Clarks is a leading UK-based international footwear brand and retailer. Founded in 1825 by brothers Cyrus and James, Clarks is still based in its birthplace of Somerset and is active in over 35 countries worldwide. The world’s top brand in everyday footwear, Clarks designs, innovates, manufactures and sells more than 50 million pairs of shoes every year through its circa 1000 stores worldwide and online channels.
As an established brand that’s been around for many years, Clarks has always kept ahead of the latest retail trends. With the growth of e-commerce in the retail industry, Clarks identified the opportunity to reach more customers through marketplaces and embarked on expanding its sales to Amazon in the UK.
‘With 12 successful transactional websites globally, we were looking for new avenues to expand our customer base,’ says Gayle Hetherington, marketplace manager at Clarks. ‘We immediately saw the opportunity that marketplaces could offer us. With established audiences and a global reach, marketplaces enabled Clarks to seamlessly expand into new global channels, while complementing our current online strategy.’
When starting out, Clarks began by listing its products manually on Amazon UK, which was a time-consuming and ineffective process for the team. Every time a new product line was released, it would take Clarks weeks to have the range listed on Amazon. While results on the marketplace were promising, Clarks realised that in order to scale in a quick and agile way, it would need to speed up this process and automate its marketplaces activities.
‘We were pleased with the initial success we experienced on marketplaces, and were very keen to expand to others. We knew that we wouldn’t be able to scale at the pace we wanted to without an e-commerce platform, and began to search for a solution that would be able to support us,’ continued Hetherington.
After evaluating the options, Clarks turned to ChannelAdvisor Marketplaces to manage its marketplaces business. By working with ChannelAdvisor’s Managed Services team, Clarks’ campaigns are fully implemented and managed by ChannelAdvisor’s expert team, which allows Clarks to extend its reach across marketplaces without adding any internal resources.
ChannelAdvisor’s team is focused on creating and executing campaigns for Clarks in line with its business goals. The ChannelAdvisor team focuses on account optimisation, ensuring that all Clarks’ campaigns are listed and mapped correctly on an ongoing basis to ensure visibility on every marketplace. As a part of the focus on growth, Clarks’ dedicated campaign managers review the performance of categories, identify sales opportunities, provide competitor analysis, and run promotional listings such as eBay Daily Deals to increase sales.
‘The team at ChannelAdvisor are an extension of our own. They are experts in each marketplace, and understand the nuances and requirements of each, so we know our campaigns are set up to succeed. They share our business goals and always go above and beyond to help us achieve them,’ said Hetherington.
Since working with ChannelAdvisor, Clarks has been able to dramatically expand its product line on Amazon. New products are live on Amazon within a few hours of release, a vast difference from the time it used to take when listing manually.
Based on this success on Amazon, the retailer decided to expand to new marketplaces in the UK and across Europe. Today, Clarks sells its broad product range on Amazon and eBay in the UK, as well as eBay and Zalando in Germany and eBay in the Netherlands, Spain and France.
‘It simply wouldn’t have been possible for us to build our own integration into any of these new marketplaces ourselves. ChannelAdvisor has opened the door for us to expand our business to new channels and has dramatically increased our visibility and sales on marketplaces. We see the team as a partner to our business and value the difference their work has brought to our e-commerce success. We look forward to what the future holds with ChannelAdvisor,’ said Hetherington.