Ah, back to school, the three words that fill most parents, guardians and children with dread. Often forgotten, the staff behind the counter are the ones working long hours and trying to keep up with the demands of so many people at once. Picture the scene, you’re opening the doors to your schoolwear shop during your busiest time of year and there is already a queue of eager customers lined up outside, your heart sinks – today is going to be a long one.
As the retail landscape evolves, so does customer expectations and why should a schoolwear store be any different? Multi-channel retail is at the forefront of consumer minds, most people will choose to look online before committing to buying a full school uniform in-store, they can be costly with the average spend on a uniform and school equipment costing around £175 and parents will want to get the best price they can.
Competition from supermarkets offering low-cost uniforms is increasing, last month saw Aldi and Lidl fight it out to be the cheapest by offering complete uniforms for under £4 – great news for customers but unwelcome news for schoolwear retailers.
Can your retail IT system cope?
Those customers queuing up for hours may only need to replace a jumper – do you have staff available to walk the line and check on stock availability? Can you offer a delivery and collection service for those out of stock items? Can you offer repeat customers the chance to join up to a loyalty program to reward them for their valued business? If you can’t then maybe it’s time to rethink your school wear retail system with a Cloud EPoS solution.
7 benefits of Cloud EPoS for schoolwear retail:
1. Real time stock
Having access to live stock levels across every location and channel is critical when handling multiple stock lines and schools across your region, ensuring you keep an eye on what items are running low and what you need to order. Cloud EPoS allows you to not only view real time stock but see historic sales, making sure you carry the right lines and quantities during peak times and not overselling popular products, leaving customers frustrated and forced to shop elsewhere.
2. Mobile PoS
Prepare your staff for the frenzied customers who have been queuing up for ages just to buy one shirt or return a blazer. Arming them with a mobile PoS assists with selling and stock checking, allowing people to be served quickly and effectively. As the platform is Cloud based you can even use it to sell off site at schools and events, capturing every sale possible.
3. Click and collect or deliver
Hassle free shopping isn’t usually a phrase you would associate with buying a school uniform. However, with Cloud technology you can become more efficient with your service through offering click and collect, click and reserve or even buy in store and deliver to home or school, meaning customers don’t have to carry bags full of clothes around with them all day!
4. Matrix management
As a schoolwear retailer, you will have a multitude of product lines available and likely carry many ‘matrix products’. Having the ability to matrix products efficiently, creating as many styles as you need, including, size, colour, or even school simplifies the management of your matrix products and helps you identify which products and school is performing best for you.
5. Intelligent reporting
As you look back at the trade you’ve taken you may have an idea of which school uniform has been the best seller and you could be way off the mark. Intelligent reporting through a Cloud platform provides this information and allows you to use it to your advantage; you could improve offers on certain uniforms or reduce stock for that school next year.
6. Loyalty and retention
Not many schoolwear retailers would think to offer a loyalty program to customers but it is a crucial way to separate yourself from the competition, retain current and attract new customers. Cloud EPoS allows you to track what customers buy and use that secure customer data to send out promotions and news updates, enhancing their experience both in store and online.
7. Customer accounts
Having the ability to create customer accounts and store secure information about them is extremely beneficial to your customer service. Offering flexible ways to pay for uniforms and equipment, including deposits and payment on account could be a bonus to some and encourage repeat business. Keeping all purchase information on your Cloud system will eradicate the need for a printed receipt, providing an e-receipt and reducing the stress when customers need to exchange ill-fitting shirts, replace that lost cardigan!
We’d like to know if your school wear retail system made the grade this year?
Elizabeth loves to write and is exceptional at creating content that people want to read. Although still new to the world of retail, she has many years marketing experience within the B2B technology industry.
With a flair for the creative, Elizabeth graduated with a degree in Product Design from Liverpool John Moores University and enjoys scribbling any moment she gets!
Connect with Elizabeth on LinkedIn.