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Crafting an Enhanced Digital Experience 

What for fabric and craft supplies could be simple both online and in stores?

Joann logo
Spools of thread in various colors.

An Ecommerce Experience Tailored for All

Traditionally rooted in brick-and-mortar stores for more than 75 years, JOANN was on a mission to improve the customer experience online. It was time to capitalize on JOANN’s digitally savvy customer base and connect the offline and online experiences for seamless interactions. We worked with JOANN to improve its inventory visibility and enhance its omnichannel order fulfillment, to better position the company for legacy growth and adjust to evolving business models and customer demands.

A woman working on an iPad and talking on her cellphone.

Inventory Visibility That Measures Up

We began our work with JOANN by redeploying its IBM Order Management platform. The system was originally implemented by another solution provider, but there was little to no training provided to Team Members once it was up and running.

We started from the beginning and moved JOANN’s hosted IBM Sterling OMS platform to a cloud-based environment to create a 360-degree inventory view. As a result, Team Members have an up-to-date view of all inventory, and JOANN can better track product quantity, location, and availability. The IBM Call Center for Commerce was also added to JOANN’s order management stack to allow call center agents access to order status and shipment information. 

A woman browsing through different bolts of patterned fabrics.

Order Fulfillment That Goes the Whole Nine Yards

With ever-fluctuating inventory, accurate omnichannel ordering had historically been challenging for JOANN. With an improved inventory view, JOANN customers place orders online and get it shipped to their home or pick up at the nearby store. The elevated view of inventory was also instrumental in enabling JOANN’s Ship-from-Store program, a capability that is now available at over 200 store locations. The variety of shipping options allows JOANN to not only improve the customer buying journey, but to use its stores as fulfillment centers, which is more efficient and better serves customer needs.

This streamlined omnichannel buying experience has also enabled JOANN to expand product offerings beyond its traditionally stocked merchandise. This new facet to JOANN’s order fulfillment strategy has improved the customer experience, expanded the product assortment, and reduced the amount of physical inventory JOANN has to keep in stock.

Designing a Cutting-Edge In-Store Experience

Fabric quantity is measured in yardage rather than units, so it is especially difficult to track.  Although fabric has always comprised a large part of JOANN’s inventory, it was challenging to guarantee alternative fulfillment options if a customer’s choice of fabric was low in quantity or out of stock at their local store. 

Now, Team Members can draw on multiple inventory channels to provide customers near real-time data on where specific products are located and help them find all the materials they need.

JOANN had one of our largest selling Black Friday weeks, and our DotCom site now has a new top-selling day of all time. This was only achieved by the hard work that was done getting the OMS ready to handle our volume. The performance team really pushed to make sure that we were ready. David Leonard, Director of Application Development, JOANN Fabrics & Crafts

Elevating the Customer Experience in the Midst of COVID-19

When the COVID-19 pandemic swept the nation, retailers everywhere struggled to support customer demand and maintain sales while keeping in-store foot traffic to a minimum. And when medical professionals and healthcare workers experienced shortages in surgical masks and other forms of personal protective equipment (PPE), DIY enthusiasts and crafters began sewing protection supplies to fill the growing shortage. JOANN recognized a unique opportunity to help and created various patterns and video tutorials for customers to follow.

Then, using its advanced order management system, JOANN was able to harness its improved inventory visibility to maintain up-to-date product availability to ensure customers get supplies as quickly as possible. Meanwhile, contactless curbside pickup and the ability to ship-from-store facilitates quick and efficient fulfillment while also allowing JOANN Team Members to stay safe, maintain social distancing, and keep business processes moving.

In record time, the company was able to pivot without disrupting the seamless buying experience customers have come to expect, and as a result, JOANN recognized a tremendous increase in online sales and saw daily order volumes soar. Curbside pickup was expanded to its 865+ stores nationwide, offsetting the effects of in-store shopping shutting down. With Perficient as a technology partner, JOANN was well positioned to handle the surge of online traffic and orders, reaching 3x holiday volume levels.


Large white shelves filled with different types and colors of yarn.

All Stitched Up

By implementing IBM OMS, we were able to help JOANN reduce the cost of its order and fulfillment processes and integrate new shipping methods like ship-from-store. The buy-online, pick-up-in-store initiative also led to an increase in customer foot traffic and resulted in higher sales through add-on purchases.

JOANN customers now enjoy an improved experience with a variety of ways to buy and receive their purchases. And, with call center and store Team Members empowered with up-to-the-minute inventory, customers always know when and where they can get the materials they need. And in unprecedented times of retail disruption, JOANN can feel confident knowing the business has the tools to keep fulfillment operations moving, ensure the safety of its team members and customers, and continue providing an exceptional buying experience. 

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