Every apparel brand faces unique challenges in today’s omnichannel retail environment. One of the biggest is how to scale your sales strategy across locations when the shopping journey is more fragmented than ever.
While brick-and-mortar stores remain the backbone of the apparel industry, 6 out of 10 shoppers now report using at least one digital channel in their shopping journey. But the biggest challenges also create the best opportunities—especially for companies that understand the power of their POS system to unify their sales channels. After all, research suggests that omnichannel customers make purchases 70% more often than those who only shop in person, proving why an integrated ecommerce and in-store experience is crucial for satisfying customers and driving revenue.
Your online store might be humming along just fine—same with your brick-and-mortar storefronts. But if you’re still treating them as siloed sales channels, you’re missing a huge opportunity to deliver a consistent shopping experience for your customers, build a memorable brand, and take your business to new heights.
In this blog post, we’ll pinpoint a few key features of a top-tier POS that can unify your channels to provide a seamless shopping experience, make your workstreams more efficient, and allow you to scale your business with ease.
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Synchronized data: A holistic view to level up your business
Imagine the scenario every apparel retailer fears: A customer arrives at one of your store locations with a specific product in mind, but it’s out of stock in their size and the next closest store is miles away. Your sales staff lets the customer know that they can check your online store to see if the item is available, but there’s no guarantee. The customer leaves frustrated, and even if they eventually find the item online, the friction they encountered could be the reason they avoid a return visit.
To solve this problem, you need the ability to track your inventory data from all your sales channels in one place, which is critical for increasing profits and scaling your business. Shopify POS offers one back-end inventory management system for both your brick-and-mortar and ecommerce stores, so employees can inform customers on the spot if the item is in stock.
Shopify POS can also ease potential friction by simplifying returns. A major complaint from apparel customers is that returnings processes can be clunky, sometimes forcing them to return by mail or in store depending on which avenue they originally purchased. By keeping track of customer data in Shopify’s back-end, which allows customers to return in store regardless of whether they purchased online, you’ll keep your customers happy and make sure they return to shop with you again and again.
The formula is simple: Convenience + fulfillment = greater long-term loyalty and sales. And with a POS system that provides a complete view of your sales and inventory data in one place, turning these insights into sustainable growth feels more like arithmetic than advanced calculus.
Flexible shipping and pickup options to increase your profits
A top-tier POS system can, and should, help you unify your online and offline channels with easy-to-use shipping and pickup capabilities to boost your bottom line. With options like buy online, pick up in store (BOPIS), for example, customers get the convenience of browsing for and purchasing their desired items online without incurring the extra expense of shipping and delivery fees or finding the item to be out of stock when they arrive at the store.
Plus, apparel brands can increase their profitability on orders where the customer assumes the impact of last-mile fulfillment, which typically accounts for 53% of total shipping costs (not to mention less reliance on third-party shipping providers).
And getting the customer in store, even if it’s theoretically just to pick up their purchase, often leads to more in-person sales. Research shows that 85% of consumers who used BOPIS made additional purchases when they went to pick up their item in store, eliminating a major concern of retailers who rely on foot traffic to clinch crucial sales that are missed online. Shopify POS also has built-in endless aisles and ship-to-customer functionality to make it quick and easy for the customer to order on the spot, so you’re not left wondering if they bought the product online in the future.
With Shopify POS, you can set up multiple pick-up and shipping options with the click of a button, so you can get started immediately offering BOPIS or ship-to-home capabilities to your customers. Shopify also comes with the ability to add your products to Google with no cost to you, so shoppers can see pickup availability at store locations and you can track how these listings are impacting sales.
Pick a POS that unifies your storefronts and helps you scale
Curating an effective omnichannel retail strategy is easier than it sounds. With a flexible and comprehensive POS system, apparel brands can enjoy a streamlined, efficient back office and differentiate themselves in the marketplace with synchronized, centralized insights. Shopify POS provides built-in functionalities to help you grow with confidence and integrate your sales channels in a way that works best for your business.