customers. They wanted to shorten development and release times making it easier and faster to update web content and to introduce new functionality. Most importantly they needed to launch the site in time for the Black Friday/Cyber Monday peak season.
Mr Price Group got straight to work with Magento Enterprise Solution Partner Vaimo on front-end development. Vaimo created a single framework for the brand’s three divisions: apparel, home, and sport, each with a best-in-class user experience. This approach allowed Mr Price Group to develop and maintain one codebase instead of three, saving time and money. Among the important B2C and B2B features that the site incorporated are: gift registry, lookbooks, style guides, bundles and configurable products, eVouchers, multi-currency support, global shipping and full integration with MRP Money services (like store cards account payments, insurance, and mobile money transfers). Meanwhile, Spark::red set up and fine-tuned the back-end. The project took seven months, which was faster than expected, and included: UI and front-end performance optimization; integration with existing systems; environment build-up, tuning and testing, as well as data migration from the previous systems.
Mr Price Group also integrated its web stores with its brick and mortar stores for click and collect functionality. Now, customers can route orders to selected stores, and even view live inventory levels. With a mobile money wallet, Mr Price Group can now take payment from their customers in-store, and link the purchase back to the customer’s mobile account ID to better serve customer needs regardless of where they engage with Mr. Price Group brands. Meanwhile, in-store kiosks offer customers an iPad friendly interface to assist with finding products and checking out. A new MRP iOS and Android Fashion app released within the same project allows customers to explore, shop, and scan product for availability and receive news about what’s hot and trending. The result was a fully omnichannel experience.
Effortless performance with increased traffic.
The online store was launched in September 2016, and at go-live Mr Price Group had 145,000 SKUs, and over 85,000 daily visitors. The launch came just in time for the biggest performance test of the year, the Black Friday/Cyber Monday shopping season. It passed the test effortlessly. With nearly 2x the annual average traffic pouring through the systems during the peak time on Cyber Monday, the new Mr Price Group site proved to be fully stable with 100% availability during the whole shopping weekend—and most importantly, Mr Price Group customers were delighted.