Riding the Shopify wave with O'Neill
The European branch of O'Neill wanted to get started with Shopify Plus just like the American and Australian counterparts. So they started looking for a partner that could help them with that. The established American surf and fashion brand found the right partner for the job in Code. A talk with Bob Rockland (Code) and Romy Alves (O'Neill) about moving to Shopify Plus, achieving international growth and keeping pace with innovation.
TECHNOLOGYShopify plus webshops
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Romy, E-commerce Product Owner at O'Neill, explains why O'Neill wanted to move to Shopify Plus. “We'd been working with Salesforce Commerce Cloud for quite some time, but didn't get the most out of the package we were paying for. Our management wanted a compact, dynamic system in which we could add new features to our sites more quickly. Shopify Plus is an interesting option: it is much more affordable and offers more flexibility.”
O'Neill x Code
O'Neill contacted Shopify and was told that there are two official Shopify Plus partners in the Netherlands. Romy: "We've spoken with both. It immediately became clear that we had to choose between the traditional approach or headless. The former was preferred by both O'Neill and Code.” She laughs, “It helped that we heard Code say a lot of good things in those early conversations. We had been struggling for years with the structure of product IDs in our webshops. Code immediately had a concrete, good proposal to solve that.' Code's extensive experience and the solid portfolio of successful brands sealed the collaboration.
We have hardly had any delays. The implementation of the Enterprise System (ERP) that manages all invoices, product prices, inventory and the alike was complex, but nevertheless the pace was kept really well.
Localization does not mean translation
O'Neill wanted to go live as quickly as possible with a first minimum viable product. Bob: “We have brought together the best elements of the existing site with the Australian sister site to create something unique in terms of design that really fits the European market. We also put great emphasis on making all aspects and functionality of the site faster.” Code also connected the right parties for a smooth transition to Shopify Plus. Bob: "For the migration of all content, we worked together with It's Perfect, with whom we also have successfully worked together for other brands.
We eventually built five storefronts (individual web shops) for O'Neill: four for O'Neill's largest markets in Europe and a general one for the entire region. “At Code we believe localization does not mean translation. Using multiple storefronts to localize is a proven approach that we often apply successfully for customers if they want to enter the European market.” says Bob. "This way you are able to sell in the whole of Europe in the most efficient way, but pay extra attention to localize the countries with the highest potential." GymShark also applies this strategy.
Speed and flexibility to stay ahead of the competition
Looking back on the process, Romy was pleasantly surprised by the speed with which the project took off and was carried out. "We have hardly had any delays. The implementation of the Enterprise System (ERP) that manages all invoices, product prices, inventory and the alike was complex, but nevertheless the pace was kept really well.”
In addition, O'Neill is particularly pleased with the speed with which new features can be deployed in Shopify Plus. Romy: “Normally it was a lot of work for us to realize new functionality, such as certain types of discount or a module to calculate the best fit. In Shopify Plus, it's very simple. We work in a fast-paced, dynamic industry, so it's very valuable to us to be able to test functionality quickly and to have access to a huge, worldwide pool of developers.”
Of course it is important to keep an eye on how many apps you use and whether they can be combined well, not least because some apps are also quite expensive to apply. But for O'Neill they are priceless in how they contribute to conversion, order value and the bottom line: more sales. Bob: “As Code, we always advise on the different options available within a specific customer's niche. We know what is available, but also what does and does not go well together within a Shopify Plus platform.”
Code also guided O'Neill in the choice of payment systems and advised to work with Mollie. Bob: “Many customers operating in the Netherlands like that Mollie is a Dutch company and easy to communicate with. But apart from that, Mollie also has a very strong dashboard and solid support for various systems, such as iDeal and Klarna. That makes them a strong party to work with within e-commerce.”
The foundation has been put together, but O'Neill is certainly not slowing down. For example, the company is working on a smarter way of recommending products to customers, together with Code and Nosto. Romy: “We really value customer recommendations highly. On the one hand, we leave the algorithm free to do its work and we will be extensively testing, but the system also leaves room for manual adjustments. Once it is all working properly, I believe it will really have a positive impact on the webshop, customer experience and sales. You see, one of the best-selling products in our shops are bikini’s. We have many different models with the same types of print. Customers often ask how they can find and match these more easily. The fact that people actually go through the effort to ask us indicates that the demand is real. And this new system is going to facilitate them.”
Another innovation that is currently being worked on is the fit finder functionality. Romy explains the importance of this: "ideally, a customer buys the right size immediately, so that multiple items of clothing do not have to be sent – which prevents a whole lot of return packages being sent. Less hassle for the customer and better for the environment.”