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Clothes retailer Fat Face has seen huge commercial gains, and reduced costs, after introducing a Netsuite-based responsive digital platform

Clothing and accessories retailer Fat Face has revealed how implementing a responsive web design ecommerce platform has helped to increase revenue as well as reduce operating costs.

The Netsuite platform, which gives customers an optimised and consistent online shopping experience across multiple devices - from desktops to mobiles - resulted in Fat Face recording record ecommerce sales during its busiest shopping period, over Christmas.

Consistency has been a major benefit of the new platform, according to the head of ecommerce and marketing at Fat Face, Paul Wright.

“The majority of our customers interact with us on more than one channel. We needed to create a solution that is consistent regardless of channel. The first was to launch a new version of Fatface.com in 2013. That led into the responsive site,” said Wright (pictured below). 

Paul Wright, head of ecommerce at Fat Face

Wright said that the new platform helps bring Fat Face’s products to life on its digital channels in an engaging way. The company was keen to recreate its high quality in-store customer service and experience online.

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“Prior to that, it was very flat - it was largely an electronic version of product. Recreating this customer experience online drove phenomenal success,” he said.

Fat Face operates with a Prologic back office system, and uses RedPrairie for warehouse management. Wright said that one of the major benefits of the Netsuite solution was that it comes with many out-of-the-box features, which suits his small, ecommerce technical team of just six people out of a total 30 in the ecommerce division. Ecommerce at Fat Face sits separately from IT.

The retailer was able to measure the success of its new responsive web platform in the five weeks from 1 December 2014 to 3 January 2015. During the period, the company saw its ecommerce sales grow 25 percent compared with the same period last year and witnessed a record week for ecommerce sales in the period, up 113 percent compared with last year.

Click and collect orders - a strategy many retailers are adopting to connect their online and offline channels - also accounted for nearly half (42 percent) of total orders, up 119 percent from 2013. Fat Face was actually an early adopter in this area, having launched the first iteration of click and collect in November 2011.

Providing a consistent experience across mobile devices has also paid off, with the percentage of website visits from mobile devices increasing from 55 percent in 2013 to 65 percent in 2014.

But as well as the commercial benefits, Wright said that he has been able to cut costs. Prior to the responsive design, Fat Face had different solutions for each platform, one for desktop, one for mobile and tablets had one that was “half-way between” the desktop and mobile solution.

“By having it as all as one website, I’ve reduced operating costs because I don’t have to manage assets on each platform,” he said.

Fat Face now wants to work on expanding internationally, beyond its over 200 UK and Ireland stores and UK ecommerce website. Wright is under no illusion that this will be easy. Fat Face plans to expand to the US and launch a new website later this year.

“There are challenges of currency, languages, making sure payment options are consistent. It’s incredibly complex,” Wright said.

He added: “[Creating a seamless channel experience] is an ongoing project for us. We’ve made significant headway, but there is a long way to go. So it will be an ongoing concern of mine.”

Image credit: Fat Face