ACCO Brands

Experience-driven commerce at scale.

ACCO Brands, an almost $2 billion dollar supplier of branded academic, consumer and business products, sought to increase revenue and streamline its online shopping experience through a unified content and commerce solution that could scale to support more than 20 market-leading brands.

The Challenge.

The web has fundamentally altered how brands connect with consumers. For ACCO Brands, its ecosystem represented an amalgam of dissimilar and aging platforms for managing customer experiences. Siloed data, redundant brand and product websites, and challenges promoting the full portfolio of ACCO brands and products created friction for not only customers, but the internal teams responsible for sustaining the websites.

Serving both B2B and B2C audiences, ACCO’s websites lacked the common features and functionalities users have come to expect, including account creation, viewing account-based pricing, seeing purchase history, and more. For internal users, making simple updates to the sites often required IT intervention, and their outdated platforms lacked the features to tailor experiences for end users.

Bespoke, one-off ecommerce implementations can spend months in development and require significant capital investment. ACCO partnered with C2 to identify an ecommerce strategy, unify brands on a common content and commerce solution, and scale the solution quickly to support organizational goals.

The Solution.

Helix.

C2 and ACCO created Helix, a program for managing the large-scale ecommerce rollout. Playing off the shape of DNA, or genetic code, Helix represented ACCO’s commitment to digital transformation and making digital core to its overall business strategy.

Helix leverages a design system paired with a shared, reusable code base of templates, blocks, and integrations to drastically reduce development and increase speed to market while still caring for individual brand needs. New brand sites, including optimized product and checkout experiences, brand storytelling pages, and integrations, can be handed off in as soon as 60-90 days from kickoff.

The selected platform, Optimizely (Episerver), provided ACCO an opportunity to simplify its martech and ecommerce stack, reduce expenses by eliminating redundant platforms, and unite brands on a common content and commerce solution. The user-friendly platform empowers brand teams to manage and make updates to the sites without the need for a developer, and includes powerful personalization and visitor intelligence capabilities.

In the first year of the Helix program, ACCO Brands surpassed $1 million in direct order intake, with average order values for some brands increasing 260% from $50 to $180. Overall, ecommerce revenue grew 17 percent from 2019 to 2020.

To date, 13 brands have gone live in the Helix program:

Results.

  • More than $1 million dollars in direct order intake the first year
  • Ecommerce sales rose 17% from 2019 to 2020
  • Average order values increased from $50 to $180 for ACCO’s dated goods brands, a 260% increase
  • Thirteen brand launches over the last three years
  • Fully integrated commerce solutions can be handed off in as soon as 60-90 days from kickoff, saving hundreds of thousands of dollars on development scope
  • Initial planning sprint to solidify strategy and business requirements
  • Consolidates multiple websites and platforms into one cohesive, content and commerce solution, built on Optimizely (Episerver)
  • Leverages a design system including style libraries and Atomic Design principles
  • Shares a common, reusable code base, including templates, blocks, and integrations to reduce scope and increase speed to market
  • Optimized product pages and checkout processes
  • Ecommerce implementation ran parallel to PIM andERP implementations
  • Integrations: PIM, ERP, payment gateway, fraud protection, tax, transactional email, user-generated content
  • Supports B2B and B2C audiences

Read more: Episerver, Microsoft Azure help retailer deliver a superior customer shopping experience

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