One year after rolling out its new website, men’s clothing retailer JoS. A. Bank has seen noticeable improvements in enhancing its online presence. Through targeted acquisition marketing, cross-selling, merchandising and making the website more like the bricks-and-mortar experience, the company has significantly increased revenue per order and has grown online revenues by 20 percent.
Updating the web experience
JoS. A. Bank Clothiers is a manufacturer and retailer of men’s clothes with some 500 stores throughout the country. The company prides itself on a heritage of quality and workmanship and a large selection of traditional tailored suits and casual clothing. JoS. A. Bank draws its customers by offering quality clothing at prices up to 30 percent less than its competitors and by hiring expert staff. Pete Zophy, vice president of e-commerce, says that as the company grew, it eventually outgrew its website.
“Key performance indicators were starting to decline,” he says. “We’re a very promotionally driven company and just weren’t able to match the promotions of the stores with the website.”
JoS. A. Bank had to find a way to provide an online shopping experience where customers could immediately find the colors they wanted in the sizes and prices that they needed. They looked at the firms employed by the top 500 Internet retailers and decided on interactive marketing agency Rosetta. JoS. A. Bank contracted the firm to manage the entire website, from conception to launch.
“They researched our company, visited our stores, learned our culture,” Zophy says. “We even conducted a usability test where we brought in customers, asked them questions and discovered what they wanted in our website.”
Dave Fazekas, an associate partner with the Rosetta consumer products and retail group, says the key was to create a site where customers could get the same experience online as they do in the store. Rosetta noted everything in the store environment from the color schemes to how merchandise was laid out; it also had to try to replicate the in-store experience where customers know they can find knowledgeable and helpful associates that can recommend occasion-correct suits and shirts.
“Overall, we wanted to make sure that [online] customers got the feeling that they were in a JoS. A. Bank store,” says Fazekas.
Remarkable improvements and returns
The site made a soft launch in October 2009 and was a hit that holiday season. Since then, JoS. A. Bank has shown some remarkable improvements in its online business: Online revenues are up by 20 percent; year-over-year new site visitors and shopping cart totals are up by 30 percent; time spent on the site is up by 47 percent; average order size is up by 10 percent; and conversion rates are up by 15 percent.
Zophy also says that there has been a remarkable shift in making shopping on the website more like the in-store experience. The site offers real-time inventory, tying product availability directly to the warehouses and offering shoppers complete customization. When a customer picks out a suit, he can select size, color, traveler crease and trouser alterations. High-resolution images let him zoom in to the sharpest detail, and a “Matching Apparel” tab below features accessories like shirts, pocket squares, ties and shoes. Banners along the top constantly display relevant deals, such as an offer to add a second item for a discounted price.
“JoS. A. Bank is known as a place where you can go in and be helped by an expert. They’re known to be able to offer matching things to accompany your suit,” Fazekas says. “The new site does that just as a sales associate would.”
Promoting the brand and products
From its color scheme and signage to its sales and promotions, the JoS. A. Bank website now has the same look and feel as the bricks-and-mortar stores. In-store sales and promotions, whether 60 percent off Merino wool sweaters or 2-button side vent suits for $97, are updated daily on the landing page. Promotions are prominently featured in the center of the page, and there is a rotating Deal of the Day banner. Along with the constant emphasis on promotions, cross-selling ranks high on the new site and has proven to be successful by growing the average order size by 10 percent.
“We display matching items,” Zophy says. “There is a cart overlay where you can add a blazer or tie or pants that go with that shirt. It has really increased our average order size.”
“We also modified our shopping cart checkout from five steps down to three, which helped reduce abandonment,” he says.
On average, Zophy says the company can have up to 80 promotions each year, and it was virtually impossible to keep those same promotions running on the previous iteration of the website. Now, the JoS. A. Bank marketing team designs and manages the promotions, easily publishing them on the site through the backend e-commerce platform. Identical promotions can run simultaneously on the site and in the stores.
“That just wasn’t possible before,” Zophy says. “Our backend promotions engine was very limited.”
JoS. A. Bank recognizes that all customers do not shop the same way. Some want to purchase online; others visit the website to do research then immediately look for a bricks-and-mortar location where they can purchase items. Fazekas says one simple yet critical element on the new website was a store locator and customer service number prominently displayed at the top of the page.
“Studies have shown that a site is more trusted when there is a phone number on the home page,” he says. “It gives them confidence that a person is only a phone call away.”
JoS. A. Bank has also been better able to tap into social media with the new site. Zophy says that while its main clientele of older, conservative, white-collar professionals didn’t quite fit the main demographic of social media users, the retailer still wanted a presence on Facebook and Twitter. With more than 4,500 Likes on Facebook, it regularly posts promotions and a Deal of the Day, all with direct links back to the main site. It also has some 1,000 followers on Twitter.
“We wanted to be in the [social media] game,” Zophy says. “That was our goal. Many of our customers might not be big into social media but we wanted to be there for them. We track it every day. It’s taking off and doing well.”