Can evolving commerce channels transform business outcomes?
Carrier Residential is an industry leader in intelligent home heating and cooling solutions, and life-saving products including smoke and carbon monoxide alarms. Building on a bold history of innovative strategy, Carrier Residential set out to build a new, direct-to-homeowner and direct-to-contractor e-commerce presence. This digitized approach of direct-to-homeowner and direct-to-contractor are new to Carrier e-commerce models. However, with increased market pressures to grow and the desire to improve the current contractors’ experience, the time for a commerce transformation was right. Carrier redesigned their distribution strategy and put customers, dealers and distributors at the heart of a customer-centric distribution model that was also current with the trends in the market. The company then set out to establish these new market channels and had the goal to do so rapidly.
Bold goals drive even bolder transformations
Carrier leveraged EY-Shopify’s global partnership, which was ready to enable the next evolution of Carrier’s online commerce ambitions. Together, the collaboration struck a differentiated offering by pairing the EY global end-to-end integration capabilities with Shopify’s rapidly deployable and easily customizable platform to deliver a compelling e-commerce transformation.
Pairing the right insight with the right platform
Every e-commerce transformation requires a functional, holistic team that understands how to solve business problems and operationalize new market channels. This is essential to successfully navigate the layers of intricacy between an enterprise’s customer experiences, distribution networks and operating models. This was especially true for Carrier — a multinational organization with complex market demands across multiple countries, customer groups and distribution channels. Carrier required a transformation team with the right mix of sector-specific capability to cut through these increasingly interconnected intricacies.
By quickly connecting cross-border resources that spanned business model reinvention, digital transformation and go-to-market strategy, the EY organization designed Carrier’s first-ever direct-to-homeowner and direct-to-contractor e-commerce solution with the goal of presenting a complex ecosystem in a single, streamlined digital experience. This solution innovates to find new ways to connect with end users and add business value, complementing the traditional revenue channels.
Taking a holistic approach to transform for the better
With a new e-commerce strategy, distribution model and customer experience in place, the EY team moved to build a holistic e-commerce solution that was repeatable across new market channels. This solution was important to Carrier because it helped integrate over 500 distributor locations to fulfil orders across homeowner and contractor channels. This solution allowed for speed to market, and minimal risk to core operations. Leveraging our knowledge of Carrier Residential’s business, the EY organization prioritized cost effectiveness, scalability and ease of customization. Shopify’s lower cost of development, readily available store layout recommendations, pre-built applications and data templates removed roadblocks for Carrier that are commonly faced in enterprise e-commerce transformation.
Think long-term, but execute fast
Throughout development, EY teams accounted for several internal systems and data migration needs across Carrier Residential’s order creation, product and customer management technology. We integrated over 500 distributor locations to fulfil orders across the homeowner and contractor channels, including complex integration systems across cloud service platforms. Harnessing the power of our technical talent, the EY organization built automations connecting to the Shopify platform that enabled automated, seamless processes to launch six storefronts in six months, working at a pace of two months per store. This created a differentiated, integrated solution that streamlined operations and drove seamless functionality across all of Carrier Residential’s systems.
The solution also allows Carrier Residential’s non-IT business units to easily adapt storefronts based on market changes. Its agility lets Carrier Residential adapt their storefront immediately to match customer demands.
“The power of EY and Shopify together is in our ability to work strategically with clients to satisfy the demand for e-commerce transformation with out-of-the-box solutions,” says Gaurav Kohli, EY Digital Leader and Engagement Partner at Carrier. “In today’s world, business success hinges on embracing digitalization and technology. EY is ready to meet businesses where they’re at and to map a path into the digital future,” he adds.
Achieving results that tee up future success
The EY enterprise-ready solution launched in the market with unprecedented speed and an exceptional customer experience for both homeowners and contractors.
Homeowners can now purchase healthy air products online, driving improved customer experiences and net-new revenue growth. In the existing B2B channels, order fulfilment cycle time decreased from 14 days to three days and sales increased 40% year-over-year.
What’s more, this solution was implemented without significantly disrupting the core business. In the words of Gundeep Singh, Executive Director and CIO, Carrier RLCS: “Working with EY, we successfully launched our new e-commerce channels with low risk and little impact to our core business. EY built and deployed a scalable, flexible Shopify solution that allowed us to enter new markets. This work helped us redefine what we can achieve for many years to come.”
Because the solution is adaptable, Carrier can continue to evolve e-commerce channels in line with changing homeowner and contractor expectations, needs and demands over time. That’s a powerful proposition for an organization that’s built its brand around seamless customer experiences in a crowded marketplace.
The inherent flexibility also represents a wealth of future possibility. As new market opportunities emerge, Carrier will be able to build on the existing framework to expand its e-commerce presence strategically and quickly. The right e-commerce foundation doesn’t just empower the business today. It opens up routes to sustainable growth, new market segments, and greater business resilience.
All of this counts for a great deal in a market that demands agility, and the ability to be flexible not just year over year, but day over day.
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