Outdoor Voices applies technology not just in its product design — it’s happening throughout the entire customer experience.
Championing “technical apparel for recreation,” a recent in-store press demo revealed how Outdoor Voices is powering omnichannel point-of-sale and fulfillment, through aid of its technology partner NewStore, to which NewStore’s chief executive officer and founder Stephan Schambach, was also in attendance.
In the last month, NewStore has been deployed in all nine Outdoor Voices store locations, including cities such as Austin, New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Boston, Nashville and more.
Kevin Harwood, vice president of technology at Outdoor Voices guided the walk-through, showing how common customer scenarios (such as returns without receipts, order history, etc.) are addressed more efficiently with the NewStore technology deployed.
An out-of-stock size request for an Outdoor Voices sports bra, for example, is easily managed by the store associate using NewStore’s RFID-compatible device. Scanning the aisle, (in likeness to warehousing devices) and locating where it is in the store (or isn’t) in real-time — the kicker is that it’s all powered by mobile, either the associate’s own or the company-provided iPhones.
“It’s not rocket science,” said Schambach, “it’s two apps,” (the POS app, fulfillment app). And the functionality is as seamless for sales associate and customer alike. At the POS, NewStore supports credit, debit, Apple Pay, as well as PayPal and Adyen (which offer credit financing).
Schambach mentioned, it’s the “serialized inventorying” that dramatically reduces customer wait time, and increases the available time for sales associates to focus on what matters most: serving the customer.
For Outdoor Voices, what once required eight to nine hours and a full staff to count inventory of the entire store (on the selling floor and in the stockroom at Outdoor Voices’ SoHo location) is now completed in 20 to 30 minutes and with 99 percent accuracy by the hand of only one sales associate.
Digital-first brands such as Outdoor Voices are further poised to focus on what Phil Granof, chief marketing officer at NewStore calls “the last yard of retail.” Others investing in the last yard of retail include digital-native shirting brand, UnTuckIt and sporting goods retailer Decathlon.
The company plans to open its beacon location later this year in Flatiron at 142 Fifth Avenue, along with buy online, pick-up in store (BOPIS) capability on the near horizon.