Billabong migrates to the cloud for omnichannel support
Surf lifestyle retailer Billabong International has turned to the Aptos Singular Commerce platform to support the integration of its physical and digital retail channels as it looks to meet customers’ omnichannel needs, according to an Aptos press release.
Billabong plans to deploy Aptos cloud-based commerce solutions that include: Aptos Store, for point of sale, customer relationship management, enterprise order management, merchandising, and audit and operations management.
This announcement comes barely a week after Billabong reported a full-year loss of more than $77 million, triple the size of its loss for the previous fiscal year. Revenue for the year also fell about 8.8% to $974.7 million.
Surf wear retailers have suffered as a sector in recent years as more brands, like ill-fated Wet Seal, invaded their market. Traditional surf brands responded by trying to catch bigger waves (surf metaphor intended) in the apparel market, which didn't work well for some — Billabong is among those still feeling the effects.
But, as we have seen recently, embracing new technology is at least one thing struggling retailers can do to try to pave a path back to good health. Pacific Sunwear recently made that effort with the launch of a new mobile app, and Office Depot, like Billabong, looked to to the cloud earlier this week to help it improve aspects of its operations.
Generally speaking, cloud-based applications and functions can help retailers save money and labor that would otherwise be spent maintaining equipment on site, while also making it easier for people across an organization to access and view valuable operational data. So, it's not surprising that struggling retailers would be looking to make that kind of investment.
But, Billabong isn't just looking to cut its losses. It also wants (and needs) to present itself to customers in a seamless and singular way regardless of whether they are shopping online, in-store, on mobile or all three. Notably, this announcement comes about three months after Billabong appointed Jim Howell, a former Nordstrom executive who is said to have played a key role in that retailer’s omnichannel strategy, as its new CFO. It seems that Billabong is set to ramp up its omnichannel efforts, and there is a lot riding on its ability to do so.
Meanwhile, Aptos has been making a major push to become retailers' cloud-based unified commerce platform of choice. Earlier this year, it invested in an Aptos Labs project to develop new capabilities for its platform, with a pledge to win over retailers. You can now add Billabong to that list.