Taking the Global Reins: the US Polo Association Takes its Style International with Contentful
Back in 1890 when the US Polo Association (USPA) was founded, Wyoming and Idaho were not even part of the country yet – it would take them 4 more months to be admitted in July.
The association is the official governing body of the sport of polo. But in addition, today, it sells branded sports apparel across 160 countries via more than 1,100 stores.
However, although it had a global audience, it had struggled to offer a website with global strength. “We needed to design and develop a website that could both speak to a global audience and offer localized information to our customers in various markets,” said Jose Nino, VP of global ecommerce and strategy at USPA Global Licensing.
The previous content management system of USPA was limited in its ability to stretch the brand globally and give support for local markets. A new content management system was necessary to forge a better connection with its customers and give them a more elevated digital experience.
After the US Polo Association enlisted the help of a customer experience agency, they set out to build a whole new international website, in addition to a handful of microsites, using a new and improved content management system, Contentful.
To get things kicked off, they first developed their British site so that it could localize content, such as news and events. After the successful update, a worldwide rollout quickly followed across all English-speaking countries like South Africa, Australia, and New Zealand and then later other markets in Latin America and Japan.
Its ambition was to elevate its websites across 100 countries in multiple languages in 2 years. One of the very first things to integrate on the list was the store location management system Yext. With a central database of customer access, the brand gets a whole view of their global customers wherever they are. So that when a customer enters their website in London, the site recognizes the location and only loads nearby stores in London.
Because apparel is seasonal and therefore region specific, they needed to build the capability to load content that is specific to the customer’s location.
On the US Polo Association’s global website there are 10 languages, yet it dives deeper into the specifics of language variation – for example there are 8 versions of English there to cater for regions including the UK, India, and South Africa; there are 2 versions of Arabic: for the UAE and Saudi Arabia; and there are 8 versions of Spanish that include versions for Mexico, Guatemala, and Colombia.
Through Contentful customers can get access to collection pages, video, news content, and interactive timelines as well as an integrated Instagram feed.
“When we initially purchased Contentful,” said Jose, “we thought there was no way we’d ever reach the bandwidth in their top tier package. Now we’re increasing bandwidth with Contentful’s Enterprise version to help address the additional traffic.”
This has meant a huge boost in traffic, engagement, and conversion rates.
With each month that goes by, the company has seen an increase in traffic month after month. On average, the new site gets around 10,000s of visitors every month and saw more than 100,000 unique visitors in the first 3-month period after launch. And in terms of engagement, the bounce rate dropped to around 15%.
“Our global digital site is one of our most ambitious undertakings to date as it supports our vision and execution towards a digital transformation,” said J. Michael Prince, president and CEO of USPAGL. “Our global brand footprint has expanded into 180 countries today and we want both consumers and sports fans to have a common place to learn more about our amazing brand and sport.
“We are in the process of achieving this monumental goal through the site rollout and other digital initiatives.”
In addition, “They recognize that we’re investing in the brand and also in our licensees by pushing traffic to their stores,” Jose added. “Very few global brands have a website like this, and it’s a wonder why when you consider the benefits to both brand and retailer.”
Today there are 6 sections for users when they come across their global website.
As you’d assume, this is where customers from around the world come to shop, where they’re one click away from their location’s ecommerce site.
- Store Locator
Here you will discover the closest stores to you out of the more than 1,100 retail stores where you can visit.
Here you can find the classic collections of seasonal US Polo Association stock, along with photos of global fashion trends.
You come here to get your fix of fashions news both internationally and locally – brand launches, photo shoots, fashion shows, etc.
Here visitors can read about the game of polo from its very beginnings to the launch of the Polo Association – all available via an interactive timeline.
- Women in Polo
Find the more inspiring stories of women in the sport from photos and news to profiles of female players.
PS: ArganoUV is one of the world’s leading Contentful development teams. Contact us to see how we can work together.