Since starting out in 1986, JML has been creating new product brands, many of which have become household names. The company also brings the best and most innovative brands from around the world to the UK and Irish market. The company focuses on products that solve problems, such as super non-stick pans, the ultimate steam irons, and the latest in hair removal technology.
The company manufactures and distributes, employing around 300 people, many of whom are agents working to support retailers. The company operates the JML Direct home shopping channel, JML Direct websites for both UK and the Republic of Ireland based on Magento 2, and is active on Amazon and Ebay online marketplaces.
Prior to implementing ChannelUnity for marketplace integrations in November 2019, JML worked with ChannelAdvisor. But recognising the growing online marketplace opportunity, Ecommerce Director Jai Whiting felt that a new approach was called for -
“We already had plenty of in-house marketing capability to optimise the content of our marketplace listings. But we needed a more nimble technology partner to work with us on realising our growth strategy”.
After a process of in-depth interviews with multiple vendors, ChannelUnity won out.
“It was a combination of factors. We already had around £3m a year on marketplaces, and we couldn’t afford to put that at risk. But we wanted to make our processes slicker, remove manual intervention and have a partner by our side who could cope with ongoing change”.
“When we run TV campaigns, our Amazon sales figures track our website sales in real time”, says Jai. With large quantities of stock selling a short space of time, it’s essential that inventory positions on marketplaces and the in-house websites are kept in sync. This is achieved perfectly in ChannelUnity, using its multi-channel inventory reservation capability. The solution at JML also accounts for bundled products, where complimentary items are grouped together in a single Amazon listing, comprising multiple items with different unique identifiers. Obviously, sales through any channel of any of the bundled components affects availability of the bundle listing. ChannelUnity solution handles this element of complexity quite effectively.
JML now processes tens of thousands of sales orders a month, but never takes an order which it cannot promptly fulfil.
Having implemented Magento 2, supported by other systems for product management and inventory supply, JML wanted a system for marketplace integration that did its job quietly, in the background. “We didn’t want another place to maintain product data, or another admin panel to keep track of. We wanted a solution that ‘just worked’.”
This fundamental requirement has been satisfied. There have been very few operational issues since go-live.
Since implementing ChannelUnity, marketplace sales have grown from £250k per month to over double that figure. Marketplaces now represent 30% of JML Direct’s online business, and that figure is set to grow further.
“In six months since adopting ChannelUnity, marketplace revenue more-or-less doubled”
Jai Whiting, Ecommerce Director, JML Direct
Over and above any other benefit, Jai Whiting values the support services provided by ChannelUnity.
“They’re real people who understand business priorities. The go-live was excellent, and we’ve had relatively few issues since. Anything that crops up has been easily and quickly resolved”.