Card Factory, specialist retailer of greeting cards, party accessories and gifts, has faced stiff competition from online pure-plays – so with more shoppers moving online, it has accelerated its digital transformation programme to help it better leverage both its stores and its site.
First opened in 1997, Card Factory now has a significant store estate of over 950 outlets in the UK and Ireland and focuses on the value and mid-market segments of the UK’s £1.7 billion greeting card market, while also offering customers a range of complementary products associated with card giving occasions and parties.
In light of the competition from pureplay greeting card businesses and the accelerated digital demands of shoppers, Card Factory understood the need to build on its dominance in the bricks-and-mortar space and digitally transform, with a strategic focus on growing its ecommerce business and expanding its premium ranges and personalised offering.
However, the legacy ecommerce platform lacked the basic functionality needed to deliver good on-site customer experience. At the same time, the Card Factory ecommerce team couldn’t dynamically make changes to site or create product bundles. This meant customer experience was compromised and changes to the website were often time-consuming and slow to implement.
Astound Commerce designed and delivered the solution, configuring and integrating Salesforce Commerce and Service Clouds and third-party technology, including Pimberley for centralised data management and Apple Pay to provide frictionless payments, to create a new scalable ecommerce platform.
With personalised products now making up approximately 60% of Card Factory’s online sales, this was also recognised as a key opportunity for the business in addition to growing out its premium offering via its Boutique range.
As part of the Salesforce integration, Astound Commerce enhanced Card Factory’s personalisation capabilities, enabling customers to create personalised products on any device – be it desktop or mobile.
Service Cloud integration enables Card Factory customer service staff to deliver personalised and convenient customer service in whatever format shoppers prefer – phone, email, web or social – all from a single application. Webchat with a live agent is now available online for Card Factory customers, while Chatter allows staff to share information and collaborate to provide seamless customer service.
Astound Commerce will also work with POQ to deliver the integration of Card Factory’s new mobile app offering further omnichannel capabilities to the greetings card retailers digital commerce offer.
David Cutts, CIO at Card Factory, explains: “Digital transformation sits at the heart of our long-term growth strategy, so it was imperative we had the right infrastructure – and the right digital commerce agency – in place to support us, both now and in the future. The Astound team have worked collaboratively with us at every stage of the digital transformation project, consulting on best practice and quickly and efficiently managing any complexities that have arisen.”
Astound Commerce UK MD, Terry Hunter, adds: “The greetings cards industry has digitally transformed rapidly and, with so many new online offerings and pureplay entrants to the market, we knew it would be important for us to push the envelope on innovation to support the Card Factory’s growth ambitions.”
Hunter concludes: “The new platform provides a scalable and future-proof solution that can support the business’ expansion plans across channels and devices, whilst ensuring customer experiences is upheld at each touchpoint.”