Retailer Chinese Laundry Moves to Omni Channel with Minimal Disruption
Businesses today are challenged to reach customers across a variety of platforms, including mobile devices, websites, and brick-and-mortar locations. With the added value retailers get from sites like Amazon and eBay, it’s more important than ever to find a way to manage it all. From 2013 to 2014, the number of people making purchases by smartphone increased from 59 percent to 71 percent, creating urgency for retailers to meet the demand for mobile e-commerce.
Clothing brand Chinese Laundry was well established in the clothing retail industry, but managing its channels was becoming increasingly more complicated. The company needed an e-commerce that encouraged conversions by directly reaching out to its increasing base of mobile device users. By working in partnership with Celerant Technology Corp., Chinese Laundry was able to achieve its goals in a very short timeframe.
Chinese Laundry was already using Celerant Command Retail in its stores when the company decided to choose a separate e-commerce platform. While the chosen software was considered among the best in its class, the retailer quickly found that its new e-commerce site provided an inadequate back-office interface. Instead of having more control over its website, Chinese Laundry actually had less control, finding it challenging to even make the smallest of changes to its site functionality.
Inventory control was also a problem with Chinese Laundry’s e-commerce solution. The retailer found that its e-commerce platform utilized batch-style integration with its inventory software, which led to delays in updating that could easily cause something to be sold twice. After nearly two years with this solutions provider, Chinese Laundry launched an RFP for an e-commerce solution that would better address its needs.
After viewing Chinese Laundry’s RFP, Celerant knew immediately it could provide exactly the solution the company needed. Working together, the two companies developed an e-commerce platform that was not only easy for customers to navigate, but easy for Chinese Laundry’s employees to update. Instead of having to dive into the application’s code to make changes, the retailer can now make updates through its administrative portal.
“With Celerant Command Retail powering all our retail channels, our inventory, selling, and pricing data is all available in one place,” says Scott Cohn, VP of e-commerce for Chinese Laundry. “This allows us to confidently utilize our entire inventory across locations and across channels to meet our customers’ needs.”
With the new system, Chinese Laundry can fulfill online orders from any of its locations to speed up delivery to customers. The company can also move product between its online store inventory and its brick-and-mortar locations based on customer demand. Because inventory is updated in real time, each employee can locate an item quickly and ensure an item is exactly where it needs to be when it needs to be there. Without an integrated system, Chinese Laundry found this was nearly impossible to accomplish.
When customers visit Chinese Laundry’s website, the navigation is intuitive, with easy direction toward the popular best sellers, new arrivals, and hot trends. The site’s search engine is also vastly improved, with results displayed in a list that can be easily filtered on multiple variables. This new search feature has led to an increase in conversions, since customers can now easily locate the items they want.
On the back end, the new site provides better manageability for Chinese Laundry employees. Both the e-commerce and merchandising teams can quickly update the site’s navigation in response to shifting demands. Because of the seamlessness of the new inventory system, Chinese Laundry estimates it has improved efficiency by 15 percent.
Chinese Laundry began seeing results almost immediately after launching its improved e-commerce site. Since implementation, the company has seen an 80 percent increase in revenue in its mobile efforts, thanks to its multi-channel approach. If a customer finds an item isn’t available in a store, often she can be redirected to Chinese Laundry’s website, where the item can be ordered directly from a smartphone and shipped either to the store or the customer’s house.
As customers experience the convenience of shopping with businesses like Chinese Laundry, they’ll grow to expect the same omni-channel approach from every retailer. This will put pressure on businesses in all industries to provide a seamless customer experience or risk being left behind.
About Celerant Technology
Celerant Technology, a privately held Corporation, provides seamless multi-channel solutions to retailers across all industries As a mid-market retail system leader, Celerant provides solutions and expert advice to continually accelerate retail growth. A multifaceted award winning company, Celerant prides itself in the quality of its products, the capacity of its service, and remains the true multi-channel software provider. For more information regarding Celerant’s system, Command Retail, go to www.celerant.com.