Industry Eye: Case Study - Turning Wine Into Sales
"It was very hard to navigate the site, or even find things you were interested in," Smith says. "Now we have a print-friendly view of any sort of results page pretty much everywhere on the site. Not many of our competitors have that. We're trying to go to the opposite extreme."
Maintaining accurate inventory proved challenging for Woodland Hills' previous site. It contains thousands of SKUs, but in many cases, only a couple of bottles per SKU. What's more, a good portion of the inventory is prearrival, which the company doesn't have in stock but ships on arrival in the near future.
With its former website not synced to its inventory system, customers ordered bottles online only to be told later that the item wasn't in stock. This got so bad that 30 percent of all online orders had to be canceled or reduced.
"Woodland Hills' business is very unique," says Igor Gorin, CEO of SysIQ. "It has a small quantity of great wine, which goes very quickly. So issues with inventory updates prevented people from being able to know what they were ordering. It was creating problems with their customers, who felt its website didn't bring any value. They were better off calling the company directly on the phone rather than going online to place an order and then learning that the item was no longer available."
To address this issue, Woodland Hills customized its back-end inventory system to allocate a different SKU number to every vintage of the same wine. And now each SKU's inventory status is updated and posted online in real time. The solution seems to be working: Smith now estimates Woodland Hills' inventory accuracy at 97 percent.