Ice cream to eCommerce is not the most obvious journey, but that’s how Julius Oliveti came to found his successful online retail company, Lupostore.co.uk. Whilst running the family ice cream business in the early 2000s, Julius’ children kept nagging him to buy them some new Pokemon cards, so he ordered a box from the USA. Unbeknownst to Julius, his stateside Pokemon order contained several cards that had not been released in the UK, and this started demand for more boxes among his children’s friends. It also sparked an idea for a new retail venture, and Lupostore – inspired by the Italian word for ‘wolf’ – was born.
Over the past two decades, Julius has expanded Lupostore’s portfolio significantly, to include a wide range of products that all offer ‘simple solutions for life’, from household items to phone accessories. It’s not just his SKUs that have grown, either; Lupostore now operates across multiple online platforms, including eBay and all Amazon websites in the EU territories and USA, as well as its direct ecommerce site.
While Lupostore has been successfully growing for the past two decades, the increasing number of channels created logistical challenges for Julius and his team as the business expanded.
“Initially we had to manage our online operation manually, and then we tried some basic order management software, but our stock control was still quite hit and miss,” he explained. To manage Lupostore’s digital presence in an integrated and co-ordinated manner, Julius recognised the need to invest in a more sophisticated multichannel fulfilment and order processing software solution. That was seven years ago, and Lupostore has never looked back.
When looking at what he wanted the chosen technology to do, Julius was quite clear in his goals. “I wanted to save time when processing orders,” he says, “and to list onto my sales platforms and amend product information easily. At the same time, I wanted to always be able to see where we were stock-wise as a business.”
“We looked at several different options, and ChannelGrabber was both the best price and the most friendly service,” Julius adds. “In fact, some of the other tech providers we chose not to go with are still calling me up seven years later, and I tell them I’m still not changing software!”
In addition to cost-effectiveness and good service, Lupostore also selected ChannelGrabber because it felt much more tailored to the company’s needs than other available solutions, which seemed to be built for corporate organisations rather than growing businesses.
Very quickly after on-boarding ChannelGrabber, Lupostore started to see significant benefits across many aspects of its business, starting with multichannel stock control – something that had motivated Julius to invest in eCommerce management technology in the first place.
“I felt much more confident that our merchant fulfilled stock levels were accurate, particularly during busy trading periods,” he says. “Not only do we have an integrated picture of inventory across all our online sites, we can set stock alerts so we know when items are going to run out.”
Investing in ChannelGrabber has also enabled Lupostore to be much more dynamic in its marketing and pricing, easily making changes to product information across its online operation, confident that all its sites are consistent. “I’m constantly tinkering with, changing and updating products,” admits Julius.
Another key improvement area has been Lupostore’s order management capabilities, as previously the company had to download customer orders as a document file, before processing and printing them manually.
“We’ve made major time savings by moving to ChannelGrabber,” remarks Julius. “Our old order management system was very time consuming, but with ChannelGrabber it’s much easier. It works extremely well for us in this respect.”
ChannelGrabber is also having a positive impact on Lupostore’s customer relationships. Julius and his team have used the solution to add a footer note to all purchase invoices, encouraging shoppers to leave reviews about their experience. The positive feedback they’ve received as a result has led to Lupostore topping the eBay search rankings in many categories, outperforming the company’s main competitors on the marketplace.
“When other business owners ask for my opinions on managing stock and orders across multiple online sites, I tell them the same thing,” Julius concludes. “Just sign up to ChannelGrabber!”
Why don’t you emulate Lupostore’s success by trying out ChannelGrabber today?