For years, small- and medium-sized businesses struggled to get a piece of the e-Commerce pie because they didn’t have the time, money or bandwidth to open online storefronts. But new SaaS solutions enable retailers of all sizes to establish a presence online and grow their brands on an international scale.
Repeat Possessions is a clothing eTailer that established its roots on eBay. Owner Andrea Bridges began her career selling her children’s clothing and shoes so she could buy new items.
“People kept coming back and asking when I was selling more and if I carried handbags and accessories, as well,” said Bridges in an interview with Retail TouchPoints. “I started buying closeout items at the mall to sell as well.”
Soon, Bridges established a base of “repeat” customers who were pleased with their new “possessions.” However, she soon found it difficult to track inventory, manage growth and create a compelling shopping experience.
Repeat Possessions partnered with Volusion to support inventory needs, and further establish its presence online. During an initial test period, Bridges found it was “very easy to add inventory and track sales,” she explained. Additionally, “we can easily pull together a purchase order on low inventory, and quickly change products, add a sale price and create discounts.”
Repeat Possessions now sells apparel and accessories from NikiBiki Apparel, Steve Madden and T-Party Apparel to customers worldwide. With Volusion, the e-Commerce site offers features and functionality to make online shopping more interactive. For example, the vZoom feature enables customers to get a clearer view of a product by rolling their mouse over the image. Product pages also offer alternative color options, recommended items and overall inventory availability.
Focusing On Growth
Now selling to consumers worldwide, Repeat Possessions began using a fulfillment house in Simi Valley, Calif., to keep pace with growth.
“Volusion has allowed Repeat Possessions to grow to a point that we are now in the fulfillment house,” Bridges said. “We didn’t have that in the business plan but demand has made it happen.”
Using warehouse management functions from Volusion, Repeat Possessions can configure available products with corresponding warehouse information. As a result, employees can identify the exact warehouse aisle where a product is stored. Bridges added that since all products and warehouses are synced, “customers can get an exact [shipping] price from the place the product ships from, which saves them from unnecessary costs.”
The ongoing success of the e-Commerce site is enabling Repeat Possessions to turn its attention to new initiatives. Key focus areas include launching a new site in early 2014 and making it easier to shop on tablets and smartphones, according to Bridges.
Repeat Possessions also will be adding a “My Rewards” to show customer appreciation, Bridges added. “Our returning customers deserve a special ‘thank you’ and Volusion is helping us give back to each and every one of them.”