Unifying 11 Brands to 1 Platform for a D2C Win
Escalade Sports, a sporting goods manufacturer, distributor, and retailer based in Evansville, IN, supports over 18 household sports brands today. They engaged CQL to develop an e-commerce strategy, roadmap and single-platform architecture to unite their brands and provide a model to easily bring on additional, complimentary brands as part of future acquisitions. CQL supported this approach by leveraging Shopify Plus and a unique set of third-party solutions and integrations, including Salsify, a SAAS PIM software, as part of this new ecosystem.
The result? In less than 4 months, CQL and Escalade launched 3 newly branded sites, including Onix, Lifeline Fitness, and Escalade Sports. Excited by the speed to market and unprecedented sales results, Escalade launched sites for the newly acquired Rave Sports, plus Bear Archery, Goalrilla, Woodplay, Goalsetter, and STIGA in similar fashion, and have more brand launches to come!
11 Brands. 12 Months. 1 Platform.
A GROWING BRAND FAMILY
Established in 1927, Escalade Sports has grown its business to over 18 sporting goods brands, including Onix, Bear Archery, Goalrilla, STIGA, Lifeline, Rave Sports, and more. As expansion continues, Escalade was faced with the question: “How do we maintain, manage, and go to market with dozens of brands on legacy custom tools?”
B2C MARKET OPPORTUNITY
Escalade saw huge growth potential in the B2C marketplace, allowing customers to shop directly at EscaladeSports.com and their portfolio of brands. A common e-commerce architecture was needed for B2C expansion, featuring a multi-site framework, a consistent user experience, and content that reflected unique brand personalities.
SHOPIFY PLUS FRAMEWORK
A consulting engagement & recommendation of Shopify Plus was a crucial step to transition Escalade from a CTO mindset to a CMO growth-focused approach. Shopify Plus normalized all brands under 1 framework, allowing for scalability, unique brand design and customizations, and marketing ownership of content for future growth.
eCommerce Framework That Scales
By using Shopify Plus as a common framework across brands, CQL could customize each Escalade brand’s website with a common set of components and page structures. This framework provided a consistent user experience across brands, while offering a flexible UI to create unique design experiences, brand customizations (such as palette builders or logo switchers), and “find installer” and “store locator” features specific to each Escalade brand.
The Shopify Plus solution now allows Escalade Sports to launch newly acquired brands quickly, while continuing to provide a consistent user experience with custom branding and feature sets on each website.
Salsify PIM Delivers Consistency Across Brands & Marketplaces
Entering the B2C market meant Escalade Brands needed to have a centralized source of product data across all digital touchpoints – from EscaladeSports.com and individual brands to digital endpoints, like Google and Amazon marketplaces. To grow market share quickly, Escalade integrated Shopify Plus with Salsify, an industry-leading Product Information Management System (PIM).
Using Salsify, Escalade had the ability to accelerate new product time to market, update content faster, optimize product performance, improve data quality, create engaging product experiences, and streamline data management in a centralized, easy-to-use platform.
Pulling It All Together:
CQL Custom Development
Shopify Plus was just one piece to Escalade’s technical landscape. Although the eCommerce platform had a robust CMS that empowers marketers to build content and grow the business, a common framework to launch new brands in under 90 days, and a flexible solution for customization and integrations, Escalade still had custom-built pricing, shipping, and inventory feeds from their ERP and a highly-customized AS400 backend. CQL’s extensive experience with custom development allowed our technical team to design middleware to integrate these systems with Shopify Plus to complete Escalade’s commerce ecosystem.
In less than 12 months, Escalade Sports had a new end-to-end solution rolled out on 11 sites, each with a unique design, built on a scalable framework to support future growth and acquisitions. Escalade’s portfolio of brands include: Fowling, American Heritage Billiards, STIGA, Goalsetter, Woodplay, Rave Sports, Lifeline Fitness, Goalrilla, Onix Pickleball, & Bear Archery.
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