Rather Outdoors, headquartered in South Carolina, USA, is a multinational holding company managing an extensive portfolio of fishing equipment brands, including Lew's, Strike King, and Fox. The company operates offices and distribution centers across three continents and caters to outdoor enthusiasts through online and in-store channels.
In 2020, Rather Outdoors aimed to migrate its entire digital presence and e-commerce operations to the Optimizely platform. Given Nansen's expertise in Optimizely implementation, Rather Outdoors invited the agency to collaborate with their in-house developers and contractors in building and launching an initial set of three brand websites.
The project's primary challenge was to create a powerful yet flexible framework on a unified scalable business and technology architecture that could accommodate the company's growing portfolio of brands and diverse technology stacks while leveraging the Optimizely platform's full potential and ensuring seamless integration with legacy systems.
Rather Outdoors and Nansen initially focused on developing the company's primary website and e-commerce sites for two major brands, Lew's and Strike King. The teams recognized the need for a versatile Optimizely framework that could support various integrations and scale with the company's growth through acquisitions.
Nansen collaborated with Rather Outdoors' product lead to devise strategic solutions for integration challenges, scalability, and customer experience enhancements. The approach was based on three main pillars:
Unified Business and Technology Architecture: We created a robust framework built on a unified business and technology architecture that simplified the integration with legacy systems. This architecture enabled the platform to accommodate different software stacks, reducing the need for custom development and ensuring a consistent user experience across brands.
Modular Approach: We designed the framework with modularity in mind, allowing for easy addition or removal of components as required. This modularity facilitated the rapid deployment of new brand websites and accommodated diverse e-commerce requirements while maintaining a seamless customer experience.
Continuous Improvement: We adopted a continuous improvement mindset, ensuring that the framework remained up-to-date with the latest Optimizely features and industry best practices. The team also provided ongoing support and maintenance to ensure peak performance and adaptability.
In March 2021, after eight months of planning and development, Nansen successfully launched the revamped Rather Outdoors website and the commerce-optimized sites for Lew's and Strike King, with seamless integration of legacy systems. The collaboration continued with the development of four additional brand websites, each with unique software integrations and functionalities, all launched within a year.
The robust and scalable framework not only supported the rapid deployment of new brand websites but also allowed for a consistent and best-in-class customer experience across all platforms. Key outcomes and impacts include:
Accelerated Growth: The flexible and scalable framework enabled Rather Outdoors to expand its digital presence quickly, supporting its growth strategy through acquisitions and organic development.
Enhanced Customer Experience: The unified architecture and modular approach allowed for seamless integration with legacy systems, ensuring a consistent and high-quality customer experience across all brand websites.
Streamlined Operations: The framework's adaptability and scalability simplified the management of multiple brand websites, reducing operational complexity and costs.
Custom Applications and Features: Nansen developed custom applications to enhance the digital customer experience further, such as implementing gift cards and gift card payments across all of the company's sites