More retailers are moving their POS systems from the store to the cloud, so they can access and analyze sales, customers and products across multiple stores. Having this real-time access to data empowers retailers to keep a constant pulse on business performance and make the necessary changes to improve results moving forward.
Prideful in its ability to keep up with the latest industry and technology trends, specialty crafts retailer Porter’s Craft & Frame has implemented Springboard Retail to keep track of performance during the competitive holiday season. In September 2014, the retailer replaced its 15 PC-based POS terminals in two stores with tablets featuring the Springboard retail management platform.
“We used to operate our two stores independently in terms of technology, so if we had an item received in our Rexburg store and we put that in our system, then we were going to have to put it in the system at the Idaho Falls store as well,” said Alex Nielsen, General Manager at Porter’s Craft & Frame. “Going into this, we weren’t exactly saying, ‘We’re going into the cloud.’ We were saying, ‘We have to get our stores operating together.’”
After searching for and comparing numerous solutions that would help bring transaction data under one umbrella, the Porter’s team decided to implement the Springboard Retail solution, which had equipment and installation costs that were 15% of the larger platforms. Ongoing maintenance fees were only 40% of the larger solutions, according to Nielsen.
Another distinguishing factor that set Springboard Retail apart from the rest of the solutions that were considered was its extendibility. The solution is developer-friendly, incorporating an API that enables the company to hire someone to build out additional features that may not already be included. Additionally, the team only needed a file server to operate the system, which lifted a heavy maintenance burden off of them.
“I’ve been through these changes before,” Nielsen said in an interview with Retail TouchPoints. “You experience a cultural shift within the store no matter when or what systems you’re updating. We’ve had some cashiers that have been with us for 15 or 20 years who were nervous about switching over. After the training, they came up and told me that handling the change in technology was way easier than they thought it was going to be.”
It also was important to Porter’s that the Springboard platform was rolled out in time for the holiday season.
The team wanted a faster and more accurate way to report on sales figures for specific products so that promotions could be prioritized accordingly.
“Everything we do is about selling merchandise, and Q4 is our bread and butter,” Nielsen stated. “One reason I was pushing so hard to have this implemented by Q4 was that a single change makes the greatest impact. We’re going to be able to look at an endcap in our store, for example, which might showcase 30 products from 10 different suppliers. Now we can quickly report on how well that’s doing. An endcap in Q4 better be generating more revenue than every other part of the store.”
In working with Springboard, Porter’s is “building the foundation for the future,” according to Nielsen. With the integration, the company looks to expand further into e-Commerce and introduce a loyalty program within the next year.
“It’s our understanding that Springboard is working on a Shopify integration, which we’re excited about,” Nielsen said. “Bigger than that, everything’s becoming modular. Even if I didn’t want to use Shopify, I can still have a developer write up code to integrate Porter’s with any of the other major e-Commerce platforms.”