Planet X and On One

These Sheffield-based sister brands sell high-end bicycles and accessories. They have recently opened a showroom but the vast majority of transactions are online, where they sell thousands of bikes a year.

When we first met Planet X in late 2009 they were suffering from typical growing pains associated with a rapidly expanding business. The main problem was that their eCommerce platform hadn’t evolved to match the growth of their business, offering limited functionality to manage or enhance operations. It didn’t integrate easily with accounting, purchasing or customer service systems, which burnt time and made it hard to optimise the site to increase traffic or sales.

The Initial Brief

Planet X commissioned Hot Mustard Media to upgrade all of their back office systems, website and online marketing. The brief was broad but clear and we quickly set to work, defining a clear and measurable plan.

The Solution

After a detailed review of market-leading ERP systems, Keystone Software’s Khaos Control was selected as the central stock management, finance and order processing platform. Because of the specific requirements of the Planet X project (e.g. bike builder, fully featured content management system, back-order functionality, stock alerts, e-newsletter integration etc) we opted for a bespoke website to power the front end. This decision gave far more control and flexibility, allowing us to quickly develop the site and grow future functionality.

Traffic and sales doubled within months of launch, making Planet X one of the fastest grown SMEs in the UK.

Core features

Back Office

We delivered an integrated platform that gave Planet X complete control of the following:

  • Accounts system
  • Purchasing
  • Stock and warehouse management
  • Pick pack and dispatch
  • Reporting tools

Website

  • Launched two new websites: Planet X and On One
  • Implemented secure payment options, including third-party credit card provider and Paypal express
  • Set up a bike-to-work payment option
  • Created a central image gallery
  • Put together a fully featured blog and gallery publishing platform
  • Created a promotion engine, offering a range of upsell/cross-sell and coupon options
  • Put in place a fully integrated commenting and moderation system
  • Created dynamically updated feeds generated for Google and Google Shopping
  • Created a smart out of stock management and back order functionality.

Online marketing

  • Increased emailing list registrations with smart sign up promotion
  • Automatically generated emails based on products and news with email
  • Integrated into other sales channels (eg. eBay)
  • Implemented a smart SEO strategy that delivered top rankings in Google for core keywords (see report below)

SEO Report

Thanks to a smart site structure, templates and content plan, as well as some “off-site” activities, we’ve been able to achieve fantastic rankings in Google. Planet X’s site traffic doubled in the first three months of the project and has seen steady growth since.

Planet X and On One Google rankings

This report shows search results ranking for Google (Accurate on the 8/8/11). The majority of Planet X’s target keywords are in the top 2 results. Try the links yourself to see how the site ranks today.

Phase 2 features

Following the huge success of the new websites, a range of additional sites and features were added. which grew sales further.

Promotional features

Enhancements have now been made in the following areas, to match the functionality of the market leaders.

  • Coupon codes
  • Upsell, cross-sell and bestsellers feature
  • Customer specific price lists
  • Category specific price lists (trade prices)
  • VAT-free transactions for VAT-registered trade customers

Readers’ Rides

To build and benefit from the huge following that these brands have attracted, we built a system that allowed users to upload photos of their own bikes.

View On One readers rides View Planet X readers rides

To maximise the benefit of this system we:

  • Integrated a coupon offer to incentivise customers to take part
  • Allowed ratings and reviews so users could get feedback, whilst generating more content
  • Allowed users to buy the bike that they were admiring on readers rides
  • Showed positive readers’ ride reviews against bikes in the product template
  • Used readers’ rides content effectivly to boost SEO for bike-related phrases.
  • This resulted in over 2,000 photos being uploaded in the first six months

International Sales

Following the success of the UK sites, the platform was quickly modified to deal with international transactions. The first step was to enable the use of other currencies. We then enhanced country-specific functionality to not only charge the correct shipping rate but also remove VAT from countries outside the EU. The site also automatically detects which country a user is in and gives them the option to view the price list according to their currency.

International Sites

Once the UK sites has all the functionality to trade internationally, we quickly rolled out:

On On German Planet X France Planet X Denmark

Planet X Italy
These sites use Google Translate where necessary and load text into a smart editing system that allows human translators to fix any errors in the machine translation. This allows thousands of products to be sold with relatively little effort.

Currency calculators and price lists are also utilised to enable totally flexible pricing in each territory.

Complete list of features

Listed below are the core features that Khaos Control brings to the system.

Find out more about Khaos Control

Sales

  • Fast sales order processing
  • Quotations and pro-forma invoicing
  • Customer returns and refunds processing
  • Back order management and stock assignment
  • Picking, packing and despatch controls
  • Integrated EPOS module
  • Web order import and website integration
  • Automatic email generation (order shipped, etc)
  • Catalogues request processing
  • Credit card (pre-) authorisation and charging
  • Postcode lookup facilities (PAF)
  • Automatic courier integration
  • Size, colour, style (variants) matrix and drop down menus
  • Gift personalisation
  • Kits, bill of materials and multi-level components
  • Scheduled orders, continuities and subscriptions (optional module)

Pricing & Promotions

  • Multiple price lists (optionally based upon quantity breaks)
  • Pricing based on discounts or mark-ups
  • Special offers items
  • BOGOF (buy one get one free)
  • Product suggestions and product bars
  • Reward points
  • Telesales prompts
  • Keycode campaigns and analysis
  • Catalogue coding and pricing
  • Upsell / cross-sell

Marketing

  • Analysis: bestselling products
  • Analysis: best customers
  • Analysis: orders generated
  • Analysis: order values / dates
  • Sales, cost of sale, profit and margin
  • Agent commission reporting
  • Customer product analysis
  • Charting
  • Sales Frequency Analysis
  • Customer Lifetime Value
  • Analysis: frequent buyers / non-buyers
  • Analysis: sales channel
  • Analysis: keycode / keycode type
  • List manager to merge / diff analysis results
  • Mailing list output
  • Catalogue / keycode take-up response / effectiveness
  • Campaign profitability

Stock

  • Integrated stock control and reordering
  • Multisite, depot or branch
  • Sophisticated stock control
  • Full warehouse control (optional module)
  • Picking locations with replenishment requests
  • Fast stock look-up facilities
  • Build and relationships
  • Pack and relationships
  • Four element size / colour / style matrices
  • Audit trails
  • Reorder levels and demand history
  • Serial numbering
  • Bar coding
  • Adjustments / stock take
  • Product analysis
  • Reorder planning

CRM (Customer Relationship Management)

  • Custom letters
  • Ad-hoc direct emails
  • Report emails – send an invoice direct via email
  • Communication log
  • Customer complaints management
  • Prospect management
  • Notes: customer, invoice/picking/courier
  • Customer comments and complaints tracking
  • Actions, appointments and reminders
  • Graphic diary

Integrated Financials

  • Aged debtors / creditors
  • Sales and purchase ledgers
  • Nominal ledger
  • Cash book and  bank reconciliation
  • VAT, EC sales list and Intrastat
  • Trial Balance, Profit & Loss, Balance Sheet
  • Budgets and variance reports
  • Management reports
  • Stock valuation / cost of sales
  • Journal templates, fixed and variable
  • Recurring journals / accruals / prepayments
  • Multi-currency, periodic and spot exchange rates

Purchasing

  • Purchase ordering
  • Direct emailing to suppliers
  • Drop ship
  • On order listings
  • Goods-in / QC
  • Supplier returns / repairs
  • Recommended reordering – standard
  • Recommended reordering – based on historical sales
  • Consignments (importation)

International

  • Multiple international websites from one back-office
  • Multi-currency
  • Intrastat Reporting
  • EC-Sales Reporting
  • US harmonisation codes
  • Separate EU Country VAT Registers

General

  • System-wide drill-down
  • User security and access controls
  • User “look and feel” customisation
  • Intuitive manuals and on-line help
  • E-Commerce enabled
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