Mobile points of sale and contactless payments help sales soar at one of Sweden’s leading garden centres
The Swedish Garden Center, Åkersberga Växtförsäljning, goes from 3 to 8 points of sale, of which 4 are mobile, increasing sales by 50%.
Åkersberga Växtförsäljning is more than just a garden center. In addition to the wide range of bushes and flowers, the huge area also includes a gift department as well as a restaurant and café. The assortment is largely unique and in order to give its customers the best experience, they spend the greater part of the year traveling around Europe hand-picking their products
We caught up with Mattis Axelsson, CEO and second generation of the family business, and asked him to tell us more about the journey they are on.
How does digitalization create new opportunities in a traditional industry?
– The industry we operate in is definitely not at the forefront of digitalization. Previously, the work was almost exclusively paper and pen. Our products also require a great deal of knowledge, which has traditionally taken a long time to build up. More experienced employees have spent a lot of time supporting their younger colleagues.
For a long time, we’ve been looking for a point-of-sale system that fits our way of working and which could, at the same time, allow us to develop how we work.
A system that could also support our employees with enriched product information as well as real-time inventory information, so that they can deliver better service and spend more time with customers.
We also wanted a solution that unites the physical store with e-commerce in a smooth way, because we’re convinced it’s the way forward to create the best customer experience. Like most others, we have to use our resources wisely and a big driver for us was to find a system that could give us what we wanted in a cost-effective way.
We’ve actually changed POS systems four times in the last 10 years. Prior to this last change, we spent a lot of time acquiring knowledge and comparing different alternatives. We knew changing to a modern point of sale system would have the greatest effect and digitally transforming the store would also speed up our other change work. Sitoo’s mPOS system is now the hub of the ecosystem of digital solutions (including ERPf-system, CRM-system and E-commerce) that we are building up.
What impact has this digital transformation had?
– The ability to use a mobile point of sale solution with rich product information and access to real-time inventory status, in combination with a mobile payment method has allowed us to be far more flexible than ever before. It’s also helped us with creativity, knowledge and plays a big part in creating the feeling we want to deliver to our customers. We’re glad we had a system change before we faced the current challenge with CV-19.
– The impact has been even greater because of the change journey we’ve been through. Over the past year we have replaced almost all our systems. Everything went very smoothly and one of the keys to this success was that we made all our employees, from 17 through to 70 years old, feel involved. We’ve also been able to benefit from the team feeling this change work created during the challenges we’ve all faced so far in 2020.
How have you adapted to CV-19?
– Thanks to the flexibility and Sitoo’s open REST API, we have quickly been able to come up with a solution where we offer our customers a “Click & Collect” service with drive-through and payment without close contact.
Customers place an order via our website, determine the time for pick-up, we prepare the order in store, the customer arrives by car, we open the trunk and load the products, and the customer then pays with contactless payment, eg. Swedish Swish, via Sitoo mPOS. A digital receipt can then be sent from the mPOS if the customer wants one. We then thank the customer for the purchase and close the trunk. The ability to be able to offer a contactless buying experience during these times has been appreciated greatly by both customers and staff. Swish integrated in Sitoo is superbly flexible and has been completely invaluable as a payment method for us!
What results have you seen from having more points of sale?
– Thanks to Sitoo, we have been able to move smoothly from three stationary points of sale to eight points of sale, of which four are mobile. This has had a clear impact on our sales, with a 50% increase in April 2020 compared to April 2019. The team also loves working digitally because it gives them greater mobility, better information and they feel more efficient!
– Through the mobile devices they have in their pockets, the team always has direct access to stock status and product information. During the high season, we have thirty-five people in the team and because it is so easy to add licenses and a point-of-sale can easily be obtained in just a few hours, our ambition is to give all employees access to a mobile device. The way forward lies in the scalability, flexibility and the positive difference the mobile points of sale make for our employees and for our customers!
What’s it like working with Sitoo?
– We’re grateful for the guidance and commitment we’ve had since day one from Sitoo. Sitoo wanted to understand our business to best help us with our digitization. This, combined with the scalability and the open REST API, which enables easy and smooth integration with other systems such as our e-commerce and ERP-system, means that we have high hopes for a long-term collaboration. It’s a bonus that updates are included and that the mPOS system always gets better.