Shimano’s mission is to promote health and happiness through the enjoyment of nature and the world around us. By developing, producing and distributing bicycle components, rowing equipment, fishing rods, reels, line, lures, and more, Shimano enables outdoor enthusiasts with equipment designed to maximize their experiences on the road and on the water. Since it was first founded in Japan in 1921, Shimano has grown into a global company with manufacturing and sales offices throughout Asia, Europe, Latin America, Oceania and North America. Every day in North America, sporting goods stores, bike shops and fishing supply stores log on to Shimano’s B2B site to order their stock for the upcoming season.
In 2018, Shimano partnered with SMITH for Application Management Services (AMS) to support their North America IT team’s efforts to continuously improve their online experience for B2B customers.
The first order of business when SMITH assumed support of Shimano’s North America SAP Commerce B2B digital platform was to correct several issues that had been holding the site back from peak performance. Within six months, Shimano and SMITH were able to shift their focus towards uncovering and executing higher-level performance improvements and feature enhancement opportunities.
SMITH brought in a UX expert to identify high-yield improvements that could be implemented on the B2B site. With the emphasis on improving customer experience and creating a more efficient order flow, this exercise led to several webpage template changes, including improvements to product detail pages (PDPs), product list pages (PLPs), and search result pages (SRPs), as well as the shopping cart and the site’s checkout process. Viewing the site’s functionality through a lens of creating simplicity for Shimano’s B2B users led to significant streamlining. The site’s checkout process was reduced from a four-step process to a two-step process to decrease the time and actions required by the B2B user. SMITH also managed Shimano’s migration from Rackspace to Amazon Web Services (AWS) for website hosting, bringing improved flexibility and performance to their infrastructure.
After the launch of these improvements in February 2020, the realities of the pandemic set in. Beginning in March, lockdown life sparked a massive lift in the popularity of outdoor pastimes like fishing and cycling. The work that had been done as part of Shimano’s standard AMS service agreement to migrate the system to a new host, stabilize the system and build new templates, allowed their site to scale to handle the large increase in website traffic.
“Working with SMITH, we’ve been able to switch gears from being reactive to being proactive and focus on enhancements to our site. Through these enhancements and our migration to AWS, SMITH has helped us drive an increase in conversions and scale our operations to support our B2B digital commerce growth. The team at SMITH continues to be responsive to our needs in this even changing digital landscape. Their ability to understand our requests and deliver timely solutions help to deliver continuous improvements to the site to benefit our customer.”
- Stuart Cureton, Digital Product Manager, Shimano