The SurfStitch Group is making a big change to its regional ecommerce businesses.
The company is consolidating its Australia-based SurfStitch site, UK-based Surfdome and U.S.-based Swell under the Swell name.
The plan is to create one global website with multi-lingual and multi-currency capabilities that covers surf, skate, street and snow, apparel, footwear, accessories and hardgoods.
The company envisions the change will increase its global reach and lead to lots of cost savings and synergies in the future.
Its new content websites, Stab Magazine and Magicseaweed, will use their content to funnel potential customers to the Swell ecommerce site, a strategy SurfStitch plans to ramp up in the current fiscal year. The company has found that customers that come from the content sites visit more frequently and spend more money.
SurfStitch also believes that the further integration of content and commerce will be attractive to industry brands because SurfStitch will be able to provide concrete ROI to brands on their marketing spend.
Executives did not explain on an earnings conference call why they chose the Swell name to consolidate under. We followed up via email with co-founder Lex Pedersen, who said:
"The strategy has little to do with past revenue and all to do with the creation of a premium, global surf destination. More details to come on the strategic shift away from being a pure commerce model to an experience-led ecosystem as we bring together all divisions of our business.”
Swell is by far the smallest piece of the global business, accounting for 15% of global revenue in Fiscal 2015.
Surfdome, by contrast, accounted for 44% of revenue and SurfStitch, 42%.
Swell has also drawn the ire of core stores and even some brands in the past because of frequent discounting, something SurfStitch says it is working to change.
For the year, North America, where Swell is based, grew 17% to AUD $29.1 million. Europe grew 22% to AUD $87.3 million, and Asia Pacific grew 44% to AUD $82.9 million.
SurfStitch executives said they are also looking for new content sites to buy because they believe an integrated content and commerce strategy is the key to future success.