Performance Bicycle, a specialty cycling retailer with 106 stores across the U.S., has seen daily comparative store sales improvements of 3% to more than 10% since implementing solutions from Aptos in Q3 2014. By making both store and online inventory available for fulfillment, Performance Bicycle can get products to customers more quickly, and also clear end-of-season merchandise more efficiently.
Performance Bicycle is using the Aptos singular commerce platform to:
Fulfill 40% of its e-Commerce orders from stores;
Fulfill catalog and e-Commerce orders from 87 of its stores;
Give online consumers access to all store inventory; and
Achieve a 96.5% reduction in call center volume.
“If you place an order on the web today and you’re in California and the product is sitting in both a warehouse in North Carolina and a store in Santa Monica, the Santa Monica store will get an alert on their POS register saying they have an order to process,” said Mike Starkey, Senior VP of Information Systems at Performance Bicycle. “The alert will notify the store to pick and pack that product and ship it to the consumer since it comes from a closer location.”
Challenge: Large Products, Limited Store Space
Since Performance Bicycle offers more than 600 bike styles in multiple sizes and colors, the retailer sought to deploy a solution that supports endless aisle functionality, presenting all the options, colors and features to customers in any channel.
“Because of the nature of the cycling and bike industry, there is only so much square footage in your stores,” Starkey said in an interview with Retail TouchPoints. “If we’re going to carry 600 style bikes and they come in two colors and five sizes, you logistically can’t keep too much inventory. It was very common for us to have to order a bike if we didn’t have the color or size the customer wanted. That customer experience was very disjointed. We’d ring a transaction up on the POS, call the contact center and request a Fuji XYZ bike and they’d ship it to the store so Joe could come pick it up.”
Now, Performance Bicycle can enable associates to create any order in-store with Aptos Store (POS) and have that order fulfilled to the customer’s specifications. The retailer also can now process items in a single transaction and provide customers with shipment options for delivery to their home or local store.
“Now that transaction can ring as a single transaction in the retail store,” Starkey noted. “You could buy the helmets, the shorts, the jersey, shoes and bike in one transaction. Even if the specific bike isn’t in the store, it will trigger an automatic ordering of that bike, and will be fulfilled from a vender warehouse, a drop ship or possibly even another store.”
When the retailer’s e-Commerce inventory is out-of-stock on a certain item, the store inventory fills the gaps, so customers rarely experience out-of-stocks when shopping online. This also allows the company to clear end-of-season products from stores faster. Prior to using the Aptos platform, that inventory information would “fall off” the web site, preventing Performance Bicycles from selling in-store merchandise online after season’s end.
“Now, since we’re shipping from stores as well, we leave that inventory on the web site,” Starkey said. “It’s not like a merchant decides that if they put the product in the stores that they’re going to walk away from online sales. The customer doesn’t care where our product is, and it’s changed our thinking about distributing inventory and how quickly you get the merchandise out to a retail store.”
The Aptos platform also integrates with Performance Bicycle’s loyalty and CRM programs, further boosting opportunities to enhance customer experience and long-term loyalty.