Caroline Dalton, CEO of SOSU Cosmetics, on running a beauty business and how Square helped reduce admin time by 25%.

In October last year, Caroline Dalton was announced as the new CEO of SOSU Cosmetics. She spoke with IMAGE and Square about what it takes to run a beauty business, including how she cut admin time and increased bookings by 25 per cent in under a year.

Taking the helm at one of Ireland’s biggest beauty brands is no easy feat, but that is exactly what Caroline Dalton did when she was announced as the new CEO of SOSU Cosmetics back in October 2022.

SOSU was founded in 2015 and now has an offering of over 100 beauty and skincare products. In 2018, the company launched a second brand of tanning products, Dripping Gold. Its Wonder Water product has since sold over one million units to date.

As business boomed, there was a seismic shift in strategy from operating as e-commerce to an omnichannel business, which naturally meant it was time to upgrade their point of sale tools to streamline and make fast growth possible.

Enter Square – a comprehensive suite of hardware and software tools designed to help run and grow businesses and the technology tool of choice for SOSU’s new CEO Caroline Dalton.

Previously head of buying at Primark across several categories for 13 years, Caroline brought plenty of experience to her role and truly knows her way around the industry. So, when it came to choosing Square for SOSU, it was a no-brainer.

“Square for Retail reduced our business admin time by approximately 25 per cent.”

We sat down with Caroline to chat about all things beauty and business and to find out how Square for Retail and Square Appointments have made the running of SOSU Cosmetics easier and more efficient.

The brand

SOSU Cosmetics is an award-winning affordable luxury Irish brand, offering the customer the opportunity to look and feel good for every event. We offer everything from colour cosmetics, lashes, tanning, skincare and accessories. Our brand is for everyone who wants to look and feel amazing. We are sold internationally in over 2,000 stockists across Ireland, the UK, the EU and the US.
Lashes and tan are our two biggest product categories, and our lip oil continues to be our top-performing product in our store every week.

DSF3304 copy

The business

The most important decision for us when it came to choosing a POS system was ease of use and full integration into our own current systems. And so, we were introduced to Square when we signed the contract for our new lease in Dundrum shopping centre.

“We are seeing bookings increase week on week by 20 per cent as customers and staff get more familiar with the system and awareness is building.”

With Square reporting there is the potential to manipulate the data to suit our needs, additionally, there are videos and tutorials in the system to help the staff on the ground to identify how to use the system and pull the data they need. The reporting allows us the ability to make live updates on stock counts and check for any errors, we have access to data on any potential heavy stocks and can act appropriately to ensure stock levels are maintained at an optimum level. We receive regular low-stock reports which highlight out of stocks, to ensure sales are not missed.

We see Square as a one-stop shop for us, it offers us the ability to control and manage stocks, track sales and monitor and plan for beauty services in-store. We have several users logged on with access to Square, you can do this from your mobile phone or with desktop access. Within seconds we can access information on live sales, stock information and service bookings to make informed decisions.

The transition

When we opened our store we knew we wanted to offer beauty services to the customer, using Square has enabled us to integrate a fully operational booking service for customers to choose the service they would like and book in advance at a time that suits them. Square has enabled us to identify the potential patterns for bookings, times and services, this in turn gives us the ability to plan staff accordingly and maximise key footfall times.

“Square for Retail saves us at least 10 hours a week by managing our inventory for our store.”

Square for Retail reduced our business admin time by approximately 25 per cent. It takes no more than 15 minutes to get staff trained on how to use the system. If customers arrive in store to make a booking we can direct them towards using the online service which then enables them to make changes to their booking at a later date. We are seeing bookings increase week on week by 20 per cent as customers and staff get more familiar with the system and awareness is building.

Square has integrated seamlessly into our stock management portal, this means we can see live stock figures in the store and can react to any spikes in sales and maximise the sales potential. Our sales team receive alerts of low stock levels directly from Square. It is then a quick and easy process for the sales team to implement a new next-day delivery order for the store to action additional stocks. Square for Retail saves us at least 10 hours a week by managing our inventory for our store.

We are a really fast-paced business and always have something new and exciting coming up. We continue to innovate and bring new products to the market. Later this year we have an exciting collaboration with a well-known make-up artist and we are also launching a new brand to the market. Our store will continue to be integral to any new product launch and having Square as our POS and Appointments provider will enable us to forward plan for the launches, to maximise the sales potential and ensure stock is always at an optimum level.

Built for every business.