Chaussures Maniet: new digital platforms and a strong partnership

Jul 28, 2023

Chaussures Maniet and delaware built a strong partnership to reinvent the online shopping experience, resulting in profitable growth, a 20% overall conversion rate, and the ambitious target of driving online sales 10% above market growth. Find out how you can tap into the potential of your digital channels, too.  

Picture (from left to right): Jéremy Van Eeckhaute - Marketing Manager at Chaussures Maniet, Olivier Cuvelier - Business developer at delaware, Stany Paluch - IT Director at Chaussures Maniet. 

site of the year 2022 finalist

Chaussures Maniet, a Wallonia-based family business, has confirmed its ambition to become a key fashion retailer on the Belgian market. The brand, with the fifth generation of the family at the helm, sells shoes and accessories from major brands. Today it has 30 Maniet and Luxus points of sales, in Wallonia, Brussels, and the Grand-Duchy of Luxembourg.   

Developing the website and e-commerce as part of the growth strategy

"Chaussures Maniet’s brand DNA revolves around offering our customers products, brands, and quality service for the whole family, in shops with a fun and welcoming atmosphere, says Jérémy Van Eeckhaute, Marketing Manager. Something that stands out in the company’s history and which is largely the Maniet family’s merit is the brand’s appetite for innovation, combined with a visionary approach and the ability to reinvent itself. And that is exactly what we are seeing here, in the shift in perspective for the company’s website and e-commerce to promote growth.     

Stany Paluch, IT Director: “After several years of use, the performance of our website and e-commerce platform had clearly hit its limits:  slow operation, inefficient UX etc. This made it more difficult for our customers to buy our products, especially at key peak times, such as during the sales. We also noticed a negative impact on our online sales, which only accounted for 2% of our overall turnover and which were not following the same growth curve as that of our shops. In an increasingly digital retail sector and in the face of fiercer online competition, we had no choice  to change. To achieve this, we needed a new partner because we felt that the solution we were using was holding us back.” 

The objectives were defined from the start. The first step was to launch a new version of the website and e-commerce platform. After that, Chaussures Maniet planned to use this solid foundation as a launchpad for progress in personalization and gamification and ensure that online sales were equivalent to the sales of its top 3 selling brick-and-mortar stores. 

We had hit a turning point, where we had no choice but to review our e-commerce platform. On the one hand, because we didn't want to fall behind on the competition, but also because we needed to keep up with personalization and the rise of AI. We achieved this thanks to the strong partnership with delaware. The work we did means we are now ready for the next steps: personalization and our Customer 2.0 plan is all about putting the customer at the heart of everything we do, in line with our core values.
Allison Vanderplancke, CEO Chaussures Maniet 

A real partnership, a phased approach 

As a result, Maniet hired delaware in 2020 to give its digital platforms a much-needed new lease of life. Why delaware ? Because they were the only company to offer us a real partnership, based on shared and phased objectives. Their approach was radically different from the others, which were built around a technical solution with the obligation to commit to an overall, multi-year budget, and no certainty about the results. With delaware, we could move forward together, assessing after each step whether we were really heading in the right direction, Jérémy Van Eeckhaute explains.    

“By choosing to partner with delaware, we got to rely on the expertise of a reputable integrator with solid experience in strategic retail projects”, Stany Paluch adds.

“Their ‘Think, Plan, Act’ method, in which our teams and the delaware teams really work together, validating each step without using up all the budget before moving on to the next phase, was 100% suited to a company like ours. Kentico Xperience was part of this same pragmatic approach: this integrated tool for the CMS, the e-commerce, and the marketing automation, came at a lower cost than many of the big names, but gave us all the functionality and performance we were looking for."

Data analysis: the first key step 

The first step in this partnership consisted of analyzing three years’ worth of sales data: We wanted to better understand who our customers are in order to make the right decisions in terms of the evolution of our website, Stany Paluch stresses. “We already had a data-based approach. But previously, our data analysis was relatively limited. We mainly used it see how sales were going.”  

“This analysis allowed us to answer some key questions and take our marketing campaigns to the next level”, Jérémy Van Eeckhaute adds. 

“Who are our most loyal customers? Who no longer needs convincing? Who are the customers that discovered us thanks to a marketing campaign but are more difficult to retain? Who are the special offer seekers? delaware’s Customer DNA approach helped us to refine our understanding of our customers, and categorize them to implement targeted actions, based on characteristics. By laying the foundation for this project, we were able to make progress in defining our new website, but we also laid the foundation that we needed for a later stage in our roadmap, namely personalizing the customer experience.”    

Successful launch of the new website 

After this analysis, the Maniet and delaware teams continued to work together, launching the new website and e-store in September 2022. The results were in line with expectations, with the second best daily online sales turnover in the e-store’s entire history in the first few weeks as well as an increase in the conversion rate. 

“Customer feedback on the site’s new ergonomics has been very positive to date and visitor numbers and online sales have increased. Other positive indicators: the bounce rate has decreased by 40%, meaning visitors are much more interested in our online content than they used to be. Clearly, our focus on inspiration has become a key driver in our customer base’s interest, something that is confirmed by the increased conversation rate. The value of the average shopping cart has also increased by 10% thanks to the increase in the number of items per transaction”, Stany Paluch explains. “But the launch also had an impact on our e-mail campaigns: Kentico allows us to target all the customer profiles we want to reach in unlimited ways, which wasn’t the case with our old solution due to license restrictions.” 

Jérémy Van Eeckhaute: Our campaigns now reach more people, and generate more clicks and more sales. The sales teams in our shops have also embraced the platform, suggesting it to customers, who now can prepare for their shopping experience before coming to the shop. When customers pick up an item that they ordered online from one of our shops, it’s also a great opportunity to bring in more visitors who may make more in-store purchases. Clearly, we have also made progress with the phygitilization of sales, giving our customers access to omnichannel shopping, without barriers or restrictions.” 

Personalizing the customer journey 

Now that Maniet has one integrated tool for its website, e-store and marketing automation, this opens up new possibilities in terms of targeting and personalization. We can now trigger scenarios automatically, based on the behavior of customers in our e-store, Stany Paluch demonstrates.

The marketing automation component of our tool can detect shopping carts that were not validated and automatically send a voucher, followed by a reminder if the customer failed to take action. What's more, we can define these scenarios autonomously. 
Stany Paluch, IT Director 

This first step towards personalizing the customer journey will soon be followed by many others, Jérémy Van Eeckhaute explains. “As part of this personalization, we are currently analyzing the data that we have collected since we went live. After the support and maintenance, we are now going full steam ahead on personalization, and this should be finalized in the next few months.” 

What have I learnt from all this? Throughout the project, delaware has been a true partner, with which we have worked to achieve common objectives, transparently and in an agile way, sharing the risks. This allowed us to deliver this much-anticipated solution on time. Every time something unexpected cropped up, which inevitably happens on such a project, we could rely on delaware to step up to the plate and come up with solutions that worked for us. Currently, our online sales figures are in line with our sales projections and we expect to achieve our targets by 2026”, Stany Paluch concludes