In the history of ecommerce there was a time when both merchants and customers were quite happy – thrilled even! – when a product could be offered and purchased online, the payment went through properly and the parcel actually made it to the customer’s home. Analyzing the commerce market today, we can see that we have come a long way since then: Technology has matured and retailers have highly professionalized processes in place to guarantee a solid customer experience. Finding a product online and being able to enjoy it two days later (or even on the same day) has become a standard.

Stories matter

What has been a differentiator yesterday (think fast shipping, a large assortment, easy returns etc.) does no longer suffice today to stay on your customers’ minds. Today’s webshops have become much more content oriented and tell brand stories with a heavy emphasis on appealing visuals combined with curated, editorial-style brand storytelling that brings content and commerce ever closer together.
The new site our customer Carhartt WIP has launched recently is a clear reflection of this development: the international manufacturer of urban streetwear and accessories used to have a brand website and a completely separate webstore. In order to improve the customer experience and to be able to tell the Carhartt story in a more visually attractive and convincing way, the company decided to have a single integrated site, featuring inspirational text along with high-quality images as well as a shopping cart.
In the “journal” section, the articles and looks mentioned in the blogs and shown in the film sequences can be ordered directly online using the Quick Shop function. The customer can find additional inspiration in the “lookbooks”, where the current collections are presented and are also immediately available for purchase. The Carhartt WIP Radio Player underscores the company’s close association with music. It offers playlists on various themes, events and music styles, so users can choose their favorites and listen while browsing.

Seamless User Experience on Every Device

Strategically, Carhartt WIP opted for a content-first approach: While the individual pages and content elements are produced, maintained and orchestrated in the CMS, product information, search as well as the checkout process are handled via the flexible commercetools platform.
The heavy-lifting regarding the various content types for modern content & commerce approaches need flexible, Enterprise-class WCM systems to create a professional and modern customer experience. In the case of Carhartt WIP, Hippo CMS was chosen, which has just moved into the Visionaries quadrant of the recently released Gartner Magic Quadrant for Web Content Management 2016. It met all the client’s functional requirements, especially regarding its ability to create and control personalized content. For Hippo CMS as well as the commercetools Omnichannel platform, commercetools provides a standard connector that could be used by the customer with very few modifications required.
As a result, Carhartt WIP can present a mobile-friendly site that can do much more than “just” selling its fashion products online. Instead, it serves as a content hub that serves to inspire its audience and support the brand experience.
If you are interested in getting to know more about the Carhartt WIP project, feel free to download our detailed case study.