Olio Skin Care never forgot its roots. And while it’s grown into a successful online business, it was the brand’s relationship with Salt Lake City residents—big fans of local shopping—that made it what it is today.
“It’s one of the strongest communities in the United States, in our opinion, as far as local loyalty goes,” says Derek Williamson, co-owner, along with Jennifer Williamson, of Olio.
Olio began in local farmers markets, leveraging near-instant customer feedback. Since then, Olio has grown into a medium-sized business with its own online brand. It even has a brick-and-mortar presence in Salt Lake City. But while it hasn’t left SLC, it has switched from old POS systems that made it difficult to juggle online and local offerings. A move to Shopify helped it change all that by:
- Saving time helping Olio’s accountants move from pulling multiple reports to running everything through Shopify POS.
- Enabling no-contact store pickup and contactless delivery, especially important to COVID-conscience residents in their Salt Lake City neighborhood.
- Reducing “choppy” multiple-system approach into a single piece of software, enabling new marketing automation.
Olio’s popular skin care products made it a successful online brand. But Olio never wanted to lose touch with the Salt Lake City community, where it maintains its brick-and-mortar presence.
Merging the two offerings into a unified brand proved a challenge. Olio wanted to create an end-to-end experience across all of its channels. It wanted new customers to have a clear picture of what it was as a business.
The problem was Olio’s reliance on multiple systems. A WordPress site processed sales through PayPal. Separate systems for maintaining the website and sending out marketing emails didn’t give Olio the consistent voice it wanted. Using PayPal almost exclusively meant it could receive online orders but couldn’t present a consistent face to shoppers—at least not one its loyal Salt Lake City customers would recognize.
Things were choppy. We had a system for POS. We had a system for our website. We had a system for our accountant. We had a system for our marketing. Now it’s all integrated in one. It’s nice because there’s also third-party software where I can schedule stuff to run automatically through Shopify, because you guys provide the apps for that as well.
This “choppy” system created problems everywhere. The accountant needed to pull reports from several different sources just to get a clear picture of the business’s financials. A separate system for the website and POS meant inconsistent branding between the website and order receipts.
To Williamson, it was important to customize emails like thank-you emails and receipts. Olio wanted all communications to look like they were from Olio and not a third-party processor. Even worse, having multiple systems at the same time made it difficult to create email marketing campaigns in the first place.
It wasn’t always easy being a skin care company in a time without contact. In Olio’s Salt Lake City neighborhood, William noticed, people were especially reticent about in-person shopping.
In the end, it was the consistency that came with POS that helped Olio solve all of these problems at once.
About four years ago, Olio made the switch to Shopify. The results were immediate; Williamson reports that the brand never looked back.
First, Shopify POS saved time because it unified payment processing and customer-facing communications into a single system. Off the bat, Williamson enjoyed how Shopify allowed for creative freedom. Williamson wanted his emails to look like they were from Olio. Shopify’s open-ended customization of language and graphics provided exactly that.
With Shopify POS in place, Olio began capturing phone numbers and emails from customers, which created a database of loyal Olio Skin Care lovers. “That’s a huge feature” for them, said Williamson.
But as COVID-19 hit, the community-friendly features of Shopify POS came to the forefront. “The people in our area tend to be very careful with COVID,” says Williamson. “We’re all still wearing masks. And a lot of our customers did not want to come into the store.” Shopify’s delivery and contact-free pickup features kept the local community invested in Olio even through the most stringent social distancing rules.
The move to Shopify saved enough time that Olio was free to focus its energy elsewhere. Now focused on Neighborhood Hive, a collective of local Salt Lake City businesses, Olio’s plan is to build up the community around it.
Olio is all about building our community around this. We’re not necessarily about the profit. We’re more neighborhood over profit. So that is our goal with Olio and the neighborhood hive coming up, is cultivating the people around us. If we can make everybody around us successful, we’re all more successful.
The Shopify POS solutions integrated everything, according to Williamson: “Even down to our accountant having access to all of [the necessary] reports. In the long run, that saves us money. That’s [fewer] reports for them to look at, less for them to reconcile. So we’re very happy to have everything pretty much in Shopify now.”
Make it easy on yourself. Use Shopify for your POS and allow yourself to concentrate on growing your business versus the back-end website or a POS system.
In particular, Olio’s accountant didn’t have to run reports through several systems to get a glimpse of the company’s financial outlook. Uniting everything under Shopify POS saved the accountant time, which added up to cost savings on Olio’s end.
Shopify POS also helped Olio build a consistent brand identity, similar to what it built in Salt Lake City. Everything from the POS app on the tablet to receipt emails now include branding elements consistent with Olio Skin Care’s core message.
According to Williamson, streamlining the POS has helped the company grow, but also helped it focus on other things. At its Salt Lake City location, Olio will lease out space to smaller entrepreneurs, aiming to make the small business community in Utah even stronger than it already is.