Omnichannel Retail Helps CELL Bikes Shift into High Gear

Posted by Mark Troselj, VP and Managing Director for Asia-Pacific and Japan

Australian retailer CELL Bikes launched in 2002 with a vision of exemplary customer service and top quality bicycles and gear for enthusiasts to “ride more for less.” As its business grew, however, CELL Bikes found itself struggling to keep pace on what seemed like an endless uphill climb.

The problem: CELL Bikes ( was running disparate business applications that required manual data updates, causing a lack of visibility into key business data. The launch of CELL Bikes’ online store in 2006 greatly expanded the company’s business potential beyond its brick-and-mortar store in Sydney, but it also introduced new complexity and administrative chores.

Using MYOB for accounting and inventory, MYOB POS for its physical retail point-of-sale and a web store custom-built on open source software, CELL Bikes predicted that its lack of business efficiency would only worsen as the business continued to grow. Instead of continuing to struggle uphill, CELL Bikes decided to shift its retail business into high gear with NetSuite. Since its deployment in 2009, NetSuite has helped CELL Bikes offer its customers a seamless omnichannel commerce experience.

NetSuite has given CELL Bikes an integrated omnichannel cloud platform that unifies back- and front-office processes, from financials, CRM, inventory and order management to a state-of-the-art ecommerce site based on NetSuite SuiteCommerce. NetSuite’s cloud solution enables CELL Bikes to avoid the cost and complexity of in-house IT systems and enjoy anytime, anywhere access to critical business information over the web.

The results have been remarkable. CELL Bikes has grown its business 60 percent with NetSuite while increasing staff by just 10 percent. Fulfillment time has improved 75 percent, while inventory turnover has leapt 30 percent. On the website, conversions have doubled, while cart abandonment rates have been cut by more than half. The company can now ship more than 600 orders a day, compared to 150 previously, and has more than tripled its number of SKUs, from 2,500 to 8,000.

With greater efficiency and staff productivity, CELL Bikes was able to channel resources into opening a second physical store, in Fitzroy North in Melbourne, in addition to its Stanmore location in Sydney, while landing a spot on the Fast 100 ranks from Business Review Weekly (BRW).

“I would estimate we were expending the equivalent of two full-time resources in firefighting, manual updates and duplicate order entry,” said Michael Simms, CELL Bikes COO. “That’s more than $120,000 AUD per year in salaries that, after deploying NetSuite, we were able to allocate to more valuable tasks such as direct sales, customer service, online marketing and promotions.”

“We no longer have to worry about our future growth with NetSuite,” Simms added.

Retailers have an opportunity to learn from CELL Bikes’ success at the 2014 Ecommerce Conference & Expo, on Wednesday, March 26 in Melbourne. Simms will outline how the company is delivering a seamless commerce experience to drive growth on a panel with Campbell Phillips, Editor of Power Retail, and Andy Lloyd, NetSuite GM of Commerce Products. Please click here to learn more.

In addition, Simms shared Cell Bikes’ success at a recent webinar with NetSuite, “Implementing Omnichannel Systems to Reduce New Retail Risks and Costs.” You can access an on-demand replay of the webinar here.

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