Panhandle Western Wear Conquers B2B & B2C with Magento

The Panhandle Western Wear Case Study

Panhandle approached Magento and Creatuity as one of the largest B2B western apparel brands, but they came from humble beginnings.  Founded in 1930’s Germany by brothers Ernest & Martin, the business immigrated with them to New York.  That’s where they learned the fashion business. In the 1940’s, the brothers moved to Minneapolis and saw a need for sturdy work shirts for local farmers and loggers.  This is when they began production of well-made casual work apparel and when they introduced their first Western shirt, The Gambler.

Panhandle Western Wear Conquers B2B & B2C with Magento 1
Panhandle in the 50’s – 70’s
  In the 1970’s, the company relocated again, this time to Fort Worth, Texas.  In 1980, the world of western apparel would be changed forever, when Urban Cowboy, starring John Travolta & Debra Winger, sparked a a western wear craze.  
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Urban Cowboy – Credit Paramount Pictures, 1980
  The years would see new western wear trends and crazes, including the Brooks & Dunn Flame Shirt in the 1990’s and the Rough Stock Collection, made famous by rodeo star, Tuff Hedeman. Today, the Panhandle Western Wear brand is still a family-owned enterprise. The company proudly offers three primary labels:

  • Panhandle
  • Rock & Roll Denim
  • Rock & Roll Cowgirl
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Rock & Roll Cowgirl and Rock & Roll Denim Designs

The Challenge

Panhandle maintained their status as a successful fashion brand selling exclusively via B2B.  However, they were feeling the pressure from retailers, including store brands. Their larger B2B customers were leveraging terms and looking for an easier purchasing experience.  Management sought an opportunity to expand from B2B-only by adding B2C ecommerce.  The key objective would be identifying a single platform that could provide a compelling B2B and B2C experience. Features and functionality were highest priority, including ease of maintenance via a rich admin interface.  They also knew they needed an experienced eCommerce partner to deliver a successful outcome.

Evolving their eCommerce strategy presented some inherent challenges:

  • Maintaining Brand identity for each site, maintaining history, design and personality
  • Creating a consistent experience for both B2B and B2C customers
  • Launching B2C without damaging B2B relationships
  • Staffing for B2C sales
  • Raising customer awareness of the ability to purchase direct
  • Driving over 200,000 fans from social media into a purchasing opportunity
  • B2B order placement was previously done completely in-person and based on style books. Finding a phased approach to move all buyers online

Panhandle Western Wear Conquers B2B & B2C with Magento 4
Still a family-owned business in Fort Worth, Texas

The Solution

The team at Creatuity started development on Magento Enterprise 2.0, but the platform was upgraded to 2.1 prior to launch.  The implementation included a wealth of custom features and extensions for deep integration of endorsee content throughout the site, a store locator feature, and advanced shopping cart functionality. Panhandle opted for TaxJar and dotmailer integrations, as well as tracking & measuring analytics with Magento Business Intelligence. Design & development was completed in around 1,000 hours in about 4 months.

The Results

The team at Panhandle confirmed a strong conversion rate.   They built traffic to each site through search marketing, social media and email campaigns.  Dotmailer proved to be an extremely effective traffic source. Newsletter subscriptions are up 159% and climbing after utilizing dotmailer’s sign-up tools. Users who click through via email are converting 644% higher than the site average.  Magento Business Intelligence has provided key insights as they grow their new eCommerce channels.

The marketing team continues to monitor the impact of coupons on new customer activation versus cost. The analytics also ensure dotmailer and other programs are increasing customer lifetime value.  The launch has consequently proven the demand to purchase directly from Panhandle.  The B2C segment is expected to be the single largest channel for their company within the next five years.  The project has become one of the strongest omnichannel success examples Creatuity has encountered.  It encompassed B2B, B2C, multi-site, multi-brand, in-store experiences provided by retailers from a fully responsive customer experience.

Want to see the presentation made by our CEO & Magento Master, Joshua Warren, at Imagine 2017?  Access the video HERE!

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