47 Degrees was established in the mid-1980s by a New Zealander who wanted to share his love of skiing and the outdoors. Since then, it has built up a loyal base of customers faithful to the company’s philosophy of providing quality over quantity with the spotlight on key brands and more complete collections. Today, 47 Degrees offers a range of unique and premium ski-wear and winter sports equipment from its flagship boutique store in Fulham, southwest London and has recently launched a new e-commerce website.
Moving beyond a traditional store environment
47 Degrees initially deployed Eurostop’s retail management solution e-rmis four years ago to support all EPOS and head office activities at the company’s flagship store in London. Since that time, 47 Degrees has grown and the solution has had to adapt to changes in customer requirements, ambitions to open up into new markets and the technological complexities that accompany any expanding business.
“Relying on customers to physically come in and visit our store in London worked well at the beginning when we had a relatively small number of customers but it has its limitations,” said Marcus Wilson, Director and Owner of 47 Degrees. “Not all our customers are within easy reach of the capital or, increasingly, they just prefer to order our merchandise from the comfort of their own homes. Also, it makes good business sense to expand and tap into new geographical markets, impossible from a traditional store environment.”
For Marcus and his team, e-commerce was the sensible way forward, offering online browsing and ordering facilities to existing customers and the opportunity to promote the company’s unique range of merchandise to potential new customers and markets outside the UK.
In addition, 47 Degrees was looking for a solution that could integrate its stock and warehousing management activities with the company’s in-store and new online sales activities as Wilson goes on to explain:
“A bricks and mortar shop is conducive to providing a personalised service but our e-commerce site goes one step further, giving customers the same boutique shopping experience but at the click of a button. At the same time, Eurostop’s e-rmis system helps us keep track of which items of merchandise are the most popular so we only ever stock what we need, keeping our in-store environment uncluttered and ensuring customers always receive the products they want when they want them.”
Eurostop has given 47 Degrees a distinct advantage over the competition by maximising the tightly-knit user community that has grown since the company’s inception: “Some of our customers have been with us for over 20 years. We have tremendous customer loyalty and wanted our Internet business to reflect this and take it forward. For example, if a customer wants to know more about one of our jackets, we will have virtual hangtags, where the information you would expect to see on a jacket in the shop, will appear on the website, giving the customer everything you need to know about the jacket in layman’s terms – what it is made of, how it should be cared for, how it should be stored as well as the commercial aspects such as price. Eurostop helps us give customers easy-to-understand and detailed information, quality merchandise and excellent service,” Wilson continued.
By using Eurostop’s e-commerce Customer Loyalty module, 47 Degrees will be able to email promotions and special offers to customers quickly and effectively. In the future, 47 Degrees hopes this will give it the ability to launch into new areas, such as Tennis, to boost business during the traditionally slower summer sales season.
The Eurostop system provides comprehensive reporting and enables 47 Degrees to link together its in-store and e-commerce businesses and monitor the effectiveness of both. For example, specialist boot fitting can only be done effectively in person but is advertised on the company website. The day after the website launched, there was a sharp increase in the number of new and existing customers wishing to take advantage of 47 Degrees’ specialist boot fitting service.
Deborah Loh, e-commerce Manager at Eurostop commented, “As retailers move beyond a traditional store environment, it is important that they have an integrated retail management system capable of linking, monitoring and supporting their various sales and communications channels. The Eurostop system has been designed to provide all the functionality required by some of the UK’s largest fashion retailers, yet remains easy to use, and suitable for the requirements of smaller chains as well. This ensures that retailers like 47 Degrees will only ever need to buy one system, safe in the knowledge that the system will adapt and grow with them as their business expands.”