Carhartt’s digital transformation puts the customer first

Workwear retailer Carhartt launched its digital transformation by making its ecommerce platform more accessible, reliable, and customer-centric.

Like most legacy retailers, workwear brand Carhartt found itself in need of a digital overhaul, thanks to a market disrupted by large ecommerce competitors with advantages in size, speed and scale.

Carhartt came to this crossroads with its own advantages. As a known, trusted brand with a solid niche market, quality products and an emphasis on customer care, Carhartt was well positioned to make the shift to the customer-centric model fueling today’s digital transformations, emphasizing user experience and long-term customer value, but the company lacked some of the major technological underpinnings necessary, including access to real-time data, supply chain management, and monitoring. Without those components, Carhartt had no insight into the health of the business — or its customers’ ecommerce experience.

Leveraging technology to understand customer needs, enhance customer service and increase loyalty is an essential facet of digital transformations in the retail industry, according to a November 2017 Deloitte report. But technology isn't a panacea, says Brendan Witcher, vice president and principal analyst at Forrester Research. There's also a need to make a cultural shift toward using data to better understand customer needs and expectations, he says.

"You need technology that allows you to become data-led as an organization, so you can stay ahead of changing customer needs and behavior, and that data-led approach creates operational efficiencies so that you can create that great customer experience," he says.  

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