How Marc Fisher Footwear Unified Their eCommerce Websites
Established in 2005, Marc Fisher Footwear is a respected designer and marketer of fashion footwear. In 2017, the New York-based firm — which already listed Guess, Tommy Hilfiger, and Kendall + Kylie among the brands in its portfolio — purchased the footwear brand Easy Spirit from Nine West. Lee Bissonnette, vice president of e-commerce & digital performance marketing at Marc Fisher Footwear, quickly migrated Easy Spirit from their Demandware platform onto Magento Commerce, reversing the brand’s fortunes. Then, in 2018, when Marc Fisher Footwear took control of Nine West itself, they decided to unify their numerous footwear brands onto one, centralized eCommerce platform.
The Easy Spirit migration to Magento Commerce 2 was already a success. Lee wanted to further capitalize on the benefits of the multi-tenant Magento platform, to house three different web stores: Easy Spirit, Nine West, and Marc Fisher Footwear. All three stores needed their own visual identity but would run on one dynamic eCommerce platform.
“We met Lee Bissonnette at Imagine in 2017,” said Andrew Potkewitz, director of client success at Mediaspa, Marc Fisher Footwear’s solution partner. “After the Easy Spirit project, he asked us to begin migrating the Marc Fisher Footwear website and the newly acquired Nine West website to create operational leverage and to do more with automation, all on one platform, with one team. When we first met, Lee said, ‘Let’s architect something that will scale for multiple brands.’” Mediaspa recommended Magento Commerce 2. They could run all three stores using the same instance with just “one back to pat,” said Andrew. This would save time, money, and resources. And next time they acquired a brand, rolling it into the platform would be fast and easy. “Let’s create a mother ship of sites,” he added.
Three eCommerce sites — one backend
Marc Fisher Footwear was already on Magento Commerce 1, so the migration was not as challenging as moving Nine West from Demandware to Magento Commerce 2. It took just six weeks to migrate the store to their existing Magento Commerce multi-tenant cloud instance — the same one they built for Easy Spirit. They integrated their Proprietary ERP and Warehouse systems, and, as the latest version of the Magento platform has so many features out of the box, they needed fewer extensions. They did take advantage of TurnTo, Signifyd, Zendesk, and Avalara.
Utilizing the skills of Media Spa to add substantial capabilities to third-party plug-ins, as well as supported core items such as BlueFoot for CMS, was a game-changer, said Andrew. “We easily created a distinct brand look for each site, because Nine West, Easy Spirit, and Marc Fisher Footwear all have unique brand identities.” However, they all shared the cool features offered by the same Magento platform. This included a pre-ordering functionality that delivers future shipping date notification.
Magento Commerce 2 helped to create a smoother user experience, with responsive videos, calls to action, and product quick-views with customizable color swatches. Meanwhile, the Google Tag Manager configuration enables Google Analytics and over 40 digital marketing properties to track user activity and manage order attribution based on 30 triggered events, and more than 60 variables. Centralizing all this data in Magento Business Intelligence (MBI) gives Marc Fisher Footwear total visibility into their customers’ shopping patterns. “MBI is another big piece,” said Andrew. “They have some great dashboards, they export that data and offer personalized experiences without having to spend a lot of money.”
Meanwhile, having Magento Commerce hosted in the cloud allows Marc Fisher Footwear to scale at peak traffic times, especially useful during sale periods like Black Friday and Cyber Monday. It also means fewer vendors to deal with. Because their business is built on strong pre-order events, newsletter and new-product alerts can send thousands of customers flooding to the site. With the cloud, Marc Fisher Footwear is prepared for demand spikes. And with Magento Business Intelligence, they can keep track of valuable customer data.
From both a development and an admin perspective, Magento Commerce 2 is easier to manage. Before, the company had to manage three separate sites with three separate admins (One Magento Commerce 1 and two Demandware back ends). The new Magento Commerce 2 site allows them to combine these three sites into one. They can also spin up subsequent sites in less than two months. Marc Fisher Footwear boasts a unified admin and unified data too, and when there’s a single patch to be added, it’s applied once and works everywhere. “This is a huge cost saving over the original three-platform solution,” said Andrew.
Nine West: An amazing digital commerce experience
The new Nine West online user experience is optimized for the changing needs of the customer, with a much smoother checkout flow and a custom pre-order functionality that includes notification of future shipping dates.
One of the most interesting custom-built features of the new site is order cancelation. On most other fashion eCommerce stores, the sale is final. On Nine West, the customer can cancel their order via the front end during a “remorse window” of one hour. With 90 percent of all cancellations made in the first hour, offering a self-service cancelation feature reduced the number of customer service calls. “That time saving was significant,” said Andrew. “And the easier the return process the more they’ll buy.”
Overall, the Nine West store enjoyed a 10 percent lift in conversion, while cutting 70 percent off the time it takes to update the front end. The upgrade also scored Nine West a nomination for Best Digital Commerce Experience at the 2019 Imagine Excellence Awards.
A step in the right direction
Launched in July 2018, the new Magento Commerce 2 platform is a more flexible, robust, scalable, and stable eCommerce solution for Marc Fisher Footwear. By virtue of expanding the store’s pre-order capability, the brand can add more products to the site, and by building a robust multi-warehouse add-on to Magento Commerce 2, it now can also handle drop-shipping, opening up a brand new business model. Marc Fisher Footwear just launched a range of handbags that are fulfilled from a different warehouse, and are looking to add even more new product lines in the future.
With fewer cooks in the kitchen, running the eCommerce operation is faster and easier than ever. “When we custom-develop one feature, all the other brands get it too,” said Andrew. “That goes for features, extensions, the partner network, and the extension marketplace.”