INDEPENDENT RETAILER magazine is now the official news outlet for Wholesale Central visitors.
Each monthly issue is packed with new product ideas, supplier profiles, retailing news, and
business strategies to help you succeed.
See new articles daily online at IndependentRetailer.com.
Jul 1, 2012
Accessories Palace Inc. has offered many stellar fashion wholesale products for over a decade, enabling independent retailers to acquire stylish items and sell to customers hoping to reinvent their look. On the consumer level, sometimes those personal makeovers work, sometimes they do not. But anyone who has recently visited the company's ecommerce site, shop.accessoriespalace.com, has seen a profoundly attractive makeover when it comes to design, ease of use, and functionality.
Wenni Wang orchestrated the redesign for her father, Craig Weil, who has run Accessories Palace since 1989. A graduate of the University of Massachusetts, Wang brought important skill sets to the project from not only her education, but also work at Boston agencies DesignBlox and Adroit Interactive. "After ten-plus years of very manual back office management, Accessories Palace realized it needed a change," she says. "However, Accessories Palace did not realize what this 'change' meant."
Indeed, by the time Wang was done with her father's ecommerce site, it had gone through a bold transition. Wang implemented a fantastic looking four-part slideshow as the homepage centerpiece. There, viewers can quickly get a lay of the land in terms of the hottest selling items available. With high quality photography, featured product categories, from trendy fashion to cosmetics to stylish eyewear to novelty items, are shown in an illuminating manner. "It is amazing," says Weil, president of the company. "Our customers have given us feedback, and everyone loves it. Wenni brought all the knowledge and creativity we needed, and she just ran with it."
At the same time, Wang made sure the new site would perform quickly and accurately. She explains that orders from Shop.AccessoriesPalace.com are getting out the door at superb speed. "Much of our order collection and processing procedures were extremely manual," she says, giving a "Before vs. After" perspective. "During each of the steps, there was always human interaction required. For example, creating packing slips or an invoice, tracking the inventory, shipping management, etc. The processing time per order was, on average, 45 minutes. Utilizing a more robust ecommerce platform, Accessories Palace is able to streamline each order, cutting down the processing time to 15 minutes per order. This allows the site to process the majority of its orders received in the same day."
The redesign has been a hit with independent retailers, Wang suggests. "I can say that Accessories Palace has seen an increase in the quality of each order, in addition to the quantity of orders," she says. Weil explains that the faster order management has worked well with his company's high level of customer care. "Our prices are competitive and our service is second to none," he says. "The ecommerce is running smoother, as everything has become an easier process for our customers."
To celebrate the redesign launch, Weil and his team have been offering $10 off orders of $150 or more with a "GRANDOPENING" checkout code. The site is billed as a "One Stop Wholesale Supermarket," and lives up to the hype. At Shop.AccessoriesPalace.com, customers can select from great items like silver earrings (starting at $6.25 per wholesale unit), fancy bracelets ($18 for packs of 24), caps/hats for women and men (starting at $3), plush key chains ($6.75 per wholesale unit), and many more awesome items. While interested retailers are welcome to call 866-725-2234 to speak with a sales rep, Weil says, "You can find our product pricing at the new website. It's all there."
Social Media Player
Though a lot of B2B companies are not yet quite up to speed when it comes to social media marketing, Accessories Palace is ahead of the curve, recently getting its Facebook and Twitter initiatives running. Weil says his team is cautiously optimistic to see what kind of effect the social sites have on sales. "The pages have only been up for a few weeks," he says, "so I think it's still too early to tell."
It is worth noting that Accessories Palace's Facebook Timeline page (www.facebook.com/accessoriespalace) essentially provides a case study in how B2B companies can leverage social media to give their brand more personality. While utilizing the firm's colorful logo as its profile image, the cover image on the page entails Wang's dog, Morgan, which also appears in other photos on the social site. Morgan, an American Mastiff pooch that regularly hangs around the business, has given the wholesaler a little more zeal on Facebook. Weil suggests that his team could only hope the dog has the same effect online as Morgan does offline. "When people come in, they look forward to seeing the dog," he says. "The dog comes up to folks and is really friendly."
Accessories Palace is promoting special offers on Twitter and Facebook, giving the wholesaler two new potential sales channels. For instance, using Constant Contact's social marketing platform, the company recently offered a digital flyer with multiple discounts via Facebook and Twitter. "Social media is just another means of communicating with your customers online," Wang says. "Use it for special promotions, make them feel exclusive, and most importantly, give them a reason why becoming a Facebook fan or Twitter follower is the right choice."
One Entrepreneur Spawns Another
Meanwhile, Wang plans to launch her own digital design firm soon. Due to the example she hss been given by the folks running Accessories Palace, she will likely be a smashing success. Wang says her parents, Craig and Yuling Weil, guided her early on in life to, "Never be afraid of hard work and always be positive. My father taught me the entrepreneurial spirit. If I put my heart into it and make calculated decisions, I should be fine."
Her design start-up, Wang says, will focus on content, aesthetics, and usability when working for clients. Web businesses looking for a makeover of their own should email her at firstname.lastname@example.org. For now, Wang offers this free advice: "If you are a merchant and you sell things, then make sure your website screams ecommerce. You would be surprised how many store owners become so wrapped up in having a website that they forget they need to sell stuff."
For more information:
Accessories Palace Inc.
585 105th Avenue North Unit 11
Royal Palm Beach, FL 33411
Toll Free: 866-725-2234
Topic: Company Profiles
Entire contents ©2021, Sumner Communications, Inc. (203) 748-2050. All rights reserved. No part of this service may be reproduced in any form without the express written permission of Sumner Communications, Inc. except that an individual may download and/or forward articles via e-mail to a reasonable number of recipients for personal, non-commercial purposes.