How Hugo Helped Faire Empower Independent Retailers

Author: Andrea Okonkwo

Faire, a dynamic online marketplace, serves as a vital bridge connecting wholesalers with a network of over 170,000 local retailers across the US, UK, Canada, and Europe. This platform champions the cause of independent businesses, offering them a robust stage to discover global brands and compete effectively with retail giants like Walmart and Amazon.

In an e-commerce landscape dominated by retail behemoths, Faire spotted a critical gap: small businesses were being left out. Entrepreneurial shops needed access to unique, desirable products that could help them thrive.

Faire set out to rewrite the rules by uniting small businesses to level the playing field. Their online marketplace empowers independent retailers to curate vibrant stores through access to unique vendors worldwide.

But scaling a platform to support thousands of independent retailers takes more than good tech. Faire knew it needed a partner whose dedication to operational excellence and community success matched its own: “With practically no supervision, Hugo scaled from 4 agents building 25 vendor pages weekly, to 40+ agents building 250+ pages in less than three months.” says Elisa Ndour, Faire’s GM. “We knew we had found the right partner to help us deliver on our mission.”

Hugo’s involvement has since been pivotal in scaling the platform to support over 170,000 independent retailers.

Streamlining Marketplace Operations

Recognizing the need for operational scalability, Faire engaged with Hugo to streamline their marketplace operations. Hugo’s mission was to ensure that onboarding new brands and managing product listings were efficient and effective. Hugo tackled the challenge by strategically managing the catalog digitization process.

The team’s efforts resulted in the following transformative outcomes:

  • Record-Breaking Onboarding: Hugo successfully integrated 1,800 brands onto the Faire platform in one month, marking a 700% increase since Faire’s early days.
  • Comprehensive Brand Onboarding: Hugo’s meticulous approach facilitated onboarding over 50,000 brands, expanding the choices available for independent retailers.
  • Catalog Content Revitalization: Over 20,000 brand content updates were carried out, ensuring retailers and their customers access the most accurate and engaging product information.
  • Product Information Excellence: The Hugo team reviewed and updated the taxonomy for over 1 million products, enhancing the buyer’s ability to make informed decisions swiftly.

Hugo’s innovative approach involved adopting cutting-edge workflow optimization and data management techniques, which elevated Faire’s operations.

I'm constantly amazed by Hugo's knack for process refinement and automation. They became trusted advisors critical to our success
Bridging the Gap Between Operations & Customer Experience

In addition to streamlining back-end operations, Faire expanded Hugo’s scope to include direct enhancements to frontline vendor support.

At the time, Faire’s own support teams were overwhelmed in addressing ticket volume. Poor catalog organization meant agents needed to work on guiding users to relevant products. Low-integrity listings generated confusion, requiring one-off resolutions. This burden pulled support teams into an inefficient reactive mode, unable to nurture the vendor ecosystem proactively. Morale suffered, and turnover grew.

By providing support solutions on both fronts, Hugo eased strains through preventative catalog improvements while also providing supplementary CX teams. As part of Hugo’s strategy to alleviate the burden, self-service functions were recommended and implemented, reducing basic contacts, while shared institutional knowledge prevented duplicate issues.

Soon, Faire’s teams could shift focus from fighting fires to long-term relationship-building, partnering with Hugo to uplift the marketplace community. This approach also produced significant process improvements:

  • Optimized Assessment Tool: The development of a ranking tool by Hugo boosted throughput and accuracy by 40%, enabling quicker and more precise vendor onboarding.
  • Resolved Complex Inquiries: Having settled over 2,200 complex Shopify tickets, Hugo developed a robust, self-learning mechanism for FAQs to feed into the platform’s self-service functionality.

By elevating both sides in parallel, Hugo reinforced two pillars that uphold Faire’s marketplace experience, empowering vendors/retailers and setting the stage for long-term customer satisfaction.

An Ongoing Commitment to Shared Success

The collaboration between Faire and Hugo reflects a shared commitment to empowering local retailers in a competitive, global retail landscape: “With Hugo’s help, we’re creating a fairer retail economy,” says Elisa. “Local businesses now have a fighting chance to follow their dreams.”

Through strategic outsourcing, Faire expanded its operational capabilities and reinforced its foundation for future growth, ensuring local businesses can confidently compete in a challenging market. Today, the company is valued at over $12bn. “This is just the beginning. With partners like Hugo, Faire is determined to revolutionize retail – proving independent businesses can survive and thrive together.”

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