3 Tips for Commerce Success You Can Learn from Shoe Carnival

Beth Norton
September 6, 2023
4 mins

There’s nothing like a great commerce success story to spark those all-important transformation conversations in your business. Thinking about going headless but don’t have the business case to present? We can help you with that. Or, are you considering a re-platform but worried it’s too much of an undertaking? We can help you with that too.

Our work with Shoe Carnival became our most recent case study, and it’s one we’re really quite proud of. Through long-term partnership and collaboration, Shoe Carnival have achieved outstanding results with Amplience — and we want to show you how you can too.

But first, a bit of background …

Meet Shoe Carnival

Shoe Carnival is one of America’s largest family footwear retailers, headquartered in Indiana and with around 400 physical stores across the US and Puerto Rico. With hundreds of new product drops every month and daily promotions, the success of Shoe Carnival’s digital experience relies on speed and agility.

With their previous outdated content management system (CMS), the teams experienced long lead times for content, category and navigation updates, not allowing them to be reactive to market and business changes (which was a huge problem). Any content changes went through a ticketed system for developer time.

Shoe Carnival knew they needed a new digital platform to deliver fast and responsive content to improve their customer experience. So, they decided to go headless.

Shoe Carnival now uses Amplience’s full-stack Commerce Experience Platform; integrated CMS, DAM and automated media delivery services.

A Lightning-Fast Transformation

Shoe Carnival has since achieved brilliant results, delivering lightning-fast campaigns and increasing landing page conversions. The teams’ productivity has doubled and they can now make twice as many content updates in half the time it took previously. With no reliance on developer time for site and navigation updates, Shoe Carnival now launches last-minute campaigns and promotions almost instantly across all channels.

Pretty, impressive right? To learn more about how Amplience helped Shoe Carnival transform their customer experience, read the full case study.

What You Can Learn from Shoe Carnival

Embracing change, responding to the market proactively and continually evolving your technology pays off in big ways. Here are the top three tips that you can take away from Shoe Carnival’s transformational success:

1. Thinking of Going Headless? Do It.

We get it, undergoing a big platform change can seem overwhelming. But if your current ecommerce solution is no longer meeting your needs — or worse, stunting your revenue potential — then the long-term consequences of not evolving your tech stack are a far scarier proposition.

For Shoe Carnival, going headless meant that almost all of their processes changed. But they embraced that fear with an open mind and put their trust in the tools. Now, the team can launch new campaigns almost instantly and make content and navigation changes independently, without the need for developer input.

In the words of eCommerce Director, Courtney Grisham: “It changes all of your processes; everything you do. But being on this side of it, we would NEVER go back. We’re going to keep moving forward.”

Having trained and onboarded new team members on both platforms and processes, Shoe Carnival says the headless solution is far more intuitive, user-friendly, and best of all —developer friendly. Which brings us to tip number two …

2. Do More with Less

Automating processes that were once manual and time-consuming benefits more than just the marketing and merchandising teams. For Shoe Carnival, the ability to make real-time changes and clear the cache means on-the-fly corrections no longer require the development team, allowing the developers to instead focus on bigger, more important tasks.

Before switching to Amplience’s Commerce Experience Platform, featured product and content updates due to seasonality changes required a huge team. Now, a small and nimble team can locate the assets they need in the DAM and implement the site changes quickly using Amplience’s headless CMS, without the need to understand or manipulate code. The result? Fewer IT tickets and faster site updates across the board.

3. Embrace AI … and The Future

We might be a little biased, but there’s no denying the power of AI in the world of commerce right now.

By leveraging an Amplience and Algolia solution, Shoe Carnival has already integrated AI into their operations.

With over one million assets already stored in Amplience’s Content Hub, Shoe Carnival added Amplience partner Algolia into the mix by integrating their AI Search & Discovery platform. This eliminates all of the manual work that goes into re-ranking, returning tailored search results to customers with natural language processing.

Shoe Carnival also leverages Algolia to split out colors on product landing pages, allowing the team to feature products by colors offered — instead of PLPs being rolled up by style — which has led to increased conversions.

Algolia provided a solution that together with Amplience, embraced composable architecture and allowed the team to make front-end changes quickly, without having to change the code.

Shoe Carnival is a brilliant example of how you can future-proof your business by moving to a composable architecture and embracing the potential of AI.

What’s Next?

All CMS platforms are not created equal, and it’s important to find the right solution that fits with your business needs. An agile, flexible and customizable solution is key to achieving the speed and scalability required to keep up with the changing demands of your business and customers.

Want to learn more about how Amplience can help you achieve commerce success? Book a free demo today.