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Study: Rituals expands online presence

By Retail Technology | Thursday August 21 2014

The cosmetics brand used e-commerce technology to expand its web store presence to 15 new countries, in six different languages

Since its foundation in 2000, Rituals has grown into a global company marketing a luxurious collection of home and body cosmetics products covering body and skin care, Eau de Parfum, precious mineral make-up, scented candles, pure tea and home and yoga wear.  

Its collection is sold in over 360 stores worldwide.  Rituals’ products are also available in around 700 concessions within leading department stores, several onboard airlines and in over 800 hotels across the world.

The Rituals collaboration with cloud commerce company Demandware, implemented through partner EMAKINA, has resulted in the expansion of its web store presence from five countries into 15 new countries, in 6 different languages, including the launch of a web store in the United States at the beginning of 2014.  

Reaching its limits 

Rituals had been using a custom-built PHP solution prior to selecting Demandware as its e-commerce platform. “A custom designed system will work for a few years, but eventually you discover the limits of this type of solution,” commented Martijn Cornelissen, global e-commerce manager at Rituals.  

“As our e-commerce requirements became more technologically advanced and our online business expanded globally, we knew we had reached the limitations of our existing solution. Speed to market and ability to create new multi lingual web stores easily and cost effectively was critical for us.”

A rapid implementation 

The ability to open web-stores in each new country quickly, easily and without substantial cost or effort was vital to Rituals in order to avoid delays in its global online expansion plans.  

“Our first website was successfully launched on October 23, 2013, just before the two busiest sales months of the year. The entire implementation of the Demandware platform supporting desktop, mobile and tablet users took less than 3 months, which is a highly satisfying result,” added Cornelissen. 

Since the start of Rituals engagement with Demandware and its partner EMAKINA in July 2013, there have been a variety of new developments. 

Rapid expansion

A quick but responsible worldwide expansion is one of the most important components of Rituals’ future plans, something that would not have been possible with its previous e-commerce platform, according to Cornelissen.

“Demandware offers us way more possibilities to quickly launch new web stores. For instance, we were able to lay the foundations for our new web-store for the United States in just two days. The ability to quickly expand to new countries has given us a huge confidence boost,” he explained.  

Rituals currently has web-stores in 23 countries, including the United Kingdom,  Germany, US, The Netherlands, Spain and Sweden. The web-store is available in English, Dutch, French, German, Spanish and Swedish.

Focus on business growth

As a result of moving to Demandware, Rituals is now able to spend less time managing the technology and more time focusing on its e-commerce strategy and growth. Because of the speed at which launches need to take place, the process of making changes and setting up new web-stores has to be very easy. 

“At Rituals we do not have sufficient internal capacity to manage the entire back-end of a complex e-commerce system. With our previous solution, it was impossible to quickly step things up and ensure employees had the relevant training in a short timeframe. The Demandware platform offers us the ease of use we need, allowing us to completely focus on our e-commerce strategy and growth,” explained Cornelissen.

The future

Rituals has an omnichannel strategy and plans to offer a full-blown integrated online and in store shopping experience to engage consumers even more during the purchase of products, irrespective of whether they are online or in-stores.  

Although it has already implemented a mobile experience, Rituals wants to further expand its omnichannel operations leveraging the Demandware platform.  

“Besides expanding our current web-store presence, I am working on a new project that involves modifying the master data management system, so that all possible data is made available across the different sales channels as well as to our partners. This project will serve as the basis for achieving an end-to-end in-store solution equipped with mobile payment options”, concluded Cornelissen.

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