Case study

Enabling $1billion ecommerce operations with customer journeys on cloud

Enhancing customer journeys on cloud to facilitate $1billion ecommerce operations

Brief

SkillNet partnered with J. Crew’s to enhance online customer journey and support peak season traffic to enable eCommerce growth.

About J. Crew  

J. Crew Group, Inc. is an internationally recognized omnichannel retailer of women’s, men’s and children’s apparel, shoes and accessories. The Company operates 184 J. Crew retail stores, 138 Madewell stores, jcrew.com, jcrewfactory.com, madewell.com and 170 Factory stores.

Challenge | Supporting new customer journeys and increased online traffic with legacy systems

J. Crew had a very large and successful eCommerce operation (close to a billion USD). Since peak season transactions and traffic contribute heavily to the growth of online operations, the J. Crew team wanted to offer enhanced customer journeys with new shopping features and increased personalization, while ensuring that the systems could scale to support increased volumes.

J. Crew’s legacy Blue Martini systems had been in place for a while and it had all the challenges of a monolith system. Ongoing product updates to the web site were time consuming, resource intensive and inflexible. It was also difficult to support new customer buying journeys. Apart from these issues, the demands of peak time traffic meant that the J. Crew team had to relook at their ecommerce systems. The team decided to migrate to Salesforce Commerce Cloud using microservices architecture.  

To ensure a smooth and seamless transition, they decided to partner with SkillNet, with whom they had a long-standing relationship since 2007 in omni channel support.

Solution | Enabling seamless ecommerce migration

The SkillNet team provided a solution that managed risk, introduced practical service led solution that allowed first migration of order management and then ecommerce.

Based on SkillNet’s experience with Blue Martini, the team was able to translate the business logic to support a seamless migration to Sales Force Commerce cloud. The first step was to decouple Blue Martini from other services and create a separate ocapi-based UI. Since ocapi drives headless experiences it ensured an enhanced online and mobile experiences for customers. Similarly, other elements of the commerce platform like the database, have also been migrated to Sales Force Commerce.

The proposed Strangler Pattern allows for new features to be available early and avoids the need for a big program with a cliff hanger at the end of the implementation. So, while the digital transformation is still ongoing, new features like cart notification (change in prices), alerts, gamification (which enables cross selling & customized promotions) have been added to enhance customer’s shopping experience.

Results | Online growth with enhanced customer journeys on the cloud

Since the web pages on JCrew.com are now server based they load faster and this has improved customer satisfaction. New features on the site like cart notification (changes in prices), alerts and gamification (which enables cross selling & customized promotions) have resulted in a 10% increase in year on year e-commerce sales. The site soon clocked $1 billion.

The platform processes 30,000 orders daily during peak season and supports multi-million dollars in orders in an hour across brands.

The new UI resulted in a massive surge in mobile sales with 15% conversion of mobile orders across brands. There were days when the smart phones contributed to 84% of the traffic

The headless commerce system also ensures that changes to the front end can be made quickly and developers save time on user interface change, resulting in increased efficiencies

The new system also ensured increased efficiencies in inventory and order management systems.

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