Focusing on ecommerce expansion and engaging franchisees, HOPE Group invests in the VTEX omnichannel
The Hope Group, composed of HOPE, HOPE Resort, and Bonjour brands, has been over 50 years producing lingerie in Brazil, is based on fundamental pillars such as the product quality associated with the expertise in modeling. Their lingerie collections value the body by combining comfort with elegance and intimacy, both in the purpose of the products and be close to customers, highly valued by the brand. With strong identification with Brazil, the HOPE Group brings beauty and comfort to its customers’ bodies and wins the hearts and minds of its consumers.
These aspects of modeling expertise and proximity to customers are closely related to the history of using VTEX technology for HOPE Resort and HOPE Lingerie brands, which operate in the beachwear and fitness and underwear segments, respectively.
To better understand how this story began, we should look back to 2020. As the pandemic left people spending more time at home and imposed restrictions on traditional retail, ecommerce had a leap into the Group, as it did in many industries. For several months, it was only through digital sales that the chain was able to get products into the Brazilian homes.
Sales were good but could have been better, and it was because of these brands’ strategic importance in ecommerce that the company felt the need to migrate to a new platform. The partnership with VTEX started in August 2020 to boost the Group’s evolution in ecommerce.
A key aspect for the company was the platform’s stability and ability to grow in scale, with mechanisms to raise its fulfillment level. Besides presenting all these characteristics, such as having promotion engines with templates aligned to the best market practices, VTEX IO has at its disposal a flexible architecture for fashion retail. The migration to IO was completed in December 2020, and it was time for a new challenge for this partnership.
One step forward: the omnichannel
Once the platform migration was completed, in January 2021, the implementation of VTEX Omnichannel started in the Group’s brands. The project involved many HOPE Group teams and the integrator Neomode, responsible for bridging the Linx storefront system with VTEX IO. This integration was essential to enable a unified inventory vision of ecommerce, the Distribution Center, which is located at the company’s manufacturing center in Maranguape, Ceará, and the physical stores’ inventories. Only then would it be possible to carry on with the Group’s ecommerce plans with the implementation of an omnichannel service focused on maximizing sales and reducing stock-outs, speeding up deliveries and overcoming bottlenecks identified in 2020.
The VTEX Professional Services team participated in the whole process, composed of an experienced team of professionals with extensive knowledge in the design and implementation of ecommerce architectures in the VTEX platform. They also know a lot about retail, providing technical, process and digital business support to the client, ensuring the best architecture and the best ecommerce practices.
We took into consideration that the client is making the integration at a time when ecommerce is seen as really important to the operation. So, our role was to ensure the transition to the VTEX omnichannel solution without jeopardizing the HOPE Group’s business flow.Adriana Caldeira, OMS leader of VTEX Professional Services.
Overcoming the logistics challenge
Increasing their delivery levels was a major challenge for the HOPE Group. Due to the DC’s location in the Northeast, the group’s brands, which already suffered from a non-competitive freight term, were more affected by the pandemic restrictions. During some months in 2020, deliveries reached over 15 working days peak, for example.
The Group’s decision to go with VTEX omnichannel, which allows for both ship-from-store and pick-up, was mainly to solve these problems and significantly improve the customer experience. The physical store on Rua Oscar Freire, in the well-known retail region of São Paulo, was the project’s pilot. This store allowed HOPE to overcome the traffic restrictions imposed on shopping malls, for example.
Besides being the brand’s flagship, Oscar Freire store is also acting as a mini-CD for ecommerce sales, being a service channel for the southern and southeastern states.Elton R. Deretti, Commercial Director of the HOPE Group.
Along with the Digital team, Deretti is leading the omnichannel project of the brands. According to the Director, another advantage is that the vendors and the Group’s team are fully engaged and prepared for the omnichannel process. Today, if a lockdown occurs, the store is ready to invoice, even if it is closed.
By integrating inventories and reviewing logistics processes, deliveries to some regions became faster, as detailed by Fernanda Benck, Digital Manager of the HOPE Group.
This more agile structure and faster delivery directly impacts customers as costs and deadlines are reduced. If previously we had some products with a freight cost of $ 20 and 10-day delivery, today the freight cost is 50% lower and the delivery time is up to two days.Fernanda Benck, Digital Manager of the HOPE Group.
With teamwork and dedication to the project, HOPE and its partners managed, within three months, to deploy the VTEX omnichannel in all group-owned stores.
Next steps: engage franchisees and increase sales
A major VTEX advantage is the harmonious coexistence between proprietary stores and franchises, as the platform already does with many other retail brands. This aspect is fundamental to the HOPE Group’s plans to engage its more than 200 franchised stores to the omnichannel.
With this partnership, the whole chain benefits from the decrease in stock-outs and the increase in customer flow in the stores, increasing the possibilities of upselling this franchise, which can also attract a new customer. The implementation with the franchisees is in a preliminary stage and should be gradually extended to the entire chain in Brazil by July.