Although we create many joyous memories in backyards and on patios, shopping for furniture for these spaces is usually a boring experience. Outdoor furniture company Yardbird is changing that.
“When a customer leaves our store, we want them to be excited about what they just purchased for the outdoor space that they’re creating, because they’re gonna spend so much time together outside with friends and family,” says Justin Sucher, Yardbird’s Head of Marketing.
This direct-to-consumer brand currently sells its seating sets, dining sets, and accessories online, in 25 showrooms across the United States, and in 50 Best Buy locations as part of its recent acquisition. Customers can browse online, then visit a showroom or Best Buy location to test out their top picks before buying.
While Yardbird designed showrooms so customers could check out from the comfort of a lounge chair or loveseat instead of at a counter, its old POS hardware wasn’t as suited for mobile selling as they liked.
To give staff the flexibility to make a sale from anywhere in its stores, Yardbird upgraded to POS Go: Shopify’s all-in-one handheld point of sale terminal. Since making the switch, Yardbird’s staff have enjoyed:
- No longer juggling a tablet and card reader as they serve shoppers
- Having timely access to product information and stock availability
- Accepting payments anywhere on the showroom floor using one handheld device
Challenge: POS hardware not suitable for showrooms
When customers visit Yardbird’s showrooms, the experience starkly contrasts with the experience at conventional furniture stores. Staff give white-glove service to each customer and don’t work on commission, which ensures shoppers can test furniture at their own pace, without feeling pressured to make a purchase.
“For outdoor furniture, it’s really important for people to be able to see it, to touch it, to sit in it,” Justin says. “Having showrooms makes all of our furniture a lot more accessible for our customers. Instead of going online and trying to imagine what this could look like in your outdoor space, you’re able to come in, work with a sales associate—even work with a designer to complete your outdoor space—and learn more about our products and what might be best for your space.”
Although Yardbird’s showrooms were set up with mobile service and selling in mind, its old POS hardware wasn’t suited for this use case. Juggling a tablet and Bluetooth card reader felt clunky and was unreliable. "Bluetooth card readers tend to disconnect, which is a problem when we need to accept a payment and a customer is waiting. Oftentimes, staff would manually key in payment information from the cash register instead of using our card reader."
“We had to run back and forth to our cash registers, and it didn’t allow us to be in the moment with our customers,” says Leigh Jacobs, Yardbird’s Regional Showroom Manager. “We had to juggle a lot of different devices at once, make sure they were charged, make sure the Bluetooth was connected, and that caused a lot of delays in our customer interactions.”
Our old iPad POS setup was technically mobile, but the experience was clunky for staff and customers. We needed POS hardware that was purpose-built for mobile selling.
Solution: Seamless showroom service with POS Go
When Justin heard about POS Go, he recognized it as an opportunity to address issues that held Yardbird’s stores back from embracing the customer service their showroom format made possible.
“POS Go coming to market was really just the perfect opportunity to solve a pain point that was limiting how our store associates served customers at our showrooms,” Justin says. “Since POS Go connects to WiFi, it’s incredibly reliable and enables staff to guide customers through our showroom without having to constantly reconnect unpaired Bluetooth peripherals.”
With POS Go, technology no longer gets in the way of customer service; it enhances it. The efficiency gains have been so dramatic that Yardbird now uses POS Go as its primary device across its 25 stores.
“When our staff arrive every day, they have a checklist of things they need to do before they open,” Justin says. “And now technology is one less thing that they have to worry about, knowing that POS Go is updated and has the card reader connected as soon as they arrive.”
Staff can now view stock availability and product information, take payments, and ship orders to customers using one device, without ushering them to the checkout counter or worrying about card readers disconnecting. Customers can stay seated in the showroom furniture and complete the transaction from start to finish.
Having everything that a store associate needs in the palm of their hand is really important for us. Being able to do everything in one device lets us deliver a premium experience to our customers.
Results: A seamless buyer’s journey from showroom to shipment
POS Go makes the buyer’s journey seamless, since all the capabilities and information Yardbird’s staff need is available in one handheld device.
“We can move furniture around with our customers and sit and chat with them while looking up dimensions and pricing in the palm of our hands. We have the ability to really be present, listen to our customers, and discover their needs,” Leigh explains.
With POS Go, staff members are equipped with all of the information they need to answer customers’ questions and guide them toward the perfect products for their outdoor spaces. “With Shopify’s metafields, we’re able to view product information like dimensions, prices, and fabric options on POS Go at any time during the shopping process,” Justin says.
Once customers have made their selections, they can check out without leaving the furniture they’re enjoying. “There is no better shopping experience and being able to make a purchase while you’re sitting on a comfortable couch,” Justin explains.
“Our showrooms don’t have a traditional cash register,” Justin says. “Many of our customers sit in the furniture during the checkout process. The ability to be present at the furniture set that the customer is buying is really helpful for our showroom teams.”
Staff members aren’t the only ones benefiting from Shopify’s device. “Customers who check out with POS Go often say that they’ve never purchased something so quickly and seamlessly,” Leigh says. “The ability for our customers to either tap, swipe, or insert their credit cards on the spot makes checkout super simple.”
Although Yardbird’s customers leave the showroom empty handed, a smooth checkout process leaves them with a great impression until their orders arrive.
“Every Yardbird order is shipped to a customer,” Justin says. “Because a customer will never leave one of our showrooms with a product in hand, that last interaction with a customer is incredibly important for us. Being able to deliver a seamless checkout experience where the customer can easily let us know what they want, where to send it to—and have that be a positive experience—is incredibly important for us.”
Logistics have also been made easier for Yardbird with the help of POS Go. “With POS Go we’ve been able to expedite a lot of the important information that we’re sharing between our retail and operations team so that our fulfillment and delivery teams understand what products need to be picked up and if there are any special instructions around the order,” Justin says.
POS Go has helped us really learn what showrooms make possible. It solves all the gaps our old hardware had and ensures we end every customer interaction on a high note.
A flock of showrooms and more recognition for Yardbird
Yardbird is well on its way to becoming a household name, and POS Go will remain an integral part of that journey.
“There is no better solution than Shopify POS Go for a business that’s looking to scale in both retail and ecommerce environments,” Justin says. “It’s truly allowed us to scale from one to 25 stores with little change on our end.”
Beyond opening showrooms in 2023, Yardbird will also be expanding into more than 50 Best Buy stores around the US.
“A lot of people haven’t heard about us yet, but we’re going to have a lot more exposure,” Justin says. “There’s going to be a lot more opportunity for customers to get to know Yardbird, and that’s what’s really exciting. Partnering with Shopify gives us confidence that we can continue to scale the brand and thrive both in-person and online.”