How the Footwear Giant Accent Group Grew Sales 10X in Just 10 Months
The Australian footwear company needed to step up their digital game.
Accent Group Limited is made up of some of footwear’s most historic and memorable brands, including Vans, Timberland, The Athlete’s Foot, Platypus, Hype DC and Sketchers. In Australia and New Zealand the company boasts over 430 stores across 10 different retail brands. Each brand has a unique customer experience fine-tuned over the years, from laid back Vans, to rebellious Dr. Martens, to the iconic Sperry Top-Sider. As Accent Group embarked on a digital transformation, it was critically important to execute their digital vision with the same conviction and authenticity as their in-store experiences.
Together with the Magento Solution Partner, eWave, the company realized that the industry was changing its focus from products and commodities to services and experiences. This influenced their decision to migrate their brands’ sites to Magento Commerce. The appeal of Magento Commerce was the platform’s open source nature, and the flexibility and control it gave them to give each brand a different, authentic feel. They knew Magento Commerce would empower them to create innovative digital experiences for their consumers and change their business in a big way.
"When we reimagine consumer experiences, we can bring them to life because we are not constrained. Magento Commerce lets us bring our vision to life."
Chief Digital Officer, Accent Group
Redefining the customer experience with technology.
Accent Group started their transformation with Australia’s number one sneaker retailer, Platypus. In 2016 the business identified the need to re-platform to improve the consumer experience and boost their growth. The project was designed to upgrade Platypus from an old static platform to Magento Commerce. The main needs were speed, flexibility, and a mobile-optimized customer experience – because a large proportion of their traffic was coming from mobile and tablet devices. To address the mobile requirements, eWave developed a deep Instagram integration to bridge the boundaries between social and commerce, and a mobile app-like theme to drive engaging mobile experiences.
Building on their success, The Access Group started to rethink the role of their retail stores. Instead of only seeing stores as individual outlets, they began to think of them as distribution centers too. This mind shift transformed how they deliver experiences to their customers: Using Magento Commerce to implement Click & Collect, customers can now pick up their product from one of 70 stores across the country. This feature, since its launch in April 2017 has driven up to 20 percent of total digital sales. This idea was expanded to include Click & Dispatch, which delivers online orders directly to customers, driving 30-50 percent of digital sales since its launch. Finally, eWave developed several key integrations to power the brand’s omnichannel strategy, including Apparel 21 ERP and Temando Fulfillment.
The next step on Accent Group’s digital transformation was The Athlete’s Foot, Australia’s largest retailer of athletic footwear. The brand operates over 130 stores across Australia, delivering a highly personalized in-store experience based on the key questions sales associates ask customers: How do they use their footwear? How frequently do they train? How far do they run? On what terrain do they run?
The challenge was how to take this physical, in-store customer experience of matching the right shoe to the right customer’s foot, into an online environment. “We are not trying to replicate what we do in-store online – that would be a complete failure,” said Mark Tepersen, Chief Digital Officer of Accent Group. “But if you’re going to buy shoes online, we should be providing the best online fitting experience for that customer.” By combining the in-store MyFit system, with its pressure mapping and motion analysis, with the online MyFit app and pod clip-on device, they completely redefined the customer experience.
An explosion in digital sales.
After re-platforming Platypus, sales grew 10x in 10 months. The success of their digital transformation over the last 12 months has given the company the confidence they need to fully implement their vision of the future. They recently created a digital hub in Melbourne, Australia to serve as the Center of Excellence for the company. Digital is no longer a threat to The Access Group’s retail business, instead, it has become their pillar of strength.