Introducing Retailable: the new premium retail system helping fashion indies reach Covid-conscious shoppers

Steve Waller certainly knows a thing or two about the latest retail technology. A former retail group owner with seven standalone stores, he used his 30 years’ experience to launch Lois, a highly successful EPoS system for indies. He says its unique functionality brought independent retailers “kicking and screaming” into the digital marketplace. “And now,” he says, “they want more.” 

Today a new business venture is seeing him join forces with Dutch company Retail Trust to bring a brand new concept to the independent retail market. He describes the new system, Retailable, as the next step in retail tech. “A few years ago the Holy Grail of retail was creating one technical solution that enabled retailers to track, manage and sell stock across all their channels without degrading the customer experience,” he explains. “This was coined ‘hybrid retail’ and is something we have built upon with the launch of Retailable, which offers a range of new products and services.”

Following the lockdown, Waller says the company is “now inundated with calls from retailers” who are “not just wanting, but needing a Hybrid Retail system.” He adds: “No one wants just plain old EPoS and website anymore. The pandemic has meant that retailers need to get proficient at selling online – and they need to do it now.”

Demand has soared for many reasons, but this year’s sharp shift in consumer behaviour has been a huge catalyst for change. “When the pandemic hit, fashion retailers were seemingly huge victims,” says Waller. “Deserted high streets and the reluctance to spend online created a nose dive in sales. But retailers saw a very rapid rise in demand during, and shortly following lockdown. Online marketplaces saw a huge and sustained increase in sales. Retailable suddenly became very busy, very quickly.”

Waller adds that this shake up “may well be the wake-up call that independent retail needed to move forward.” He says: “We have found ourselves in a state of market disruption; no one knows what will happen next and projections remain ‘finger in the air’ predictions. Whenever a sector or marketplace becomes disrupted, it leads to opportunity. It’s that opportunity that retailers need to grab. It’s a survival of the fittest situation now and the parameters have changed; the retail giants are no longer at the top of the food chain.”   

Retailable comes at a crucial time for the retail sector, he says. As well as accelerating a move to e-commerce, the pandemic has acted as a springboard towards Hybrid Retail Technology for many retailers: “A hybrid retail system should manage selling across all channels as well as manage stock handling, deliveries and returns – this is essential for home shopping and wardrobing,” explains Waller. “It should also enable a retailer to manage staff, allowing them to re-utilise their retail skills, and most importantly it should enable retailers to communicate to their customers through any platform or channel. It should centralise marketing communications and give buying confidence to their customers, regardless of how they buy.”

So, what exactly does Retailable offer independent fashion retailers? “Retailable offers Hybrid Retail technology, management and consultancy,” says Waller. “Our service means retailers can remain independent, offer fashion at competitive prices, provide marketing communications across all platforms, gain, retain and increase their customer base and loyalty as well as provide outstanding customer service.”

As the marketplace is changing so quickly, Waller says he is being asked for not only more technology solutions, but a seemingly never ending list of advice on retail marketing and retail management both in store and online. For this reason, Waller and his team are engaging with his clients to identify and implement strategies for email marketing campaigns, customer loyalty programmes, Instagram engagement, content marketing, SEO audits, influencer marketing, promotional offers, brand building, online review management and marketplace site strategies. Retailable is also aligned with marketing agency Waller Jones, creating the ultimate space for retailers looking for help to “step up and accelerate” their online and social presence.

“We also have new and leading edge technology and functionality,” says Waller. “Our heatmaps and data capture products are amazing, but we don’t need to shout about those at the moment. Our clients need confidence in their future, and we are focussing on the here and now as a foundation. Our retailers’ successes become our own and there’ll be plenty of products to ‘wow’ them with in time.”

So, as well as Waller’s expertise, why else should indies invest in Retailable? “I think it’s our highly personal service that really sets us apart,” says the owner. “We have a team of support people who personally know each and every one of our clients. They will hand hold our retailers to help them get the best out of our technology and marketplace knowledge. It’s an ever-evolving environment and we make sure they can get the most out of us and our products.”

“Retailers need a solution to enable them to sell easily online,” he adds. “Retailable is one solution that incorporates everything retailers need to maximise their online and bricks-and-mortar sales – whatever the future brings. Retailable is ready. Retailable can create a Hybrid environment for retailers, quickly and effectively – securing their place on the frontline.”

CONTACT: Tel: 01243 533 737