A step ahead in footwear and athleisure.
Accent Group adopts global reference architecture for easier implementation of Adobe Commerce headless PWA websites.
Stay relevant to consumers and how they want to shop for footwear and apparel
Improve sales with a better, mobile device-first shopping experience
Increase agility to better respond to market changes while controlling costs
Fostered ongoing growth of online sales to new record of nearly 24% of overall company sales in previous financial year
Boosted average order values on Platypus Shoes site by 14% and add to cart rates by 68% with captivating merchandising capabilities
Doubled operational efficiency in managing websites while accelerating time-to-market
Maintaining a strong foothold in the footwear and apparel market
Long a leading retailer and distributor in Australia and New Zealand’s performance lifestyle market for footwear, apparel, and accessories, Accent Group stays ahead of competitors by keeping its customers and brands at the center of current trends. The company operates more than 750 physical stores and 39 websites for globally distributed brands and its own retail apparel offerings such as Skechers, Dr. Martens, Vans, Timberland, The Athlete’s Foot, Platypus Shoes, and The Trybe.
Despite the business challenges brought on by the pandemic, Accent Group recently topped AU$1 billion in sales, including a doubling of its online revenues since January 2020. A fresh investment in its e-commerce platform, built on Adobe Commerce, part of Adobe Experience Cloud, puts the company on solid footing to drive continued growth in online sales in the years ahead.
Tim Greenstein, general manager of technology and supply chain at Accent Group, embodies the company’s “make it happen” culture. With Accent Group for more than seven years, he’s overseeing the overhaul of its e-commerce platform to sustain its leadership in offering shoppers superior products, services, and experiences.
“It’s important that we link our store and digital channels together and deliver a seamless experience for the customer that stays relevant with the latest technologies, including prioritizing a high-quality experience on mobile devices,” says Greenstein. “We need to be at the vanguard to meet shoppers’ growing expectations by offering simple and powerful find-in-store functionality, new pickup and delivery options, and other user experience design and content improvements.”
Pairing with eWave for e-commerce expertise
Accent Group engaged eWave, an Adobe Platinum Partner based in Sydney with a presence in 20+ cities across Asia and Europe, to deliver on Accent Group’s “Future of Commerce” strategy. A partner to Accent Group for the past seven years, eWave worked with Greenstein’s team on its migration from the older Magento 2 e-commerce environment.
As Accent Group’s websites proliferated, it became increasingly difficult to maintain standards for consistency and capabilities across its various businesses while still being able to deliver new sites and improvements quickly. “We needed a foundational architecture that we could reuse and that would allow each site or business to have a certain level of independence to tailor to evolving needs,” Greenstein says.
To address this requirement, eWave started with the implementation of a global reference architecture (GRA) to establish a unified code base across sites, with customizations as needed. In addition to reducing the disparity across brands, the GRA helps drive operational efficiencies while reducing technical complexity and ongoing costs in the medium term. Having a holistic GRA process governance model in place will help accelerate code releases and bring products to market faster as Accent Group continues to introduce new sites and innovations.
“With the cloud-based Adobe Commerce platform, Accent Group can retire aging, bespoke environments that are difficult to update in favor of a more modular, extensible, and scalable solution that offers greater functionality, faster performance, and a better customer experience.”
Oscar van Dijk
Head of Delivery and Services, ANZ Region, eWave
By minimizing custom code, embedding a MuleSoft middleware layer, and building reusable APIs, the stage has been set for making future upgrades, patches, and replacements more quickly and efficiently. Now the eWave team can avoid redoing point-to-point integrations for each site.
“With the cloud-based Adobe Commerce platform, Accent Group can retire aging, bespoke environments that are difficult to update in favor of a more modular, extensible, and scalable solution that offers greater functionality, faster performance, and a better customer experience,” says Oscar van Dijk, head of delivery and services for the ANZ region at eWave.
Greenstein appreciates eWave’s recommendation of an API-based headless commerce approach, which provides Accent Group with the greater flexibility of a decoupled front-end e-commerce experience and back-end CMS architecture. The solution features progressive web application (PWA) technology for responsive design that delivers consistent, fast-loading experiences for Accent Group brands across mobile phones, tablets, and desktop computers. For better tracking of visitor data, the team enabled Adobe Client Data Layer in Commerce PWA Studio, which connects with Accent Group’s deployments of Adobe Analytics and Adobe Experience Platform for some divisions.
“We are confident that the Adobe Commerce platform will help us accelerate website refreshes for our key brands over the next year. This is central to our strategy of showcasing best-in-class, elevated shopping experiences that deliver on our Future of Commerce vision.”
General Manager of Technology and Supply Chain, Accent Group
A great fit
First up, the team re-launched the Australia and New Zealand e-commerce websites for Platypus Shoes. The sites include improved size and fit guides, automatic categorisation with enriched product attributes, and video content widgets to promote deeper customer engagement. Streamlined purchase pathways, including two-step checkout, translate to higher conversions.
Greenstein credits eWave with helping keep Accent Group at the crest of e-commerce trends. “We like to push the envelope and enjoy a first-mover advantage,” says Greenstein. “eWave has been a strong partner in helping us make that happen, adding cutting-edge capabilities and instituting best practices around our core Adobe Commerce deployment.” Adobe also recognized eWave with an award for the GRA implementation at Adobe Partner Connect 2022.
Results look promising so far. Since the Platypus Shoes re-launch, average order values are up 14%. The brand has seen a positive lift in conversion rate overall and a 30% bump in average time on site. Thanks in part to enhanced merchandising, upsell and cross-sell efforts, and more intelligent search capabilities, the add to cart rate has jumped an impressive 68%. The changes are helping boost the contribution of online purchases to Accent Group’s overall sales, which recently grew to a share of nearly 24%.
Meanwhile, operational efficiency in some areas, such as enrichment processes, has improved 100%. Accent Group is targeting a refresh for its Skechers site next, using a replicable approach—but with even greater speed-to-market and lower development costs thanks to engrained agility enabled by the solution’s flexible GRA.
Greenstein is enthusiastic about the company’s momentum in tailoring e-commerce experiences that set a higher standard for delighting shoppers down under. “We are confident that the Adobe Commerce platform will help us accelerate website refreshes for our key brands over the next year,” says Greenstein. “This is central to our strategy of showcasing best-in-class, elevated shopping experiences that deliver on our Future of Commerce vision.”