TECHNOLOGY

Cloud-based platform puts Jonathan Adler on fast track

BY Deena M. Amato-McCoy

A home furnishings brand is in rapid expansion mode — something that wasn’t possible five years ago.

Through the use of Oracle’s NetSuite platform, Jonathan Adler has increased the number of its company-run retail stores from 18 to 26, including two in the U.K. grown its e-commerce site, and expanded its SKU volume from 12,000 to 33,000. The company has also increased its retail partners from 500 to more than 1,000 across 30 countries, including such top names as Neiman Marcus, Bloomingdale's, Harrod's and Saks Fifth Avenue.

The brand credits this upward expansion — which has occurred over the last five years — to the adoption of Oracle’s cloud-based platform. This unified foundation integrates accounting, order management, inventory management and order processing – key elements in customer-centric omnichannel retail operations and B2B distribution.

The architecture replaces disparate, inefficient software systems that offered limited visibility into the business, and supported manual data management and reporting — factors that contributed to a fragmented environment. Worse, the outdated systems couldn’t be upgraded without significant spending and business disruption.

These issues pushed the company to search for an agile, scalable platform that would support its expansion plans, and keep mission-critical information centralized in one place. Specifically, NetSuite feeds nightly catalog updates to Jonathan Adler's e-commerce site, while the marketing platform triggers and delivers timely, personalized communications to customers and fans.

The centralized platform also enables Jonathan Adler to set up new stores within hours, unlike the previous scenario that required weeks of provisioning on-premise software and systems, according to the company.

"NetSuite has made us smarter, faster and more capable," said Damen Seminero, Jonathan Adler’s CTO.

“It is our central nervous system and the single data source for our financials, inventory and customers," he added. "NetSuite has taken us from guesswork to having real-time numbers and information in one location, and there's no greater benefit than that. It has allowed us to grow and add new locations without ever pausing.”

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TECHNOLOGY

Online giant now owns a 3D body scanning startup

BY Deena M. Amato-McCoy

Amazon’s newest acquisition could give a boost to the company’s fashion category — including its growing private-label apparel business.

The online giant has acquired Body Labs, a 3D scanning platform that uses artificial intelligence, computer vision, and body modeling to accurately create an avatar-like image of a customer’s dimensions. The 3D platform provider announced the news on its website.

While Body Labs declined to share details about the transaction, the deal is anticipated to be between $50 million and $70 million, according to TechCrunch, which initially broke the story.

The digital platform captures 3D body motions and shapes, and models can be applied to numerous industries, including gaming and apparel, according to Body Labs’ website. This is a natural fit for Amazon, as it could streamline how online shoppers virtually try on clothes prior to making a purchase, as well as reduce merchandise returns.

For example, Amazon continues to roll out new private label lines across men’s, women’s and children’s apparel, men’s and women’s shoes, lingerie and underwear categories. The company also operates its “try before you buy” Prime Wardrobe service — a subscription-based program that enables Prime members to order (and try on) from three to 15 items of clothing before they actually buy any of the items.

By integrating 3D modeling across both categories, more accurate fittings supported by Body Labs could reduce the rate of returned merchandise — as well as operating costs associated with excess returns, according to TechCrunch.

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Survey: Retailers are missing out on a big opportunity

BY Marianne Wilson

For all the buzz about buy-online-pickup-in-store, not that many retailers are actually deploying the service.

Only 29.1% of U.S. retailers and 23.5% of Canadian retailers offer click &amp collect, according to a report by OrderDynamics, which notes that both countries are still in the very early phase of click and collect deployments. Of the more than 1,000 global retailers surveyed, 37% overall offer shoppers the option to buy online and pickup in store. The biggest adoption rate is in the U.K., where 67% of retailers offer the service.

Surprisingly, a large number of retailers with click and collect capabilities do not advertise this offering to customers, the study found. The U.S. was worst at advertising in-store pickup offerings, with only 38.5% of retailers with BOPIS alerting customers about the offering on their first webpage.

The study notes the importance of offering in-store pickups given that, in 58% of cases, it results in additional sales and is a way to keep shoppers coming back. It also recommends that retailers consider more than one pickup option for click and collect. Of over one thousand retailers in this study, Walmart stands as one of very few to offer four pickup options (in-store, pickup lockers, curb-side pickup, and postal outlet collection).

The Global Dynamics Omni-1000 report reveals the global and regional maturity, or lack thereof of a wide variety of omnichannel retail features. In other findings from the report:

  • More retailers offer free shipping in North America (with a minimum order_ than the other regions surveyed. Seventy-five percent of Canadian retailers offer the service followed by 67% of U.S. retailers.
  • Among the countries in the study, the U.S. and Canada show the lowest average minimum order for free shipping. The minimum basket for free shipping in the U.S. is $55.65, and $56.66 in Canada.
  • Retail chains with more than 250 stores are twice as likely as chains made up of 10-50 stores to offer click and collect services.
  • An overwhelming majority (90%) of retailers have standard e-commerce capabilities, such as the ability for shoppers to create a virtual shopping basket and purchase goods online.
  • Sixty-eight percent provide basic inventory visibility to online consumers.
  • Fifty-nine percent of retailers allow shoppers to buy online and return in-store.

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M.Vecht says:
Oct-05-2017 10:21 am

Interesting article, but what is the source of this survey? When was it done, by whom, how many respondents, etc.?

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