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Cotton Traders re-platforms to meet mobile and international expansion demands

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One of Britain’s most successful home-grown multi-channel retailers, Cotton Traders, has improved its mobile conversion rate, reduced checkout abandonment and rolled out five new sites as part of an international expansion-led replatforming.

Founded on friendship in 1987, Cotton Traders was set up by two former England rugby captains, Fran Cotton and Steve Smith. During their heyday, playing in Bill Beaumont’s Grand Slam winning side of 1980, broad shoulders were an on-pitch advantage, but made buying everyday clothes difficult. So together, they set out to create casuals to fit all shapes and sizes, with a quality that only gets better with age. The commitment shown on the pitch is clearly evident in Cotton Traders’ pursuit of excellence, quality, style and value.

Although the retailer has more than 100 retail locations in the UK, online is becoming increasingly important to Cotton Traders – especially mobile. However, its previous platform and website had limited functionality, so in order for Cotton Trader’s to reach its aspirational goals for international expansion and multichannel capabilities, it partnered with Astound to develop and design a new ecommerce solution, powered by Salesforce Commerce Cloud.

Astound Commerce launched five new sites in seven months for the retailer during phase one of the project, including sites for the UK, Ireland, Australia, and tailored campaign sites for VIPs.  During phase two of the project, an additional US site was completed in August 2018.

A full UX audit was completed by Astound Commerce to inform the design and influence best practice system recommendations. Cotton Traders also needed a scalable platform, due to growth in the UK and overseas. The site architecture was designed to enable features to be scaled across multiple territories with individual adaptations made possible at an individual site level.

The new website now offers an easier and more personalised browsing experience, allowing shoppers to find what they’re looking for more easily by improvements made to faceted filtering and search algorithms. Customers can now also enjoy a speedier checkout process, demonstrated in the 21% decrease in checkout abandonment on the UK site.

Central to the creative process was producing a site that was functional, encompassed Cotton Traders brand values and was visually suitable for their core demographic. The site is now accessible to a wider audience, with website features that allow for important information to be better signposted, creating a smooth and seamless shopping experience for all consumers.  

The British retailer’s mobile conversion rate has increased by 24.8% and tablet conversion rate by 12.2%, with the average load time reduced by approximately 30% across all territories, and by device.

Paul Hurst, Head of Digital at Cotton Traders explains: ‘With digital becoming increasingly important to the business we were looking for a reliable partner to guide us through the process of re-platforming, but the level of service and speed of delivery from Astound Commerce has gone above and beyond our expectations.

“Of huge added value was Astound’s unique combination of systems integration expertise and design consultancy, and their creative team did a fantastic job of understanding the spirit of the brand’s demographic. Through our successful relationship with Astound Commerce, we’re excited to see what the future holds,” he concludes.

Astound Commerce UK Managing Director, Terry Hunter, adds: “We’re proud to have helped one of the leading homegrown British brands achieve ongoing success in their multi-channel offering by providing ecommerce sites that will enable them to not only reach their business goals but exceed them. We look forward to continuing our work with the team at Cotton Traders and supporting them on their digital journey.”

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