Do you have this in size M?
Numbers and learnings from Clara – the in-store re-order app.
We all know the out-of-stock situation. You find a nice article but not in your size or color. You’re asking someone on the shop floor: Do you maybe have this shirt in size M? He smiles nicely – and writes down the article number, your name and number. He’ll check with the supplier and let you know. – Meanwhile, more and more consumers have started to search the article themselves online, and buy the article at another retailer, platform or at the supplier directly: A missed selling opportunity for the retailer.
To be able to serve the consumer directly, Fashion Cloud has introduced the Clara re-order app in 2018. A free-of-cost app for retailers to check directly on the shop floor if the supplier has a missing item on stock. The salesperson scans (or searches) the article, selects the size that’s asked and gets instant feedback if the article is available. If the item is available it can be ordered directly for the consumer. The article is shipped to the store, where the consumer collects it.
Whilst Clara is older than one year, 2019 was the first year with enough data and experiences from various brands (100+) and retailers (1,250+ POS). It’s time to share some numbers and experiences – good and bad.
Now – what do the numbers tell us?
(1 ) It costs three times more effort than expected to get retailers to use the app. Not because of costs (it’s free for retailers) – or because retailers don’t like the concept of Clara. The struggle to activate retailers arises because we’re introducing change to people. Clara is often not introduced properly to the people on the shop floor. This is not surprising. – We’ve spoken to brands who had “own” apps – they encountered the same problem. We reacted to this – now doing Clara training.
(2) What we also see is that retailers don’t activate all of their potential brands. We now have over 100 brands live on Clara, but some retailers forget to request access and miss out on the full potential. But that is what Clara is all about: a cross-supplier solution. Jan-Henrik Vossenkämper, responsible for Brax international Core Markets comments “We believe in an in-store app that quickly checks and orders supplier stock. We actually have our own BRAX Extended aisle app (BREA) but we believe that the wholesale community will profit from a solution that covers other brands. The Clara App is the perfect solution for this demand and our strategic partner in order to have one app for all brands.“
(3) The share of NOS articles being quite high (27%) is interesting. This means that Clara actually helps brands and retailers to fine-tune their automated NOS settings better.
(4) We also see big differences in brand performance. Next to stock availability, there are many other key differentiators. The brands that put more effort into activating their retailers themselves and with Fashion Cloud perform better and the differences are huge. Initiatives we see are: Clara events, internal competitions between salespeople, talking to people on the shop floor about Clara when on the road, as well as shared initiatives where Fashion Cloud activating the top 50 retailers and so on.
(5) Our most valuable learning is: Once retailers are active, they are very active. On average, once Clara is introduced properly, retailers order three times more than we expected. Motivating us and brands to continue our effort to introduce Clara to the shop floor.
One might ask – why do we publish such sensitive data?
We want to share that getting Clara successful has been quite a ride and there is much to learn from it. Once Clara is properly used at the retailer, a lot of “I’m sorry we don’t have it” moments are turned into “we’ll have it for you in a few days” and consumers just love that. Retailers feel they are now able to compete with pure e-commerce formats since their perceived advantage of unlimited availability is compensated by using Clara.
To learn more about Clara, click here.