Perry Ellis Rolling Out BOPA Ahead of the Holidays

Liz Dominguez
Managing Editor
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Perry Ellis interview

Designer fashion brand Perry Ellis has been navigating the retail space since its founding in 1976. What first began as an American brand has exploded into a national presence, and that has required the company to shift and adapt to new needs. Among them, more efficient and expedited fulfillment to meet increasing consumer demands. 

Jay Nigrelli, the company’s senior vice president of e-commerce, has set his sights on achieving these goals ahead of the holidays as part of his responsibilities across digital performance marketing, platform management, on-site merchandising, tech stack partnerships, post-purchase customer service, and any business relationships that impact the customer experience.

While the in-store experience remains key, for a company that has about 40% or its business generated via online sales, the real opportunity for enhancement falls within delivery. Shipping costs were escalating — the company had to raise its free-shipping threshold from $75 to $99. 

“We know customers who don’t meet that minimum will have their eyes on shipping costs, especially as the holidays approach,” Nigrelli tells RIS, and that’s why he’s working with Via.Delivery to transform fulfillment and lower costs.

More holiday prep news: Walmart Brings AR, Buy Now, and Virtual Queue Capabilities to Digital Shopping

Partnerships to Ease the Burden on Price-Conscious Shoppers

Nigrelli sought out a solution that would provide alternative shipping options for consumers to lower costs for both customers and the company. 

“Shoppers are more price conscious than ever, right now, and our online shoppers are looking for ways to balance shipping costs with speed, convenience, and security,” he says. “Moreover, we know the bulk of Perry Ellis customers live in urban areas where there’s a high level of shared housing.”

According to Nigrelli, market data signals that consumers who live in condos or apartment buildings don’t want their packages dropped at their doorsteps due to the higher risk for stealing. And so Perry Ellis wanted to give them the option of buy-online-pick-up-anywhere (BOPA) — it provides them with a more convenient, affordable option and alleviates their security concerns. 

[Read more: Bi-Mart’s Patrick O’Connell on Rolling Out BOPIS]

“We’re pursuing both BOPIS and BOPA (buy-online-pickup-anywhere) partnerships — both to save on costs and to give customers more options,” says Nigrelli. 

    The Technology Behind the Effort

    Perry Ellis is leveraging the digital logistics and cloud-based delivery platform to transform delivery. Here’s an overview of the solution’s tech capabilities. 

    • Plug-in integration: Either through the platform’s plug-in or APIs, or by integrating with OMS systems using existing solutions. 
    • Automated processes: Automated shipping label creation and printing. Once labels are created, the platform instantly delivers an electronic notification alerting the carrier the e-commerce merchant has a package ready for pick up. 
    • Tracking: A dashboard displays an item’s tracking number and estimated delivery date, and provides automated delivery notifications until the package is picked up. 

Implementation and Success Stories

While smooth, the implementation has not been a fast one, admits Nigrelli. It is simply a process that requires planning and preparing before the company can implement and then test. 

“We have to incorporate the Via.Delivery platform into our checkout stream, and then adjust shipping processes to include Via.Delivery’s labeling and tracking system,” says Nigrelli. “I’d say the main challenge has been speed, since we’re attempting to get this up and running across multiple brands before the holiday shopping season.”

While too early to tell the overall success of the initiative, Nigrelli expects about 3% of customers to choose BOPIS and up to 10% to choose BOPA. Additional benefits include a lower cart abandonment rate, reduced operational costs related to shipping, prevention of package theft, and improved sustainability. 

Through the partnership, Via.Delivery taps into its relationship with carriers to negotiate better shipping rates, trickling down those savings to the company and its consumers. Also, with the BOPA option, Perry Ellis has been able to avoid some peak season surcharges by paying commercial shipping costs instead of residential rates. This saves the company about 20-25% of online freight costs.

“Finding the right partner is key to a smooth transition,” says Nigrelli. “Shipping and delivery can make or break the relationship with your customers, and you need to have confidence your shipping partners will maintain high standards and provide a positive user experience in line with your brand.”

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