Vancouver-based fashion brand Kit and Ace specializes in purpose-driven, “elevated essentials that you can go anywhere in—from morning to night, boardroom to beach,” says Tiffany Spiteri, Kit and Ace’s Regional Manager for Canada.
Bestsellers include wardrobe essentials that are anything but basic. Think classic, tailored silhouettes in various colors and comfy, durable fabrics that you can wear year-round, indoors and outdoors, and for all kinds of occasions.
When CEO George Tsogas and CFO Melissa Kinnoch acquired Kit and Ace from its founders in 2017, they set out to simplify operations and improve the brand’s multi-channel shopping experience.
After feeling limited by card reader connectivity issues and missing features—store pickup and ship to home order fulfillment, specifically—the brand switched to Shopify POS and equipped its staff with POS Go, Shopify’s mobile POS terminal with a built-in card reader and barcode scanner.
Since switching to Shopify POS software and hardware, Kit and Ace has enjoyed:
- A reliable card reader that never disconnects
- Checking inventory availability without leaving guests’ sides
- Fulfilling store pickup orders without workarounds
Kit and Ace’s retail team was running into issues with its old POS hardware and software that forced employees to find workarounds to make the technology work. “There were a lot of limitations with our previous system. We would often adapt our processes to the system, rather than have a system that adapts to our ideal workflows,” Tiffany says.
First, the Bluetooth card reader kept disconnecting, which “would tend to happen when we were really busy and we would have lineups at the checkout counter, just making it that much more stressful for our staff and not a great experience for our guests,” Tiffany says.
Alongside connectivity issues at checkout, many guests wanted the ability to buy products online and pick them up in stores (BOPIS) or purchase out-of-stock products in stores and have them shipped home. Unfortunately, Kit and Ace’s system didn’t support these fulfillment options.
For ship-to-home orders, “the only workaround was us going onto our website like anybody would and helping that guest place their order: just walking them through it to elevate their experience,” Tiffany explains. “There wasn't a more seamless process than what they could do on their own at home.”
Our old POS software didn’t allow us to easily offer fulfillment options like store pickup or ship to home. The card reader would also give out when we needed it most. We needed a solution that had turnkey multi-channel fulfillment, and could accept payments more reliably.
To solve its connectivity issues and inflexible order fulfillment, Kit and Ace upgraded its point of sale hardware to POS Go, powered by Shopify’s fully-integrated POS software. With its built-in card reader and WiFi connectivity, POS Go Kit and Ace resolved its card reader connectivity issues once and for all.
Beyond resolving this problem, POS Go also helped Kit and Ace improve its in-store shopping experience.“We realized that there was so much opportunity to save both our staff and our guests time by having these devices in our hands,” Tiffany says.
Staff could now offer store pickup natively from Shopify without any workarounds. “The shop teams really appreciate having the ability to process store pickup orders much more quickly with POS Go,” says Tiffany. “They don’t have to wait their turn to use the POS terminal at the checkout counter. They can use POS Go anywhere in the store to get orders ready for pickup, notify guests when they’re ready, and mark the order as fulfilled once it’s picked up.”
Kit and Ace staff can now fulfill ship to home orders directly from POS Go, rather than walking shoppers through the purchase from their website. “What we love about Shopify’s native ship to home fulfillment is we can complete the sale on the spot and our store is attributed the sale, explains Tiffany. “The old way, our website would get the sale, even if the transaction was influenced by the guest’s experience at our store.”
POS Go is really intuitive to use. Now, we can fulfill store pickup orders quickly, ship orders to a guest’s home address, and accept payments reliably using one device. It's really helped elevate the guest experience.
POS Go has helped Kit and Ace do so much more than just relieve connectivity issues. Equipped with these devices and Shopify’s fully-integrated commerce platform, Kit and Ace’s retail teams are more efficient and can offer a better shopping experience for customers.
Since the brand uses Shopify for its stores and ecommerce, inventory availability is listed on its website. This seemingly small detail frees up time staff would otherwise spend on the phone confirming whether a product was available in store. “Before Shopify, guests didn't have visibility into shop inventory online,” explains Tiffany. “We’d often get shoppers calling us throughout the day asking if something was available so that they could come and pick it up. Now that shoppers see store inventory online, they can just buy it, select store pickup at checkout, and come pick it up when it’s ready.”
Another way POS Go has enhanced the shopping experience at Kit and Ace is by enabling customers to checkout from anywhere in the store—including the fitting room. “Sometimes our guests want to wear the product right out of the shop,” explains Tiffany. “With POS Go, we can process that transaction from the fitting room instead of having to walk them over to the checkout counter. It really helps speed things up.”
With a POS in the palm of their hands, Kit and Ace staff can check inventory availability without leaving their customer. “Before, we'd have to run to the checkout counter and check on the tablet, or run to the stockroom to check inventory.” says Tiffany. “With POS Go, staff can check if a product is available and stay with guests on the floor. That saves us a lot of time and alleviates lineups at the cash desk.”
The ideal experience is one that saves guests time. Shopify’s fully-integrated POS software and hardware help our staff serve guests more efficiently thanks to visibility into inventory levels, flexible fulfillment options, and its built-in card reader. With Shopify powering our website and stores, we have a true omnichannel model.
What’s next: Smooth Holiday selling and brand expansion
So, what’s next for Kit and Ace now that they’re enjoying the benefits of Shopify and POS Go? In the short term, Tiffany is predicting a smoother holiday season. POS Go will make fulfilling BOPIS orders fast and easy for staff.
“These devices make that process quicker for our shop staff to pick and pack those orders. We're really gonna benefit from these time-saving elements when we get into our peak season during the holidays,” Tiffany says.
In the long term, the brand will be focusing on expanding its purpose-driven apparel empire. “Growth is definitely in the cards for Kit and Ace, both on the ecommerce side as well as expanding our shop count. What's great with Shopify is now we have an amazing omnichannel experience that's really elevated our guest experience. We have a flexible and reliable commerce stack that supports our brand as it scales,” Tiffany says.