Retail Merchandiser - July/August 2013 - (Page 100)

E-Commerce SHOPLET.COM Leading a Transformation A focus on profitability, innovation and sustainability helps remain a leader in online retail, and become the number one virtual retailer in the office product category. ‘O Tony Ellison, co-founder president and CEO New York City ur model was different than that of many online retailers,” says co-founder, CEO and President Tony Ellison of the late-1990s “Internet bubble” that saw scores of online ventures go out of business after a brief period of success. “We’ve built Shoplet brick by brick, and was never looking to get rich quick. We were turning a profit before dot-coms were in vogue starting in 1997. “We’re not the normal story of someone having an idea and going to an IPO to raise funds; this is a private enterprise,” he adds. “Our profitability and concentration on customers is why we didn’t have the problems others had. We were growing triple digits year-over-year, and were cash flow positive, so we didn’t really have any reason to bring in money from the outside and in the process lose control of the company.” Since 1994, has offered businesses and consumers discount office supplies, computer hardware, office furniture, ink and toner supplies, cleaning and maintenance equipment and paper. The company offers more than 600,000 SKUs, a number that will likely increase before the end of the year, Ellison says.”Our vision has always been to offer the largest and widest selection of business products, and create a single-source environment whereby our customers get free next day delivery and save 10 to 35 percent on their purchases,” he adds. The company is also enhancing its mobile sites and building a “Shoplet Select” site for long-term and regular business customers that offers contract and corporate pricing as well as reduced freight rates. “We’re very focused on customizing and enhancing our customer experience and increasing the lifetimes of our customers,” Ellison says. International expansion is also in the works. Earlier this year, Shoplet launched a website in the United Kingdom – – with additional expansion into Canada planned this fall and future expansion planned into China and India. “We are taking the playbook that has been very successful for us in the United States and using that to expand internationally,” Ellison says. “Between 2005 and 2013, we’ve seen a seismic shift from offline shopping to online; we want to be a part of the transformation of the industry.” Making an Impact A concentration on customer service is another reason Shoplet outlasted many of its contemporaries in the e-commerce world. “We believe in offering the best selection, the best service and most effective platform to transact from,” Ellison notes. The company prides itself on providing exemplary service in ways traditional as well as new, such as through social media and online. “We don’t outsource our customer service overseas; it’s all done here in the office,” he adds. “When you call, you’re not directed to a series of lengthy teleprompts; we strive to pick up the call immediately on the spot.” Shoplet’s customer-centric approach extends to the 100 July/August 2013

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Retail Merchandiser - July/August 2013

Retail Merchandiser - July/August 2013
Digital Messaging
How to Bring New Life to the Center Store
Fall Toy Preview 2013
WWWDMAGIC 2013 Fashion Preview
Hispanic Footwear
Firm Fashion Fixture
Macy’s Magic
Generating Buzz
Looking Sharp
On the Trend
Shoe Sensation
Victorinox Swiss Army Inc.
Hiller’s Market
Patrick James Inc.
Art Van Furniture
Fairway Market
Architec Housewares
Easy Rest Adjustable Sleep Systems
Burnstad’s Market
Shoe Carnival Inc.
Destination XL
Hibbett Sports
R.H. Ledbetter Properties
Goodwill of Central Arizona
Beyond the Rack LLC
Cymax Canada
Diamond Nexus
New & Notable

Retail Merchandiser - July/August 2013