Here are Springboard Retail, we're fortunate to work with some really cool retailers. But you already knew that, didn't you?
What you might not know is that we're also lucky enough to partner with a number of creative retail industry experts, consultants, and influencers—guys like Josh Orr at Streamline Retail. From the time he was a teen working the sales floor after school, he's had a thing for instilling confidence in people. Then: Store customers, with a new pair of sneakers or a good fitting pair of jeans. Now: Store owners, with the technology and training necessary to grow their retail business seamlessly and profitably, without getting bogged down by distractions and learning curves.
We sat down with Josh to chat about his brick and mortar & eComm consulting agency, how technology is shaking up the industry, and where he sees the retail world going next!
What inspired you to start Streamline Retail?
There were plenty of IT companies out there selling POS systems and design firms helping with eCommerce, but most of those didn’t have a deep understanding of the needs of independent retailers. I set out to build a company that worked to help small retailers grow their businesses with the right tools and sales channels. This means we don’t just install a POS system but we equip business owners with the right processes customized to their business. On the web side of things, this means we design beautiful sites that represent a retailer's brand, but in a way that complements a brick and mortar business, not distracts from it.
What's your favorite thing about working with independent retailers?
Retailers are incredibly passionate about what they do. More often than not, independent retailers don’t come from retail but are working to turn a passion or hobby into a career. This means that they are passionate about their products, their customers, and their communities in a way that is a little more rare in other industries. My favorite thing about what we do is equipping these passionate entrepreneurs with the rights tools and processes to grow their businesses.
Retail nerd question! Do you have any favorite reports to run?
You’d get a different answer from everyone on my team but, for me, it’s all about inventory turn and seeing how fast individual products and entire categories are moving through your store. If it’s sitting too long, mark it down and get it out! If I can have two reports, then I’d go with customer sales reports. I like to see top customers for set periods of time that haven’t come back recently. This lets you engage great customers who seem to be drifting from the brand.
How has technology affected retail over the last few years?
So much! Of course there’s the new challenges like competing with Amazon, but I think new technology has enabled independent retailers to compete on a different level than ever before. A tiny brick and mortar location can now have in-store and online gift cards and in-store pickup. Ten years ago, that would have cost a fortune to develop and now it’s a built in feature of a POS + eCommerce solution. With hard work (and a little bit of luck, but mostly hard work) independent retailers can play at the level of big-box retail and I love getting to play a part.
"New technology has enabled independent retailers to compete on a different level than ever before."
Why is strong inventory management so important for independent retailers?
Inventory is literally the life-blood of a retail business. For a retailer to truly be successful, they need to know what they have, what’s selling, how long it’s taking to sell, what’s not selling, and who’s buying. Without these, you are only relying on your gut; which can work up to a point but it won’t ever be able to scale. By adopting better inventory management tools, retailers get actionable data at their fingertips with easy to run reports. It’s a no-brainer.
Retail industry predictions for 2019?
We’re going to keep seeing online powerhouses open brick and mortar locations. Brands like Chubbies, Warby Parker, and Mizzen and Main will continue to expand their reach and we’ll see a host of new ones pop-up.
Additionally, I think local brick and mortar will see a bump in revenue with the new tax laws. With the incentive to shop online being taken away, customers now have a better reason to shop local instead of being at a disadvantage to out-of-state big box retail.
What makes you most hopeful about the future of retail?
Independent retailers have more tools at their disposal than anytime in the past. The ability to engage customers in store, online, on Facebook, or any other place a person might be has grown tremendously and that’s not slowing down.
Streamline Retail is a certified reseller of Springboard Retail—check out their own blog here!
NEW Retail Sales Report! Download to learn:
... how to use POS data to understand and articulate your retail mission
... how to find and hire your store's next brand ambassadors
... which POS reports are essential to recalibrate your sales strategy
... why obsessing over customer loyalty is essential to your bottom line
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