Department store Philip Morris & Sons sought to future proof its growing ecommerce business.
Philip Morris & Sons selected Linnworks and BigCommerce to upgrade its inventory management back-end website functionality.
With Linnworks and BigCommerce integrated, Philip Morris & Sons can process twice the number of orders with the same staffing levels in the warehouse.
Philip Morris & Sons has grown multichannel sales on both eBay and Amazon now the technology can support growing order volume. What’s more, online shoppers now have better visibility of order status when they log in to the department store’s website.
With a 175-year history, Philip Morris & Son is a Herefordshire-based traditional department store business selling everything from country clothing to home and garden products.
As the retailer’s online sales grew, the existing system powered by Khaos Control began to strain under the need to process more than 1,000 orders a day. “It was starting to struggle and only one person could process orders for picking at any one time” says John Jones, Managing Partner. “Also, the warehouse management wasn’t flexible in terms of locations and picking routes.”
Stock management was also a challenge and was impacting marketplace growth. “We had to isolate stock for each marketplace, so it was very inefficient”, John outlines.
It was the recommendation of members of a local forum of fellow ecommerce businesses that led Philip Morris & Son to Linnworks. “Several members of the group use Linnworks and have done for several years,” explains John. “They're quite different businesses to us, but they spoke highly of it.”
He was also impressed by its ease of integration with BigCommerce. “We were looking for a market-leading platform that had performance and flexibility.” It also wanted something simple to use from product through to checkout, as well as having other functionality such as being mobile-first and strong on SEO.
The automation the system has enabled has improved efficiency substantially, with the retailer now able to handle more than twice the number of orders with the same number of people that were operating the warehouse last year, according to John.
It has also enabled the expansion of channels to increase orders processed through eBay and Amazon.
The customer experience has improved, since customers are now able to see order updates when they log in to the website and the retailer can now make better, more informed decisions flexibly since it is now able to manipulate data and feed it back into the system at scale. John says “previously, if we wanted to change the prices on a range of products it might take all day for people going through one by one. Now it's a few seconds work.”
The Linnworks and BigCommerce partnership means that Philip Morris & Son now has the IT infrastructure to handle future growth. It also allows the business to look both at marketplace and international expansion. “Our website is currently focused on the UK, but we deliberately chose partners who can support multicurrency and multiple languages to investigate in 2021,” says John.
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