July 10, 2019

Keeping pace with online demands

Hibbett Sports hit its omnichannel goals in record time with help from software-as-a-service provider Radial.

By DC Velocity Staff

In business, as in sports, success often depends on who you have on your team. A case in point is athletic fashion retailer Hibbett Sports. Hibbett was conducting zero business online when it began working with software-as-a-service (SaaS) provider Radial to develop an omnichannel commerce strategy. Within a year, Hibbett had met its three-year online revenue target and had integrated inventory across its distribution center and 1,000 stores, putting the company on the road to becoming a champion in a changing retail environment.


Founded in 1945, Birmingham, Ala.-based Hibbett Sports had grown from a small family-owned company into a publicly traded firm yielding $1 billion in annual sales by 2017. The retailer sells a wide range of the top brands in athletic wear for men, women, and children. Company leaders knew they needed an omnichannel business strategy if they were to continue to meet the needs of a changing consumer market, but as they began to develop their first online store, they quickly realized they needed help. The company had never sold goods online or provided customer support outside of its stores.

That's when leaders turned to technology provider Radial, which offers omnichannel technology, fulfillment and transportation, payment, and customer-service solutions to some of the world's best-known consumer brands.


Hibbett tapped a range of Radial's services to launch its e-commerce program. First, the retailer implemented Radial's SaaS distributed order management (DOM) system to route orders between its distribution center and stores in 35 states. It also contracted with the vendor to use Radial's Dropship program, which helped Hibbett expand its product assortment and get orders to customers even faster by accessing a network of 26,000 suppliers that ship directly to customers, eliminating the need for Hibbett to store certain products in inventory.

The final piece of the technology puzzle was Radial's payment, tax, and fraud-protection program, which handles all aspects of customer payment, fraud management, and tax reconciliation for online orders. Rounding out the solution, Hibbett uses the tech provider's network of customer-service representatives to answer online customers' questions, make recommendations, and provide tech support.


Leaders at both firms agree that launching an e-commerce strategy is never easy, but Hibbett's online success occurred early and "at a remarkable scale," according to Radial executives, who note that most brands see less than 2 percent of revenue from online sales in the first year of an e-commerce program. Hibbett generated 5 percent of revenues online in the first 90 days, and was generating between 7 and 8 percent in subsequent quarters, the companies say.

And in addition to meeting its three-year online revenue target by the end of year one, the retailer saw its stock price more than double in the first year of the program and was able to meet a growing number of customer-service calls—more than 100,000 in 2018 alone, the companies say.

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