Switzerland has a reputation for quality products. This reputation is no accident; it comes from Swiss companies like Solis, who have consistently designed and produced high-quality products for over 200 years.
Solis is now a 2nd-generation family business, but it has a long history of innovation that goes back even further to 1908 when the founder, Dr. W. Schaufelberger, created the first SOLIS heating pad. The Nauer family now runs the business with the same attention to detail and commitment to high quality. During the 20th century, the brand expanded to become a global leader in electrical appliances.
Solis only recently stepped into the world of e-commerce but has found that teaming up with ChannelEngine has made this as easy and successful as possible.
Just 3 years ago, Solis started a new challenge: expansion into online marketplaces.
Solis had already started testing the market by selling on Bol.com directly. Reflecting on this experience, Solis made a new plan for an extended marketplace rollout. However, Solis’ primary expertise is in producing great appliances. The company needed partners to provide technical solutions and a better overview of product content, smooth order flow, and data-based insights.
To start with, Solis used Bol.com as inventory management and stock solution. Every product, associated content, and pricing was done manually. However, successful expansion plans require automation to function. The Swiss company needed a system that would forward all information, including tracking, into one, easy system. After looking at other solution providers, Solis chose ChannelEngine.
From the beginning, ChannelEngine offered its expertise to assist in this expansion. As a technical partner, ChannelEngine helped overcome difficulties connecting their unique ERP to every marketplace.
With each new connection between an ERP and a marketplace (or another external system), you end up dealing with a whole new set of issues and problems. Using ChannelEngine’s API-driven system, only one connection is needed to make it work – the connection with ChannelEngine.
Within just a few years of starting with ChannelEngine, Solis grew sales from just one marketplace to selling across 24 online marketplaces. What made this possible was a single ‘hub’ from which all the elements could be managed and optimized.
When the company was only selling on Bol.com, it was simple enough to use the inventory management and the insights provided by the Bol.com dashboard. These were very useful; however, Solis needed a system that could be used for all channels and ideally managed them all from a single point of access.
Solis found ChannelEngine to be the perfect match. The ChannelEngine dashboard gives staff an overview of all channels and the ability to automatically re-allocate stock from one node to another to accommodate sales and ensure that stock-outs rarely occur.
This system allows Solis to offer a ‘hybrid delivery’ that leverages the ability to switch fulfillment solutions if stock runs out at the third-party provider. Using ChannelEngine, the correct VAT invoices are easily generated automatically, and taxes are calculated at the right rate each time. Using the repricer tool, Solis can ensure a constant sell-through of products. This tool contributes to the success of this market-leading brand.
The technical aspect of integrating with marketplaces was a real challenge for Solis, and this was where a lot of attention was needed. However, Solis found that connecting with ChannelEngine went pretty smoothly.
What impressed the company the most was the way that ChannelEngine was able to offer a tailored response and open communication at every step. To quote Daan de Jong (Global Marketplace Manager at Solis), “With ChannelEngine, it was always easy to speak to the right person. It’s an agency that can help to really build a brand.”
Many merchants experience difficulties in getting assistance from marketplaces themselves, including the big players like Amazon and Bol.com. However, integrating with ChannelEngine gives Solis an advantage because the company has given us a ‘direct line’ and can help make the connection with the right person to solve any issues quickly.
“ChannelEngine understands what we want. With a dedicated account manager who explained what we could do, they’re not only a technical solution but an agency that can help.” -Daan de Jong, Global Marketplace Manager at Solis.
Solis has found that ChannelEngine is a company that works together with the client and responds to the individual situation and needs. This strategy has enabled a smooth expansion, and ChannelEngine continues to assist Solis as we move into the future.
Since the company started to connect with ChannelEngine, Solis has grown its business by more than 20% through selling via new channels, and it’s now seen as one of the essential sellers on many marketplaces such as Bol.com and Mediamarkt.de.
According to Daan de Jong, “This integration has brought us much closer to the goal of connecting to every marketplace where customers who are looking for quality products might be found.”
In the future, Solis plans to optimize processes for content to make it even easier to add new products and grow further with new sales channels. Naturally, Solis intends to grow our business in current channels and expand into new channels when the time is right.
Ultimately, by using the expertise of ChannelEngine the company intends on growing our online sales in the coming years to exceed the level of their current retail business.