Blooming business digitallySyah Ismail
Bloomdale started their digital transformation journey about four years ago when they deployed NetSuite on their backend and frontend systems. In an interview with RetailTechNews, Managing Director Wendy Ng said that the company needed to shift their focus to e-commerce to remain competitive and relevant. When she took over from her late father ten years ago, the business still was very much focused on sale orders that came through the phone and fax.
Integrating its ERP (enterprise resource planning), customer relationship, inventory, accounts, and e-commerce management systems, NetSuite customised its base software to meet Bloomdale’s specific requirements, which maintained the website’s look-and-feel and catered to the company’s workflow, and migrated data from its old systems to integrated architecture.
An integrated system would provide direct access to e-commerce transactions and this data would be linked directly to the finance and billing systems as well as inventory management. The e-commerce platform also enabled Bloomdale to extend their reach beyond the physical storefront and tap opportunities to peddle their goods anytime and anywhere.
Not only that, Bloomdale can now provide a personalised experience on their e-commerce site. Customers could compose gifts that were unique and tailored to recipients’ personal tastes and preferences. They also would be able to receive alerts and reminders of an upcoming anniversary or birthday.
This is achieved by tracking various data points when customers logged into their account on the site. These included past orders and recipient records, which also helps customers make “more informed” choices. By monitoring products that were popular and analysing buying patterns, the business would know what categories contributed the bulk of its revenue and which products were more popular.
Just like in any other new software implementation, there’s bound to be issues. Training 20 employees to use the integrated system was challenging. The hands-on assistance from the vendor with the project helped mitigate such challenges.