Innovative Retail Technologies

NOV-DEC 2016

Innovative Retail Technologies (formerly Integrated Solutions For Retailers) is the premier source for innovative yet pragmatic technology solutions in the retail industry.

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A clunky and error-prone order process forced Gameday Merchandising to implement an innovative solution that enables the company to access international orders with ease. G ameday Merchandising is a licensed merchandise provider for professional sports teams and events. The com- pany manages online e-commerce stores for brands that have global appeal and was trying very hard to satisfy requests for merchandise outside of the United States. In order to meet the demand and overcome time-consuming and costly challenges associ- ated with cross-border order management, Gameday Merchandising turned to technol- ogy to help it be a global powerhouse. "We dedicated a great deal of time, labor, and money to taking orders from outside the United States," laments Victor Rubio, director of e-commerce at Gameday Merchandising. "Estimating and calculating shipping costs and customs fees alone was a full-time job. Further, we were tasked with successfully securing the international orders and ensuring they were not fraudulent. We had to communicate with the customer about delivery schedules, additional fees, etc. This became a major pain point for us, because we had to dedicate quite a few resources to perform this process properly, and, sometimes, we got it wrong. For example, we provided cost quotes in the customer's native currency. If we miscalculated the amount, and the customer decided that they didn't want to pay the additional amount, then what? How do we get the product back? How would we avoid that loss?" Gameday Merchandising Tackles Global Expansion Estimating and calculating shipping costs and customs fees alone was a full-time job. Victor Rubio director of e-commerce, Gameday Merchandising Customize User Experience, Capture New Markets Rubio and his team needed a solution that would end the numerous issues associated with international orders. A few years ago, he attended IRCE and met with Bongo, which was acquired by FedEx in 2014 to become FedEx CrossBorder, and he found the solution to be the answer to Gameday's needs. FedEx CrossBorder allows Gameday Mer- chandising's customers to order products on the company's e-commerce site and perform a standard checkout process. Before the transaction is complete, FedEx CrossBorder offers a button that says, "Would you like to ship this outside the United States?" When customers click that button, all the products in the cart are then moved to the FedEx cart. Then the customer is allowed to select the language they prefer, select the currency they prefer, and then enter all the details neces- sary to complete the order: shipping address, shipping method, etc. All of that information is processed and guaranteed up front for the customer. The customer then buys merchan- dise from Gameday Merchandising, knowing how much it's going to cost, how long it's go- ing to take, and that price is guaranteed. "If FedEx is $10 short on customs, it doesn't matter — that fee is guaranteed, and the customer does not need to account for the ad- ditional cost," explains Rubio. "The customer has BY ERIN HARRIS Proven Innovations the peace of mind knowing that the product they've ordered from outside their borders will arrive on time without extra cost. This benefits Gameday Merchandising as well in that we can provide that customer with that service, as FedEx assumes the responsibility of checking the validity of the credit card, making sure that it's not a fraudulent transaction. Once FedEx is secure with the order, they then pass the order automatically to us through our API (application program interface). We ship that product to one of the United States' prepackaging areas. They then open the package, repurpose it for inter- national shipping, fill out all the documentation, and then ship to the customer abroad, giving the customer an update as the item is in transit." Rubio explains that implementing FedEx CrossBorder has saved the company tremen- dously in terms of time, money, and labor. "This has opened up a whole new world to us in terms of savings and the ability to remain competitive in a global market; it's been a time- saving blessing." 23 Nov-Dec 2016

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