Astound Commerce designs digital transformation for fashion & lifestyle brand, Hush


This article is brought to you by Retail Technology Review: Astound Commerce designs digital transformation for fashion & lifestyle brand, Hush.

Fashion and lifestyle brand, Hush, has broken its daily sales record, with transactions exceeding £1m, for the first time with a new mobile-first ecommerce platform developed in partnership with digital commerce agency and systems integrator Astound Commerce UK.

Founded in 2003 by Mandy Watkins as a womenswear label, the brand offers contemporary fashion, as well as footwear, accessories, jewellery and even chocolate. In recent years growth has accelerated the business from a niche brand with a small but devoted following into one of the UK’s fastest-growing womenswear brands, selling multiple collections every year through its own website, pop-ups shops and, since 2016, via concessions in John Lewis & Partners.

With mobile traffic and transactions in the UK predicted to continue growing at a rate of 16% annually, eventually overtaking desktop sales by 20231, Hush wanted to build a seamless mobile-first ecommerce experience that offered a frictionless purchasing journey while also allowing customers to immerse themselves in the brand via customer-focused editorial content. 

Additionally, Hush wanted to create a stand-alone international site to improve accessibility to the global market while providing a personalised customer experience (CX) for international customers.

To support their digital transformation, Hush had selected the Salesforce Commerce Cloud (SFCC) platform and were looking for a partner with both expertise and the ability to grow and evolve with the brand and internal team in the long term. Astound Commerce, with its extensive experience implementing and maximising SFCC performance for several high-profile retailers globally, were a natural choice of digital partner and following a five-way competitive pitch were appointed to the project. 

Astound Commerce designed and delivered the solution, configuring and integrating both SFCC and multiple third-party applications across both sites, to provide improved online experiences for shoppers.

The mobile-first UK site was designed with the handheld user in mind, making the site six-times faster for those browsing via mobile, and it has also introduced digital payment and wallet service Apple Pay for increased IOS convenience.

Astound Commerce worked closely with the cross border selling specialist vendor, Global-e, on the development of the stand-alone international site which allows shoppers across the world to pay in local currency and use local delivery services for fulfilment.  

Despite the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic and disruption this caused to business globally, the two sites went live in June, with sales transactions hitting record levels during the summer. 

Rupert Youngman, Managing Director, Hush, said: “Astound Commerce are a trusted partner who deliver best-in-breed solutions while also being a pleasure to work with.  Despite the challenges of delivering the final stages of the project during lockdown the Astound team worked tirelessly to minimise delays while providing the highest levels of consultancy and technical expertise.”

“To see such impressive returns on our investment so quickly, with record daily sales exceeding £1m, just one month on from going live, is testament to the importance of working with an expert digital partner, such as Astound, to ensure the long-term success of our business,” he added. 

Astound Commerce will manage support and upgrades moving forward with planning for the second phase of the project, the integration of a new ERP system, already underway, making this a long-term, strategic partnership.

Astound Commerce UK MD, Terry Hunter, commented: ““We are delighted to be working with the team at Hush to help guide and shape their ongoing digital transformation. This is a brand that has intuitively and organically nurtured a dedicated and loyal customer base, while at the same time recognising the need to address the rapidly evolving digital demands of the consumer and hard-bake these into their digital strategy for long-term success.”

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