Online Retail Today
Customer Fulfillment is Key to Building a Top-Shelf Furniture Company

Customer Fulfillment is Key to Building a Top-Shelf Furniture Company

Started in 1995, OFM has evolved into one of the country’s leading sellers of office furniture for general businesses, schools, government offices and hospitals.

Blessed with an eye for spotting elegantly designed, high-quality furniture, the Zalcberg family has sustained an unwavering commitment to delivering unrivaled value to their customers, offering top quality office furniture at affordable prices along with high-touch customer service.

Headquartered in Holly Springs, NC, the company has since grown to more than 35 employees, including Blake Zalcberg, who started out filing papers in the back office at age 12 and currently serves as the company’s CEO. Today, OFM has distribution facilities in Raleigh, North Carolina and Phoenix, Arizona along with a large network of online and offline retail fulfillers, including Officefurniture.com, Wayfair and Office Depot.

It was OFM’s keen appreciation for shipping and fulfillment that first led them to consider Kibo. “We wanted to help our customers locate the products they want more quickly and easily right from our website,” says Bob Poe, OFM Online Channel Partner Sales Manager. “Since we sell to businesses, we understand that our customers don’t have a lot of time to spare.”

Kibo’s distributed order management platform enables OFM’s customers to locate and purchase products directly on OFM’s website, which is where many of their customers begin their purchase journey. Those orders, in turn, are routed to local dealers for fast and convenient fulfillment.

Because Kibo offers a flexible and affordable cloud-based solution, OFM was able to implement the solution in a few short months. This means they could start capturing and routing more sales right away.

“Business has been great,” says Bob. “Our end customers are even more delighted with the sales experience, and our dealers have even more incentive to stock our inventory.”

Since launching with Kibo a little over a year ago, OFM has been passing nearly 100% of their orders to their fulfillers, which has resulted in more revenue for their dealers along with improved stocking habits. And their GMV has been growing steadily since January, with June shaping up to be their best month this year.

So what’s next for OFM?

“We’re always searching for new items to help our customers create a comfortable and productive work environment,” says Bob. “Right now, we’re selling more products for an open floor plan. As for what comes next, we are constantly evolving and we’ll be poised to meet any trend head on with the best office furnishings on the market.”

To learn more about how Kibo can help you deliver a great customer experience through seamless order management and fulfillment capabilities, check out our manufacturer solutions.

How Retailers Are Increasing Foot Traffic in an Omni-Channel Retail World

How Retailers Are Increasing Foot Traffic in an Omni-Channel Retail World

Given the accelerating pace of technology innovation, consumers have more purchasing options than ever before — in-store, online, mobile, overnight shipping and ship-from-store, to name a few. And with these options, retailers are facing new challenges each day.

One major challenge is maintaining in-store foot traffic in an omni-channel marketplace. Many consumers are skipping a trip to the store and turning, instead, to their smartphones and tablets. In turn, retailers are being forced to devise more creative strategies to get customers in the door.

So, how can retailers increase in-store foot traffic in an age of avid online shopping?

It’s all about convenience.
If you’re a retailer, spend a day in the shoes of a customer. Would you rather sort through racks of clothing looking for the right color, size and style, or simply enter your desired product descriptors into an online search bar and have exact results in less than a minute?

When it comes to brick and mortar, retailers must provide the same seamless shopping journey that customers have grown accustomed to experiencing online. This means you need to make it easy for them to find the products they want. Some enterprising retailers have implemented creative merchandising strategies to meet shifting demands. Charming Charlie, for instance, now shelves products by color to improve customer convenience.

Other forward-thinking retailers are leveraging technology to connect online and offline shopping. Retail giant Macy’s, for example, has added life-sized digital displays with interactive touch-screens to its stores, allowing customers to find the products they want more quickly and easily. These displays seamlessly integrate with mobile shopping experiences that include in-store maps and special promotions.

Smaller stores, such as Hointer in Seattle, are also taking steps to combine the convenience of online shopping with the experience of shopping in store. The Hointer beta store makes it easy for men to shop with the help of their smartphones. Hointer displays one of each item, rather than piles of different colors and sizes. Shoppers can scan the item on their smartphone, select a size and color and find the item waiting for them at a dressing room in less than a minute. If they don’t like the item, it is removed from their online shopping cart. Oh, and there’s no need for checkout. The customer keeps the items they want and checkout is completed through an app upon exiting the store.

But don’t forget the experience.
While convenience is a major factor in increasing foot traffic, retailers shouldn’t forget about the timeless benefits of the in-store experience.

Consumers still have a decided preference for physically engaging with products and like to get assistance from sales associates. In fact, 61% of consumers still value asking sales associates for information, and 69% expect sales associates to be armed with a mobile device (Forrester). Equipping associates with mobile devices not only allows them to stay up-to-date on product information, but also enables them to offer promotions, view real-time inventory visibility and ring up sales without need of a cash register, culminating in a seamless customer experience.

In order to keep today’s technology savvy customers coming back for more in store, the key is to make the journey more enjoyable and convenient.

5 Ways Real-Time Inventory Data Improves In-Store Merchandising

Improve In-Store Merchandising with Real-Time Inventory Data

With the dizzying array of shopping choices and channels, finding products is as easy as clicking a button. But if your customers don’t find the products they want, they’ll move on quicker than you can type “Amazon.”

To avoid losing a sale, not to mention a customer, retailers must make smart merchandising decisions to connect customers with the products they want over the channels they prefer, before they look elsewhere. Still, the questions of what to stock, how much to stock, and which promotions to offer continue to grow more complex as retailers integrate online and offline channels. By accessing and analyzing real-time inventory data, retailers can gain a competitive advantage and improve in-store merchandising and sales like never before.

So how can you get real-time inventory data? Leading retailers are turning to cloud-based platforms, like Kibo, to enable streamlined, up-to-date inventory visibility and insights. Unlike on-premise platforms, our flexible APIs enable easy and cost-effective implementation to get you up and running at the speed of market.

Here are five ways real-time inventory can help you improve in-store merchandising:

  1. Out-of-stock no more. With real-time inventory visibility, you can spend less time worrying about stock-out scenarios, and more time focusing on your customers. Why? Because your inventory is always accurate and up-to-date across all channels. And if a consumer is unable to purchase a desired item online, you can easily direct them to the nearest local store that has the item in stock.
  2. Improve product pricing. By comparing real-time product search results to sales results, you can evaluate the viability of your current pricing model. If customers are searching for a particular product in droves, yet conversion rates are low, you’ll know it’s time to revisit your product pricing strategy.
  3. Always trending. Stop playing stocking guessing games! Gain a better understanding of customer shopping habits by analyzing what products are selling best, when and where.
  4. Promote this! Improve ROI on targeted promotions by viewing real-time information on product searches. With data-supported insights, retailers can offer geo-targeted deals tailored to customer segments, including mobile and social promotions.
  5. Happy customers, healthy revenue. Satisfied customers go hand-in-hand with a successful retail business. Customers today have high expectations and demand seamless, simple shopping experiences. With inventory visibility, shoppers can quickly find the products they want in the locations they prefer. And that means you win the sale.

When all is said and done, inventory visibility opens the door for you to better purchasing, pricing and promotion decisions, resulting in improved profitability.

Imagine a retail space where the answers to all your inventory and merchandising questions are right at your fingertips. Kibo gives you the tools to provide your customers with a streamlined omni-channel shopping experience along with the actionable insights you need to optimize in-store merchandising, inventory and stocking.

Check out our long list of our Omnichannel Resources to learn how you can partner with Kibo to drive more more traffic and sales across online and offline channels.