ACCO Brands Corporation is one of the world’s largest suppliers of business, consumer and academic products. Its leading brands in Europe include Leitz, Rexel, Nobo, Esselte, GBC and Rapid.

VML’s relationship with ACCO Brands EMEA dates back over a decade when we were awarded the ownership of their web platform ahead of a major product launch and the associated upsurge in traffic. The great success of this programme laid the foundation for a strong and mutually rewarding relationship that remains to this day.

Over the past three years, we have supported ACCO Brands with their strategic focus to evolve their websites from digital product catalogue-orientated sites to generate more value per lead for their channel partners through delivering increasing consumer focused online experiences on their brand site. ACCO Brands and VML Commerce achieved this with three major projects:

  1. We migrated from EPiServer Everweb to the Optimizely (aka EPiServer) Digital Experience Platform.
  2. We enhanced the site structure and navigation capabilities to provide enhanced merchandising capabilities and a product catalogue structure that could integrate content pages and release the navigation from ACCO Brands’ internal product hierarchy.
  3. We worked with ACCO Brands to enhance their UX capabilities, balancing the upcoming 2025 EU Accessibility legislation and ACCO Brands’ e-commerce conversion optimisation goals.


In 2020, we helped ACCO Brands take one of the most significant steps in its digital transformation journey. We migrated their entire digital estate from old, on-premises machines to the cloud-based Optimizely DXP environment. This was a natural progression for ACCO Brands as a longstanding Optimizely (aka EPiServer) customer since 2014, yet a project of significant magnitude given the legacy code base.

VML Commerce’s team had to analyse the existing, on-premises architecture and prepare a cloud-based solution. Due to the project's complexity, we had to reorganize entire applications and 3rd part software integrations – this was by no means an easy stretch! As a result, VML Commerce created a hybrid, Azure-based architecture. As a part of DXP migration, we also had to update CMS and Commerce versions to the latest ones.


Upon project completion, ACCO Brands immediately put DXP visitor group functionality to work to serve users acquired through paid channels optimised content. Within 12 months, ACCO Brands EMEA’s Where to Buy conversion click events improved by 32%.

UX project – A closer look

One of our recent, significant engagements concerned a UX project designed to improve both UX and Accessibility. This project was given the internal project name of "ABC" standing for Accessible, Bold and Consumer-Focused.

VML's UX team held workshops with ACCO Brands’ Online and Brand teams to agree on sites that would be used as inspiration and inform ACCO Brands’ project requirements. In addition, ACCO Brands insisted that we build for WCAG AA standards and refer all design decisions against the Baymard Institute's eCommerce best practice guides.

The UX project was delivered in three phases - Navigation, Category Pages and PDPs & CMS Blocks - to give the client team sufficient time to prepare content optimised for the new UX and tackle all SEO considerations. VML consulted with ACCO Brands’ in-house online team and Brand Communication and SEO agencies to ensure all parties could contribute to the project and align on project milestones.

Upon completion, ACCO Brands was delighted with the results:

  • Site health as measured by SEMRush had improved by an average of 10% across all countries.
  • All Baymard Institute eCommerce audits for selected best practice guidelines resulted in "Good" or "Perfect" results.
  • Organic Where to Buy click events, ACCO Brands’ primary conversion metric, improved by an average of 80% across EMEA.
As a lean inhouse team, we rely on VML Commerce to provide far more than developer man hours. VML is our trusted partner, providing the expertise and guidance necessary to ensure ACCO Brands EMEA stays ahead of our competitors and customer expectations. Our longstanding relationship of more than 10 years has stood strong throughout the integration of various online brand leaders, which have all benefited from the mutual trust and collaborative spirit between client and vendor. Our shift to orientate our brand websites for consumers through three major development projects over three years has resulted in our primary conversion metric improving by 80%. That’s outstanding!

Björn Barnard

Director for Online Strategy EMEA, ACCO Brands

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