Fashion Retailer Lyn Evans Leverages Omnichannel Customer Engagement Strategy

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Fashion Retailer Lyn Evans Leverages Omnichannel Customer Engagement Strategy

07/24/2015
Lyn Evans began her retail career in a prominent department store in Philadelphia, shaping and guiding the city’s style for many seasons. In 1978, she opened her first women’s clothing and accessories boutique, Lyn Evans Potpourri Designs (from here on called Lyn Evans). In 1980, Lyn established her second store in Wellesley, MA, which currently serves as their flagship store and corporate office. Today the company is striving to create a seamless experience for their customers. 
 

Defining their Omnichannel Strategy   

Every store is suited with iPads that display their company website at all times to allow for cross-selling of items from other stores. The company doesn’t keep warehouse stock to stay in-step with the trends, and all fulfillment is guided from their physical store locations. If a customer wants a certain style or color that is not available at their location, a store associate will help the customer place the order from the store’s iPad before they go.
They keep track of everything using their Retail Pro retail management software, which manages all of their inventory for all channels. Lyn Evans outfitted their Retail Pro with an e-commerce solution from 24Seven Commerce  to administer web orders and integrated the two to keep real-time tabs on inventory across every location, without data duplication. Other solutions they tested created too many intermediary steps to keep clear inventory on both their brick and mortar and their online channels. 24Seven, as an integration with Retail Pro, significantly simplified their operations.

Using Analytics to Direct their Strategy

When the company hired a new buyer, their Retail Pro Business Partner, JD Associates conducted a half-day training seminar on-site to show how they can leverage Retail Pro analytic tools to create customized reports.
 
Now they use the custom Retail Pro reports to see exactly what their customers want. Lyn Evans analyzes performance data from the previous year’s collection and guides future buying decisions accordingly. Last year, they purchased 7,000 tops at this point in time. This year, based on data collected from their customers’ purchasing trends, they bought only 3,700, improving inventory flow and turn.
 
Currently, they are implementing an inventory rebalancing program fueled by Retail Pro analytics. Because they can see exactly what inventory is at which store, they can transfer goods from one location to another to meet customer demand. The customer can pick it up from their local Lyn Evans store or have it shipped to their home. In addition, a replenishment strategy will be implemented on basic and core products to maintain a good stock position.

Taking the Experience Online

Lyn Evans is also applying this business intelligence for growth in their online store. “In order for the specialty store to survive in a world of big box retail, we have to change the way we do business. We can’t just wait around for customers to come to our store.” The challenge is keeping the personalized customer experience consistent between the online store and the brick and mortar stores. But their customers know that a friendly Lyn Evans associate is always just a phone call away.
 
And they are not limiting their website to be just another avenue for sales.

“We are promoting a lifestyle,” Lyn Evans owner Stan Shotkus explained. Plans for the website include adding a blog with top trends, recipes, and how-to videos, like this video of a Lyn Evans associate showing different ways to tie a scarf. Social media and email marketing are a major piece of their online marketing strategy.

With these seamless omnichannel operations in place, the Lyn Evans boutiques have achieved a competitive advantage over so many retailers in their industry, creating a smooth and personalized experience for their shoppers through both channels, while staying true to their brand. “We are a small company with only seven stores. We don’t have the resources that the big players do. We had to do this on a budget and in a short time frame, but we have the vision, passion and commitment to take our business to the next level!” And, might we say, they are doing it exceptionally well.

About Retail Pro
 
Retail Pro International (RPI) is a global leader in retail management software that is recognized world-wide for rich functionality, multi-national capabilities, and unparalleled flexibility. For over 25 years, RPI has innovated retail software solutions to help retailers optimize business operations and have more time to focus on what really matters - cultivating customer engagement and capitalizing on retail’s trends. Retail Pro is the chosen software platform for omni-channel strategy by serious retailers everywhere. To learn more, visit www.retailpro.com