One of the upshots of the lockdown has been that more people are dining at home – but they want that restaurant experience. This is particularly true with pizzas. I don’t know about you, but I miss a freshly cooked, super thin pollo ad astra.
This is something that Kristian Tapaninaho and Darina Garland recognised as far back as 2012, when they set up Ooni Pizza Ovens to, in their words, “revolutionise the pizza at home industry” with their neat and cool looking ovens that can offer a proper pizza cooking experience at 500ºC in the comfort of your own home or garden.
Even before lockdown, the ovens have proved popular globally – even Die Hard star Bruce Willis has one – and Ooni is now the fastest growing company in Scotland.
Part of its success has been that it has embraced different channels for selling. It uses the traditional B2B2C route through independent specialists, department and hardware stores – including John Lewis & Partners, Dobbies and Dick’s Sporting Goods – as well as through distributors.
It also has its own website, but as also Amazon and eBay to tap into the expanding way people shop, especially on marketplaces. With lockdown further increasing sales, and with a great story to tell about its ovens, the company soon realised that it needed a better way to manage how it handled all these growing sales channels as it shifts to being a truly multi-channel, international business.
As Ooni’s financial controller Jeff Morrison says in our webinar: “It is an incredible product and there is nothing better than taking that first pizza out of the oven. But if we can’t leverage that story in our back-end it means nothing. I think we have incredible departments in the company, but ultimately we need to work together.”
To do this, Ooni has turned to ChannelUnity to help knit this all together. Morrison explains: “[Our] main objective was to bring together procurement, inventory, sales channels and finance and we had selected SAP By Design to help run this. However, we needed a unified flow across all the channels [that we now sell across]. So we looked to ChannelUnity. [It] gives us the source of information we need to allow the management of the complexity of being a multichannel business.”
Morrison continues: “We very much have ERP as the hub and have ChannelUnity as the conductor, taking the orders from the site or the marketplaces and populating them in the ERP. It then allows for the tracking data to be used back up the pipe to Amazon to give excellent customer experience.”
It also helps the company manage its inventory, shipping, tracking and returns, as well as improving how its products get found on marketplaces around the world. It also offers it the chance to keep scaling up as it expands.
And the benefits have been huge. Morrison says: “It has given us a very scalable business model and the ability to take advantage of several different sales channels. It is one source of truth for the business. It has delivered revenue growth from around £10m to more than £50m in two years. And put us in The Sunday Times Fast Track 100.
Ooni is an excellent example of just what ChannelUnity can do, adds Harry Manley, commercial director at the tech company. “A typical customer is selling on 20 to 30 marketplaces around the world with a few thousand SKUs with many different product categories. That is really complicated. We make that simple. We take that data and make one feed. We make one list for the company and use that across all sites everywhere. We then take the input from the company about a sales and map that across all the sites.”
He continues: “We also have a matrix of listings settings: pricing, shipping, language, returns policies and so on – all different in each marketplace in each country. We collate all this and apply the relevant rules to each product in each marketplace for that customer. “
He concludes: “Data can also be an issue. Marketplaces have worked hard to improve their customer experience and that means more data from suppliers and merchants. Not every merchant has the same data, or indeed all the data. ChannelUnity brings that together to help offer the marketplaces the data they need in the format they need.”
This helps marketplaces offer better CX and helps merchants get found and, for Pizza lovers everywhere, that is really the best topping of all.