How Kicks succeeds in omni-channel
Jenny tells the story
The Nordic region’s leading cosmetics chain Kicks wants to offer its customers the opportunity to make purchases in all channels. The bricks-and-mortar store interacts with the web shop and iPad and cellphone apps to make the purchasing process run as smoothly as possible.
“We don’t guide our customers toward any particular channel. I would say that not separating the channels is the most important thing for us,” says Jenny Vesterlund, E-commerce Manager at Kicks.
Omni-channel is about achieving a seamless purchasing experience when consumers move between bricks-and-mortar stores, web shops and mobile devices. With its approximately 250 stores in Sweden, Norway and Finland, Kicks laid the foundations for a successful omni-channel venture even before the cosmetics chain launched its web shop four years ago.
“When we launched the website, we had already thought about what we wanted to achieve. We had a vision of how we wanted things to be in the future, which is incredibly important,” says Jenny Vesterlund.
See the video about how Kicks deals with customers in different channels
How Kicks works with omni-channel
The joint vision made it possible to get the entire organization on board. “It’s crucial to have the bricks-and-mortar stores with you, too. There’s a sales staff of a thousand, so that’s quite a lot of people.”
All of Kicks bricks-and-mortar stores in Sweden and Norway have an iPad that is used to show reviews and ratings for the products from the web and to order items online that are out of stock in the store. “The customer can then pay for their goods at the checkout and decide for themselves whether they want to have them sent to their home or to collect them in one of our stores,” says Jenny Vesterlund.
Mobile also important
Mobile channels are also important. Kick’s mobile app offers a scanning function. If, for example, their shower cream runs out, the consumer can scan the empty bottle’s bar code, log into the app and easily make their purchase. “You have the possibility of saving your credit card details so that no card number is necessary – you simply check out with three clicks and your shower creme will arrive the next day.” Arne Andersson, e-commerce expert at PostNord, thinks that what is driving the development of omni-channel is major consumer demand for convenience and accessibility. “The purchasing experience at Kicks is one example of this – it’s easy and as a customer, I’m given total freedom to decide whether I want to collect my purchase in a store or from a distribution point, or get my items delivered to my mail box,” he says.
What are the challenges involved in starting out with omni-channel?
“It’s often a question of warehousing. Should you have your own e-commerce warehouse, or a hybrid warehouse together with the regular main warehouse? This is often closely linked to the business systems and how these are connected with the stock system, order system and checkout systems in the stores. The checkout systems in particular often become a hub when it comes to controlling this freedom of choice,” says Arne Andersson.
How channels cooperate at Kicks
- Bricks-and-mortar store: Around 250 stores in Sweden, Norway and Finland
- Web shop: In Sweden and Norway
- Mobile app: Kicks has a mobile app that allows consumers to scan an container’s bar code, for example, and then simply order a new one.
- iPad: Each bricks-and-mortar store in Sweden and Norway offers at least one iPad on which you can view the product’s ingredients, ratings and comments and order an item online if it is out of stock in the store.
- Delivery options: PostNord manages the flow of e-commerce customers in Sweden. Consumers can choose for themselves whether they want to collect their parcel from one of Kicks’ stores or from a PostNord partner outlet, or have it delivered to their home in their mail box.
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