Michael Hill switches on Microsoft ERP system as digital sales surge

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Michael Hill switches on Microsoft ERP system as digital sales surge
Source: Michael Hill

Turns attention to future online experience.

Jewellery retailer Michael Hill is set to continue its push into digital after its new Microsoft Dynamics 365 enterprise resource planning (ERP) platform went live earlier this year.

The company used its full-year results [pdf] on Wednesday to reveal the “cloud-enabled ERP” was delivered in June 2020, allowing for optimised inventory allocation and store profiling.

It did not elaborate on its platform of choice, but iTnews understands Microsoft Dynamics 365 for customer services, operations and retail has been deployed.

“A key milestone was reached with the delivery and go-live of the cloud enabled ERP platform,” Michael Hill said on Wednesday.

“This platform will optimise inventory management, enhance store profiling and stock allocation, and facilitate multiple initiatives to deliver a true omni-channel customer experience."

The company said that it would use the new ERP platform to “embark on multiple digital and physical initiatives to meet the demands of a modern-day customer”.

This will include “‘click and collect/reserve’, ‘ship from store’, as well as ‘drop ship’ and marketplace opportunities”.

The new ERP is already having an impact on the company, having helped boost sales and improve user experience, according to software development company JIVA InfoTech

Michael Hill is using the platform to track the purchase history of customers and to guide them to the relevant products and promotions, as well as improve how long customer searches take.

Improvements to the online customer experience is expected to boost already record digital sales, which “surged” by almost 55 percent to $24.7 million in FY20.

Digital sales now account for 5 percent of total sales, despite net profit plunging by more than 80 percent due to the coronavirus shutdown.

“The online business delivered some of the highest weeks in the company’s history during the COVID-19 period as customers embraced online purchasing whilst stores were closed,” Michael Hill said.

Digital sales also benefited from an enhanced website and user experience, as well as a number of other digital-first initiatives that were accelerated in the wake of the pandemic.

Michael Hill also introduced “direct selling from social media platforms and digital catalogues", "virtual selling”, as well as a loyalty program that has now reached over 200,000 members.

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