How Fit2Run Proved a New Commerce Model From a PandemicSeptember 28th, 2021
Very few retailers came out of COVID on the upside–particularly small, localized specialty retail. But with the right platform and a Managed Retail Services partner, Fit2Run made it happen.
No one saw a pandemic coming, but fitness specialty retailer Fit2Run kept pace with the constant set of new requirements it brought on, then ended up miles ahead by putting a new retail services model called Managed Retail Services to its ultimate litmus test.
The idea of ‘unified commerce’ is not new, but it’s been more buzzword than business imperative. Put simply, it commits to the customer experience as the top corporate imperative and uses one single commerce platform to deliver it consistently from all points. Every time a customer reaches out to the retailer from any place at any time, one central unified platform supports them. Further, it operates in real time and works fluidly, both offline and online. This means all data is streaming into one platform, making it easier to understand customers more intimately while also serving them personally, predictively and proactively.
When COVID hit, Fit2Run was celebrating a series of notable wins regarding their physical store experience. Years of commitment towards innovation was paying off, as they were enjoying both the press and the profits from many compelling customer experiences they had creatively activated in their Superstore concept. What they had not focused on, however, was their ecommerce experience. Fit2Run did have an integrated ecomm platform, but traction from their web efforts was slow.
When the edict was handed down to close all stores, things changed in a matter of days. The Fit2Run website was hit with a 20x influx of customer traffic and revenue, but since they had invested in a ‘unified commerce’ platform with All Point Retail, they were ready. The platform Fit2Run runs on integrates systems, processes, workflows and management–from POS to inventory to analytics and beyond–in an ‘elastic’ manner, so it was seamless to add a few features and functions to support a wild increase in online customer demand.
What they did:
- Integrated the phone system, which allowed traffic to be immediately routed from stores to ecomm and have managers take orders with reduced staff but increased volume.
- An integrated texting/messaging platform was introduced into the ecosystem, which allowed for native Google integration for text communications with customers–which answered customer questions, took orders, and facilitated an immediate shift to curbside pick-up and delivery when the stores reopened with limited capacity.
- User experience for the customer was the same highly personalized, industry knowledgeable interaction F2R customers were used to, but they were able to use whichever platform suited them at the time.
- Existing EDI capabilities between F2R and many of their vendors allowed them to continue to fulfill the increased volume in a timely manner (even though stores and warehouses were closed) by leveraging direct ship from inventory reserved for them around the country by their vendor partners–again, all within the same integrated platform.
Ultimately, Fit2Run didn’t just survive the pandemic. With All Point’s Managed Retail Commerce behind them, they thrived.
Contact us today to learn more about how Managed Retail Commerce can benefit your retail operations!
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