Retail stores rarely rely on just one sales channel to succeed. In fact, due to fierce competition from big box retailers and ecommerce giants, survival can depend on creating more sales channels. Whether it’s pop-up shops, a shop on wheels, or selling at events, these additional avenues can be crucial to a retailer’s revenue, but not without some hurdles. Out-of-store sales activities force a retailer to devise a plan when it comes to inventory, payments, and if they’re lucky, dealing with long lines.
Isha is an organization that hosts fifteen major events during the year, showcasing their unique yoga programs and selling yoga-related products during session breaks. With each event attracting nearly 1000 attendees, Isha Shoppe processes hundreds of orders in just minutes. That’s a good problem to have, but the sudden rush of shoppers can create long lines and frustrated customers. So Isha needed a solution to help streamline event sales and ensure their shoppers walk away happy.
Give shoppers an easier way to shop at events
Most of Isha Shoppe’s annual product sales come from selling at large scale events throughout the year. Isha ships products to the events, creating an on-site “warehouse” to fulfill orders, and sets up a showroom displaying one of every item available for attendees to purchase. During thirty-minute breaks between sessions, shoppers browse the display items and write down the product codes of items they’d like purchase on order forms. Isha staff use these forms to prepare orders for pick-up at the conclusion of the event.
Isha Shoppe wanted a faster and easier way for shoppers to submit and staff to fulfill the orders.
Offer fast and secure checkout that decreases wait time
When the day’s events are winding down, attendees who have purchased items from Isha Shoppe stand in line to pay for and pick up their items. Even with multiple registers, long lines form. Isha must process hundreds of credit card transactions and give shoppers their merchandise.
Since session breaks and the windows to shop are brief, some customers want to take more time to shop at the end of the event. But because of the long wait times for picking up items ordered during session breaks earlier in the day, shoppers must get in line to pick up their items before leaving the event, with Isha Shoppe losing these end-of-day sales.
Isha wanted a solution to streamline the checkout process in order to cut down waiting time and capture lost sales.
Isha uses Vend POS for both its brick & mortar locations and its event sales, and it was important that the solution they chose worked with its existing POS setup.
Isha Shoppe chose ShoppinPal to help streamline both the ordering and checkout processes. ShoppinPal is a mobile commerce app that’s integrated with various POS systems and is designed to enhance the shopping experience inside brick & mortar stores, but can also be used for selling merchandise at events with in-app purchasing and e-receipt functionalities.
Ordering made easy
The display items in Isha Shoppe’s showroom do not have barcodes, but instead have tags with unique product codes. Although ShoppinPal supports barcode scanning, Isha shoppers typed in a product code from an item’s tag to instantly display the product information for easy ordering.
This was important for Isha for a couple reasons: 1) Shoppers didn’t have to manually write down each product code and give it to the staff, which cut down the risk of shopper and staff errors. And 2) instead of processing credit card transactions at the end of the event, shoppers could instantly complete their purchase inside ShoppinPal by taking a picture of their credit card or paying with PayPal. All that was left to do was for the staff to hand over the items at the end of the day.
A streamlined pickup process
Before using ShoppinPal, Isha event attendees ended the day by standing in a long line waiting their turn to pay and pick up their items ordered during session breaks throughout the event. Customers that used ShoppinPal to order their items and pay by phone entered a fast-moving “Express Lane” to simply pick up their bag. Since the shoppers paid as they shopped, the Isha Shoppe staff was relieved of taking credit card payments at the counter, and instead just looked up the customer by name, order number, or event registration number in the point-of-sale system and gave the customer their items.
The last thing attendees want after relaxing sessions offered by Isha is a frustrating checkout experience to end their day. Skipping a long line to simply pick up their items helped mitigate the chance of unhappy customers.
“We use ShoppinPal to speed up the checkout process at events and it works great. It's like providing our customers a self-checkout register as they are browsing,” said Raajiv Ravi of Isha Shoppe.
Isha Foundation is an international nonprofit organization that offers a variety of programs, including a customized system of yoga called Isha Yoga. The organization hosts fifteen major events during the year, showcasing their unique programs and selling yoga-related products through the organization’s retail arm, Isha Shoppe. For more information, visit www.ishashoppe.com
ShoppinPal is a mobile commerce solution for brick & mortar retailers that offers an engaging mobile shopping experience and self-checkout functionality through its integrations with leading POS systems, such as LightSpeed, Vend, Quickbooks, and RetailPro. For more information, visit www.shoppinpal.com.
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