How Topiary Garden optimised ecommerce performance with SkuVault Core

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Topiary Garden is an online home and garden product retailer, with a focus on drip irrigation systems. Based in Kent, UK, the company is the brainchild of passionate amateur gardener, Mike Atkinson, and Mike’s lifelong devotion to horticulture is evident in every aspect of the business. 

We spoke with Mike to dive into how SkuVault Core has revolutionised the business’ inventory management processes, enhancing business operations and supporting the company’s commitment to outstanding customer service.

Life before SkuVault Core

“We decided some time ago to make life easier from an ecommerce point of view by adopting up-to-date tools, and one of those tools was ChannelAdvisor, and through ChannelAdvisor, we chose SkuVault Core.” explains Mike.

“SkuVault Core itself has been a great product to use. We had previously been using spreadsheets and, like many people, you have spreadsheets all over the place and you just get fed up with them. So, we signed up with SkuVault Core for a two-year contract.”

Seamless onboarding and streamlined integration

A centralised inventory system was critical for Mike and his team, to ensure consistency across marketplaces and platforms. Since adopting SkuVault, Mike says “We’ve got all of our SKUs in one place, and they’re now accurate. Previously, we couldn’t say that, we couldn’t say that they were accurate across all the marketplaces that we sell on, but they are now.” 

When it came to the onboarding process, Mike had this to say, “We were really happy with the onboarding process, we were assigned Kim Bowman as our Onboarding Consultant, and she proved to be a perfect fit for us, very easy to deal with. Any questions we had were quickly answered – I remember talking about SKU aliases and Kim got through that perfectly simply within minutes, two or three minutes and it was done.”

Optimising ecommerce performance with bundles 

“Another thing that was good for us was the bundles function. The bundles took a little bit longer to get my head around, that’s my fault, but Kim was excellent. Now, we’ve got all our bundles in one place – we don’t oversell, we don’t undersell,  which is great for ecommerce, especially if you’re on places like Amazon, because you don’t want your health check to run bad because of cancelled orders, which we don’t have now.” 

Keeping accurate stock levels and ensuring a consistently high level of customer service is of great importance to Topiary Gardens. Adopting a reliable, all-in-one inventory management platform like SkuVault Core has enabled the company to bolster customer trust by ensuring inventory numbers are always reliable and up-to-date. 

“We haven’t had a full season yet with SkuVault Core. Our season peaks from the 1st of May through to the end of August so, we’re halfway through and we’ve had a bumper year already. It was a bit slow to start with because of global conditions, with slowdowns in the market. We saw our business was down 50% at the beginning of the year. As of June 2023, we’ve now picked up and we’re only down 10% compared to the previous year, and we’re only halfway through our peak season.

We like to think that it’s the use of SkuVault Core that’s helped us get there, and the other applications we’ve taken on board, and ChannelAdvisor as I mentioned earlier. So, I’m hoping that within the first year of our contract, we will have recovered our initial outlay on SkuVault Core, signing up on a two-year contract. If we can recover our return on investment in the first year, that’s a brilliant place to be.” says Mike.

Inventory management with personalised support

“I think I should be sending Kim a greetings card.” Mike goes on to say. She has been an integral part of not only the onboarding process but also the continued support that Topiary Gardens has received from the SkuVault team. 

Mike concludes by saying, “If anyone in the UK or elsewhere in the world is thinking about adopting a new inventory management tool, I recommend you look at SkuVault Core first.”

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