KappAhl as a brand

KappAhl was founded in 1953, in Göteborg, Sweden, and is one of the leading fashion chains in the Nordic region. They operate 380 stores across five countries and have a staff of approximately 4,000 employees in ten countries. Their mission is to have value-for-money fashion to women in the prime of their life, and also their family and all products are designed by their own designers and pattern constructors.

KappAhl are a keen promotor of sustainability.  Today, 58% of their products are labeled as sustainable, and their goal is for 100% to be made of more sustainable materials by 2025.

All products are designed in-house and production at suppliers is carefully monitored by KappAhl colleagues in in Turkey, India, China and Bangladesh to name a few.

Online shopping popularity

Optimizely sat down with Maria Walmu, Online Manager at KappAhl to understand more about the retail giant’s digital commerce ecosystem.

Maria: ''I have worked within KappAhl since 2011. Actually, it was then that we started e-commerce for the Swedish market''.

Even though KappAhl have a large physical estate, they are seeing an accelerating shift towards online transactions powered by Optimizely. Online activity now represent 7% of turnover. ''It's increasing in share every year'', Maria mentions, marking a shift in consumer buying behavior for the retailer.

Maria goes on to say KappAhl's target group is, ''women in the prime of life we say, and their family. And since we have a very broad assortment, you can find fashion for all occasions at KappAhl''.

KappAhl store

The conversion rate and the average buy is increasing more than the traffic. So we are converting customers that only bought physically before. They are buying more online.

Maria Walmu
Online Manager, Dot Foods

Having such a broad appeal and consumer offering, COVID-19 presented a monumental challenge to KappAhl. Maria shares that since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, a new segment of customers have found their way into the digital store.

''Not all  customers who shop in our physical stores also shop in our digital stores, but the past weeks we have seen an increase in customers try out the online channel'', says Maria.

Having both physical and online channels in sync is the progressive strategy KappAhl are employing. ''We do think that the online share will take a leap and grow a lot...but of course, we are hoping that the physical stores recover more soon, so that we can have a more stable situation. But we do believe that the online share will be a lot higher even after the Corona situation''.

By analyzing available data, KappAhl are outsmarting the industry by understanding how to leverage different customer channels.

KappAhl products displayed in-store

''Everyone knows that you need to have an online shop''

Having a strong customer-centric appetite, KappAhl pay particular attention to each customer-journey in order to understand their needs in better detail. In doing so, Maria comments, ''we're also seeing that the customer that is buying in both channels is shopping more frequently, with a higher average basket value. So it's very valuable for us to have a customer buying in both channels and not only one''.

KappAhl utilise Optimizely Commerce to showcase their online offering. The Optimizely Commerce delivers modern eCommerce platform capabilities including Product Catalog Management, Order Management, Promotions and Customer Management. This is back-up with industry leading Experience Management A/B testing features.

Maria tells us, ''we have around 1-1.5 million visitors per week. And now, during the Corona crisis, our conversion rates are much higher''.

''We launched home delivery in a very short period of time''

Maria talks of how KappAhl are marrying the two customers to complement one another. They have introduced click-and-collect. ''That's been really successful for us. Really connecting the digital to the physical. And here we have a strategy that if you buy something online, you will have free shipping to all stores. And that is an incentive for the customers to go to the stores.''

Home delivery was accelerated during COVID-19. Maria shares, ''home delivery is very important, so that is something that we could do really fast. I would say not all our competitors have home deliveries, so that's good that we managed to offer it as soon within the situation''.

Facilitating new ways of shopping: ''Personal shopping online, that's also been growing a lot''

KappAhl are inventing new ways of engaging with consumers as they continue their customer-centric journey. Maria explains, ''one thing that we have and that we're also promoting a lot right now is, that we help our customers to make their online purchases. If they're not familiar with shopping online, we can even buy all the products for them, and they only get an SMS. They get an SMS and then they will accept the payment, and the order is fulfilled in that way. And we're promoting that at the moment and we see that a lot of customer, really, would like this kind of help''. KappAhl have created, ''a pop-up online that if you need some help, we can chat with you and we can even place the order for you''.

These gateways are some of the steps being taken that ultimately help the consumer in their buying-journey and increases the likelihood of future repeat purchases.

Maria shares, ''the conversion rate and the average buy is increasing more than the traffic. So we are converting customers that only bought physically before. They are buying more online''.



Product used

Customer's website


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