How Mulberry increased sales by converting closed stores into online warehouses

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Mulberry e-commerce sales received a boost in 2021 when the luxury leather brand transformed its shuttered stores into online warehouses during the Covid-19 pandemic and associated lockdowns.

Mulberry, ranked Top250 in Search RXUK Top500, used a single view of its global inventory to add products stocked in its stores to its digital channels during lockdown, reducing ordering hassles and allowing goods to ship faster. This has led to increased online sales for the business – with some stores reaching their normal sales levels via digital, despite Covid-19.

Mulberry said in its half-year results ended September 26, 2021 that its digital business had helped shield it from the worst of Covid-19. First-half sales of £48.9m were down 29% from the same period a year earlier, with in-store sales down 55% to £19.4m. Digital sales of £23.4m were ahead by 68%. However, the retailer had to cut its global workforce by a quarter in the first half and, as of September 26, had reduced its store base to 111 stores.

The single view of stock was already in place when stores had to close as Mulberry had previously worked with Google Cloud to leverage data produced by sales both in its stores and online.

When Mulberry Solutions Architect, Neill Randall, started working for the brand, he said: “All of Mulberry’s data was coming in at different times, from different silos, in different formats, in different systems, which made impossible to obtain end-to-end data. end of visibility. To create a holistic view of our inventory, products and customers, we needed to bring all of this information together. »

The brand used a centralized data solution on Google Cloud to connect data that was previously spread across several different systems.

“That extra capacity would be useful at the best of times, but it proved even more lucrative when the brand had to shut down during the UK lockdown in March 2020,” says Pip White, Managing Director of Google Cloud. UK&I, in a blog post.

“By transforming its closed physical stores into warehouses for online sales, Mulberry has been able to add all products still released in stores to the company’s digital channels. The benefits quickly spread to customers, who now had an even wider selection of products to choose from when shopping online. Even better, with a better view of the status of each order, issues were easier to resolve and customers received their favorite Mulberry items faster than expected.

With the retailer’s centralized view of data, in addition to being able to see where the stock was, they could also use their customer data to make marketing campaigns more relevant and offer hyper-personalized product recommendations. This resulted in a 37% increase in click-through rate for marketing messages and a 110% increase in return on ad spend. Mulberry sells in 25 countries through a clicks and bricks strategy.

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