19 stores - Fashion, Cosmetics & Accessories

Informed Retailer Case Study

How one of Australia’s leading multi-store, omni-channel fashion retailers is using data-driven insights to continuously optimise customer experience & business performance.

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“Retail Express and Phocas have been transformational for our business. We are now making informed decisions rather than relying on gut instinct.”

– Douglas Low, CEO – Incu

Return on Investment Summary

Bricks and clicks success.

Incu is held up by fashionistas and business commentators alike as an Australian retail success story. Whilst overseas and pureplay e-commerce powerhouses have changed the shape of the sector for good, Incu have consistently demonstrated how a domestic ‘bricks & clicks’ retailer can thrive by offering a highly relevant, unique value proposition to Australian consumers.

Today Incu owns and operates 19 retail stores located across Sydney, Melbourne and the Gold Coast as well as a successful global online business. The fact that they recently doubled the floorspace at one of their flagship boutiques in Chadstone, Melbourne to 150 square metres is a clear testament to the value Australian shoppers still place on a physical store experience.


An immersive customer experience.

From the very start, Incu set about creating a retail concept that would be at once innovative, personable and unique. As Douglas Low, CEO of Incu explains:

“Our overriding goal is to curate great fashion brands and make them accessible to everyone. Visiting a fashion boutique shouldn’t be an intimidating, impersonal experience. It should be welcoming and enjoyable for everyone. We want to create an inclusive, immersive shopping experience that sets us apart from everyone else.”

Incu recognise that this depends upon having deep understanding of their customers and continuously evolving their retail operations to meet and exceed their needs.

Business insights to drive, superior customer value.

Incu have invested in the right systems to make data-driven continuous improvement a reality.

By best aligning their product portfolio, stock availability, store experience and every other moment of truth with customer ideals, Incu can offer superior value in a highly competitive landscape.

To achieve this customer-centricity, Incu have focused on building out their Business Intelligence (BI) capabilities and making vital insights accessible at all levels of their operations – all powered by Retail Express and Phocas.

Retail Express & Phocas:
Powering The Informed Retailer

The insights and operational tools needed to thrive in one integrated cloud solution.

With Retail Express, all of Incu’s stores and employees are working from one cloud-based retail management system so their data is centralised and consistently structured. The direct integration between Retail Express and Phocas BI software then allows them to easily slice and dice all their key business data to identify performance trends, new business opportunities and areas for improvement.

Intuitive drag & drop reports.

With the Retail Express and Phocas integration, insightful reports can now be built with just a few button clicks.
Incu’s team can use a highly intuitive drag and drop interface to get a 360 degree view of their operations, isolating or overlaying data in key areas such as:

  • Product sales and margin
  • Customer profiles and buying behaviour
  • Inventory
  • Stores
  • Employees

Rapid response and optimisation.

With data and insights more accessible, Incu can adapt and innovate more quickly.

Different teams and stores within Incu can review dynamic dashboards to quickly fine-tune their operations to best meet customer needs. For example, making sure that strong performing products are always optimally stocked for availability in each store. If inventory levels are too low in a particular store, a live stock transfer can be instantly automated from another store to achieve the optimum balance. Store managers are now creating weekly goals and strategies and are able to quickly evaluate how effective merchandising or training has been.

What used to require extensive manipulation of multiple databases and spreadsheets is now available with a few clicks of a button. The result is that Incu can spend their time acting on insights rather than trying to pull data and reports.


Company-wide score cards.

Incu have created standard at-a-glance scorecards for each of their stores based on the core KPIs that they know drive customer value and business profitability.

There is now full performance transparency and a means to evaluate the impact of business decisions and new practices.

“Everyone across the business now has a real-time view on what’s working and what needs more attention. We can ensure that great performance gets recognised. When we see something that’s working well in one store, we can replicate it in others and then adapt from there. We are able to strike the balance between each store having an element of uniqueness but also consistently applying the practices we know all our customers love” says Douglas.


Creativity, innovation and data:
A virtuous cycle.

Incu is a prime example of how a retailer can introduce a data-driven approach to business whilst still being innovative and engaging.

As Douglas explains “Retail Express and Phocas have been transformational for our business. We are now making informed decisions rather than relying on gut instinct. We still believe in encouraging our employees and stores to be unique, creative and innovative but we are able to back this up with quantifiable data to guide where we focus our efforts."

At the end of the day, the data doesn’t lie. We are able to see which product and services our customers respond best to in each store and ensure we continue to refine the experience and can go the extra mile for them.” says Douglas.

Maximising inventory availability through Data-Driven insights.

With the majority of Incu’s purchasing being indented six months ahead of season, having access to insights based on historic performance of similar categories and brands is invaluable in product assortment selection and forecasting.

Incu are also able to leverage powerful inventory optimisation algorithms within Retail Express to identify stock that should be replenished across their network and then automate Purchase Orders based off this. They can also automate internal stock transfers amongst stores to best leverage current stock on hand across their network.

“By using data and insights to drive inventory decision making rather than gut instinct, we can maximise stock availability whilst avoiding overstocking – this ultimately drives best value for the customer” says Douglas.

Enabling An Endless Aisles Strategy.

With an insatiable appetite for continuous improvement, Douglas is excited about even more transformational practices that Retail Express and Phocas can unlock for Incu and it’s customers.

“We want to leverage the full potential of Retail Express and Phocas to offer a truly unique omni-retail experience, ensuring the best new brands and collections are always available to our customers. This includes employing an endless aisle strategy where we can make all inventory accessible to customers across all our channels.”

"One of the key things I value from working with Retail Express is that they are committed to close communication and keeping us in the loop. Knowing you are being listened to, and provided with straight answers is an important part of any partnership.” says Douglas

Deliver the best customer experience across all channels.

Cut down on the duplicate work and meet your customers wherever they are. Reduce lost sales and increase your margins with Retail Express.

Until you’ve seen and tried Retail Express you have no idea of what you’re missing out on with your current system.
— Corey Davison, Johnny's Furniture

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