Words: Maurizio Stella, Sales Manager at Vaimo UK

With all the letters Santa replies to each year, and his amazing gift delivery service, it’s hard to imagine he’s not using the latest digital innovations. But Vaimo has received an enquiry from Santa’s little helpers to bring him into the 21st century, aiding them in remaining number one in ‘customer’ satisfaction.

A CLOSER LOOK AT SANTA’S CONCERNS AND HOW WE PROPOSED TO MITIGATE THEM

 

PRODUCT RANGE:
Children now expect a much broader range of toys. Because of this, new business relationships have to be created with other well established manufacturers.

  • We suggested automating the order fulfillment process with the aid of Magento Order Management System, to make sure all orders automatically flow to each manufacturer.
  • Each manufacturer could either ship to Santa’s or fulfill directly through Royal Mail, UPS and other couriers.
  • Integrated couriers send the parcel delivery status to Santa’s site so kids can check the location of the gifts in real time.

FULFILMENT:
The fact that Santa can deliver everything on Christmas Eve doesn’t amaze anyone anymore since children are used to Amazon delivering within an hour. Waiting awake all night is no longer a thing apparently.

  • We proposed a deeper integration with the the RMS (Reindeer Management System), so deliveries could be scheduled based on the itinerary. As a result, Santa’s new site will offer guaranteed delivery by 1PM on Christmas Eve, scheduled guaranteed delivery within a 2 hour slot, and “scheduled delivery based on smartphone GPS location”.

ORDER PROCESSING:
Orders come through letters, eMails, sms, facebook, various messaging services and some expect Santa to simply pick up on the fact that they “liked” a toy, but were too shy to ask for it! 

  • We proposed a full omni-channel experience to provide a real single-customer view. All orders flow from the different channels into Magento which passes them over to the Magento Order Management system. This, combined with Magento Business Intelligence, will allow Santa and his little helpers to better understand children before they even wish for their present.


RETURNS:
Kids want to be able to return toys if they get bored of them.

We proposed a customised RMA module to allow for new options like:

  • return to tree: Santa will pick it up the following year. Biscuits are non-refundable.
  • return to pole: shipment at parents’ expense.
  • In both these cases, toys are returned to Santa’s warehouse and then sold on Amazon as refurbished, integrated with Amazon via M2E Pro.
  • Presents shipped via courier are subject to EU regulations for instance, so they need to offer a 30 day return policy. In these cases toys are returned to the warehouse of the third party.

PRODUCT COMPARISON AND UGC:
Children have also complained that it’s not possible to compare toys before wishing for them and that there are no reviews availible from other kids.

  • We explained to Santa that this is now considered best practice and that there are several third party technology providers that can help massively with user generated content if he wanted to save a lot of overtime for his little helpers.
  • We suggested Yotpo as their platform would take care of both reviews and other user generated content.

PRE-WISH CUSTOMER SERVICE:
Santa’s little helpers have also asked for additional help in answering queries and clarification messages. For this we had to get creative, as the amount of queries is close to being unbelievable.

Our solution for this were chatbots, as these can currently answer about 75% or all queries and delegate a more detailed answer to the little helpers only when the systems recognises the need for “human” intervention.

In addition, instead of requesting a call, the little helpers can now rely on a live chat, so each helper can control multiple chats at once, with ease.

DATA PROTECTION AND CYBER-SECURITY:
Parents have been enquiring about GDPR and cyber-security. They want to know if their child’s data is protected. It’s really important that wishes are kept a secret and properly encrypted prior to being stored and processed.

  • Vaimo had to put in place a solid SLA for this and explain in great detail what our roadmap looks like to become compliant with GDPR by May 2018, when it will be enforced. Our Security Officer is available to speak to if anyone else has similar queries.
  • We also proposed using a Content Delivery Network (CloudFlare) to make sure content can be loaded rapidly from all around the world, while also protecting the system from DDOS attacks.
  • We’ve set up processes and hardware to take care of Disaster Recovery. All is included in the SLAs that are actually available to all clients.

PERSONALISATION:
Kids are also complaining about the fact that Santa’s newsletter is presenting them with random toys they’re not interested in.

  • We proposed a collaboration with Nosto and dotMailer or alternatively Bronto, to make sure those newsletters are relevant not only to age groups and genders, rather to each individual child.
  • We also proposed to look into Movable Ink to make sure eMails are populated when eMails are actually opened. This means Santa can push kids towards some of the toys for which he has excess inventory.

SHIPMENTS:
Toy providers have been delivering parcels with delays to Santa, putting additional pressure on the picking and packing process.

  • We found that several days could be saved if providers shipped the goods directly to the children, through set couriers approved by Santa.
  • Orders shipped by providers are synced the Santa webshop and ERP systems so Santa and kids can keep track of the shipment.

EXCESS INVENTORY:
Some of the older toys produced in Santa’s factory are not being requested anymore, causing excess inventory to increase.

  • We proposed connecting the web shop with Amazon, eBay, Play, AliExpress and a few other marketplaces through M2E Pro and other custom built integrations, to recover some cash that will help pay for the bills, biscuits and fresh milk.

SEARCH:
Because children are not necessarily good at writing, Santa’s team struggles with keeping their search tool updated with all the spelling mistakes in all the hundreds of languages.

  • We proposed to use Klevu, a smart SOLR based search tool powered by an AI backbone. Because the system learns automatically from a number of areas, it requires little maintenance and few base rules.

 

On top of all this, our eCommerce Strategy department will be providing ongoing assistance in increasing conversions on the site, streamlining processes and ultimately delivering a better experience for all the kids of the world.

If you too are looking into digital transformation at any level, call us. If we’ve managed to help Santa, we’re confident we’ll manage to help you too.

 

Merry Christmas to you all!

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