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XS-Stock: Success by excess

Mark Gregory, ecommerce manager at XS-Stock, takes us on a journey of navigating complexity and conquering the inventory the size of a department store…

“Hi I’m Mark Gregory, I’m the ecommerce manager of discount superstore chain XS-Stock. We are based in Irvine, Scotland. I’ve known Adrian Hodge, the managing director, since I was knee high. Click on the timeline below to learn more about our success journey and how Volo helped us take charge of our inventory.”
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"The business was established in 1994 when it was just a bricks and mortar shop. The vision was always to create a successful ecommerce business, and although it took us a few years to get there, we now sell a wide range of product categories online that rivals any department store. Our range includes home and garden, Christmas, toys, fancy dress, electrical, sports and leisure."
"We got into the world of ecommerce in May 2005 when we started selling on eBay. The Christmas period that year was good for us online; there were loads of positives and growth was very fast after that."
"Early on we knew our success was linked to offering a wider range of products on as many marketplaces as possible. But the complexity of managing multiple channels proved a key pain point for us as we had 10,500 items and 35,000 listings. It was too time-consuming to list everywhere and manage our inventory ourselves as it was too prone to error."
"The complexity of managing such a large inventory prodded us to look at an external solution that could grow with us over the long term. We needed a system that was intuitive, integrated with eBay and had a comprehensive inventory system that could allow locations to be pickable or unpickable depending on the situation. We had a large warehouse to manage and we were spending endless hours putting up listings. It was critical we found a system with an inventory management model that helped us fulfil market needs and develop a customer-centric approach."
"Volo was in its infancy when we came across it. Whatever we needed, they could make it fit our needs so we could adopt a more uniformed approach across more channels. When we first started out with Volo we had three eBay accounts and one Amazon account. But now we’ve expanded our marketplaces to 13 eBay accounts, 11 websites, Play.com and Amazon (UK, France, Germany, Italy and Spain.)"
"This was one of our busiest periods, but we still needed to reduce our paper trail and number of errors. We wanted to implement Peoplevox but Volo didn’t have the integration, so when we asked them for it they reacted and made it happen. The dispatch notifications between Volo and Peoplevox allowed us to go to the next level as we became more efficient and things became easier to track."
"Today we’ve got a 25,000 square-foot warehouse and we’ve just increased to a 750-pallet space. We employ 21 core staff, and expand this number to 49 during peak periods. Keeping your staff happy is so important. It’s easy to get distracted by just focusing on the customer, but for me it’s about focusing on the people that look after your customers – that really makes a difference."
The future
"We’ve managed to grow 25-30% year-on-year, and the primary goal for us now is growing our international business. We’re working really hard in this area and doing a lot of work with eBay in countries as far afield as Brunei. There’s huge potential for us overseas and I see it as our key growth area. If we can continue to keep doing what we do well without getting preoccupied by competitors, we won’t lose focus on moving up the rankings."
At Volo, we want to help your business take off by helping you grow your inventory. Start your ecommerce adventure with us today