foot-locker-logo-1

Outrunning the Competition With New Ecommerce Sites

Guidance built 8 mobile ecommerce sites for Foot Locker’s brands within a 90 day timeline.

Who Should Read This?

This case study will be especially relevant for those interested in the following topics:

  • Mobile Development
  • Microservices
  • Omnichannel Inventory
  • Flash Sales
  • Code Unification
  • Customer Resource Library
  • Virtual Waiting Room
  • Bopis
  • High Traffic Management

THE CHALLENGE

Foot Locker required ecommerce sites that could support 10-30% annual growth with an architecture to rapidly release new branded stores coupled with zero downtime. Furthermore, the company needed a mobile delivery platform that shares the core components of the website to minimize development costs and time to market.

THE BRAND

Headquartered in New York City and operating in over 28 countries, Foot Locker is a sportswear and footwear retailer operating athletic-based divisions like Champs Sports, Eastbay and Final-Score, amongst others. Although established in 1974, Foot Locker’s roots date back to 1879 as a successor to Woolworth’s as many of the freestanding retail stores were originally operated by the Woolworth Company. The company operates over 3,000 retail store locations in the United States, Canada, Europe and Asia.

A Mobile Solution
To Outpace the Competition

Having worked with Guidance since 1998, Foot Locker has seen countless technology and solution updates through the years. Guidance has developed and managed over 15 Foot Locker-owned sites including but not limited to: footlocker.com, eastbay.com, footaction.com, champsports.com, ESPNShop.com and many more. One of the largest projects to date was building out a native mobile site and experience for Foot Locker’s customers. At the time, Foot Locker did not have a native mobile experience and instead used a third-party service to create a simulated experience.

Foot Locker | Case Study

Foot Locker has been a Guidance client since 1998 and through the years, the website has seen countless updates and innovations.

A large part of Foot Locker’s business relies on flash sales of the hottest brand name releases and the simulated experience couldn’t withstand the traffic load at these peak shopping periods. Foot Locker needed a platform that could outperform and outlast the demands of flash traffic associated with promotional events, such as specialty shoe and apparel launches and unique athlete-branded collaborations. Given the importance of these peak traffic events, both in terms of customer loyalty and sales revenue, Guidance was challenged to complete the entire native mobile site in under 90 days with almost zero downtime.

Not only was Guidance able to deliver the mobile experience in under 90 days, the mobile architecture became a paradigm foundation for all future desktop code. The many disparate codes were unified under one platform with a common code base for all the brands; Guidance had built the modern approach to microservices in a time when those were still in their infancy. Furthermore, the mobile site experience opened new channels for site improvement and optimization.

IN THEIR OWN WORDS

“Thanks for delivering a mobile presentation to our customers that benefits them and lets them purchase products via their mobile device with ease. It’s amazing what was accomplished in a relatively short period of time.”
- Mike Hazel, Foot Locker

Unifying the Customer Experience

The new mobile platform has given Foot Locker’s customers a unified mobile and desktop experience. Most importantly, customers now have a synchronized shopping experience between mobile and desktop. Customers who log into Foot Locker can view a shared shopping cart between desktop and mobile allowing a continuous and uninterrupted shopping experience. The mobile platform supports source code discounts, international orders, storing of credit cards, wish lists and address book data.

Foot Locker | Case Study

The new mobile platform (pictured on the right) has given Foot Locker’s customers a unified mobile and desktop experience (pictured on the left).

Foot Locker’s new mobile platform exposed the ability to unify inventory across brick and mortar locations and has enabled the very powerful Buy Online, Pickup in Store. Mobile users are able to select “Ship to Store” pick-up for increased customer satisfaction and a reduction in shipping costs. Moreover, by verifying the shipping address during checkout, Foot Locker has been able to reduce delivery costs and allowed customers to evaluate and purchase in-store inventory whenever possible.

Foot Locker | Case Study

Users are able to select “Ship to Store” pick-up for increased customer satisfaction and a reduction in shipping costs.

Flash Sales for the Win

Flash sales are a huge part of Foot Locker’s brand—they attract loyal customers looking for the latest product launches and many brands look to Foot Locker for the partnership in releasing their new products. To accommodate flash sales traffic, Guidance created queuing systems and used load balancers to manage the high influx of customers during these peak sales periods. To ensure stability and business continuity, Guidance helped develop a predefined set of inventory and capacity requirements to meet customer demand.

Guidance’s custom developed “waiting room” or queuing system made Foot Locker’s flash sales a possibility. All customers were able to benefit from enhancements to the infrastructure and stability that are experienced during the flash sales periods. Furthermore, the queuing system that enabled the flash sales success helped strengthen Foot Locker's partnerships with various shoe manufacturers. Foot Locker is now known as a go-to reseller of the hottest footwear. Foot Locker and its sister brands went from selling hundreds of newly launched products to tens of thousands of new products during every flash sale.

Foot Locker | Case Study

Guidance’s custom developed “waiting room” or queuing system made Foot Locker’s flash sales a possibility.

Gaining the Lead with New Solutions

As part of the code unification and development of the mobile platform, Guidance partnered with Foot Locker to create marketing solutions that have established them as leaders in their space. Foot Locker was one of the first in its industry to create loyalty rewards for its customers, where users can earn points towards different levels of achievement. Subscribed members receive exclusive discounts, promotions, free shipping and a dedicated call-in number for questions and support. Guidance helped Foot Locker develop resource guides for their customers across all the brands. Customers can access a library of resources featuring exclusive videos, athlete interviews, buying guides, product reviews, training tips and more. The “Athlete Resource Center” is broken down by different sports and is focused on an elite level of play.

Guidance developed the sites to honor “advertised price” agreements with various brands while maintaining market competitiveness. On the product detail page (PDP), users are offered the ability to view a possibly lower Manufacturer Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) in their shopping cart (sometimes even lower than the brand’s own website) and this has established Foot Locker’s reputation for unbeatable pricing.

Results

Guidance built a mobile solution for 8 Foot Locker brands in less than 90 days with almost zero downtime. The new platform can carry large amounts of customers onsite associated with promotional events and peak traffic periods.


Guidance’s integration with order processing supports impressive shipment metrics: 95% of orders ship within 24 hours at 99% accuracy resulting in a 25% reduction in redelivery shipping costs.

IN THEIR OWN WORDS

“When we want to get things done, Guidance is clearly our #1 partner. They care about our business as much as we do.”
- Richard Johnson, CEO, Foot Locker

AT A GLANCE

+325%

Increase in Conversions Rates

99%

Delivery Accuracy

-25%

Decrease in Shipping Costs

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Summary

Guidance built Foot Locker ecommerce sites that could support their annual growth projections with a technical architecture capable of withstanding rapid releases of newly branded stores and zero downtime.

The mobile solution evolved to 8 Foot Locker brands built out in less than 90 days. The new mobile delivery platform shares the core components of the website to minimize development costs and time to market. The new platform can withstand the demands of flash traffic associated with promotional events and peak traffic periods.

Guidance’s tight integration with order processing supports aggressive shipment metrics: 95% of orders ship within 24 hours at 99% accuracy resulting in a 25% reduction in redelivery shipping costs

SERVICES

  • Microservices
  • Mobile Development
  • Virtual Waiting Room
  • Queuing System
  • Code Unification
  • Omnichannel Inventory Management

TECHNOLOGY SOLUTIONS

  • ColdFusion 9
  • Java/J2EE
  • Sybase 15 Database
  • Core Metrics
  • PayPal
  • BazaarVoice
  • Sigma Micro (OMS)
  • Google Maps
  • MyBuys
  • Endeca
  • Dotomi
  • Monetate
  • Akamai