How do you create a digital solution that captures the unique atmosphere of the physical store? And how do you grow your online business without cannibalising existing sales channels?
Søstrene Grene is a franchise chain store – founded in Denmark in 1973. The store concept is known as “Anna and Claras wonderful world” with a labyrinthic store design, classical music, dimmed light, and color coordinated products that spans from furniture to paper products, hobby gadgets, kitchen utensils, toys and much more.
After several years of offline growth through a successful franchise business model, Søstrene Grene decided to exploit its digital growth potential. For this to succeed, a clear link between the stores and the digital channels had to be created.
That's why Søstrene Grene turned to Vertica for help in creating the right omnichannel strategy.
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Prior to completing the omnichannel strategy, we conducted a thorough analysis. Among other things, we conducted a number of customer interviews, visited stores and warehouses in Denmark and abroad, and conducted stakeholder interviews, process analyses and competitor analyses.
Customer interviews with Danish and German audiences revealed a strong desire for a digital version of the universe. In other words, there was an obvious business potential.
Process analysis and visits to shops and warehouses
Visiting selected stores in Denmark and Germany, we learned about the conditions that apply in a Søstrene Grene store. We also used the visits to different partners (franchisees) to uncover more perspectives of the business and understand the concrete workflows in the stores.
We gained important insights into what demands we can afford to place on staff in an advisory role and what the requirements are for stock management in a busy day. This provided valuable input for prioritising omnichannel efforts. At the same time, the dialogue made co-players rather than adversaries of the partners.
Following the visits to stores and warehouses, we carried out a number of process analyses. Here, we mapped which processes were affected by the omnichannel initiatives, including the extensive upgrading of procedures in product enrichment and fulfilment. This also provided an overview of other development projects in the organisation that were relevant to the omnichannel activities.
Stakeholder interviews and competitor analysis
Interviews with Søstrene Grene's C-level employees provided evidence of broad support for the business transformation initiatives. At the same time, they contributed to the preparation of the strategic roadmap. They also ensured coordination with other overall initiatives in the company.
The competitor analyses provided important input for the development of the digital presence. Among other things, how the strong presence on social media channels could be exploited in the go-to-market strategy. And not least how Søstrene Grene could position itself in relation to competitors.
The collaboration with Vertica has been fantastic. They are good at understanding the challenges we face as a business and as an organisation. They are also good at challenging us when needed. This is a quality that is extremely important in a partner when embarking on a journey like this.
And last but not least, they are pleasant people to work with, so the daily collaboration is really nice.
Rasmus Skjøtt, Chief Digital Officer at Søstrene Grene
Experiences like no other
Based on insights from the analysis, in a close collaboration Vertica and Søstrene Grene developed an omnichannel strategy under the heading "Experiences like no other".
The strategy vision unfolds how Søstrene Grene will convey Anna and Clara's wondrous universe in a modern digitalised reality through personalised services across digital and offline channels.
The guiding principle is an omnichannel roadmap with phased focus areas over a three to four year period. It also includes concrete tools to link the company's offline and online channels.
The roadmap includes the establishment of an omnichannel platform, a product management system, a loyalty programme and much more.
From 0 to 125 million DKK in less than a year
After just one year since going live with the new digital solution, among other things Søstrene Grene achieved the following:
Online revenue in the three-figure million range
Being online in six different markets
+71% growth in time spent on site
Increased offline sales in markets with digital sales channels.
5.5 million products sold online
+180 new web warehouse employees.
Gold in the E-Commerce Award for Best E-Commerce Case
Gold in the Danish Digital Awards in the Digital Transformation category