Shiner were a traditional company that operated only B2B, and were one of the first UK companies to bring skateboards over from the US. Today Shiner represent over 20 brands in the European market and distributes to those markets to retailers across the continent. The new direction was to start selling directly to the customer with the brands they represented, and a platform was needed that served multiple sites and brands selling in multiple regions and currencies. The only viable option was Magento Commerce.
Different languages & currencies
Businesses under one application
This was Shiner’s first venture into B2C; the business had entirely been B2B throughout Europe until then. A platform was needed that could provide centralised control of all individual sites, of multiple brands and products, to a brand new B2C market. Magento Commerce was the only logical solution that allowed all of the above functionality, ticking all the boxes, and allowed Shiner to meet the ecommerce budget.
Shiner operates over 20 businesses under one application. Using a shopping centre as a metaphor, Shiner were looking to provide multiple, different stores under one roof – Magento Commerce could be seen as the shopping centre itself, accommodating the multiple brands. The main challenge was the difference in the multiple brands. A solution was needed that would allow the centralised management of very different websites (Eg Heelys https://www.heelys.eu.com/, and Santa Cruz (https://santacruzskateboards.eu/), selling to different demographics, that could all be housed in one easy to administer system. If that could be achieved in an efficient fashion, and that succeeded in allowing those websites to achieve high conversions and growth, then the implementation would be considered a success.
Launched November 2018, the new website took 5 months to complete, and allowed Shiner to sell direct to the customer across Europe, specifically UK, Spain, Germany, France, Italy, Norway, Finland, Denmark & Sweden. There is also an EU generic store to service the whole of Europe. Shiner also make use of the Amasty Store Finder extension to direct customers to partner stores who stock their brands, should a customer want to visit a local store.
Heelys, Santa Cruz, Body Glove & Straye Footwear all operate in 9 different territories, 5 languages, and 5 currencies.
At present the company uses inbuilt Magento functionality, fed directly from Microsoft Dynamics NAV ERP system, assigning the inventory globally across all sites. Shiner integrated directly into Microsoft Dynamics NAV, providing full stock updates, order management, synchronization of product information with the central catalogue. Order status updates and shipment alerts were also provided via integration achieved using The Pixel’s bespoke ERP Connector system - an intermediary system that sits between Magento and any other ERP system. It's flexible and efficient, and allows integration with various data formats that include XML, CSV.
Magento allowed Shiner to achieve the functionality required without multiple website instances. Magento's hierarchical levels were essential in allowing Shiner to achieve the implementation of a build that could manage 20 separate brands. One Magento installation with default settings, that would manage websites with multiple URLs, prices, taxes and currencies, with multiple store fronts and store views, all of which were very different per brand and product range. The option to share customers, products, pricing between stores was also invaluable.
Magento enabled Shiner to:
Magento Cloud allowed quick deployments utilising the CDN to deliver quick response across all European websites. Utilising the CDN meant distributed servers across all of Europe removed the need for customers to be served via UK servers only.
Because of Magento Cloud’s scalable storefronts, Shiner now has the ability offer highly differentiated customer experiences, simplified integration with existing systems and the ability to respond rapidly to changing circumstances. This gave the website the agility to respond to a changing environment, and easily scale to meet unexpected demand. For example, the M2 cloud infrastructure has allowed the company to cater for significant peaks in traffic regardless of visitor volume, important at critical times of year such as Black Friday.
One of the key objectives, to prove that the change in business model (B2B > B2C) was viable and necessary, was overwhelmingly achieved.
Shiner achieved an increase in stock sell-through levels, keeping up with modern consumer buying habits, and streamlined business operations by allowing brands to reach a new B2C market without increasing staffing - providing massive business efficiencies and cost savings.
The customer experience on all Shiner websites has dramatically improved; customers can find and navigate a whole product catalogue and have it delivered across Europe to their door - an operation that was previously not possible. Customer feedback and service has also improved dramatically since launch on both products and services, measurable via online feedback.
Due to the success of the B2C site and launch, Shiner are now considering migrating their bespoke B2B website onto the Magento 2 platform.
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