Award winning, premium fashion retailer Jules B invests in Eurostop solutions to support customer service ethos
Seamless transparent fulfilment across stores and warehouse ensures responsive customer service for online orders
Jules B has been dressing stylish men and women for over 25 years. Since opening their first store in Jesmond just outside the city centre of Newcastle upon Tyne in1984, husband and wife team Julian and Rhona Blades have opened more stores in the North East of England, North Yorkshire and Kendal in the picturesque Lake District. All of the stores have become prestigious shopping destinations, catering for an elite clientele of fashion devotees and stock an impressive collection from world renowned designers including Vivienne Westwood, Alexander McQueen, M Missoni, Helmut Lang & Alexander Wang.
The complete range under one virtual roof
Awarded Drapers Magazine coveted title of ‘Best Independent Fashion Store’ an impressive four times, the retailer continues to succeed where others have failed. Jules B’s early investment in its website, when many fashion retailers were hesitating to move forward with e-commerce, has underpinned the success of the business.
IT investment is core to the company’s business and it has recently invested in a fully integrated stock management and head office solution from Eurostop to support its sales operations in store and online. Customers can now find the complete range of designer clothing and accessories brands from all its stores under one virtual roof, with deliveries made across the globe including the UK, Europe, North America.
A customer service ethos – in store and online
At the heart of Jules B ethos is attention to detail and customer service – from brand selection, to store interiors and the online shopping experience.
Tom Jeffrey, Head of E-commerce at Jules B explains; “At Jules B we believe that the experience of purchasing online should be as enjoyable and indulgent as shopping in one of our stores. Every query is a priority to us and a member of our team is always at the other end of the phone to assist customers in any way we can. Our investment in Eurostop’s system enables us to track orders and know exactly what point the order has reached, which in turn enables us to provide a seamless customer service, just as if in the stores themselves.”
Seamless e-fulfilment underpins success
Eurostop’s e-fulfilment module underpins the success of the stock management for Jules B and enables the retailer to manage where the stock is obtained to fulfil online customer orders. The system decides if the order is fulfilled either from the branch stock or warehouse based on different criteria set at Head Office. Jules B benefits from having a view of its live stock position in the warehouse and shops to efficiently fulfil web orders and optimise stock turnover.
The system prioritises each e-commerce order as it arrives, and either auto generate picks for the warehouse if it finds the stock in the warehouse or elects to take the stock from the stores. If the store is chosen, the system automatically alerts the store e-pos system that it has the items requested in stock so that e-commerce orders are prioritised.
Tom Jeffrey explains; “There are two key elements to the way we use the Eurostop system that has really helped us to manage stock efficiently across all channels.
The first is fully automated fulfilment across the business enabling web orders to be automatically sourced from the most stock rich locations. It takes into account the consolidation of goods ensuring that orders are all dispatched from one branch.
“Additionally, if an internet order comes in that the warehouse cannot fulfil but a store can, the system automatically sends a fulfilment plan to that store. It takes into account branches local to our warehouse thus enabling us to move stock seamlessly to the warehouse to be dispatched. As well as helping us to streamline stock management it’s a totally transparent system that enables us to provide a better service to our customers.”
Automating the fulfilment process has also enabled Jules B to move staff from working on ‘virtual tills’ and train them to take on other roles within the company, improving both morale and increasing opportunities for staff development.
Return on investment
“As the reputation of Jules B grew and consequently our online business flourished, so we needed a fully integrated system to manage all our sales and stock to run the business. Simply taking on more staff to manage fulfilment was not sustainable. Scanning items and automating processes is a much more efficient way to work – it eliminates the monotonous tasks, reduces human error and provides much greater job satisfaction. Through staff redeployment and development we estimate that our return on investment will be met easily within two years,” said Jeffrey.
Jules B has also invested in powerful reporting to support its buyers. As well as providing the standard information – margin, sales by style, size, colour, location, Eurostop’s e-cubes reporting enables much more detailed analysis, for example, calculating sell through over time. It also enables them to analyse information like purchase orders outstanding, which enables more efficient stock management.
Tom Jeffrey concludes; “The great thing about choosing Eurostop is that we can grow our business with them. As we use the software, so we have fed back development ideas to help improve the system. Eurostop really understands the retail challenges and we can work with them to fix any issues and make the system even better for our business and ultimately our customer experience.”
Are bots eating your Facebook budget?
By Mike Townend, founding CMO of Beaconsoft Ltd
In an increasingly digitised world, social media has arguably become the most powerful and influential tool at the disposal of businesses, both large and small.
With more than 3.6 billion active social media users worldwide today, it is no surprise that many companies view it as an unparalleled means of marketing their products and services to new and otherwise unreachable audiences, as well as an opportunity to better understand consumer demand and habits.
Facebook is often regarded as one of the very best social media platforms for marketers – not least because of its targeted digital advertising service – but many firms using it may not realise just how much of their budget could be being wasted due to ad fraud.
Numerous studies suggest digital ad fraud affects between 10% and 60% of all types of digital advertising, with businesses of every size falling prey to so-called ‘bots’ – automated programs used by scammers to undercut deals, divert visitors or steal clicks.
But how do bots work, how might they be affecting businesses’ Facebook budgets, data and analytics, and what can be done to combat them?
How do bots work?
A report published by security firm Imperva found that bots – both good and bad – are responsible for 52% of all web traffic, while a separate study by White Ops concluded that as much as 20% of websites that serve ads are visited exclusively by fraudulent click bots.
In simple terms, a click bot is specially designed to carry out click fraud – in other words, the bot poses as a legitimate visitor to a webpage and automatically clicks on pay-per-click [PPC] ads, buttons or other types of hyperlinks.
Their purpose is to trick a platform or service – in this case, Facebook – into believing that real users are interacting with the webpage, app or ad in question.
Usually, bots will not just click a link once; they will click it over and over again to give the impression that the webpage is receiving a high level of traffic.
Why is this a problem?
The presence of click bots on Facebook is particularly problematic because they can effectively drain a business’ online marketing budget without many of its targeted ads reaching real users who might have a genuine interest.
There are a number of reasons why click fraud could be used – for example, competitors may employ a ‘click farm’ – a group of low-paid workers or bots hired to click on paid advertising links – or organised criminals may have found a way to profit from clicking on a business’ links.
In other cases, apps and software are created to collect the payout for a company’s ads, often with the help of bots.
Considering the average cost per click in the UK is £0.78, according to Hubspot, with some ad campaigns for popular key phrases running at £10 per click, or even more, it is clear to see how easily this could mount up if a firm’s budget were to be hijacked by scammers.
How might bots affect data and analytics?
Negative click bots have the potential to produce skewed analytics from Facebook advertising campaigns.
Because many businesses are unable to distinguish between fake clicks and legitimate ones, the data that they collect can lead to false conclusions and decisions that could have a detrimental impact on the business. For example, firms may choose to overspend or under-invest on a campaign based on findings that are substantially erroneous.
Businesses must be confident that they are making sound decisions that are informed by reliable data and analytics – and fortunately, there is a way that they can do this.
Taking the fight to the bots
There are a number of methods that firms can use to identify bot clicks, some more straightforward than others.
Frequently checking Facebook analytics for irregularities in traffic that could be attributable to bots can make this task considerably easier.
Specific things to monitor include the average number of page views, the average session time, and the source of referrer traffic – if there are any glaring anomalies in the data, bots could be the source.
Big spikes in page views caused by a higher number of visits than usual can also be indicative of bot activity and are especially dangerous given their propensity to slow down the page for genuine visitors.
Once malicious traffic has been identified, steps can then be taken in blocking it at source, although this is not a simple process and requires technical knowledge and know-how.
After removing negative click bots, companies can take comfort in knowing they are optimising their campaigns by gaining accurate insights that help to increase efficiency, lower the cost per visit, and improve return on investment.
Defeating the bots that are impairing a business’ performance on Facebook is by no means easy, and it requires time and effort to keep malicious traffic under constant surveillance.
Having experts on your side who are well versed in identifying and removing instances of click fraud can help to turn the tide in the battle against bots and ultimately allow a company to make big savings on its advertising spend.
Firms not only owe it to themselves, but to their customers also, to knock these harmful and disruptive programs offline for good.
Advanced Acquiring: How can omnichannel merchants optimise all payment needs through one provider?
By Marc Docherty, Head of UK Acquiring / Large – Strategic Business, Ingenico, a Worldline brand
Today’s consumers are constantly moving, buying across multiple touchpoints, devices and channels, thus driving significantly greater transactional volume. Against this backdrop, in order to capture and harness the market potential, omnichannel remains an essential strategy for merchants while conducting business operations.
Driven by consumer demands regarding a richer, more personalised and seamless buying journey, ease of use and frictionless transactions have always defined the terms for omnichannel success. However unsurprisingly, payments processing is not always at the forefront of merchants’ minds, hence, more often than not, businesses find it difficult to capture the fundamental importance of a seamless experience.
As a result, they risk not only alienating and losing customers and leaving revenue on the table, but also inefficient management of their costs by missing important savings on acquiring fees. It is therefore prudent for businesses to consider how best they can provide a frictionless experience if they want to remain competitive and ensure conversions in this increasingly fast-paced world.
Understanding how payments processing works
Innovation and efficiency in payment processing is often focused on the transaction itself, helping merchants conduct sales and process payments faster and through more convenient platforms, such as online and mobile. All these transactions, irrespective of the channel used or their value, might take only seconds to complete, however behind the scenes there are many different industry players (including an acquirer, an issuer, the payment gateway, the card network and the merchant), working together towards the same goal: making sure the payment process is flawless, secure and fast.
In theory, the payment should pass from each party without the customer ever noticing, however with a multitude of different providers at each stage, this process can be prone to errors or extra time added to the transaction, leaving shoppers with a disappointing payments experience hence less likely to return for another sale.
Much the same as their consumer counterparts, merchants also appreciate seamless experiences, frictionless integration and having everything in one place. They want to focus on their core business without any restrictions or having to worry about declines, chargebacks or interchange fees. As such, consolidating all this information in a single, comprehensive view will be a key asset for merchants, providing them with full visibility over their processes.
Offering the most relevant payment methods at the checkout is key
Local and alternative payment methods have enormous potential to drive greater value to merchants not only by expanding reach but also by strengthening the merchant – customer relationship. According to findings from a recent Capgemini report, online retail growth, coupled with the rapid adoption of transparent payment experiences and alternative payment methods will continue to drive non-cash transaction momentum, which is expected to reach 1.1 trillion by 2023.
Yet, while accepting a wide but relevant range of payment options at checkout will drive shopping enthusiasm and maintain consumer loyalty, this can add different complexity levels to the checkout process, depending on several factors, including performance, security, design, the merchant’s business size and geographical reach. Add targeted marketing programmes, product development and delivery strategies, return policies, risk and fraud management to the priorities list for merchants and surviving the long road ahead might easily become daunting.
That’s why, instead of trying to do it all by themselves, merchants should make it a top priority to partner with a competitive acquiring provider who can do this for them, ensuring the balancing act between security, flexibility, frictionless payments and speed.
By working with a partner that is acquirer agnostic and understands both business requirements and the importance of providing operational excellence, merchants can benefit from cost savings for each transaction with the different payment methods they offer. Furthermore, by working with a single acquirer better reconciliation for merchants will be achieved, thus ensuring faster payouts.
A full-service solution to rule them all
With coverage and expertise in over 120 countries, we are perfectly placed to assist businesses in delivering their expansion strategy in their home market or across borders. Our Advanced Acquiring full-service solution is a modular offering that addresses merchants’ needs for a more unified experience, including acceptance, payment gateway and acquiring.
What better way to expand geographical reach and boost revenues than by offering the most relevant payment methods for your target markets, while at the same time improving cash management with some of the fastest payouts on the market and keeping track of transactions and settlements into one unified omnichannel reporting solution which covers all your payments needs?
Motivate Your Management Team
A management team, typically a group of people at the top level of management in an organization, is a team of people in the top level of managerial leadership of a business or an organization. It may consist of one person at the top level or more than one person at the top level. In this article, we are going to talk about what it takes to become a successful manager of a company and the different types of managers that can be found.
Team members will usually work in teams of two or three people. They will work together to accomplish a specific goal that the organization has set for them. These goals and the ways to reach them vary. Sometimes a management team will work in teams to achieve the same goal but in different ways. Sometimes they will work in teams to solve a particular problem.
When a team begins working, they will usually meet for the first time at their office building or another place where they will gather. They will be given a specific mission statement that they will be working towards. There will usually be meetings on a regular basis so that the team can discuss what they have done so far. If there is anything that needs to be worked out, this meeting will occur to ensure that all questions have been answered.
When it comes to meeting deadlines, there are often things that the team members will need to do in order to meet their deadline. They will have to come up with the proper solutions. Once they have done this, the next thing that needs to be done is to ensure that the other members of the team are aware of what the solution is.
Sometimes, the team members will meet at different times. This is very common for people who will have different duties and who are not always available at the same time. They can meet at random times but it is very rare for there to be meetings that occur during the night. Sometimes these meetings are held after lunch and sometimes they happen after dinner.
When the team members meet, they will need to be organized. They will need to take all of the necessary items and papers to the meeting and not leave any behind. The meeting will begin with a presentation that will be made by the team leaders that will describe what they have done so far.
After this presentation, the team members will then have to sit down with the other team members to discuss what they have discussed. This is often a very productive way to get everyone talking about what they have accomplished so far.
To be a good manager, you must be able to organize yourself and your team. This is also necessary in order for you to be able to motivate your team.
One of the ways that you can motivate your team members is by encouraging them to get things done that they want to do. By doing this, they will be able to get excited about what they are working on. The excitement that they will feel will motivate them to work even harder and to complete the task as soon as possible.
Another way that you can motivate your team members is to give them rewards. In this case, they will know that there is something for doing a great job. They will know that if they have good performance, there will be a reward for their hard work.
It is also important for you to provide support to your team members. by helping them find jobs and making sure that they are able to find employment. This will encourage them to be self-motivated and to perform better on their jobs.
When you provide support to your team members, they will feel valued and respected. This will allow them to feel as though they have an employer who is willing to put in a lot of effort in order to help them get what they want out of their jobs.
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