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Haglöfs: Standing Apart in D2C E-Commerce Brands - Avensia

Jan 18, 2023

What are the key success factors that determine whether you'll make it or break it as a D2C brand? Haglöfs, one of many brands that have adopted a direct-to-consumer approach, has succeeded.

Haglöfs is a Swedish D2C brand, and a leading outdoor clothing and apparel business focusing on sales via direct-to-consumer channels. Bogdan Sarbu is the Global Head of Direct To Consumer at the brand and an expert on direct-to-consumer e-commerce. In this blog post, you’ll learn about the success factors determining whether you make it or break it in D2C.

The Importance of Agility

Making it in D2C doesn’t come easy, and the market is highly competitive. So, what does it take to succeed? According to Bogdan Sarbu, you must focus on the initial customer promise and make sure to deliver on that.

- You need to be agile to deliver on your promise because the promise is not always binary, it depends on the industry, customer type, category, product type, etc. You have to embrace agility to adapt and to deliver on time, says Bogdan Sarbu
With an agile approach, Haglöfs was able to implement a brand-new e-commerce platform in just three months in partnership with Avensia. They didn’t want to compromise on its agility by adding more than the minimum viable product initially. Instead, the brand identified the core of what it wanted to achieve in the launch and the key aspects.

- The tight deadline was possible to meet thanks to the right partner and the MACH architecture. Also, working with a minimum viable project was a key to success and became our focus throughout the project, says Bogdan Sarbu. 

You need to be agile to deliver on your promise because the promise is not always binary, it depends on the industry, customer type, category, product type, etc.

Focus on Customer Promise and MVP

There are all kinds of different customer journeys in D2C and making sure that it works for any kind of customer is a major challenge. To succeed, Haglöfs is using a layering model that always starts with a minimum viable product approach, presenting a product, receiving an order, and delivering on the promise. The remaining efforts are added on top of that afterwards.

For example, you might start using UPS as a courier to cover the baseline, and later, add multiple shipping methods to meet the customer preferences. To make this happen, you must have a platform that allows you to implement quickly and easily.

- By the go-live date, we needed to make sure that we had the bare minimum covered. it’s about conversation, partners, developers, and systems ensuring that we can deliver, says Bogdan Sarbu.

A Solid Foundation Enabling Development

You will most likely not get it right with the minimum viable project the first time around. According to Bogdan Sarbu, you need to ensure that your roadmap is catering to the different customer journeys and that your initial foundation must have the capability to do that.

- In our project, we took a lot of things backward to set up the new foundation and spent a lot of time on this to allow us to implement new things and enable individual features. For example, we are adding a new PIM and new couriers, and the foundation is key to being able to do that, says Bodgan Sarbu. 

Haglöfs has reached success in D2C, and Bogdan Sarbu is optimistic that the approach is here to stay.

- It’s going to be an interesting journey in the coming years. The winners are the brands who can deliver on their promise, he concludes.