Clarins is a family owned luxury skin care brand. We have two distribution channels, one for perfumes and another for department stores which are especially strong in Asia. You have these big molds in the back of the department store on which we have different counters.
Clarins decided to go on Demandware as the main online platform. We started mostly in European countries and the US market and little by little we are rolling out worldwide presence offering Clarins brand websites.
When it comes to Asia, the first website that went live from an ecommerce standpoint was China. We opened a Japanese ecommerce website in January of 2013 and also recently opened our Korea ecommerce website. We are now aiming and contemplating potential openings for new ecommerce opportunities.
We are working to have a platform that is very focused on the consumer experience which will include a mobile website. We have three entities in the organization when it comes to architecture but primarily work with Demandware and eCommera. Demandware leads the platform and eCommera is the integrator for the solution. Working with eCommera and Demandware has allowed the use of two different templates, both of which work on the same platform. As soon as we open into a new country, we can have it on the desktop and mobile version at the same moment. This is very convenient from a consumer’s standpoint and also allows us to regulate everything from mobile traffic to mobile media.
One hundred percent of the developments we do on the platform go through eCommera. The Paris team works closely with eCommera to process requests from APAC to localize the Chinese site. When it comes to China, it has been a really close cooperation between the teams because there are so many different aspects to localize. We have to ensure that the specifications are properly aligned with the fonts and that the Chinese alphabet and characters are properly taken into account. Overall, it’s really been a close cooperation.
Chinese consumers are very specific and complicated to manage because it’s a very big country. The work was challenging at first because we had to convey Clarins brand image, traits and brand identity on the website while still incorporating localization to match the Chinese consumer need. We rely on ratings and reviews from forms and social media sites. Western social networks are blocked in China so they have their own Chinese social networks. We need to take this into consideration when reviewing our website.
Working with Demandware has been very positive since the beginning. From the moment we decided to kick off the Chinese project until the moment of the go-live, we did everything in less than 6 months. We have really strong cooperation between the eCommera team, Demandware team and Chinese team on the front end and back end. From year to date, we’ve had a 500% growth in term of online revenue since switching to Demandware. We know that it will be more and more challenging to keep this kind of growth but so far we’ve really seen some strong momentum in building our own ecommerce platform on Demandware and working with eCommera as well.
A good thing we are experiencing with Demandware is that people do not fix bugs anymore but instead focus on what brings added value to the business. This includes building promotional offers and optimizing the check-out process. In terms of commitment from the team, it’s much more exciting and motivating to work on these things rather than manually fixing bugs in the system.
I think Clarins has been the first partner client of Demandware to work on the new pod, which has been transferred to Hong Kong. So basically, we now have a server in Hong Kong that we are accelerating with a local partner to deliver a much better customer experience from a Chinese standpoint. This allows us to have an efficient and accessible website with fast loading pages. Overall, it has been a very positive partnership.
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