Ethel loves me is a retail store in the tourist destination of Rye, England owned by Jason Dorey. The unique artisan craft store initially began as an online store in 2017 and expanded into a physical store one year later, boasting over 600 visitors a week and selling around 1,600 items each month.
As the shop grew, Dorey realized he needed a centralized solution that could handle multiple business functions and integrate with his existing software, creating a two-part challenge for his business:
With integration being a key focus, finding a package that could do everything was important. Payments, inventory, staff tracking, artist commissions, and accounting needed to come together. In addition, Ethel Loves Me also needed a website that would smoothly connect and sync inventory. Most of all, the solution needed to have a good mix of features for the price.
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Dorey also wanted to create better efficiency with reporting and sales reconciliation. Eliminating the need to generate separate reports and spend hours switching between software to calculate basic business metrics was crucial. But not only was it important for his business tasks to become more efficient, it was equally important that customer focused tasks such as checkout became more efficient as well.
Ethel Loves Me decided to switch to Square for Retail during the pandemic in early 2021. They were able to rebuild the website during the lockdowns while foot traffic was slow. Dorey used the templates in Square Online for his rebuild because of the intuitive usability. He also imported data from his prior platform straight into Square with no friction; all he had to do was choose the products he wanted his customers to see. This got the business off to a running start when tourism began again.
Ethel Loves Me currently uses:
“Our business has increased. When we came back after the first lockdown, it was extraordinary. We did our best months ever. It’s more efficient.”
One Retail POS system for the whole business
Using Square for Retail has benefitted Ethel Loves Me in two important areas: time saved and increased revenue, solving both of Dorey’s key challenges. With an integrated system for taking payments and managing inventory in person and online, Square for Retail and Square Online helped Dorey manage both sales channels in one place. He is now able to run his entire retail business – including tracking staff hours and commissions – from the same point-of-sale app.
He can see vital reports and breakdowns for Ethel Loves Me in his Dashboard, resulting in significant time savings of up to eight hours per month. Sales and deposit information flow straight into his accounting software, Xero. Square for Retail also shaved off time during checkout, making cart building and collecting payments faster.
Key data points:
- Saved 5 hours per month on reconciling sales and inventory
- Saved 3 hours per week on item creation and item sales reconciliation
- Increased revenue 32% from August 2020 to August 2021
Paying artists with efficient tools
Square for Retail has changed day-to-day operations for the better at Ethel Loves Me. Here’s how Dorey puts it all together to ensure his gallery is running smoothly.
The store carries items the team buys wholesale in bulk and one-of-a-kind consignment items from local artists. Square for Retail allows Dorey to track both. Each item is tracked by SKU code and Vendor, and vendor cost recorded as the payout owed to the artist after a sale. A separate field for Category allows him to track another data point.
Dorey finds efficiency in exporting his item library to Excel, editing or adding new items and bulk uploading them again. Flexibility in item identification has helped streamline processes in the store for the sales team as well. Searching for items was a time drain before Square for Retail, since staff could not always recognize an artist’s work to add it to the cart. Barcodes, images, and a solid SKU numbering system eliminated the guesswork.
“The idea is that the creative brings in their products. We put it in the store. We then sell it. And then because of the reports in Square, I can run down at the end of the month exactly what we sold. So we know who the creative is who got the sale.”
Reporting that informs
Reporting features help Dorey get a clear idea of what category of items sell best and which artisans shoppers have an affinity for. This helps him determine what types of products to accept for consignment or which to buy at wholesale. He uses the Item Sales report and the Vendor Sales report to calculate what he owes each artisan for sales at the end of the month.
The reporting features in Square for Retail also help Dorey stay on top of store performance. Quick reports on weekly and monthly trends help him plan staffing and the Team Member sales report directs him in paying commission to employees for large artwork sales.
Square tools have resulted in increased revenue for Ethel Loves Me, with the business growing 32% from August 2020 to August 2021.