Embracing Technology

Sell More With Less Effort

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Creating separation from the competition — whether it’s through marketing campaigns, maintaining the right mix of inventory or delivering excellent customer service — to generate profits is central to any FFL dealer’s business. Today, stores can leverage technology to assist in these endeavors and more, especially valuable in the wake of the vast changes in commerce over the past 18 months. Dealers shared three areas of focus where they’ve benefited by making investments in technology, and how Celerant has been a crucial partner.

A sales associate at SafeSide Tactical – Roanoke, Va., completes a transaction using Celerant’s retail software.

1. Focus On Brick-And-Mortar

Implementing powerful point-of-sale software in your store unlocks several tools to automate daily tasks, which in turn saves time and elevates customer service.

Jeff Poet, president of Jay’s Sporting Goods, a destination store with two locations in Michigan, shared automation and data collection enables his team to better serve customers.

“Automating certain tasks — like importing catalogs and auto ordering from distributors — links directly to better customer service. It frees up time for our people to work more efficiently,” he said. “The question we ask: What does the technology and capturing of information do so we can serve our customers better? With Celerant, once we make a transaction, we can connect it to a name and we have a lot of data we can lean on — it’s very powerful.”

Poet emphasized how timely data benefits the bottom line.

“For our business, it’s having the right product on the shelf at the right time,” he explained. “The data we collect through Celerant helps our buyers make better decisions and increases the velocity of how quickly we can generate automated POs, which makes us more profitable. Most systems should be able to do this, but Celerant goes above and beyond when it comes to collecting data.”

2. Focus On Digital Marketing

Sending the right emails, to the right customers, at the right time may sound daunting, but an integrated system with access to real-time customer and sales data will enhance the success rates of digital marketing campaigns.

Take, for instance, abandoned cart emails. SafeSide Tactical Co-Owner Mitch Tyler shared these automated emails have generated considerable profits with little effort.

“Our abandoned cart email automation — which runs through the Celerant Digital Marketing platform — integrates directly between our database and eCommerce site to re-engage customers who had logged in and added an item to their cart,” he said. “Over the past couple of years, these emails have an 86% open rate and have netted us over $25,000 in sales. Best part (other than the revenue) is it all runs in the background with zero human interaction. It’s always working!”

208 Gun Shop in Idaho Falls, Idaho, has been able to harness data and send targeted emails to considerable effect, according to Online Sales Manager Jonathan Fitzwater.

“We can take advantage of a program where anyone who has signed up for our newsletter can be segmented based off their location — which enables us to make a dynamic list for sending emails to those customers,” he said. “Our average open rate across all marketing emails for this year while using Celerant is 23.8%, with an average click-through rate of 3.92%. We went from the bottom of the barrel to getting higher than national average numbers to connect with customers.”

3. Focus On eCommerce

After partnering with Celerant, SafeSide Tactical went from offering 40 products on its website to more than 30,000.

“Through our eCommerce site, we have three different distributor warehouses we can fulfill orders from,” Tyler said. “The system will check to see which warehouse has it in stock and what’s the best price/shipping rate — all this is being done dynamically in the background,” he shared.

But what about when vendors were out of everything during the onset of this buying surge? Tyler shared the backbone of his website helped weather the storm.

“We went from having 7,000 guns available on the website to 68. But because of the design of our site with Celerant, we were able to go in and sell from the store inventory directly. People would get an email notification of the inventory and they could grab it, and the system deducted it immediately,” he noted.

A Worthwhile Investment

Tyler views technology as a long-term investment.

“The investment in technology is something you own. You can have a great team of employees, but it’s all subject to change and there’s an ongoing cost when turnover happens. And so, just like a facelift to our building or a build-out for a classroom, I see the investment in technology as something to generate revenue in the long term — it’s very valuable and something we can build on as things change,” he concluded.

Now’s the time to embrace technology and harness the power of a point-of-sale/eCommerce solution to efficiently manage your business.

Visit celerant.com/shooting-industry to learn more about Celerant’s capabilities.