CLIENT Rugged Outfitters
DATE COMPLETED October 2020
- eCOMMERCE WEBSITE DEVELOPMENT REDESIGN
- GRAPHIC DESIGN
- BUSINESS CONSULTING
- CUSTOM SOFTWARE DEVELOPMENT
- POINT OF SALE INTEGRATION/ IMPLEMENTATION
- GRAPHIC DESIGN
- SEARCH ENGINE OPTIMIZATION
- SOCIAL MEDIA MARKETING
- PPC CAMPAIGN
Since 1996, Rugged Outfitters has been supplying a complete line of workwear, professional and institutional uniforms and footwear as well as stylish casual wear, corporate wear and outerwear for all seasons. They are proud to be an authorized Carhartt dealer, as well as authorized dealers of Timberland, Wolverine and Cherokee. With over 24,000 SKU’s available in store and on Amazon this was an enormous project, and crucial to Rugged Outfitters operations. All Amazon orders, which can be thousands of items in a day, are fulfilled and shipped from their New Jersey based warehouse/store. The systems they were operating on were incredibly inefficient and costing them a great deal of time in administration and management.
We were approached by Rugged Outfitters , a family owned retail clothing business fo more than 25 years, to help them integrate their two stores, warehouse and Amazon store into one system. They had spent years looking for someone that could do it to no avail. Although we knew it would be a challenge, we did not know how much of a challenge it would be.
Rugged outfitters had a website built in Volution that had only about 25 products on it, and was producing no revenue for them. The site was primitive, and not easy for them to add products to. The two store used a Point of Sale (POS) system that was not tied to anything for maintenance of inventory, so store inventory management was largely done manually. They sold gift cards, but tracked those manually as well.
You can’t build a reputation on what you are going to do.
- Henry Ford
Building The Concept
The amount of business the company does made working with a live inventory system very difficult. The owners wanted to change as little as possible in the way they operate, and that was different than the way most eCommerce store function. Because of the volume of sales from Amazon and the ease in which they could add new products to Amazon they wanted to
continue to use Amazon as the primary source of information to keep inventory and pricing accurate. This was where the greatest challenge was. Most eCommerce software with integration to Amazon uses the eCommerce platform as their source for data and then synchs that information to Amazon.
Challenges, Goals, & Solutions
The client did not want to utilize Shopify, our suggested solution due to the on-going Shopify fees. So aha! Started with research and discussions with a WooCommerce based solution with a well known Point of Sale System that would integrate to the website. We worked with that leading POS system and a group of developers that they recommended. The developer had promised they were completing integration as we wanted it, that allowed us to make a proposal to Rugged Outfitters and start developing a site. As happens, the developer was not able to deliver after months of testing. However, aha! Had mad a commitment to the client and was going to see the project through.
After in-depth conversations with the client aha! brought forth a solution using Shopify and some apps we identified along with some customization, to create the functionality the client wanted. We were able to show that the cost for this Shopify solution was going to be less than Rugged Outfitters anticipated originally. We then worked to design a store front end that reflected the business image and what the owners wanted, and implement the customized applications. With a lot of testing and fine tuning we were able to get the system implemented.
Rugged had issued gift cards for about 5 years and had the balances in a spreadsheet. Aha! Was able to take that data, import it and make those existing cards part of the system. This meant that the spreadsheet was no longer needed, and those cards could not be used not only in the stores, but on their website as well. We then designed several gift cards for them to sell online. These electronic gift cards can be used online, and in-store. They can be emailed to a recipient through the website, or to the person making the purchase. Once received, the card can even be added to their Apple Wallet and used in Apple Pay.
In the end we created and implemented a Point of Sales sytem for 2 brick and mortar locations. One operates as a warehouse and fulfillment center for Amazon orders, the other operates independently with its own inventory. We created an eCommerce website that works on desktops, tablets, and smart phones. Inventory management is done through the system, primarily on Amazon, but within Shopify as well for products that cannot be sold on Amazon. The website is integrated to the shipping software they use for the fulfillment of Amazon orders so a single system is used that required no additional training of staff.
With the reports generated by the website they can now determine what is selling, what the profits are on each sale based on Cost of Goods, and accurately track inventory. Processing refunds and exchanges Is easier, and faster. Receipts can be printed in store, and now can be emailed and gift receipts can be provided for the first time.