Wisteria Leverages Single Commerce Platform for More Efficient Inventory and Order Management
For Wisteria, an omnichannel retailer of distinctive home furnishings and accessories, sales growth has come easier than for a lot of other brands. The company has consistently grown revenue since its founding in 2000. Last year, for example, saw revenue increase 25 percent. What was missing — at least to Wisteria's standards — was profitability. To help in that area, Wisteria has partnered with NetSuite to deploy the software provider's SuiteCommerce and POS solutions in an effort to become a more efficient (and profitable) organization.
In an interview at NetSuite's SuiteWorld in San Jose, Calif. yesterday, Wisteria's Peter Yan, senior vice president, chief financial officer, and Joe Clark, vice president of merchandising, discussed how a single platform for ERP, e-commerce, POS, order management and CRM would help the brand gain a single view of its customers across all channels. Wisteria sells its products via catalogs (a new catalog is mailed each month), an e-commerce site and a brick-and-mortar store in its home market of Dallas. In addition to gaining a single view of the customer, which will help with front-end marketing strategies, the single solution from NetSuite will help Wisteria become more efficient with inventory and order management.
We've been plagued by inventory inaccuracies, Yan said, noting that Wisteria lost significant revenue last year because of out-of-stocks. To illustrate this problem, Yan noted that Wisteria's previous inventory management system required that inventory being transferred from the company's Dallas-based distribution center to its brick-and-mortar store in the same city be scanned/input into four different systems. Predictably, this resulted in a lot of errors.
Eighty percent of our assets are inventory, Yan said. It's critical to our company's future that we manage that inventory more efficiently, and one central location for that data will help us to do that.
Store Expansion on the Horizon
Wisteria is planning to go live on NetSuite's SuiteCommerce platform on July 1 of this year. The timing is critical because August is the second biggest month of the year for the retailer, behind December. Wisteria runs an annual sale every August that's proven popular with its customers. Wisteria started the implementation process with NetSuite shortly after the new year and is confident that a July 1 roll out will be achieved.
Our employees are excited about it, Clark said in regards to the new platform. We've got a team of nine working on the NetSuite implementation process, with representatives from the following departments comprising that team: IT, merchandising, marketing, call center, e-commerce, brick-and-mortar, and fulfillment. This team is helping to customize the platform to their needs, since they'll be the ones working with it.
While nearly 80 percent of Wisteria's current transactions are occurring on its e-commerce site, the retailer sees brick-and-mortar stores as a major growth opportunity. In addition to generating sales from the physical store locations themselves, Clark believes store expansion will positively impact the other selling channels for Wisteria, online and catalog. In addition to the increased brand awareness the brick-and-mortar stores will bring, Clark feels they'll serve as a showroom for consumers who want to look at a piece of furniture in-store, then go home and buy it online and have it shipped directly to their home.
Wisteria is waiting for the NetSuite SuiteCommerce implementation to be finished before it goes ahead with its store expansion plans. However, the company has already identified target markets for those new stores — Houston (which is the second biggest market for Wisteria behind Dallas), Atlanta, Denver and San Francisco.
With the addition of multiple storefronts across the country, Wisteria will be able to offer a true omnichannel shopping experience for consumers. They can receive a catalog in the mail and identify the products they want, head to their local Wisteria store to see those products in-person, then easily order those products online for direct shipment to their home. This omnichannel model is already working for Wisteria. Yan noted that customers that receive catalogs spend, on average, three times more with the retailer than customers that don't receive a catalog.
The goal is a seamless customer experience across all touchpoints, said Clark. SuiteCommerce will help make the entire order process more seamless for both Wisteria's customers and employees, ultimately leading to a more profitable company.