Reitmans (Canada) Limited has been selling clothing for more than 80 years, with its retail roots stretching back to 1926 with a family-owned department store in Montreal. The company has since expanded significantly to include a number of other brands across more than 900 stores, including Smart Set, RW&CO., Penningtons, Addition Elle, and Thyme Maternity. Reitmans is now one of Canada’s largest publicly-owned retail companies, with more than 10,000 employees across the country.

To deliver a truly unified, 360-degree shopping experience to its customers, Reitmans needed a flexible, scalable, and reliable ecommerce platform. It was vital that the platform could support multiple brands, as well as peaks in customer demand throughout the year. With Commerce Cloud, Reitman’s was able to develop five major ecommerce sites in only 12 months. What’s more, the brand was able to integrate ecommerce with its back-office systems, and embrace new online features that enrich the customer experience.

Commerce Cloud has allowed Reitmans to unlock a new revenue stream without cannibalizing in-store sales. The company’s ecommerce sites help increase customer store visits and loyalty and provide a foundation for future innovation and growth.

 

Reitmans’ ecommerce operation is intrinsically linked to the company’s physical stores. As Diane Randolph, CIO at Reitmans, explains: “We want our online services to complement, not conflict, with those offered in-store, and to deliver a 360-degree shopping experience to customers.”

With Salesforce, Reitmans was able to integrate ecommerce with its customer relationship management, enterprise resource planning, and order management systems. With six different divisions, each with distinct branding and product catalogues, Reitmans needed to establish individual sites rather than a single ecommerce portal.

“Each brand has a different audience, so we couldn’t take a ‘cookie cutter’ approach to the sites. Our priority for 2013 is to ensure that all divisions have online shopping capabilities,” comments Randolph. “Ecommerce will be key to growing our top line in the future. We want to establish a ‘buy from anywhere, fulfill from anywhere’ retail operation.”

 
 

Since launching our ecommerce offerings, we have experienced double digit growth year on-year in terms of online sales.”

Diane Randolph | CIO at Reitmans (Canada) Limited

To support its ecommerce ambitions across multiple divisions, Reitmans needed a flexible and stable front-end platform that can support peaks in customer demand. The retailer’s initial foray into the ecommerce arena in late 2007 was held back by a lack of flexibility in the former storefront solution.

With its flagship brand Reitmans ready to join the online shopping revolution in 2010, the company needed to move in a different direction and find a more robust and scalable ecommerce platform. Reitmans was keen to minimize any additional cost and complexity, which made Commerce Cloud’s cloud-based model an ideal fit with its objectives.

Jaylone Lee, Senior Project Manager at Reitmans, comments: “The ecommerce marketplace is changing rapidly; we need to ensure we embrace the right trends and technologies for our business. [Commerce Cloud] and its partners provide us with both the insight and tools we need to maximize the potential for ecommerce across our brands.”

 

Within eight months of replatforming to Commerce Cloud, Reitmans had completed all the business and IT phases of the project, and launched new English and French versions of reitmans.com.

The company has since migrated three brands onto Commerce Cloud — Penningtons, Addition Elle, and RW-CO. It also completed a redesign of reitmans.com, and launched sites for two additional brands in 2013. Reitmans also introduces a ship-to-store option in 2013.

With Commerce Cloud, Reitmans has been able to achieve its objective of launching multiple ecommerce sites in a shorter timeframe and with lower development costs. Internal teams have increased capacity to maintain and build new sites while reducing their dependence on third-party partners.

“[Commerce Cloud] reduces time to market for new sites and upgrades. It enables us to reuse code and execute more development in-house,” confirms Lee. “We effectively completed five major site builds in the space of 12 months, which was well ahead of our expectations.”

 

By enabling greater velocity throughout the ecommerce deployment cycle, Reitmans has been able to take advantage of new revenue streams more quickly. As Randolph confirms: “Since launching our ecommerce offerings, every brand that has launched a transactional site has experienced double digit growth year-on-year in terms of online sales.”

The ecommerce sites also help to increase in-store business by providing personalized shopping features. For example, Reitmans has introduced an online “wish list” that customers can print out and take to a store to view different products in person.

“Through ecommerce, we can provide a richer shopping experience, which will increase customer loyalty and spend,” comments Randolph. “With a stable and scalable platform in place, we can maximize opportunities for innovation and growth that will drive greater market share.”

 
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