- Partnership with Tacit since 2009
- 100% growth in online sales
- 13 international sites, including Australia, USA, Germany & France
- The first ever integration of SAP Hybris with AEM (Adobe Experience Manager)
- Custom B2B functionality for salons
- Advanced SEO strategy enabled using powerful business tools
- Bleeding edge hosting architecture, with cloud scaling for peak trading periods
- Tacit provide 24/7 website support
Since launching ten years ago, ghd has become a brand synonymous with top-of-the-range hair styling products. Widely used – and evangelised – by hair stylists at the peak of their profession, the ghd range is the choice of professionals and designed for salon use but easily adopted by men and women at home.
Until 2010 ghd relied on a transactional website which did little to help promote the brand. It also proved expensive to maintain and provided limited control over online sales. The company recognised the need to build a central eCommerce solution that would support its burgeoning international business and developed a digital strategy with several key objectives.
The main aim was to match the iconic branding of the products with a destination site that would compel hair stylists and consumers to make regular visits. It had to be stylish, but equally to deliver all the necessary functionality to ensure online commercial success. The ghd team wanted to maintain control over the site, allowing them to implement powerful merchandising and marketing features that would support digital sales. It was also important that the eCommerce project should complement and positively influence sales of ghd products ‘offline’ in salons and traditional retail outlets.
ghd reviewed a range of platforms before selecting hybris B2C Commerce along with Adobe Digital Marketing Suite for Web Experience Management, both of which were implemented by hybris’ and Adobe partner, Tacit Knowledge. Part of Tacit’s role was to help ghd bring together experts in digital commerce and web content management. This would help ghd to realise their vision. A key part of this was the implementation an integration of the two class leading applications that Tacit selected, hybris B2C Commerce and Adobe Digital Marketing Suite for Web Experience Management (including Adobe CQ Web Content Management and Adobe CQ Digital Asset Management). This combination enabled the online business to scale and ensured business users and community participants would be equipped to create, manipulate and contribute content.
In addition, the combination of the hybris and Adobe solutions allows marketers to rapidly transform the entire shopping experience from initial brand awareness, to immersive shopping experiences, to checkout and long-term brand loyalty. Marketers can author authentic experiences and offers based on marketing and merchandising strategies with a cross-channel shopping experience.
“Our digital strategy required building a robust brand platform engaging a large network of independent salons and professional hair stylists sitting seamlessly with international commerce,” said Stuart Spiegel, Chief Marketing Officer at ghd “We needed a solution that would scale to support our brand innovation requirements, present and future, and the combination of Adobe Web Experience Management and hybris B2C Commerce provided that foundation. We are proud that key brand advocates, professional hair stylists and salons will now have unique tools to engage their clients.”
The first iteration of the new www.ghdhair.com site was launched in October 2011 and the main focus was to launch the new commerce area. In the following Spring, the second iteration was launched and became a “feed based” content zone for professional stylists. The ‘Showcase’ section allows stylists to create individual profiles and upload the site with their own images, videos, tips and ideas. This content is stored on the hybris platform and ghd’s editorial team works with the stylists to ensure quality of content and to help them promote it to both consumers and stylists.
“We simultaneously manage thirteen ‘storefronts’ from our head office in London,” said Spiegel. “We’re finding it much easier to manage campaigns and what previously took weeks to set up, now takes just hours, or even minutes.”
This stems from the agility that is delivered by combining the functionality of the two software platforms, hybris B2C Commerce and Adobe CQ. The unified platform gives ghd much greater control over content authoring, content delivery, data management and brand engagement.
“hybris is the glue between content management and the community and it has proven to be a very powerful Commerce system. We have made extraordinary demands of both hybris and Adobe CQ, but the response has been solid at every stage.
The role of Tacit has been very important for the success of the integration. They have set up an interesting architecture working from a blank canvas and the result is truly a best in class solution.” Spiegel commented
The infrastructure behind this is in the cloud, which again provides greater flexibility, advanced build techniques and toggling functionality, so that different features can be turned on and off as they are needed. ghd is noticing an increase in conversion rates and SEO, but regards itself at the very beginning of a long process. The most significant results so far can be seen in the stylist community which is generating a huge amount of interest and attracting dozens of new profiles each week.