Man shopping online

Episerver case study

Episerver helps retailers deliver a superior customer shopping experience

ACCO Brands needed to streamline their online shopping experience

ACCO Brands had over 30 websites representing just six of their brands, making it hard for customers to navigate between them and find products.

A unified ecommerce and CMS platform, built on Microsoft Azure

ACCO Brands engaged Microsoft partner Episerver to implement a digital solution to unify their ecommerce offerings, improve efficiency, and reduce costs.

A global, consistent experience for customers and dramatic savings

ACCO Brands now delivers a consistent experience in over 30 countries and is projected to save USD500K per year in software, maintenance, and license fees.

Retailers need to shift from offline to online ways of connecting with customers

In today’s marketplace, retailers and distributors need to shift from physical catalogs and shelf placement to connect with customers digitally. If a customer would like to make an online purchase and is not aware of their options, they may go directly to Amazon instead of considering other e-retailers.

ACCO Brands, a nearly $2 billion USD supplier of select categories of branded academic, consumer and business products, supplies a wide inventory of products to meet consumer needs. With the consumer journey becoming increasingly digitally focused, ACCO recognized a need to become more effective at reaching their target audience. Though ACCO Brands had an e-commerce platform, it was not cohesive as there were multiple web properties, platforms, and support teams. Just in the North American region alone, there were over 30 websites representing just six of the brands, running on more than five platforms. These digital inefficiencies are not unique to ACCO Brands and are ones many organizations of its size suffer from today.

With each brand having its own, siloed website and no way to navigate between them, potential customers had a complex journey – sometimes not being able to find what they needed as quickly as expected. This digital constraint resulted in loss of potential sales for the company despite ACCO Brands offering products that customers are loyal to. They needed to streamline the digital shopping journey so they could encourage consumers to continue buying ACCO’s branded products, either directly or through its channel partners.

Empowering retailers to deliver a great digital consumer experience

ACCO Brands’ initial plan was to purchase a content management system (CMS) to sit on top of their existing ecommerce solution. However, once they took note of the full Episerver suite, they decided that a unified ecommerce and CMS platform was a better approach for the long term. The company liked the built-in marketing features, like the storytelling page, blogs, and personalization, which enabled the company’s marketing team to connect with customers.

Since ACCO Brands was already using Microsoft technology for some of their systems and had development teams already familiar with Microsoft Azure, the implementation of Episerver’s solution went smoothly. Now with the Episerver solution on Microsoft Azure, ACCO Brands has a fully integrated and consistent website experience to interact with customers in over 30 countries and 15 languages.

"Among the platforms we evaluated, we found Episerver to be the most unified, intelligible and integrated platform with a good vision of where they are heading."

—Ted Fay, VP of Digital Marketing and eCommerce, ACCO Brands

Reaching more consumers and selling more products

ACCO Brands’ marketers were used to sending tickets to developers or other experts to make content changes, but now they are empowered to manage this on their own, driving efficiency and speed. The solution has allowed ACCO to realize their original goal: have marketers talk directly to the customer. As a result, ACCO Brands’ lighthouse brand, that was used for the first rollout, saw organic traffic increase by 619 percent in the first year and the revenue for this product doubled.

Overall, the project savings going to 2021 will be $500K USD/year in software, maintenance and license fees, and approximately $400K USD savings in development costs.

“Among the platforms we evaluated, we found Episerver to be the most unified, intelligible and integrated platform with a good vision of where they are heading.” said Ted Fay, VP of Digital Marketing and eCommerce.

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