As it reinvented itself as a digital retailer, Buffalo Jeans aimed to drive e-commerce revenues. How could it identify individual customer preferences and engage with them on a one-to-one level?
Buffalo Jeans worked with KPI Digital to deploy an integrated platform of IBM® Watson® Customer Engagement solutions, enabling it to reach out with personalized, consistent content on every channel.
Up to 89%increase in conversion rate optimization, helping Buffalo Jeans drive sales
>70%increase in revenues for Canada and US e-commerce sites across 24 months
SupportsBuffalo Jeans’ digital transformation and enables continued growth
Embracing digital transformation
The popularity of e-commerce just keeps growing—and for retailers with a significant footprint of physical stores, meeting these evolving consumer demands can be a tough challenge. This was the situation facing Buffalo Jeans, a leading international apparel retailer headquartered in Montreal, Canada. In response to the new requirements, the company decided to close its brick-and-mortar stores and focus entirely on the digital channel.
Stephen White, Senior Director Business Process and Operations for Buffalo David Bitton, begins: “Because the brand is owned by a public company, it is crucial to maintain our top-line performance. We were confident that driving a digital transformation would enable us to achieve that goal—and we set ourselves the target of increasing online sales by a factor of ten within 24 months.”
Buffalo Jeans knew that millennial customers represented a significant portion of its digital audience. To encourage these prospects to convert and nurture their long-term loyalty, the company needed to deliver streamlined, personalized experiences that met their service-quality expectations.
In the past, the company lacked a centralized platform for digital marketing. As a result, it was extremely difficult to build up a 360-degree view of each customer’s unique preferences based on their interactions on different channels and touchpoints.
“On the outbound channel, our goal was to reach out with targeted messages that truly resonate with our audience and inspire them to engage with the brand,” continues Stephen White. “We also wanted to carry this personalized experience across to the inbound channel, and present customers with relevant, compelling content and product recommendations on our Canada and US e-commerce sites. The aim was to shape a consistent and tailored customer experience across every touchpoint along the customer journey.”
Building a platform for marketing insights
To make its digital transformation vision a reality, Buffalo Jeans engaged its trusted IBM Gold Business Partner KPI Digital. Buffalo Jeans selected KPI Digital’s Omni-channel Digital Transformation Solution—an integrated platform that includes customer behavior analytics, email marketing automation and real-time product recommendation solutions from the IBM Watson Customer Engagement portfolio.
“From the beginning of our project, we were clear that we wanted to adopt the cloud model to keep our operational costs under control, and the IBM solution from KPI Digital enabled us to do exactly that,” recalls Stephen White. “To achieve our goals of one-to-one marketing at scale, we knew that automation would be crucial. As an IBM client since 2006 we knew we wanted to continue on the IBM platform. We see that IBM is a leader in the AI and machine learning space, and we were confident that the IBM platform would enable us to identify and act on the individual profiles and preferences of our customers.”
On the outbound channel, Buffalo Jeans uses IBM Campaign and IBM Watson Campaign Automation to build, run and analyze the results of precisely targeted email outreach. To deliver personalization on the inbound channel, the company deployed IBM Interact with IBM Watson Real-Time Personalization—enabling it to dynamically present relevant offers and content when customers browse its e-commerce sites. And to provide deeper insights into customer behavior, Buffalo Jeans relies on IBM Watson Marketing Insights to reveal new target audiences and help its marketers shape more effective interactions.
“For many years, we’ve used IBM Cognos® Analytics and IBM Planning Analytics for forecasting and budgeting, and we appreciate the tight integration between all the IBM solutions in our stack,” comments Stephen White. “Because we’re using IBM solutions to support both our finance and marketing functions, it’s easier than ever to build reports for decision-makers across the organization. Accurate, timely reporting is particularly important for demand forecasting. We can now optimize our inventory to reduce the risk of stockouts and help fulfil orders on all our channels.”
Even the smallest amount of friction has the potential to disrupt a digital journey. To reduce the risk of customer churn, Buffalo Jeans uses IBM Customer Experience Analytics to automatically detect customer struggles. By replaying sessions in which customers abandoned their carts or left the site prematurely, the company can quickly drill down to find and remediate the root cause—helping it to save sales and drive conversion.
“Throughout our digital transformation initiative, the KPI Digital team was always on hand to provide the guidance and technical expertise we needed,” says Stephen White. “KPI Digital really took the time to understand our strategy, and helped us prioritize our work to shorten time-to-value. By deploying the outbound campaign platform first, we quickly boosted traffic to our e-commerce sites and began to capture incremental sales.”
Driving conversion on the digital channel
By embracing an AI-driven approach to customer engagement, Buffalo Jeans is achieving its goal of shaping streamlined, personalized experiences across all channels—enabling it to build a strong digital retail brand.
“We know that the more we can tailor our customer communications, the more likely we are to inspire a customer to take an action: whether it’s clicking through an email to explore one of our collections or adding an extra product to their basket,” explains Stephen White.
The digital transformation at Buffalo Jeans is already delivering results. As well as lifting the company’s transaction volumes by 80 percent in Canada and by 109 percent in the US, Buffalo Jeans has measured increases in conversion rate optimization of 60 percent and 89 percent respectively. These improvements have boosted revenues for the Canada site by 71 percent and the US site by 75 percent, and 60 percent of overall revenue growth is attributed to digital campaigns.
“Our original goal was to achieve a ten-times increase in online sales within 24 months—and thanks to our partnership with KPI Digital, we achieved that goal,” continues Stephen White. “As well as enabling us to achieve full return on investment in two years, the IBM solution is also helping us to maintain excellent top-line performance for our shareholders.”
Based on its success, Buffalo Jeans is continuing to work with KPI Digital to enhance its brand and increase personalization. Looking to the future, the company plans to extend the IBM platform to other brands in its portfolio.
“Our IBM solutions from KPI Digital enable us to gain a deeper understanding our customers, which is empowering us to boost traffic, conversions, and revenues on the digital channel,” concludes Stephen White. “Thanks to our work with KPI Digital, our digital brand is thriving—and we aim to build on our success to continue to grow our business.”
Part of the Centric Canada Apparel and Accessories division of Centric Denim USA, Buffalo David Bitton was founded in Montreal, Canada, in 1985. As a leading fashion brand, Buffalo sells denim collections targeted at men and women ages 18 to 34 in stores spanning 18 countries and 3,000 locations worldwide, as well as online.
Take the next step
To learn more about IBM Watson Campaign Automation, please contact your IBM representative or IBM Business Partner, or visit the following website: ibm.com/marketplace/digital-marketing-and-lead-management
An IBM Gold Business Partner, and 2018 IBM Beacon Award Winner, KPI Digital is a leading Business Analytics, Digital Transformation and Performance Management solutions, software and services provider. With over 30-years of industry experience, KPI Digital continuously delivers value to clients across North America, medium-to-large organizations, across multiple industries, including Retail, Insurance, Telco, Banking & Manufacturing. To learn more about solutions from KPI Digital please visit: www.kpidigital.com