Surf's Up as Ann's Cottage's Sales Accelerate after Replatforming from Magento to the IRP
Europe's leading surf retailer increases mobile conversion rate by 68%.
Author
06 November 2019 - 7 min read

With Magento 1.9 coming to end of life in June 2020, many online retailers are currently looking at their options for upgrading their ecommerce platform.

One long-standing surf retailer from Cornwall has made the smart decision to replatform to ensure they have a strong foundation for growth in 2020 and beyond.

An iconic company

Ann's Cottage started life on Polzeath Beach, Cornwall in the summer of 1978. They now run 14 stores across the region and are recognised as one of Europe's most iconic and respected surf and lifestyle retailers.

IRP Insights Terminal

A traditional retail company, Ann’s Cottage stock the biggest brands in surfing. Their experienced store and ecommerce teams ensure that customers have a first-class experience across all touchpoints.

The stores have seen excellent growth as Cornwall continues to be a hotbed for tourists and surfers throughout the year.

Online challenges

The Ann's Cottage online operation is run by Ecommerce Manager Luke Fox. Luke has many years of experience in ecommerce and a long history in the surf industry with a variety of online retailers.

Luke has been with Ann's Cottage for over eight years and has been the main force behind the growth of their online operation – but he felt something was missing with their setup.

He saw that the company was missing out on international custom and that the on-site experience was subpar.

They faced a number of challenges with the Magento platform that they had been using:

  1. It took a long time to get changes implemented.
  2. The addition of multiple plugins caused knock-on effects that increased development costs and ended up creating numerous issues for customers.
  3. They could not implement international channels to work with their website.
  4. The mobile experience was not up to standard.
  5. The platform was not integrated with the company's ERP system.

Working closely with product buyers and speaking directly with the brands' global marketing teams, Luke set off in search of a new and improved solution to provide the best possible online experience for customers.

He spoke to many agencies and considered several platforms, but ultimately he felt most comfortable with the IRP platform.

From the very first call to getting the deployment underway, he knew that he had made the right choice.

A smooth transition to the IRP

Luke recognised that IRP Commerce performed detailed due diligence to understand his company's business and reasons for replatforming. It was clear that there was a genuine fit for both companies.

IRP Insights Terminal

The entire Ann's Cottage team were involved throughout the three-month deployment project. Over 60,000 SKUs were transferred across and optimised. At the same time, content and key USP messaging was reviewed and improved through several workshops.

When it came time to go live, the deployment team were on hand to offer onsite training and support to ensure that the whole team were comfortable with the new system.

All members of the ecommerce team gained a good understanding of the IRP platform by completing their online training programme.

Luke summed up the switch from Magento to the IRP as follows:
“I have worked with various companies over the years on website replatforming projects and the team at IRP Commerce have been the best team by far. Their attention to detail and open communication throughout the project ensured we hit our go-live targets. It is fantastic to have the new website live and trading.”

New opportunities for growth

The IRP platform allows Ann's Cottage to take back control and to focus on marketing their website and growing profits and sales. With the IRP, they can:

  1. Streamline their entire business and ensure that online and offline stores run in sync through a seamless integration.
  2. Reach and engage with international customers by offering them a localised experience and tailored messaging via the IRP's integrated marketing channels.
  3. Provide an optimal user experience and faster page-load times across desktop and mobile.
  4. Set up marketing campaign landing pages in minutes rather than having to wait weeks for developers.
  5. Provide an excellent deliver-to-store service for their local customers – they also plan to roll out the IRP's click and collect service in 2020.

Luke is particularly excited about using two key features of the IRP – the IRP App and the fully-integrated IRP Insights Terminal.

The IRP App makes access to key IRP metrics easier, generates alerts that require action and provides suggestions on sales performance improvements – and it's available to IRP customers 24/7, right in the palm of their hand.

For Luke, the Insights Terminal was the icing on the cake:

“When I was given an overview of the Insights Terminal and learned how to use it, it was eye-opening. The amount of time this can save our team will have a massive long-term effect. It will allow us to focus on the higher-level tasks of strategy and growing the overall business.

The Insights Terminal analyses our data and turns it into revenue-boosting actions – so our team can focus more on implementation and moving the needle further along.

Having used the IRP for a few weeks, I have now changed my whole day's workflow to be far more efficient. Rather than fixing problems and fire-fighting issues, I can have a constant focus on increasing revenues through the website. I start my day off by going through my Insights Terminal's 'Intelligence Inbox' and can see the impacts this is already having in terms of revenue.”

IRP Insights Terminal

Only the start of the journey

Ann's Cottage are at a very early stage of their IRP journey – but it is an exciting one and it is guaranteed to progress and prosper.

Already, the improved mobile experience has seen their mobile conversion rate increase by 68%.

Ann's Cottage

Just as important as the sales and profit figures, Ann's Cottage now also have the ability and freedom to work smarter and more effectively. They no longer have to wait on development resources becoming available to make changes to their website.

With their new home on the IRP, Luke and the Ann's Cottage team are looking forward to exploring the many options now available to them – with profitable, compound revenue growth being the key metric.

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