Omni-channel Retail Ecommerce Case Study
One of the UK's leading high-street jewellers solve their Click & Reserve conundrum with the tradeit ecommerce platform. Established in 1856, F.Hinds are an independent, family owned chain of UK jewellers with over 115 branches in England and Wales. Having traded online since 1996, they have always been at the forefront of UK retailing and understand the importance of continually improving their service, particularly online.
"A change of EPoS system presented the opportunity to update the site. Rather than do the mere basics we presented Red with the challenge to pretty much start from scratch, reinventing what Click & Reserve can be and really embracing omni-channel retailing. We've a positive ROI on all of the work within six months so people are pretty happy around here at the moment."
Ecommerce Manager, F. Hinds
Advanced Click & Reserve service with movement of stock between stores and warehouse, controlled & calculated in tradeit.
New and improved checkout process specifically designed to increase conversions and reduce the bounce rate.
Fully responsive site with 4 breakpoints, optimised for all devices helping to ensure the best possible user experience.
Built-in store locator with postcode lookup and individual store details like opening hours and range of services available at each.
Sophisticated promotions capabilities including new offer types built exclusively for the new site.
Advanced store stock checker means the quantity of stock at each store can be checked based on nearest location.
Products brought to life through enhanced imagery, zoom and 360 degree rotation to give customers a perfect look of things before they buy.
Highly sophisticated search tools and facetted navigation to help users find exactly what they are looking for, quickly and easily.
Project recognised by both Retail Week and Direct Commerce awards' nominations.
Predictive search/auto-suggest helping to improve UX and increase conversions.
A customer of Red Technology's since 2006, F.Hinds have constantly evolved their ecommerce offering during the last 10 years, but wanted to now look at the wider picture of merging their online presence and physical stores through the implementation of omni-channel functionality, whilst also improving their online checkout process alongside it. Key to their requirements was significant improvements to their Click & Reserve service, both from their own perspective and more importantly, that of their customers.
The Click & Reserve conundrum
Despite the obvious advantages of having over 115 retail stores, the distribution and movement of their stock makes the fulfilment of online orders more tricky than for many other retailers. Not all products are held at a central warehouse due to the high value of many items, and the fact that sitting in a warehouse means they are not in front of customers, who usually prefer to see and touch them in store anyway. Many purchases are one-offs like engagement or wedding rings, or gift items, so holding vast stocks doesn't make business sense. This means that some online orders may well need to be pulled from one of the physical stores if they are not available for delivery from their central warehouse, but this brings complications.
If an item is only available in a few stores and not from the main warehouse, one of those items will need to be sent back to the warehouse and redistributed to the customer's nearest store for collection, or delivered by post. Due to the time and cost involved in doing this, that service is only offered on products over £50, so some products may only be available for collection from certain stores and may not be available for delivery at all. This also affects the availability of items for collection with those in stock being ready in 2 hours whilst others may take several days due to the movement of stock. Other items are held solely by the supplier so these can only be purchased online too.
Due to the limitations of their EPoS system, this entire piece of complex functionality had to be built into the tradeit ecommerce platform meaning exact stock levels of every product, in every store, are kept in tradeit and updated through integration to their back end systems in almost real time, ensuring what is shown to the customer online is as accurate as possible. Stock buffer levels are also built into the system to cater for any sudden in-store purchases.
Despite all of the complexity around fulfilment and their Click & Reserve service, the website has to still ensure the smoothest possible customer experience. The checkout pages are now closed, with minimal form fields to enter and PCA Predict for fast address auto-complete meaning the customer can get from adding the item to their basket to completing their order as quickly as possible.
There are many other new features across the site aimed at improving the UX, such as a new responsive design with four breakpoints optimised for all devices, infinite scrolling on category pages, improved promotions options and enhanced imagery on product pages giving users a perfect view of the products before they buy. They have also introduced predictive search functionality which has already seen an increase in conversions of 41% for people using the search search over those that don't.
Following the launch of the new 'fulfil from anywhere' service for online and Click & Reserve orders, our work with F.Hinds was recognised by Direct Commerce with their Technology Partnership of the Year award 2016 as well as being nominated for the Customer Technology Innovation award 2017 by Retail Week and 'Retail Technology of the Year' by the National Technology Awards.
See more at www.fhinds.co.uk
Learn more about our work for F.Hinds