Founded in 2007 by Rachel and Corey Glasson, Twinkle Twinkle Little One is Chicago’s premiere, upscale baby and child boutique that offers Windy City parents a beautiful assortment of cribs, dressers, strollers, car seats, clothing, and virtually anything they need to care for their newborns.
The brand’s first store opened in the trendy neighborhood of Roscoe Village, and Twinkle Twinkle Little One now operates two store locations, has a team of 10, and sells across the US via its online store—all powered by Shopify.
But it wasn’t always so. Originally using a combination of Quickbooks POS and Magento’s ecommerce platform, the Glassons eventually found themselves struggling to keep up with the manual reconciliation needed to maintain a holistic view of the business. They decided to instead run their retail stores and website on Shopify, in conjunction with QuickBooks Desktop Accounting Software.
Since unifying its sales channels with Shopify, Twinkle Twinkle Little One has:
- Grown revenue by nearly 80% year-over-year
- Reduced back office tasks, including manual inventory reconciliation
- Streamlined its sales, inventory, and financial reporting
When Twinkle Twinkle Little One launched in 2007, they used QuickBooks desktop POS. However, Quickbooks did not integrate well with the brand’s ecommerce, which was run on Magento.
Staff had to constantly reconcile inventory quantities on both systems to maintain accuracy, but the process was manual and imperfect. As a result, the brand would routinely oversell items. Customers would order products online, only to find out later the item was not available since it was bought in store.
Staff would do damage control and issue refunds, but something had to change to ensure customers had a seamless shopping experience. The Glassons eventually hired contractors to take over the manual tasks involved with keeping the POS and website in sync. “Everything was so manual and time-consuming that we needed to hire folks to manage both systems on our behalf,” Corey says. “Having to hire a specialist to manage that wasn’t ideal, but Rachel and I didn’t have the expertise or time to do it ourselves while also operating the business.”
The combination of QuickBooks POS and Magento was both difficult to use and train staff on, making it hard to streamline operations. It also restricted the brand’s ability to experiment with different marketing tactics and gain sales insights to improve performance. “Our growth was stifled. Nothing integrated properly, and it felt like we were drowning in operational overhead rather than proactively pursuing new opportunities to grow the brand.”
Something needed to change. We needed a POS system and ecommerce platform that was fully integrated and reduced the need for constant manual reconciliations. We also needed those platforms to reliably sync sales data with Quickbooks Accounting Software for faster reporting.
To unify its sales channels and streamlining its operations, the Glassons made the decision to migrate to Shopify. “I remember working from home on a Tuesday during COVID and seeing a presentation from Shopify,” Corey recalls. “I literally stopped what I was doing, called up my wife and said to her, ‘We're done with this other stuff. We’re moving everything to Shopify’.”
The brand quickly migrated its catalog of over 25,000 products from QuickBooks POS to Shopify POS, and was ready to start serving customers with minimal downtime.
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Shopify POS also integrated seamlessly with the brand’s QuickBooks Desktop Accounting Software. Twinkle Twinkle Little One can now easily track sales, compare reports by store and sales channel from the same place. And because store and website inventory is managed from the same system, the brand no longer has to perform routine reconciliations to avoid overselling products.
And most importantly, Corey was thrilled to realize Shopify POS’ fully integrated hardware enabled him and staff to be more personable with customers. “POS Go is lightweight and mobile, so staff can serve customers and transact at the counter or anywhere in the store.”
“I always want to make things more simple; I want to be able to grab my iPad, walk over the corner and have a conversation with the customer, and then check them out at the same time,” he shares.
With Shopify POS, I can create a relationship with the customer that doesn't seem so transactional. I can grab POS Go, walk over to them and have a conversation, look up product info and check them out without the technology getting in the way of that interaction.
With Shopify, the brand found point of sale and ecommerce capabilities above and beyond what they were expecting. “Shopify is really an all-in-one system. And we don’t have to piecemeal the integration together like we had to do with Quickbooks and Magento,” Corey says. “When it came to growing our business, we were stuck. I feel like Shopify set us free.”
Since making the switch, revenue has grown nearly 80% year-over-year. The brand has aspirations to open more stores and continue to grow its online sales. “With Shopify, we feel like we can actually execute on our aspirations. Shopify’s reporting helps inform which regions have untapped potential, and setting up new stores with POS is straightforward.”
Shopify’s ease of use has also meant the Glassons no longer have to be physically present at their stores around the clock in case of technical issues. “It’s so easy to use that we’re confident in leaving staff to run the shops,” Corey explains. “Rachel and I can view sales and inventory information for each store location and the website from virtually anywhere to keep an eye on things.”
That visibility into inventory helps Corey maximize the return on investment. “Our store’s don’t have much square footage, so what we merchandise can make a big difference on revenue,” he explains. “I can pull a report to see which items have the highest profit margins or that we’re selling fast, and then tell store staff to put them front and center.”
For Corey, though, the best part is knowing that inventory is automatically in-sync, so customers aren’t misled when they see inventory availability online. Having more hand’s-off inventory management has freed up time to innovate and improve the shopping experience.
The time we’ve saved that would have otherwise been spent managing operational overhead is huge. That’s time we can invest into actually growing the business. With Shopify, we’re able to be proactive and build for the future.