Whistles and Phase Eight are unifying their web-based and store inventories and growing sales by deploying technology from the order management specialist, OneStock.
The fashion retail brands, part of the TFG Brands (London) group, have also been able to eradicate stock outs, optimise shipping costs and provide an enhanced in-store and online shopping experience for customers.
According to Guy Tambling, IT and e-commerce operations director at TFG Brands (London), OneStock’s solution has been transformative and enabled the business to make stock that’s available in stores available to the online customer.
The solution comes into its own at the end of each season when less stock is available in both the DC and in-stores and has therefore reduced the impact of mark downs and terminal stock.
Using OneStock, Whistles and Phase Eight are able to offer ship or click and collect from store. Uniquely, the process has been gamified with store staff at both chains incentivised to ‘claim’, pack and fulfil the online orders. Tambling said that greatly improved the customer experience.
A weather feed into the system is also imminent, which would enable Whistles and Phase Eight to service stock for online orders in the most efficient way and from the most relevant stores. A puffer jacket, for example, could be prioritised to be shipped from a southern-based store versus one in the north of England, where cooler temperatures may mean it might be more likely to sell.
A real-time solution, OneStock enables retailers to immediately update the system to report any out of stocks: whether an item is faulty, has been stolen or is a local mark down, for example.
Designed with store staff in mind, the system is configurable and user friendly and, because it is web browser-based, can be run on a range of devices.
Romulus Grigoras, founder and CEO of OneStock, revealed that making stock visible across all channels had driven sales by one third at Phase Eight.
According to Tambling, technology such as OneStock gives bricks and mortar stores more relevancy on what has become a struggling British high street. Stores are able to play a role fulfilling online orders, they provide halo advertising for the brand and are able to capture customer email addresses. Their success should be measured on broader metrics like these and not just EBITDA, Tambling said.
Phase Eight is also benefiting from a personal styling initiative, launched in collaboration with OneStock, which has provided £1m in incremental sales.
The solution uses an online booking system, to capture key customer requirements. The majority of appointments – 95% – are bridal as 70% of Phase Eight’s sales come from occasion wear but the service is also used for wardrobe updates.