The day following Fashion's Night Out was a bit of a struggle for me. It had been an intense period leading up to the event and then the event itself was busy. Couple that with eating dinner at 11 pm and having a hard time "coming down" after all the adrenaline pumping that evening and I didn't get much sleep.
Bright and early on Friday morning, a young man came bounding up the stairs armed with an iPad in hopes of talking with me about an inventory management software system. I let him get about 5 minutes into his spiel when I told him that, while I'd like to talk to him about it, I simply couldn't that day. I explained to him honestly that I would want to ask him lots of questions and that I couldn't really put a seriously coherent thought together at that point so it was best that he come back. It was important to me that a) I didn't write something off that could potentially be important to my business and, conversely, b) I didn't agree to something without giving it the proper thought.
He could see that he wasn't going to get any sort of response from me that day so he agreed to return the following week. The original premise of the product was somewhat intriguing - it allowed a store to track people's interest in items and alert people when those items go on sale. This is something we had done through the human computer method (my head) since the store opened - if someone really liked something but didn't buy it (and had connected with the store), I would contact them when it went on sale to see if they were still interested in it. Ninety percent of the time, they were still interested in it and would purchase it at that time.
The product, Lemur (yes, like the animal - they even incorporate it into their logo), can be help businesses move old and slow-moving inventory by capturing the information during interactions between salespeople and customers and providing contacts and alerts when those items go on sale. Imagine you are in your local big box electronics store and you are admiring the latest and greatest television set. An employee sidles up to you and asks if they can help. You tell them that you like the TV but it is too pricey for you at that time. They ask if you'd like to know when it goes on sale (and possibly what price you'd be willing to pay for it). You say "Yes", they enter it into the application and you get an email from the store if the item goes on sale.
I asked him questions about connectivity with the point of sale system (since that is where I also control sale prices and time periods) and he confirmed that there were no pre-developed APIs to link the two systems with information. They also did not yet have the type of reporting from the product that would be effective for a store like mine. While it is an interesting concept and they were willing to allow stores to perform trials with it prior to making a decision on a purchase/revenue-share model, it seemed to fit a large store model (where employees don't necessary develop relationships with customers) rather than a small boutique store model. I asked if they were performing trials in any boutiques at the time and he confirmed that they were not.
I'll keep an eye on the product as I'm always interested in opportunities to improve the customer experience but it doesn't appear to be the right fit for Zoe at this time.
Next up: Geo what?