Lingerie brand Lively launched in 2016 as a direct-to-consumer company, combining elements of lingerie, swimwear and athleisure to sell what the brand’s founder Michelle Cordeiro Grant and her team refer to as ‘leisurée.’ Since Lively started, it’s been working with Shopify, an e-commerce platform primarily used by DTC brands. Now, as the brand moves into traditional retail and more pop-ups, Shopify is helping the brand evolve into a modern retailer both online and through brick and mortar.
Lively is one of the first brands using Shopify’s new retail hardware collection, launching today, which includes the Shopify tap and chip reader, a dock and a retail stand. The tap and chip reader allows customers to either insert their credit card chips into the device or make contactless mobile payments through Apple Pay and Google Pay. The dock can be used to store the reader on a checkout counter, while the retail stand, which holds a tablet, has magnetic mounting to make it easy for sales associates to use a tablet at checkout.
All the products are aimed at making the payment process simpler, and therefore making the in-store shopping experience hassle-free for shoppers. Shoppers can work with one sales associate to find products, try them on and then make a purchase anywhere in the store, instead of waiting in a checkout line.
It’s also designed to take up little space in stores, and for many brands, it could eliminate the need for a cash wrap and register altogether. For Lively, that was a big perk as the brand looks to open more retail locations this year. Currently, Lively is sold in select Nordstrom locations and has one retail location in New York City.
“This is allowing us to be more flexible in how we are building our stores. It gives us one less element that we have to create square footage around, and it’s not an investment in capital. Traditionally, it has been really expensive to get a register and systems. That’s no longer part of the equation,” said Grant. The reader costs $49, the dock $39 and the stand is selling for $149. So now, the brand can get by with Shopify’s point of sale software, a tablet and this kit.
Shopify head of retail product Arpan Podduturi said the kit has been in the works for about a year and was designed specifically to solve for things brands like Lively were asking for. “We visited a lot of merchants and worked in their stores. We just saw that there is such a variety and diversity within retail environments, so we wanted to give our merchants a kit of parts so that they can use whatever pieces they want,” said Podduturi.
Lively launched using Shopify’s online platform and uses the company’s point-of-sale software, so being an early adopter of this new hardware made sense for the brand. Grant said, since using Shopify’s software, she has already seen some of the benefits — mainly that all employees, including herself, can monitor physical and digital sales, inventory and more, all in one place. The brand began using the software when it started testing physical retail, but it came into play massively when Lively opened its first permanent location in July 2018. Shopify’s software allows brands to track inventory, create customer profiles, gather retail reports to see what products are selling well and more.
“The way we can see our data now is so clean, so our store associates can see not just what’s happening in their own business, but they can see what’s happening in the broader e-commerce business, and vice versa,” Grant said. “You can see if a style is trending in the store or if it’s trending online. And if it isn’t, why? And should it be?”
Often, Lively will launch products exclusively in its physical store as a sort of test to see what customers think of the product, what colors are selling and so on. “We can quickly see what’s going to be a sell-out style by monitoring sales. If 70% of sales are in this specific color, well then that color in theory should probably be our digital marketing,” she said.
In the future, Grant said she plans to use the new Shopify tools in the brand’s SoHo store. Along with Lively, other brands testing the new Shopify hardware include Assembly, Parachute and Nalata Nalata.