It's Shoe time for ECCO

Case Study
ECCO Sko A/S, Denmark
It’s Shoe time for ECCO
» We chose itelligence, because they offered the best product. And because
their solution could be added easily, comfortably and without any great
programming tasks – therefore work seamlessly with our main system,
which is SAP.«
Brian Smidemann, Regional Manager for Sales and Service, ECCO Sko A/S
IT should support the business and help it move forward
It’s Shoe time for ECCO
It would only be fitting to say that customer
satisfaction, comfort, service, and flexibility have
always been the highest priority for ECCO –
both regarding shoe production and customer
interaction. One of the latest innovations for the
many independent shop partners of the group
is the launch of a web shop, meaning it is now
possible to order from ECCO at any hour, any
day, all year round. In less than a year, ECCO has
managed to move 15-20 percent of their phone
sales to the web. And perhaps more importantly:
The group of companies has improved the
customer service and satisfaction – noticeably.
“ECCO will never make any decision at the
expense of comfort”, promises Brian Smidemann,
Regional Manager for Sales and Service. “Because,
although we have gone from a traditional foot-
shape to something more fashion conscious and
keep expanding our reputation as a very modern
shoe manufacturer with both double and triple
growth rate figures across the world, we still
haven't forgotten the 84-year-old Mrs. Smith,
who has bought one particular pair of shoes for
the last 30 years. It is only natural that we also
have a desire to capture the younger customers,
and that we have established a branding team
and a development division, who are both working hard to achieve this: We are competitive
people. We want to perfect our expression and
product, so we can keep reaching more people
with a – in our opinion – fantastic range”, he
explains. And there is a certain weight to the
words: ECCO is today the world's number
2 manufacturer of brown shoes – and they have
a clear objective of being number 1. At the
same time, the company is increasingly being
compared to giant manufacturers such as Nike
due to the successful introduction of outdoor
and performance shoes. Additionally, the latest
figures show that ECCO (in Denmark alone) has
a market share which is equivalent to two pairs
of ECCO shoes in each home in the country.
“Our growth rates and profits both show and
prove that we are in the right track – even if you
will never see a pair of ECCO shoes which are
so fashion minded that they will only survive
for half a season before vanishing from the face
of the earth. Nothing happens at the expense
of comfort”, Brian Smidemann reiterates,
“which – to my mind – is not only a healthy
attitude. I also think it will be ECCO’s strength
in the future.”
Complete, integrated web shop solution in 30 days
it.webshop is a complete, integrated web shop solution. The solution is based
on the existing business logic of SAP, so you have no need to worry about
maintaining processes in more than one place. Internet orders automatically
generate sales orders in SAP, which are handled in the usual way, including
credit check of customers for example. it.webshop is also a customer service
portal, where you can give your customers access to information, which
they would normally have to waste resources to obtain such information
by phoning up. The solution contains support for issuing invoices, order
confirmations, order summaries, ATP check, track & trace and more.
Don’t let phone sales be the sole method
Another strength is ECCO’s ability to make some
overriding business decisions, which seem simple
enough on a superficial level, but which have far
reaching consequences for the reputation and the
sales of the company. One of these decisions is
that IT should support the business and help it
develop. Most recently via a strategy to give as
many shop partners as possible the chance
(through IT) to order stock outside the opening
hours of the sales department. “A lot of the independent shop owners who stock our shoes, are
businesses run by one or two people, who cannot
afford the time to order stock via the phone
during normal opening hours, because they have
to focus on looking after the shop. So we started
looking for a solution, which would offer our
customers another and a more flexible way of
trading with us. With the popularity of the
internet, a web based tool which was simple
and easy to use seemed like a shoe-in. It had to
be capable of giving us a quick overview of the
supply and an accurate snapshot of our stock.
In addition, it had to be accessible at any time”,
Brian Smidemann points out.
A supplier and a solution which
is just the right fit
“Naturally, we searched the market thoroughly to
gain some insight into the available possibilities.
Throughout this, we decided to look for a solid
partner. Someone who had done this before. And
someone who knew the B2B market inside out.
We chose itelligence, because they offered the
best product. And because their solution could
be added easily, comfortably and without any
great programming tasks – therefore work seamlessly with our main system, which is SAP. They
have subsequently proved to be both a professional and serious partner. They have been very
good at listening to what we wanted. They have
informed us of both the possibilities and limitations in a competent manner. They have brought
their own ideas to the table and at the same
time been open and receptive to ours. They have
been available and ready to help. And they have
been capable of spotting advantages as well as
disadvantages and at simply looking ahead.
We trust them 100 percent“, reports the regional
manager of sales and service.
Appeal, confidence and style to boot
“We started out in week 9 of 2006, and we were
fully operational on eight markets by week
14/15. Our sales people normally spend about
10-20 minutes explaining to each shop partner
how the system works and taking them through
the basics. That’s it! Then they’re up and running! Obviously the customers aren’t stupid.
They are used to online shopping with the big
players. And our web shop is based on exactly the
same user-friendly principles. Less than a year
later we have received feedback from our various
shoe sellers that the solution has not only given
them more flexibility and the freedom to go with
it. In some cases, there has even been an increase
in sales. A specific case is a shoe seller on
Bornholm, who told us it is quite simply the
ECCO, a world leading brand of shoes combining style and comfort, has built its success on quality and innovative technology. The design
philosophy is rooted in the founder’s approach to being a shoemaker – the shoe must follow the foot. The shoes of ECCO are anchored in
functionality, quality and craftsmanship on the platform of Scandinavian design. Founded in 1963, ECCO is one of the few major shoe
manufacturers in the world to own and manage every step of the shoemaking process.
Trade, Wholesale & B2B
Company size:
More than
19,500 employees
DKK 8 billion (2012)
Bredebro, Denmark
Erhvervsbyvej 11
DK-8700 Horsens
Tel.: +45 7022 2166
The greatest success to fit
into a pair of shoes
“Overall, we have transferred 15-20 percent of
our phone sales to web sales. In Denmark we
managed to transfer 14 percent to the web shop
in 2006 alone. This is equivalent to 30,000 pairs
of shoes, and my personal estimate is that we will
reach around 25-30 percent in 2007 – in other
words, a twofold increase. That is more than
satisfactory. Because it means that we are not just
hooked up via the sellers and our sales department. We are offering an extra service, and we
are making business 24/7 365 days a year”, Brian
Smidemann notes with a smile. “Already in
March, we launched the second version of the
solution. It incorporates 9½ out of every 10
suggestions for improvement, we received from
our shop partners after we went live, which has
helped introduce the solution to more markets.
Beyond that, we are considering expanding the
web shop to include products on sale – this part
of sales is primarily handled by phone at present,
but it could possible be moved online in the
future. Based on our experience so far, we have
great expectations for the potential, and we are
already this year expecting a growth of at least
10 percent on the other European markets. Our
verdict is clear: The collaboration has worked.
We have created a working solution. And we have
established a solid business foundation to support further growth. Our customer service and
sales department is no longer on the phone for
80 percent of their time, but merely 60 percent –
the remaining hours are now used for follow-up
sales, better customer care and more targeted
follow-up after delivery. In short, we now have
more time. And although there will always be
customers who prefer the more personal touch
of a telephone call, the web shop from itelligence
is an addition. A positive addition”, concludes
Brian Smidemann, Regional Sales Service at
[email protected]
Version: 09/2013
best thing he has ever experienced. One of his
customers was looking for a pair of shoes, which
the seller (for once) didn’t stock. The shoe seller
then went online to check various data, while the
customer looked over his shoulder. This resulted
in a sale of five other pairs of shoes – based on
pictures alone – because the customer saw that
ECCO offer a wealth of attractive shoes, and not
just the one pair she had originally wanted.
The web shop makes it possible for the shoe
sellers to provide their (and our) end customers
with better information and more of it straight
away, which in turn creates the form of customer
satisfaction that is so important – to the shop
itself, but certainly to ECCO as well. Because,
if there is one thing the customers remember,
it is good service. Good service means that,
over time, we can hope to expand – and certainly
completely maintain – ECCO’s customer