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KM for e-commerce growth

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The use of the propensity to buy and e-mail timing data provided BikeBerry with solid results. BikeBerry’s e-mail campaigns saw a 133 percent increase in sales and a 200 percent boost in user activity. BikeBerry also realized cost savings by refraining from giving too big a discount to customers who converted at a lower offer threshold.

Lin expects to work with Retention Science to further refine the company’s marketing efforts, including “dynamic incentives” for new customers to continue to grow the business.

Managing variable costs

That Pet Place sells online as well as from its brick-and-mortar store in Lancaster, Pa. It was relying on a cloud-based enterprise resource planning (ERP) solution, but found that it didn’t provide the granular knowledge needed to evaluate the profitability of its 118,000 SKUs. Rick Armour, the company’s chief operating officer, says, “To maintain our margins, we need to manage the variable costs very carefully.”

In late 2011, the company sent out RFPs and hired F. Curtis Barry & Company consulting firm to evaluate the different proposals. That Pet Place reviewed the options before choosing the integrated ERP, customer relationship management (CRM) and e-commerce suite from NetSuite.

“It has very powerful dashboards. It offered us the ability to customize based on our APIs and had very strong accounting features—much better than other ERP systems,” Armour says.

That Pet Place installed NetSuite in March 2012. Although the integration was fairly smooth, That Pet Place had to replace some ERP processes that NetSuite didn’t offer, using third-party tools as add-ons to help with warehouse management, demand planning and point-of-sale transactions.

There are always challenges with new technology solutions, Armour says. But the early challenges have been largely forgotten as That Pet Place has enjoyed a 20 percent reduction in order fulfillment labor costs due to better reporting and order flow, a 16 percent increase in e-commerce conversion costs due to better search capability and a 10 percent reduction in purchase order costs due to increased automation.

NetSuite also enabled That Pet Place to start accepting PayPal, which now accounts for 17 percent of the payments, and offer immediate, real-time calculations for shipping costs, which differ by product type.

“That’s had a big impact on improving our abandonment rate. Now we have more understandable shipping costs,” says Armour, who credits the feature and better integration with e-mail marketing for a 13 percent increase in revenue.

Armour looks forward to integrating the knowledge from NetSuite as the company further refines its analytics, cost controls and marketing efforts.

As more sales shift away from brick-and-mortar to e-commerce, companies will rely increasingly on knowledge management solutions to handle marketing, boost margins and improve other aspects of business.


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