Due South, a clothing and home decor store co-founded by Brett Hill, launched in a historic district in Lafayette, Colorado in 2016 and has since grown to support 15–20 employees.
When they started the business, Hill’s main goal was to find a point-of-sale system that supported omnichannel growth so that he could eventually expand beyond brick-and-mortar retail with an online store, hire additional retail staff, carry more types of inventory, and ship online orders. He also wanted seamless in-person and online payments, inventory tracking, and customer engagement.
With a long list of needs and a desire to keep business flowing, it was important to find a tool that was easy to get up and running, and simple enough for his team to learn without too much interruption.
When assessing solutions for the store, Hill found that some options were built for eCommerce without in-store payment or inventory workflows and other options were too complicated to get started. He also wanted to decrease reliance on iPads or third-party hardware, which could be expensive and require additional troubleshooting with another vendor.
In a nutshell, Due South was looking to fulfill these four needs in one solution:
- A platform built for brick-and-mortar retail businesses with the option to grow online
- First-party software and hardware that connects seamlessly
- Tools for customer engagement and retention
- Flexibility to allow the business to change and pivot if the unexpected happened
Square for Retail has been the glue that holds inventory, hardware, customers, and eCommerce together for Due South.
Due South currently uses:
- 71% sales increase since using Square for Retail
A platform built for growth and flexibility
Due South initially launched with the standard Square Point of Sale app on iPad, which allowed Hill to take payments, see sales reports, and manage staff all in one place. As his business grew, he realized that he needed more advanced features that were specific to running a retail business, such as inventory management. So he made the easy switch to Square for Retail, giving him the ability to access all retail-specific features as well.
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In addition to switching to the POS app, Brett also purchased a first-party hardware device, Square Register, to make running his retail business even easier. He no longer had to worry about troubleshooting iOS with Apple support on iPad. Square Register provided benefits for both staff and customers with its buyer-facing screen that emailed receipts and showed loyalty points.
In 2020, when they had to let staff go because of the pandemic, Due South didn’t lose business functionality or knowledge because it was all retained within the Square for Retail database. Hill was able to quickly pivot and launch an online store with Square Online as an additional sales channel, using the existing inventory information in his Square for Retail account.
“It’s really hard to compete with what we have with Square, because every time that we’ve grown, or needed to do something, it seems like Square was literally that one step, right ahead of that.”
Integrated inventory management
Not only does Square for Retail keep innovating at the speed of business, but it also helps Hill manage day-to-day operations with seamless integrations.
Stock management starts when they receive the price sheet for merchandise on order and product names are input into the Square Item Library. Once items arrive, a member of the Due South team receives and enters the quantities into the system and prints off tags before they go on the sales floor. Square for Retail integrates smoothly with Dymo printers so that every item includes a price and barcode sticker.
Using Square for Retail on Square Register at the in-person checkout, staff can scan barcodes, fulfill online orders, check a customer’s loyalty points, and take payments. The intuitive interface makes it easy to access product lookup for customers and to find what is in stock on the large sales floor.
“I do think that there’s a huge benefit to just the inventory aspect of it, where we can actually check when customers are asking, ‘Do you have any more of these?’ The fact that we can go into our system, instead of having to go to the back or check every mannequin, that actually helps us a lot — being able to clearly communicate with the customer.”
Creating happy customers
Square for Retail also makes the return policy hassle-free at Due South. If a customer brings back an item, Square does all the calculations to enable staff to manage the return in one easy transaction. Exchanges, returns, and restocking the item — everything is tracked in Square.
“Square literally streamlined and simplified the entire process of exchanges and returns. It’s one of the avenues that, from my perspective, is hugely valuable.”
Loyalty program features are also a key element of Square for Retail that Due South uses to keep customers coming back. The store implemented a points system to reward return shoppers that’s automatically tracked in the POS in Square Loyalty.
Reports to understand revenue and costs
Reporting tools help Hill keep the business running smoothly. He can see what staff have sold or received, as well as yearly, monthly, and daily sales numbers. The Inventory Sell-through Report and History log are key in helping him determine what merchandise to carry and what items need to be ordered.
All of these features come together to help Due South succeed. Since Square has been part of the business plan for Due South from the beginning, Hill attributes it to helping with the growth of the business, including increased sales and decreased operational costs.
“So literally, every time we’ve done something new, Square has been right there to step up. I would put them as one of my best-performing employees.”