By Ilana Goddess, Product Marketing Manager at Demandware

The topic of innovation was at the forefront of the Demandware XChange Conference 2014. Andy Laudato, CIO of Pier 1 Imports, shared his organization’s 1Pier1 initiative that drives a seamless experience to the consumer across all channels; and renowned author Malcolm Gladwell spoke about the role of being “disagreeable” in getting ahead. Harley Manning, Vice President of Forrester Research, shared key findings and strategies for delivering superior consumer experiences; and finally, we celebrated the innovations of Demandware customers through the first-ever Demandware Commerce Pacesetter Award.

Demandware customers are some of the most savvy and innovative retailers in the world. The Demandware Commerce Pacesetter Award celebrates and shares the achievements of these retailers. Earlier in the year, nominations for this award were submitted by customers, partners and peers. At the XChange Conference in Miami, the three finalists presented their stories and the winner was chosen by the audience.

Congratulations to our 2014 winner… Michael Hill!

Here’s a recap of all three finalists:

Michael Hill

Michael Hill, a New Zealand-based company that operates physical stores internationally across Australia, New Zealand, The United States and Canada, launched four ecommerce sites on the Demandware platform in mid-November 2013. In just three months, Michael Hill experienced 85% increase in site visits and an astounding 220% increase in conversion rates. Two key innovations they implemented contributed to these amazing results:

  1. Build your own charm bracelet online: Michael Hill wanted to replicate the unique in-store experience of building a custom charm bracelet online. They built a custom UI that allows customers to select all of the components of their charm bracelet, drag and drop them into place and see the finished product before completing their order.
  2. Shoppable videos: To create a better consumer experience, Michael Hill is using video to showcase their products online. When a customer clicks on a product, the video will continue to play in the background, while being able to review the product details, for a more immersive experience. (Read more about video commerce here.)


The topic of innovation is a familiar one to Crocs, Inc., a world leader in innovative casual footwear for men, women and children. Crocs leverages the Demandware Commerce platform to provide their customers with the personalized experiences they demand.

  1. In 2013, Crocs enhanced its mobile capabilities on the Demandware platform after seeing a major traffic shift from highly converted desktop traffic to smartphones. The company tapped Demandware’s LINK technology ecosystem leveraging the pre-integrated client-side adaptation solution from Mobify. The integration enables Crocs to deliver mobile optimized experiences to shopper devices using responsive web design. The solution delivers total feature parity across devices including fly-out navigation, optimized layout of product display and accordion style filters. This initiative, which has been rolled out in seven regions, has increased smartphone conversions by 50%. Crocs also achieved payback on their initial investment in less than six months.
  2. In December 2013, used Demandware Commerce to implement their “Lucky Bag” promotion in celebration of the Japanese New Year. The spirit of the holiday is to do things that help you start your new year with good luck. “Lucky Bag” promotions give customers something “good” in their bags at a steep discount. The Crocs Japan team used this promotion as a way to quickly sell end-of-life products with high margins faster than if they were liquidated through other channels and/or promotions. Campaign results were phenomenal: many products sold out in just hours and the campaign alone resulted in 2% of total revenue for one year in Japan.

Scotch & Soda

Within four months, this Dutch Apparel Company and lifestyle brand launched 13 web sites on Demandware in six localized languages, six currencies and 73 countries. In addition, they also launched responsive web design versions of all sites for tablets and mobile. Scotch & Soda has experienced 97% average growth since launching on Demandware and has seen 30% of orders come from mobile devices. Year over year (December 2013 versus December 2012), Scotch & Soda has experienced an increase in:

  • Revenue by 190%
  • Conversion rate of 42%
  • Average order value by 22%
  • Site visitors by 33%