Innovative Retail Technologies

MAR 2013

Innovative Retail Technologies (formerly Integrated Solutions For Retailers) is the premier source for innovative yet pragmatic technology solutions in the retail industry.

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Case Study Omni-Channel Retailing American Apparel's New E-Commerce Solution Drives Online Growth American Apparel's online sales are up 43% with the implementation of a new e-commerce solution. by Bob Johns A merican Apparel prides itself on being "sweatshop free" and currently has the largest sewing facility in North America. The company makes all of its own garments and, as of 2012, is nearly landfill-free due to new sustainability and environmental protection implementations. The American Apparel culture is fastmoving, cutting edge, and always changing, and their e-commerce site could not keep pace with the changes. According to Stacey Shulman, CIO of American Apparel, the company needed to create that immersive and personalized customer experience online that consumers feel in each of the stores. Second, the new e-commerce solution/strategy needed to be scalable, not just for the consumer e-commerce site, but for the B2B wholesale site as well. American Apparel gains customer loyalty program. Looking For An E-Commerce Partner Shulman's technology team wanted to vet a new e-commerce software solution as soon as possible. The old system was built in-house and offered very little flexibility in growing with the changing demands of the customer and could not handle the growing sales volume and increased traffic. The American Apparel technology team decided what they were looking for in a solution, and provider, was stability, customer service, and reliability. They looked at those companies they considered to be the top three vendors which fit their criteria and began the vetting process. Shulman immediately reached out to her industry contacts and spoke with people who had used each company's solutions to ask the question, "Will these solutions fit our business?" Shulman wanted to know if the solutions delivered on the promises made. She has seen too many products that offer huge benefits but deliver precious few realworld results. By reaching out to these retail contacts, she was able to immediately eliminate one company from consideration. "I contacted high-level people I knew with other companies to see what they were using and to see how their experiences were with other companies. It is easy when you are dealing with the people at the top, because you know that they are going to need the same functionality you would. You can get straight answers regarding the solutions you are considering. Then it just comes down to customer service, support, scalability, and price," she says. Shulman then invited both remaining vendors to insight with a new cross-channel conduct demonstrations, presentations, and offer references. "We looked at our Web director's wish list and determined the must-haves," Shulman states. "And then we did the same thing with the technical infrastructure director. From there we just needed to ensure the scalability of the solutions we were considering." From there the process took about a month, which is exceptionally quick in retail. At the end of the vetting process, Shulman and her team decided to go with Oracle ATG Commerce Solutions. Implementing A New E-Commerce Solution From The Ground Up As the Oracle solution began to be implemented, the legacy e-commerce systems were removed. "We March 2013 ‚óŹ RetailSolutionsOnline.com 19

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