Bath and Body Works
Employing data driven Creative Design and UX best practices, BlueBolt envisioned a new internal ordering process for Bath and Body Works retail store managers. The result? Increased employee satisfaction and decreased store order errors, which also made the corporate team happy.
Bath & Body Works, LLC. is an American retail store chain that sells soaps, lotions, fragrances, and candles. It was founded in 1990 in New Albany, Ohio and has since expanded across six continents. In 1997, it became the largest luxury bath shop chain in the United States.
Bath and Body Works parent company, L Brands, came to BlueBolt wanting to create a better internal user experience. They had visions of reimagining how their retail store supply ordering process should be improved.
When BlueBolt started discovery, we found Store Managers were using a glorified spreadsheet for ordering inventory, which led to a lot of confusion and incorrect orders. The ordering method for stores included an abundance of text with little imagery. Using brand colors and imagery, BlueBolt’s Creative team designed a visual and intuitive process to guide Retail Managers through the ordering process.
With hundreds of stores worldwide, along with multiple levels of management, it was necessary to create a permission based, hierarchical architecture, so that retail staff had access to ordering products only for the store(s) they manage.
With hundreds of products, and many that are similar and/or seasonal, implementing site search to increase the accuracy and speed of placing orders was critical to the success of this project.
Like many of our clients, Bath and Body Works was working with several vendors for their website solution. This particular project required extensive project management and vendor management to ensure all the aspects of the required solution worked together in harmony.
During discovery, our Creative Design and UX team looked at problems and goals, to design an easy-to-use system that would solve our clients’ needs, both for retail and corporate managers. It was important to design the user experience visually, so that it was intuitive to use. Our team reconfigured the existing infrastructure architecture data to function more like a traditional B2B ecommerce store. This was the basis of making the system easier to understand for retail store managers worldwide.
In addition to implementing new best practices, multiple creative elements were used to increase comprehension and adoption among store management. Images of each supply item, which could be enlarged, were added to ensure order accuracy. Brand colors were used to create a color-coded system, which visually matched the retail store. Also, tool tips were created to restructure most of the text used in the old ordering system.
Our development team created a permission-based portal system for store managers, limiting store ordering access to the necessary employees. For example, a store manager has access to order items for their own store, whereas a regional manager would have access to ordering items for all the stores they manage. In addition to the restricted user ordering access, appropriate managers can now see see their store(s) budget, so they know what they know their budget allotment for the rest of the month. Additionally, the ordering management system was created to only allow managers to order certain items during order cycles. If it is outside of the monthly ordering cycle, an item may be added to a list which will be added to the cart when the ordering cycle opens.
Additionally, one of the most important featured implemented for store managers is site search. Instead of having to scroll through hundreds of products on an ordering spreadsheet, products can be searched and easily added to the order. Store managers can also find recent orders, frequently ordered and recommended products to eliminate clicks.
At Bath and Body Works, gone are the days of tedious and erroneous ordering through an archaic internet spreadsheet-based ordering management system. Retail Managers are now treated to a beautiful, B2B commerce ordering website that is intuitive and easy to use, similar to their flagship ecommerce website for customers. While nuemerical metrics may not be easy to show on an internal ordering website, the thankful comments and emails our team has received from both corporate and retail managers alike are the best kudos to our team.