The Fragrance Shop (TFS) partners with BetterCommerce to improve the customer experience

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The Fragrance Shop (TFS), a UK fragrance retailer, has over 150 fragrance brands and 200 stores.

As a result of the partnership with BetterCommerce, TFS has a suite of business tools that serve customers in the fragrance and beauty industry, giving them the products they need and providing excellent experiences online and in-person.


The challenge

Covid-19 had a significant impact on The Fragrance Shop, with over 200 stores closing down for approximately 25 weeks. The company needed to find a way to keep the engine running and satisfy customer demands even when its physical stores were closed. It also wanted to create better omnichannel customer experiences and offer customers subscription services and purchase perks that would encourage loyalty.

TFS needed to initiate the shift online while managing a huge influx of traffic and staying on top of business KPIs, but it didn't want to lose its autonomy. Its ecommerce platform had to be flexible and customisable and provide 24/7 support from a responsive team that could help resolve issues at speed.

TFS looked to BetterCommerce to help manage this seismic shift and create a smooth transition from physical only to a hybrid of digital and physical commerce.


Adapting to the 'new normal'

The Fragrance Shop adapted to BetterCommerce's headless API approach as it gave them control of the front-end and empowered them to make customisation and UX changes easily. This approach also offers flexibility that makes custom integrations easier, so TFS can better optimise its experiences across all its channels.

In the last six months TFS has added more payment, delivery and pickup options that will suit a wider range of consumers.

With the customer always front of mind, TFS and BetterCommerce have created bespoke solutions that ensure customers can access the products they want, regardless of whether the physical stores are open or not. These solutions have supported TFS in scaling and adapting to the new retail landscape. Some of the key solutions are outlined below.


  • Ship from store

TFS deployed its 'ship from store' functionality in November 2020. Instead of having to rely on just one warehouse, this feature turned 201 stores across the country into fulfilment centres, giving customers access to any fragrance from any store location.

For seasonal businesses like TFS, these products no longer sit dormant and instead can be sent to customers in any location. This functionality was an excellent enabler for the business during Covid-19, increasing orders and satisfying delivery times, whilst selling inventory which was at risk of being written off as dead stock.

  • Customer 360

As a multi-channel business, TFS realised that in order to personalise customer journeys successfully, it needed a holistic view of its entire network - online and offline.

BetterCommerce helped TFS connect data from every touchpoint through its Customer 360 module. With all customer data stored in one place and organised efficiently, the right information can be circulated to the right teams. In-store, Customer 360 empowers on the ground staff. Armed with customer information about what they've bought previously, what brands they're interested in and the customers' online searches, the teams can tailor the service to every individual with great results.

  • Fragrance Match

Fragrance Match is TFS's AI-based tool which helps customers with their purchases. Choosing a fragrance online is no easy task, especially when people are used to walking into a store and trying out testers.

Customers are asked a question about their preferences, and the AI provides recommendations on the fragrances that will meet their scent preferences. This tool can also help if someone is looking to purchase a gift for a friend or their partner.

  • Scent addict

TFS had a vision of creating a subscription service that could serve both in-store and online customers. The team shared a brief with BetterCommerce and had a system built within the platform that would serve both types of customers, called scentaddict.

The service allows customers to pick a different fragrance every month and have it delivered to them. Alternatively, they can pick the three-month or six-month subscription options, so they have a steady stream of fragrances delivered throughout the year.


The benefits

These solutions have generated numerous business benefits for TFS. It can now offer a wider range of products to help increase average order values and scale easily during peak seasons. By providing bespoke experiences online and in-store, it can reach new customers with exciting services and reward loyal customers with new perks.


Driving key business KPIs

TFS measures customer experience and customer satisfaction through Feefo and Trustpilot, and its success with BetterCommerce has helped it achieve scores of 4.7 and 4.5 respectively.

The company has seen its active user base grow year on year, and the churn rate has reduced. As a result, TFS has been able to introduce several levels of promotions and discounts. It can also offer gifts with purchases and provide thresholds for free shipping.

'BetterCommerce has been extremely customisable, scalable and reliable, always available in terms of helping us look at new innovation and bringing it out to market. They have really assisted us with our trading metrics and improving the business year-on-year,' Ian Harrison, CDO, The Fragrance Shop.

A key KPI for the business was to run Black Friday with high availability and high scalability, despite the stores being closed during that period, and it saw success with 99.99% availability.


Looking to the future

The BetterCommerce platform enables TFS to be innovative and creative and gives it the flexibility to work at pace in order to keep ahead of competition.

By understanding TFS's strategic roadmap, BetterCommerce can help expand its product ranges and drive TFS's share in marketplaces in the future. The BetterCommerce platform will also be instrumental to TFS's future expansion into the beauty market.

'The staff at BetterCommerce understand our business. Not only can they translate the business initiatives and ideas into technology, but their technology is pretty cool as well,' Julian Holt, COO, The Fragrance Shop.

TFS will also be supported in the next stage of its digital and in-store hybrid journey. As more people feel comfortable going back to physical stores for the much-loved 'sensory' shopping experience, TFS will have the right data and customer knowledge to create the best possible in-person experiences.

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