There were once strong silos between e-commerce, retail, and wholesale fulfillment. But in 2023, this is no longer the case.
Today, retail is retail. Fulfillment and logistics have merged. Moreover, retail is everywhere. It’s an optimized mobile site, an Instagram advertisement, a link from a friend, or a casual window shop past a storefront.
Consumers aren’t paying attention to where they begin their buying journey with a brand. But they do have high expectations for a seamless, cohesive experience – no matter the starting point.
The results are in: omnichannel brands who consistently meet their customers where they are will come out on top. A positive customer experience is essential, but one question remains: how can omnichannel brands continue to meet expectations while remaining profitable?
We spoke with expanding apparel company Stance Socks about how they leverage Ryder E-commerce by Whiplash to create a seamless, omnichannel fulfillment experience for their customers – every time.
In 2009, Stance embarked on a mission to take an overlooked wardrobe staple (socks) and make it exciting. Operating from the philosophy that everything customers wear should be an extension of their unique selves, Stance is truly Stitched Different®.
With a customer-first approach, the apparel company doesn’t stick to a singular buying journey. They have a stellar social media presence where shoppers can browse products right from the app, a site optimized for desktop and mobile, an Amazon presence, and multiple brick-and-mortar locations.
Recently, Stance went head-to-toe with apparel – creating even more shopping opportunities for their community. Why? Because giving consumers the power to choose their own journey enables a customer-centric culture that will keep them coming back.
But an omnichannel, customer-first approach isn’t always an easy one to implement. With multiple customer journeys and locations, there are an exceptional number of moving parts to get products to customers in a cohesive and cost-friendly way.
In order for Stance to keep their customers at the forefront while maintaining an optimized and profitable fulfillment operation, they needed to find a third-party logistics partner that could rise to the challenge.
Stance Socks embarked on a search for an optimal location, localized freight, and an operation that could be tailored to their complex fulfillment profile. They came across Enlinx (now a part of the Ryder E-commerce by Whiplash network) through word-of-mouth marketing.
With three brick-and-mortar stores in the Salt Lake City area and a large base of online shoppers, Stance needed a fulfillment partner that could seamlessly handle end-to-end fulfillment for orders coming in via multiple channels.
Ryder E-commerce by Whiplash’s Utah facility checked all the boxes: a geographical advantage, operational expertise, and cost-effective, localized freight forwarding. With over 400,000 sq. ft. of multi-client space, the Salt Lake City facility is intersected by two major cross-country freeways for ease of transportation, the I-15 and I-80.
“We decided to move forward with the Salt Lake City facility due to its strategic location and the high level of operational service,” says Alex Albert, Vice President of Operations at Stance Socks. “We’ve just had some incredible cyber week results, and we’re very happy with the support that Ryder E-commerce by Whiplash has provided.”
One of the most difficult aspects of fulfillment is demand planning – especially for social media savvy, fast-growing companies. With a simple promotion or post, orders can spike exponentially in just a few hours. In this setting, fulfillment can pose many problems without the help of a professional partner.
Because of Stance Sock’s strong entrepreneurial history, they know just how quickly a brand can scale – and how important it is to have the right plan in place when orders are skyrocketing. When their previous partner wasn’t able to keep up with their growth, they knew it was time for a change.
“When we connected with Ryder E-commerce by Whiplash, it was really around finding the right partner that could grow with us and build a foundation for a unique partnership,” said Albert. “Over the course of our time together, we’ve fine-tuned on both the Stance side and Ryder E-Commerce by Whiplash side how we execute and plan with each other. This relationship has helped us find synergy and ultimately streamline our fulfillment.”
With established service level agreements, SOPs, and continuous improvement initiatives, Ryder E-commerce by Whiplash has been able to help Stance achieve three key results:
“Stance’s operation in Salt Lake City requires the same high level of service for every order – no matter the original channel,” says Madison Tullis, account manager at Ryder E-commerce by Whiplash. “Our team here works very closely with Stance to understand their customer’s expectations and maintain strong service levels for both e-commerce and retail fulfillment.”
With the Stance Socks partnership during the period that Enlinx was acquired by Ryder E-commerce by Whiplash, Stance had some concerns that the changes would result in a lower level of service that could potentially hurt their operations.
“As soon as we elevated the need for establishing rapport, Ryder E-commerce by Whiplash answered,” says Albert. “Jeff Wolpov acted fast and provided a professional environment where we could make fast friends and business partners – something that could have potentially taken a very long time.”
Because of the company’s agility and access to all levels, the leadership team at Ryder E-commerce by Whiplash was able to quickly connect with Stance on their fulfillment requirements, providing a quick and dedicated service ramp-up, and laying the groundwork for a robust partnership.
“Omnichannel brands require exceptional attention to detail when it comes to building a scalable operation,” says Jeff Wolpov, SVP of Ryder E-commerce by Whiplash. “Our lean management structure allows our customers access to top-level management, and we are completely committed to their success.”
So, what’s next for Stance Sock’s omnichannel fulfillment journey with Ryder E-commerce by Whiplash? Well, it’s all about the customer experience. In the future, Stance is looking to add more value at every customer touchpoint, increase their SLAs, and continue to optimize their fulfillment.
This won’t be possible without people on the ground who are fully in tune with Stance’s customer-centric mindset and committed to delivering excellence to their customers. As Stance continues to grow, they hope to leverage Ryder E-commerce by Whiplash’s network and operational capabilities to provide their customers with best-in-class service.
“We’re seeing a commitment to excellence within our new structure at Ryder E-commerce by Whiplash, and our main goal is to continue to evolve this relationship,” says Albert. “From exploring seamless returns to establishing new fulfillment goals, Ryder E-commerce by Whiplash will be a key partner in helping us continue to improve our customer experience.”