Unfinished Legacy Drives Pop-up Sales with Tap to Pay on iPhone with Shopify POS


Unfinished Legacy is a digitally-native clothing business that offers in-person events as an integral part of their brand and marketing mix. They screenprint and design their own clothes, and use pop-ups as a way to launch new collections, gather product feedback, and connect with customers. 

Unlike an always-open brick-and-mortar store, Unfinished Legacy’s pop-ups are highly anticipated events that drive volume. The vibe of these events is busy, buzzy, and embedded in the streetwear scene. “At our pop-ups, people can buy clothes, choose what designs they want, and our team will screen print their gear right there in front of them. We really want to show them the process and get them excited about their unique piece.”

“Our pop-ups are an experience,” says Mike Esiobu, Marketing Manager at Unfinished Legacy. “When we first started out, we partnered with local stores and wholesalers and set up screen printing stations in their shops to build buzz and introduce people to our brand. Now we have a big enough following that we can lease our own space and build a buzz through our network,” 

While a good problem to have, Unfinished Legacy’s pop-ups generated so much footfall that customers inevitably had to wait in line at the cash wrap to pay. To improve its customer experience and help its team of five to ring up sales faster, they had to move away from their single cash register setup and embrace mobile selling. 

After turning to Tap to Pay on iPhone with Shopify POS, Unfinished Legacy significantly improved their pop-ups’ checkout speed. Tap to Pay on iPhone is a payment acceptance capability that enables businesses to accept contactless payments in person using just an iPhone. 

Unfinished Legacy, equipped with nothing but their iPhones and the Shopify POS app, are now able to connect with customers at their events and securely accept contactless payments on the spot, making their pop-up experience feel seamless and banishing lineups for good. 

Since using Tap to Pay on iPhone for Shopify POS, Unfinished Legacy has enjoyed:

  • 5x checkout efficiency at its pop-up shops
  • Shorter wait times for customers at checkout 
  • Running pop-ups using just an iPhone and no additional hardware

Challenge: Lively pop-up events and lineups to pay

Not only do pop-ups create a buzz, the events also help Unfinished Legacy test products and invest more into production once they know there’s strong demand for an item—for both unique pieces and its line of screen printed clothes available online.

“We get immediate feedback on what products customers gravitate toward,” Mike says. “For instance, we dropped limited quantities of a half-zip at one of our pop-ups, but it wasn’t available for purchase online. We got so many comments from people asking when it would drop online; that was a signal to us that we could invest in manufacturing more and have the garment sell out.”

Thanks to this intentional strategy, Unfinished Legacy has experienced exceptional growth. But as the brand garnered attention and more people turned out for its pop-ups, the checkout experience became an issue. 

“We never want customers to have to wait in line,” Mike says. “We want the checkout to be fast, so customers can choose how they spend their time. If they want to interact with our team, we’re all for it, but nobody appreciates waiting to pay.”

Previously, the team was using an iPad and card reader at its checkout counter. Although staff walked around the pop-ups and engaged with shoppers, paying for items was done at a cash wrap station. When the event drew a lot of buzz, customers were left waiting in line. 

Unfinished Legacy needed a more flexible way to accept payments. They turned to Shopify’s mobile solution Tap to Pay on iPhone.

Tap to Pay on iPhone enables everyone on our team of five to walk around and accept payments on the spot. Payment is the last touchpoint we have with customers, and we wanted their experience at our pop-ups to end on a positive note.

Mike Esiobu, Marketing Manager, Unfinished Legacy

Solution: Busting lineups at the cash wrap with Tap to Pay on iPhone for Shopify POS

Rather than become victims of their own popularity, Tap to Pay on iPhone for Shopify POS helps Unfinished Goods support a higher volume of shoppers.

Tap to Pay on iPhone has been a productivity multiplier for Unfinished Legacy’s small but mighty team of five. Equipped with just their iPhone, each of Unfinished Legacy’s team members move freely with customers and securely accept payments anywhere at the pop-up, giving them five checkout locations instead of ushering them into a long lineup at the cash wrap. 

We have staff walking around the space interacting with shoppers, and because we all have the Shopify POS app on our iPhone, we’re all able to transact wherever,” Mike shares. “When it gets really busy, it’s easy for us to be all-hands-on-deck, serve customers, and keep wait times short.” 

The convenience of being able to do everything from an iPhone helps Unfinished Legacy’s small team do more with less. Staff can deal with event logistics and coordination, post videos or engage with supporters, look up inventory, and transact all from the same device. 

We all have our iPhone with us all the time anyway, so it makes things easier when we can just bring our phone with us to the pop-up and be good to go. I can walk around and interact with people; if they want to make a purchase, I can do it right then and there from my iPhone.

Mike Esiobu, Marketing Manager, Unfinished Legacy

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Results: A seamless shopping experience for customers and staff

Since switching to Tap to Pay on iPhone, the Unfinished Legacy team can accept in-person payments easier and faster than ever. The ability to accept payments anywhere in the pop-up, while still engaging with customers, removes friction and improves the overall experience for both shoppers and staff.

Before using Tap to Pay on iPhone, Staff were often asked if they accepted Apple Pay, but their former card reader didn’t accept that payment type. Now they’re able to close more sales from customers wanting to transact with their Apple Wallets. 

“Cash is no longer king. More and more customers want to pay with their mobile wallets, whether it’s on their iPhone or Apple Watch. Tap to Pay on iPhone feels more in line with how customers want to buy, which ultimately helps us make more sales,” Mike says.

With Tap to Pay on iPhone, I’ve been able to accept all contactless payments without any issues. When our customers tap their cards or mobile wallet on our iPhones and the transaction goes through, they all think it’s a super convenient way to pay. It makes our checkout feel really polished.

Mike Esiobu, Marketing Manager, Unfinished Legacy

What’s next for Unfinished Legacy?

The next major step for the company is to increase in-house product manufacturing. Up to this point, Unfinished Legacy purchased blank garments from its supplier for screen printing. Now the brand is releasing three new products designed and manufactured by its own team—a letterman jacket, two knitted sweaters, and a tote bag. 

Unfinished Legacy also plans to take its pop-up shops to a new level. “We’re exploring getting brands that align with our vision to sponsor the events,” Mike shares. “That revenue would be used to invest more into the experiential side of our popups—things to really help build our community from the inside out. We want people to come to our pop-ups for more than our products.”

An active presence on social media is a tremendous contributor to driving interest and revenue, bringing in online sales and promoting future pop-up events. Unfinished Legacy plans to continue growing its social media platforms, using sales channels set up in Shopify to convert new customers from Facebook, Instagram, Google, Pinterest, Snapchat, and TikTok.

“It just adds another way for customers to shop and buy from us. We want to lower the barriers to purchase and support our brand,” Mike says. 

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