Here's how the journey from an analog paper company to a state-of-the-art e-commerce company happened.
For 100-year-old retailers like American Greetings Corp., making the transition to doing business over the Internet has presented significant challenges. Add in multiple brands and homegrown technology stacks developed in each building in an effort to become e-commerce friendly, and things can get complicated in a hurry.
American Greetings, a card maker with $1.9 billion of annual revenue, faced that challenge until a few years ago. The Cleveland company's e-commerce systems had grown into a collection of disconnected technology silos that required a lot of attention from the company's online division, AG Interactive. Representatives of AG Interactive were on hand at last month's Oracle OpenWorld conference in San Francisco to share their company's efforts to improve the online experience for customers.
Carl Lubertozzi, director of content and merchandising systems for AG Interactive, told attendees that processes had become so weighed down with project managers, business analysts, and systems that it typically took six weeks and 12 people for a business unit to add a web page. "It was stressful on our business." No kidding.
Even worse, Lubertozzi estimated that customers were seeing only 20 percent of the American Greetings card catalogue. He called that "a big miss for our organization." No argument here.