Frye’s biggest priority was replacing its five-year-old internal infrastructure with a new commercial e-commerce platform. In particular, Frye wanted an e-commerce platform that could utilize web services, a technology that lets disparate applications, often from different companies, communicate without a lot of custom programming. Frye also wanted to make better use of custom application programming interfaces, or APIs, the connectors between applications, to roll out social media, richer site content and more tightly integrated systems. After eight months of working with its new e-commerce platform provider, CreateThe Group, a New York e-commerce application development and Internet marketing company with expertise in the apparel and accessories market, Frye rolled out an overhauled platform in August.
The new e-commerce platform features advanced site search that lets consumers narrow their product search by style, size, color or heel height, and a product recommendations tool that targets shoppers with specific types of merchandise based on their past shopping history and other relevant data. More important, Frye’s new e-commerce platform is now better integrated with the company’s other information systems: its enterprise resource planning software for accounting and other business functions, and its warehouse management, customer relationship management and call center systems.
Better e-commerce technology enables Frye to quickly post new promotions to its Facebook page, lets shoppers share their product comments and wish lists with friends and family using Facebook and Twitter, and send personalized pre-order and back-order e-mail messages to shoppers. “A better e-commerce platform means we can now communicate with customers across a host of touch points,” Tarica says.
“We have the ability to add social media and really target the shopper with our deep understanding of the Frye brand or with personalized promotions,” Tarica adds. “As an online retailer, we are no longer hindered by an outdated e-commerce platform.”
The new system has led to a big jump in several key e-commerce performance categories, Tarica says. Since the new platform went live, the number of monthly visits year over year to Frye.com has increased by about 200% to 1 million from 333,000 and monthly gross web sales have increased by 90%, although Frye wouldn’t disclose a specific amount.