“Thanks to Optiply, I finally have time for process improvement and training new colleagues”

Yin Lu – Founder of Little Wonderland
Little Wonderland English Home Page for Customer Success case

Little Wonderland – what you will read in this case:

  • An e-commerce adventure started from home
  • A manual and time-consuming purchasing process blocked growth
  • Optimised inventory management and improved supplier management
  • Little Wonderland works with balanced stock on their omnichannel ambitions

Korean skincare

Making the best skincare accessible to everyone drove Yin Lu to start Little Wonderland seven years ago. Since then, an e-commerce adventure from home has grown into an ambitious omnichannel organisation with growth plans. Now, Little Wonderland is one of the largest Korean skincare retailers in Europe. Read more about their purchasing and stock management challenges and how they use Optiply to improve processes continuously.

Image 2 Customer Success Case Little Wonderland

Unplanned sales spikes challenge Little Wonderland

Especially in the last three years, Little Wonderland has taken a big step forward. The demand for skin care products has grown and the organisation’s size has also increased considerably since 2019. Founder Yin Lu: “In the last three years we have grown to a team with 24 full-time employees and that has greatly improved professionalism. In the early years, almost everything was done by hand and therefore extremely labour-intensive. Purchasing was based on manual calculations. We looked at what had been sold per order to plan new orders. As a result, we were constantly placing new orders. At that time we were still too small for a ‘dedicated’ purchaser. However, we soon felt we had to find a solution to improve our purchasing process.”

Purchaser Bo, who started at Little Wonderland six months ago, adds: “Even now, there are various challenges in our purchasing process. For example the rise of TikTok. Products can suddenly go viral and cause a huge sales spike – a spike we did not purchase products for. The same can happen via our wholesale channel and/or the recently opened store in Utrecht – sometimes the demand surprises us.”

Yin explains: “We import our products from Asia, mainly from Korea. This results in a delivery time of approximately six weeks. This makes a sudden peak in demand even more difficult. In addition, we are currently growing faster than the historical data shows. Of course, that is a luxury problem, but it makes unexpected demand peaks extra challenging.”

“Via the supplier function within Optiply I receive a notification linked to the purchasing advice. As a result, I do not have to keep track of anything myself, because the system alerts me automatically.”

Bo Joosten

Purchaser, Little Wonderland

Little Wonderland meets Optiply

Yin: “When we really started to grow, we came across Optiply as one of the Lightspeed integration options. There is also a link with our WMS system Picqer. That is an advantage because we arrange the logistics process completely ‘in-house’. We have thought about fulfilment, but by keeping these tasks in our own hands, we can contribute to our way of packaging and maintain quality control.”

3 things
Little Wonderland

does not do anymore

  1. Purchasing based on manual calculations
  2. Placing bulk orders with suppliers
  3. Working with an uncategorised inventory

Strategic and time-saving solutions

Yin indicates that working with the Optiply app has freed up her agenda. “I always juggled my roles: purchasing, customer service, warehouse work and HR. Because of Optiply’s automation, I can spend more time improving internal processes and, for example, onboarding new colleagues.” Bo: “I’m glad I was able to start tracking product performance right from my start at Little Wonderland. Thanks to the available data in Optiply, I can easily collaborate with the marketing department, for example. These are things I certainly would not have gotten around to if I had to place purchaser orders manually.”

Bo continues: “With Optiply I can make my work as a purchaser more strategic. For example, by really working on our stock issue. Where we first placed large orders with suppliers, we now purchase smaller orders more often. For example, orders come in every month which makes us more flexible if a trend emerges and/or we see an increase in sales. With Optiply’s supplier feature, we get a notification per specific supplier when a monthly or quarterly order is due. That notification combined with real-time purchasing advice is great. I do not have to keep track of anything myself because the system alerts me automatically.”

Yin: “What I also find very useful is the lost sales feature. Optiply automatically indicates that products must be reordered if stockouts threaten, even before it is on our purchasing agenda. This functionality triggers me to investigate and ask myself the question: ‘why do I have to order this product again?’ ‘What exactly happens with the demand?’ ”

An improved and balanced stock

Yin indicates that manual checks are a thing of the past, that they have saved time and that the reliable Optiply data plays an important role in their growth. The insights that the app gives them about the stock are very important. “The ABC categories have improved our stock management,” says Yin. Bo adds: “Thanks to the categorisation, we can balance the stock and focus on our best sellers (A category) and reduce C category products.” Yin breaks in: “Remember, we deal with products with expiration dates, so accurate stock management is crucial for us.”

chart-little-wonderland-en

Beauty Plaza is another online beauty business that accelerated its growth by saving 30% on stock. Want to read their success story?

“Optiply automatically indicates that products must be reordered if stockouts threaten, even before it is in the purchasing agenda.”

Yin Lu

Founder, Little Wonderland

Little Wonderland’s omnichannel ambitions

Due to its rapid growth, Little Wonderland moved to a larger warehouse a few months ago. Nevertheless, Yin indicates that the goal is to reduce stock in 2023. “The size of our inventory has grown with us over the years but our goal for this year is to reduce it. In addition, we want to focus on improving internal processes and working more efficiently as a team. That has everything to do with our plans for the future.”

3 reasons why
Little Wonderland

is happy with Optiply

  1. Time savings in the purchasing process
  2. Direct integration with source systems
  3. Data drives internal collaboration
With three existing websites (.nl, .de and .eu) and a store in Utrecht, Little Wonderland is looking at where the growth opportunities are. Yin: “In the long term, we want to add more stores in a select number of cities in the Netherlands and abroad. Omnichannel offers many opportunities to present our products to a larger audience and thus advise new customers about the importance of quality skin care.”

Bo: “That ambition means there is more than enough challenge for my purchasing role. The ultimate goal is a balanced stock that allows us to meet the demand of our customers in the best possible way – both online and in-store.”

Yin: This year is going to be very important to make sure everything is in place and running smoothly before we get to work on the expansion. What helps, in any case, is that we offer products in every price range that people use – and need – all year round. And, I know from experience that once you get used to quality skin care, you will not stop with it.”

Little Wonderland achieved with Optiply

%

Fewer lost sales

%

stock savings

Calculate your savings and discover how much your beauty ecommerce can save.