Sometimes the adage, “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it,” just doesn’t apply. Consider, for example, socks.
You might think that socks, like incandescent light bulbs and toilet paper, haven’t changed much in 100 years because a sock is as utilitarian and innovative as a sock will ever be. There may be some truth to that, but Stance Socks is driving innovation not only with the product, but in the way it engages with its customers to sell it.
The eight-year old company was founded to upend a category it says had been “ignored, taken for granted, looked over, and dismissed.” Its products, the result of artistic self-expression drawn from athletes, performers and iconic cultural influencers, has catapulted Stance to bonafide disruptor status.
But it’s not just the colorful, artistic socks that distinguish Stance. At our recent Salesforce Connections conference, Paul Zaengle, Stance’s Executive Vice President of Direct-to-Consumer, sat down for an interview where he talked about innovations like in-store self-checkout, a new twist on the subscription model, personalization, market-leading collaborations, and more. (Check out the video below)
But it was its self-checkout that made news in the retail industry recently.
“This has been a long time coming,” said Zaengle. “Before, self-checkout required expensive development for retailers, or apps for consumers to download. It’s was a huge barrier. What’s changed now is the ability to access a camera from your browser.”
The capability is powered by Moltin and, importantly, does not require an app. A shopper accesses a short URL ton their phone to scan barcodes on product tags, then checks out using Apple Pay, Google Pay or a credit card.
The capability, which was rolled out in early June, lets associates spend less time behind the register and more time on the sales floor helping customers.
“We think it’s the future. If other retailers do it, it will change consumer behavior. It’s still early days for us. We want to see how it performs during a holiday.”
Stores aren’t the only place where Stance is innovating. Its subscription service, launched in Fall 2017, puts more power in the hands of its customers, who have more control over what goes in their box than many other subscription services.
Check out the video to hear how the service has been performing, and also why customization was a non-starter for the brand.