REPLATFORMING THE WORKS AMID A COVID crisis
The Works, a leading multi-channel specialist retailers of value gifts, arts, crafts, toys, books and stationery, was keen to continue its impressive growth trajectory with a new, up-to-date multichannel proposition that delivered the same high-quality customer experience online and in-store.
It had been running the same eCommerce platform for several years and was experiencing problems associated with ageing technology which was hampering agility and efficiency. And it wanted a solution that would not only fix these performance issues but also allow it to optimise the customer experience in a dynamic process of continuous innovation and improvement.
THE RIGHT SOLUTION
Digital commerce experts WT Commerce were called on to overhaul the eCommerce site to provide a platform that could handle the rapidly changing product range and customer service more efficiently and effectively. We recommended a complete switch from the company’s existing legacy platform to a more agile, cloud-based alternative, Salesforce Commerce Cloud and Salesforce Service Cloud - a major project undertaken over the course of a six-month period.
We proposed a solution which would allow The Works to manage orders and refunds on behalf of customers as well as receive orders; in other words, to create a single-pane-of-glass platform for both service and sales, which offered a unified view of the customer across touchpoints.
We implemented two Salesforce products – Salesforce Commerce Cloud and Salesforce Service Cloud - fully integrated to provide a combined sales and service solution.
FROM A COVID CRISIS LOCKDOWN TO DIGITAL REVENUE UPLIFT
In March 2020, when the replatform was two-thirds complete, the COVID-19 pandemic hit the UK hard. All 530 of The Works’ stores in the UK and Ireland were shut as part of lockdown measures, and as a result the company saw an unprecedented spike in web traffic.
WT Commerce completed the original project on time and on budget despite the major disruption. We rapidly scaled up capacity of The Works’ existing system to cope with the sudden increase in digital demand, all without any negative impact either on the live system or on the development of the new platform.
The Works achieved significant uplift in digital revenues and average order values to help offset the heavy impact of lockdown store closures, trends which continued once the new system went live.
DEFINING THE WORKS' DIGITAL ROADMAP
The WT Commerce and Data Engineering team engaged The Works in a series of deep dive workshops. The purpose was to understand the key strategic trading, development and marketing objectives which defined the company’s digital roadmap.
The final three months of the project coincided with the UK’s COVID-19 lockdown. This resulted in an unplanned peak in online sales as customers turned to the website to place orders for toys, games and arts & crafts products to keep their children occupied while out of school.
Without losing focus on the replatform, we supported The Works to ensure that the live legacy system could cope with an unprecedented sustained peak in traffic.
Drawing on our experience from supporting clients through planned seasonal peaks (e.g. Black Friday and Christmas), we kept the legacy site live and we delivered the new system on time and within budget.
Wunderman Thompson Commerce has been a key partner in helping us define our digital roadmap and deliver our multichannel strategy. 2020 saw us in an exceptional position of delivering a new website while responding to COVID-19, the closure of all our 530 stores and our busiest period ever online. WT Commerce were unfazed in their approach to not only delivering our new site on time, but also in responding to our unplanned peak, ensuring that our legacy site continued to perform. The result was that we achieved significant uplift in digital revenues and average order values, a trend which is continuing on our new platform.