July 2, 2018 // By Magenic
This article is republished from the Orange County Business Journal which can be found here.
A digital transformation and IT overhaul launched five years ago helped Arbonne International LLC move from a stagnant retailer to a coveted takeover target.
Its nearly $3 billion sale in February to Paris-based Groupe Rocher punctuated the makeover.
“That was definitely a factor,” said Chief Information Officer Guy Thier of the update. He was hired by the Irvine-based company to lead the multimillion-dollar initiative designed to boost sales and global expansion.
The Groupe Rocher buy included sister company and personal care brand Nature’s Gate from holding company Natural Products Group, whose ownership includes New York-based private equity firm Eos Partners LP.
When Their arrived in 2014 from what was Bally Total Fitness, system and website crashes were a weekly concern at the direct-sale beauty and nutrition company, particularly during peak demand in the final hours of the month, when consultants seek to reach sales quotas and transaction volume increases tenfold.
Arbonne makes and distributes products from several U.S. locations and sells via network marketing, or independent beauty consultants.
The consultants, who sell via hosted parties and social media, would be closed out of the outdated system while customers walked away and took their business elsewhere. The company was losing 10% to 30% in sales during peak days and couldn’t expand sales beyond its posts in North America, the United Kingdom and Australia.
“There hadn’t been an international expansion for six years,” Thier said.
He and the IT team took nine months to stabilize the e-commerce platform and eliminate crashes.
Arbonne enlisted the help of Minneapolis-based Magenic Inc. to improve user experience and provide technical integration within and between the company’s core transaction and data systems.
“Magenic and Arbonne have paved the way with advances for Arbonne’s wide network of consultants with mobile buying features, better usability for web experiences, and expansion to new geographies across the globe,” said Gus Tepper, client solutions manager at Magenic’s Irvine office.
Updated features include cart preloading, “buy it all” product bundle options, and streamlined web and mobile updates to simplify consultant transaction time.
Magenic, which still handles some day-to-day Arbonne operations, project planning and execution, led web and mobile application development; web services integration; data and analytics reporting; and research and development projects, such as Alexa voice-assist.
Arbonne’s new retail system launched in 2015, and the company worked out bugs over the following nine months to ensure international expansion wouldn’t be disrupted. Product and operation launches in New Zealand, Poland and Thailand went off without a hitch.