Kibo’s Flexible Order Management Empowered Laura Canada
By leaning on Kibo’s technology, Laura Canada was able to dramatically increase sales and deliver a seamless end-to-end experience to customers
Benefits of Partnering with Kibo
Increase In Revenue
No. Of Stores It Started Fulfillment From
Increase In Online Sales
As of today, Laura Canada, the popular Canadian women’s fashion retailer, has more than 150 stores across the country and a large eCommerce presence. But several years ago, the company had a very small team that was hampered by rigid technology, processes and a lack of flexibility over the order lifecycle. Subsequently, Marco Nobert, VP of CRM, Digital Marketing, eCommerce was hired to reinvigorate the company’s commerce approach, with a focus on delivering a seamless end-to-end experience for customers.
Laura Canada wanted an omnichannel operation that was efficient and offered a smooth customer experience both online and off. To do so, Marco and his team set out to find technology partners that would help Laura Canada meet this challenge, and that would offer the flexibility needed to grow over time. After some vendor vetting, Laura Canada selected Kibo to create an order management system architected on AWS that leveraged both distribution centers and in-store shipping.
Kibo’s unified commerce technology proved to be particularly valuable to Laura Canada during the onset of COVID-19 in March 2020. Marco’s team had the flexibility to reassign stores as warehouses, and to modify them further into hybrid fulfillment centers as stores began to reopen. This has allowed the company to ensure relatively smooth order management throughout the different stages of the crisis, backed by cloud infrastructure that has made Laura Canada’s online operations scalable, secure, and always available.
“Kibo is a big part of our success. By opening up inventory from stores, they helped us generate an extra 25% in revenue.”
“Those are sales that otherwise wouldn’t have been made because that inventory wouldn’t have been available to eCommerce customers.”
Laura Canada tends to have low-depth inventory, which means that a single store or distribution center does not have a large amount of inventory across available sizes and styles. What’s more Laura Canada was having to operate without a fully resourced ecommerce team.
In order to support online and in-store customers across Canada, the women’s fashion retailer needed to be able to configure shipping and fulfillment options that would quickly and easily get the right item to the right customer, no matter where they were.
After a careful search, Laura Canada selected Kibo as the company’s trusted order management system. Marco’s team worked with the Kibo team to quickly enable ship-from-store after bringing the technology on board. He was then able to train store associates to use Kibo and ship goods in a timely manner: if an order wasn’t fulfilled within 48 hours, store managers would get a report for a pending order. “Kibo offered the modern, flexible order management technology we needed to sell inventory across all of our stores and distribution centers until we didn’t have any inventory left,” said Marco Nobert. In addition to upgrading technologies in their stack, the retailer made other strategic changes to create added flexibility and efficiency. They started shooting product creative in-house so that adding new products to their site took less time. And they also hired copywriters and other staff that would be able to support eCommerce operations more effectively. With new readily-available assets, and Kibo (and cloud-hosting) integrated into their stack, Laura Canada had what they needed to scale Laura Canada had what they needed to scale eCommerce significantly and remain agile.
“Kibo offered the modern, flexible order management technology we needed to sell inventory across all of our stores and distribution centers until we didn’t have any inventory left.”
Prepared for Uncertainty
The team’s foresight and careful planning ensured that the company was well-positioned when store closures happened in March. Given COVID, the retailer wanted to prioritize the safety of their employees and customers, but also needed to ensure that they could still manage and fulfill online orders.
Similarly, when Laura Canada decided to reopen in June, they were able to adjust how they fulfilled their ecommerce orders yet again. The traffic in stores was low, as people were still afraid to go to stores and malls. So the retailer changed their fulfillment strategy, fulfilling orders from their different store locations, diverting orders away from their central distribution center. This flexibility allowed Laura Canada to take pressure off the center, which was also tasked with taking in new products and managing inventory that needed to go to each store.
By using stores to fulfill orders, Laura Canada was not only able to save on shipping costs, it was able to fulfill orders more quickly as well.
The team sees options such as ship-to-store and buy online, pickup in-store (BOPIS) as valuable fulfillment additions, and is working with Kibo to launch them in the coming months. Laura Canada’s inventory model now ensures that items are distributed across the country, and so ship-to-store offers a convenient way for the retailer to get products into a customer’s hands.
For example, if a customer orders three items online, but one is only available in a store a few hours away, ship-to-store would allow the customer to have Laura Canada consolidate the items at the closest store so they can get everything in one place. This convenient option can also be easily converted to ship-to-home. In that way, Kibo makes the behind-the-scenes logistics easy, so that it’s cost-effective for Laura Canada. Similarly, the customer gets what they want, when and where they want it, creating a win-win for all sides.
This is one example of the many strategies Laura Canada is enabling through Kibo in order to drive efficiency and better customer experience.
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