The Challenge

Clarks have been on an inspirational journey over the last couple of years; globally transforming their brand from traditional shoe manufacturer into a premium, fashion retailer boosting sales to over 50 million pairs of shoes into 80 different countries worldwide making them the 4th largest shoe manufacture on the planet. 

The challenge was to create a new global platform, built tablet first and working across both marketing and ecommerce sites. Throughout the brand repositioning, e3 worked and collaborated with internal marketing and merchandising teams to ensure that all digital channels were explored and developed to maximise future opportunities. The challenge was to change brand perception and make it a consideration for a fashion conscious, early- mid 30s target audience as well as work collaboratively with the incumbent back end development partner and the internal design and IT teams at Clarks.

In addition, the strategy considered:

  • Deliver best in class responsive Global website templates that: 
  • Place the Clarks brand at the heart of the experience 
  • Achieve a balance between brand engagement and usability
  • Support user-first journeys across multiple devices
  • Leverage social discovery and proofing
  • Drive online sales 
  • Provide global brand consistency whilst allowing regional adaptation
  • Prioritise new brand positioning over non-premium product display

Clarks set e3 a challenge: to win awards when the new platform launches later in 2014.

The Solution

Our interdisciplinary collaborative approach creates an immersive and responsive user experience born out of strategic insights, experience planning and high-end execution. Working with the incumbent development partner to transition the design and build of key front end templates across for full implementation and deployment.

Some of the key considerations for the solution were:

Tablet First
Tablet devices in different territories worldwide. Mobile featured in our solution design and testing providing customers with a more immediate channel to engage with Clarks in-store or while on the move.

Modular Approach
The new global platform had to serve the differing needs of the business enabling the UK global team to centrally manage product assets and brand experiences while regional teams can then adapt ensuring regional relevance to their customer base.

Global Audience
The user experience had to cater for the changing behaviours, needs and consideration of global audiences. While the UK is considered digitally savvy, Asian audiences see Clarks in line with Burberry and are much more engaged with social media for example. Different trends and product ranges also need to be prioritised, catering for global fashion trends.

1 to 1 User Experiences 
Enable personalised 1 to 1 user experiences in the mobile experience is still very much a trend but we believe will become mainstream through the online user journey to point of purchase. Discussing and sharing your own fashion trends and getting your friends to comment and like for example will become part of the ecommerce experience.

Creative Application
The creative brief draws upon the heritage of the Clarks brand, beautifully designed shoes, the quality of materials and manufacture processes and by placing the brand in a very British lifestyle context, in line with current design influences.  The creative challenge is to align the creative treatment with innovations developed through the prototype and wireframe testing to create a truly immersive visual ecommerce experience.

The Results

Clarks decided that the user experience should come before the CMS & Ecommerce platform procurement. This has provided many benefits throughout the collaboration, but most importantly, has meant that the customer needs have been captured and translated into what we believe will be an award winning, global ecommerce destination. Audience research during testing confirmed perception was often changed as per the desired outcome.

The project is currently rolling out the new sites to each market, the first Global site launch being Poland: The e-commerce sites with modular tiles and social integration is planned for 2014, once Clarks have moved to a new development platform

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