Stern Partners unifies banners on single e-commerce architecture

Dan Berthiaume
Senior Editor, Technology
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A Canadian retail conglomerate is creating one multi-cloud e-commerce ecosystem for its seven retail brands.

Vancouver-based Stern Partners owns a total of 20 independently-operated and managed companies, including seven apparel and home décor retail banners with 11 online stores – Warehouse One Clothing, Urban Barn, Western Glove Works, Suzanne’s, Bootlegger Clothing, Ricki’s Fashions, and Cleo’s Fashions.

E-commerce sites for each brand were built on different versions of Commerce Cloud available at the time and implemented by different systems integrators, making it impossible to share and re-use features. In addition, Salesforce Marketing Cloud and Service Cloud were not implemented entirely using best practices, and as a result sometimes ran incorrectly across brands.

In addition, each brand had its own e-commerce ecosystem, so the implementation of new technologies across all brands was costly and not reusable. Systems were not unified, legacy implementations lacked documentation, and Salesforce Cloud installations were working disconnected from each other.

To rectify these issues, Stern Partners wanted to connect its brands, and their Salesforce Cloud platforms, with a single partner to create a detailed roadmap. Leveraging a multi-phase digital transformation, Stern Partners wanted to individually optimize e-commerce for its seven retail brands and unite Bootlegger, Cleo’s, Ricki’s, Suzanne’s, Urban Barn and Warehouse One under one multi-cloud Salesforce ecosystem.

Through this migration, Stern Partners intended to unify dataacross all of its retail brands at the organization level; improve e-commerce processes for efficiency and agility to quickly reuse, evolve and scale; and optimize costs and infrastructurearchitecture across its brands with a streamlined technology stack.

The company also sought to leverage data to deliver more personalized service and targeted messaging to customers and optimize and improve online storefrontsto enhance stability and performance factors. Stern Partners engaged retail consultant and e-commerce integrator OSF Digital to unify its retail e-commerce ecosystem.

First, OSF performed an auditto uncover outdated integration points, system bottlenecks or non-optimized code; and then recommended additional integrations to create a connected cloud environment experience. Leveraging OSF solutions and services, Stern Partners:

  • Improved the navigation experience;
  • Improved the e-commerce user experience and interface;
  • Improved search engine optimization (SEO) across Stern Partners’ retail brands;
  • Sanitized and streamlinedthird-party technologies/vendors; and,
  • Implemented cart abandonment functionality(integrated with Salesforce Marketing Cloud) for full abandonment tracking and reacting capability and other integrations such as fraud, gift cards, and payment methods.

OSF also provided Stern Partners with best practices.

“We had a variety of vendors supporting our Salesforce platforms, but were looking for one that could be a true partner in our collective journey,” said Peter Roberts, VP, technology, Stern Partners. “That required more than just technical skills—it also demanded a firm that would be aligned with our strategy, have capacity and ‘bench strength’ to meet our timelines, and was committed to our success. OSF has delivered on all of those requirements and adapted to our unique corporate culture(s). The highest praise I reserve for a services partner is ‘predictability,’ in that it summarizes simply that they do what they say they will. That is precisely how I think of OSF.”

[Read more: Canadian home décor retailer plants digital seeds for e-commerce growth]