How Tracy Nicole Founder saved 66% in shipping using Verte’s platform [Case Study]
By Flora Collins
Behind The Brand
Tracy Nicole always knew she wanted to be a fashion designer; even as a child, she would spend hours watching the 24-hour fashion TV channel gazing in awe at all the runway shows. But she worried that her dream was too unrealistic, so she pursued a career in occupational therapy instead. Her parents always told her: once you’re able to pay your way through fashion school, you can pursue that goal. So Tracy did exactly that; after going to school at night while working as a therapist, she opened a small boutique that quickly became known for carrying timeless pieces, albeit made by designers other than herself. However, surviving breast cancer gave Tracy a new perspective on life. She finally had the courage and the belief in herself to start her own business, an apparel brand whose main ethos is to instill confidence in women, no matter their body type or lifestyle. In 2013 she launched her online store and sold out immediately!
Fast forward to 2019, and Tracy Nicole the brand was booming, with countless online orders and a national partnership with Belk Department stores, not to mention an invite to show a collection at Paris Fashion Week. Tracy could not keep up with all the orders; customers kept getting the wrong pieces and Tracy knew that her business’s values did not reflect this kind of inaccuracy. She started hunting for a 3pl to help out and after connecting with a few different fulfillment centers and being underwhelmed by their services, she finally came across Verte.
Tracy Nicole is an eponymous clothing label developed in Atlanta. Known for their soft flowing knits, stretch, and high quality, the label has been featured in Essence, Lucky, and Jezebel, among other publications.
8 years since brand launched
2 years since Verte partnership
66% Saved on Shipping
40% of Time Back since switching to Verte
The Verte Difference
“All the way around I’ve seen an improvement with [my] business, the consistency, the daily orders. Some people think [fulfillment] is extremely expensive. Verte made it make sense.” Once Tracy began onboarding with Verte, she wanted the transition to be slow and steady, without allocating too much inventory to Verte’s Atlanta-based center at once. Verte’s team, she says, made sure that she understood everything that was going on, thoroughly and as comprehensively as possible. “[Verte] knows how to find some really amazing employees. [My account manager] held my hand through the transition. He would do tutorials of [Verte’s technologies] with me and how to efficiently ship my products from my manufacturer in LA straight to the facility.”
“When you think about the headache of dealing with freight, dealing with shipments that might not come, I [didn’t] want the headache [anymore]. With Verte, I’m now paying a third of what I was paying on shipping.”
Verte’s seamless communication style extended to Tracy’s education about different shipping methods. Before she switched to Verte, Tracy was over-paying for shipping because she didn’t have the insights or data about the varied ways in which brands can get products to end-consumers. Tracy credits Verte with teaching her about shipping on pallets or by freights as opposed to using UPS boxes, which had been eating away at her bottomline. Using Verte’s carrier rates allowed her to cut costs drastically and use those savings to build her brand.
Verte’s technology solutions automatically calculate the best shipping rates offered and the best carriers to use, enabling Tracy to be closer to her customers.
“Verte’s platform changed my life.” Verte’s technology offerings, Tracy says, simplify running her business. Her favorite product is the Unified Commerce Platform, where she can see everything about all her orders in one place, no matter the warehouse or selling point. “It’s nice to get up and just look at the dashboard and see the orders that have come in and gone out. I can literally just push a button and I see what I have in stock [at the warehouse], I can see what units have moved. I love the dashboard.” Verte’s platform syncs data, automating listing and pricing while also connecting all sales channels for one holistic view. With this tool, Tracy can easily add new marketplaces and other sales avenues. She is also able to view inventory information, regardless of location, keep an eye on stock counts, and get alerts of inventory level insights so she’s always up to date. Even further, Tracy is able to view forecasting for future sales spikes to plan her stock allocation way ahead of schedule.
“I can honestly say that Verte stands out because I feel like [the company] wants me to succeed.”
Tracy’s favorite thing about Verte, though, is the brand-first attitude and commitment to transparency. No matter the obstacle, Verte has acknowledged the problem and fixed it swiftly and systematically, with honest, continual communication to Tracy and her team. Tracy even enjoys visiting the warehouse, not only to see all the automation at work, but also to meet the people behind the scenes shipping out her products. She likened her most recent visit to being a kid in a candy store. “It was one of those feelings of ‘Wow, those long nights starting [my brand] at my kitchen table, sewing everything…I’ve come a long way!’”
So what is the Verte difference? Tracy says the special sauce is the way that she is valued by Verte, not just as a business from which orders are coming, but as a person and a brand. “[Verte] wants to know who [I am], [Verte] wants to know what [my] goals are. [Verte] wants to know what I want my client to experience and that’s all a brand can ask for.”
“I can say that one of my goals is to be a huge success story that Verte has helped take to another level.”
What’s Next for Tracy Nicole
Tracy is ready to take the world by storm. She hopes to continue expanding globally; already, she has regular clients in Bermuda, South Africa, and Paris. She recently launched her collection at The Four Seasons Hotels, where her transitional, comfortable, yet sexy clothes make it easy for traveling women to shift from day to night-ware. In spring of 2021, Tracy partnered with the exclusive Faire.com, a wholesale marketplace.
She is also expanding her marketing efforts on social media, showcasing more behind-the-scenes spotlights of her brand, including her team and their passions. Tracy’s main goal is to only improve her already stellar customer experience.
Tracy’s next venture is Tracy Nicole Fit, which will be an activewear collection with a comfortable, non-constricting design for women whose bodies are always fluctuating and constantly on the move.
Tracy’s Advice for Growing Brands
Tracy has two strong pieces of advice for those who want to launch their own brand: intern in your industry to absorb all the information you could possibly need and once you do start a business, partner with a fulfillment company as soon as possible. “I would recommend starting with a fulfillment company instead of growing so big you have to transition to one.”