terrys fabrics

Info

  • Client: Terrys Fabrics
  • Marketplaces: Amazon, Ebay, Etsy
  • Platforms: SAP, Shopify
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"Marketplaces like Amazon, Ebay and Etsy are becoming a more important part of our business. We struggled to make the most of the opportunity before ChannelUnity but now they make a really important contribution."

Paul Mcguinness
Owner

Background

Terrys Fabrics is a retail business based in Newcastle-Under-Lyme, Staffordshire.  The company started life as a market stall holder in the 1970s, which expanded into bricks-and-mortar retail operation.   In recent years the company has opened a large, modern showroom and also transformed itself into an online business, and now has approximately 50 employees.

Marketplace Manager Ashley Tweats joined the business full time in 2015.    He’s responsible for a small team taking care of operations on Amazon, Ebay and Etsy using integrations provided by ChannelUnity.   The business prides itself on customer service and has a team of CSRs who use Shopify as their main day-to-day system. The company has a separate back-office order management system, controlling purchasing and logistics, and also a 3PL service operated on the same order management platform.

Before Channel Unity

ChannelUnity was implemented in November 2019. The solution has solved all of the issues experienced with earlier platforms, allowing Ashley Tweats to increase the range of products offered on Amazon and Ebay three fold, whilst adding the Etsy marketplace channel to the line-up.

“We’ve gone from 79 master products, each with hundreds of variant SKUs, to 258. This takes less resource to manage than we ever had before, and our marketplace business levels have more than doubled”.

From a ChannelUnity perspective, the issues which the solution overcame are typical of new customer implementations.  Matt Ross, ChannelUnity’s Technical Director, comments “Marketplaces all have different ways of representing variant products, and to make the shopping experience as simple as possible for the customer, it’s important to be able to create a single marketplace listing with options for size, colour and other attributes, factoring in stock availability, price points and item sizes/weights for shipping. 

And marketplace integration requirements do change over time.  If it wasn’t our main business focus, it would be impossible to stay on top of it”.

Another significant benefit experienced by Terrys is ChannelUnity’s flexible rules on shipping, especially for the Ebay channel.   For example, curtains have a typical weight/size/cost profile, and can be shipped anywhere in Europe.  However, the physical dimensions of curtain poles limits the range of parcel carriers which can be used economically, and thus the available options by marketplace.  Terrys Fabrics also offer cut fabric and low-priced samples, with free shipping.  The business is able to group its products into different categories and apply a rules template at the category level, reducing the maintenance effort in controlling the marketplace offer. These templates govern the available destinations, shipping options and charges on the marketplaces. 

ChannelUnity – Reducing Complexity and Coping with Change

ChannelUnity was implemented in November 2019. The solution has solved all of the issues experienced with earlier platforms, allowing Ashley Salt to increase the range of products offered on Amazon and Ebay three fold, whilst adding the Etsy marketplace channel to the line-up.

“We’ve gone from 79 master products, each with hundreds of variant SKUs, to 258. This takes less resource to manage than we ever had before, and our marketplace business levels have more than doubled”.

And marketplace integration requirements do change over time.  If it wasn’t our main business focus, it would be impossible to stay on top of it”.

Another significant benefit experienced by Terrys is ChannelUnity’s flexible rules on shipping, especially for the Ebay channel.   For example, curtains have a typical weight/size/cost profile, and can be shipped anywhere in Europe.  However, the physical dimensions of curtain poles limits the range of parcel carriers which can be used economically, and thus the available options by marketplace.  Terrys Fabrics also offer cut fabric and low-priced samples, with free shipping. 

Customer Service

Ashley’s experience of ChannelUnity’s support service has been excellent. “We normally log tickets via ChannelUnity’s online portal, and at first we were concerned about getting any requests prioritised. But they always get back to us in an hour, and if anything is more complicated it’s fixed the same day. We can’t fault the response at all”.

From a ChannelUnity perspective, the issues which the solution overcame are typical of new customer implementations.  Matt Ross, ChannelUnity’s Technical Director, comments “Marketplaces all have different ways of representing variant products, and to make the shopping experience as simple as possible for the customer, it’s important to be able to create a single marketplace listing with options for size, colour and other attributes, factoring in stock availability, price points and item sizes/weights for shipping.

The business is able to group its products into different categories and apply a rules template at the category level, reducing the maintenance effort in controlling the marketplace offer. These templates govern the available destinations, shipping options and charges on the marketplaces.   

Coping with Coronavirus

The Coronavirus pandemic in the spring of 2020 caused greater interest in craft-related products, and being an online retailer of fabrics, Terry’s was well placed to supply the needs of consumers under lockdown. 

Ashley Salt comments “We were in growth mode already but Coronavirus has accelerated that by 12-18 months. I’m so glad we had ChannelUnity up and running, otherwise that demand might well have passed us by.”

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