Shirtmaker Stenströms is truly a gem of Swedish clothing manufacturing. Ever since the start in 1899, the company has designed and delivered shirts of the finest quality to every walk of life. Since 1973, Stenströms is also a proud supplier to the royal Swedish court.
“Stenströmsskjortan”, as it is commonly known, is characterized by its stylish cut and high quality, and what started out as shirts for men only has now been complemented by a broad selection of women’s shirts, blouses, knitted garments and accessories. Today, Stenströms successfully sell in several countries across the globe and in 2020 the turnover of the company reached 274 million Swedish kronor.
The sales model of Stenströms was built on 100 years of traditional structure where the success came from the ability to create tight and long-lasting partner and reseller alliances. Four years ago, Stenströms launched their first eCommerce initiative. Initially, the purpose of the site was to provide a service to customers and resellers. The first release was intended for selling B2B but shortly after they also began to offer their products directly to B2C. Then came the global outbreak of the Corona virus and like for many other companies, Stenström could see an increase online sales.
But there were challenges along the way. Being a traditional sales organization Stenströms saw a lack of skills needed to implement, drive, and maintain a new eCommerce initiative. There was also a sense of uncertainty of what this change might bring. Enters Avensia and Apptus. Having spent the better part of the past 15 years delivering eCommerce solutions, the two were the perfect partners for Stenströms to get to a quick and successful implementation and come to a good start.
The Stenströms eCommerce was built on an EPIserver (Optimizely) foundation which had been put in place a couple of years earlier. Also, inRiver had been launched to make sure that product data quality was high. By introducing a combination of Avensia’s Nitro Storefront and Apptus eSales, Stenströms was finally able to take eCommerce to the next level.
In order to keep up and stay ahead of the competition, we launched our new B2C eCommerce platform in 2018. With help from Apptus and Avensia, we have been able to optimize the platform resulting in better customer experiences, said Yasser Shabbir, Head of eCommerce at Stenströms.
Apptus as a vendor was selected because the company’s huge experience from delivering to fashion and lifestyle retailers. eSales, which is based on AI and Automation for recommending the most relevant products in every moment, added several new features to the Stenströms eCommerce site, including search, navigation, promotions/demotion, and filtering of products.
By utilizing automation, eSales always ensures that we stay relevant to every shopper in every moment. The uplift in our online conversion and sales shows clear evidence of that, Yasser continues.
The results from the new packaged and tightly integrated solution from Avensia and Apptus came quickly. By the end of the first three-month period after the launch, the number of transactions, conversion, and sales were showing great uplift (number of transactions was initially up by 215%, conversion by 113%, and sales by 115%). “The results came quickly, and they were astounding”, said Yasser. A few months later, the organic growth of the online business has been established around 50%.
Utilizing the eSales AI has proven to bring low maintenance for Stenströms. “As the Head of eCommerce, you sleep better at night knowing that AI is constantly working to improve site relevancy and recommendations. 24/7, every day of the year. It is truly a great feeling”, said Yasser. eSales has also made the organization much more productive which means that merchandisers can focus more on qualitative and strategic work.
eSales is very trustworthy and so far, we have not encountered any problems, Yasser concludes.
Going forward the focus will be on implementing personalized recommendations in more parts of the site to provide even better support along the customer journey, something that Stenströms hope will provide a better user experience and increase the average order value.