TECHNOLOGY

Specialty retailer makes waves with commitment to unified commerce

BY Deena M. Amato-McCoy

Everything But Water is dipping its toe into the “connected commerce” waters.

The swimwear and resort wear retailer has experienced a significant level of growth over the last decade — both in the number stores it operates, as well as the growth of its digital business. However, both factors began taking a toll on the company’s retail systems — as well as the retailer’s ability to bridge its shopping experience cross-channel.

These issues were further exacerbated by consumers’ increasing demand for a unified experience. Regardless of whether they interact with Everything But Water’s brick-and-mortar stores, online or contact center, “customers expect a positive and consistent brand experience during each visit — but we needed a catalyst that encouraged our customers to make a purchase,” said Everything But Water CEO, Randall Blumenthal. “To make that happen, we needed to the right technology in place.”

When considering a partner to help them along their journey, Blumenthal wanted to work with a company that could help it transition away from its aging legacy solutions, and toward managed services available in the cloud. The ideal technology provider would also deliver modernized, scalable solutions that could support stronger customer engagement, personalized experiences and improved fulfillment.

The retailer joined forces with Manhattan Associates, and began deploying the company’s Manhattan Scale solution, a move that upgraded the company’s warehouse management operations and fully automated its distribution center.

“This gave us the structure we needed to future-proof our operation,” Blumenthal said. “Cloud-based solutions also gives us the alternatives needed to maintain our edge in the marketplace.”

Looking ahead, Everything But Water plans to deploy the technology provider’s Manhattan Active Omni solution to fuse order management and store fulfillment applications, next-generation point-of-sale and clienteling applications onto a single platform. This step will give store associates a 360-degree view of customer information, and access to the company’s full network of inventory.

As a result, the retailer will be able to deliver personalized “buy anywhere, ship anywhere” service to shoppers across any touchpoint, Blumenthal explained.

The cloud-based platform will also enable the company to quickly deploy this additional functionality with little downtime. However, Everything But Water is in no rush.

“While we want to move as quickly as possible, we need to maintain a pace that makes sense for the business and still keeps us competitive,” Blumenthal said, adding that these new capabilities will be ramped up throughout 2018 and 2019.

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