By Erin Harris, editor-in-chief
Famous for its flash sales — timed, scheduled sales, which may last from 24 to 72 hours — e-tailer Gilt has re-defined the customer experience by being one of the first retailers to bring discounted designer goods to the masses. In addition to Gilt’s e-commerce retail business, Gilt City offers its members coveted access to exclusive experiences in select U.S. cities, all at insider prices. Gilt City operates a wildly successful pop-up shop, the Gilt City Warehouse Sale, approximately 12 times per year at various cities around the country. Because Gilt keeps its e-commerce site fresh with new inventory, it relies on Gilt City to sell exit inventory (i.e., merchandise that’s been flagged and discounted several times online). Eric Fishman, program manager at Gilt Groupe, explains why the retailer’s move to a cloud-based mobile POS (mPOS) solution helped it move more merchandise at its pop-up shops, as well as how the company plans to take overall customer experience to the next level.
To stock the Gilt City Warehouse Sales, Gilt takes inventory from its internal enterprise resource planning (ERP) system. Gilt is known for being a forward-thinking retailer, but Fishman explains that early on, when Gilt began testing physical pop-up shops, associates relied on antiquated credit card terminals to complete the transaction. “Our cashiers would use a calculator, add up the items and amounts, calculate tax, and swipe the customer’s credit card on the terminal,” explains Fishman. “It didn’t look great — neither from a look-and-feel standpoint nor a customer experience standpoint.”
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