Combining tradition and modernity, Lancaster renews its catalog of leather goods each season. At the end of 2019, in addition to the launch of its new original creations, the brand decided to start a complete overhaul of its website. To offer a unique shopping experience, they placed the customer at the heart of this project.
At a time when confinement reminds us of how important e-commerce is for our customers, we discover the secrets of how to successfully redesign and migrate to Magento 2, as well as looking at the challenges of attracting customers that are ever more demanding. We spoke to Thierry Chang, director of e-commerce and digital marketing, and Tony Jean-Rose, CIO at Lancaster.
Could you quickly introduce us to the Lancaster brand?
Thierry: Lancaster is a benchmark in the world of leather goods. We are present all over the world, from Paris to Singapore, and offer our customers the possibility of buying, each season, more than 1,500 items online, on mobile or in stores. We are happy to celebrate our 30th anniversary this year!
What are Lancaster’s challenges in meeting the expectations of today’s customers?
Thierry: As e-commerce and digital marketing director, I place customer experience at the heart of our brand strategy. Our products impress with their quality and contemporary style. It is therefore essential that our customer experience also reflects these values, and this involves optimizing our customer journey, whether online, in stores or on mobile.
Tony: Indeed, we are a mobile-first brand — that is to say that many of our customers browse our website from their smartphones. One of our challenges during the redesign of our website and the migration to Magento 2 was to offer our customers a fully optimized purchasing journey on mobile to improve their shopping experience and thus increase our conversion rate.
You have just redesigned your e-commerce site and migrated from Magento 1 to Magento 2. What were the challenges, and what results have you seen?
Thierry: Our main objective was to put the customer at the heart of this redesign project. We wanted to facilitate navigation, online and on mobile, and refocus the customer journey around consumer behavior. The overall redesign of the site and the migration to Magento 2, at the end of 2019, made it possible to completely rethink the site to meet these challenges of UX and mobile first.
Tony: In terms of performance, it’s day and night. Previously, our customers mainly bought on desktop, while almost 57% of traffic came from mobile. The conversion rate on mobile was very low (around one in two customers abandoned their basket). Since we migrated to Magento 2, our mobile turnover has drastically increased to 81%.
Was migrating to Magento 2 an easy choice?
Thierry: We are not going to lie. A migration project is not easy and takes a long time. The idea of changing CMS crossed our minds for a fraction of a second, but why change if everything is going well? The goal was not to find a cheaper alternative because we can always find cheaper, but will the quality be there? We made the choice to stay on Magento and, above all, we made the choice to continue our partnership with Adyen and the Dn’D agency, a partnership that has endured for many years now and which fully satisfies our needs.
Tony: Migrating to Magento 2 has many advantages, particularly in terms of site performance and smooth customer journey. Magento fits very well with our business model, our ambitions, and meets our minimum specifications, namely multi-store/multi-currency.
Migrating to Magento 2 has many advantages, particularly in terms of site performance and smooth customer journey. Magento fits very well with our business model, our ambitions, and meets our minimum specifications, namely multi-store/multi-currency.
How did Adyen and DN’D support you in this migration project?
Tony: Lancaster is a family business that is not used to working with third parties. We prefer to internalize as many projects as possible. But for tricky projects like the development of our website and the migration to Magento 2, we surround ourselves with the best in the market.
Thierry: It was a nine-month project, our “pretty little baby.” But this project went off without a hitch because we were indeed well supported. We did not have any problems during the migration to Magento 2 because Adyen and Dn’D perfectly mastered the transition. The Magento 2 module had been offered by Adyen for several months, a simple and quick module to install, unlike some providers who do not have a plugin compatible with Magento 2. If there is no plugin, then there is no implementation, and this can end collaborations with certain solutions. For us, it was an important criteria.
What is the history of your relationship with Dn’D and Adyen?
Thierry: Lancaster and Dn’D have been partners for almost 10 years now. Their technical expertise is highly recognized by many retailers. In 2016, when we wanted to change the payment solution, we asked Dn’D for advice; they naturally referred us to Adyen, a solution they knew very well because they had already implemented it for many customers.
Lancaster is a globally recognized brand, established in many countries. What are the challenges of a brand that wishes to develop internationally?
Thierry: Offer the payment methods that customers prefer! We talked about it before, but our main goal at Lancaster is to offer our customers the best shopping experience, whether online, on mobile or in stores. And that customer experience extends to payments. If the customer is not able to pay with the means he is used to, it almost always ends up being abandoned.
Tony: Adyen has allowed us to offer more payment methods such as Apple Pay, CB or Oney, which allows our customers to pay in installments. A very interesting solution for high-value items like ours. The next steps will be to offer WeChat Pay and Alipay in stores, especially in our Parisian shops, which attract many Asian customers.
Today, retailers are decisively turning to omnichannel. What does this mean for Lancaster?
Thierry: For us, omnichannel means better understanding the purchasing habits of our customers. Our next goal is to integrate Adyen into our points of sale so that we can get to know our customers better, link the data on the e-commerce site with that of the stores and be able to offer unified customer experiences, such as the possibility of reimbursing customers everywhere, whatever the purchasing channel. We are ready to deploy this project soon.
How has the Adyen solution met all these new challenges?
Thierry: The compatibility between Adyen and Magento thanks to the existing plugin is a real strong point. But not only that! The offer is much more complete than certain other market players, whether in terms of international development or on issues like unified commerce. In our opinion, Adyen is really the market leader, and we decided to work with Adyen because we had positive feedback from very happy customers.
Tony: Technically, the other solutions are not at the same level as Adyen. Adyen does not rely on any third party, which allows us to reduce our costs and benefit from a cheaper solution.
How quickly did the switch to Adyen have an impact on your business?
Tony: The Adyen teams are really experts in their field and support us every day. We can count on them to help us develop our new projects, set up a new payment method like Amazon Pay or offer our customers a unified payment experience thanks to the upcoming deployment of their terminals in our stores.
Thierry: Working with Adyen has allowed us to improve our customer experience and thus reduce the bounce rate. We simply integrated the solution and were able to continue expanding internationally with ease, without encountering any problems during procurement.
How important do you think it is for a brand to be surrounded by an ecosystem of partners who play a role in the quality of its e-commerce project?
Tony: This is extremely important for the fluidity and the proper functioning of the site. Lancaster is a family company, with few internal technical resources. It is therefore important to surround yourself with the experts. This really has an impact on the speed and quality of an e-commerce project.
Lancaster is a family company, with few internal technical resources. It is therefore important to surround yourself with the experts. This really has an impact on the speed and quality of an e-commerce project.
Thierry: We surround ourselves with partners, not providers. We want to create a long-term relationship of trust with our partners.
What are your tips for successfully migrating to Magento 2?
Tony: Surround yourself with experts and trust your partners. We have been working for several years with Adyen and the agency DN’D, and their technical expertise and knowledge of the e-commerce sector have proven themselves many times.