Making Big Strides with an Industry-Leading Digital Experience
Since 1919, Stride Rite has designed innovative children’s footwear and solidified its brand name as “the best place for children’s shoes.” As Stride Rite’s eCommerce presence grew, it began building a digital technology wishlist that included mobile responsiveness, page optimization, multi-site control, and internationalization. To thrive, the Stride Rite required new levels of technical complexity and digital brand control while reducing the total cost of ownership.
Stride Rite engaged with CQL on a “blue-sky” design exploration, where we envisioned the future of the brand, developed ideas to deepen customer loyalty, and build more meaningful site experiences through inspirational designs and feature sets. Stride Rite’s wish list of mobile optimization, internationalization, enhanced loyalty programs, and channel expansion required the brand to reevaluate their current commerce ecosystem and platform, which relied heavily on development resources and required large financial investments. The platform evaluation shifted Stride Rite from a CTO mentality, where they focus on technology and development, to a CMO mentality, where they focused on growth and empowering marketing teams.
Stride Rite selected the Shopify Plus platform, which provided the brand with rich feature sets, easy integrations to partners like Searchspring and Salsify, and reduced the total cost of ownership by nearly 50%. The new website, launched in December 2021, showcases a creative redesign, mobile responsiveness, enhanced search and personalization, streamlined checkout, and scalability for the brand’s future growth.
Stepping into a Scalable Framework for Growth
Like most brands, finding the right ecosystem to support a growing, enterprise-level business is challenging. As Stride Rite began its design exploration of the “future of Stride Rite,” it became clear that, to make their vision a reality and best prepare for growth, the brand needed to make a substantial investment in technology and support staff, or re-evaluate the current platform and tech stack.
EVALUATING COMMERCE PLATFORMS
Stride Rite needed a platform built for growth and scalability. Working with CQL, Stride Rite began a platform evaluation process, including total cost of ownership evaluation, conversion rate analysis & revenue impact projections, feature requirements & platform considerations, and organizational fit (team size, expertise, roadmap, and culture).
Stride Rite’s new site, built on Shopify Plus, features a transformative redesign, a new navigation taxonomy streamlined for conversion, and mobile optimization. Its new tech stack is designed for future growth and stability, plus lower technical expenses, all while empowering the brand to focus on content, marketing, and acquisition to cultivate deeper relationships with customers.
Powerful Navigation & Personalization with Searchspring
Stride Rite’s new website features the use of artificial intelligence (AI) through Searchspring’s merchandising, site search, and personalization features. With its new navigational taxonomy and rich search features, Striderite.com features a backend that gives staff full control over search results, search rankings, in-grid content, and advanced filtering by brands, product features (light up, machine washable, etc), and more.
Searchspring powers Stride Rite’s product recommendations and personalization throughout the website, and is prominently featured on the home page and product pages. Personalization is tied to customer browse data, as well as order history data.
With partners like Salsify and Searchspring, Stride Rite can deliver a next-gen experience by unifying product information, providing personalized product recommendations, and cultivating customer loyalty through a meaningful and memorable product experience.
Replatforming for Speed & Growth on Shopify Plus
Stride Rite switched from a CTO to CMO mindset in their adoption of Shopify Plus. Instead of a CTO approach that relies on solving complex technical problems and a large development staff, Stride Rite shifted to a CMO approach, which focuses on marketing, conversion, and experience design to drive revenue and plan for future growth.
Shopify Plus provided Stride Rite with a new brand experience, a path for growth and scalability (including internationalization and multi-site/multi-brand sites), easy integrations with partners like Searchspring and Salsify, mobile optimization, marketing ownership of the site with easy drag-and-drop management, a reduction in the total cost of ownership, and a solid fit for their organization’s long-term strategy and roadmap.
During our long-term partnership with CQL, Stride Rite’s wish list of digital features – such as mobile responsiveness, PDP & Checkout optimization, multi-site and internationalization – was growing rapidly, but so was our technical complexity and expenses to implement the changes. Stride Rite’s newly launched tech stack, designed for future growth and stability, lowers our total cost of ownership significantly and empowers our eCommerce teams to focus on content, marketing, and acquisition to cultivate deeper relationships with our customers.
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