Finlay London capitalizes on 1000% sales spike with Brightpearl’s help
Finlay London’s mission is to become the go-to destination for eyewear lovers who are looking to express their individuality.
2017 revenue growth
Finlay London is a British eyewear brand born with a rebellious spirit when it comes to designing frames. Its collection is inspired by a desire to create frames which celebrate the individuality of its wearers.
The brand was established in 2012 by four friends, including David Lochhead, Dane Butler, Tom Stannard and Sam Lawson Johnston, who set up their own eyewear brand without any experience in fashion but a desire to create frames that allow people to express their personality.
The foursome started out creating wooden frame sunglasses; a unique product that would be custom-made for each wearer. The ‘one of a kind’ offering began to attract significant media attention for the brand which only increased once a number of high profile individuals began to wear Finlay London, including Rihanna, Jenson Button and Jessica Alba.
As celebrity endorsements added new levels of interest to the brand, Finlay London, which had operated as an online and wholesale business, decided to capitalize by opening its first retail store in Soho.
As the brand grew and added new channels, the complexity of its operations became an increasing challenge. Finlay London recognized that it's much harder to deliver seamless care and service to customers when they are buying and interacting on different channels.
- Multichannel selling
- Real-time inventory updates
- Scalability of technology
Channel integration was a key concern for the business. With multiple touchpoints, there are more opportunities for delay and human error which add up to costly mistakes and dissatisfied customers.
Finlay London wanted to make sure, for example, that if a customer placed an order online and then came into their Soho store the next day to pick up their frame, that the team would be able to recognize the customer and answer questions about that particular online order.
To support channel integration, the eyewear brand needed a single solution that would provide visibility over inventory management, while also streamlining order processing and automatically updating each sales channel in real-time with information on what products were available.
It was also important to find a solution that could scale with the business as it grew and added channels.
Finlay London sought a solution that was user friendly and easy to learn how to use. David Lochhead tells us: “With multiple users accessing the system we needed a simple platform that could handle greater levels of complexity, when needed. Brightpearl fit the bill.”
“We also needed a reporting system that was straightforward to use and could give us greater insight into our business. With Brightpearl I can dip into the platform to quickly get an overview of our inventory, order fulfillment and sales. The solution is also really useful for identifying popular products, analyzing channel performance and spotting other trends.”
“Now, our store and online channels feed inventory, customer and sales data immediately back into Brightpearl and we’re able to get a snapshot of our business and performance at anytime,” David explains.
But, it was Brightpearl’s retail point of sale software, that really set it apart from competitors.
Dane Butler, Creative Director of Finlay London, picks up the story: “With the launch of our first physical store in Soho, we needed technology that could support a seamless multichannel transition.
“The POS is really intuitive and allows us to automatically feed through orders into Brightpearl that have been placed within store. Brightpearl allows us to have a complete picture of our business and deliver a seamless multichannel experience for our customers - it’s had a demonstrative impact on our customer care.”
- User friendly and easy to use
- Business-wide reporting, analytics and insights
- Intuitive and integrated point of sale solution
- Reliable, automated system to cope with unexpected sales peaks
While Brightpearl provided a solution to many of Finlay London’s daily operational issues, the platform would demonstrate its robustness when the brand experienced a sudden injection of interest.
In the past, celebrity endorsement from high profile names had caused sales spikes that Finlay London struggled to meet. As Dane notes: “We knew we needed a solution that could cope with sudden and drastic spikes in sales and that was the primary reason for switching to Brightpearl.”
The move was well-timed, as soon after implementation, Finlay London experienced a wave of overnight interest that threatened to overwhelm them. Meghan Markle, Prince Harry’s fiancée, had stepped out wearing the brand’s sunglasses at the Invictus Games and the reaction was remarkable.
David explains: “That evening, I checked our web sales and discovered that we had sold thousands of pounds of sunglasses within an hour. The next morning, I woke up to see that online sales had grown even further - we had sold over 20,000 worth of our Percy shades overnight.
“While the overnight popularity of the product was obviously very exciting, the sudden and unexpected spike in demand left us with a dilemma of how to continue to operate without being completely overwhelmed,” David tells us. “Fortunately, we’d recently moved to Brightpearl. The solution helped us to adapt and manage the surge in demand; processing thousands of orders without missing a beat. With our sales now coming into one central ‘hub’ automatically, it allowed us to view everything in one place, cutting down on admin time.”
Dane adds: “The system also helped us to automate aspects of our business, such as inventory, order processing and fulfillment processes, freeing up the team to focus on delivering first class customer service in a pressure cooker situation.”
“Having the right system in place is always helpful when managing expected sales peaks, but it becomes crucial when unexpected spikes catch you unaware. With Brightpearl, we were able to deliver the same level of service to existing customers, while providing new shoppers with speedy, high-quality service that will hopefully turn them into long-term buyers,” David explains.
Finlay London have big ambitions. David says: “We want to keep growing the brand; with the successful launch of our first store, which is now up and running, we plan to add more sites in the near future. We want to change the game on eyewear.”
And how does Brightpearl fit into these plans? Dane says: “The Brightpearl solution gives us the freedom to scale; as we add more channels, Brightpearl grows with us. Being able to run the whole business through one system is so valuable, as is having the ability to integrate the solution seamlessly with our other integrations such as Magento and MailChimp.”
As Finlay London continues to grow, David discusses the next steps for the business: “Our dream now is to become a global brand and the go-to destination for eyewear lovers, everywhere."