One British eCommerce site had healthy sales figures, but they were working without any system of gauging metrics. Ordering merchandise was based on pure speculation, and the owner knew he had to do something to standardize the process and get his time back.

The Company

Founded over 30 years ago, Mike’s Dive Store is the largest dedicated diving equipment and snorkeling store in London. Their retail space is strong, but their eCommerce business has also made a big splash.

Managing director and owner Steve Brown took over Mike’s Dive Store 12 years ago from the eponymous founder Mike Calder. While business was good, Brown looked for ways to leverage the store’s online component, the store moved onto Shopify in 2013, and is now a Shopify Plus store.

It was a shrewd move because online sales jumped from £500,000 to £4 million per year (or $620,000 to almost $5,000,000 USD).

The Shopify platform was certainly a driving force behind this growth. But Brown credits efficient stock inventory as the biggest factor. “If you don’t have inventory in stock, you can’t sell it,” he observed. “It may be a headache for the bookkeeper, but increased stock levels led to great growth for us.”

Challenge

In this rapidly moving online marketplace, customers want items instantly. Brown noted that in the days before eCommerce, customers would happily wait a week for a wetsuit because they were loyal to the store. Now potential buyers have three different tabs open to look at the same item. They may not be diving next week, but they’ve made up their mind what they want, and they want it tomorrow.

Mike’s Dive Store started with one warehouse. Back then Brown could see the actual boxes and decide how best to move inventory. Another warehouse was acquired in 2018, located an hour away. Their new warehouse manager stressed it was essential to have good inventory forecasting reports to manage the stock in both locations.

There was a slight problem – the entire inventory management system was all in Brown’s head.

Solution

Over a year ago, a fellow online retailer suggested Brown look into Inventory Planner as a solution to his inventory forecasting dilemma. He didn’t need much convincing because he quickly saw its value.

Brown had always been the main purchaser for the business, but he knew he needed help deciding what to reorder or knowing which variants weren’t selling. Every bit of scientific information in Inventory Planner empowers Brown to make the correct purchase decisions. The hassle and the guesswork have been taken away and all the inventory reports are available with a few mouse clicks.

Results

Mike’s Dive Store relies heavily on Inventory Planner’s data to make purchasing decisions. Now that the order process has been streamlined, Brown can delegate inventory ordering to another team member. Not only is Brown able to reclaim his time, but Inventory Planner also makes his mental math obsolete!

Brown’s favorite Inventory Planner feature is that he can take one product, look at its performance metrics, and have every single question answered. He is no longer burdened with making vague predictions with what is overstocked or which items are out of stock. Recommendations are now clear to everyone involved in ordering and warehouse management. Items in high demand are replenished on time. Overstocked products are identified and cleared out to make room for ones that will be more productive.

Inventory Planner is the scientific equivalent to Steve Brown, and he couldn’t be more delighted. Moving Mike’s Dive Store to Inventory Planner has saved him not only countless hours of reordering without a plan, but also saved his business money. Brown will continue to leverage Inventory Planner’s reporting features as he takes his eCommerce site to the next level.

Learn more about Inventory Planner and the ability to discover over and understock products faster with our software. Start your free trial today to gain the efficiency that you need for a successful online store.

Ann
July 16, 2020