SeaVees Brings Mobile Selling to its Stores with Shopify POS Go

SeaVees Shopify POS Go case study

Initially founded in 1964 by tire company B.F. Goodrich, vulcanized rubber-soled footwear brand SeaVees was launched as a complete rethinking of casual footwear. In 1971, the company was temporarily shut down by its then-parent company, Converse, in response to a US Department of Justice complaint for having a monopoly on the American sneaker market.

After the brand was put on the shelf for nearly 40 years, now-CEO Steven Tiller discovered a pair in a secondhand store in Tokyo and relaunched SeaVees and brought the brand back to life as a consciously crafted, once-forgotten classic. Today, SeaVees are sold online, through over 300 wholesale partners around the world, and in two retail locations in California with a third opening later this year. 

Since relaunching, SeaVees has grown into a prominent footwear brand, generating millions in revenue annually. While the additional foot traffic in its stores is a good problem to have, it also began to create bottlenecks at checkout during peak times, especially because SeaVees staff members had to use several different devices to complete each transaction.

To speed up checkout and serve customers more efficiently, SeaVees upgraded its point-of-sale hardware to POS Go, an all-new mobile POS terminal from Shopify that allows staff to accept all card and contactless payments anywhere on the sales floor from one handheld device. 

Since equipping its staff with POS Go, SeaVees can reliably sell anywhere on the sales floor without juggling a separate card reader and barcode scanner. As a result, the brand has enjoyed: 

  • No longer having to pair disconnected peripheral devices 
  • The ability to accept all card and contactless payments from one device  
  • Flexible and efficient mobile checkout for staff and customers 

Challenge: Using multiple devices to sell on the sales floor 

SeaVees has a popular digital following, and its online presence flows naturally into its store experience.

“Our stores bring the brand to life; they embody everything we’re about, from our attitude and core values to our sun-beamed California heritage,” shares Cody Howen, Regional Retail Operations Manager of SeaVees.  “Every detail is intentional and allows shoppers to see, touch, and try our products for themselves.”

It was time for SeaVees to employ a POS setup that provided a more flexible and untethered checkout experience for both staff and customers.

Previously, SeaVees staff used three devices simultaneously–an iPad, card reader, barcode scanner–for in-store transactions. With this setup, they frequently ran into issues, such as the card readers and barcode scanner disconnecting or devices needing extra time to “wake up.”

“Sometimes one of the devices wasn’t charged, which eliminated the possibility of mobile selling altogether,” Cody explains. “Often, one or several of the devices would lose their charge during the day or wouldn’t get fully charged overnight. This meant staff the next day wouldn’t be able to use a critical tool until it was sufficiently charged.”

When a SeaVees store got a rush of customers, the lack of reliable tools on the sales floor meant inevitable bottlenecks at the checkout counter. The brand needed a more flexible, dependable way to serve customers in the store.

Our iPad point-of-sale setup and juggling multiple devices didn't offer us the dependability and versatility to sell anywhere on the sales floor at any given moment. We needed a more reliable way to serve our customers.

Cody Howen, Regional Retail Operations Manager, SeaVees

Solution: Bringing POS software, payments, and barcode scanning together with POS Go 

SeaVees adopted Shopify’s new POS Go, an integrated card reader that can accept all card and mobile wallet payments. POS Go’s built-in POS software, card reader and barcode scanner allow staff to serve customers and accept payments from a single reliable device.

With POS Go, SeaVees’ staff doesn’t have to worry about “waking up” separate devices to connect them to Bluetooth. Because POS Go uses Wi-Fi connectivity, its integrated card reader and barcode scanner never disconnect, so store staff can quickly accept payments and close sales all day. 

Now, we just need to charge and carry one device which, from a logistics perspective, makes things easier,” Cody says.

And thanks to built-in POS software, POS Go can do more than simply accept payments. Staff can check inventory across store locations, view order history, access customer profiles, and more.

However, it also minimizes outside distraction for both staff and customers. I love that POS Go looks like a retail device. If you walk into a store and see staff on a phone, you don’t know if it’s a work device or if they're just texting friends. POS Go sends a clear signal to customers that the person holding it is equipped and ready to help them,” Cody says.

Each of these benefits makes transactions on the sales floor easier and more efficient, improving the overall experience for customers.

POS Go is much better suited for selling on the sales floor than an iPad setup. We can check inventory levels, customer information, and transact all from one device.

Cody Howen, Regional Retail Operations Manager, SeaVees

Results: More convenient service and checkout for customers and staff

SeaVees stores are designed with a cash wrap station as the “command center” of transactionsnot only where customers pay for items but also where bags and gift wrapping supplies are stored. POS Go now gives SeaVees the flexibility to cater to however the customer wants to shop, creating a hybrid customer experience with both mobile selling and stationary cash wrap.

By using POS Go, the team no longer has to be at the cash wrap station to look up inventory or track down an order. When longer lines start to form at checkout, staff can easily pick up a POS Go terminal and better serve more customers, eliminating wait times.

“If a customer is comfortably seated, we don’t need to ask them to get up and follow us to the cash wrap to finish the transaction. They can stay comfortable while our staff accepts payment and gets their order ready,” Cody notes. “Having the ability to close a sale on the spot from anywhere in the store is really great.”

Staff can also easily see product availability at each of SeaVees stores directly from POS Go. The ability to see available inventory, paired with Shopify’s ship to customer fulfillment, has boosted in-store conversions and enhanced customer experience.

“When someone wants to buy a pair but we no longer have the color they want in their size at our Santa Barbara store, staff can see the inventory at our Newport Beach location or at our warehouse. If available, they can close the sale on the spot and have the order shipped to the customer’s address of choice from a location with stock on hand,” Cody says.

By bringing three devicespayment terminal, POS system, and barcode scannertogether for the first time in one device, the SeaVees team is better empowered to give customers a connected, frictionless checkout experience from beginning to end.

Payment is one of the last touchpoints you have with a customer. We love that POS Go allows us to end on a high note. Payments feel effortless and smooth for every payment type.

Cody Howen, Regional Retail Operations Manager, SeaVees

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