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Managing explosive growth in global, omnichannel retail
March 31, 2021
Retail is going through some turbulent times. Not just on account of the pandemic, although that has undeniably been either transformative or devastating for some. The relentless surge of ecommerce and the subsequent challenge to bricks and mortar alongside the shift to mobile and always-on communications means retailers are pulled in multiple directions at once. How they manage these demands while staying efficient, competitive, and profitable can be a case of sink or swim.
Added to these strains is the fact that many retailers’ tech stacks are simply not up to the demands of a modern, omnichannel marketplace. Developed around departmental silos, linear workflows and long timelines, older technologies simply can’t keep pace with largely digital demands.
Equally, with geography no longer a barrier to growth, retailers can expect to have to serve a global customer base. Doing so effectively means being able to adapt to local languages, cultures, and customs but all at the same warp speed as their domestic markets.
A new approach to content for growth
Answering these challenges means re-evaluating how retailers not only organize their assets, but also organize around those assets. Systems need to go from fragmented and departmental to centralized, workflows from linear to modular, and the company progresses from business-as-usual to agile and responsive.
Casual fashion brand, Lands’ End, recognized the need to re-asses how it managed its assets, not only to keep up with the demands of today’s marketplace, but to foster growth and drive competitive advantage.
Historically heavily catalog-based, Lands’ End’s asset management system was skewed towards the needs of long lead print production cycles. While its catalog remains a critical part of the company’s success, it also has to serve the demands of ecommerce, digital advertising, bricks and mortar retailers, and a growing global audience. The hunt for a asset and content management solution was on.
Following a proof-of-concept phase in 2018 which saw the company test two competing systems to make sure it was sourcing the right fit across five critical criteria – cost, user experience, system integration testing, technical fit, and references. This part of the process is essential as updating such a crucial part of the company’s stack – one that underpins so many of its processes from merchandising through marketing to customer service and more – will directly impact the company’s future commercial success.
Integration is the key to successful omnichannel retail
Having ultimately chosen censhare’s Digital Asset Management (DAM) solution, the company proceeded to transform its approach to content as a whole. Working with implementation partner, Emmsphere Plus, Lands’ End integrated its DAM with other tools including Adobe InDesign and a Single Sign-On (SSO) server, extensively automated processes and customized user interfaces. It also streamlined workflows to create a much more efficient, responsive retail organization.
By implementing a highly searchable, scalable and centralized DAM, Land’s End can now easily handle its some two million assets, with the number of system users growing from 500 to 700 globally in a single year.
Efficient processes mean the retailer can now press ahead with its extensive growth plans, which include the Lands’ End Marketplace, an online channel open to third-party products and partnerships with a leading US retailer, giving the brand access to customers in nearly every state through more than 1,000 bricks and mortar stores.
Lands’ End already has one eye on the future with plans for automatic language translation and page design updates supporting further global expansion and integrating the DAM with a future Product Information Management (PIM) system to streamline and drive even more efficiencies.
Modern retail is challenging, there’s no doubt about it. Being able to keep up with changing customer demands, responding to market trends and making the most of opportunities means retailers have to work in an agile way. They have to break down silos and promote collaboration, both internally and across those partnerships that are so crucial for growth.
To find out more about how Lands’ End is using the power of DAM to underpin its global expansion plans, download the full success story here.