Competing with Giants

The largest retailer in the world can get anything on your doorstep within 24 hours. For Eason, the leading Irish book retailer, the competition is formidable.

"The way to compete with a giant is to capitalise on your size - be nimble and more in tune with your customers."

Answering to Rising Expectations

Eason came to Made to Engage in 2017 with the goal of creating an exceptional omnichannel experience, one which each of their valued customers would receive the same great service online as they would in-store, in line with the increased expectation of consumers.

We created an integrated platform solution for Eason which has enabled them to blend product and promotional content throughout the site and related campaigns, enhancing every customer's experience, in a project that saw us named Episerver’s Premium Partner of the Year.

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Making It (More) Personal

Eason required a platform that would support seamless integration to their back-office systems (Dynamics AX) for two reasons - customer, order and product data, and the capability which would enable them to use this data to develop personalisation and automated product promotion strategies, driving relevance and overall customer experience.

The ability to craft tailor-made experiences is further enabled by Episerver’s approach to individualised content and experience-driven commerce. Episerver products such as Perform allow for data-driven, automated product recommendations; while Episerver Campaign and Reach empower Eason’s marketing communications through transactional emails with tailored content for each user.

"Eason have developed a strong vision for a seamless unified commerce experience for all customers. Made to Engage and Episerver are making that a reality."

Time-to-value

Commencing the build in July, Made to Engage prioritised functionality which would allow Eason to make great headway quickly, as the entire build had to be carried out in a timeframe which would allow them to capitalise on the largest retail window of the year - stretching from Black Friday weekend through to the end of the January sales. Our agile approach to projects made this possible, delivering increased marketing capability and enhanced customer experience over a series of iterative delivery sprints.

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Under the Hood

This project was one of the first full implementations of the full suite of Episerver products in the world. This includes a CMS and Commerce platform, along with additional functions which enable individualised content, experience-driven commerce and intelligent campaigns, designed to provide exceptional customer experiences.

The project required a seamless integration between Episerver and Dynamics AX, which was achieved via the Avensia Storefront Dynamics AX integration accelerators and direct integration to Microsoft CRT to manage the synchronisation of carts, orders and customer profiles. This ensured the product database of 600K products was available, not to mention the introduction of Click & Collect at 60+ stores across Ireland.

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"A platform for unified commerce performance, delivering data driven, personalised customer experiences across channels."

A Christmas to Remember...

Eason had a festive season in 2017/18 they will never forget, with the YoY revenue uplift enough to more than justify the combined efforts of our teams.

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The Christmas period of 2018 delivered an additional 30% increase in online revenues – achieved through a wide range of targeted initiatives, none of which Eason would have had the capability to execute in previous years, including personalised product recommendations and a promotional campaign powered by their new click & collect capability, which saw such an increase in store footfall in the days before Christmas, the Eason team labelled it as a “second Black Friday”.

 

Click & Collect for Christmas

Click & Collect is a powerful ally for bricks and mortar stores when competing with online retailers who don’t have the luxury of offering a collect in store option. 

For Eason, Click & Collect provides online customers with the opportunity to have a book in their hand within a few hours after ordering, eclipsing any online delivery promises. This implementation required real-time communication between the Episerver Commerce & CMS platforms (check this for accuracy) and Microsoft Dynamics (also check this) to inform online shoppers of the availability of their chosen book in Eason’s stores throughout Ireland.

 

What's next?

We are continuously furthering the platform, including a full Dynamics 365 (D365) CRM integration which will enable Eason to further personalise content on-site and through marketing automation; the D365 CRM will also help to improve customer services both online and offline.

Having now established solid foundations for delivering a great omni-channel experience and developed the companies digital maturity, the combined Eason and Made to Engage teams have turned the attention to evolving the way customers are engaged with, ensuring the data we gather, can be used for search and merchandising, marketing automation, campaign delivery and optimisation.

 

   

Complex commerce, delivered.

Find out more about the approach our team took to delivering this project and how we work to ensure ongoing digital success, or get in touch to talk to us about your digital transformation.