“The Shopify connector is simple to use and easy to deal with. You just click a checkmark in NAV and just like that, the product is sent directly to the webshop.”
For the past two years, Style Labels has been selling children’s clothing online. Since last year, they’ve been using the Tinx-IT Shopify connector for their two different webshops. These webshops, in turn, are both linked to their Dynamics NAV 2018 ERP system. In the near future, Style Labels will start using the Tinx-IT ChannelEngine connector as well. Laura Stolk, Online Business Developer at Style Labels, explains why her company chose Tinx-IT as their partner.
How about you introduce yourself? What do you currently do at Style Labels?
Laura Stolk: “As a company, we started off as a wholesaler of children’s clothing. We serve nearly 300 stores throughout the Netherlands, ranging from online stores such as Wehkamp to physical stores in, say, Tilburg. About two years ago, the owners at Style Labels, Monique van der Staay and Suzanne Bays-van der Staay decided to put more focus on online sales. My position as, Online Business Developer, arose because of the need to set up a proper online sales flow. It’s been six years now working at the company. I started here during my HBO education, in the warehouse, and have stayed ever since. After working in the marketing department for a while, I now enjoy my new job working as an Online Business Developer. In addition, I am basically the point of contact for everything related to IT and our e-business environment.”
How would you describe Style Labels as a company?
“As mentioned, we are a wholesaler in children’s clothing and currently have two labels under our name. The first is Quapi Kidswear, which started back in 2011. This collection encompasses clothing at the smallest range of size 50, up to size 158-164. The second label, LEVV, started in 2018. This started as a line just for girls, but quickly expanded to include boys, baby and newborn clothing as well. Our head office is located in Hendrik Ido Ambacht. It’s there that we do the styling, branding, purchasing, selling and distribution of the various children’s clothing to stores, multi-brand stores and online shops. At present, we have a presence beyond the Netherlands, in Belgium, Luxembourg, France, Germany, Austria and Canada. Since 2019 we also have a Quapi store in Bataviastad. Our clothing is made in Turkey, China and India.”
What are your most important goals?
“Two years ago, we wanted to start selling through our own webshops. Now they are online. We also want to start selling our products via marketplaces, one of them being Zalando. Zalando aims to sell more sustainable brands in the year 2023. Around mid-October we have launched a new collection for LEVV newborns, which is 100% sustainable, this aligns well with Zalando’s objectives. Furthermore, we will build onto this collection as a NOOS (Never out of stock) Essentials collection, which will be launched in December/January and sold through marketplaces. As of a few months ago, we are now also proudly the first Dutch children’s clothing company that cooperates with Fairtrade. This allows us to add their Fairtrade logo to our upcoming collections. Parents crave higher quality products, as well as organic and we particularly see this play out with newborn baby clothing. For example, as cotton grown organically takes longer to grow and process, it tends to be softer and have a more natural touch. This is exactly what parents are increasingly looking for when searching for clothes for their baby’s first months. Combining that with increased quality, makes these clothes the easy choice for parents. Currently, we have entered the test phase with regard to the ChannelEngine connector, provided by Tinx-IT.”
How did Style Labels first come into contact with Tinx-IT?
“That’s thanks to TCOG, our IT partner since 2015. I mentioned to Rembrandt Kuijpers from TCOG, that we wanted to take further steps in the field of e-commerce. We wanted to sell children’s clothing through webshops and were thinking of Shopify because of its relatively low costs and user-friendliness. Rembrandt indicated that at that time TCOG was in talks with Tinx-IT who could likely offer a solution to link the ERP system Microsoft Dynamics NAV, and its successor Business Central, to Shopify webshops. Just what we wanted! We quickly started a conversation with Tinx-IT via TCOG. First, we set up the LEVV label, and in a follow-up phase to that the Quapi Kidswear label. We currently use Dynamics NAV 2018 and the Shopify connector. As mentioned before, we will also start working with a ChannelEngine connector soon. Beyond that, we hope that by next year we can move from Dynamics NAV 2018 to Business Central.”
Looking back prior to using the Tinx connector, what challenges did you face concerning e-commerce?
“Well, since we hardly understood e-commerce when we started, the challenge was quite big. We started to look at other clothing brands that have set up e-commerce webshops in a certain way. One key difference for us was that our system was based on wholesale purchasing. Shipping costs and a way to calculate margins based on recommended retail prices were a few of the challenges for us. At that time, we actually only had informational sites up and no actual webshops. As of now, we have merged the two. The biggest challenge was stock. We were not yet working with different warehouses, as we do now. Returns are also an important topic. When something goes on sale, when do you go on sale? This is key as at that moment returns will go up as well. We need to estimate by how much this is the case, as we have not hired any extra people. But, looking at the situation now, I feel we have handled it quite well with our 24 colleagues. We were concerned of course that when COVID hit we might lose customers. Luckily, this has not been the case at all. On the contrary, it seems we even had more orders online, especially at the start of the crisis. This whilst doing nothing extra on marketing. Since stores have reopened, online sales have decreased slightly, but remain stable.”
“We wanted to spend as little time as possible getting the collections that we had in NAV online onto the webshop.”
Where did the need arise to integrate Dynamics NAV 2018 with a webshop?
“To be honest, it was fairly straightforward. We wanted to spend as little time as possible getting the collections that we had in NAV online onto the webshop. Not just the products themselves, but the various images and characteristics such as colours and sizes, as well. All of this had to be transferred from NAV to the webshops. We did not want to create and manage all of this in two different Shopify shops. We also wanted to be able to continue to use ‘Sale items’ with a discount percentage, change photos for products, or send translations of product descriptions to the webshop. To be clear, we use NAV as the leading system, which forwards all product information and changes to the various webshops. For daily product management, we now do not have to take care of two separate Shopify environments, in addition to management of NAV.”
So why Tinx-IT? What role did you play in this partnership?
“The reason for working with Tinx-IT was that they were referred to us by TCOG. That, and the solution you have for Shopify of course. We have seen many Magento connectors online, but until we found Tinx, no Shopify connectors. We really wanted Shopify because of its user-friendliness and low costs. As for my role, well, if you’re the only one in the department responsible for IT and online sales, people will eventually come to you!”
“Everything we create in NAV and add to the Tinx PIM (Product Information Management) section, is sent automatically to the webshop.”
What’s using the Tinx-IT connector like? Any strong point or profits?
“It’s simple to use and easy to deal with. You just click a checkmark in NAV and just like that, the product is sent directly to the webshop. The connector is quite versatile, and I often discover something new and think to myself, ‘Oh, I might be able to use this!’ The main advantage for us is that we now do not have to create information twice. Everything we create in NAV and add to the Tinx PIM (Product Information Management) section, is sent automatically to the webshop.”
What do you find most notable about our product?
“The versatility, for sure. For example, I can use the ‘standard’ NAV functionality when creating a product and attach a model and a size to it by using the itSuitsFashion layer of TCOG. Then, using the connector, I can add texts, images and soon various materials, to be added to the product. All this information is important for our customers who visit our webshop, as it improves customer experience and thereby sales.”
“Tinx-IT is a great company to work with. The speed, substantive feedback and open communication are all strong characteristics of Tinx-IT.”
If you had to tell someone about Tinx-IT, what would you tell them?
“Tinx-IT is a great company to work with. If something is going on that our partner TCOG does not immediately have an answer to, I have noticed that the Tinx-IT support desk is often quick to reply with a suggestion or answer. Communication with the consultant during the implementation process was also very pleasant. I could always call and email the consultant with any questions I had, and often received an answer the same day. The speed, substantive feedback and open communication are all strong characteristics of Tinx-IT.”