Mothercare is a global retailer that has been caring for parents for over 50 years. With over 1,400 stores in 58 countries, Mothercare provides parents and parents-to-be with everything they need under one roof, offering the best quality and most innovative products, from pregnancy to 8 years. Last year, it sought to replicate the success of its UK based Web Enabled Store (WES) system, internationally. WES allows customers to view products in store and make staff-assisted ecommerce purchases from an iPad. Most parents often prefer to examine products carefully in store. They appreciate being able to make more informed choices, with the convenient facility to have bulky items delivered directly to their door. WES currently accounts for around 20% of Mothercare UK instore sales.
Replicating this success internationally was never going to be easy. Consumers around the world vary in their approach to technology and payment methods. Mothercare required a solution that could be plugged directly into its Magento international ecommerce platform and adapted for localised stock, warehouses, currency and language. Gary Kibble, Mothercare’s Global Brand and Marketing Director, was already familiar with ebizmarts from within the Magento development community for its worldwide Sage Pay and MailChimp extensions and so contacted them to find out more about their Point of Sale (POS) solution.
Right from the beginning, theebizmarts POS solution stood out for Mothercare due to its wide variety of Magento integrations along with various different payment gateways and solutions. The whole POS solution setup took less than two hours, with help from their Magento support partner Monsoon Consulting, allowing Mothercare to immediately begin processing orders directly through the Magento instance.
“Beyond being a versatile payment tool, the ebizmarts POS solution also stood out because it allowed orders to be automatically accepted and released through a secure mechanism, without the need for manual approval. Our ambition is to launch the system into China, supported by the solutions’ capacity to work with a wide variety of payment types. In so doing, we will become one of a pioneering group of western retailers able to take face-to-face payments from Alipay in China,” commented Gary.
Following a 6-week trial project in Ireland, Mothercare is already seeing positive feedback from both customers and staff as well as 40% week-on-week growth in revenue and orders through the ebizmarts POS solution. It is hoped that the new system will account for between 5-10% of total retail sales in Ireland, once it is embedded. Returns on the investment are expected to be made within two months. This significant success has given Mothercare impetus to begin fulfilling its ambitions in China towards the end of the year. Similar rollouts are also in place for India and Indonesia later in 2016, creating more firsts for both the company and the industry at large.
Mothercare’s stores in these emerging markets tend to be smaller than the larger retail park counterparts we see in Europe. The in-store ebizmarts POS solution will allow Mothercare to adapt its smaller stores towards a showrooming capacity, helping boost sales and customer service. Displaying big ticket items such as pushchairs or cots allows customers to physically view the products, assess measurements and check car seat fittings with the help of customer service advisors. The POS solution then provides the customer with the convenience of delivery as well as the advantage of a limitless stock range in terms of colour and variety.
“ebizmarts has provided us with the potential to develop a truly global omnichannel experience for customers and store teams alike. It is the quality of the service and the level of professionalism that really makes this solution stand above the crowd. The ebizmarts team has really bought into our commercial vision and shares our desire to put the customer at the heart of the business.”
“What we are planning for in-store ecommerce in China and India is at the forefront of industry innovation in these markets. Anyone can take an online order in store but it’s the way we do it that counts – we will be able to complete orders with a fully integrated payment for thousands of Euros, RMB, or Rupees, within 90 seconds. Enabling payment mechanisms as smooth as this brings us true specialism that adds real value to our personalised customer service and meets the needs of our customers who are at the heart of our business,” continues Gary.
Grant Guffogg, International Digital Programme Manager, adds: “Our pilot in Ireland proves that customers are comfortable with this quicker and more convenient means of purchasing. The app is not just a sales tool, it provides rich product details, images, videos, descriptions and more, assisting our customer advisers in their efforts to improve the customer’s shopping experience.”
John Fitchett, Managing Director, UK and Europe at ebizmarts commented: “Mothercare has been able to make exceptional use of the endless aisle phenomenon, offering a much larger range and capturing orders where they don’t hold stock. Our immediate vision for the ebizmarts POS solution is to expand it to all Mothercare franchises in Europe and across the emerging markets. We have built distinctive brand recognition, with clients praising our exceptional customer support, functionality and knowledge of Magento. “We understand that solutions for retailers must be effective, simple and successful. Mothercare has now joined the 22,000+ Magento merchants partnering with ebizmarts, making us one of the most recognised brands in the Magento ecosystem. By implementing our POS solution, Mothercare has now taken an important step towards its global omnichannel ambitions.”