Founded in 2010 out of Richard Liu’s apartment, DSPTCH produces luggage and accessories inspired by utilitarian, military-grade equipment. In 2014, the brand went from clicks to bricks and opened its first retail store in San Francisco to complement its booming ecommerce business.
“For a lot of people, our physical store is their first impression of DSPTCH,” Richard says. “The awareness our store generates for the brand is undeniable.”
With his laser focus on efficiency and a seamless customer experience, Richard wanted to transition his store away from its traditional point-of-sale setup consisting of tablets, smartphones, card readers, and barcode scanners, equipping his staff with POS hardware that enabled a clienteling experience.
To ensure staff could give each customer a personalized experience without sacrificing transaction speed, DSPTCH upgraded its point-of-sale hardware to POS Go, Shopify’s all-in-one mobile POS terminal that lets staff check out customers anywhere on the sales floor.
Since transitioning to a fully mobile checkout, DSPTCH has enjoyed:
- A faster and more efficient mobile checkout experience
- The ability to access point-of-sale data and transact using one device
- No longer needing to re-pair disconnected peripherals to their iPad
Challenge: A stationary checkout and limited shopping experience
For its first foray into brick-and-mortar retail, Richard wanted to give customers an elevated, white glove experience. He designed DSPTCH’s store layout to support clienteling: staff moving with customers through the store, acting as personal shopping assistants.
“I want shopping at DSPTCH to feel like a high-end clienteling experience,” Richard says. “There are areas of our store that are totally unrelated to our product, where people can just lounge and read design books that I was inspired by. If they’re having a great time there, I don’t want to have to migrate them elsewhere to transact.”
The problem was that, with DPSTCH’s traditional POS setup, Richard couldn’t turn this vision into a reality. To avoid carrying around an iPad, card reader, and barcode scanner with them, staff would only finalize purchases at the checkout counter. They also couldn’t access things like the customer’s purchase history or check stock availability without running back to the checkout counter to look it up.
To bring his clienteling vision to life, Richard needed to equip store staff with the right tools for the job.
Our iPad setup worked fine at the cash wrap, but wasn’t ideal for serving customers on the sales floor. We needed hardware that was better suited for that use case that didn’t require connecting additional peripherals.
Solution: Seamless clienteling with Shopify POS Go
The right tool for the job was Shopify POS Go, which makes clienteling possible by blending the functionality of POS software with that of a card terminal and barcode scanner.
“Having a card reader, barcode scanner, and POS software in one device is really convenient,” Richard says. “We’ve totally revamped our retail experience to feel more exploratory, and POS Go supports that. Staff can move with customers and focus on getting to know them without losing tools they need to do their job.”
With this handheld device, staff have access to customer profiles and purchase history in the palm of their hand, enabling them to further cater their approach to the customers they serve.
“We look at customer purchase history a lot because it’s great for starting conversations,” Richard says. “When we can see they bought, say, a backpack a few years ago, we can ask them how it’s holding up and just start a conversation around that.”
Richard also appreciates how staff didn’t need formal training to get comfortable using POS Go. “My staff picked it up right away,” he says. “When we first got the device, I don’t even think my team asked any questions. Pretty much right away they felt comfortable looking up products, customers, inventory, and accepting payments. It all felt like a really intuitive switch rather than like we were making wholesale changes that required some getting used to.”
With POS Go, everything staff need to serve customers and accept payments is integrated into one handheld device. This makes offering a clienteling style of service more efficient, since staff don’t have to run back and forth between the checkout counter and customer.
I think the clienteling and mobile checkout that POS Go makes possible will play a big role in no longer needing that central checkout counter. Now, anywhere on the sales floor can be a transaction point.
Results: Going all-in on mobile service and checkout
Equipped with POS Go, Richard can go all-in on his vision of delivering white glove service. “POS Go honestly feels like a game-changer for the business,” Richard says. “It enables guided product discovery in a way that just wasn’t possible before and without creating bottlenecks at our checkout counter.”
For instance, staff now can view inventory availability from POS Go rather than run back to the checkout counter to look it up. “POS Go makes it really easy to check inventory levels at our warehouse and store,” Richard says. “We used to print out spreadsheets, but now staff can just carry POS Go with them, verify the stock levels, and move on. It makes things faster, for sure.”
Equipped with the newfound ability to view inventory availability at both store and warehouse, Richard is experimenting with Shopify’s ship-to-customer order fulfillment to further boost store conversions.
“We started offering free shipping when a customer buys in store,” Richard says. “That’s been something customers appreciate, especially if they’re buying a lot of gear all at once. We just ship everything to their home address instead of them having to carry it all home.”
Since everything they need to do their job is integrated into one device, Richard also sees POS Go boosting productivity to the point where he needs fewer staff. This matters in a market like San Francisco, where DSPTCH operates, which is known for having some of the highest labor costs in the nation.
“POS Go is a productivity multiplier,” Richard explains. “It makes serving customers so fast and efficient that I can have fewer, more experienced staff on the floor without sacrificing service or transaction speed. A capable person with POS Go can probably do the job of two people using a stationary device.”
POS Go is a game-changer. Seeing it in action, it’s a faster checkout, backed by total flexibility and mobility. I think that adds up to people having a better experience at your store.
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