Written by David Renwick
198% increase in Click & Collect sales.
Online orders reach customers (on average) 3 days faster.
Decreased staff costs at online warehouse.
Discover how Toyworld Australia utilised their store network to build an ominchannel fulfilment strategy and supercharge their growth, all powered by class-leading technology from Starshipit and stockinstore.
Toyworld is Australia’s largest specialist toy retailer with 125 stores across the country. On a mission to optimise fulfilment, Toyworld implemented Find in Store in 2020, click & collect in 2021 and lastly ship from store/store fulfilment. Toyworld used Starshipit and stockinstore to complete this omnichannel transformation.
Since implementing Starshipit and stockinstore, Toyworld has achieved:
Now, national online orders reach customers on average 3 days faster prior to ship from store and 5 days faster on a local level.
Like most retailers with an online presence, Toyworld Australia started to see a steady rise in online purchases, but the team began to worry they wouldn’t be able to keep up with the growing demand.
With all online orders being dispatched from a single warehouse in Townsville, Queensland, they were starting to run out of room and were unable to maintain the level of inventory required to sustain their desired growth.
They saw three options:
The franchise- or membership-based business model of Toyworld Australia was also a roadblock. These options would create competition between head office and franchisee store members.
The third option was the most radical change: Use their store network to fulfill online orders.
Ship from store is a shipping model where sellers use inventory held in physical stores to fulfil sales from their eCommerce channels.
Basically, when a customer places an order through an online store, that order is sent to the store that’s closest to the customer and fulfilled there instead of a central warehouse. Benefits typically include lower freight costs, faster delivery times and improved stock turnover.
Sven Karlsson, General Manager of Toyworld Australia, said the challenge was convincing store owners to get onboard with the direction they wanted to take the business.
“We had initial resistance due to concerns about how much percentage will be taken from their profits and sales.” Sven Karlsson, General Manager, Toyworld Australia.
Toyworld determined it was crucial for its franchise member stores to be engaged in their online growth. They need a solution that wouldn’t require any additional stock or staffing investment and would create a shared goal to grow the online business.
Using Starshipit’s best-in-class shipping automation and stockinstore's omnichannel solutions, Toyworld was able to connect their eCommerce and physical stores and transform their business.
Let's see how Toyworld deployed Starshipit and stockinstore.
Starshipit’s shipping automation platform is the fulfilment engine for every Toyworld store. While stockinstore handles the omnichannel logic, Starshipit handles fulfilment.
Once stockinstore determines an order needs to be shipped, Starshipit takes over and assigns couriers, writes back the relevant details to other platforms, applies smart shipping rules and generates shipping labels.
Toyworld’s franchise model benefits from a flexible fulfilment engine like Starshipit because it gives store owners flexibility when it comes to which couriers they want to use, while still giving Toyworld head office control. With this approach, head office can manage their wider brand experience and ensure they’re meeting their own targets.
With Starshipit, each Toyworld store maintains their own courier relationships and service levels with Australia Post, as is the case with many franchise models. But by centralising fulfilment, Toyworld head office gets complete oversight, no matter which store an order comes from.
Now, with Toyworld utilising their franchise locations, they’ve reduced shipping costs by 30%.
In future, Toyworld can use Starshipit’s fulfilment automation technology to take things even further, adding in a mix of couriers with shipping logic to assign the right couriers to right orders, saving even more time each week.
stockinstore’s existing omnichannel initiatives had been successfully adopted by both customers and stores, so adding the Ship from Store solution was an easy and natural progression.
Toyworld identified key stores and members who understood and were engaged in their vision to grow the brand through their Member Fulfilment initiative. There was a clear strategy to initially add stores who would provide greater online stock depth and allow the business to sell significantly more, especially during heavy promotional periods.
The technical solution required stockinstore to integrate with Shopify Plus, Retail Express, a custom stock aggregator and Starshipit for fulfilment management. It replaced multiple Shopify Apps that weren’t sophisticated for a complex store fulfilment program.
Here’s a snapshot of the key quantitative Year on Year metrics Toyworld has achieved:
The numbers are great, but for Toyworld, there was more to success than just metrics.
Here are some of the amazing qualitative benefits for the business:
To say the solution was a success would be a gross understatement. In 9 short months, 26 stores had started participating in online fulfilment. A long list of stores have since joined the queue to come onboard.