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Lionel roars into omnichannel

BY Dan Berthiaume

Lionel LLC has been making and selling model trains for 115 years, but that doesn’t mean the company is behind the times. Lionel is using NetSuite NetCommerce to run its end-to-end omnichannel commerce business.

The implementation, which only took four months, powers the company’s consumer-facing e-commerce websites for its Lionel Trains and Lionel Racing brands, call center, inventory management, order management, marketing, customer support and financials.

With two different brands previously running on multiple, separate e-commerce sites, the company endured challenges conducting business with consumers and retail partners. The sites were not fully integrated with their back office systems, which forced Lionel to perform time-consuming batch processing and dual system updates to perform simple tasks like price changes. This resulted in inaccurate inventory data and negative customer experiences.

Since 2011, Lionel had relied on NetSuite for its financials, inventory and order management. Now the company also uses NetSuite’s unified omnichannel commerce platform to support the company’s growth while getting deeper insight into customer, sales and inventory data. [pb]

The move to a unified, omnichannel commerce platform with SuiteCommerce has given Lionel the ability to deliver branded, highly personalized shopping experiences including video and image zooms. The company can also deliver an optimized mobile commerce experience, as well as perform dynamic merchandising and quickly and easily list new products.

Other benefits include customers being able to track their own order status, purchase history, service and return requests. Staff and shoppers can have access to live data including customer, order and inventory status across all channels.

“SuiteCommerce eliminated all of the challenges of trying to connect our systems,” said Rick Gemereth, Lionel’s VP of IT and operations. “We now run on one unified commerce platform in the cloud, making us more efficient, more agile and better able to respond to the needs of our customers. With NetSuite, true inventory visibility across the entire organization allows us to keep up with the demands of our customers and retail partners. Plus, the entire user experience is far superior on our ecommerce websites.”

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