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Men who wear big and tall apparel want shopping options across product choices, brands, prices and sizes—and the more convenient the better.
This is why Casual Male Retail Group, the leading retailer of men’s big and tall apparel, with five distinct brands spanning various price points and sizes, created Destination XL. Housing all Casual Male brands and products under one roof, this physical superstore answered a clear market need.
Yet the company soon recognized that a bricks-and-mortar presence for Destination XL was not enough to give customers the access they wanted. That’s why Casual Male developed a digital superstore that offers a seamless, one-stop online shopping experience for the world’s most extensive line of big and tall products. This is the story of how Casual Male and Acquity Group made this vision a reality.
In July 2013, Accenture completed its acquisition of Acquity Group Ltd., the second-largest independent digital marketing company in the United States, which provides strategy, digital marketing and technical services to help companies enhance their brand experiences and eCommerce performance. The acquisition strengthens and expands the broad range of digital marketing services that Accenture Interactive provides clients.
The Destination XL eCommerce experience was a strategic extension of the brands’ bricks-and-mortar store. It was key that the site could provide multiple ways for customers to understand the product assortment—over 15,000 styles. What’s more, the site had to make it easy for customers to identify their favorite products and explore new ones while seamlessly shopping with one cart.
Developing DestinationXL.com posed a number of challenges:
Creating the right user experience. The creation of a user-friendly online experience to shop for more than 650,000 SKUs that wouldn’t lose or frustrate customers was a critical concern.
Making the most of digital merchandising. The solution would need to incorporate “shop by size” filters, product reviews and other advanced features.
Developing a sophisticated digital identity. Destination XL was a completely new concept with its own brand and required the aggregation of the breadth of product lines and exploration of a very new brand identity.
Staying true to a singular aesthetic style. Each of Casual Male’s five brands represented a distinct product market and independent business unit that had to be accounted for in the site.
Acquity Group followed a multi-phase approach to help Casual Male realize its eCommerce goals. Key milestones included:
Researching how target customers shop for apparel to truly understand consumer behaviors and needs.
Gathering information about the company’s processes and assets, including review of blueprints of the physical store retail environment.
Creating design options with clickable prototypes, testing and refining.
Delivering an eCommerce solution with home page visibility, size profiler, shared shopping cart and outfitting (image based suggestions for outfits).
To accommodate the new features and functionality, and provide a stronger technology foundation to support the site, Acquity Group upgraded the existing Oracle ATG Commerce solution, implemented ATG’s Search capability and managed integration with Casual Male’s external marketing partners, bridging the gap between experience design and technology fulfillment.
DestinationXL.com effectively translated the Destination XL brand into an eCommerce superstore.
Customer experience. The site offers customers instant exposure to all Casual Male brands and products, allowing them to shop for what they want, when they want it no matter their sizing needs or style and product preferences—an ideal offering for today’s non-stop customer. The site architecture reflects customer shopping patterns and the Destination XL in-store experience while improving the company’s ability to cross-sell and upsell to online customers.
Technology and maintenance. From a technical standpoint, the new Destination XL platform negated the need for an internal development organization. Rather than having to maintain six different web applications, there is now a single web application. This creates efficiencies not only in the area of site maintenance, but also for catalog and content changes—which are now performed across the application with a single entry.
In all, this unique digital superstore is a powerful one-stop online experience for Destination XL customers. It is a key milestone for Casual Male Retail Group as the company continues to explore additional digital opportunities such as mobile and tablet architecture experience design for customers and in-store associates.
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