What our clients say about us

Locayta will be launching their unique Freestyle Merchandising platform to a new audience at this year’s Internet Retailing Expo. For the first time some of the company’s clients including Tesco, Boohoo, Superdry, Prezzybox and Paperchase have spoken about how this advanced technology has liberated their merchandising strategies.

Recreating the high street experience online has traditionally been a challenging process as many ecommerce systems were just not designed with real-world merchandising in mind.

Now there’s a quiet revolution going on. Ecommerce companies are starting to discover true merchandising freedom with Locayta. For the first time retailers can enjoy optimised visual merchandising, search and product recommendations in a single platform offered on a software-as a-service basis.

CEO André Brown explains the philosophy behind the technology. “Online retailers in a competitive market need to tailor their merchandising strategies to multiple criteria,” he says. “It’s not just about changing product selections or search parameters any more. It’s about creating powerful, personal user journeys that inspire shoppers to buy. Locayta Freestyle Merchandising allows retailers to do just that, quickly and easily.”

Freestyle Merchandising has a unique ability to manage every aspect of search, product display and recommendation functionality within one powerful toolkit. 

The technology plugs straight into established ecommerce platforms and has the capacity to simplify complex challenges as well as streamlining costs. 

Multiple award-winning brand Prezzybox depends on high conversion rates for success. The company handles more than 2,000 orders every day across a very large product base. Until recently they struggled to find a solution to the manual task of applying multiple updates across hundreds of categories on a daily basis.

Founder and managing director Zak Edwards recalls the difficulties. “It was incredibly cumbersome,” he says. “We lost hundreds if not thousands of man hours to the task. Our business depends on getting the right products in front of the customer fast. We were constantly aware of the margin for human error across such a broad product range." 

"We looked at building our own system, but then we were introduced to Locayta. I was immediately impressed. When you see how simple Freestyle Merchandising is to use you would never guess how sophisticated the technology really is.” 

For Prezzybox, Locayta has delivered results beyond expectations. “It’s been a revelation,” says Edwards. “We have total control. We use Locayta’s Balance Factor technology to adjust the weighting of search and category results, meaning that as well as responding to user behaviour we can add our own stock control and promotional strategies into the mix. We have the ability to create filter criteria to match seasonal promotions, gift categories and internal variables. Most crucially, because every decision we make can be applied automatically across every category we’ve eliminated any margin for error and ensured that our customers experience accurate results every time. It’s no exaggeration to say that we saw conversion rates increase overnight when we started using Locayta.”

Multi-faceted control that delivers on individual retailing strategies is the defining feature of Freestyle Merchandising. Leading brands Boohoo and Superdry each have their own slant on the technology’s role in their business plan. Catherine Turner, ecommerce manager at Boohoo, outlines the challenges of fast-paced fashion retailing. “For us the ability to opt in manually where we need to is the key win,” she says. “Locayta has many automated response functions that can update search results, categories and recommendations – and that’s incredibly useful. But when a new buzz hits the catwalk it’s vital for us to be able to adapt our visual displays and search criteria at a moment’s notice. We can tie our categories and sequencing into a wide variety of trends, colour stories, collections, and special promotions in line with the latest media coverage. For Boohoo it’s all about delivering fast, relevant product placement as well as detailed category and search functionality.

Compared with other systems Locayta’s dashboard is simple to use and enables us to do that at the touch of a button.” Meanwhile, Superdry’s search and merchandising functionality is controlled by Locayta across seven international sites. The selection was a careful process according to Head of ecommerce Chris Griffin: “We undertook extensive research to find a system that could improve our search and merchandising performance,” he explains. 

“Locayta offered the perfect combination of tools for the job. It’s essential that our international sites compete effectively with localised providers. Locayta delivers the same high-grade performance regardless of which country the site is operating in. The ability to maintain superior search and category performance on a totally multilingual basis has generated phenomenal, if not unprecedented success for us. Our international ecommerce strategy has experienced four figure growth.

We’re now aiming to roll out Freestyle Merchandising to eight further international sites in the next few months.” Also enjoying a global audience is The British Museum Company Limited, with a newly re-launched site making extensive use of Locayta’s platform.

Ecommerce manager Fabrice Druelle is keen to optimise the system’s capabilities.

 “Locayta offered us a tool we simply couldn’t find elsewhere,” he says. “We have re-skinned our site to make maximum use of product recommendations and give visitors a whole new look and feel with more cross selling opportunities. You can really play with the technology. It’s totally adaptable to our product range and complex merchandising structure. We’re gearing up to tap into the system’s true potential with plans to roll out the full merchandising and search platform in the coming months. It’s an exciting time.”

Product recommendations are crucial to online retailing success and hence form a key part of the Freestyle Merchandising repertoire. Adrian Spence is the head of ecommerce at Paperchase. He points out the labour saving benefits of the system. “Our products are all about driving newness and offering fresh collections,” he explains. “At Paperchase we’re thinking much more strategically about product recommendations than some other retailers.

The ability to automate this process has saved us huge amounts of time. The search and category functions give us complete flexibility to set and change parameters. For us, a focus on prioritising new stock combined with best sellers is generating beneficial results.”

Mark Wakeley, change manager at Tesco Clothing agrees: “Until we launched with Locayta our systems just couldn’t achieve what we needed to do,” he says. “The ability to control product and accessory recommendations makes sure that customers have fast, convenient access to the products they are looking for, ultimately increasing conversion rates and order values. We’re now moving to the full Locayta system. Freestyle Merchandising is easy to use and you receive full support. We’ve experienced some staff turnover in the past year and Locayta have been quick to respond to the training needs of new people. They take the time to meet with us once a week to look at potential new advances that will tighten our performance further.”

Indeed, there is unanimous agreement on Locayta’s willingness to drive their development road map according to clients’ needs. Superdry’s Chris Griffin agrees with the Tesco experience: “They are a great company, continuously coming to us with proposals for new innovations to drive revenue. We experience a tangible return on their services. Their service is fantastic and you receive full support in implementing the system and fine tuning it to your own requirements.”

Prezzybox’s Zak Edwards also appreciates the ease with which the system was integrated. “Implementation was great – very flexible and amenable. Locayta’s people can speak our language, easily translating between technical detail and layman’s terms. They’re receptive to our ideas and happy to include our suggestions for further technological development. It’s a well priced, user-friendly system that has saved us untold time as well as dramatically increasing conversion rates.”