Leading arts and crafts retailer gears up for ecommerce evolution
Founded in 1995, leading player in the UK arts and crafts market Hobbycraft has since grown into a national treasure, engaging with craft enthusiasts through a rapidly expanding portfolio of 111 stores as well as its online channels.
Aiming to fulfill its mission to “Get Britain Making,” Hobbycraft supplies more than 20,000 products, from art, baking, home craft, papercraft, knitting, sewing, kids’ crafts, and model-making to accessories for weddings, celebrations, and more.
Additionally, the arts and crafts giant offers in-store product demonstrations and workshops to inspire and drive customers to stores and boasts a prominent social media presence and active Hobbycraft Club with more than 5 million loyal members.
With a dated, heavily customized website stunting its digital commerce success, Hobbycraft recognized the need for a more scalable, future-proof platform architecture—a decision further fueled by the surge in popularity experienced by the UK arts and crafts sector during the COVID-19 lockdown. Over the last two to three years, Hobbycraft saw a significant increase in its ecommerce sales revenue—but as it aimed to sustain a strong ecommerce growth trajectory, the company ran into several technology and process challenges. Its website restricted the agility with which the company could operate and offered little support to its team, who were managing several development streams. Complicating its ecommerce management further, the website lacked self-service options for customers, resulting in the customer care team managing all queries across all channels.
Aspiring to deliver a frictionless, more-personalized online customer journey and streamline work processes, Hobbycraft turned to Astound Commerce as its mission-critical partner.
To support the scale of its ecommerce evolution, the Astound team migrated Hobbycraft’s complex website to an agile platform built on Salesforce Commerce Cloud, unifying the entire customer journey for a seamless omnichannel experience. Astound also implemented MuleSoft—a world-class platform for application programming interfaces (APIs), integration, and automation—for real-time visibility across different systems around products, prices, stores, customers, orders, inventory updates, and returns and exchanges. MuleSoft allowed for streamlined integration with the carrier management platform Sorted, enabling Hobbycraft to truly meet customer expectations at every point of the sales journey.
“Our exceptional ecommerce growth during lockdown made clear the importance of placing digital transformation at the heart of our multi-channel offering to ensure we have the right capabilities in place to support and grow the business. We chose to partner with Astound Commerce because of their unparalleled experience and knowledge, and they were a trusted partner in every way—working as an extension of our team and providing the highest levels of technical and delivery expertise.”
—Matt Louth, IT Director, Hobbycraft
With a modern, intelligent platform capable of adapting quickly to customer and industry demands while delivering exceptional online shopping experiences, Hobbycraft can now sustain its strong ecommerce growth as the company plans to expand its portfolio.