Why Invest in Mobile and eCommerce: One Company’s Experience
Itzy Ritzy, a growing baby, toddler, and lifestyle accessories brand based in Illinois, is all about parenting in style. They offer a wide range of smart, attractive products, including fashion for moms, car seat accessories, teething jewelry, nursing covers, and other soft goods. The brand’s collections are available in thousands of retail stores, from boutiques, specialty stores, and pharmacies to large chains like Babies “R” Us, Target, Nordstrom, and Buy Buy Baby. Now with a global presence across the US, Canada, Asia, Australia, the Middle East and Europe, Itzy Ritzy is reinventing practical luxury for modern families around the world. To help them write and process orders faster at trade shows like ABC Kids, NY NOW, Atlanta Gift, and STYLEMAX, Itzy Ritzy began their search for a turnkey mobile order writing solution. Eventually they found Handshake, and decided to invest in both mobile order writing and B2B eCommerce to help their business grow.
Why Invest in Mobile and eCommerce
Starting with Mobile Order Writing
For VP of Sales Tony White, the key driver for investing in mobile order writing technology was trade shows. “We were writing orders on paper,” says White. “And it would delay getting orders into our system by three to seven days.” The company sought an off-the-shelf solution that would allow their reps to place orders digitally, and then instantly sync those orders to the back office for processing. “We really wanted something turnkey. We’re not computer programmers here, so we needed a solution that was easy even for a technophobe to implement,” says White. Luckily, they discovered Handshake Rep, a mobile application that would allow reps to write orders on smartphones and tablets, while also speeding up order processing. “Ease was a big part of our decision,” says White. “Handshake support was there to help us go through the implementation.” Since then, Itzy Ritzy has been using Handshake at trade shows, and orders are now processed while their team is at the show, rather than several days after.
The Next Step: B2B eCommerce
In addition to the mobile order writing application, Handshake Rep, Itzy Ritzy has also invested in Handshake Direct Online, a B2B eCommerce platform that allows their customers to place orders 24/7. Having launched their B2B eCommerce portal in January of this year, White reflects on the reasoning behind the decision, citing both a focus on servicing independent retailers, as well as rising customer expectations for online ordering. “Our boutique business is where we will place more of our focus going forward. You need it to survive. As important as the national chains are, you want access to the people who don’t shop at those stores and want the element of customer service that you get at an independent retailer. We want to support these boutiques as much as we can,” says White. “Plus, B2B eCommerce is where the entire industry is going. It’s one of those expectations––you have to provide that online ordering experience to your customers.” Since the launch, there has been a steady flow of adoption among Itzy Ritzy’s retailers. The company sent out email blasts to inform customers of the available online portal, and reached out by phone as well to encourage adoption. While in the past, customers would call in orders by phone or send emails and faxes, they can now access the Itzy Ritzy catalog whenever they like––even outside of Itzy Ritzy’s normal business hours. They also receive an instant email confirmation, including product images. “Now our customers can access our catalog or pricing at 2:00 in the morning if they want. It’s so convenient, and gives them the flexibility to access information whenever they want,” says White. “Attention spans now are so short. There’s this ‘I want it now’ mentality, and you have to be able to react quickly and efficiently