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Costume SuperCenter is the premier source for high-quality costumes, accessories, and party supplies operating five online shopping destinations. Halloween is the retailer’s top holiday, but their product line reaches well beyond the autumn holiday with inventory comprising high quality theatrical, mascot, holiday, and pet costumes.
The family-owned retailer needed to replatform five specialty sites, including several retail and wholesale domains as well as an international site. They required a commerce platform that could accommodate their various business models, provide responsive design, and enable their lean team to easily run multiple sites with minimal effort. Ahead of Halloween, the retailer was able to launch all five responsive sites in just seven months on the Workarea Commerce Platform.
Time for a Change
When Costume SuperCenter began their platform evaluation at the end of 2015, they recognized the need for a system built on a modern tech stack. It had to scale to meet their enormous October rush, allow them to create engaging content to help convert shoppers, and replace some of their more costly third-party systems. They also wanted a redesigned, mobile-optimized user experience and a partner who could make it happen quickly.
Costume SuperCenter had been managing to get by using legacy technology. Magento was too complex to manage internally and CSC didn’t have in-house specialists. Magento was also no match for CSC’s traffic spikes. After evaluating Demandware, CSC was not impressed by the platform’s lack of usability and higher cost pricing model.
The CSC team set their sights on the modern, flexible Workarea solution. Moving to a SaaS-based model was imperative for them. Their previous self-hosted sites were cost prohibitive and resource-intensive. They liked that the Workarea subscription model eliminated the need for managing and maintaining an onerous hosting infrastructure.
Jim Moore from Costume SuperCenter explained, “We don’t want to be in the software development business. We work with WebLinc to add enhancements. We love that as they add improvements it just becomes part of their platform.”
Improving the Experience Inside and Out
Costume SuperCenter is no longer reliant on a large technical team to support their online business. A single member of the content team manages the customer experience through merchandising and content management in the unified Workarea admin.
The ecommerce team was relieved to abandon a cumbersome experience on their legacy platform’s rigid taxonomy constraints. No longer did they need to present twelve top categories and fifty sub categories. The five redesigned sites provide a superior shopping experience with a modern look and feel. Now, the optimized taxonomy with faceted, filtered navigation makes browsing intuitive, helping shoppers quickly find what they want on any device. A large part of CSC’s boost in conversion rates comes from integrating the Workarea platform's powerful search functionality.
- 20 percent boost in on-site search conversion rate year over year
- 49 percent lift in mobile conversions in October YoY
- 24 percent increase in mobile conversion from tablets
Before replatforming onto the Workarea platform, the online retailer had separate m.dot sites which were slower to load and required labor-intensive updates to stay in sync with the desktop sites. Moving to the responsive, mobile-first Workarea platform resulted in a huge shift in traffic from desktop to mobile. Now their creative team does not have to design and update offers for multiple mobile sites; they can make fast changes and execute campaigns in our easy-to-use admin interface.
Before Workarea, CSC’s creative team was updating entire HTML pages in order to make changes because the pages weren’t modular. Their new workflow is accelerated as they are able to easily work with individual assets and Responsive Design Blocks. They’ve also reclaimed their nights and weekends by using Site Planner, which allows them to schedule all updates for a specific date and time rather than having to push changes to production at the exact time they need them to go live.
The freedom and flexibility that the CSC team gained with our platform has allowed them to re-allocate team members to creative work, including integrating content and how-to videos to improve the customer experience.
Through our modern, lightweight technology and multi-site functionality, CSC simplified their workflows and freed up their team. The WebLinc admin, designed for non-technical users, gives the CSC team the freedom to focus on creative and promotional initiatives, and the data to gather powerful insights.
“Now that we can create the digital customer experience we want to on a stable, responsive platform, our team is freed up to be more creative and worry less.” - Jim Moore, VP of Marketing