Increasing the pace of technology for Wiggle


Online retailer Wiggle serves the highly competitive market of outdoor sports, selling equipment and products to those with an interest in cycling, running, swimming and triathlon. 


With a growing number of rivals and a highly demanding audience Wiggle were looking for someone to increase the pace of technology development within the business and improve customer service. 

By working with the Wiggle executive team the challenge was to create a ‘customer obsessed’ organisation that focused relentlessly on understanding the needs of it’s customers and then serving them tirelessly.


The project with Wiggle saw our team lead a complete transformation of the customer facing and back end process technologies. This included: 


  • The development of a new platform for Wiggle on the Microsoft .Net platform and integration of the Endecca search tool, allowing customers to rapidly discover the items they are looking for. In the warehouse and supply chain of Wiggle we identified and implemented new carrier, warehouse and merchandise management systems – all of which streamlined the business processes.  


  • Introducing ‘Agile and Lean’ working methods for the all-important web shop that would enable Wiggle to deploy code to its services every fortnight. As a result the internal teams responsible for the online experience have the freedom to innovate on a regular basis. 


  • A global commerce platform was created that allowed local differences in language, currency, key content, differentiated products, domains, delivery options and payment options. 


  • Focusing on creating a high performing transactional digital platform which saw a huge increase in converting customer visits to orders. Success here has been put down to the addition of numerous improvements and enhancements including video, apps, streamlined customer journey, frictionless checkout, better product information, better search, dynamic content. 


  • Improving CRM and personalisation which meant that customers could be segmented. Once identified, customers could then receive very targeted marketing while website personalisation meant that a much more personalised shopping experience would occur, so if you’re a cyclist you don’t want to see swimwear and if you’re a swimmer you don’t want to see bicycle helmets! 


  • Leading the investment in back end solutions (including Oracle) which were designed to:            

– Digitise the stock pick, pack and dispatch process in the distribution centre. This created efficiencies and improved the customer proposition, as well as allowed migration to a larger warehouse in Wolverhampton which would maximise the capacity for growth. 

– Better manage suppliers, inventory and cost of goods, in turn reducing working capital costs. 

– Improve finance and procurement by providing greater financial control, control around spending and better data for greater insight and action based on that data.


In addition to the highlights mentioned above under ‘solution’ as a result of technology change Wiggle’s online business increased dramatically, which enabled the acquisition of major rival Chain Reaction Cycles. Equally impressive is that thanks to the business change programme that was delivered Wiggle has the ability to deliver a product of any size from the UK to Australia in just 40 hours. 

Wiggle’s sales grew from £100m to £500m through organic and acquisition. This was achieved by creating a high performing digital platform that got better and better every month at turning visits into paid for orders and created efficient and scalable back and middle office processes – in particular around inventory processing and management.

This project was an example of a good relationship between the technology and the many different departments and teams that make Wiggle the successful business that it is today. 

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