When shopping in luxury stores, customers expect only the best. They demand superior customer service, relevant product recommendations and want to feel special throughout the entire browsing and buying journey.
Although DASH is still a relatively small business with only three fashion boutiques nationwide, the company is poised for growth.
But the retailer also doesn’t want to sacrifice its service promise, and in turn, requires tools and solutions that can help all team members do their jobs better. That is why DASH implemented the LightSpeed retail commerce platform.
The cloud-based solution, coupled with iPad devices, enables store managers to update and access inventory levels in real time. Store associates — called DASH Dolls — also can access customer information with just a swipe of a finger, empowering them to improve relationships with loyal shoppers.
LightSpeed “is good for a lot of reasons,” noted Dakota DiSanto, Director of Retail at DASH. “It can help us improve inventory management, look at top sellers and get to know each of our clients across each of the stores.”
PC computers are currently in the three DASH locations, and an iPad is currently being tested in the Los Angeles location. Eventually “all stores will have iPads that we’ll use for the checkout process,” said DiSanto in an interview with Retail TouchPoints. “We needed to get LightSpeed so we could grow. It’s very to add registers and locations to the system. We’ll input all items that come to our stores, then when we open up a new store the items are already created so it’s easy for each store to create their inventory and be up and running.”
Improving Inventory Management
More than 8,000 shoppers flow in and out of the DASH stores in Los Angeles, Miami and New York City each week, coveting products from the hottest brands. Although each store carries several core brands such as Alice + Olivia, each store also stocks different product lines based on location and target customer preferences.
Using LightSpeed, DiSanto can look at sales in real time and manage inventory based on sales trends. “It has made everyone’s lives a lot easier,” she said. DASH store managers now are able to access stock levels and trends across all stores, so they can pull merchandise from other locations or re-order them because they go out of stock.
“My day-to-day live is managing the stores and trying to come up with ways to make the business more successful,” DiSanto explained. “When I came on board at DASH, I had no clue what was going on in the stores until I got an email at the end of the day. I didn’t know where sales were or what inventory they had. It was really frustrating and almost impossible to run the business correctly.”
Manual inventory management processes took up approximately eight hours a week in each store. Store managers and employees performed administrative tasks such as reporting daily sales, tracking lost products, identifying best-selling products and determining when to reorder items.
“We used to send photos of items that were slow sellers in certain stores and then transfer items to other stores,” DiSanto added. “The shipping charges to move these products got really costly.”
A DASH Of Personalization
Because the DASH boutiques are located in major cities, they get their fair share of tourists. However, each store also has its loyal customer base that comes in frequently to purchase new outfits.
“We really like to reach out to our community and make sure people who come in come back,” DiSanto said. That is why clienteling is “one of if not the most important thing to us.”
DASH Dolls collect customer information when they complete transactions, so they can continue the conversation by sending personalized emails and text messages when new products are in stock.
Typically, customer information was handwritten in client books, so employees had to manually write down names, addresses, phone numbers and email information. Now, employees can use an iPad with LightSpeed to ring customers up, create new accounts and have shoppers enter information themselves.
Armed with customer information, Dash Dolls can make more effective product recommendations, and improve sales by prepping outfits before customers visit a store. “We are able to be more proactive because we understand that our clients want more than just a ‘hi’ and a ‘bye’ as they enter and leave a store,” DiSanto said. “They trust us to style them and build their wardrobe.”