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The Body Shop launches mobile-first ecommerce platform

The Body Shop has launched a mobile-first ecommerce platform as part of a three-year £10m transformation project that aims to see 20% of sales come from ecommerce. The site comes in response to the fact that 52% of the retailer’s online traffic is now via smartphones, and 11% via tablet computers. Global ecommerce sales grew by 19% in 2016 – twice as fast as the previous year.

Harriet Williams, chief digital officer, at The Body Shop, said: “With the successful launch of a responsive, content-rich digital platform, we have established a strong foundation to support our future innovation agenda and global rollout.

“The Body Shop is a big business, operating in a large number of countries with both franchise and non-franchise markets. The platform needed to strike the right balance between global brand consistency and local relevance, being flexible enough to meet the needs of each individual market.

“With a number of new digital innovations in the pipeline and continued in the consumer retail experience investment, we anticipate that ecommerce will form 20% of our total sales.”

The new site, built on Hybris, integrates content and ecommerce and is designed to enable customers to engage more effectively with it, wherever they live in the world. Developers have accommodated regional variations to reflect customer preferences in each market for merchandising, payment and delivery fulfilment.

The new digital platform has initially launched in 11 countries, including the UK, USA, Canada, France, Germany, Brazil and Indonesia, and will be rolled out to over 20 more countries in 2017.

The new platform is a content hub for The Body Shop, a Top150 retailer in IRUK Top500 research. It features tools such as a live appointment booking service for in-store consultations, as well a personalised skincare diagnostic tool. Click and collect functionality will launch later this year.

The platform is also designed to make it easier for The Body Shop to communicate its wider activity online, allowing customers to engage with its ethical campaigns online, including the Bio-Bridges programme which aims to protect 75 million square metres of threatened rainforest by 2020, in countries including Vietnam, Malaysia and Indonesia.

A global trend of increasing ecommerce sales across the retail sector, means the British retailer’s digital transformation is well timed.

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