30 october 2019 года

Case Lacoste: implement omnichannel and exceed customer expectations

The history of online and offline unification for the Russian branch of the French brand
In 2018, Lacoste contacted us with the goal of implementing an omnichannel network for their brand in the Russian market, that is, to combine online and offline sales, improving customer experience and interaction, creating a single customer database.

There were the following tasks:

  • to connect business infrastructure: integrate processes and services among themselves
  • collect online and offline orders into one system
  • give a tool to enrich the customer base straight away in the retail boutique
  • provide customers with an access to all product balances on stock in the online boutique and retail outlet
  • allow the buyer to pick up an online order at a retail outlet

We will tell you below what came out of it.

Inside you will find out:

What did Lacoste have before

Before retailCRM, Lacoste online boutique lived its life, and offline sales—its own one. There were no processes that could combine online with offline.

It was impossible to order goods on the website for pickup from offline boutiques and there was no information about the balances.

Offline, however, could not check the balance neither in the online boutique, nor in other retail outlets. So, it turned out that the buyer enters a boutique A, there is no necessary product in it, and the sellers cannot see where is it available on hand.

The scheme of interaction between systems and services was the following. online boutique transferred their online orders to 1C of the SPSR delivery service, which in its turn contacted customers, confirmed orders, and transmitted order statuses back to them.

Actual 1C SPSR balance was received in Excel daily, which was loaded into the system manually. The rest was sent to the website already from 1C SPSR. Orders could be made only upon the availability of goods in 1C SPSR. The stock in retail outlets did not take part in online boutique sales.

1C Center combined all the balances and directly was engaged only in the process of moving goods into offline retail outlets to restock balances. 1C in a retail boutique is different in each retail outlets. Moreover, the boutiques had access only to their own balances, and they communicated only with the central base: they transferred their stocks.

New business processes, Click & Collect service and iPad app

In purpose to solve all the problems, the current scheme of business processes was not suitable: it was impossible to add new services to it. It was decided to integrate the retailCRM, which supposed to become a center of interaction of all existing and new services, as well as to automate the processing of omnichannel orders and to implement new business processes.

The purpose is to create a Click & Collect service, in other words that the buyer obtains the opportunity to:

  • receive an online order at any convenient retail outlet
  • reserve goods online from availability in retail boutiques
  • place an order from the availability of any boutique directly at a retail outlet

The first two points had particularities, but were usual and understandable. We made a retailCRM integration with the Bitrix CMS 1C, were the website is located on, and combined it with the disparate 1C Retail base, greatly modifying it.

As for the order processing at retail points at terminals, it was left only in 1C in order to avoid the complication of managers life.

To help out, a notification system at the cashier desk was developed. When the order enters the system and when its status changes, retailCRM sends the information to the terminal through 1C. At the same time, CRM sends an SMS message to the client about the status of the order, which is additionally transmitted to the personal account on the website.

As for the third point, Lacoste Russia had its own idea of the result, based on the experience of France and Turkey. The end result is an iPad application. But since the interaction of systems at foreign representative offices was very different, it was decided to take the following requirements for the application as a basis:

  • to create the interface as similar as possible to the one in other countries
  • to create a beautiful catalogue with the correct structure, as on the website
  • to allow to track the current balances in all stocks and boutiques
  • to allow to place any type of order directly in any retail boutique, without leaving a client
  • to identify the customer
  • to provide an access to the history of customer orders
  • to display the orders in a personal account on the website

Then, SalesApp was developed from scratch to satisfy all the requirements. The entire interface is also made according to the customer preferences, and the application itself is based on retailCRM. This approach allowed us to achieve a unified offline and online customer experience.

SalesApp—an assistant application to increase conversion and engagement

Every manager in every retail chain boutique has an iPad with the SalesApp app on hand. The application provides a quick access to the balance of the entire network. It helps to find any product, find out alternative options that are not available in a current boutique, but they are in others. Also it allows you to place an order beginning with the reserve and ending with home delivery from any boutique.

You can register new customers and collect the customer base with the help of application, or find out the current clients by phone, email or name using the Find Client option. If you enter the data of an existing client as a new one, the application will notify about it, thus the duplicates will not multiply.
You can always click on the client's card and see his profile. To see all orders, to check exactly what the client bought, which segments he consists in. For example, a big LTV will help the manager to understand that he works with a VIP client. You can also note the key indicators. In the future, there will be more notes which will further help to personalize the client.
The main section of the application is the product catalogue. As a rule, it is a multilevel: there are categories, subcategories, and so on. On the Lacoste website, each level has photos that change regularly. It was clear that the content needed to be brought to the foreground. So, we did it.
The content is updated automatically: at the time when changes occur on the site, then it is immediately reflects in the application. If at least one of the subcategories does not have a photo, then a list of products will immediately appear when you switch to the general category. As, for example, with the category "Kids Clothing".
And if we go into the "Women" category, then we get to the second level of the catalogue. Having chosen a subcategory, we get to the third level, and then to the list of goods. Finding the right product is easier and faster.
The catalogue fully passes to the CRM from the Bitrix website and updates automatically. At the same time, the entire structure of the product card is saved: the current prices and discounts, characteristics, description and all photos are displayed. Products can be sorted by different filters, and the application will clearly display everything.
Here you are an interesting decision in the implementation of the product card. In the Lacoste catalogue, for one item number, there are many trading offers: some of the most popular products may have more than 450. Therefore, when opening the card, all the colors and sizes that are available in the current city and in the stock of the online boutique are displayed. They are easy to switch, and the card itself is forming in an instant.
In the offline boutique, after authorization in the application the seller needs to go to the settings and select their outlet. With any reauthorization, you can choose any city and boutique.

The seller will see the balance in all boutiques in the selected cities, including the stock of the online boutique. Availability can be checked on an interactive map. This is much faster and more convenient: you can understand where the nearest boutique with the right product is.

By default, the shipping is chosen from the online boutique stock, but you can choose any retail outlet. Boutiques are automatically sorted by the availability and quantity of goods.
If the client is in a hurry, then the opportunity to buy in 1 click is available, where only the name and phone number are entered. The request goes to an outsourced call center. In its turen, they contact the customer to clarify the details and delivery time. This is done by the same SPSR with which the fulfillment contract is concluded. After confirmation, the order goes to the stock, where is formed and send to the client's apartment or to the post office. Everything by means of SPSR.

The call center is outsourced because Lacoste does not have its own staff of managers who could process the orders for the online boutique. They don't want to recruit people for this and the brand's position in this regard is maintained.
The list of orders along with statuses can be viewed directly on the tablet in real time. You can see what, where to and where it comes from.
All orders that are made using the application were placed by iPad, except for orders in 1 click. In retailCRM, you can see the statistics of ordering both en masse throughout the network, and for each boutique separately, as well as apply any filters.

When an order from the boutique A is placed in the SalesApp to the boutique B, a notification pops up on the terminal of the boutique B that a customer will arrive soon to pick up the goods. The order is completed and is prepared for delivery.

If the order is placed on a website with a pick up from an offline boutique, then it is first displayed in retailCRM, then it is immediately forwarded to 1C, and a notification that the order needs to be completed also pops up at the terminal of the retail outlet.

In both cases, the reserve of goods takes 3 hours, then it is cancelled. The buyer receives the automatic notifications of all statuses.

What came out from it: results, numbers and plans

All tasks were successfully resolved, omnichannelism was implemented in Lacoste. The Click & Collect service is working successfully: in September 2019, its share amounted to 20% of online sales. Three systems act as sources of orders: 1C, website and SalesApp in 46 offline boutiques. Nevertheless, retailCRM is the main link in the new system interaction scheme.
Negotiations on the project started in August 2018. Work began already in November. By March 2019, we had gathered the entire chain of new business processes, fine-tuned them, and began testing the application. In May, the first stage was completed and the brand network began to actively transfer all cities to omnichannelism.

The whole process took 10 months since the first negotiations: 5 months were dedicated to the implementation period of retailCRM with full integration with all the systems, 2 months - to testing the application and its launch on the entire brand network.

The omnichannel is gaining momentum: the average monthly profit growth on completed orders via the iPad is more than 50%. At the same time, customers are not lost, but entered into the retailCRM database in order to further work with them and to increase benefit.

In future we are in for next stage and new challenges:

  • home delivery from a retail boutique
  • urgent delivery to a retail boutique from an online boutique stock
  • transfers between boutiques
  • online order refund at any retail boutique
  • integration with marketplaces
  • new loyalty program
  • SalesApp functionality extension
  • CRM-marketing