BT to support fashion brands’ international e-commerce plans

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Oasis: expanding e-commerce operations

Oasis: expanding e-commerce operations

BT’s retail e-commerce division, BT Fresca, has signed a five-year deal with Aurora Fashions and Karen Millen.

Under the contract, BT will support Aurora and Karen Millen’s e-commerce plans to grow their brands and increase sales outside the UK, initially focusing on expansion in Europe and Australia.

BT Fresca has provided web sites for Karen Millen and Aurora Fashion’s Oasis, Warehouse and Coast brands for five years in the UK. Recently, all the sites were optimised for mobile commerce.

Both Aurora Fashions and Karen Millen have a strong national and international presence, operating in 49 markets worldwide.

Ish Patel, group strategic development director at Aurora Fashions, said: “Through a formal tender process we reviewed the leading players in the market. We selected BT Fresca on their proven record of delivery and support, and a shared vision of priorities for the next phase of growth within this channel. We’re confident of increasing our online sales around the world with BT’s help.”

According to BT, the FrescaCommerce Platform is behind many of the world’s fastest growing e-commerce web sites. It aims to blend creativity with e-commerce best practice andintegrate back office functions like customer ordering, call centre and fulfilment, to maximise sales while giving customers an engaging online experience.

Hash Ladha, Aurora’s group multichannel director, said: “We are very impressed by the current FrescaCommerce Platform and BT’s development plans for the future. These will help underpin our own plans for growth in Europe, Asia-Pacific and beyond.”

Under the deal, BT Fresca will provide local language web sites that support local fulfilment, promotions, payment and customer service; tailored for each specific country, starting with Germany and Australia. The web sites will support local payment types, and the capacity to manage fulfilment from a local distribution centre.

BT Fresca said it will ensure Aurora and Karen Millen’s e-commerce web sites perform as effectively as locally-based web sites. 

Web site communication must be quick and interactive, but often over long distances, for example, from the UK to Australia, some aspects of web site performance can degrade when hosted externally to the country, it said. This can be mitigated by caching screen information locally, but for some aspects like checkout, the only option is a content delivery network (CDN) or a locally hosted web site. BT Fresca said it will be doing this for Karen Millen in Australia in the autumn.

Gavin Wilkinson, joint managing director at BT Fresca, said: “It’s very exciting for us to be able to build on our five-year relationship with Aurora and to be an intrinsic part of its plans to develop its business outside the UK.”