Billy Reid clothing label

Global Ecommerce and International Expansion | Pitney Bowes

Live and let buy.

Pitney Bowes and James Bond help Billy Reid grow international sales.

Client profile

Luxury clothing company

Operates 12 stores across the United States

Also sells to up-market boutiques and department stores, including Nordstrom

Business goals

Meet surge of overseas demand for peacoats worn in James Bond film

Reduce overseas shipping costs

Clarify tariffs and other fees for international customers at point of purchase

Benefits

Improved ability to fulfill international orders

Increased international sales

Improved customer satisfaction

Overview

"We have always felt that growing our brand globally is a critical part of our overall ecommerce strategy. When we sit down and think about our brand potential, the international marketplace is a huge part of that. And the Pitney Bowes solution is our conduit to that market." K.P. McNeill,
Chief Executive Officer,
Billy Reid

Coats. Peacoats.

In the summer of 2012, stills from the James Bond film Skyfall were leaked in the United Kingdom. Some of these images pictured Agent 007 wearing a navy blue peacoat. Fans communicating on the Absolutely James Bond message board pegged the double-breasted coat as a Billy Reid creation, and contacted the company to inquire about availability. 

Business Needs

A few months earlier, fulfilling orders from international customers would have been a significant problem. Billy Reid had had only a very limited ability to sell internationally. Its web site could not account for all the duties, taxes and other fees that international customers would be expected to pay. Delivery services — offered through a well-known parcel company — were expensive, often adding an additional $150 to the price of Billy Reid's luxury goods. What’s more, customers could only guess when those deliveries would show up: the parcel company could not always accurately predict how long it would take for items to clear customs.

Because of these issues, "We really couldn't pursue any international business opportunities," said K.P. McNeill, Billy Reid chief executive office. "Ultimately, we didn't have the capability to do it in a meaningful way."

Solution

A few months before the Skyfall leak, Billy Reid had deployed Pitney Bowes Global Ecommerce Solutions. Designed to accommodate the needs of international buyers, the software solution clarifies the fully-landed costs of international delivery, including country-specific duties and taxes. It also reduces shipping costs, and tracks packages from point of purchase through home delivery.

When a foreign buyer makes a purchase, the Pitney Bowes Global Ecommerce Solution provides complete delivery costs, calculated in the customer's home currency. These costs, which are guaranteed by Pitney Bowes, can be seen by the customer before hitting the "buy" button.

Items purchased are then sent to a Pitney Bowes delivery hub for processing. There, Pitney Bowes labels packages, classifies items according to standardized international systems, and completes the paperwork necessary for export compliance. Pitney Bowes also readies objects for scanning by the export nation's transportation security agency and provides customs support. Packages are then delivered by Pitney Bowes delivery agents. Customers can track their packages from point of purchase to doorstep delivery.

 

Benefits

"Without the Pitney Bowes solution, Billy Reid would not have been able to meet the firestorm of demand for these coats. We would have tried to fulfill international orders, but it would have been an operational nightmare." Graham Heard,
former Ecommerce Director,
Billy Reid

Billy Reid immediately began seeing benefits from its Pitney Bowes Global Ecommerce Solution. Pitney Bowes offered lower shipping rates than the company's previous international carrier, and also placed fewer restrictions on the delivery of large and expensive goods. The Pitney Bowes solution also freed Billy Reid employees from the arduous task of completing different customs forms for every country to which the designer wished to deliver. The transparency and accuracy of costs associated with international delivery provided by the solution helped improved relations with international customers. Consumers appreciated seeing a guaranteed cost for delivery, duties and other expenses up-front, before making their purchases.

But the value of the Pitney Bowes solution became absolutely clear when orders for the peacoats started pouring in. Graham Heard, former ecommerce director, believes that fulfilling these overseas orders would have been impossible without Pitney Bowes technology.

"Without the Pitney Bowes solution, Billy Reid would not have been able to meet the firestorm of demand for these coats, because the demand was generated by the international community," Heard said. "We would have tried to fulfill international orders, but it would have been an operational nightmare. The shipping costs alone would have been exorbitant for a lot of customers."

To date, Pitney Bowes has helped Billy Reid deliver more than 1,000 peacoats overseas, contributing to the more than $2 million in pea coat sales the company has rung up via both wholesale and retail channels.

"We have always felt that growing our brand globally is a critical part of our overall ecommerce strategy," McNeill said. "When we sit down and think about our brand potential, the international marketplace is a huge part of that. And the Pitney Bowes solution is our conduit to that market." 

Billy Reid Video

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