How RM Williams boosts efficiency with its unified commerce platform

RM Williams – synonymous with quality craftsmanship and the rugged spirit of the Australian outback – has long been an icon in the footwear industry. However, in an increasingly digital world, the brand recognised the need to evolve its retail experience to meet the demands of modern consumers. 

In 2020, Tattarang, a prominent Australian investment group, acquired RM Williams with a vision to propel the brand into the digital age while preserving its heritage. This acquisition paved the way for RM Williams’ most significant digital investment yet, encompassing a comprehensive overhaul of its e-commerce platform, marketing strategies, and store systems.

“When we set about this project, it was to look at the way we connect with our customers. We needed to provide them an omnichannel experience,” said Peter Ratcliffe, head of technology at RM Williams. 

Central to this transformation was the adoption of NewStore, a unified commerce platform anchored in an omnichannel POS, with built-in solutions such as order and inventory management, clientelling, and store fulfilment. 

“Before NewStore, we had many disparate systems across the organisation. Customer details and order details were across many different systems,” explained Ratcliffe. With NewStore, RM Williams found a solution that would unify its data and modernise operations as well as elevate the customer journey across all touchpoints.

Associate mobility drives in-store efficiency

“When you’re in retail stores, you’ll see that store teams tend to hover around cash desks. And certainly, through peak trade, that can pose some challenges to the customer experience,” said Kyle Grimshaw, head of stores at RM Williams.

This was one of the driving forces behind the CEO of RM Williams seeking a store solution that transcended the ordinary. He envisioned a platform as intuitive as using an iPhone, enabling associates to seamlessly engage with customers on the sales floor. Enter NewStore, a mobile-first platform designed to operate on iOS, making it an ideal match for the brand’s vision.

With NewStore’s omnichannel POS system available on iPhones, associates have real-time access to essential information, including customer details, order statuses, and inventory data. This advancement significantly enhances RM Williams’ renowned “Signature Service,” which features personalised consultations about leather options and boot size and fit. With associates now able to be shoulder-to-shoulder with shoppers and armed with comprehensive data, the end-to-end customer experience is elevated to new heights.

“Having everything at your fingertips has not only enhanced the customer experience but also our team’s experience in-store,” said Marne Williamson, store manager at RM Williams.

“If we have nine team members in-store, each team member has their own iPhone. So, basically, we can check out all people at once, whereas previously we couldn’t do that. People had to line up,” said Ratcliffe. 

The conventional checkout process, often plagued by long queues, is a thing of the past, as associates can seamlessly process transactions from any location within the store. NewStore has essentially made the traditional cash wrap obsolete, as all associates now serve as points of sale. 

Moreover, with the NewStore mobile POS, RM Williams is capturing a customer email for a majority of transactions. In contrast to the brand’s former POS system, which had a cumbersome process for adding customer data, this simplified checkout flow not only enriches the immediate customer experience but also provides valuable insights for post-purchase marketing efforts. 

Unlocking omnichannel growth

Overall, RM Williams is reaping significant benefits from having a mobile-first platform. Not only does it streamline associate-customer interactions, but it has enhanced access to inventory, optimising productivity and ensuring associates never disappoint customers. 

Williamson confidently refers to NewStore as her new best friend, emphasising how it has significantly eased her responsibilities as a manager. Ratcliffe echoes this sentiment regarding the implementation of NewStore, highlighting the brand’s dedication to innovation while maintaining its core values of quality craftsmanship and unwavering customer satisfaction. 

“I would highly recommend NewStore to any retailer that wants to provide a true, connected experience for their customer, and a brilliant in-store experience as well.”