Meanwhile, PayPal acquires mobile payments firm Paydient.
The workout wear retailer manages orders from multiple e-commerce sites.
Zaggora, a two-year-old retailer of “workout wear” based in the United Kingdom, is quickly making its presence known on this side of the Atlantic. Its line of exercise garments—which it says are designed to help people lose weight as they exercise, by trapping body heat—has already received exposure on ABC-TV’s “Good Morning America” show, and the retailer is processing orders through retail sites including Hayneedle.com, HauteLook.com and GrouponGoods.com as well as its own Zaggora.com.
“The U.S. is already our biggest sales area,” says Joe Daniel, Zaggora’s head of logistics.
The privately held company doesn’t release sales figures, though Daniel says it has already processed more than 20,000 orders from U.S. customers since starting to fulfill orders from a Califormia fulfillment center in May of this year. To support its expected continued growth in the U.S. as well as in the U.K. and other countries, it’s in the process of migrating its e-commerce platform to eBay Inc.’s Magento technology, which Daniel says will provide more flexibility and capacity for handling high volumes of orders that can spike when Zaggora introduces new products like its Atomica HotPants. Those calf-length leggings are made of stretch material that works like a girdle for tucking tummies, traps body heat to burn calories, and is ventilated for comfort, Zaggora says.
One of Zaggora’s initial challenges, however, was in finding an order fulfillment provider willing to work with a start-up, Daniel says. But after checking with several uninterested logistics providers, Zaggora started working with Itasca, IL-based Seko Logistics, a provider of warehousing, order fulfillment and order returns services.
Using Seko’s warehousing and fulfillment facility near San Francisco, instead of its U.K. warehouse, to fulfill U.S. orders, Zaggora has cut order fulfillment times—from the time a customer places an online order until she receives the package—to a maximum of five days, compared with the former seven to 14 days, Daniel says.
For now, Zaggora forwards its online orders every day from Zaggora.com and the retail sites that sell its goods to Seko in batched files over the Internet. Once it deploys its Magento e-commerce platform, however, it will forward its orders through an API connection to Seko instantly as they occur. Zaggora expects that capability to help it handle large order volumes efficiently and quickly, Daniel says. An API, or application programming interface, is a set of software instructions for transferring data between technology systems.
Seko also enables Zaggora to e-mail order confirmations to its customers, which allows them to click to view order status. As Seko fulfills orders, Zaggora updates the available inventory it presents on its web site.
Seko also provides web site development technology and services as part of a new Omni-Channel Logistics service.
Seko offers pricing models for companies ranging from five orders to 5,000 orders to day, based on warehouse square footage, transaction volume and technology systems integration, according to Seko vice president of marketing Brian Bourke.