UK toy retailer The Entertainer has reported an increase in online sales after it started using a new private cloud and rolled out an omnichannel solution from hybris.
The hybris solution based on Rackspace infrastructure, which the retailer worked with consultancy Conexus to implement, enabled it to launch a responsive website design to optimise the user experience across mobile devices, as well as a same-day click and collect service.
According to The Entertainer, in the five weeks up to Christmas 2014 total website sales was 60 percent higher than in the same period the previous year. Further, sales via the click and collect channel grew 81.7 percent last year, compared to 2013.
Ian Pulsford, head of IT services at The Entertainer, said: “[The Rackspace Private Cloud’s high performance] has allowed the business to deploy a click and collect service, which has improved the customer experience and boosted sales.
“A crucial aspect of click and collect is having an effective stock management system, which we also power by the cloud. Every evening between midnight and 4am we monitor the stock available in each store, collecting data on our 17,000 products. This ensures that the availability we offer our click and collect customers is accurate and updated in real time.”
The Entertainer decided to move from its previous cloud provider to Rackspace for the scalability of the latter’s private cloud. This allows the retailer to cope with the seasonal demand and traffic spikes typical of the sector.
For instance, the toy shop generates half of its annual revenue in November and December, in the run-up to Christmas. In addition, The Entertainer is able to cope with peak demand to its website and stores, created by the latest toy craze, quickly ordering a large amount of the required stock to help each store meet the demand.
The Entertainer plans to continue to rely on cloud computing to support its future business. This includes continuing to use VMware managed virtualisation for the majority of its infrastructure, and bursting into the public cloud during busy marketing campaigns.