CSA Exclusive: Untuckit steps up in-store experience with mobility
Deena M. Amato-McCoy
The fast-growing brand Untuckit is using mobility to enhance the customer experience across its expanding brick-and-mortar portfolio.
The digitally-native brand, whose signature shirts are made to be worn untucked, has made the transition to omnichannel retailer at warp speed. The brand, which debuted online in 2011, opened its first store a mere four years later. While the current retail environment continues to wreak havoc on “over-stored” chains, forcing them to close stores in effort right-size their chain, Untuckit has bucked the trend and continues to grow its portfolio, which stands at 41 locations — 40 stores in the United States and one in Canada.
In a push to extend the value of its brick-and-mortar presence and stay profitable, the company is arming store associates with mobile technology. A cloud-based order management system (OMS) and mobile POS solution from NewStore runs on a mix of company-owned iPads and iPhones. Now store-level associates have the information needed to support the customer experience, from assisting shoppers at merchandise racks and placing online orders to checking them out right in store aisles.
Since adding the solution chainwide in October, the company is gaining a better understanding of its store-level customers, as well as tracking their preferences and emerging trends, said Aaron Sanandres, co-founder and CEO, Untuckit, which is also one of the winners of Chain Store Age’sBreakout Retailers Awards in 2018. “The platform makes our store associates more productive and our stores more profitable. This [technology] will help us scale rapidly, while providing an exceptional experience our customers expect and deserve.”
Sanandres discussed with Chain Store Age how the mobile solution is making in-store associates more productive and knowledgable, as well as creating digitally-connected retail experiences.
What is Untuckit’s perspective when it comes to providing experiences and convenience? The key is to understand your customer so you have some appreciation for what he or she really wants; and for our customers, what they want are convenience and efficiency. The fact that they can also enjoy a sip of scotch while they shop in our stores is complimentary to our shopping experience, but it’s not core.
That said, being a digitally-native brand entering the brick-and-mortar space, we are always thinking of how we can make our in-store experience as seamless as the online experience. Adding mobile solutions to check out our customers has allowed us to achieve that fluidity and add in a layer of great customer service they don't typically expect.
How does the platform make associates more productive and knowledgable? The platform gives our store associates an additional layer of information about our customers and how they like to shop with us. This insight, combined with the convenience of the mobile checkout, lets out associates be more productive on both a customer service and overall efficiency level.
Specifically, associates have access to customer profiles, with data from every interaction so each touchpoint can be personalized — and this is important because personalization is becoming a hot topic of conversation. Retailers want to deliver the same level of personalization in-store as they do online — all of which is good news for the customer.
The app’s mobile checkout capabilities also enable store associates to facilitate transactions from anywhere on the sales floor, and without having to leave the customer’s side.
How will you expand the solution going forward? Looking ahead, we have access to additional functionality available on the platform including clienteling, endless aisle, real-time inventory visibility, and omnichannel fulfillment options, such as buy online pick up in store (BOPIS), ship-from-store, and buy online return in store (BORIS). And this will be an important differentiator, as I’ve read statistics that less than 30% of omniretailers have a BORIS feature on their site.
Although we are not yet using the solution to support fulfillment options, such as BOPIS, BORIS, and ship from store, we’ll be rolling these out soon.