As one of Australia’s leading women’s fashion retailers, KOOKAI boasts a retail network of close to 40 boutiques across Australia and New Zealand and runs its AU, US, and UK e-commerce stores from its head office in Melbourne.
Whilst the roots of the KOOKAI business are firmly grounded in bricks and mortar retailing, the Australian e-commerce store has quickly become the highest revenue channel in KOOKAI’s ever-expanding portfolio.
KOOKAI was one of the early pioneers of a vertically integrated business model in the Australian fashion industry, and now produces close to 90% of its collection through its own manufacturing facilities in Fiji and Sri Lanka.
Inherent in the success of this model, is its ability to provide KOOKAI with speed to market and in-season trading through taking a design from initial sketch to delivery to store within a matter of weeks.
Libby Spiteri, KOOKAI Ecommerce Manager, remarks, “This agility in our supply chain allows us to product a high volume of SKUs, which we like to release in limited quantities to ensure our brand retains a level of exclusivity and our boutiques are constantly stocked with new styles to delight our customers.”
Retaining this level of exclusivity comes with the added challenge of styles quickly selling out, and a reliance by KOOKAI on having accurate oversight over its inventory.
KOOKAI’s AU, US and UK e-commerce stores currently share a central fulfillment centre and stock file. With turnover so fast-paced, each of the three stores’ stock levels can quickly go out-of-sync, creating a risk of overselling and missed opportunities.
Before Syncio, there was no way to manage this problem without manually restricting the stock available to the stores and online channels. Additional time spent managing inventory, coupled with the opportunity cost of unavailable products to customers, was inhibiting KOOKAI’s online growth and potential. “We were constantly evaluating sell-through and re-allocating inventory across our stores; which proved to be a time consuming process”, said Libby Spiteri.
“We were constantly evaluating sell-through and re-allocating inventory across our stores; which proved to be a time consuming process.”
KOOKAI needed a solution that could sync inventory between stores in real-time so that inventory movements from each store were updated across all three stores. For example, if an Australian customer buys the last product in the Australian store that has meant that this product was now sold out, this inventory update will sync across to the US and UK stores, updating the product on each of these stores to be sold out.
This solution would be found in partnering with Syncio. Syncio now takes care of all the inventory updates by showing all inventory as available across all locations in real-time. This allows KOOKAI to focus more of its time and efforts on strategic opportunities for the KOOKAI brand as they continue to grow and expand into new markets.
Syncio was also easy to use without a large learning curve to use effectively. Kookai also had the products already populated in all of its stores and needed Syncio to intelligently “map” the existing products so that the inventory was synced without it affecting the specific product information tailored to each location.
Since using Syncio, KOOKAI has saved its team hours of work each week, allowing them to maximise sales potential by having all products available. KOOKAI can now also test and expand into new markets with no risk of impacting inventory availability on its existing stores.
These are core value propositions that have contributed to the success of KOOKAI in its physical stores that it can now replicate online. Libby adds, “Getting the right styles to the right locations and customers is a core part of the way we strive to provide the best service we can”.
Finally, when asked about providing any tips on how to run a successful Ecommerce business, Libby concludes, “Customers are the reason why we exist as a brand, and are at the core of every decision we make. KOOKAI has enjoyed continued success through staying true to the essence and vision of the brand, and fostering a team customer rich with the passion and drive to go from good to great”. Syncio is certainly proud to be contributing to this this success.
Find out more about KOOKAI.
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