Have you ever picked up a wig at a coffee shop?
Honey Hair Co. in St. Louis broke into the physical retail space by offering local pickup for its premium hair extensions at a local coffee shop. This is a perfect example of how innovative and resilient Rasheed and Linda Sulaiman—owners of Honey Hair Co.—are…and it worked!
Very soon, this pop-up local pickup station accounted for 25% of online sales. It tackled the problem of online deliveries being stolen, while also offering same-day pickup. This would serve as a barometer for the couple to open a retail outlet in the Gateway City, a decision that would help them nearly double their growth in 2020.
The biggest thing that we continued to notice was that if we had a high level of inventory to serve our customers and get them hair faster than our competitors, that would give us a winning advantage over our competition.
As Honey Hair Co. has expanded further into brick-and-mortar retail, Shopify POS has been along for the ride, helping it grow. Empowered by Shopify POS, Honey Hair Co. has enjoyed:
- +245% growth in POS sales in 2020 versus 2019
- The opening of two new stores (100% growth) in 2020 to keep up with rising demand
- +145% growth in POS sales in St. Louis in 2020 versus 2019
Honey Hair Co. launched in 2017 as an online store with Shopify, eventually expanding to brick-and-mortar by launching a physical store in St. Louis the following year.
The primary challenge Honey Hair Co. faced when expanding to physical retail was ensuring seamless integration between its online and in-person sales channels. For example, local pickup is an integral part of Honey Hair Co.’s business and an important feature for its customers.
We were doing local pickup as a shipping option, but it was a very complicated process and required a lot of manual work. We had to manually call or text the customer to let them know their order was available for pickup, we had to manually archive orders that were picked up—there were just so many pieces to it that made it complicated.
These issues were amplified in 2020 as online sales were gathering momentum. Then, customers started reporting their online deliveries as stolen, leading to operational losses and impacting brand reputation.
Honey Hair Co. needed to be able to offer local pickup that was secure, fast, and convenient, but it also needed to be able to scale those orders to meet growing demand. A surge in demand also led to challenges with managing inventory.
Shopify POS helped Honey Hair Co. address both problems it was facing by automating and simplifying time-consuming tasks associated with managing orders and inventory.
Shopify POS made that process an order of magnitude much easier to deal with, especially now that we have four different locations. We get a huge amount of local pickups, and now our sales associates know they don’t have to utilize a bunch of different resources. Once they package and fulfill the order, they hit the button, the customer is notified via text or email, and they can continue on with their other in-store duties. So that was a huge leap.
Shopify POS has also made it easier for Honey Hair Co. to handle returns and exchanges, which are common for its industry, by automating processes that were previously manual and time intensive.
In our industry, I would say one out of 10 customers wants to change or exchange the items in their order. So being able to do that in POS is great, where we can automatically refund the customer.
Honey Hair Co. also launched a robust loyalty program in 2019, which has become an important part of its brand identity and a steady driver of customer retention. The adoption of Shopify POS has made it easier for Honey Hair Co. to provide an even more personalized experience for its customers through this great loyalty program.
When we put a customer’s information in, it shows their reward points and we can let them know how many reward points they have available. A lot of customers like to take advantage of the reward points available and apply them to their current orders.
The main benefit Honey Hair Co. has enjoyed from using Shopify POS is time saved and increased efficiency.
We’re talking on the scale of like, 80%–100% time saved. A 10-minute process is down to one button. It’s an order of magnitude.
And Honey Hair Co. has made good use of all this extra time, growing POS sales in 2020 by an increase of +245% from 2019.
Honey Hair Co. was able to open two new stores in 2020, which led to an increase in new customers, while its strong loyalty program fueled growth in terms of returning customers.
Shopify POS continues to support Honey Hair Co.’s loyalty program by giving Linda and Rasheed more access to customer data during critical touchpoints.
Being able to see the notifications and real-time Shopify notes at the bottom of the orders page has also been great. We’ve been able to communicate and give that information (such as rewards points) to the customer.
Although 2020 was a difficult year, these resilient St. Louisans managed to not only survive, but thrive by opening new stores and growing their sales. Rasheed broke down the impact Shopify POS has had into one sentence:
“Shopify POS propelled our growth, especially during these testing times, with a seamless solution for managing ecommerce and retail operations, while enhancing the overall customer experience.”
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