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Interview with Spencer Wright of Like Sew

Like Sew
Like Sew

Tell me about Like Sew and your role in the company. 

Like Sew is an all-in-one cloud-based POS system designed specifically for the needs of quilt, fabric, and sewing retailers. The platform offers services that simplify tasks for the business owners, allowing time to be reallocated to focusing on the customer and increasing sales.

As the General Manager of Like Sew, I specialize in assisting small businesses with transition to using our POS system. With my expertise in data analytics and social media marketing, my goal is to raise awareness among retailers on the substantial benefits our services offer through the implementation of our all-in-one cloud based POS system. 

What capabilities does the platform offer?

The platform offers capabilities that makes quilting, fabric, and sewing retailers’ operations simpler, allowing them to focus their efforts on enhancing the customer experience. 

One of the biggest advantages of an all-in-one POS system is the ability for retailers to collect data from different aspects of the business – areas like inventory, sales, classes, and more. They are then able to use the data they collect to help inform things like loyalty programs, email marketing campaigns, and product orders.

Buying products for quilting and sewing isn’t a one size fits all approach. For these retailers, having a platform that mainstreams the cutting board process is essential. Like Sew is able to distinguish between pre-cut fabrics and fabric that is cut to specific yardages – and it makes a huge difference. Oftentimes, customers don’t need a full two yards of fabric – they may only need one and three quarter yards, but are unable to purchase that exact measurement because the POS system isn’t set up to measure specific yardage. 

The loyalty program feature allows retailers to customize their rewards offerings, ensuring the ability to keep track of customer purchases that may result in a free gift or send select notifications to reward members about exclusive promotions and sales. The platform also offers texting and email capabilities that allow retailers to share store information, like events, sales, and more with their customers. Additionally, if the retailer offers sewing classes, Like Sew provides them the ability to manage the classes through class scheduling and customer sign-ups.

When it comes to inventory insights, Like Sew enables retailers to keep track of sales, which gives insight into the store’s best-selling fabrics and tools, as well as products that are underperforming. This allows the store owners to understand what they may need to buy more (or less) of to ensure that they aren’t putting money into items that aren’t turning a profit. If the store has an ecommerce presence, they could also keep a small stock of product that sells less frequently that is online exclusive so that it doesn’t clutter the store, but is still available to customers.  

What steps should small businesses take to set themselves apart from competitors and larger entities? 

There are many things small business owners can do to make themselves stand out. One of the most important factors is making sure the store’s efforts are matched in-person and online. If a customer visits your store and has an incredible experience, but decides to wait to buy the fabric or sewing machine, for example, the next place they may go is to the retailer’s website to revisit the idea of their purchase. Whether they make the eventual purchase in-store or online, it is essential that they are able to find what they are looking for easily and that the experience matches what they had in-person. 

While customers are in-store, store employees should strike a balance between giving shoppers their personal space while also being readily available to assist with any requests that may arise during their visit. When it comes to product recommendations, technology is a key factor in keeping quilting, fabric, and sewing retailers apprised of their inventory, best-sellers, and more. For example, if a quilting customer is looking for a new pattern, having an all-in-one POS system could give the store employee access to data that showcases what the store has in-stock in the store versus online and can make recommendations based on what other quilters have previously purchased. 

What are the biggest hurdles that small businesses will face going into the holiday season?

Today, businesses are advancing across all industries through the use of technology.  For any retail business, staying up to date with these advancements – from well executed apps to predictive analytics that help better serve their customers – is essential for success. 

However, for small business retailers, like quilting, fabric, and sewing stores, putting an increased emphasis on customer experience is where they will see the most value. The economic environment heading into the holiday season is difficult. I anticipate that consumers will be spending their money on items that will give them the most value at the most reasonable prices. That said, it’s imperative that store employees are attentive, providing quick responses to online inquiries, ensuring product inventory information is up-to-date, and executing relevant and timely marketing campaigns and fostering loyalty programs to leave no stone unturned when it comes to going above and beyond to create unmatched experiences.

What are your predictions for where small businesses need to focus in 2024?

As I mentioned previously, the economic environment heading into the holiday season is difficult, and I anticipate that this will continue into 2024. 

Any retail business that is labeled as “non-essential” is worrying. This emphasizes the need to provide exceptional customer experiences that allow retailers to stand out from both other local and larger retailers to keep customers returning. 

Additionally, with rising costs of goods and slimmer consumer budgets, retailers should cautiously curate their inventory of products, aligning with the needs and wants of the customer majority. This will ensure that the inventory was worth the business investment and no products are left lingering.