Omnichannel in 18 months: the Boutique Marie Claire story.
Discover how Adobe Commerce made Quebec's fashion giant into an omnichannel e-commerce leader.
Average order value
Grow from a brick-and-mortar business into a powerful e-commerce operation
Integrate a custom-built ERP system to source all pricing and inventory management data
Provide customers with an on-brand digital experience the feels like the in-store experience they love
1,500+ items shipped each week
+30% average order value
4 brands, 300+ stores, but zero digital plan?
The first Marie Claire boutique opened in Saint-Hyacinthe, a city in southwestern Quebec, in 1965. From that day, the boutique was dedicated to selling clothes inspired by European trends. Five decades later, the brand had become Canada’s third largest women’s clothing retailer with more than 300 retail stores. But remarkably, they had no website to sell online. If you wanted a new dress from Marie Claire, you needed to visit a physical store. Then, in 2015, Marie Claire decided to join the digital transformation revolution. They wanted to grow from a brick-and-mortar business into a powerful e-commerce operation.
Their plan was ambitious: convert their four clothing brands, all of their physical stores, numerous loyalty programs, and thousands of customers into to an omnichannel experience — managed by an agile team from a single, centralized e-commerce engine. Solution partner Absolunet made the case for Adobe Commerce. After much research, Marie Claire agreed that Adobe Commerce offered the flexibility to support their future needs.
Most importantly, Marie Claire needed to efficiently manage multiple brands without duplicating effort or costs. They also had a clear vision of the brand-specific omnichannel environment they wanted to build, and how they would integrate their in-store and online experiences. All this would need to integrate seamlessly with the company’s internal systems and teams. Their 18-month journey into the digital age began in August of 2015.
“Going digital while protecting our customer relationships was critical. One month in, e-commerce was already 4% of sales for our biggest brand.”
VP of eCommerce, Boutique Marie Claire
Omnichannel, right out-of-the-box
The company’s omnichannel retail strategy started by integrating a custom-built ERP system to source all pricing and inventory management data. Combined with the ShipHero extension, Marie Claire implemented Buy Online, Pickup In-Store (BOPIS) shipping and fulfillment in all 300 stores — offering shipping for the first time in the brand’s history. The key to managing this new part of the business was the ability to allocate inventory for online orders, and to ship products between stores for customer pick-up.
Marie Claire and Absolunet worked tirelessly to bring the look and feel of their successful in-store experiences to digital. They built all four branded sites with the same core capabilities, with the flexibility to customize the front end and make each unique. The user experience was driven by an intuitive navigation process designed for customers who may be unused to online shopping, with Live Chat from Zendesk Chat for customers who need active support. Shop the Look capabilities provided by Komes allow customers to browse by individual looks, see product details, and purchase multiple items from a specific look. All these extensions were readily available for Adobe Commerce.
And what about those brand-specific customer loyalty programs? Marie Claire customers purchase loyalty cards, which they can use in-store or online, and though each loyalty program is displayed uniquely to customers, all are managed through the same out-of-box capabilities offered by Adobe Commerce. This was critical to the brand’s shift to digital.
“Going digital while protecting our customer relationships was critical,” says Martin Delisle, VP of eCommerce, Boutique Marie Claire. “One month in, e-commerce was already 4% of sales for our biggest brand.”
“After year one, we had surpassed the banks’ independent revenue forecasts.”
VP of eCommerce, Boutique Marie Claire
Year 2: A 40% increase in conversion
In 2016, the company launched Le Grenier, Marie Claire, San Francisco, and Marie Claire, France, all within the period of a few months. This instantly gave their customers more options — from how they shop, to how they pay, and how they receive their products.
Marie Claire succeeded in converting their current customers to omnichannel by creating an on-brand digital experience that felt like the in-store experience they loved.
“After year one, we had surpassed the banks’ independent revenue forecasts,” says Delisle.
Customers also enjoyed the added flexibility and convenience of buying online: Conversions soared by 40%, and the Average Order Value increased by 30%. Soon Marie Claire was shipping 1,500 products every week and had become a serious fashion e-commerce house ready for the next 60 years.
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