A Unique POS for a Unique Luxury Retailer
At Sabon the Focus is You.
In the summer of 1974, in a small farming town in Israel, a young couple made soap in their back yard. This was the birth of Sabon. Since then, the line has expanded to include a wide range of quality products without the luxury price. Sabon’s mission is to bring luxury to the everyday, for everyone. Their steadfast commitment to this statement is apparent the moment you approach the store. Passers-by are invited inside the boutique by friendly sales associates proffering delectable soap samples. Once inside the store, you are led to an extravagant, old-fashioned basin sink where a Sabon employee washes your hands with a fragrant body scrub or liquid soap, followed by a generous slathering of fragrant oil or lotion. Sabon’s commitment to unrivaled customer service is echoed throughout the shopping experience; the point of sale system being no exception.
Sabon has a unique point of sale system designed specifically for their individual needs by Visual Retail Plus (VRP). Rather than barcodes and a scanner, the touch-screen system is organized visually by category. For example, to ring up a baby lotion, the clerk navigates to the Mother and Baby Category then chooses the corresponding scent and size, finally touching the picture of the lotion to be purchased. Products in the store are organized according to use and on the POS the physical location is mimicked. This reduces the time it takes to train a new employee on the POS.
Sabon has seven Manhattan locations with several more opening in 2011, two stores in Chicago and one in Boston. The database spans every store so that at any given moment the General Manager can check sales and inventory, collectively or individually. The system generates detailed reports so that stores can track trends. For instance, they can see what fragrance is popular in November or what products sell most between 1pm and 4pm. Reports can also be received by management via text or email at a predetermined time. Management simply selects which report and a level of detail and the report will be texted or emailed to them at a time they’ve selected, eliminating the need for managers to be present or to call in to the store at close of business. Customer information such as name, email and purchase history, is also gathered through VRP.
Sabon processes a significant volume of internet sales also through their VRP POS. In-store and eCommerce are 100% integrated so that inventory can stay as accurate as possible.
VRP designed a number of custom solutions for Sabon including:
Freeebies Sabon sells liquid soaps and lotions that require a pump. The pump is given at time of purchase. The POS deducts the pump as a ‘freebie’ every time a relevant item is sold.
Kits Sabon offers kits, special gift sets. These are created in the corporate headquarters and are sold as complete gift sets online. The kits can be created on the POS and sold as one item, while updating inventory, of course. When creating kits, items can be discounted. For example, a kit can cost $40, however, all items sold separately may amount to $45.
Gift Cards The VRP POS allows Sabon to sell and redeems gift cards. Currently gift cards are only available in-store. They will be available online come January when the company launches its new website and loyalty program.
Shipping Sabon’s POS has a shipping option which allows in-store customers to have their products shipped. The clerk simply checks a special order box, sending the order to the New Jersey fulfillment center as if it had occurred online.
“We guide our customers through the store, helping them to discover what products or fragrances they might be interested in. Then at the counter we carefully wrap each product whether it’s a gift or not. Our stores are warm and inviting, our customers will never feel pressured. We want you to have fun, try out our products and leave feeling great, feeling like someone has really paid attention to your needs— whether you purchase something or not.” says Sarah Stevens, Director of eCommerce and Online Marketing Manager.
Sabon’s intense focus on the customer experience requires a highly customized and adaptable POS. The company has found the perfect ally in VRP, whose intense commitment to their customer relationships is at the core of all their business practices.
For more information on Sabon, visit: www.sabonnyc.com.
For more information on Visual Retail Plus, visit: www.visualretailplus.com.
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