Verishop is an industry leader when it comes to building and leveraging technology within retail. Founded by a group of technologists on a mission to make shopping seamless and social through the use of tech, they’re constantly evaluating opportunities for innovative solutions to help them scale, automate and optimize in order to maintain their lean, data-driven and tech-enabled organization.
Skyler Hewitt, Head of Planning at Verishop, needed a solution to help him scale his planning operations. In order to adapt to the pandemic environment, he needed something that could allow him to plan with a level of rigor and visibility that was required to really drive change in the organization. Today, with the support of the Toolio Merchandising Platform, Verishop has the ability to plan and forecast at the most granular levels and quickly react to change by leveraging real-time data and insights. Toolio helps Verishop to optimize inventory, improve profitability and remain competitive in the marketplace.
Based in LA and founded in 2019 by an executive team that includes the former Chief Strategy Officer at Snap, Inc., Vice President of Engineering at Dollar Shave Club, and Vice President of Retail at Amazon subsidiary Quidsi, Verishop wants to take retail to the next level.
Verishop is a social shopping platform where you can find your favorite and emerging brands across women’s and men’s clothing and accessories, makeup, skin care, home decor and more. It offers the convenience and customer service that Amazon is known for, plus the trusted shopping experience, curated brands, and discovery opportunities offered by luxury retailers.
Verishop was experiencing extreme growth, expanding product categories and adding thousands of brands and products to their website every month. With aggressive growth goals and tens of thousands of SKUs to plan and manage, one person managing this in spreadsheets became impossible. Skyler said,
“We were getting to a point where we needed to plan by location, sales type, and channel, but it was beyond the capabilities of a single person in Excel. So we decided that in place of additional headcount, we would evaluate how we could make me more efficient."
The pandemic only exacerbated the situation and made them realize just how nimble they needed to be in order to react to changes in the market. Skyler said,
“[The pandemic] just emphasized how nimble you need to be and how fast your systems need to be to react to that.”
Verishop had 50-70% changes in their plans to account for shifting product trends, consumer shopping behavior and operational restrictions. To be nimble, Verishop needed technology that could help them scale their planning processes, gain real-time insights and improve their inventory planning & management accuracy.
Driving real change
Today, Verishop leverages Toolio to build plans and reports and manage the Open-to-Buy and replenishment across all channels and categories. Skyler uses Toolio on a daily basis to track progress against and reforecast plans, communicate opportunities to the buyers, and drive planning conversation across the business. Toolio integrates to their Looker BI tool, Shopify commerce platform, and NetSuite ERP.
By centralizing their plans and performance information in a single platform, Toolio helps Verishop to easily identify trends, understand liabilities, and shift inventory and assortment plans in real-time. It provides a single source of truth across their entire organization extending to the Finance, Supply Chain and Buying team to ensure that everyone is looking at the same information and working towards the same plan. Through the integration and automation, Toolio saves Verishop massive amounts of time each week from pulling and manipulating data in spreadsheets, which gives them more time to focus on analysis and decision making that drives real change in the business.
Toolio also gives Vershop the flexibility and power to plan at a level beyond what is capable in Excel. In reaction to Covid, Verishop shifted strategies to a marketplace model to offset inventory risk, opening new sales channels and adding additional warehouses. Skyler said,
“Toolio gave us the ability to seamlessly add all of those layers of detail into our planning and decision making workflows, and that’s when Toolio became absolutely critical if we wanted the ability to effect real change rather than spending all our time just pulling data.”
Technology that stands apart from the competition
When asked about why Skyler chose Toolio, he mentioned that it’s so far beyond Excel and the legacy tools he’s interacted with in the past. Skyler said,
“I have a very specific way I want to plan, whether that’s how I spread plans top-down, what outputs I want to impact when looking at margin plans, so being able to seamlessly do all of this at the level of complication I need was a big reason why I made the decision to push forward with Toolio as our solution."
He also spoke about his excitement about being involved with the Toolio team, our mission, and the community that we are building. Skyler mentioned,
“It’s exciting to be involved with a platform that is new and has a refreshing take on what the planning community needs, which is the undersold part of Toolio. Aside from the platform, they are trying to really disrupt the retail industry by creating a network and resources around planning to improve the dialogue and support that happens between companies and roles."