Omnichannel is the new black
Founded in Melbourne, Australia, in 2006, Forever New is known for their effortlessly wearable and timeless collections. Each Forever New collection is designed in Australia with a unique blend of seasonal trends, feminine silhouettes and of-the-moment detailing, giving customers the confidence to feel beautiful in every moment. It was this vision that powered Forever New to become one of Australia’s fastest growing fashion brands, with more than 200 retail and concession shops worldwide and a thriving e-commerce operation.
Forever New (which trades in North America under the name Ever New) had experienced phenomenal growth on an early version of Magento Commerce 1, but they had a vision for delivering a superior omnichannel experience. They needed to split orders fulfilled from multiple locations, a better allocation rules engine and real-time inventory updates. They also wanted to create a global platform to create better efficiencies like speed to market and scalability. In 2018, they decided to upgrade to Magento Commerce 2 with Magento Order Management.
“Pick fails” are a thing of the past
Forever New’s solution partner, Aligent Consulting, got straight to work, integrating a comprehensive set of business systems with Magento Commerce. These included their ERP (Retail Directions RMS), PIM (Akeneo), POS (Retail Directions SMS and a Magento Commerce customised shop front), WMS (Accellos) and CRM (Emarsys), as well as their data warehouse, customised image management system and product lifecycle management systems. The extensive APIs provided by Magento Commerce 2 and Order Management allowed for a simple integration using a contemporary industry-standard middleware tool (they used Mulesoft). Hosting on Magento Commerce removed any worry about optimising and maintaining their global hosting solution.
Forever New had a vision of rapid and seamless fulfilment for their customers, backed by total access to their inventory across the whole organisation. A total omnichannel experience would be a key differential for their consumers in a crowded market full of pure-play and international vendors. Magento Commerce 2 delivered a wide variety of fulfilment options, including “ship-from-store” (all shops can now have orders routed to them by default and any store can opt-out at certain times). “Split deliveries” help when inventory is not located in a single store or warehouse. And “pick fails” are now handled elegantly with “hop” logic, ensuring that even complicated orders are delivered. Forever New Online customers can choose in-store pickup, while “endless aisle” allows orders to deliver from other shops or warehouses. Meanwhile, “buy-online-return-in-store” improves customer confidence and increases in-store foot traffic.
Thanks to Magento Order Management, Forever New can sell every SKU currently held in every location, on every channel. "Endless aisle" and public web sales draw from stock holdings in physical shops and warehousing, while marketplaces have alternate inventory allocation rules suitable to their delivery requirements. Adding a new store to the inventory pool can be completed within 15 minutes. This has halved the rate of short pick order cancellations, positively affecting total online revenue. Additionally, in-store staff can now access inventory from the entire network.
The apparel industry is notorious for high rates of returns, so Forever New paid particular attention to minimising it and the associated cost. They made extensive investments in product photography and video (including on-body and alternative views) and descriptive content regarding product sizing. Customers were also provided with a fully automated self-service portal within Magento Commerce to exchange a purchased item for an alternative size. The replacement item is dispatched after receiving the return without any input from Forever New’s customer service team, significantly reducing operational costs.