- Jeanne Peachey, General Manager
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The first Swim Mart store was established in Sarasota, Fla., in 1989. For over 20 years, Swim Mart has been leveraging Retail Pro POS and retail management software as an essential tool to improve their operations and customer experience.
Because of that solid technology foundation, Swim Mart associates can concentrate on their interactions with customers and focus on providing the perfect swimsuit for every body.
The swimsuit industry is tourist driven, yet a lot of these tourists become repeat customers, particularly because of the experience they get with Swim Mart sales associates and fit specialists.
"Our fit specialists are very knowledgeable about our products – from minimizers to mastectomy to enhancers – and help shoppers find a swimsuit that will be the perfect fit for their body," said Dee Richer, District Sales and Operations Manager.
Richer noted, "Developing a customer relationship requires time, and we let customers lead the interactions. Our primary job is listening to the customer, to help her find what she is looking for."
Today, the 9-store company is known for its attention to detail and award-winning commitment to customer experience. Exceeding – not merely meeting – client expectations is the rule of thumb.
Swim Mart builds its customer experience on the foundation of Retail Pro, taking advantage of total inventory and customer visibility to improve operations and performance.
"Deep reporting on sales and inventory performance in Retail Pro has really helped us grow the business and replenish stock more effectively," said Jeanne Peachey, General Manager.
Swim Mart's buyers, Lauren Hoort and Megan Bragan, use Retail Pro reports to determine what styles are best suited for each store and manages inventory transfers from one Swim Mart location to another to better balance inventory, boost sales and improve turnover – what's sitting on the shelf in Ellenton may move quickly in Naples, for example.
That's the type of information that's key to profitability at Swim Mart.
While this visibility is critical at HQ for replenishment, this is also very effective on the sales floor.
"If a customer's current location doesn't have the size, color or style that's needed, our associates can quickly look up inventory across our other stores right from the Retail Pro POS and send the sale to a location that has the swimsuit they want," Peachey said.
Retail Pro helps Swim Mart associates with the building blocks of excellent customer service: inventory, stocking and product tracking for best replenishment that gets customers what they want every time – so they get an excellent experience every time.
Knowing what trends are popular with customers who frequent a particular store also helps the Swim Mart team create customer experiences that will help market the business. Swim Mart's customer appreciation nights feature fashion shows with new looks and hors d'oeuvres in a fun, carefree atmosphere.
Providing an online experience that complements this in-store vibe is critical for Swim Mart. It not only is important to the brand identity, but also drives loyalty.
"Guests who have shopped in our stores know that when they go back home they can still contact us or visit us online and continue purchasing the same quality swimwear and resort wear," Richer said.
Swim Mart's Denise Horstman handles ecommerce operations, relying on inventory data in Retail Pro to determine the best location for store fulfillment.
To increase efficiency and move toward omnichannel, the Swim Mart team integrated its web site to Retail Pro using middleware from Retail Dimensions.
Retail Dimensions' RD-ICE connects product data in Retail Pro – like SKUs, descriptions, pricing, quantities – to the online store. Unifying data across channels allows Swim Mart to optimize inventory, streamline operations and reduce man power needed to manage inventory.
With these technologies in place, Swim Mart is constantly optimizing operations to keep growing their business, with the ultimate goal of building a unified commerce experience with Retail Pro.
RDi's unifying integration technology enables a retailer's in-store product catalog to be online anywhere, anytime, on any device with a fully branded storefront. The Retail Dimensions Integrated Commerce Engine (ICE) powers over 1,000 Retail Pro e-commerce integrations and growing. RD-ICE is a middleware integration module, developed specifically for Retail Pro. Once configured, RD-ICE enables POS to communicate with e-commerce, automatically synchronizing POS data with e-commerce and web orders with Retail Pro. Retail Pro e-commerce integration optimizes inventory, streamlines operations and reduces manpower.