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Cath Kidston signs up for new web platform

Six-way contest puts BT ahead of competition as UK homeware, clothing, accessories and outdoor products retailer scales IT investment to match growth

UK-based lifestyle brand Cath Kidston recently signed a deal with BT divisions, BT Expedite and Fresca, to design and build a new e-commerce website for its company.

The specialist multichannel retail division won the contract after competing with six other companies to design, build, launch and provide service support for the new e-commerce site.

Overseas demand drives growth

Increased online customer demand, particularly internationally, has driven the need for a new e-commerce platform for Cath Kidston. The company is seeing record online growth outside of the UK, especially in the US and Australia.

Scheduled to go live this summer, the new multichannel platform will include a mobile-optimised site. It will use a content delivery network, where local content outside the UK is cached via local servers, enabling faster delivery and loading of web pages and rich content for customers.

The provider said that the new e-commerce site will also incorporate some of its next-generation FrescaCommerce platform features, such as enhanced multilingual functions, making it easier to manage and update languages more quickly, customer ratings and reviews and an enhanced search function.

The first phase of the build will allow purchases in three currencies – pounds, euros and dollars. The second phase will feature localised content for customers outside the UK and languages including French and German.

Single point of contact proves key

Amy Bastow, Cath Kidston e-commerce director, stated: “Expedite and Fresca offered us a single point of accountability for the new website for integration, development and design and that’s very important to us. We were impressed by their core selling platform, the fact that we were able to choose from their portfolio of multichannel products and their ability to support high volumes of traffic during trading peaks.”

Also important to Cath Kidston in its choice of supplier was that the new platform should have excellent stability and core e-commerce functionality and that its systems were scalable. The company wanted search engine optimisation (SEO) capability and call centre management integration with its e-commerce system so it could manage orders, returns and cancellations over the phone.

Cath Kidston’s online customers will be able to choose between delivery to their home or collection from the store, facilitated by the extension of its Maginus retail management systems. BT Expedite and Fresca will integrate its systems with the Futura point-of-sale (PoS) gift card system, which provides Cath Kidston’s current multichannel gift card solution and supports its international ambitions.